Power meter but no indoor trainer, suggestions for first on-road ramp test?

I am new to trainer road and am preparing to do my first ramp test. My bike is equipped with a power meter, but I do not have a trainer. I live in San Francisco, and since I can ride outdoors year round, I have put off buying an indoor trainer. I realize this makes conducting a ramp test more difficult. Any suggestions would be great! Also, if anyone local can suggest a route based on their own experience, that would be awesome too.

Some existing discussion.

It’s not really recommended to try a Ramp test outside. You may be better off using the 1x 20 minute or 2x 8 minute FTP test instead, which are typical options for outside.


An 8 or a 20minute FTP test would be easier to do outdoors.


Another vote for 20-min, 8-min, or a longer test. TR workouts only require a good estimate of FTP. Your choice on how to get that good estimate.


For the 8 minute test, I like the backside of Hawk Hill. The road is smooth, one flat spot, and then a steady climb to the top. It also depends how fast you are.

For the 20 minute climb, I like to head out to Stinson Beach. It does have its corners, but I don’t know of that many straight 20 minute segments in the Bay Area.


Thank you! I hadn’t thought of Stinson to Pantol, but that will work for either the 8 or 20. My PR on the segment is just barely under 30 mins.

I had been planning to try route 1 from Stinson north, my thinking being that it would be better to do it on a flat, but there are some short downhills that would make it difficult.

Any specific reason why turns are bad so long as you stay on the gas?

The only reasons turns can be bad is the bike and car traffic. When your on full gas, the last thing you want is upcoming bike traffic with the cars buzzing by. You don’t know what’s coming around the tight corners. I’ve tried from Mt. Home inn towards Mt Tam theatre, and what a mess. The best thing to do is try to do it on a weekday.

yikes… maybe the conclusion is that it’s time for a trainer. :sob:

when I lived mid-peninsula this was a popular TT and training route:

straight shot down 280 and not too far from SF. I’m assuming its still fairly free of traffic, it seems like a good route for doing a field test.

The only thing that route had against it are the stop signs along the beginning of it. So be cautious if you plan to shoot past them. They are fairy blind. My sister lived off one of those streets.

Thanks, I left the area a long time ago and don’t remember much.