FTP Ramp Test

I did a ramp test the other day, and as I hit the wall and could barely pedal, the program took me out of ERG mode until i finished the section, then the power went up and i repeated that for a couple more segments before i tapped out. I can’t recall if the pop up menu came up and asked me if i wanted to stop, and i didn’t so that’s why it took erg mode off for the rest of those sections.

Would that have skewed my new FTP result?

Ramp test you are meant to stop once you fail (as in can’t maintain the power that you are required to do). Sounds like you might have pedalled so slow that erg turned off which makes me think that your power was too low before it turned off.

If this sounds about right then yes. The ramp test will be off if zwift doesn’t automatically ignore the dodgy segments where your power decreased, considering it sent you to the next wattage I’d assume it calculated your FTP wrong.

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i’ll try another one and see if i can match my prior effort, but stop at the same initial stage that got me last time and compare the results.

New Ramp Test update to test that issue…

First Test: fell off cliff in 340W stage, but fought it with the ERG turning off and on for 3 more stages - Old FTP 233 new FTP 249

Today’s test: fell off cliff at start of 340W stage and stopped the test - new FTP 239.
Seems more appropriate - a 7% FTP increase was wishful thinking.

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Confused with this. Ramp test is supposed to be until failure. You went until you could not pedal anymore, ERG then turned off, then you pedaled more at the next step up at higher power? Do I have this correct?

I did not stop-stop, I was pedaling less than 50-60 cadence then the ERG control turned off for the rest of that stage, then the next stage started as normal with erg control back on.

So I learned just come to full stop when cadence fully breaks down like that.

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I have a slight variation of the same issue. Once I hit the max level, I kept pedaling as hard as I could albeit a reduced level for the rest of the test. The system kept yelling at me to keep going so I did. Does that mean my results are off?

what do you mean you hit the max level?

Hi @Greg_Miller4

You should stop once you can’t complete a block.

It look like 300 was your last successful one.

I mean I was unable to advance to the next level of watts. I think I did 300 but couldn’t do 320. I understand i should have stopped there and so didn’t test correctly. Assuming that messed up my results, is there a way to calculate the true result? It’s a fairly unpleasant experience so hoping to not repeat right away. Thanks In advance for any thoughts.

@Greg_Miller4 I believe the ramp test FTP result is 75% of the highest 1 minute average power from the test. If you keep riding it will only affect your result if your highest 1 minute average power increases. If you are putting out lower power numbers it should not make a difference.

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Just wait a week or so and try it again and you will do fine.

Ok cool. I thought you were saying you finished the entire ramp haha

One possibility, then, is that the rider is unable to complete a test at the specified power, but still averages higher than the previous successful step.

1 min @ 300: success
1 min @ 320: fails, averages 250
1 min @ 340: fails, averages 150
1 min @ 360: fails, averages 320

This is over-simplified. But in this instance, the result of the ramp test should be based on 300, not 320, since the rider here recovered during he 340 interval, and was thus able to improve on 300 during the 360 interval.

I’m afraid to do the ramp test myself: could be long-lasting psychological trauma.

I’d assume 225-229 for your FTP and do a workout based on that to see how tough it is…

This is based on some guessing from the two ramp tests I just did and guesstimating

Thanks and that is exactly why I don’t want to repeat it! For added cruelty it goes up to something like 600w.

Cool, thanks, I will try that.

I think your questions have been answered but this is an explanation from Ric Stern who knows about these things (in fact google his name and questions about FTP testing, ramp tests, what 20min test is and isn’t, this is his area, in fact I understand he came up with some of the tests that we all now enjoy): https://www.cyclecoach.com/blog/2019/1/13/ramp-testing

The Ric Stern way to do the test, is:
25 W/min - non-elite males
20 W/min - elite males
15 W/min - females

There’s science behind this that gets missed by one-approach-fits-all that online training platforms may overlook in designing their ramp test sessions.

My personal recommendation is don’t do it on a Tacx Neo on a course with cobbles - gave me a fright!

Great info, thank you Helen!