Ramp Test Tips & Tricks



FYI, I’m pretty sure I’ve heard on a podcast @chad saying Specifically NOT to warmup before the ramp test. It throws off the results. You aren’t trying to get the highest number possible by gaming g or tricking the system. You are trying to get the RIGHT number to set your zones to get the most out of your training. A ramp test is a tool not a race. At least that is my interpretation


TR says a warmup is not necessary, but can be done. However, if you do a warmup for a ramp, you’ll need to do the same warmup for every ramp test to expect comparable results. A warmup will not necessary skew the results.

What constitutes a warmup, well that’s not specified. For me I spin for 10 mins at 40% FTP, then do a spin down calibration for my Kickr Snap. After that the normal ramp test.


Are you sure you weren’t confusing the numbers on the screen? I remember my first FTP test and I’ve heard multiple other accounts of the same issue confusing the cadence for the target! :blush:


I used Truuli +1 the day before my 20 minute test yesterday and I felt that workout fitted in well. I will stick with it going forwards


A large mass flywheel carries more inertia (keeps spinning) for more time after you stop pedaling than a small mass flywheel. On the flats, if you stop pedaling, you keep rolling forward because inertia carries you forward. You’ll roll farther than you will on a climb, where you drop inertia faster due to gravity working against you.

So, yes, the comment on ST makes sense. The main place this becomes an issue is if you’re looking for “road feel.” I’m not sure how helpful that inertia is when the interval drops from 120% FTP to 40% FTP one second later and the flywheel keeps spinning, so you either spin out or have to soft pedal until the flywheel slows down. :thinking:


On the cyclops hammer I find if I slow my cadence between 3 and 2 seconds of the interval remaining, the resistance from the 120%FTP slows the wheel down enough in time for the 40%FTP effort, so I don’t spin out etc. I’m sure every smart trainer has its learning curve and you do get used to how it reacts and react accordingly.


On a Taxc Flux in the 42-23T, if I ride the big ring it can’t keep up on workouts so I figured it would cheat the test. Test worked out good (didn’t need taller or easier gears)
Result was (very) disappointed, guessing it has to do with my tall ftp to vo2 ratio…
Will test again with more fans blowing air + music


do you have a high tempo industrial playlist? sounds awesome for ramp tests!


My tip, and apologies if it hasn’t been covered here, is that to beat your previous best, you need to go as far into the 6th step after threshold as possible.

So try not to think about anything at all until you get to the 5th minute after FTP, except controlling breathing, listening to music. Then when the 6th minute starts (it will be hurting by now!) just go all out mentally and physically.


Sounds about right. I’m typically too busy chewing my stem to think about anything else once I hit that sixth step.


Honestly, I have just about everything High Tempo…including Industrial of course… Huge NiN and Manson Fan… to name a few… the list goes on for a while…

With that said… Been listing to Ambient Electronica when I did my last Ramp Test… um… think I may be onto something…



Huge MM & NiN fan. Ill check out this ambient FM. cheers!


Did my ramp test a few nights ago on my Neo for the first time. Managed to push to just beyond 20mins before I felt like pedalling through concrete and couldn’t continue. I figured this was normal.
Previous ramp test have been a bit different. I would finish because I began to hyperventilate.
Feels like it can be either my legs or cardio that stops me going further.
I normally start off with a cadence gt. 90 but naturally drop down to 85 once I go beyond FTP. Forcing a higher cadence feels like extra effort to me.


I’ve done 5 ramp tests now and every time I’ve felt “fine” up until the sudden point where I wasn’t!

There wasn’t a gradual decline or anything, just a pretty sudden NOPE, YOU’RE DONE :grin:


Felt “fine”? Haha. From minute 15 onwards my brain just screams at me “You’re not going to make it! Just stop now!”.


Yeah totally not fine, hence the quotation marks but I mean I felt like I can keep going, then all of a sudden it just shuts down :blush:


Couldn’t agree more.

For me its the last 2 minutes when the onset of agony begins. As they say it’s short but definitely not sweet!


Another ramp test tip/trick/motivation/target for those who do Zwift at the same time.

For those of us that also use Zwift, the CW Volcano circuit appears a good circuit for doing the ramp test on. I’ve only done one ramp test effort on it and didn’t start in the right place this time, but looking at my average lap times for me, in the 6 minute mark, makes it a good candidate for target/motivation.

Of course everyone’s power can be different and therefore lap times will vary, so start points will vary, but if timed right, you can have the finish banner around the 20minute 30second mark (Target for me), which will be on the third lap, a visual target to hit to get a decent bump in FTP. Knowing there is a finish line just after the 19min 30 secs mark, might just make you push through a few seconds more.

I started where road went over the sea/sand divide on the bridge. This was too far back from start finish line as my first lap was 7:46, second was 6:14 and third lap I blew up some two minutes from finish line, close to where I started! So next time I intend starting just before start finish line… and hopefully a better ftp and as a bonus a decent PR for the final volcano orbit…


Crownan. Exactly it. I got to 19 minutes and thought I can do another 2 minutes then once over the 20 minute mark everything just shut down on me! 1 4 watt improvement but a little less than I hoped for.

In terms of tips I think next time I will consciously lift my cadence higher from minute 18 and concentrate on trying to keep it above 95 ideally 100. Harder on heart but easier on legs which seems to be the thing that shuts off for me first.


THIS! @mcneese.chad nailed it - don’t watch the stats. Push through the pain, and don’t let your brain tell you to quit when you’ve hit a certain point. It’s crazy how psychological this test is.

Let pain and fatigue be the guide!

That said, I’ve got a Ramp test scheduled for tonight. Looking forward to suffering!