Trainer resistance suddenly harder

Hey all, just started my 2nd month of TR. Using a combination of Jetblack Z1 and Cycleops Aluminium Rollers with Garmin Speed sensor. My initial ramp test (Z1) gave me an FTP of ~239 when I had cyclocross tyres on. A month later I changed to Maxxiss Refuse tyres so redid my Ramp test and came back with an FTP of 323 this time. I followed the test with a Taku, with a normalised power of 201 and an average HR of 139. Stoked with the new result I was all ready to commit to training however the last three nights I have gone to do a workout I have not been able to get the power up. On sweet spot sessions my legs are burning not long after the warmup. I dropped my FTP back to 260 to see if I could make it through the warmup without my legs being sore. Still finding the resistance higher than it should be.

I swapped over to the rollers (changed virtual power settings to match) and am struggling to maintain 220w.

I’m not sure what is going on here. Something seems to have changed between my ramp test on Wednesday and my next workout attempt on Sunday. I did two outdoor rides in that time.

I would say that maybe my fluid trainer is broken but I’m struggling on the rollers too. I can’t imagine both have problems. Any ideas on what might be going on? I’ve checked my bike out to make sure the extra resistance isn’t coming from the disc brakes, etc. Same tyre pressure, number of turns on the roller and so on.

Taking into account the fact that you changed the tyre between the two previous Ramp Tests, I still think that 323 from 239 is a huge FTP increase.

You’re not going to want to hear this but, I’d recommend that you test again.

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Yes, retest.

The timeline is a bit confusing, but ANY TIME you change ANY equipment as part of a Virtual Power setup, you must retest. You did it properly with the tire change.

But I don’t see that you retested after swapping to the rollers. Without a dedicated power meter, you can’t just swap between trainers or rollers and expect the VP numbers to align. They just don’t work that way.

So a test in each device is necessary. And you can’t likely use the same FTP on both devices, unless you get a real power meter.

A couple years ago I ran into a similar thing where all of the sudden, workouts felt 30% harder or something while using virtual power. It turned out that somehow, my tire circumference in the virtual power settings had gotten screwed up even though I hadn’t messed with it since initial setup. I set it back to the default for my tire size and all was right with the world again.

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Thanks for the responses. I’ll retest then. I did start a new ramp test when things seemed wrong however when I was hurting only pushing “200w” I stopped because it just didn’t seem right.

I’d prefer to stick to the Z1 fluid trainer so not being able to swap over to the rollers easily doesn’t bother me.

Yeah I was quite surprised at that. However given it was my 2nd time taking the test I thought maybe I was just better at taking the test combined with the lower rolling resistance from the tyres.

That could well be the case. I’d be inclined to retest just for piece of mind. Wouldn’t want to smash myself to the point where I was unable to complete the weeks work.

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Did another Ramp test on the Z1. 325 this time so pretty close to the previous test. Only change since yesterday was taking the bike for a quick run up and down the street, putting it back in the trainer and tightened the skewer clamp mechanism slightly.

The resistance felt more like the road and matches up with my perceived output. i.e. 200w virtual power felt like what I expect 200w to be.

I guess we’ll see how the next few training sessions fare. Cheers!