Rocker plate effects on FTP

I am seriously considering using a rocker plate with my TR training, specifically the Velocity trainer. I was wondering if you have any experience with full motion (side-to-side and fore/aft) rocker plates and if they have any impact on FTP results. I’m not so concerned with the number, but more so if I would need to do another FTP ramp test after I put my trainer on a full motion rocker plate. I just started using TR about 3-4 weeks ago and I did an initial FTP test that resulted in a score of 204, which I thought ws low compared to what Zwift reported. After realizing that I need to calibrate my trainer and get it leveled, I retested and it jumped to 225 which is more than I expected. When I did the 2nd test, all of my progression levels reset to 1.0. I am trying to dial in my set up to get maximum results, so I don’t want to keep making adjustments and retesting, but if it is necessary until I get my setup completely the way I want it and you advise me to do so, I will certainly do it. Any advice on this is greatly appreciated. Thank you.

Just bought one a few months ago. Other then having a few rides to get used to it there wouldn’t be any difference for me on a rocker plate. Feels completely comfortable now

  • Yes, I think a new FTP test is appropriate.

  • This follows my general recommendation of retesting anytime you make a significant change to any device or data source related to training (like a typical trainer or power meter change).

  • Make sure to take at least a few rides, a week or so, to get used to the new motion. You will need time to dial in your preferred leveling spring pressures for one thing. Then just adapting to the new levels and directions of motion compared to rigid will take a bit of time.

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Thank you Chad for the recommendations. I am going to purchase one. I do have an additional question for you since you seem so knowledgeable. I have always struggles with climbing, specifically in the lower cadence zone of 70-75. When I do TR workouts that have me at higher power targets for longer periods of time, should I deviate the the plans recommendation of 85-95 rpm and intentionally go to 75 rpm?

John Young

  • What exactly do you mean by “higher power targets”?

To give a broad answer, it is worthwhile to employ cadence and relative effort similar to what you need in your outside riding. For climbing related use, that commonly means using a lower gearing (for slower flywheel speed) and a cadence range matching your actual use outside (like 60-75 rpm).

I wrote a Low Cadence article which can be used for climbing training:

Generally speaking, I do low cadence work at Sweet Spot or lower power levels. I don’t think it makes sense in higher power, UNLESS those are similar to what you need outside. If that is the case, then mimic as appropriate.

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