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

Your MAP is higher (but for a shorter duration) which makes some sense if your KOMs/PRs are on shorter segments? Your data isn’t that different to last year really either… There’s also the question of how many ~5 min efforts have you done recently?

It’s mostly just the w/kg has gone down due to higher kgs. :rofl::rofl::rofl:

I agree the power numbers are very similar though.

Just to add a little amateur perspective on the Coggan charts, I think or at least IME what is way more important is your power metrics say after 1000Kjs or 2000Kjs etc…I don’t recall if I’ve ever set a power PR in a race but, it’s far more usual that I don’t and I think this is the norm for most amateurs. So, perhaps someone has a much better 15 second sprint by the numbers, fresh than me. But, usually their 15 second sprint after a couple hours of over-unders (following wheels in a race) is much lower. At least this is my theory as nearly everyone reports these crazy high power numbers but, they are never there at the end of the race.


Or… they are just lying to themselves with a bad power meter or scale.


Always a possibility. I do think the majority can do what they say fresh but, it just doesn’t seem to be the determining factor with respect to results. On the flip side, the guys that crush me (that I know/race against) have slightly better metrics but, literally are the freaks that attack when everyone is gassed. Not only attack but, hold it for 5, 10, 20 minutes.

I posted this in the doping thread:

Moral of the story is do you, and don’t worry about where you stack up, because there are measurement errors all over the place in all of these metrics.



Right, if the sample size is large enough, but it’s still self selected by those that use that site.

I’ve looked before, and TR said they don’t record what is measuring the power. That seems like their data set could be rife with error.

I got lapped in a crit where people that finished in the pack were the same / similar reported w/kg due to bad draft choices. There is more to it than just power.

In the motorsports world, we call engines that make a lot of power on the dyno but go slow on the track “dyno queens”. I can take the same engine to 10 different dynos, all “calibrated” and the same brand, and have power 5-15% different.

Unless their is a bias in the data. If people routinely underreport their weight and power meter errors trend to the high side (they are clamped at zero… so they would) then your data set is trash.

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Or your power meter reads super high and your scale reads low :wink:

Yeah exactly. The chart is PR numbers. What matters is your ability at the end of a race. World tour pro’s sprint after 3-5hours of riding and usually average 1000-1200w for 10s or so. They also are part of a lead out train, so its not like they are going fresh then killing it for 10s, but instead they are hammering hard for maybe 5 mins leading into it with increasing intensity.
Despite this fact, I still think the absolute watts (fresh for the PR on the chart) is an important indicator of your ability to put out a percentage of it after a few hours in the saddle. For example, if rider A’s all time 10s is 1000w, and rider B’s is 1350w, then I would put my money on rider B if they both are lining up for the final sprint at the end of the race (of course, assuming rider B wasn’t dropped beforehand)

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I’d say that it’s not necessarily true about road sprinters. They probably can hit numbers like that fresh on a training day they want to PR / test on. No, they aren’t hitting 24 w/kg at end of the TdF stage (prob more like 18-20 w/kg avg for 5-15sec), but I’d bet the likes of Marcel Kittel, Andre Gripel, Peter Sagan, etc can avg 1500-1700w for 5s fresh


I’ve looked at tons of World Tour sprint data, as well as track sprinter data here in NZ. Road races are often won at surprisingly low power numbers. Being able to produce a high percentage of your fresh sprint, while fatigued, is often the deciding factor.

From my own experience, it’s not really the general fatigue of riding. If you are well trained, particularly if your yearly average hours are high, you should be able to deliver a solid final sprint.

What really taxes a final sprint is either a truly maximal long anaerobic effort or many hard neuromuscular efforts. Keeping these to an absolute minimum during a race is the art of road sprinting. Your entire goal is to never accelerate faster than the absolute minimum required, during the entire race.

If you do this better than your competitors, you’ll likely reach a higher percentage of your best effort when it matters most. At the end.

Interestingly, my best ever sprint was actually at the end of a road race. It was for the win of my own little A race. So, I imagine the adrenaline / excitement helped. I’ve not matched it since.

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Hi Nate, just came across this and I found it really interesting so thanks for crunching the numbers. Although this was some time ago I find some of the comments a little strange. I assume if people are on TrainerRoad they are looking to improve their fitness and be more competitive? A lot of my cycling friends are on Strava and are pushing for a good placing on the hills. This to me is no different as I would like to be on the right hand side of the graph rather than the left :wink: and for me this just adds an additional incentive.

Hey Nate, I randomly stumbled upon this old post. That bell curve chart is pretty legit. Would we be able to get an updated chart in a new forum post? I bet the data is much different now than it was a few years ago.

Thank you


I was wondering if anyone would be willing to add a little context to their W/kg number as far as competitive level (in their area).

I have seen a heap of posts on TR (and elsewhere) from users talking about getting Strava KOM’s or really good overall and category results. I was wondering if anyone would be willing to share some data in that respect.

To start, I’m right around 4.1W/kg and finish around 10th-ish out of 30ish in A-Grade at my local XC series. The Strava segment I have measured myself against most frequently is a climb ~3min long and I’m about 70th at the moment though am probably due another crack at the top 50.

Are all the rest of you guys that are winning races higher up on the Bell Curve of Cyclists?

For XC, repeatability for short efforts + technical skill are going to skew any relationship that might exist between watts/kg and placing.


I know. But it’s still relevant.

It’s only for interests sake, not scientific study.

I am 4.5 and my greatest moment is owning 1 KOM on a very popular climb that is 30s long. No other success at all.