FTP estimate, why so low on Ramp test?


I did my last FTP test in Februray if I remember correctly and that gave me an estimate FTP of 247.
After that ive trained consistently with avg 6,5 hr a week (except for a 2 week rest after I injured my knee) I tried the ramp test during the summer and it came up at the exact same numer 247 even thou I felt so much stronger and had outperformed myself in almost every timeframe since my last test.

After that I did an TT for 35 min and with that a new estimate FTP came up through Trainingpeaks at 256 which felt pretty accurate. In WKO5 my modulated ftp is at 260 at the moment and that also feels pretty accurate since I got 256 from the TT just a couple of weeks ago,

Then yestarday I did another Ramp test and came out with 238? Did I just underperform or why do these Ramp test keep giving me numbers that I cant relate to?

Now I am finally testing out TR for real and are signing up for Sweet spot Mid volume but at what level should I set my FTP? 256-260 is where I want to put it but after the test yestarday im just not that shure anymore.

Do a threshold workout with it set at 260 and see how that feels. Adjust using up and down arrows until it feels like threshold.

Ramp requires you to go to absolute failure. Depending on the training you are doing you may not be comfortable at the high % VO2 the ramp requires.


Could I also just start the plan with 256 set as FTP and then if the workouts are to hard I bring it down and if they are to easy I bring it up?

In terms of time and TSS Im in the mid volume phase 2 right now. Can I star at phase 2 and do that several times, I will probably not be able to do high volume just because lack of time? I guess that Im not starting a build until January.

Yes. That will work fine.

Are you comparing outdoor vs indoor here?

Could be that cooling indoors is a factor reducing your output? Alternatively are you measuring power with the same device?


Did you calibrate your power meter? Perform a spin down? Rough week (work, life, training?) ? easy week? Mentally prepared for the pain?

Everything performed under the same conditions?

Crap, i didnt! I forgot to calibrate. Did have a bit of a rest week before. Maybe its the calibration

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I’m in a similar situation to the OP, I started this year in June - my ftp doesn’t seem to be increasing much BUT when I’m riding outside I definitely feel stronger and I can see the muscles in my legs are getting bigger too.

I’ve stopped trying to overthink it - Just trust the ramp test results, I’m finding it only just possible to complete the workouts so I don’t feel I need to “artificially” bump my ftp.

There are so many variables here. My “trainer bike” is an old TT bike without power meter and
It’s entirely possible that my trainer is under reading the power - as I rarely calibrate it - and it probably doesn’t match the power meters on the other bike. Maybe my outdoor ftp is higher.

Who cares what your ftp number is - if you can only just complete the workouts in the plan then I reckon it’s set about right.


Could be a bunch of things:

  • Just having a bad day both times you tested
  • You push more power outdoors than indoors (better motivation, more movement on the bike, better cooling, etc)
  • You’ve got a big aerobic engine but not a lot of anaerobic capacity, so are better suited to longer tests rather than ramp tests (which is actually the opposite of most people who I suspect would struggle to hold their ramp test number for 35 minutes)

To answer your last question I would put it at 250 and see how you go, if the workouts feel manageable then bump it up to 255 after a week or 2, and then 260 if that goes well. In future it might be worth trying the 8 or 20 minute test to see if you get better results.

And don’t overthink it. FTP is just a number to set training intensity, and the number you can put out is going to vary somewhat day by day anyway depending on recovery, nutrition, etc. I tend to manually adjust FTP based on how workouts feel over a period of time more often than I actually test. And I also do TTs and hill climbs, which are basically just FTP tests anyway.

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It’s normal to have an outdoor FTP (or mFTP for TP users) higher than indoor. It has been discussed many times, and even with a good fan and years of practice, 99% of us are in this case.

For me, there is a 52 watts difference, that’s huge (13%), ! But both seems very accurate because :

  1. I have absolutely no margin when I perform a Build or Specialty plan with the FTP calculated during a Ramp Test! Even if I’lm always super motivated to train inside.
  2. My Power curve outside is way higher.

I wouldn’t be too much concern by a 8 watts decrease. Even if it must be disappointed, it can happen and/or can just be due to a lack of freshness or motivation on that day. So keep the result of your Ramp Test, achieve the SS plan and see how hard/easy it looks. Again, it might not be the case for during the Base plan, but Build and Speciality phases should always be very, very, very challenging…


Ok, so I just did my first workout in MV SS.

I kept my ftp set to 256 as before. First workout I did was Antelope -5 and the first 10 min was fine. At the end of the second 10 min I started to suffer a bit and decided to lower the bias to 96% because I already felt that the next 10min would be to hard with even higher power. The third interval was then the same as the second and I got throu that one to but with an heart rate at the end at 198bpm. (Did an all out TT for 10 min on a climb a couple of weeks ago and averaged then 200 bpm and almost died at the end)

The fourth interval started and that was 5w lower but after 5 min I had to take 10sec rest before continuing to the end at 198 bpm again.

This is not how Sweet spot intervals should be right? Meaning my ftp might be set a bit to high?

Why don’t you keep the result of the Ramp Test ?! If you “did” 247w, keep that number and don’t pretend to be higher. That makes no sense and will ruin your training.

PS : We should just stop calling the result of the Ramp Test as “FTP”. This is just a number of watts to set training intensity on Trainer Road and a could way to track fitness over the time. And TR did so well that if you keep that “number”, all your workouts will be performed just at the limit, no matter if you are in the Base, Build or Specialty phases !


And I would also like to point out that the intervals were set at 230 w or below and my best 120min power is at 228w set just a couple of weeks ago so I’m a bit confused. Outside I use my vector pedals and inside my new flux 2

I’m pretty sure that if Antelope -5 feels like that your FTP, training zone watts, are set way too high. You should reach threshold H/R but somewhere in that not max out. Lower at least by 20W I’d say. I did Antelope -4 the other week and my H/R was around 154-179bpm (max H/R 198bpm) so a bit high but that’s how it always is for me in the mornings when I’m working out in a fasted state.

EDIT: Use the same powermeter because these differ.

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My 247 number is from February. My latest ftp estimate is 256 from a 35min TT race. My latest ramp test shower 238. It just feels strange that I can do 230 for 120 min and my ftp would be 238?

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I forgot to add that the result of the Ramp Test is accurate for one setup only : powermeter, conditions (fan, altitude, etc). If any settings changes in this equation, you need another Ramp Test.

So your “FTP” on TR is 238! That’s it! What happens outside, stay outside.

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I agree ! One setup = one test! If you use different powermeter or change conditions, you need another test.

Yeah unless you do like me and figure out what the slope is and set your other powermeters to reflect the one being used indoors. I do that with my Tacx Neo and the rest of the gang are all measured towards that and get scale factors that make their data correspond to the Neo-watts. Works pretty well even though I’d rather have all power meters measure the same. :slight_smile:

Oh and by the way @Alexandermalmstrom I had a Flux before the Neo and it was about 25-30W off in the higher spectrum. :frowning:

I don’t believe in that at all, sorry… I have multiple powermeters (Vector, Powertap and Stages), and this is just impossible. I have been using the DC Rainmaker Analyzer tool for a while to compare powermeters (including Wahoo KICKR on the side indoor) on the trainer and on the road, that’s not relevant at all. I mean it could give you an idea, but if you want to train properly, you need to limit error’s margin.

EDIT : DC Tool is relevant, I meant the method isn’t :wink: