Mountain Bike Reviews Forum banner
1 - 20 of 64 Posts

· Inspector Gadget
Nor*Cal and I like bikes
Joined
·
1,260 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Looking to finally do my first FTP test today. Any advice? Do's and Don'ts?

I have a Wahoo Elemnt Bolt and was going to use the 20min FTP test it has. The only way I can do this test is in the real world on my bike. I'm planning to use a very long, local gravel road hill climb, pretty consistent grade that takes me over an hour to complete, is that ok for doing this test?

I did a mock run with the Wahoo to view the prompts, looks like I needed an idea of my 40/60/100/110% power outputs. So I then looked through my Strava at my past races for the estimated power. I also did a short test ride the other day with the power meter installed, so I have an actual avg power output from that ride. Thinking I would just average these to setup my power ranges for the purpose of doing the first test.

Thanks for any help/advice!
 

· Registered
Joined
·
225 Posts
Looking to finally do my first FTP test today. Any advice? Do's and Don'ts?

I have a Wahoo Elemnt Bolt and was going to use the 20min FTP test it has. The only way I can do this test is in the real world on my bike. I'm planning to use a very long, local gravel road hill climb, pretty consistent grade that takes me over an hour to complete, is that ok for doing this test?

I did a mock run with the Wahoo to view the prompts, looks like I needed an idea of my 40/60/100/110% power outputs. So I then looked through my Strava at my past races for the estimated power. I also did a short test ride the other day with the power meter installed, so I have an actual avg power output from that ride. Thinking I would just average these to setup my power ranges for the purpose of doing the first test.

Thanks for any help/advice!
Most people are going to say don’t do it on a climb but I would disagree with that. I think a climb especially if it’s long enough is a good place because let’s be honest your FTP is most relevant on a climb.

Pre fuel and warm up like you would for a race. Get a few 1-2 minute spin ups to really get opened up.

I assume you have a general idea of what your current FTP is. I would take the first 5 minutes of the test and really challenge myself and assess my HR after the first 5 minutes to make sure I wasn’t “going too deep”.

Don’t dwell on the number no matter what it is; technique, race craft and skills will win more MTB races than FTP.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

· Registered
Joined
·
8,687 Posts
If you are actually looking for reasonable accurate data you have to do the 5 minute blow out effort first.

Here is what I do:
20-30 minute w.p. with a couple of efforts
5 minutes: all out. Target is PB 5 minute.
5 minutes easy.
20 minutes: all out.

The idea of the 5 minute effort is complete drain your anerobic system. This will get your 20 minute effort a lot closer to what you actual FTP is.

Most people skip the 5 minute effort because it is really hard and significant effects that 20 minute number.

As for on the trainer, do it in Zwift on a flat course. Or pick one of the longer climbs for it. Just make sure your trainer isn't in erg mode.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
926 Posts
Make sure whatever process you follow is repeatable, and that you repeat it in the future. That way you don't end up with irrelevant data points. I personally like ramp tests, but there are a lot of opinions out there. It does give me a nice relevant, and repeatable metric for my training.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
273 Posts
I would prefer to do the test on an uphill if I could, I think it is easier to keep pressure on the pedals if you don't have to worry about shifting all the time. We don't have any hills that long around here :(

For the 20min interval I divide it into 4 5min intervals (with no rest inbetween) on my garmin, and I start slightly below my target and increase the power every 5 minutes.
 

· Inspector Gadget
Nor*Cal and I like bikes
Joined
·
1,260 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Most people are going to say don’t do it on a climb but I would disagree with that. I think a climb especially if it’s long enough is a good place because let’s be honest your FTP is most relevant on a climb.
That is what I was thinking... my power output matters on climbs and what I need to regulate/pace myself on during races.
 

· Inspector Gadget
Nor*Cal and I like bikes
Joined
·
1,260 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
I should say the 20min FTP test is actually 1hr 5mins on the Wahoo, there is a warmup, some 1 min intervals, a 110% 5 interval, a cool down, then the 20min Test and then a final cool down...
 

