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Good place for an ftp test south of London

mr.b-campagmr.b-campag Posts: 308
As per the title really, that time of year when I want to assess my (outdoor) fitness. Anyone recommend a route where it's plausible to do a threshold effort for 20mins (or so depending on protocol) i.e. only left turns, no lights etc?

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  • that time of year when I want to assess my (outdoor) fitness.

    Its January 2nd
    I'm sorry you don't believe in miracles
  • cougiecougie Posts: 22,512
    I'd do it inside. Easier to reproduce and less likely to come off. Crappy roads, traffic, weather all are against you.
  • marykamaryka Posts: 748
    Not sure what you mean by south of London, but I like an ACW loop of Richmond Park for a 20-min benchmark effort that is fairly repeatable throughout the year. Best to pick an early morning this time of year, in the summer you can do evenings right after the car gates close. Or middle of the day during the week if you have flexible working hours. Not weekends after about 9-10am!
  • joe_totale-2joe_totale-2 Posts: 1,333
    Richmond Park.
    If you're willing to go a bit further out of London you can do a loop consisting of Cudham Lane, turn left onto Main Road, blast through Knockholt then down Rushmore Hill, turn left onto the A21 then a left at the next roundabout back onto Cudham Lane.

    There's no lights and traffic isn't usually an issue. IIRC it takes around 25 mins.
  • Thanks all. An ACW loop of Richmond Parks sounds like a plan.
  • Joe Totale wrote:
    There's no lights and traffic isn't usually an issue. IIRC it takes around 25 mins.

    20 or less... for most people with an FTP > 200. If FTP is under 200 Watt is probably not even worth measuring it
  • joe_totale-2joe_totale-2 Posts: 1,333
    Joe Totale wrote:
    There's no lights and traffic isn't usually an issue. IIRC it takes around 25 mins.

    20 or less... for most people with an FTP > 200. If FTP is under 200 Watt is probably not even worth measuring it

    I was talking about the Cudham loop, the PR is 21 mins so anyone who gets 20 or under should reconsider a pro career:

    https://www.strava.com/segments/655321?filter=overall
  • Haven't done a test on this route https://www.strava.com/routes/16680487, but found it pretty good when I rode around it the other day. There is one right turn, but mostly it's just first turn on each roundabout if you go clockwise and there was virtually no traffic when I was there.



    Takes about 50 minutes to get to from Richmond park.
  • -Dash-Dash Posts: 179
    MishMash95 wrote:
    Haven't done a test on this route https://www.strava.com/routes/16680487, but found it pretty good when I rode around it the other day. There is one right turn, but mostly it's just first turn on each roundabout if you go clockwise and there was virtually no traffic when I was there.

    Takes about 50 minutes to get to from Richmond park.

    Isn't the A319 a bit of a rough potholed surface and Philpots Lane a bit narrow/bendy for TT effort? IIRC there's a narrow blind bridge halfway along it too.
  • -Dash wrote:
    MishMash95 wrote:
    Haven't done a test on this route https://www.strava.com/routes/16680487, but found it pretty good when I rode around it the other day. There is one right turn, but mostly it's just first turn on each roundabout if you go clockwise and there was virtually no traffic when I was there.

    Takes about 50 minutes to get to from Richmond park.

    Isn't the A319 a bit of a rough potholed surface and Philpots Lane a bit narrow/bendy for TT effort? IIRC there's a narrow blind bridge halfway along it too.

    Tbh, i've only gone around there the one time and overall, the ride was fast and without any sustained stops, but you are probably right. I don't remember the exact nature of the road surface or the turns, was just going off the trace on my ride:

    YMwfVG9.png -- This isn't quite the whole section, and I was also going clockwise, rather than anti-clockwise so didn't have the benefit of left hand turns.

    Looking back, the segment i missed was actually the philpots lane bit, I instead turned down a bit followed the road towards cobham: AWERBmj.png, then came back up along the A319 Chertsey road section
  • john1967john1967 Posts: 366
    Joe Totale wrote:
    There's no lights and traffic isn't usually an issue. IIRC it takes around 25 mins.

