FTP test/Retest validity

I have a question. I live on the Oregon coast, and often difficult to find areas to test without either big (steep) climbs or lots of headwinds; also, finding a stretch of road that I can ride for 20 minutes can be difficult. So, I found a stretch of road that has a steady 3-5% climb, and have used this same route for the last 3-4 FTP tests to keep it consistent. Attached are the results from these tests. I am wondering if these results (mainly due to the % of the incline) are valid, or have I artificially increased my FTP due to the % of the climb? My cadence stays between 85-90 for this climb.
Thank you,

Hey Justin!

You can not artificially increase your FTP by just riding a climb. Power is power. A lot of athletes use a climb, when available, like that for their FTP test. Sounds actually like a really good place to conduct a field test! Also using the same course is great as it keeps it consistent.

Quote on our training tip of how to conduct a field test:

" When available we’ll recommend a steady grade hill free of stop signs, descents and any section of road that requires the athlete to stop pedalling. Ideally a 2-3% steady grade hill like this Strava segment . Steeper climbs tend to bog athletes’ cadence down which skews the test results. Conversely, some athletes make greater power uphill than they can on the flats. Whichever you choose, it is absolutely imperative that you ensure your test is repeatable, accurate and reliable. Apples – apples."

So looks like your last test is much higher than your previous power numbers and I’m assuming that is why you are asking now. I would ask if you calibrated your power meter before the start and if the zero offset came within a similar range that it has in the past. Also another thing to check, if possible, is your time on the segment. Since you have done it the last 3 - 4 times and just did 50 watts more your time / average speed should be higher. Considering the weather was fairly similar and not drastically different. So look at that.

But continue to use that spot for your test. Sounds like a good place to do it!


Hi Jake, thank you for your response. Yeah, all in all it works out. There is a stop sign but this is not a heavily trafficked area (and in Oregon Cyclist only have to yield the right of way if cars are there, otherwise we can ride through stop signs.

I thought About your questions, luckily most of this route is a segment on Strava, and yesterday’s effort beat my last effort by 45 seconds. I decided to validate yesterday’s FTP (of course there were variables I couldn’t control For today such as leg fatigue and soreness, and I rode more than an hour in Z2/3 today, whereas yesterday I rode for only 20 minutes as a warmup), and overall, I was only 25 seconds off my PR today. I also recalibrated my power meter. So I would like to say that the 25 seconds could be accounted for by variables.

Thank you again.

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