Time Trial Bike vs. Road Bike FTP

Just curious what the difference is for you guys? Currently I’m +25w in favor of the road bike.

In previous years I’ve had a higher FTP on the TT bike by around 15-20w. I attribute the shift to training almost exclusively on TR with the road bike and much less time on the TT bike. Just a theory. Anyone else?

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I did my last ramp test on my TT bike - wasn’t on the bars the whole time - in and out. My ftp went up 9 points.

I currently train exclusively on the TT now and spend a lot time in the aero position, but will hand out onto of the bars too.


My TT bike FTP is usually about 20-25w lower than the road bike. I don’t train on it regularly but normally I have to adjust the workout intensity down by 6-10% to complete my intervals. I think the guys talked about this on one of the podcasts and found that was the case for them as well. I guess we all just need to ride the TT bikes more to keep the discrepancy as small as possible but it seems to me that there is something in that aero position that just wont let you produce the same power

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My FTP has been lower than on the road bike as well. Nate and the crew talked about this quite a bit earlier in the year. I am doing all my training on the TT bike this year so I can’t give you a specific difference right now. I figure I am 10-15 watts stronger on the road bike.

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My TT FTP was about 10% Lower than my road bike. This was done with ramp test full in full aero on the TT bike to compare. Nate/Chad and Jonathan talked about this on the podcast that it’s pretty common.
They did talk about training and comparing how things came out if it improved overall FTP or just brought the 2 FTP closer together curious if they ever did that and talked about it.


My TT ftp was 7% lower than road bike but after 4 weeks of sweet spot all in aero it is now closer to 4% lower


I lose around 30W on the TT bike compared to the road bike. It’s due to the position. But you need to remember the aero gains from being in the TT position more than make up for the power lost.


For sure. I only asked because historically I’ve been able to produce more power on the TT bike. Huge caveat though, before starting TR in November I was really good at riding the TT bike each week through the fall into the season. Yesterday was the first ride/test on it in many months. Compared to this time last year I’m down roughly 20W on the TT bike but, up about 25W on my road bike. Essentially, I’ve flip flopped my power on the 2 bikes.

It isn’t a surprise but, it in a way it is. After all these years I still get basic things so wrong! At least I caught on early…

edit: I should have my TT bike set up this week to ride on the trainer. So all the SST/Threshold and tempo stuff will be on that while the shorter intervals on the road bike…

FWIW I also have measured a 15W difference. Self-prescribed all training in aero now.

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About 15W difference for me, although I haven’t tested my road bike FTP for ages.

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Been training on the TT bike in aero (mostly…) since October and tested three weeks ago. Put the road bike on the trainer to rest some sore spots (:cry:) for over-unders (Carpathian Peak +2) last night and the first set felt super easy. Bumped intensity up to 3% on the second set and still wasn’t where OUs should be. +5% on the third set felt about right, works out to ~15W. I’d like to think this is just the gains I’ve made in three weeks, but probably safe to assume it was the change in bikes :sunglasses:


Not only that, but it used to be that my ftp outdoors was higher than indoors. I haven’t done separate tests but it feels like indoors is easier for me now than outdoors on the same bike and PM

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Do you remember which podcast # this was?

Update…6 weeks or so with some extra time on the TT bike doing SST/Threshold the gap haas closed to about 5W. Still in favor of the road bike. Amazing what happens when you actually ride the thing!


Ya it was episode 150 from April 5th 2018

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Just curious, when you started the SST, did you lower the ftp or grunt it through with the road bike ftp? I listened to the podcast and they said they lowered their ftp’s, but I can’t recall if they mentioned where they were starting with their plans.

Thank you! Makes me feel better… now to just develop a plan

First it is really important to use an FTP appropriate to the bike. So I did a test outside and used that result. Push the ego aside and get a good workable number. For me time is the most valuable commodity in life and to train with a number 25W too high is simply a waste of time.

As to when I started SST…I never really stop doing it, but, I started to ride the TT bike with consistency (25%-50%) of ride time after I finished the build plan early January. Part of the increase in time was due to a new TT build. Just a lot of tweaking this and that…

Makes sense. My current situation is that I have a road bike and a new (to me) tt bike. I’m looking to do a half in September. I would like to do it all on the tt bike. Using the calendar feature (love it), I was able to plan sweet spot level 1, then 2, sustained build, then century giving myself 2 weeks buffer for ‘life’. Should I just go straight in to sweet spot with my adjusted ftp (i’ll test it) then just drop the road bike for now? I’m really having a battle with trying to keep the gains on the road bike but adjusting to the TT bike. On one hand I really enjoy the road bike, whereas I know the TT bike should be the way to go in September. Thank you for your responses with all this.

Not being a coach or knowing more about you I can’t say for sure what’s best for you. If it was me I’d flip flop the road and TT bike. For example, many of us roadies who train mostly road events and the occasional TT will spend most of the time training on the road bike and maybe 1-2 workouts a week on the TT bike. Perhaps more as the event looms closer.

If training for a half I’d be heavy on the Tri/TT bike and maybe a workout here or there on the road bike. Maybe nothing on the road bike. Not sure but, I have friends who are pro triathletes and they do some crazy rides on the Tri/TT bikes. They certainly ride other bikes from time to time but, the vast majority is specific to the Tri/TT bike building towards an event.