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

@Tezz I just found out about the inRide sensor a few weeks ago, and bought one. I was wondering about accuracy and had planned to start using it with my next FTP test (… which is another solid reason not to bail on the test).

Thanks for the note, glad to know that it’s accurate :slight_smile: Out of curiosity, what power meter do you use?

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Just remember that the average TrainerRoad user is already going to be faster than a lot people not doing structured training. Average here is above average out in the real world.


Eh, I’ve poked around in a few peoples profiles. Many/Most of the TR users aren’t adhering strongly to a plan. They just use it as ‘something to do’.

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This is how a lot of people I ride with use it. I find that it’s better than zwift for ‘one off’ days because I can filter on what I feel like doing, and it’s easier to focus on the workout aspect rather than on zwift I tend to get distracted (and not in a good way).

I’d be curious to see what % of users have completed a full training plan, and also break it down into monthly subs / monthly subs subbed longer than 6 months (ie would have paid for enough consecutive months to finish a plan) / yearly subs.

@EKF I use a Pioneer single sided and it’s been rock solid. I compared the two simultaneously for a while and came to the conclusion they were close enough to make me confident I’m getting a good reading. So I just use my Pioneer for consistency indoors and outdoors

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I follow the plan strictly during the week, but then try to ride outside on weekends. I don’t want to turn into someone who just rides for numbers. I forget that sometimes and going outdoors reminds me how much I love cycling.


Agreed, I love watching my FTP go up, but I also love riding to new places, and riding with people, and also drinking beer. So finding that motivation and balance of everything is crucial, and using TR to facilitate that.

I find I’m much more of a Chad than a Jonathan during the season (doing enough training to have a high enough level of fitness to enjoy the events) but then hit a Nate in the offseason and really go hard.


Just trying to look on the positive side of things, man…


This! Ya’ll are already at the top end. This is like average IQ at Harvard :joy:.

But seriously, the type of person that wants to train for performance is usually faster than most cyclists (even though they might only hang out with people like them).


@Nate_Pearson I’d be interested to know what the average FTP increase percentage was for users who complete the Base, Build, Specialty cycle. Can you release that info?


Interestingly this may also skew things more if we are trying to consider what is average.

It produces some selection bias as I assume people who invest in a smart trainer and/or power meter are likely to have a higher w/kg (if we could ever tell).


It really depends where you start. It is easy to get big gains if you start unfit. For high level athletes even +5W is a sign of progress. This has been discussed multiple times in podcast.

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True, but I’d rather have that more “accurate” info than possibly pollute it with data of more questionably accuracy (by comparison). We recognize that there can be incorrect data from even the best sources, but there is more likelihood of better data from PM’s and ST’s than VP.

It’s always a balancing act. Any data has bias, best practice is to acknowledge it and any of the implications it may have in drawing any conclusions from it (such as generalisability in this case).

I wouldn’t mind seeing whether including VP really does make a difference to the overall picture (after taking into account any variation in the VP vs. PM distributions).

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Mine was off by 40 watts

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No need to pollute the data… if TR could generate a similar graph displaying the spread of FTP for virtual power then we can compare the two side by side. Even better, show them on the same graph, but colour-code actual and virtual power.

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Your inRide was off by 40 watts after a spin down? What power meter did you compare it to?

I imagine the data would show Inride as a power meter as it shows up as PM on system. Not shown as virtual power. For me the Inride was v close to my 4iiii PM until I got to higher V02 max levels (325 upwards) then Inride overestimated quite a lot. Taught me my Sprint isn’t as good as I’d hoped! My n=1 experience!

That’s a harder metric to develop, there’s a lot of variables to account for. We totally want to develop something like this though.

So I was listening to an older podcast this morning that made me think of this thread. It was one in which @Jonathan brought up the VO2 Max figure that you get from the garmin device (that data is actually stored and trended on garmin connect). He said he had a field tested 65.

If anyone checked the link from the slowtwitch discussion from a few years ago Dr. Coggan’s assumption about 3.9 W/Kg was based on a VO2 max of 65, which he thought should be achievable. Something doesn’t quite add up, and someone else mentioned it in the slowtwitch forum since a 65 VO2 max will correlate to a 2:30 marathon according to Vdot calculation (assuming you have good running economy and have the miles in your legs).

Sounds to me that ~4 W/kg is still setting a low bar as a genetic limit for an average person if that is based on the assumption that the average person can train up to the specified VO2 max.

Also thrown around in this thread a bit… But at 3.5 W/kg, you will be a competitive sport class (Cat 2) MTB with that sort of power. At least around here. Not sure what road category that will equate to, but at least a moderately competitive cat 4… It’s harder to guess with road riding since it is not self-selected like in MTB and you’ll have fast people trying to get the points to upgrade.