Did I perform the ramp test correctly?


#1

I performed my first ramp test this morning. I think I did it wrong. I kept waiting for the test to finish but it never did. I finally realized the test continues indefinitely. I stopped after 30 minutes of mashing the pedals at a 53 cadence.

My question is should I have stopped the test when I couldn’t hold the target power anymore? This happened at 16:36. I then struggled for the next 14 minutes of not hitting the target power.

When do I stop the test? The directions on the screen told me to keep working, don’t give up. Keep going until muscles fatigue and they quit.


#2

When you take the ramp test, you are supposed to follow the target power until your legs completely give out and you can not push another pedal. Here is a video where Coach Chad walks you through How to Perform a Ramp Test.

You may be able to find your one minute power from your attempt and multiply that by 0.75 to get an estimate of your FTP but based on how you said the test went, I would recommend just retaking the test. :slight_smile:


#3

Ya, that doesn’t sound like it went how it was supposed to. Your ride file should look something like this at the end:

In addition to the primer video Ian lists above, I would recommend the podcast deep dive here:

And when you’re done with that, check out the insiders tips shared in this great thread:


#4

Thanks Ian, but I watched the video and read all the instructions on how to perform the test. But I am still confused. You talk about “until your legs completely give out”. My legs gave out to hold the target power but I still could turn the pedals, which js what I did for 14 more minutes.

Do I stop when I can’t hold the target power anymore? Or keep fighting as the video and Chad’s instructions call for during the ramp test.

I am using a Wahoo Kickr Snap in ERG mode.


#5

If you aren’t matching the power target, you are done. No need to continue at that point.


#6

I think the OP might be confused or maybe I am. If he is in fact in Erg mode and it’s working correctly shouldn’t the power output match the required ramp intensity, so long as he can turn the pedals? Granted I’ve yet to take it in Erg mode but I just borrowed a Kickr so looking to solve his problem and prevent mine?

On his original post I was assuming he was on a non-Erg capable trainer. My new theory/hope, is that he’s on a Erg capable trainer but was not in Erg mode. Is there any easy way for him to look at his results to confirm this? I’m guessing his power will spike above and below the target so it would be visually obvious by looking at the ramp results, whereas in Erg mode it would be flat lines to match the ramp intensities?


#7

Yeah the ERG mode question is interesting here. I’m not familiar with the Snap, is it possible because of the extremely low cadence it couldn’t get the power where it needed it? Seems unlikely, but…

@verdusv, I think it’s probably worth retesting. And yes to answer your question, when you can’t hold power anymore, you can stop turning the pedals. I think ideally you’re more in the area of 85-95rpm while testing, but your way of riding might differ from that. This is weird enough it’s probably worth a redo, because if you tested way low then you’re going to be training way low, and not gleaning all the benefits you could be.


#8

@verdusv I went ahead and looked at your Ramp Test. One question:

  1. You say you were in erg mode for the test but it didn’t hold you at the target power around the 16 minute mark. Did you change the mode to resistance at this time or were you in resistance mode changing gears trying to match the target power the entire time?

If you take the test in erg mode it should automatically keep you at the target power for the entire test. In doing this, the trainer will adjust resistance every time a new step comes along. As the rider, you are meant to get through as many of these steps as you can until you can no longer turn the pedals at the prescribed target power. When your legs say no more to the target power, you stop pedaling and start the cool down. Your FTP will be calculated based on your best 1 minute power from the test.

Like @trswem said, I would recommend retaking the test and following the target power until you can’t any longer. :slight_smile:


#9

I use a Kickr Snap in ERG mode also. The intent of the test is to capture your highest 1 min power. So, even if you can still turn the pedals, if you can’t generate more power than you have already in the test, there is no point in continuing.


#10

To All, thank you for the feedback on this. It sounds like I performed the test incorrectly. My FTP came in at 174 which I think is too low. This is my first year (off season) with the Kicker Snap. Last season (Oct - Apr) I trained on a CycleOps Fluid 2 trainer. My FTP with TrainerRoad last year was 207.

I completed the entire test in ERG mode. I never changed it to resistance or any other mode. I verified I was in ERG mode with the selection at the bottom of the screen. It said ERG. Each ramp up I could feel the Kickr Snap increase resistance as my target power increased. I was able to hold that target power until the 16:46 minute mark. The next ramp up I then proceeded to lower my cadence (did not change gears) so I could keep pedaling. At this lower cadence my power dropped and I was not matching the target power. This is where I think I misunderstood the Chad’s commands on the screen. Chad kept talking about not giving up, keep pushing, keep fighting. Sounds like from this forum I should have then stopped my test since I was unable to hold target power anymore. My normal riding cadence is 85-90. According to the post ride data my 1 minute power was 235. If I multiply that by 0.75 my new FTP is 176. Which seems strange that I would drop from 207 in April to 176 in October all the while riding during the season (April - Sep)

This make me wonder, was my CycleOps Fluid 2 FTP of 207 that far off, or was my Kickr Snap of 176 that far off or did I just fail the test all together? Which then makes me think since I continued past the 16 minute mark below target power, did that affect my overall FTP?

With all that said, I will retest and end test when I cannot hold target power anymore.

Thank you


#11

Good luck with the retest. Give us an update on how you go!


#12

You have a new more accurate way to measure power - don’t try to compare virtual power to the trainer


#13

Something to note is that the break-even point for keeping the FTP set for the Ramp Test is about 19:30 (assuming you are tracking to target power). So, if you’re looking for a carrot to chase to increase your FTP, that’s it.