Ramp test trick?

Two ramp tests after two training blocks and my FTP is lower. First time on smart trainer and second on kinetic. First 27 minutes second at 20 minutes. Felt really good today because I could ride three minute on a single cog and all above target (would have had to really decreased my cadence and,yes, I tried shifting down) and was working into the last two minutes.

Why after 20 minutes does the test not assess your power above your previous FTP? Too much ramp? Or is the expectation that you really need to do 30 minutes and not 20? What is the trick?

19:30 ramp test is your current FTP. After 20 minutes your FTP should be higher.

Ramp test has nothing to do with 30 minutes… you even should not last 30 minutes with properly assessed FTP before test.

Had my best race season. I will take it again in 10 days. But it seems you need to go longer. Went the whole 20 and was expecting more. My ride stats would was put me at least 10 watts higher than assessed although lower than current FTP. Had peak 5 and 10 minute power. Will try again. Thanks for the reply.

Assuming that you match the power targets at each step, and don’t have wild variation, when you hit the 19:30 point in the test, you are matching the FTP that is present in the settings at the start of the test.

  • Blow up and stop BEFORE 19:30, you will be assessed with a LOWER FTP than the starting FTP.
  • Blow up and stop AFTER 19:30, you will be assessed with a HIGHER FTP than the starting FTP.
  • Additionally, there is some magic detection and math in the system that will adjust your FTP based on undesired variation in the final parts of your test (the highest 5-minute power range).

If you got well past the 19:30 point in the Ramp, and were given an FTP that is lower than you started, that means TrainerRoad detected notable variations in your highest 5-minute power (that usually is the last 5 minutes prior to you blowing up)… OR you were not actually matching the power target towards the final minute or two before you stopped.

If you share a link to your ramp test (copy/paste the file path from a web browser viewing your test), and make sure your TR account is public, we can do some review.

When in doubt, just email support@trainerroad.com to get a full story from the ones who really know.


Your FTP does not change in app or you think that your FTP should be higher?
Ramp test can underestimate when you are more inclined into longer efforts (TT like) or you do not have developed VO2 max. Try longer test like Kolie Moore’s test protocol . Then you can compare the results.

1 Like

I would have thought it would be higher and not the same as my NP for 25 minutes. I will take it one more time before moving on to another protocol to see the difference based on your and Leader Chad’s inputs.

Starting a new base block after two weeks rest and really hoping for some gains in the CX season, so the next two blocks are important. I know what I did two years ago and that was my best season in CX (killed in on winter tris this year).

@mcneese.chad thanks for the reply. That helps. Files and side by side with Training Peaks sent to support.

1 Like

Here is my report back after completing low volume base for 6 week with additional warm up and cool down for the last three weeks. I trained at what I thought my FTP should be (220), although the original ramp said 196. I added three elements of mental training to my regimen:

  1. ) I allowed myself to pedal at lower cadences (normally above 90, often over 100), sometimes as low as 80.
    2.) I trained the last 30 seconds of every interval over the expected power (e.g., 200w would be 200w+).
  2. ) I used key words to push whenever my power went below or was trending down.

I used all of these on my test today go earn a legit FTP of 223w.

Leader @mcneese.chad 's advice was helpful and watching the live FTP led to a few observations.

  1. You reach your FTP about 13 minutes in, so training for the longer intervals (9, 12, 15, 20) is both a mental and physical task.
  2. Actual FTP tracked between 60 and 110 watts lower than what your target was at any given time (I finished at 303w expected at 20 minutes).
  3. The coaches were all above the number almost all of the time, so pedal smooth and hard.

I think this is part of the “trick”.

I hope that helps anyone who had the same question I had and how to approach the test.


1 Like

@mcneese.chad second highest all-time 5 minute power. Nice way to frame the last 5 minutes of the test.

1 Like

That 19:30 inflection point of the ramp test between current FTP and increased FTP is so good to know - thank you, Chad! I had been doing the math beforehand on what my last minute target power should be to get a sense of where I’d end up


If you are on Win/Mac, you can also use the new “Live FTP” setting (in the “Stats” section) to watch the increase as well. So you have a couple of possible targets to use.