# First FTP ever 300 watts, reliable?

Hi Folk,

I just started Zwifting an I love it. Today i did my first FTP test and I hit 299 watts on average for the 20minute duration. just for sanity sake I would like to ask you guys some things to test whether my smart trainer is reliable, due to the fact that this number seems a bit high to me.

Details:

• Smart Trainer: Tacx vortex
• Length: 193cm tall (6"3)
• Weight: 95kg (210lbs)
• Experience: Been Cycling for a year now; Mostly active for 2-3 weeks and than I stop cycling for about 2 months.
• Distance Cycled 2021: 431km
• I did calibrate the Tacx and tires are pumped up till 8 bars.
• Fitness: I havenâ€™t been very active during the lockdown â€¦ .

Is 300 watts reasonable for someone with minimum cycling experience but rather high weight/length ? Any advice is appreciated since I have never worked with watts before and I would like to know what is reasonable.

Itâ€™s possible it is inflated itâ€™s also possible itâ€™s accurate. Take your watts (299) and divide them by your weight (in kg). Here is a chart of average FTPs by duration that may help determine if your number is reasonable

your FTP is 95% of the 20 min. so 299*0.95 = 284w FTP.
That will give you 284/92 = 3.1 w/kg FTP.

It may be high or correct, you may just be that gifted, we wonâ€™t know.

If your trainer is consistent then you can use that number for training and track your progress.

Itâ€™s certainly not unreasonable for a healthy and fit young person to put out the levels of power that you report.

Given your weight (95kg), an FTP of 299 gives you a power/weight ratio of about 3.14 w/Kg. For reference, that would put you towards the top of Cat C cyclists. (Cat A riders are generally 4 w/kg or greater.)

The other thing to keep in mind is this: Could you really ride at 299 watts for an hour straight? The ability to put out FTP-levels of power for extended intervals is often the difference between a trained athlete, and a merely very fit regular person. I know what my FTP is, and to be honest I think Iâ€™d struggle to hold that power for an hour straight.

Lastly there is the issue of how accurate your trainer is. Itâ€™s a wheel-on model, and those can be less accurate than direct-drive units. Itâ€™s impossible to say how accurate the numbers are. The ultimate test of how powerful you are as a cyclist is (at least in my opinion) comparing the numbers you get on your trainer with your outdoor, real-world performance. If you have access to Strava, you might want to find a local road segment, ride it, and see how your performance compares. (Youâ€™d need a bike computer with GPS to do that.) If you can climb a Â± 2 km hill at a rate that Strava tells you is equal to about 300 watts - then that is probably the best â€śtestâ€ť that the FTP you are seeing on Zwift is reasonable, if not necessarily 100% accurate.

Tacx Vortex so no you can not rely on itâ€™s accuracy.

It has a reputation for significantly over-reading.

3 Likes

nothing on a wheel on trainer is reliable xd

1 Like

unless you use power pedals

I see a test
On google â€śtacx vortex power testâ€ť the second

Tacx vortex and power meter garmin vector3 are similar, 4ii see 4/5w more avg
Smart trainer Neo2 read 20W lower

So itâ€™s reliable or 4ii + vector3 are not too â€¦

Hi. I use a TacX Vortex and suspected the same thing at a similar power range. I recently purchased a pair of Favero Assioma Duo pedals and compared the two power outputs side by side over different power ranges.

Firstly, before I calibrated my Vortex the power numbers were way out (I went outside in the cold for the first time in ages to do this test). I recalibrated and the wheel tightness was just below the maximum recommended level. I also then calibrated the pedals.

After calibration, I found the Vortex did significantly inflate the power numbers, and this amount varied depending on whether I was doing 150W, 200, 250, 300 or 350W.

On average I found the difference was between +20 and +30W. At the 300W range it was closer to 30W difference.

A friend of mine has the same trainer, but he found the trainer reported similar power to his PM. So this result isnâ€™t fool-proof.

Anyway, donâ€™t be discouraged if your FTP is actually 30W less than you first thought. 270W is still really good for a beginner. Regardless, Iâ€™ve found the trainer to be consistent and with that in mind you can reliably use 299W as your FTP and get some good gains from a training regime.

Had a vortex and went to a neo. My FTP dropped owing to the inflated one of the vortex.