Ramp Test ERG Mode Confusion - Kickr V5

So I had the ramp test in the plan today, being a bit of a masochist I decided to do it rather than take the estimate. All going fine until I get to ~19 min, my FTP was already set to an updated estimate mid block (3 weeks ago) so it’s already pretty hard and I’m not expecting a big movement from the updated estimate, my cadence is starting to slow, that’s normal for me, I’m not worried. Then things started getting unusual. Looking at the graph I can see my cadence is basically the same, but the power has basically flatlined from the power jump @19:00 and started to decline, but it also feels like the difficulty hasn’t increased…

I keep the cadence steady and it just… kinda holds the power there? I’ve included the relevant part of the trace below, but whilst I cadence was dropping, @18-19 min cadence was 72, @19-20 it was 67, it just didn’t feel like the trainer was upping the difficulty…

At about 20:20 I threw in the towel because I realised that everything post 19 min was now a waste given the power gap, but my cadence was still around 67/68 and I’d arrested the decline in cadence and felt like I had more to give, I wasn’t ground to a halt like I normally would be.

So I discarded the result and went with the estimated figure so as to not delay the next block (last time it was accurate, to the watt, compared the actual test result, so :man_shrugging:), but I guess my question is, should I have done the test in resistance mode? Should I have looked at the power and stood to increase the cadence (I’m very careful about not standing)? Does it look like my turbo fluffed in some way?

I’m not precious about the result, it’s just frustrating to feel like I’m trying to give more and the turbo won’t let me.


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  • Maybe, but before really considering that, what exact gearing were you using on the bike?
  • What power level was this?
  • Assuming you use this same power and higher in your training, what experience do you have in ERG with the same gearing? Is the trainer able to hit the targets?
  • No, Standing is specifically mentioned NOT to do in this test.
  • Maybe, but we simply don’t have enough with just that graph. You are best to email support@trainerroad.com for them to review the logs and what was happening between the app and trainer.
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This :point_up_2:

But my guess is that the power didn’t increase because your cadence (which was already pretty low) was dropping. I believe that ERG mode specifically won’t increase the power while cadence is dropping low to avoid a death spiral where you just can’t turn the pedals at all.


Based upon the graph (along with his comments), it seems he “stabilized” and held a consistent (even if low) cadence. In “normal” conditions, I would expect the trainer to add resistance in order to hit the power target.

From the pic and description, the power seems stalled out. This is most often the result of hitting a Wattage Ceiling on a trainer. It relates to the max resistance possible which is driven from the bike gearing in use.

But notably, this is with a Kickr V5 which is super capable, even when in lower gearing. Unless he is pushing some low MTB gear (like 32 x 50), I have not heard of a Kickr V5 toping out like what seems to be the case here.

Hence why I asked about gearing & power, and said that TR needs to review the logs to know what was and was not happening here.

It was in 34x32, I normally keep it low to keep flywheel speed low, not massively high, ~300 and I know I’ve hit that power before on it… (pre accident when my FTP was ~296).

  • No, Standing is specifically mentioned NOT to do in this test.

Yeah, that wasn’t a totally serious suggestion :rofl: When I noticed the issue I was able to stabilise the decline but wasn’t really able to re-establish a fast spin, did cross my mind but then got dismissed!

Will do.

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Thanks, I did consider that before posting, but as Chad noticed I was able to arrest the decline, it was roughly stable for around the last 80 seconds, which should have been plenty of time for the trainer to notice then react and increase the resistance.

34x32 Gearing, cadence 67 results about 9km/h (=under 6mph) . FTP 296 and 19minutes on TR ramp test equals ca 385W.
Even with Kickr V5, I would not exclude trainer wattage ceiling out.


Thanks, just to correct the numbers a little, I wasn’t especially clear, the actual Wattage @ 19 min was 300. 296 is a former ftp, mentioned only in answer to the question of whether I’d used the trainer at that wattage before. I am recovering from an accident, so was @218 mid feb, @232 per AIFTP estimate ~3 weeks ago, @241 per AIFTP estimate yesterday.

For next time I’ll definitely make the gearing a big higher to try exclude the possibility of a ceiling out.