Tips for ftp test on rollers

Getting ready to do any FTP test, probably ramp, on rollers and a bit concerned about the final/high end efforts. While I’m decent on the rollers I’m not a no-hands/stand-up whiz. Wondering about whether I should use a fork stand vs conventional and how the final FTP calculated may compare based on my ability to go fully all out at the end while I’m trying to maintain control of the bike.

Ramp vs 8-min or 20-min test? Might I get a different FTP calc with the stand vs straight rollers (I do have a mag resistance unit so not concerned about running out of resistance although I will need to shift vs erg mode…) FWIW I have Assioma pedals so no worries about virtual power or trainer-measured power.

How much am I overthinking this vs just getting on the dang bike???

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Even as a strong rocker plate promoter, I am all for adding stability for Ramp Testing (and many other workouts with top end VO2 and Anaerobic efforts). For training purposes in these max efforts, I prefer more pressure in my leveling springs, so I don’t have to focus on or balance as much as my other workouts (where I like a loose setting).

I made my first rocker plate because I wanted some of the freedom of rollers, but less risk and need for control, just for these types of efforts.

I see using the fork stand as a good option.

Just do the ramp test and see how it goes. It’s really only ~4-5 minutes of real suffering and you’ll have your answer.

I used to dread doing 20 minute tests and would just set my FTP based on feel and it would be close enough. The ramp test makes it much less of a suffer fest and I’m amazed how well it approximates my FTP.

I do everything indoors on my rollers, but they are the “floating” versions that allow quite a bit of sloppiness as things get hard. I am pretty comfortable doing anything on them except full out of the saddle sprints. I could definitely see the challenge with fixed rollers with hard intervals. I think I might end up in a heap on the floor using regular rollers, thereby indicating that my ramp test is complete… Wear a helmet for your test.

Thanks for the quick replies! I built a floating platform for my SportCrafters and have the inertia drum so both do smooth out the ride. Maybe I’ll try the test sans fork stand but be ready to repeat if I feel it was more stability/control vs being gassed.

And helmet – like this?

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I think this is a bad idea. Not only are rollers relatively weak (many top out in the low 300 W range) and you may actually produce more power during the ramp or FTP test than the roller can handle, you’d also have to focus on keeping your balance. Rollers are not suited for many types of training anyway and the road feel of the rollers I have tested (I think those were Feedback Sports Omnium Rollers) was quite poor.

rollers scare the crap out of me.

Another vote for IR e-motion smart control. Set the resistance appropriately, and you’ll get all the watts you need for a ramp test. I can get 400w up the radio tower climb in Zwift seated in 34/28. Over 800 seated in higher gears. (Not bragging; just saying they can handle the watts.) But like @grwoolf said, I’ve never done a full-gas standing sprint on them. I’ll save those efforts for outside. And as far as wobbling or falling over on rollers (the IRs specifically), if an effort (besides a sprint) will make you crash on them, you’ll crash outdoors too.

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It appears the mag unit on my SportCrafters should take me well beyond 300W. ( would be great, but at $1200 is beyond what I’m willing to put into them given what I already have.) I may consider the Sportcrafters progressive resistance drum when I start putting out the kinds of watts beyond where I think I will be currently.

I should have added I’m not a roller rookie and I believe the inertia drum plus the floating platform gives a pretty darn good road feel; don’t know how it compares to the Omniums.

And yes, I wouldn’t attempt a standing sprint on them, but I’m not thinking the end of a ramp test should end with that type of effort as opposed to seated full gas…

Lots to think about from different points of view expressed here. Any additional thoughts from those who have personal experience with rollers at this type of high intensity is more helpful than opinions from those without actually having tried this type of workout/test on rollers. I’m not dinging those with opinions as I’ve asked for input here.

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Basically, the Omniums had very, very little rotational inertia. When I stopped pedaling, my back wheel would soon stop. My Elite Volano is much, much better in that respect.

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Yeah, I’m not sure if they publish a wattage limit on the IR rollers, but it’s got to be well over 1000 watts. I can also hit ~800 seated and I’m nowhere near the limit of of the resistance or running out of gears. There is nothing unstable or sketchy about them, unless you are already sketchy riding outside. Certainly not sketchy doing a ramp test on them. The only issue I’ve had is a tendency to ride off the side when zoning out watching sports on TV. The bumpers usually catch me, but I’ve come off a few times.

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I’ve had no issue with ramp tests on rollers. I don’t have any added resistance but still haven’t been able to max them out.

mine are setup between a wall and a column that I can lean on but they haven’t been needed in my experience.

My ramp test results have got better with increased fitness but also from improvements in performing the test.

I think you may be over thinking it. :slight_smile:

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Ok, I have no personal experience if this, so ignore. :slightly_smiling_face:
But I think if you’re planning to do most of your training on the rollers, it makes sense to set your training zones (aka ftp test) on them too. If you can’t do that kind of effort during the test, bow are you going to do it during training?

With the ramp test, I’d just try it, and if you feel after that you had to bail because it was getting unsafe, and not because you were done, you know it doesn’t work. But to be honest I don’t think the ramp test gets you into that sort of power region anyway - if you have an estimate of your ftp, this is 75% of your last minute power. You could just estimate and try to do that for a minute to see how safe it feels. Obviously during the test, you’ll be tired from all the previous steps, but the gear and cadence needed will be the same.

My experience with testing on the rollers (I have the Elite emotion rollers that jonathan recommended) has been great. In my experience they spin up nicely and the only thing I cannot do on them is sprinting out of the saddle with abandonment.

The wattage go up to 800watts or more (honestly I haven’t tested the upper limit of it yet…) I only ramp test up to 450 or 460 watts towards the end of the steps so there’s definitely no worries for having not enough resistence.

The only thing that one needs to pay some attention to is that when I was done with the last minute - I was in all pain and agony and stopping over the roller was not the most pleasant thing to do. Therefore I do suggest that you put the roller next to the wall…

Other than that, fantastic experience.

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Ha! Gotcha beat. At the end of a workout, I picked up my phone to view a message and stopped pedaling. Just. Stopped. Stared at my phone for a moment, then, like Wile E. Coyote, I realized my wheels weren’t spinning and fell over. :rofl::rofl::rofl:

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Great feedback from so many folks – note to self: pay attention at the end to getting safely off the bike. Since my indoor training will be on rollers I’m going to do the test on rollers and will report back on my experience.

FWIW, he said:

I think you’ll be fine doing the ramp test on rollers. I’ve been using rollers exclusively with TrainerRoad for almost 3 years now (around 1,000 hours of training time). I’ve done all the different FTP tests (8-minute, 20-minute, and ramp) multiple times as well as lots of VO2max workouts, and I’ve never noticed anything particularly hard about controlling the bike under high intensity on the rollers. If anything, the bike gets easier to control as wheel speed increases.

For what it’s worth the Feedback omnium trainer feels totally different from real rollers. I wouldn’t recommend basing your perspective on them.

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Yes, the FB Omnium has effectively no flywheel effect at all. Stop pedaling and they stop almost immediately.

Even basic rollers have some amount of roll down time. Others with improved drums (TruTrainer and SportCrafter) have drums with much better rolldown time, and the InsideRide eMotion rollers have a belt driven flywheel. Each of those are better than nothing for rolldown.

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That’s fair. My personal experience with rollers is limited to those, though. Plus, the Omnium clamps your front fork, so I’d rather say it is a smaller, collapsible trainer rather than traditional rollers. (At least that’s how my team mates use it.)

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