Ramp Test Too High?

I am using a dumb (Ascent Fluid non-adjustable) trainer and a cadence/speed sensor and I just completed my ramp test way above my estimates (265w vs. 190w). I’ve been riding 5-6 days a week but only for only a couple of months now and strava has my estimated watts between 150w and 200w for most rides, so 265w seems unrealistic (but I guess I don’t have much to judge it by).

What do I need to look out for to get an accurate measurement on a dumb trainer with no powermeter? I didn’t notice any slipping but I can’t help but wonder if I should have raised the roller more. If raising the rollers drastically changes the result, how much do I raise it?

I’ve read that with dumb trainers with rollers, the estimated power is way off because of the heat generated by the trainer, is this true? I touched the wheel after the test and it wasn’t much hotter than ‘warm’.

Lastly, does it matter if my FTP is too high, so long as it’s constant? I imagine that I could setup my trainer the same each time then the high demands of my workouts will be met by the over-weighted FTP.

You make the exact relevant point. As long as whatever number achieved is consistent/replicable the value is really arbitrary. Try the next workout in your calendar on the new FTP and if it feels way off back your FTP down.

1 Like

What Stringwise said, consistency is the key. Plus IME Strava underestimates power on solo rides apart from climbs where it tends to be reasonably accurate (assuming you put accurate rider and bike weight in). And it overestimates power on group rides as it doesn’t take into account the draft effect.

So FWIW your actual power is probably somewhere between the 2. But the only time that really matters is if you’re trying to estimate ride time for an event based on power. E.g. Predicting your finish time on a long climb based on W/kg isn’t going to yield a very good result if your estimated W are high.

1 Like

i would completely ignore the strava estimated watts. nowhere near accurate.


Strava estimated watts are miles off, so best ignored.
If using trainerroad’s virtual power the key thing is to ensure that your set up is as consistent as possible. Tyre pressure needs to be the same and the roller position / pressure needs to be the same. If these factors vary then the virtual power recorded between different rides won’t be comparable, whereas if they are consistent then the virtual power will be reliably consistent. That’s different from saying it will be accurate, but it is consistency you need for indoor training. No matter what the numbers are, if they are consistent you will be able to work in the right ranges and build your fitness in a structured way.
Before getting trainerroad (and a power meter, and a smart trainer) I used a tacx dumb trainer and just tried to ensure the set up was consistent, then used a mixture of speed data and RPE to train. It was pretty effective - virtual power with trainerroad just puts better numbers to all that, making it even more effective.


Not sure if this is bad form, but throwing another question here as the topic is similar.
Recently did my first ramp test on a smart accurate wattbike atom which I do most of my indoor training on.
It put me at 316 where I think my ftp is closer to 305. Not a massive difference but enough to leave me failing most hard sessions. Good example is Wilhelm +5

Would this potentially mean I need to build my base as the hard last few minutes (V02Max/anarobic) of a ramp test seems to be where most of the calculation comes from?

I would ignore strava’s estimate. Too many variables for it to be accurate. As long as your setup is consistent on your trainer then you should be good

1 Like

If you’re consistently struggling to complete workouts I would just manually change your FTP down 5-10 watts, get a few weeks of workouts completed at that level and then try moving it up again.

Maybe you were just having a great day when you tested and were a bit tapered or something which enabled you to put out a number that you can’t sustain with every day training.

1 Like

My Ramp Test FTP would be way too high if I accepted it. I do 10 mile TTs at ~265W, TR gives me an FTP of 257W, I set it to 246. Why? Because I did a 1 hour indoor test and it gave me 246W, yes I know, don’t shout me down I know 60min power does not equal FTP that’s a whole other discussion but, I know people can do a 10 mile effort at an IF of up to 1.10 so I figure 265/246 is more accurate “for me”.

I imagine this tells me that my ‘anaerobic’ contribution at the very end is quite good, I just don’t have the endurance to do a 40km TT at anything over 250W.