The purpose of an FTP test is to find your maximum sustainable power output. At TrainerRoad, we do this through the Ramp Test. The TrainerRoad Ramp Test is designed to take you until failure in order to gain an accurate FTP estimation. The test will continue until you either stop pedaling or pause the workout. It will then automatically calculate your FTP and drop you into a recovery interval.
The most important advice for completing the Ramp Test is to GO UNTIL FAILURE. Each second matters during the test. Even if you only make it 10 seconds into a new step, that will still factor into your FTP calculation. It's also important to follow the target power closely as you progress through the test.
Check out the video below to get an in-depth look at how you should approach the Ramp test.
How It's Calculated
After completing the Ramp Test, we calculate your FTP taking 75% to your highest 1-minute of power. Again, every second matters, so even if you only progress partly through your last step, it will affect the outcome.
(Note: More complicated calculations may be applied when determining FTP from a Ramp Test depending on how accurately a rider followed the format of the test. This means, 75% of a rider's 1-minute power may not translate to their actual FTP calculation.)
Testing on a Smart Trainer vs. Traditional Trainer
When using a Smart Trainer, we do recommend using ERG Mode as it is the default for the test. That being said, a smart trainer is not required in order to complete the test. For traditional trainers, it's very important to focus on following the target profile to the best of your ability. With that, those doing the test in ERG mode do not have an advantage over individuals on a traditional trainer.