    20 or less... for most people with an FTP > 200. If FTP is under 200 Watt is probably not even worth measuring it

    Why's that then?. Is 200w some kind of magical number or do you just think people with lower fitness shouldn't have the opportunity to improve?
  • john1967 wrote:
    Joe Totale wrote:
    There's no lights and traffic isn't usually an issue. IIRC it takes around 25 mins.

    20 or less... for most people with an FTP > 200. If FTP is under 200 Watt is probably not even worth measuring it

    Why's that then?. Is 200w some kind of magical number or do you just think people with lower fitness shouldn't have the opportunity to improve?

    I think there is an obsession for measuring these days... anyone who weighs 70kg or more can get to 200 very quickly, so in a way it is a bit pointless to go and measure if there is not much to measure yet. If you measure 180 you will find that ten days later you rapidly progress to 200 or more.

    Obviously some find measuring numbers is all the fun, so if that's the case, then it's all game. I find these tests awful and unnecessarily punishing, so I would avoid doing one unless I really HAVE TO.
  • I am also a bit weary of measuring power in general. One way to improve power output is to tweak the position on the bike, but what if those changes result in a less aerodynamic position and as a result the extra watts are simply used to overcome the extra air resistance, or maybe they're not even enough? Or, flipping the coin, maybe in an aero tuck I have 10 Watts less FTP, but if that has 30 fewer watts of drag, then I am a winner by 20 watts, no?

    With all the (small) errors I still prefer to find a suitably long climb and see how long it takes me to get to the top... if it's less than my PB, then I am better, if it's more than I am worse, regardless of the power output (which should be in line with times anyway).

    Ultimately you want to go faster right? The number you boast at the cafe' means nothing if you then get dropped.

    "The Hour" by Michael Hutchinson is an interesting journey showing how he went from needing 520 Watt to needing only 380 Watt to travel at the same speed simply by tweaking the position on the bike... it seems a cunning strategy to go faster, rather than going mental with intervals and FTP obsessions
  • joe2008joe2008 Posts: 1,531
    With all the (small) errors I still prefer to find a suitably long climb and see how long it takes me to get to the top... if it's less than my PB, then I am better, or there's more of a tailwind, regardless of the power output (which should be in line with times anyway).

    Fixed that for you
  • Why is going faster an acceptable aim, but being stronger is not? I'm not racing anyone.
  • Why is going faster an acceptable aim, but being stronger is not? I'm not racing anyone.

    Good point...

    Well, my assumption is that people want more power to go faster... if they simply want more power to build up their confidence, that is a different matter altogether.
  • Has anyone suggested Mount Teide yet? ;)
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  • With all the (small) errors I still prefer to find a suitably long climb and see how long it takes me to get to the top... if it's less than my PB, then I am better, if it's more than I am worse, regardless of the power output (which should be in line with times anyway).

    While I see you did mention errors, it is worth mentioning that times on climbs can vary quite significantly due to external conditions (air pressure, wind, bike tyres, temperature etc;) On any climbs that I frequent, i've tended to have quite a high variance in performance vs power, depending on the day. It's also worth noting that pacing on a climb can also affect performance. Some climbs with variable gradient are more favoured to a bursty approach, whereas consistent gradient climbs are best with a consistent power. (It may be the case that power goes up, but you go out too hard and thus lose more time on the 2nd half for example).

    To give you an idea of what i'm talking about:
    y5vSFUs.png
    This first one is box hill (4% avg, 2.2km) i've only done it a few times, but have had quite consistently different results. two of them were on the same day and only 13w difference, but just due to pacing, one ended up being 25s slower.

    lzOCqk6.png
    The second is Belmont hill (7% avg, 1.44km), this one has less variance, though mostly due to a far larger sample size. There are still instances where I have gone 20s faster with almost identical power. In this case 20s over a ~5 minute climb at 300w could equate to 4 minutes of variance for an hour long effort.

    I guess its good to use hill climbs for general trend improvements, i.e. if your PBs are moving in the correct direction over time, but individual samples can have some decent variance.
  • I guess the second has less variance because it is steeper and aerodynamics (including wind) play a lesser role.

    I would choose a longer climb for a more meaningful result. In the UK, I think something like Pen-Y-Pass (either side) is ideal. Incidentally it is a beautiful part of the world, totally worth a visit
  • Has anyone suggested Mount Teide yet? ;)

    me,me,me ..... don't do it.
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