Power and Heart zones after ramp test

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by Pjoter

Hi Everyone,

after few months without any sports (flat renovation), at the end of 2023 i decided to go back to cycling.
I estimated my FTP, based on the power level in zone 2 of the max heart rate to have any value of FTP for the home trainer settings. Than I made a whole endurance training program on a home trainer, using the Rouvy application.
After 4 weeks of riding, last weekend I made a ramp test, 1 min each segment, +20 after every minute. I ended in the middle of 320W part, so the average 1min peak is 311W. My max HR was 193. Accoringd to internet information, i should calculate my FTP as 0,75*310 = 233W.


Now i have a huge problem to calculate the right both HR and power zones. The day after the tests, I went outdoor for a stable approx 2h ride. based on a garmin data i had Avg 162W (69% of the new FTP) and 154Hr (80 of the HRmax). It looks like i am not able to ride in HR zone 2 or even zone 3 with 75% of my new FTP. I would say that the intensity level will be too high and I won't be able to keep this level for a long, endurance ride.
So, should I use lower level of FTP like 220-225W? Or maybe keep 233W for internvals and indoor ride, but for long, stable endurance outdoor ride i should pay more attention to the HR zone to be sure that i am riding in zone 2 or 3?

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by eucalyptus

For FTP tests.. Do a 20 minute maximum effort (no ramp test)

See what number you get and take that XXX watt x 0,9. Then if you can do a full 1 hour test, see what power you can hold for 1 hour. If you are fit it should be not too far of the 20min x 0,95 result although this is expected.

Then you have two very good numbers to use as your FTP value. Put that value in to Strava and it will estimate power zones for you.

You need many hours of training to lower your HR while pushing higher watts. Just ride and results will come soon enough. As of now, if you want to ride Z2 based on heart rate your power outputt in watts will be very low

https://support.trainerroad.com/hc/en-u ... -FTP-Tests
Last edited by eucalyptus on Wed Feb 28, 2024 4:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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by MisterNoChain

Ramp tests tend to overestimate your FTP, definitely if you are a bit more explosive since you only have to ride hard during the last 5'.
As said above, try do a 20' test or even a longer one. On Zwift i sometimes do the Alpe, it's quite hard but gives you a better idea what you are really capable of for a extended period. When you have to use some formula to calculate your FTP you always know there is more room for errors. For 20 minute tests most programs use x0.95 but x0.90 is closer to reality for most people that are starting to build fitness.

Just to give you an idea (everyone is different). With an FTP of 293w i do my Z2 rides at 180 - 190w (65% of FTP). HR is at +/- 70% of max.

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by Requiem84

Ramp tests are tricky like said above. The 75% formula is based on the total cycling population. This ignores that for some riders it will be 70%, for other riders it could be closer to 80%. That's a 10% difference right there.

The 20 min test * 0,95% - IF done properly - is a much better estimation of your true FTP.

However, even if you know your FTP, it doesn't mean you automatically know all your zones. Well trained athletes will have a much higher endurance zone than lesser trained athletes. Endurance is typically 55%-75% of your FTP. That's a very broad range. It's best to start riding at 55% of your FTP first and keep an eye on your HR during the ride, it shouldn't drift too much upward during the course of the ride. If it drifts up a lot, you're riding too hard. If it stays pretty stable, you can try to ride 60% of your FTP next endurance ride etc.

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