Ramp Test on Peloton Bike, Anything I'll miss out on from not doing the workout in TR app?

Hey TR Community,

This is my first post so please be gentle.

I am experimenting this month with TR and while I have an outdoor bike with a Power Meter and Wahoo Bolt and looking forward to the structured outdoor training, my indoor bike is a Peloton Trainer.

I’ve been importing my Peloton rides using the RunGap app into Training Peaks and found I can do the same thing with TR by making a TCX file of my Peloton workout in Run Gap and it imports all my power info etc from my indoor ride. It’s a bit convoluted but my ride uploads from Peloton to Strava, then I import the Strava ride into Run Gap, which then allows me to make a TCX file of the workout and I am able to import that TCX file into TR.

So before I do my scheduled Ramp Test on Tuesday I want to know if there’s anything I’m going to miss out on by doing my test this way? I am going to follow the Ramp Test workout on my IPAD on the TR app, while riding the Peloton bike and then import the data the way I previously outlined. IS there anything in the TR special sauce that I won’t get by doing these indoor workouts, especially the Ramp Test, on my own?

This will be my first Ramp Test as I’ve done previous FTP test as the 2x8m and the 1x20m test so curious to see how this differs. Looking forward to trying out TR and hoping my workaround will lead to getting better on the bike. Thanks!

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So can you ride the Peloton in a resistance mode and control your target power? I don’t know enough about how the Peloton controls resistance for a workout.

I don’t know the exact calculation you need to make using your ramp test data to get your FTP (TR does that math for you), but I’m sure it’s on one of these forum threads. I’d say that’s the only think you’d be missing out on. That and ERG mode.

You could go all-in and buy a reasonably priced set of power meter pedals, and then hack install trainer road on your Peloton! See @dcrainmaker post about how to: https://www.dcrainmaker.com/2020/06/how-to-load-zwift-or-trainerroad-on-a-peloton-bike-a-geeks-guide.html

Thanks for the response. There is no ERG mode for the Peloton so I manually adjust the resistance knob and match the power from there. I’ve gotten pretty good at doing this over the last few months.

I’m looking into doing the DC hack but I’m worried as soon as I do it Peloton will patch their software or something and make my effort futile. Plus for what I’m seeing on ebay power pedals aren’t that much cheaper than just getting a smart trainer.

In principle, if you have power meter pedals, you can connect those to the Peloton bike and simply adjust the resistance in lieu of changing gears. You’d be using the Peloton bike as a dumb trainer, essentially, but it should work.

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One thing to be aware of is that you’ll have to do another ftp test on your outside bike, if you want to do outside workouts. The ftp and training zones you’ll get from the peloton will likely be quite different.

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If using Power Meter pedals, this will not be necessary since the power source will be the same indoors and out :slight_smile:

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Does he remove the power meter from his outdoor bike and swap the pedals from the Peloton before or after doing this :rofl:

“I’ve been importing my Peloton rides using the RunGap app into Training Peaks and found I can do the same thing with TR by making a TCX file of my Peloton workout in Run Gap and it imports all my power info etc from my indoor ride. It’s a bit convoluted but my ride uploads from Peloton to Strava, then I import the Strava ride into Run Gap, which then allows me to make a TCX file of the workout and I am able to import that TCX file into TR.”

Thanks for the responses. I’m going to keep snooping around ebay for some power pedals or a smart trainer, but since I’m really just training for my personal fitness and not for a specific race just yet I’m going to keep my outdoor workouts to the more general endurance rides that have more range in target wattage and do the more specific workouts on the Peloton.

I’m obviously biased, but you could do a lot worse than buy a set of rollers. No need for smart, just need some levels of resistance.

Or a simple fluid trainer.

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I have been using my Peloton for several months to Trainerroad after my fluid trainer broke, and I was able to replicate a ramp test on the peloton and then could take the outputs to Mpaceline to get the power numbers and 1 minute power for the calculation. There is no issue in doing this, as the Peloton is pretty accurate to itself, except that it won’t match your power exactly outside unless you use power pedals. Peloton also has a 20 minute guided FTP test which is pretty good for doing a 20 minute test.

