The Ramp Test is our preferred method for getting an effective estimate of Functional Threshold Power: a measure of cycling performance and the metric used to guide all TrainerRoad workouts. To learn more about FTP testing and the Ramp Test, click here.
Ramp Test - Frequently Asked Questions
1. How does TrainerRoad calculate my FTP from the Ramp Test?
We take 75% of your best one-minute power. If you are above target for the final minute, the app will reduce your result by a small amount. It’s important to follow the target power closely as you progress through your test.
2. How hard should I go during the ramp test?
For the most accurate results, give the ramp test everything you've got. At the end of the testing section, you should have nothing left in the tank.
3. I didn’t immediately stop pedaling immediately after I failed the test. Does this affect my FTP calculation?
Nope! Your FTP is based on your best one-minute power, not your last one-minute power. So, soft-pedaling or grinding gears after finishing the ramped section will not affect your FTP score in any way.
4. What if I think my score is too high?
If you score slightly higher than you expect, we recommend you still keep the Ramp Test result and see how training goes. You might surprise yourself with how much you're able to handle. Our workouts are designed to be pretty challenging, but doable. If you are able to successfully complete the first several workouts using your Ramp Test FTP, you'll know that you're using the correct FTP.
That said, if you find that you are unable to complete many of your prescribed workouts, you can go ahead and decrease your FTP in 2-5% increments as needed.
5. What if I think my score is too low?
If you score slightly lower than you expect we recommend you still take the Ramp Test result and see how training goes. In particular, pay attention to how you're able to handle threshold work or any VO2 max efforts. If you feel that typically very hard workouts are just too easy, you can always manually adjust your FTP on your Account page. We recommend adjusting in 2-5% increments as needed.
If you think your FTP result is much lower than it should be we recommend to check the following:
- Did you REALLY dig deep and go hard?
- Do you have excessive fatigue going into the test?
- Did you have a major power dropout during your Ramp Test?
- Were you able to achieve a level of performance similar to recent PRs?
- Did you follow the target power closely?
- Remember, the app will reduce your result by a small amount if you are above target for the final minute
6. I’m a steady-state athlete (TT or triathlon). Should I do the Ramp Test or is the 20-minute test a better assessment for me?
We recommend the Ramp test. Even though the intensity of the effort required during the final steps of a Ramp Test is well above the intensity required during a longer, lower-intensity effort, the information gleaned from the ramp protocol is more accurate than an FTP estimate based on a poorly paced 8- or 20-minute test. With a sufficient level of commitment and freshness, this format leaves little room for error in cyclists of all disciplines.
7. I went into the test fatigued and got a low score. I thought the new test is less dependent on fatigue?
While the new test may take less time and may exact a smaller physiological toll on the athlete, it is not any easier. You need to be reasonably recovered and prepared for any assessment workout in order to obtain usable results.
8. Can/should I do the Ramp Test more often than the 8/20 minute tests?
We still recommend assessing every 4-6 weeks. If you’ve taken more than 3-4 weeks off from training, resume training following an FTP assessment.
9. Do you still have the old 8 and 20-minute tests?
Yes! The 8 minute and 20-minute tests aren’t going anywhere, and you can still use them if you prefer them.
10. Can I increase the warmup?
We don't recommend increasing the warmup, but it can be done if necessary. Due to the very low-intensity nature of the warmup and the fact that it’s scaled to your previous or predicted FTP, this assessment incorporates a sufficient warm-up period that will adequately prepare riders for the higher-intensity steps that will close the ramp assessment.
If, however, you’d prefer to add a few extra minutes of warmup time prior to beginning the Ramp Test, do so every time you perform a Ramp Test in order to keep the results and protocol consistent.
11. Should I do the test in the aero position?
Yes. If you plan to race and do the majority of your training in the aero position, testing in the aero position is recommended. Aero positioning often recruits the pedaling muscles in slightly different manners than more upright positions. Aero positioning also changes the stress on other, less obvious muscles which can contribute to the strain you’ll experience when training or racing in an aero position. So establishing an FTP that is specific to these altered demands is appropriate.
12. Should I do this test in ERG mode?
If you have a smart trainer we recommend that you do the test in ERG mode (default). A smart trainer is not required and those doing the test in ERG mode do not have an advantage over individuals on a traditional trainer.
13. What is a good ride to do after the Ramp test to keep my TSS® in line with the 8/20 minute tests?
It’s not required to do a workout after the Ramp Test. But for riders who want to get a little work in, we recommend actively recovering for 10-15 minutes followed by one of these workouts:
14. Why can't I find the Ramp Test in the app?
Make sure that your app is up to date. The Ramp Test is not available on some older versions of the TrainerRoad. If it's still not showing up, check to see if there are filters enabled that might be hiding the app from your workouts list.
Note: The Ramp Test is not available in our Legacy app. Legacy users will need to continue using the 8- and 20-minute FTP tests.
If you have any questions about this, please contact our support team at firstname.lastname@example.org.