Which ramp test?

I’d like a bit of guidance as to which ramp test I should do. I’m a female rider and am usually 56-59kg. When trained, I used to have an FTP of 220+W, but I’ve since had 2 kids and am effectively starting from a much lower point now (maybe completely de-trained!).

I did the ramp test lite recently and got a starting FTP of 163W. However, it took a while to get to exhaustion and I’m concerned that, as I train, the “lite” test might be starting too low for me. On the flip side, the standard ramp test (starting at 100W with 20W increments) seems like a massive step up in difficulty and I worry it wouldn’t be accurate.

TLDR: which ramp test for under 60kg female with an FTP of around 2.5-3W/kg?

Hi @Legolam

I would suggest using that FTP and feel how hard the workouts are and test again in a few weeks.

I am 57 Kg and use the Ramp test for FTP rather than the 40 min slog - it gives you a good bench mark and it will depend on various factors on if you are using ERG mode during test or not . I find the ramp test best test and if you have a old FTP of 220 which will put most of the guys to shame i would not worry. Another method i use is ride alpe huez or Mont ventoux full gas and Zwift then takes your best 20 mins and gives you a FTP from that which is more realistic and is how i got mine from a ride around the worlds course in Austria . hope that helps

That’s really helpful, thanks. I’m using a smart trainer with ERG mode. I’ve been doing a training plan with the FTP of 163 but was thinking ahead to the next ramp test. With a 4 month old, I don’t really have time to do a traditional 20 min test or Alpe d’Huez etc so one of the ramp tests suits me due to time constraints.

Do you find the 20W jumps on the conventional ramp test too much? I’ve read somewhere that British Cycling recommend 15W jumps to test female athletes, which is annoyingly between the conventional and lite ramp tests on Zwift.

I think I prefer the Trainerroad technique of going by a percentage of FTP!

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I would suggest you do the Ramp Test (not the lite version).

I am a 66kg female with my last ramp test reading 197W. To get this reading I crashed out half way through the 280W interval of the Ramp Test. The Ramp Test Lite as far as I can see from WhatsOnZwift stops at 250W.

20W increments definitely can feel like hitting a brick wall at the top end but like you, I was worried about potentially ‘completing’ the Lite test without ‘failing’ so i’ve always just done the normal Ramp Test.

Hope that helps and good luck!

Ramp tests aren’t that accurate and are skewed much more towards sprinting power. So that might give you an over- or under-inflated FTP depending on your physiology.

I would do what Gerrie suggested and just see how you go with workouts and adjust your FTP manually as necessary to make them feel right.