I have subsequently bought some Assioma duos and I now use my peloton with the pedals and my ipad hooked over the screen to do all my trainer road workouts like that and it is fantastic. I thought about doing the DC rainmaker hack for getting trainerroad on the screen but it gives me nothing additional. In fact not doing that give the opportunity to use the screen for something else if you wanted to at Netflix etc. I just run a manual Peloton ‘just ride’ workout at the same time or one of the classes for the music and ignore the metrics.

The good thing that has pleased me most in using the Peloton for these workouts, is I find what I am capable of on the Peloton with the Assiomas tracks extremely accurately with my outdoor riding in terms of the FTP number and the inertia feels pretty realistic. Despite the slightly different position I don’t notice any difference in muscles I am using, so at this time I don’t see the need for another trainer and it is extremely convenient not to mess around with my outdoor bikes and set up every time I want to work out.

Just out of curiosity how far off are your Peloton power measurements from the Assiomas?

You did not ask me but I am using a Peloton with Assiomas and the calibration of the Peloton was off by 50%. Then I did the re-calibration process about twenty times and now they are within ~10W of each other. But lesson learned, do not trust the Peloton numbers without re-calibrating! Aside from that, I do appreciate the Peloton as a trainer. And DC Rainmaker has a good article on loading TR on the peloton system (does require power pedals).

Comparison from my workouts last week. The answer is, pretty dang close. I notice that when the power goes up above 300 the Peloton seems to read higher at least on the screen, but that could be a latency thing. From the below numbers I am surprised how close they match:

Carter
Peloton :
Average output = 208
Best 283
output = 596kj

Trainerroad (with Assiomas):
Average output = 210
Best = 285
output = 566kj

Carson

Peloton:
Average output = 241
Best = 345
output = 879
Cadence average = 87

]Trainerroad
Average = 233
Best = 336
Output = 840
Cadence average = 87

I just also checked my last ramp test and although the numbers don’t align as I added on a few more minutes on my Peloton ride after, my max power was 468 vs 471 on trainerroad. Surprisingly close.

Spot on, I think the Peloton changes over time (although over the long term, not in terms of a 5 - 6 week block). I have had mine for a year and when I first got it, I felt it was harder for the same power as my outdoor power meter (I had no pedals to compare back then). Now, it is pretty much spot on, or the Peloton is every so slightly easier than my Assiomas so it has drifted a little bit I would say. I have also used some Gym Peloton bikes and I was pushing 500 watt FTP (I wish :)) .

As you say the key is keeping it calibrated but its a great training tool if you keep your FTP updated. I only got the Assiomas as I want to have exactly the same power measurement outside for TT pacing etc

Just out of interest @Janhein. How did you calibrate your bike? Did you try to do it to the pedals or just a standard calibration? Any special tools needed?

This is exactly what I was looking to know. Thanks for posting. That’s funny that the Peloton on Carson shows a pretty signifigant output difference. I’ve found my Peloton efforts and my outdoor bike efforts using the 4iiii Left Side PM to be fairly similar in Perceived Effort but would love to quantify it with Pedals.

Did the standard calibration that requires a couple of plastic pieces from Peloton. Believe you can request/order them separately if they did not come with the bike. After that I jumped on and just compared values on the fly. But calibration is super sensitive to the starting position of the turning knob/magnetic brake. Don’t think there is an option to set the slope of the calibration separately.

I just realized I posted the calories and not the KJs for Carson, it was actually 879 so very close.

Great/interesting post as I have been using the Peloton bike and training plan(s). I just write the time (minutes) and watts on paper and read it during a 60-90minute scenic ride. My Peloton FTP has always been lower (10-20watts) compared to outdoor Stages PM on road and gravel bikes. It has been several months since taking FTP test on Peloton (265). I know I’m stronger now (maybe 250ftp?), but I took outdoor FTP test today (314w). Looking to test on Peloton bike soon and see the discrepancy between Peloton (Calculating power) and Stages (measuring power). I have always felt outdoor PM is 20-30 watts higher than Peloton indoor bike.
Also, my Peloton calibration is pretty accurate after I did 3/4 of the calibration test (pedal, 1/4 turn knob, confirm power, 1/4 turn knob, confirm power, etc…).

Peloton today launched the Bike+. It is no longer a “dumb trainer” and provides what TR users know as ERG mode (i.e. the instructor can control your resistance).

Note: Peloton discounted the current bikes to $1895 with the Bike+ being offered at $2495. They also offer a $700 trade in for existing owners.