· Registered
Joined
·
225 Posts
Looking to finally do my first FTP test today. Any advice? Do's and Don'ts?

I have a Wahoo Elemnt Bolt and was going to use the 20min FTP test it has. The only way I can do this test is in the real world on my bike. I'm planning to use a very long, local gravel road hill climb, pretty consistent grade that takes me over an hour to complete, is that ok for doing this test?

I did a mock run with the Wahoo to view the prompts, looks like I needed an idea of my 40/60/100/110% power outputs. So I then looked through my Strava at my past races for the estimated power. I also did a short test ride the other day with the power meter installed, so I have an actual avg power output from that ride. Thinking I would just average these to setup my power ranges for the purpose of doing the first test.

Thanks for any help/advice!
how did your FTP test go? What method did you end up using ?


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

· Inspector Gadget
Nor*Cal and I like bikes
Joined
·
1,260 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
how did your FTP test go? What method did you end up using ?


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
I wasn’t able to do the 20min that day unfortunately. I did the 8 min on a gravel road at another local spot to see how that would go. That place doesn’t have enough road to ride on for an hour though. I wound up back tracking downhill during my cool down intervals. I also found it hard to maintain target power levels with varying terrain, particularly when the slope levels off and I need to shift. So I have a number I’m using from that 8min real world test for now, I think it’s in the ballpark. I’m racing in 2 days and I think it’ll be interesting to see my power data from that. I’m still learning and trying to figure things out.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

· Registered
Joined
·
2,724 Posts
I wasn’t able to do the 20min that day unfortunately. I did the 8 min on a gravel road at another local spot to see how that would go. That place doesn’t have enough road to ride on for an hour though. I wound up back tracking downhill during my cool down intervals. I also found it hard to maintain target power levels with varying terrain, particularly when the slope levels off and I need to shift. So I have a number I’m using from that 8min real world test for now, I think it’s in the ballpark. I’m racing in 2 days and I think it’ll be interesting to see my power data from that. I’m still learning and trying to figure things out.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Is it an XC race? FYI, that data will be sporadic and is no predictor of FTP and training zones.

A TT road race or hanging on for dear life in a Zwift race that was a hard pace for you would be closer to FTP.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

· Registered
Joined
·
20,148 Posts
If you are actually looking for reasonable accurate data you have to do the 5 minute blow out effort first.

Here is what I do:
20-30 minute w.p. with a couple of efforts
5 minutes: all out. Target is PB 5 minute.
5 minutes easy.
20 minutes: all out.

The idea of the 5 minute effort is complete drain your anerobic system. This will get your 20 minute effort a lot closer to what you actual FTP is.

Most people skip the 5 minute effort because it is really hard and significant effects that 20 minute number.

As for on the trainer, do it in Zwift on a flat course. Or pick one of the longer climbs for it. Just make sure your trainer isn't in erg mode.

That's how I do mine, the 5 minute effort before the test is just cruel.
 

· Inspector Gadget
Nor*Cal and I like bikes
Joined
·
1,260 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Is it an XC race? FYI, that data will be sporadic and is no predictor of FTP and training zones.

A TT road race or hanging on for dear life in a Zwift race that was a hard pace for you would be closer to FTP.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Understood. I wasn’t trying to say I would use the data for training setup. It’s just interesting to see the data from a race, I don’t understand some of it yet though lol.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

· Registered
Joined
·
2,724 Posts
Understood. I wasn’t trying to say I would use the data for training setup. It’s just interesting to see the data from a race, I don’t understand some of it yet though lol.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
I just want to prepare you for the fact that MTB race data is just a novelty at times depending upon the course. If you don’t have a perfect connection, it’s hard to discern dropouts from actual coasting.

