Shifting while using ERG Mode for the Ramp Test

If you do the ramp test in erg mode I have a small trick which usually buys me a bit more time.
Simply start the ramp test on the smaller cogs on the cassette. That gives you the option of changing to a lower gear, when you feel that you start grinding. The trainer usually takes a few seconds to respond, giving you a small window to raise the cadence.
But of course, success can vary from trainer to trainer, depending on how fast they react or if they will over compensate after the short drop in power that happens when changing gears. I have a KICKR 2018.

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You know that defeats the purpose of the ramp test right?


Why? Is the ramp test about how tough a grinder you are?
Please explain.

Changing gears during the test will change the momentum of the flywheel, which will make the spinning easier → probably a higher FTP result than when using one single gear.


Which could lead to over testing and then not being able to hit your next workouts.
In ERG there should be no need to change gears and you should try to keep a steady cadence though I tend to find mine gets faster the longer I go on.
YMMV but your FTP only matters to you.

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It won’t adjust workouts, but it will give you a different workout that is easier/harder.

Good at VO2MAX? You get a workout with 4 minute intervals
Bad at VO2MAX? You get a workout with 2 minute intervals

That is my understanding at least


My preference would have been for AT to pre select a VO2max power level too instead of having the athete manually adjust. i.e. have the levels at 110% 115% or 120% depending on the athetes history.

Hope this can be done?

Ah, that makes sense. I hope it works like that.
I “hate” to adjust intensity during workouts - way too old school for me :slight_smile:
(But I still think it would be neat if it worked a bit like Sufferfest’s way. Let’s say that I need to work on 4 minutes VO2 intervals but I fail at 3:30 every time. Then the classic TR way is to lower intensity a bit…)

pretty sure that is how it works. AT progresses your VO2max workouts by selecting appropriate duration/intensity of intervals and rest between intervals.

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Depending on how you finish a ramp, maybe. This bit:

works because it’s essentially a mini-recovery: your power drops until the trainer responds by increasing resistance, so you can spin faster for a couple seconds. You don’t want your power to fluctuate during a ramp (which is also why the instructions recommend against standing up). You want steady power at the target, with no breaks and no recovery, until exhaustion. “Exhaustion” might mean that your cadence falls until you can’t grind anymore, or it might mean that your cadence is steady but you can’t breathe fast enough.


I don’t think it would, it just combats the death spiral you can get to in erg mode if you cadence drops. Personally I just really try and keep on top of my cadence, but why would shifting to stay at the same power at a higher cadence effect the test, if you weren’t in erg mode, you wouldn’t have the death spiral anyway.

I think your missing what he is saying, you respond by increasing your cadence when you shift, so the flywheel maintains the same speed, the power should only dip for a second, if at all. It’s basically just staying out of the death spiral you can get into if you don’t really mind your cadence. Personally, I just spin like hell tell I can’t anymore, but I don’t see why this wouldn’t be an acceptable way to avoid the death spiral that does’t even exist if your not using erg. It’s really the only way to get your cadence back up, because just increasing cadence in erg is going to spike your power for at least 5 seconds.

No, I understand what he’s saying. The power dips for as long as it takes for the trainer to catch up. On my old wheel-on, that’d be around 5 seconds. On my direct-drive, maybe 2-3. The power drop is why it’s possible to spin back up.

The ramp is a giant “death spiral”. The whole point is to not be able to pedal anymore. If you’re taking mini-breaks, you’re extending the test past what is useful to your training.


No, you don’t have to wait for the trainer to catch up, you shift and increase you cadence. The flywheel stays at (basically) the same the speed the whole time, the trainer does not adjust. If you cadence drops in erg, its virtually impossible to get it back up without shifting, in non erg you could just pick the cadence back up if it drops for a second. This is making them the same. The trainer doesn’t know your cadence, only the flywheel speed, down shift and simultaneously increase your cadence, the trainer does not need to respond at all.

In ERG it 100% readjusts when you shift. Even in with increasing cadence it has to recalculate what’s happening and take a moment to do so. As @ellotheth said, the whole point of the ramp test is a death spiral. If that means you hit it when you’re grinding away and can’t get back up to speed, that means the test is done. Simple as that.

For resistance, I think it would definitely be different, however. You may only be able to reach higher targets by increasing your cadence or shifting for each step. But with ERG, if you hit the death spiral and cannot spin anymore, that means your test is complete because that’s the test’s exact purpose.


Not if you do it right. Shift and jam on the pedals, you’ll get you cadence back to match the flywheel speed in under a second, the trainer would not even detect a drop. You can spin up to catch the flywheel incredibly fast, like half a pedal stroke. Half a pedal stroke being easier is not going to effect the test.

And the ERG mode creates a different death spiral than ramp test is designed for, if your cadence drops the resistence can go way up, in resistence mode, if you cadence drops, its much easier to spin back up, which you would have to do to maintain power targets anyway. But no one is going to hold perfect power, so some slight dips are going to happen. ERG mode punishes you for them, resistence mode does not.

Huh? No. well only if you keep spinning slower and slower and slower each time you shift. Changing gears would allow you to speed up your cadence and maintain flywheel speed and avoid having to do a big effort to spin the flywheel back up.

I don’t understand why you want to try and “cheat” the test. The purpose of the test is to fail. When you can’t pedal anymore, you are done. SHifting to get cadence back up seems pointless.

An FTP test isn’t a dick measuring contest, it is to get a measurement for training purposes. I suppose that if you can hit your training targets, that it works for you. I just failed my first workout last week on my current FTP setting, seems like I wouldn’t want to pump my test numbers even higher.


Cool. You get slightly higher FTP.
Now what?
when you get your first SS, over under or vo2Max you will suffer.
Or at the end of SSMV, you might be burn out or maybe didnt finish the whole thing.

FTP is a number and cheating the system to get a higher number doesnt make you magically have the higher number…

But, you do you. If you follow your system and make you faster, by all means keep at it… but be aware that you are, for all intend and purposes, cheating the system.


There seems to be an assumption from the pro shifting group that either the trainer or your legs have an instant response time. I don’t think this is true but it’s also easy to prove. Show the power data from a power meter if your ramp test with shifts. Can we spot where you shifted? If yes and assuming the chart doesn’t show cadence it can show down shifting does impact the test artificially

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