Today I did my first ramp test and stopped once I realized I couldn’t keep up with the requested power. Is this the way to go, or is the FTP result going to change if I keep pushing until the end of the test, even if with a value lower than requested by the last steps?
There is no “end” to the test in the way you mention. It will automatically extend itself as long as necessary. Some people have ridden the test past 40 minutes because the default FTP was much lower than their actual capability.
You simply pedal as long as you can as the target power increases every minute. Stop pedaling whenever you blow up or can’t hold a safe cadence (60+ rpm). So, as long as you were well and truly spent at the end of the test, you are good to go with the FTP given.
If you’re not using ERG mode (smart trainer) than I suspect you might as well stop as soon as you can’t keep the power level on target.
For ERG mode users I’m pretty sure that our new FTP is going to be 75% of the highest completed step. Ex. Completed 300 watt step and then quit would be new FTP of 225 watts
That’s not true. Regardless of method (ERG or manual resistance), the test calculates 0.75 times the best 1-minute power in the test. That is true whether you finish at the beginning, middle, end or anywhere in a step. The specific point that you end really doesn’t matter.
What matters is holding power as long as you can and as close to the target power is ideal. You need to try and match the steps, but the actual power for the best 1-minute is what sets the FTP at the end.
Note: there is an extra calculation that looks for a surge in the final bit, and will adjust if it happens. But a properly executed Ramp with no major jump will be the simple 0.75 x best 1-min power.
Right. For Erg mode, since you’re held to the power, it’ll be 75% of your last minute, which will be part one step and part another (with, ideally, no surges).
This is a good question and one that I’ve found myself asking myself in the final few seconds of a ramp test when I can’t seem to match the target power;
“Is it worthwhile to still continue?”
I fear that in the the past a negative answer to this question has released me from my suffering (how convenient) when in fact it was actually a falsehood. The truth is that there still might be a point to continuing at less than target power and even if there’s a voice in your head telling you you’ve “blown up”.
So long as your power output will result in a higher “best one minute power” for the test then it’s worth continuing. Seems to me this will typically just be any power higher than you were putting out one minute previously. Which should just be any power higher than the last power level even if less than the current power level.
IMO the ramp test would be much improved if in fact it did end. That is, it’d be an improvement if the software determined at which point it was pointless to continue rather than leaving it up to the rider and leaving open the possibility that they’re going to lie to themself to end their suffering.
Incidentally, the first time I took a ramp test I assumed that something like this was going to be the case. Towards the end I felt like I was having severe difficulty maintaining power, and I thought I was putting out less power than I in fact was. I turned my head down in a grimace of pain for a few seconds and when I looked up I saw the text suddenly appear on screen
Well it took my mind but a fraction of second to judge that the only reasonable explanation why I was being congratulated at that point was because the test was over and so I promptly stopped pedalling. But then that’s a bit of digression and just another way the ramp test could be improved.