RPE & Power on climbs vs flats

I’ve just come across this after a bit of searching, interesting to see people feeling similar to myself.

I train pretty much exclusively on the flat (Lincolnshire UK) and have got my ftp up 290w and had always wondered why there is such a large discrepancy to my 264w at last test indoors. I rode today with one 20min climb and one 13min climb where the grade averaged around 15%, it shook me that I couldn’t hold anywhere near what I believed my ftp to be but then once over the tops I was back at 290.

Is there anything I can do to close this gap other than ride decent hills? I’m also wondering if I get better on the hills then it could maybe ramp my ftp nicely indoors too?

What trainer do you use?

ERG or Resistance mode?

What gearing do you tend to use on the trainer?

I’m using a Tacx Flux S on erg but having overheated trainers before I try to shift into bigger gears so that the trainer has less work to do, this normally means that during my work intervals I’m in a 52 and mid way on the cassette.

Could airflow be the answer? during climbs the air flow is a lot slower so your body is not being cooled as efficiently as when you are riding at higher speed on the flats.

Also using a fan or two indoors is likely not to be as efficient at cooling your body as the air is outdoors?

That’s really interesting. I’m noticeably stronger climber, relative to the 2 guys I normally ride with, despite us all having similar w/kg. But where I really struggle is long drags on false-flats or into the wind, where I’m often struggling to hang on. I’ve often wondered why, and this article offers a possible explanation.

That high flywheel speed may be a factor then. We have no hard numbers, but typically that will lean more towards “flat & high momentum” feel vs small ring feeling more like “climb and low momentum”.

And the cooling comments are quite valid. IMO, too many people consider their fans adequate when I see them as well short of what is needed. If you are dripping pools of sweat, I think that is a likely sign of insufficient airflow and cooling.