The Bell curve of cylists - how fast are the average TR users?

and that might be why he sees a “cap” at around 4w/kg avg.

Just like the other poster, you should probably go and read Coggans analysis before assuming (quite mistaken) things about it.

As for the sprint vs sustained power, if you compare the percentiles to the “Coggan Male” numbers then you’ll see the ICU users all seem to be terrible sprinters. This might have to do with indoor or power meter limitations, I guess.

I have the same experience as you in that I’m a triathlete but according to ICU I should be winning sprints. If you switch to Coggan cat1/2/3 data it makes more sense and I’m not going to be winning anything :grin:


I did a quick check on Coggins data tables though and I assume(?) that thats where these tables come from? The % reflect it somewhat accurately. Of course, the top guys are way ahead and there is no way I would be competitive against the front fields, but I think the data sounds right? The 95% is pretty fast, but after some point every 1% or .5% you chop is exponentially harder to work towards.

Anyways, I just like looking at the numbers but at the end of the day theres limits to test setups, etc. and its just a E-peener comparison anyways. I see the guys in the Giro just flying up those massive climbs like its a zone 2 spin and I would be dying the entire time. And they do it. For like 5 days straight. Nuts man.

Ha Ha isn’t this true. For a “long endurance” person (I’m even better 6-12hrs), I posted a 1300w / 15w/kg sprint. Looks awesome on those charts but I think Coggans shows Cat 4/3 :smiley:


It seems more because the calculation is done by applying estimates to other estimates and averages based on studies of aboriginal tribes to determine the “default”. Then saying that 20-35% improvement in Vo2 can be had through training but using 30% “just got arguments sake” and then once again assuming an average cycling economy to get the final result.

Not sure how anyone can take that calculation at face value and not the SWAG it seems to be.

That is a good sprint!

My power drops off precipitously for anything less than say 3 minutes (basically anything shorter than VO2). I’m at 4.16 w/kg at threshold, but I am a bit of a one trick pony as my only trick is to ride at or close to threshold for a really long time…

I find that 1-5 minute power is pretty critical for Zwift racing (one reason why having the cats by FTP is stupid), and having a good sprint is obviously also good for the finish.

Not sure how anyone can take that calculation at face value and not the SWAG it seems to be.

It’s definitely a SWAG.

The original claim here was that “Coggan calculated everyone can get to 4W/kg”. But if you read the argument he was making, it was the opposite, i.e. that most people are going to cap out somewhere because VO2Max and efficiency aren’t infinitely trainable and it’s in the extremely rough neighborhood of whatever W/kg.

In the context of this discussion, thinking that everyone “should be able to get to 4W/kg” may not be realistic, and that’s not just in terms of training time or mental fortitude or whatever.

I guess I should feel pretty special at 4 then

I don’t, when I am getting absolutely crushed on fast group rides or on Zwift races in A…

FWIW 4 w/kg was just a hypothetical target for me before 2020. My previous best FTP was 3.65 w/kg (263 @ 72kg) back in 2017, but with lockdown and the following consistency for the past year I am now at 4.16 (288 @ 69.3kg).

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The data quoted by the previous posters are not referring to the Coggan distributions. They are all relative to the people who use and who are in the same gender / age category as the person whose data is being reported.

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I’m at 4 but also as a higher weight so a higher FTP (325) so punchy group rides are no big deal. When the road points up, I can struggle more than lightweights, but on flats and rolling hills I can hold 300w no problem, whereas for a lighter rider at 4w/kg, 300 may be threshold and not sustainable.

We don’t have mountains here and I’m happy with my power profile more than I would be at 4w/kg at a lower weight and lower

Using the Coggan Data is an option on, if you switch from age ranges to “Coggan Male”. If you read the discussion again you’ll see the difference between that data and the ICU users is exactly what’s being discussed (e.g. Sprint percentiles are very different)

I asked a question based upon my Intervals age/power data and TR guys answered it, but incorrectly assumed I was referring to Coggan data, when I was referring to the Intervals age-W/Kg charts. Here’s the video: Metabolic Efficiency, Marking Riders, Sustained Power and More – Ask a Cycling Coach 314 Since I’m an old guy and have been training for only 3 years, my Coggan data is not strong. But what’s interesting is my short power using Intervals age/power/WKg is in top 1/3 of my peers, but 20+ minutes is bottom third. But for Coggan, my 20+ W/Kg trend is other way, with longer times better my short power. I’m guessing that’s the nature of Coggan data, which is geared toward short races?

Coggan data is explained on page 40 of the 3rd edition of Training and Racing with a Power Meter. Put simply, he collected data on:

  • world champion athletes
  • novices

and then came up with ranges and filled in the data in between the top (champions) and bottom (novices). On page 41 he explains that some 50 and 60 year olds can still race with some of the best amateur 20 year olds, and therefore he has no plans to produce a masters chart.

For juniors, my coach Isaiah Newkirk produced a chart like Coggans: Junior Power Profile Chart – FasCat Coaching

Hope that helps.


@bbarrera How’s Isaiah working out? I’m thinking of using fc in the near future for an A race push. Not knowing all the coaches and looking at pricing I’m wondering who to go with. Ideally Frank because he’s older and I think he has a first hand understanding of what it means to get old. I don’t really know if that matters though. Thoughts?

Isaiah is awesome, last 90 days I’ve snagged a lot of new power bests (red)

that includes all rides since December 11, 2017 until now. They all share Frank’s basic philosophy but every coach is different.


Maybe users (especially in your age group) just don’t sprint much. Also, remember the Coggan power profiles include data from elite track sprinters and BMX riders which skews the first two columns for most endurance riders (including road sprinters).

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Idk why this thread popped up again for me again , but I checked my numbers for this year and they’re uh no bueno compared to last year.

Interestingly though, based on the amount of KOMs and PRs I’ve taken lately I feel significantly faster out on rides than I did in prior years despite my watts telling me I’m slower. Go figure. :face_with_monocle:

Idk what to believe now.

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these numbers are only representative if you have done all out efforts at 5s/60s/5m durations. I very rarely do all out efforts at 60s/5min durations, so my charts dont look very good, until I do an effort that happens to be exactly that long, then it bumps me up

Remember, as stated above.

The Coggan chart is madness for road sprinters. If you can pop off a 24w/kg sprint you are NEVER reaching the end of any proper road race on Earth.

It’s track sprinters and BMXs that need to focus on 5s power.

Really, just ignore it totally. Use the fantastic comparison to compare yourself to other actual road cyclists.

In fact, the owner very nicely added the one metric that matters for road sprinters…

15sec power

That’s the best metric for road sprints, bunch kicks in crits etc.

I’m a road sprinter myself, my 15sec is 15.3w/kg. Good for a 47y. Pretty average for a sprinter across all ages.

18w/kg for 15sec is exceptional for a road sprinter. 20w/kg ish is world class, Caleb Ewan.

Interestingly, it’s also the most valuable metric for winning a majority of Zwift races. Basically, a long painful sprint.