Ramp up Test / information request


Last week I started using Trainer road. I had done an FTP test Months ago with a power meter roller (borrowed it) and got an FTP of 225. Last week I did the ramp test and was expecting the FTP to be the same or a bit better…I got 215. :confused:

To be honest, I think the problem was that I did not have a good warm up, did not plan the session well and did not know to do. What I mean is, when I had done the FTP test before I was told to keep the cadence to about 80 rpm…but it was a 20 minute test not ramp test. (maybe it makes a difference). on the Ramp test I could not keep the 80rpm for some reason.

Also, I jumped on the bike and started the ramp test immediately…I thought that the test would include warm up…or else the warm up was too short to me.

How do you usually do the ramp test guys? I want to do it again next week and see what I get and this time get things right.


The ramp test has its own warm up built in. If you want to do additional warm up on the ramp test you need to make that part of your protocol and do it every time.

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Yeah, the ramp test is really a built-in warmup that keeps ramping up and ramping up until you can’t go no more.

But, if you feel like you need a longer warmup, by all means - you’ll just want to make sure you do the same warmup every time, like Erick said.

I’ve always just jumped on the bike and done the ramp test - it starts out with five minutes at 45% or so of your current FTP, then starts ramping up - it’s at least 8-9 minutes before it starts feeling even remotely hard, which I’ve found to be a sufficient warm up for me.

It’s also worth noting: You said you did the FTP test ‘months ago’ - and ‘started using TrainerRoad last week’. Have you been doing training in the interim? Your fitness could have changed quite a bit in the interim months.

Also a) what ‘power meter roller’ were you using months ago, and what power meter (trainer?) did you use for the Ramp test? Different power meters may measure things in slightly different ways, and numbers can be off depending on calibration and such. Although in the grand scheme of things, 10 watts isn’t -that- big of a difference.

Try doing some of the training plan work outs at the 215 FTP. If it feels to easy, maybe bump up the intensity (105% etc) or re-do the ramp test if you think you left a few watts on the table in the previous ramp test!

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You did two different FTP tests several months apart on two different hardware setups. They were within 5% of one another.


Even assuming everything was all calibrated up as well as possible in both cases. Heck, a lot of smart trainers are +/- 2% so even a motor hooked up to the trainer is going to be 220 to 230. (Let’s get that friction facts guy to build us a jig!) Honestly, if the entropy had swung the other way & your first test generated 220 FTP while your second test generated 225 FTP you’d probably not be so caught up in the results.

If it helps you get over the mental hurdle, go to your TR FTP, highlight it, type in 2-2-5, start your training. After your first few workouts if 225 seems like to much, no prob! Set it a little lower. If you crush all your workouts at 225 then IN YOUR FACE RAMP TEST!

The important thing is: train. Get on the bike and mix it up.

Coming back to TR after several months ( been on Zwift and outside) I did a tryout ramp test.
( first I bailed out and “rejected” the FTP it gave me, now know to “ignore” or the “workout” is lost.
Perhaps on a tiring test an “are you sure” might be appropriate?
So I tried again ( tired !) just to see
Im using a (calibrated) Kinetic rock and Roll control with Garmin V3 pedals for cadence and power in “auto” erg
I found that although I kept my cadence at approx 80, the trainer wasn’t giving me enough resistance to hit the target, but was wandering downward, after 12min I had to increase my cadence to 90s to get required power, which was always recorded as well below the target one the minute segment.
At the higher levels I had to spin to 100pm to approach the (supposed to be set in erg mode) target.
Is this a known problem? Should I ditch erg mode and switch to manual gear control?

Hey guys,

Thanks a lot for the feedback.

The trainer I used months ago was an Elite trainer. One of those which you do not need the back wheel and all you need to do is clip your bike on the trainer. It’s an expensive trainer so I assume it’s good. :slight_smile:

About a month ago I bought the Garmin Vector 3 (single side) and I am using a BBB Turbo trainer (one of the cheap ones) which seems to be working ok for now. hehe

Also, between the first and the second FTP Test I still trained but never trained using a structured program like TR.

TR is helping me a lot, even HR at rest is getting lower and lower :slight_smile:

What about cadence? do you guys keep it at 90+?

Thanks for your input!

I have this issue to a point when I do workouts. For me it’s the fact that I use erg mode and the smart trainer I use tops out relatively low (500W) compared to other (more expensive) trainers. Bear in mind that 500W value I think is only achievable in the hardest gear so in reality the ceiling is much lower in more of a mid gear.

In order to compensate I have to shift down gears periodically through the test (say 1 every 3 or 4 ramps) so that I don’t hit the power ceiling of the trainer.

It’s the opposite of the ‘Wattage Floor’ described here:

@Aber28 Cadence is a pretty personal thing, but I like to test at 100 as I tend to be ok on cardio and it keeps the legs fresher. Worth noting though that my natural cadence is around 95-97. So I tend to go a tiny bit faster with the legs on a test (I do the same thing in TTs)

This is my most recent test: https://www.trainerroad.com/career/trpnhntr/rides/39920606-ramp-test

You can see I’m averaging around 100 cadence for the entire ramp portion

This is the ride I did last night: https://www.trainerroad.com/career/trpnhntr/rides/40889287-antelope-5

You can see without any emphasis on cadence I am sitting in the mid 90s (getting progressively slower as I got more fatigued).

So I guess to answer your question I’d say - if your normal rides find you riding at 80 cadence then testing at 80 isn’t a bad idea, but in general faster cadences are better as it transfers more of the burden to your cardio (burdens slower and recovers faster) and away from your muscles. So, by all means test at a cadence similar to what you naturally ride, but work to increase your standard cadence during the other rides (I find it particularly helpful to focus on a fast cadence on easier days)

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