TR Ramp vs FTP from elsewhere

I use TR as a tool to get generally fitter and faster on the bike. I have to say I’m confused about what my FTP should be. On one hand I trust TRs testing methods and recognise that they use algorithms to specify workouts based exclusively on my FTP. On the other hand, I like many others on the TR forum, do not fall within the norms the ramp test requires. This leaves me with a few options;

  1. Keep the FTP from the TR ramp test, and fail to finish all the workouts until I’m strong enough to complete them (hopefully changing my fatigue profile enough to make the ramp test more accurate in the process).
  2. Keep adjusting my FTP down by 1 point until I start completing workouts, then keep guesstimating it up or down as my fitness changes.
  3. Get my FTP from a different method, such as an 8 or 20 minute FTP workout, which may simply give me an arbitrary lower figure, because I may not be performing it correctly from the point of view of TR software.
    None of these seem ideal as I’m assuming the TR software doesn’t want a guesstimated or arbitrary FTP, it wants one specifically from the ramp test.
    My main predicament is either the ramp test is the best way of testing, and I should try adjusting the way I ride for more steady state long efforts, or it isn’t and I can keep doing shorter higher intensity rides, while searching for a customised FTP test to suit me. Any ideas?

To be clear, TR does not build workouts based on a FTP obtained exclusively through the ramp test. TR offers the 8 minute and 20 minute FTP test in its workout library. We are free to use whatever test works best for us to determine our FTP. There is nothing wrong with trying the other tests to see if one them works best for you. However, at some point you will want to make a choice and stick with that method for consistent results. Best wishes.


I find the ramp test over estimates my FTP (hour power) as I have a ramp test FTP of 300W but in my most recent (and probably only tt of 2020 - in March) I averaged 268-272W. I could probably push that a bit higher as I put out more power once I have a few races in my legs…which of course I won’t get :pensive: - that said I find that most of the workouts I do scale very well off my ramp ftp as I find endurance and SS workout feel about right - VO2 and super threshold v tough but I usually get through - I have only failed about 5 workouts out of 300 odd since I started TR. One other variable for me is I use a pedal based power meter racing and the internal pm in my kickr when on TR so that may make a slight difference. You could try the 8/20 min test as the ramp favours those who are decent at VO2 work but then they require careful pacing to get an accurate result. The only truly accurate way of measuring ftp is a well paced hour tt - but the ramp test is quicker and takes pacing out of the equation and since it is to failure is a pretty consistent protocol. I would stick to the ramp test and maybe dial down the workouts a few% if you struggle - you’ll still get most of the benefit - and it is method which allows you to keep track of your progress reasonably easily.

No, it wants you FTP as best as you can provide it, TR had the 8 and 20 minute tests long long before the Ramp test, and I believe the 20 test is the gold standard of FTP tests, but people just don’t like doing them, and it is a skill set all on it’s own, hense the 8 … and now the Ramp, if it doesn’t work for you and sets you zones to high (for me to low) you are better using one of the preferred, rather than get a guesstimated or arbitrary figure from the ramp test


The 8 minute test is a nice bridge between the lower cost nature of the ramp test and the more brutal 20 minute version. It’s my go-to but it still requires more skill than the ramp test. Learning how to pace is difficult when you have no clue what your FTP is.

I think the ramp test is primarily aimed at people that are new to testing, of course I know others will disagree with that. The main point is that you just have to find a protocol that works for you, and stick with it.

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Thanks for that, I watch a quite a few TR podcasts and although I can’t directly quote them, there were two which mentioned adjusting your FTP to complete the workout, but it wasn’t clear how, or if that an FTP test from another source could be ‘better’.
I personally don’t mind doing the Sufferfest FTP (it’s genuinely easier than trying to finish a TR workout at my current FTP) because it takes some of the guesswork and skill out. The FTP from it allows me to finish a TR workout (by the skin of my teeth), and seeing as I can’t really do a ramp test and then a workout, it’d stand in for one anyway, so thanks to your comments, I’m going to use that instead whenever it calls for an FTP.

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At the base of the screen in the centre you’ll see “100%”. Tap/click on that and you can change your FTP up or down by set percentages (1% & 5% from memory). Just tap/click until you get the level you want.

I tend to undertest by about 3% when using the Ramp test based on what the workouts feel like. So over-unders would feel more like under-unders unless I boost the FTP.

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I do the ramp because you can’t get it wrong as there is no pacing required which makes it more reproducible. The gold standard of FTP tests is a 60min flat out tt obviously and I do plenty of those (well 25 mile tt’s don’t take me as long as an hour but it is close enough) in normal circumstances. Thing is it can be weather dependent I did one last year when the temperature was 31C and my power was 15W lower than the previous week when it had only been 18C - so you can never get it 100% accurate. 95% of your 20 minute power is ok but again plenty of people have very good 20 minute power (and are good at 10 mile tt) but are less good when the effort lasts an hour so there will always be compromises…you just need to pick one and stick to it!

lets face it, the ramp test is a beginners FTP test. Anyone who has trained for a while should have a fair idea of what their FTP is from racing/training and be able to do a properly paced 20min.

20min test for me is more about validating where i think i’m at and re-setting zones


So, it appears that last months’ Ramp test came in at a whopping (for me) 276W, and my Sufferfest 4DP one came in at a piffling 238W (my other MAPs were pretty high…again for me).
As the difference is 38W, I now don’t know which FTP to use, or if I should just keep adjusting it based on whether I ‘just’ finis a high intensity workout.
Anecdotally an FTP of around 263W seems to sit right with me for some long sweet spot workouts… Should I just use that?

So you have probably resolved it. TOH finds that the ftp is a bit low for sweet spots, but is sometime hard for the VO2s. We are all slightly different. My ramp ftp is just about perfect to make me work hard for the majority of TR sessions.

If you set your ftp to match your hardest efforts, if other different sessions are ‘too easy’ just up the % on that session.

It could also be of course, that you have historically spent more time in one zone than others, or your preference is to sit in one zone for your road rides, and hence you will be more efficient in that zone compared with others.

All that counts is that you’re getting better (faster/longer TTE/more efficient/lower HR or however you want to measure)

Have fun :slight_smile: