Ramp test on a gym bike

I have to use a gym bike to use Trainerroad. I did a ramp test yesterday and my FTP was 309. I take 75% of that and set my FTP in the app to 232.

Today I did Mount Hayes -2. I could feel it in my legs a bit, but wasn’t out of breath. How should it feel?

Any tips for converting the final FTP of a ramp test to the value you should put in the app?

Your FTP is 75% of your power for the final minute of the ramp test. If you’re using Trainer Road to do it, you’ll get that number automatically.

Whatever number that gives you is the FTP you should put in. Don’t take 75% of it again.

No wonder Mount Hayes didn’t give you any trouble!

309 was my final minute number. 75% of that is 232. It is annoying that I have to use a gym bike and work this out. I try and use the same bike each time and my FTP has been going up. I hasn’t helped that the gym put in new bikes. If 309 was my final number what do you think I should put in the app?

You held 309 for a full minute?

Can you provide any more details about how the bikes work / interact with Trainer Road? Are you using erg mode?

Assuming that 309 watts was your maximum one-minute power when following the Ramp Test protocol, then yes, this is the correct calculation :+1:

Mount Hayes -2 should be tough but manageable. That final interval at threshold should definitely require mental fortitude to power through to the end

It sounds to me that your FTP is set a little bit too low. When you completed the test, did you feel like you gave it your all? At the end of a Ramp Test, you should be sweating and gasping for air; a complete maximal effort.

If you do feel that it was a maximal effort, but your FTP is still a little too low, I’d recommend bumping your FTP by 2-3% at a time until you find a level that is “tough but manageable”.

Let me know if there is anything else I can help you with!

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I have no connectivity what so ever. I just have to be honest with myself and do the best I can to have the right power numbers. This is Trainerbackstreet, manually change level and adjust cadence :blush:

Thanks @Bryce. Just I did feel I have it my all. I do have a leaky heart valve (nothing serious) so my CV tends to give up before my muscles. Is it fair to say that the threshold workouts should contain muscle burn and a good amount of heavy breathing. VO2 max should be easier on the muscles and totally out of breath work.

If I can set that sort of expectation I’m sure I can set the required power on the bike. I travel a lot as well and have to use different bikes. This also makes life interesting. One day I hope to make it into this century with a trainer, but for now I have what I have. I appreciate the feedback.


How are you measuring power? If it’s from the spin bike (Wattbike? Lifecycle?), they are notoriously inaccurate. I’m away from home for several months and have been in the same dilemma…until now that I’ve got some Powertap P1 pedals. I’ve only done a couple spins, and the bikes are not in the best of shape, but being able to set the resistance according to the power TR is telling me is so much better than hoping I’ve got the RPE. I would think that regardless of how the resistance is set or how well the bike behaves, if you’re measuring your own power, the watts should be accurate. If it’s the machine generating the values, then all bets are off…

Back, ALRIGHT! (bass line)


Keep in mind that Threshold is a power output that you could hold non-stop for 40-60 minutes. So you’re not gasping for air, but you aren’t breathing through your nose either.

I’m not sure I would say that VO2 is easier on your muscles since they will certainly feel the burn, but to call VO2 max “totally out of breath work” is definitely accurate. It’s tough to give a definitive answer since everyone is a bit different, but for me, I feel that my cardiovascular system is the limiter for VO2 max, while my muscular system is the limiter for Threshold :+1:


It is Technogym bike. I totally agree the power will be off and I bet if I used these numbers on a smart trainer I would fail, big time. I was hoping that if I stuck to the same bike even if it was out the power would be consistent, but I think it is low.

A few weeks ago I was on a hotel bike that was so bad it said my cadence was 140 and 400 watts. Don’t think so. In that case I had to RPE and pick a bike power number and just return to that when the next interval came along.

Ouch! RPE is a sound idea, but if you don’t regularly ride with a power meter, it’s difficult to establish a correlation of what FTP feels like or sweet spot or whatever;…not too bad, pretty hard, and OMG are about my levels of perception! But I’m now able to swap out the crappy toe clip pedals at the gym and pop in the P1s and it’s been quite enlightening…not sure how easy a ramp test will be though, since it takes a bit of adjustment to set the right target power.

something I’ve done in the past when traveling is use heart rate to gauge intensity. It’s certainly not perfect, but it helps feed the RPE at least for steady state type efforts. much less useful for shorter high intensity efforts.

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I’m with you. I move up a level, then have to adjust cadence to get the power right. At least I am on the bike and doing my best to follow the programme. It certainly helps.

Thanks for all the advice.

I agree. Every time HR comes up on the forum it is knocked back because power is better. That is great, but I’m sure others out there, like me, would like to see some HR zone targets just to help out with our situation.

FWIW I’ve compared my PowerTap P1 Pedals against a few Wattbikes and, generally, get a close enough result that I’m happy to use WB power if I don’t have my pedals / bike to hand.
That said I’ll add a massive caveat that all of my tests have been within 0-100 meters of sea level and the bikes were pretty well maintained.

If there is a Lifetime Fitness, I think all of them have Stages brand spin bikes. I’m doing all my TR workouts on them. They easily connect to Iphone via bluetooth, and I’m getting consistent power readings off of various bikes