My First Ramp Test

ramp-test

#1

Hi guys. I’m just after doing my first ramp test (previously I had always done the 5 min TT followed by 20 min TT protocol).

Some background: I’m pretty much an untrained athlete right now, two years ago I was well trained with an FTP of 300W.

Today I did the ramp test and used my Neo with the TR app and it gave me an FTP of 193 (75% of 257 I guess).

On my Garmin edge paired with my Quarq PM my peak one minute was 272 so 75% of that is 204. I also ran the Xert app on the edge and it gave me an FTP of 218.

So what should I go with, 193, 204 or 218? I’m thinking not 218 anyway. Perhaps 193 for indoor training with the Neo and 204 when outdoors with my Quarq? Im not sure. I also noted that the Quarq was reading 20 to 30 watts more throughout the test and subsequent 30 min easy (Dans).

Any advice greatly appreciated.


#2

By no means an expert but from what I’ve read in here over past month or so - I’d go with the ramp test figure for first few workouts.

If SS intervals don’t meet this description I’d look at either retesting or just bumping up FTP slightly.

  • SS intervals should be tough but doable. Tough in the sense that you are thinking ‘I’m not 100% sure I’ll get all these done’ but in the end, with some grit, you do and you are not physically totally knackered the next day. Ie. They are mostly mentally tough.

Not sure that all would agree with that definitions exactly but it’s what I feel like I’ve gleaned.


#3

Assuming you used the same bike inside as you do outside, then you should use the Quarq’s number.

Make sure to connect both devices to TrainerRoad when you train inside and use PowerMatch and you’ll be good to go.


#4
  1. If you’re going to train with TR and use it’s protocols, it would make sense to stick with its algorithms too.

In any case it’s just a number, repeatability and consistency is the key. I use pedal meters so I can use the same equipment inside and out for consistent power measurement.

If you can establish (over several rides) a consistent difference between your power meter readings from different kit, then you can include that in calculations for your race day power readings. I wouldnt think of it as different FTPs.


#5

What was your FTP set to before the test? I ask because there have been some recent discussions on here about the test under-estimating FTP when the initial FTP “guess” is too low:

Regardless I’d recommend going with the TR number for consistency, and see how things feel during the first week or two.


#6

Exactly this, except if you start controlling your Neo with the Quarq using TR powermatch you can use 204 for both. Which will make it a lot easier to keep track of your training zones etc.

Maybe in a few weeks re-do the ramp test with powermatch enabled, so you should then have a consistent indoor / outdoor number.


#7

Thanks guys for the replies. I will be using TR over the coming year so it’s just a question I guess which PM source to use, the Quarq, which is obviously my outdoor PM too, or the Neo. I never noticed such a discrepancy between the Neo and Q before but now that I think of it I did not calibrate the Q before the test today. Could this account for the 20/30 watts?

Either way I think I will use the Neo’s power readings for now, repeatability and consistency as JoeX says.

Acavell I had to estimate my FTP so I guessed 215. My understanding with the new ramp test is that even if your estimate is on the low side the nature of the test you will still get a decent estimate of your new FTP.


#8

If it was me I’d probably split the difference at 198W and use that outside and inside, given that they are just estimations anyway.


#9

Thanks for that. I need to educate myself on this power match thing, hadn’t heard about it until today here!


#10

Funny…that was something I was considering.

Beginning to think not calibrating was a mistake.


#11

I’d stick with 193 and see how it goes. Honestly, I don’t think the difference between 193 and 204 would be that meaningful in terms of the training effect you’ll be getting. If after a few workouts you want to nudge up the intensity a bit, it’s easy to do. Since you were at 300 a year ago, my guess is that you’ll have a significant jump at your next test after a few weeks of training.

I wouldn’t worry about an indoor/outdoor FTP either unless you were doing a lot of outdoor training (not riding/racing/group rides) and you did a proper test outdoors and there was a big difference between your numbers.


#12

If you didn’t calibrate your PM, I wouldn’t use it as the basis of FTP estimation for a training block. I think I would just use the Neo test results and the Neo as the power source for the coming training block, then switch over the Quark on power match for the next test and training going forward.


#13

Solid advice lads, thanks. TBH I’m getting ahead of myself, the priority for me has to be getting consistency back in my training, ensuring I hit my 3 rides a week. I’ll use 193, my Neo as the power source and TR workouts. I’ll nudge it up if I feel it’s too easy and retest before christmas (after I calibrate the and use power match).

Cheers all.


#14

Did you shift gear at all? You really need to. ERG mode isn’t the magic it sounds like and there is still an appropriate gear for the power TR is commanding. Your power is all sort of swinging around your targets (consistently swinging 10-20W above target power on every step) and I would expect much better from a neo. This will potentially be creating extra stress which shortens your time to failure.


#15

I didn’t change gear at all, small ring in the front and middle at the back and I just tired to keep my cadence near 90, which is my natural cadence. I made it to 17.5 minutes before I failed. I thought erg mode was fool proof! Hopefully the more I use my Neo the better understanding I will gain.


#16

@brenph Can you explain further why you would change gear in ERG mode? I don’t understand your reasoning here.

If you’re in ERG mode, no shifting is necessary, all the resistance changes will happen at the trainer. As for power fluctuations, this is very normal. The fluctuations aren’t caused by the trainer, they’re from your legs. You can change the amount of power smoothing to represent a smoother chart, but the fluctuations will still be there, just averaged out.


#17

I assume you are asking @brenph because my understanding is the same as yourself Julian.


#18

Erg mode will do a decent job of maintaining the average power… this is true. However for almost all trainers there is an optimum gearing/speed combination for a given power output.

Here’s a recent run through carson (not a great example as I was mostly following the drills… but bare with me)

Now lets have a closer look at the first interval.

You can clearly see the point that I shifted from a sub-optimal to an optimal gearing combination for the resistance that TR was commanding the trainer to apply.

This is the first part of the interval. Note that while the average is good the variation is relatively high. For a commanded 185 there was a max 202.

If we look at the remainder of the interval we see a much tighter adherence to the commanded resistance.

@GPLama also has a video on the topic here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uHUOhmG04M8&t


#19

That’s very interesting dude, I’m going to play around with the gearing for the next while just to see if I notice the same. Thanks for sharing.


#20

Hi, does it matter when you hit pause and end workout? I wasn’t sure if I needed to just carry on then the session would end.

Thanks