Ramp Test Calculation Question

hi there,

Not sure if this was asked before but let’s say I stopped Ramp test at 30th second of 400Watts. I see that the test ramps up 13 watts at each step so my previous 1 minute was 387.

Does software calculates the last 1 minute in this case? I mean average of last 30secs of 387W and 30secs of 400W which is then multiplied by 0.75?


Yes…every second counts!

Afaik it averages the last minute power you actually did, not from the demand step power. If you held 400W perfectly for 30s and then stopped, you would be correct.

As a side note, I don’t know what’d happen if you went to say 400W (hah!) and then blew, but managed to crawl on at 350W, before stopping to pedal. I’d imagine it might get confused and average the last minute, including the 350W crawl, which would lower your result.

Yes, in this case, your best 1 min power would be 394W, or an FTP of 295.

So definitely worth holding on, even if jsut for a few seconds.

In normal cases, the FTP is calculated from the best 1-minute power in the duration of the test, no matter when/where that occurs.

  • Said differently, it is not necessarily the last minute where you are putting out significant power.
  • The only thing that happens is you wasting energy. If that extended time does not alter your best 1-minute power, there is no change to the results in any way. It’s just your energy spent for no benefit (to the FTP test results at least).
  • It’s entirely possible, especially in Resistance mode, to start slipping in power enough that even though you are still putting out say 300w, that your best 1-m power occurred earlier (assuming you were maybe at 300+w before that).
  • So, if you start dropping power significantly, you are best to bail. The only exception is if you are holding power at a level (and likely not matching step increases) until you get to a point that you have exceeded prior power.
  • Essentially, if you hold a steady power, you may be improving your FTP rating as you are possibly dropping lower power values from the earlier part of the 1-m segment.
  • But in most cases, when you are done… you are done. There is no advantage to pushing through unless you are holding the target.

Finally, the app multiplies your best 1-m power by 0.75 to set the FTP value.

  • One exception is if you have a significant spike in power during that 1-minute period, the app will adjust that to account for the jump. This is likely rare, but it is part of the app to prevent oddities in FTP values.
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Thanks, I didn’t know it was simply ‘best minute’ overall. Was trying to work out how the program distinguished between a power fluctuation (which could be large if you’re at the limit) and a finish. Best minute is a much simpler solution :smile:

And yeah, go hard and crash hard is the way to go. Am I the only one who actually quite enjoys that? :zipper_mouth_face:

Good stuff. Now I have to go and try to push 400Watts :slight_smile:

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Got my Ramp “re-assessment” tonight :persevere:

…and I don’t enjoy those final few minutes, but tonight I’m going to distract myself with Alpe Du Zwift during my Ramp… pace it so the start of ramp starts at base of climb :slightly_smiling_face:

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So, if it’s taking best 1 minute (excluding spikes), It the test smart enough to consider what happened leading up to the best minute? For my first ramp test, I was a bit above targets and I think the extra fatigue hurt my final minute. In a follow up test, I was pretty much dead on leading up to the final.

For an extreme example - what if someone stayed at 200 watts regardless of the target wattage until the target is 500 watts and then held 500 for a minute or so. 75% percent of the last minute would be ~375 watts, but that’s not a valid test. Is the test smart enough to account for how well you hit target wattage leading up to the last minute?

The above example is extreme and unrealistic, but what if we looked at 2 different tests with the same ftp outcome as follows:
-test 1 - rider was ~5watts low on all the steps until the last 400 watt step (which he was perfect on for the full minute). FTP would be 300 watts.
-test 2 - rider was ~5watts high on all the steps until the last 400 watt step (which he was perfect on for the full minute). FTP would be 300 watts.

Assuming both riders were totally spent right at the end of the last minute @ 400 watts, I’d argue that test 1 slightly overstated the results and test 2 slightly understated the results. Their wattage leading in to the last minute are different by 10 watts and I think that’s significant additional fatigue for test 2. If the test wanted to account for this, it could slightly alter the 75% percentage up or down based on the % of target for the steps just prior to the best minute. Maybe it already does that, but I’m guessing this falls into the category of “good enough” without the adjustment.

ERG mode should help with the consistency here vs. target, but even that can be inconsistent with 1 minute steps depending on the trainer.

Yeah but then it is cheating yourself. It does not fit to ramp test’s philosophy, right?

By the way just finished it. I could not push 400watts but 393. 1 watt gain after 3 weeks vacation. That’s what I call marginal gains :joy::joy::joy:

The extreme example was just for illustration, it would be pointless to intentionally do this.

I think the other examples are realistic unintentional scenarios that the ramp test may not be accounting for (or maybe it is). Just curious how smart the test is.

If the test is just taking the highest minute power without considering of what happened before that minute, I’d argue that it could benefit from a little refinement.

The test is “simple” other than the attempt to look for spikes within the best 1-minute power.

What you suggest makes sense, but is lacking right now. Currently, the onus is on the rider to apply at least reasonable adherence to the power target steps in the test (manually or via ERG). It’s another piece to the testing puzzle that rests on the rider’s shoulders to control.

To me I consider it a success if it puts me in the right area for my training and that it has done every time. Maybe ERG mode makes this less of an issue?

If I find it’s over or under assessed, I can easily use the intensity facility or manually adjust my FTP.

As discussed before, it works for the majority at .75 of 1-m . Others may find adjusting this value either way works better for them.

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