Testing FTP on climbs

Hi All,
I’ve been trying to search through the forum but couldn’t find much info on this. I just wanted to get people’s thoughts/experiences on using a 20min climb to test FTP (Using the same protocol as the normal test with a 5 min effort prior).
I find it mentally alot easier to do and therefore am a lot more motivated but don’t want it to be a pointless number. I listened to a few of the FTP testing related podcasts and the guys seemed to say that if you can put out the watts then it doesn’t matter how or where you do it.
Thanks for any advice

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A watt is a watt whether it is uphill or on the flat!

As long as you do the test the same each time, then you have a reliable reference number to set your workouts in TR.

Also, it is often easier to find a hill of sufficient length vs a long enough stretch of uninterrupted flat(tish) road to do an FTP test.

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Related thoughts.


When climbing your muscle recruitment is much greater (more fibres contracting) so you will produce a higher number for your climbing vs flat riding or even indoor riding. This is all fine if you are only using the FTP test to gauge improvement. If you use your hill climb FTP to set indoor zones you will die a horrible death.
For example: my 20 min indoor is 310w and my 24m climb was 362w.

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Cheers. I find a similar thing although probably not that big of a discrepancy. Did you do the all out 5min before the climb? My plan would be to use the exact protocol used indoors.

No, I didn’t do a 5min pre fatigue. I wasn’t trying to TT just trying do a solid effort. I think I could have squeezed 10-20w more had I really pushed.

There are many variables besides the hills/flats that could lead to that delta.

Hard to compare without the 5 minute effort before. I have found that makes a big difference to the 20 minute effort which I guess is the idea of it.

Your effort also shows why it’s not always great to watch power. I think a lot of riders (myself included) would probably look at a discrepancy like that at the time and think they need to back off. Impressive that you were able to put that aside and keep riding at that level :muscle:

I almost always to the assesment outdoors on a climb (following the protocoll with the 5min previous effort). I also do a lot of the Training outdoors on climbs with an ANT+ dongle for my phone. The following training is hard, but dooable. If I only would use the indoor test, I think I would not push myself hard enough.
I do the low volume plans plus some “free rides” due to time issues, I guess my Body could tolerate mid volume as well.

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