Ramp Test Tips & Tricks



Cover the screen and do it blind. You’ll be way too tired to count to 6 ramps. :sweat_smile:


Perhaps if ramp was rather a steady incline, time or watts not displayed it would make it… different…?


Ok, my turn for a bit of advice please!

Just done a cheeky ramp test, it’s not due until Monday but decided just to get it out of the way, I get a bit of ‘white coat’ syndrome and it showed as my heart rate was way higher than normal during warm up, but it didn’t impact my performance on the test (another reason why you shouldn’t correlate heart rate with power!)

I got a great bump, up from 232 to 257 after SSB1MV but for the last interval, whilst my cadence didn’t really decay, the power didn’t go up and it was only when I looked across at the phone ( I was testing blind) that I saw it had gone below the curve, that threw me so I ended the test. I was in erg mode the whole time but I had forgotten to jump down the block during warm up (damn idiot mistake) so think I hit the wattage ceiling on the flux in that gear, or did the test see my slightly declining cadence and drop the power? I was still running 75-80 rpm.

I was pretty cooked but think I had one more minute in me at a higher wattage which would have given me roughly 267 watts ftp. I’m going to stay where I am for now though as I know the workouts in SSBMV2 will hurt anyway!


Hard to say for sure, but it does look like you may have hit the wattage ceiling to me. That is a problem I had not considered with my recommendation for “blind” tests.

It may mean it’s a good idea for a person to know or test their trainer to see what the upper limits are for the purpose of Ramp Testing. Then learn if and when they need to shift to get to the upper end resistance levels. Might be possible to still run blind, but plan on a shift some pre-determined amount of time into the test.


Yeah, it was entirely my mistake. I only take it out of the middle of the block for cool down below 100w.


If you use ERG mode in the ramp test, what happens when you complete the last step? I somehow fear that there might not be enough steps. Given that you have to go to 19:30 to get to the breakeven point, there’s ‘only’ 30 seconds left to improve yourself. Or is TR automagically adding steps until you pop?

(I’ve so far done a couple of GPLama ramp tests in zwift, but that one is using 2minute30second 25watt increments)


Steps are added until you pop. The test stops when you do :blush:


i’ve got my test tomorrow and I’m already psyched out lol


It’s definitely not worth making a big deal out of it. I find it much easier and less daunting than the 20min test for example.

You will have a couple of minutes at the end which are tough as nails but in general it’s manageable. Good luck!


Oh, I’ve taken it several times, I always end up short of the FTP I use for workouts, so I’ve always just worked according to what I can do. I’ll keep trying them, because I think there’s some value to trying to overcome some of the mental hurdles toward the end, but I’ve kind of had to take them with a grain of salt because I’ve been able to do most workouts pretty handily at my self-prescribed level.


not sure this is the right place for it, but I found that the ramp test consistently underestimates my ftp compared to a 20min test…
and that is by a pretty big amount:

  • last monday’s ramp test --> ftp estimate 247w, almost dead
  • last tuesday’s 20min test --> ftp estimate 263w, with some margin (also a bit tired from previous day’s ramp test)


Do a sweetspot work out with a ftp set to the highest FTP and see if it is doable.


This morning I did a Ramp Test and covered all the numbers apart from the power numbers… DID NOT LIKE IT…

I seem to be motivated by the target of 19:30, and I see everything before 19:30 as failure and everything after 19:30 as winning. So for me personally, I need to know when I hit 19:30, meaning Job 1 is done. Then I can start working on Job 2, extending as far beyond 19:30 as I possibly can. So basically my real test starts at 19:30. This seems to work better for me…


Try covering everything apart from cadence


I cover HR. I know my max and so when I’m at or near it I think my brain tells me subconsciously that I’m “at my limit”. I don’t like my HR bossing me around.


For those using the 19:30 target, did you always know that, or did you do some ramps without that knowledge?

Do you feel that target helps or hurts your results?


I’ve always kind of wondered what would happen if a person deliberately set their ftp prior to a test much higher (i.e. make the break even point sooner than 19:30). would they crack at the same wattage step) or with the reduced time could one be able to squeeze out just a little extra wattage step (I’m guessing it would all be the same physiologically,). I have a ramp test today but I don’t think I’m willing to experiment for myself lol


That’s essentially my point. I can’t help but think it serves as a limiter (as much as a target) for some people.

Testing with that target; at, above and below, a true FTP would be fascinating to see. I think its entirely possible that people can over and under perform.

So many things can mess with our perception, I choose to eliminate cues that may serve to kill my effort too early. But threats me, and I know different approaches work for different people.


I am pretty new to Trainerroad (Sep 2018), so for my first two Ramp Tests I did not know about the 19:30. For my 3rd Test, I knew about it (from reading it here), so used it as a target. On my 4th Test I decided to not use it and do the test “blind” (Only power numbers). I found it so much more motivating knowing that I need to hit 19:30 in order to improve. Then it becomes a game to see how far I can push beyond 19:30…


It helps me a lot. Knowing that I need to be hitting 19:30 means that I know I “can’t” end the test before that and then I get a second wind of accomplishment when I go past it.