Everyone has their own way of digesting it. I am most interested in normalized power around the course, and learning form the duration of many of the efforts >threshold power for the sake of future preparation.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

· Registered
Joined
·
20,148 Posts
For racing, I just use RPE. Especially since I will race varying elevations. FTP at 5000' before climbing up to your lower 8000' FTP...

I just use power for training.


Seems like good advice. I've never heard any coach recommend using power during a race except for maybe situations where there are long, sustained climbs (e.g. leadville) and as you mentioned you need to factor altitude.
 

· Inspector Gadget
Nor*Cal and I like bikes
Joined
·
1,260 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Seems like good advice. I've never heard any coach recommend using power during a race except for maybe situations where there are long, sustained climbs (e.g. leadville) and as you mentioned you need to factor altitude.
I guess to this point I've mostly raced based on 'feel' or RPE. That's had it's own learning curve... like going out of the gate too hard and not having enough gas for the whole race. Or starting too slow and getting stuck behind epic bottlenecks. I've made adjustments mentally along the way and started watching my HR more. The problem with HR as we all know, it's not real time enough. On long sustained climbs I can settle in though and pace myself off it. I think it will take me some time, but I'm hoping to learn what type of power outputs I can/can't sustain doing a race and make adjustments. Mostly about associating a number with x rate of RPE and pacing myself based on it. I did the Tahoe Trail 50k last year and I'd like to do the 100k this year, I will definitely need to have a good handle on how to pace myself for that one. There's some big sustained climbing in that and will come in over 8k of vert at an altitude I don't normally ride at.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
2,724 Posts
I guess to this point I've mostly raced based on 'feel' or RPE. That's had it's own learning curve... like going out of the gate too hard and not having enough gas for the whole race. Or starting too slow and getting stuck behind epic bottlenecks. I've made adjustments mentally along the way and started watching my HR more. The problem with HR as we all know, it's not real time enough. On long sustained climbs I can settle in though and pace myself off it. I think it will take me some time, but I'm hoping to learn what type of power outputs I can/can't sustain doing a race and make adjustments. Mostly about associating a number with x rate of RPE and pacing myself based on it. I did the Tahoe Trail 50k last year and I'd like to do the 100k this year, I will definitely need to have a good handle on how to pace myself for that one. There's some big sustained climbing in that and will come in over 8k of vert at an altitude I don't normally ride at.
What will happen over a period of time is your RPE will significantly change as you complete structured intervals. Your recency bias in completing structured intervals at certain levels will inform your RPE on rides


I can next to my wife, do a conversion for weight and usually guess how much power she is doing.


In a race as Sidewalk and others mentioned, it’s less useful than HR and will almost frighten some people. Unless of course you are doing a long climb in a marathon as you mentioned.

In an XCO race you can’t really say “hey guys, we are riding above my target power for this climb” you must cover the attack or make a very calculated decision if you are so good that you can bring them back somewhere else.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

· Registered
Joined
·
751 Posts
Make sure whatever process you follow is repeatable, and that you repeat it in the future. That way you don't end up with irrelevant data points. I personally like ramp tests, but there are a lot of opinions out there. It does give me a nice relevant, and repeatable metric for my training.
Thank you!! All this other advice is MEANINGLESS if not repeatable!
 

· Registered
Joined
·
751 Posts
Looking to finally do my first FTP test today. Any advice? Do's and Don'ts?

I have a Wahoo Elemnt Bolt and was going to use the 20min FTP test it has. The only way I can do this test is in the real world on my bike. I'm planning to use a very long, local gravel road hill climb, pretty consistent grade that takes me over an hour to complete, is that ok for doing this test?

I did a mock run with the Wahoo to view the prompts, looks like I needed an idea of my 40/60/100/110% power outputs. So I then looked through my Strava at my past races for the estimated power. I also did a short test ride the other day with the power meter installed, so I have an actual avg power output from that ride. Thinking I would just average these to setup my power ranges for the purpose of doing the first test.

Thanks for any help/advice!
or you could, you know..... go all out for 1 hour, like for REAL?
 
1 - 20 of 64 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top