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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey everyone I am just a recreational rider but I think my question fits better here. I was at the gym on campus riding a video bike and it showed my wattage. I did a 7 mile loop and my average wattage was 158. Now I am not in the best of shape but I am wondering what is the average range of output wattage? I could have pushed it but I am just getting over some snowboarding injuries and havent been on the bike that much.
 

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Stationary bikes can be way off. But, if it was accurate and If you weren't pushing it, I would guess your threshold wattage to be very roughly 200 watts. Depending on your weight, that's not quite competitive in the beginner mtb xc races, based on what I've seen.
 

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watts/kg table

see attached

an untrained male cyclist supposedly will have an FT of 2 W/kg while a Cat 5 beginner will generate around 2.75 W/kg

It goes way up from there, with around 4 W/kg required to be around the podium in most local race, age group podiums and over 5 W/kg to be competitive in regional or national competitions.

1 kg=2.2 lb
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
1600 watts thats insane and makes me feel real wimpy. That dude is chugging along with 1 hp on each leg!

The calculation is about right for me (untrained male cycleist) 170lbs gives me 154 W, just under what the stationary trainer was giving me.

Thanks guys I have some food for thought and I cant wait for my leg to heal up and be able to hit it with 100%
 

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spazzy said:
1600 watts thats insane and makes me feel real wimpy. That dude is chugging along with 1 hp on each leg!
Looking at the chart, that is probably his 5 second output. His split-second max is probably higher.

Wiki has him at 69 Kg, so he probably puts out world class numbers across the board, ~390 W for an hour I bet.
 

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Here's a slide from one of our lectures on human power generation from my Human Powered Vehicle class last semester.

The top dark blue line is for the world-class athletes. The pink line is a fairly-in-shape average person.
 

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Cav's max wattage (although probably not his 5sec) is probably closer to 2000. I would doubt his LT power is as high as 390 though. He's a sprinter, not a climber. Even though he's world class, he still is getting dropped hardcore on the climbs.

Like others have said, a regional level pro will put out well above 5w/kg at LT. A good expert will put out between 4.5 and 5.
 

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notagain! said:
Here's a slide from one of our lectures on human power generation from my Human Powered Vehicle class last semester.

The top dark blue line is for the world-class athletes. The pink line is a fairly-in-shape average person.
17 hours in they're still putting out nearly 400 watts :confused:

doesn't seem right.
 

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What is everyone's experience in terms of your ability to improve your functional threshold power over time with quality training?

(I just got a power meter for my road bike, did my functional threshold power test this morning, and am curious about my potential for improvement.)
 

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Gatorback said:
What is everyone's experience in terms of your ability to improve your functional threshold power over time with quality training?

(I just got a power meter for my road bike, did my functional threshold power test this morning, and am curious about my potential for improvement.)
Improvement comes over the long term not the short term.

Threshold power can very quite a bit throughout a year, I would say as much as 20%. However, when you measure peak threshold from year to year the variation is much smaller. A 5% increase would be really significant, 1-3% increase from year to year is more likely.
 

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LMN said:
Threshold power can very quite a bit throughout a year, I would say as much as 20%. However, when you measure peak threshold from year to year the variation is much smaller. A 5% increase would be really significant, 1-3% increase from year to year is more likely.
so if my FTP right now is 300 watts, it'll take me 11 years of hard, consistent training to get to 400 watts?

which would still leave me shy of 5 watts/kg (even assuming my weight stays the same)....aka being actually good at the sport.

that's a long time and a lot of work. might as well just pack it in now and start living off oreos and fried chicken.
 

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You can probably aim to lose some weight, which will greatly decrease the amount of time it takes to get to your target FTP/kg

So if you're 80kg now and lose 5kg and can gain 5% for a couple years and 3% every year after, 5 W/kg is only 5 years away.
 

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nomit said:
so if my FTP right now is 300 watts, it'll take me 11 years of hard, consistent training to get to 400 watts?

which would still leave me shy of 5 watts/kg (even assuming my weight stays the same)....aka being actually good at the sport.

that's a long time and a lot of work. might as well just pack it in now and start living off oreos and fried chicken.
Reality sucks doesn't it. To make things worse the rate of return drops after a couple of years. After five years of hard consistent training you will be happy with 1% gains.

To be fair 5 watts/kg is a big number, people pushing those numbers are really, really fast. I coach 7 elite XC racers all of them are very good racers (provinical champions at a minimum) only two of them have a threshold over 5 watts/kg.

Ten years is about right for the number of years of dedicated training it takes to be a decent elite racer. Some do it quicker (some a lot quicker) but for most of us it takes 10. Take a look at Kabush it took him eight years to crack the podium at Norba's and another five to do it at a world cup.
 

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I didn't train well in the fall due to work and probably slowly lost fitness. I've only been riding 5-6 hours a week, very inconsistent, for the last couple of months. So hopefully I can see a gain of 20% when I get in peak racing shape. I'd be pretty happy with that. I've also never trained with a power meter, so hopefully that will help me improve as well.
 

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nomit said:
which would still leave me shy of 5 watts/kg (even assuming my weight stays the same)....aka being actually good at the sport.
5watt/kg is pro. I know i'll never get there, but I also know I'll never need that kind of power to Win at MTB Nationals as a Cat 1.

FTP rises fast with proper training, to a point where it will plateau, and at that point you will be a well trained endurance athlete. Further gains, as LMN pointed out, are slow and will take a ton of hard work. But at the same time body composition, bike handling, and your ability to use power where it counts will continue to improve. Speed keeps increasing with consistent and well planned training. Get a coach if you want the most! But never get hung up on watts at FTP, its not the be all end all.
 
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