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Is my FTP realistic?

doraymondoraymon Posts: 20
I recently bought my first power meter (Vector 3 pedals) and I use a Wahoo Elemnt Bolt computer + I always wear my Garmin Forerunner 935. Both are connected to the Vector during the ride.
At the beginning the Forerunner was giving me double the power reading of the Bolt (e.g. FTP of 155 vs 89).
After a firmware update on the Vector 3 yesterday the FTP reading on the Bolt jumped from 89 to 170, which is much closer to the Forerunner.

Is this FTP reading plausible considering that I am 46 YO, 172cm height for 77Kg body weight (so overweight), never trained in the last years except occasional running sessions?
I started cycling 2 months ago.

Thanks

Posts

  • cougiecougie Posts: 22,512
    Cycle as hard as you can for 20 minutes after a good warm-up and see what figure you get.

    Why have you got power meter pedals if you're not using them properly and is this figure using your 1700 USD wheels ?
  • frisbeefrisbee Posts: 691
    Sounds like Bolt was only reporting half your power, this can be an issue with pedal power meters.
  • Yes, it's a realistic number. But how is it working out your FTP without you doing an FTP style effort? Is it merely estimating it by whatever you happen to be doing on that ride?

    If you really want to know your FTP and use it for training, do a proper FTP test.
  • cougie wrote:
    Cycle as hard as you can for 20 minutes after a good warm-up and see what figure you get.

    Why have you got power meter pedals if you're not using them properly and is this figure using your 1700 USD wheels ?
    I did the 20 min test before I updated the firmware of the pedals and I got a result of 89 ( that is 95% of the peak 20 mins power).
    After firmware upgrade I did only one ride which was not supposed to be a test ride, only an easy one and during that ride I immediately realized that the power indication on my Bolt was much higher than in the previous rides.

    Not sure what makes you ask me why have I got pedals if I'm not using them properly? I'm using them to pedal and read power on my Bolt and then home on my laptop, isn't that the proper way? Enlighten me please?

    And no, the 1,700 USD wheels are not yet on the bike but again I fail to understand how this is related to my question...
  • Yes, it's a realistic number. But how is it working out your FTP without you doing an FTP style effort? Is it merely estimating it by whatever you happen to be doing on that ride?

    If you really want to know your FTP and use it for training, do a proper FTP test.

    I explained in my previous post. Anyhow Training Peaks is calculating FTP at every ride and notify you if it's higher than the last one stored. That's how I know.
    I will do the test again soon with the power meter with the new firmware.
  • cougiecougie Posts: 22,512
    If your FTP is 89 you'd probably be overtaken by small children.

    You didn't say you'd done any proper FTP tests and I wondered if the new wheels could have affected the FTP readings. You should be faster on them anyway even if the FTP shouldn't change.
  • cougie wrote:
    If your FTP is 89 you'd probably be overtaken by small children.

    You didn't say you'd done any proper FTP tests and I wondered if the new wheels could have affected the FTP readings. You should be faster on them anyway even if the FTP shouldn't change.

    Understood. No the wheels have nothing to do with it.
    After firmware upgrade and during a normal ride Training Peaks notified me that my FTP jumped to 170W.
    From what you say an FTP of say 170+ is more realistic than 89, so good news. Probably there was an issue between Bolt and power meter which is now solved.
    Thanks.
  • I imagine your Bolt was only reading input from one of the pedals, or conversely, if it was the single-sided variant of the vector, it may have assumed the double-sided version was used, and thus didn't double power output.

    The larger reading is definitely more reasonable, for 77kg bodyweight, 89w would be lighter force/effort than a standard walking pace.
  • MishMash95 wrote:
    I imagine your Bolt was only reading input from one of the pedals, or conversely, if it was the single-sided variant of the vector, it may have assumed the double-sided version was used, and thus didn't double power output.

    The larger reading is definitely more reasonable, for 77kg bodyweight, 89w would be lighter force/effort than a standard walking pace.

    Thanks, that’s what I suspected but have no previous experience with power meters.
  • doraymon wrote:
    Thanks, that’s what I suspected but have no previous experience with power meters.

    Welcome to the journey. Just don't get too caught up in the metrics. Your FTP is a baseline for improvement but certainly not the be all and end all of numbers to be concerned about when training with power. If you can get a copy of the latest edition of Training and Racing with a Power Meter by Hunter Allen that is a very informative read.

    Have fun, learn lots and always remember to enjoy the ride! :-)
  • doraymon wrote:
    Thanks, that’s what I suspected but have no previous experience with power meters.

    Welcome to the journey. Just don't get too caught up in the metrics. Your FTP is a baseline for improvement but certainly not the be all and end all of numbers to be concerned about when training with power. If you can get a copy of the latest edition of Training and Racing with a Power Meter by Hunter Allen that is a very informative read.

    Have fun, learn lots and always remember to enjoy the ride! :-)
    Many thanks! I will look for that book and definitely enjoy the ride!
  • cougie wrote:
    If your FTP is 89 you'd probably be overtaken by small children.

    You didn't say you'd done any proper FTP tests and I wondered if the new wheels could have affected the FTP readings. You should be faster on them anyway even if the FTP shouldn't change.

    Not necessarily. Just to muddy the waters, i have data from one of the Rabobank riders (when Rabobank was a pro cycling team) showing the rider finish in the leading peloton, during one of the TdF stages (a flat stage), and averaging the huge power of 98 W. Yes, ninety eight W. Not 198 W. Of course, this tells us that to be a TdF rider you need to be able to hold a wheel very well (i'm pretty sure no small children overtook him).

    That said, i do my recovery rides at about that power (and marvel about the fact i could be in the leading peloton of a TdF stage at that power).

    Ric
    Coach to Michael Freiberg - Track World Champion (Omnium) 2011
    Coach to James Hayden - Transcontinental Race winner 2017, and 2018
    Coach to Jeff Jones - 2011 BBAR winner and 12-hour record
    Check out our new website https://www.cyclecoach.com
  • cougiecougie Posts: 22,512
    I doubt the OP got his 89w in the middle of a pro peleton. You'd mention a thing like that.

    Sadly I didn't have a PM when I used to race but I'll testify that you can get sucked along by a big bunch at a far faster speed than normal and for much less effort than you need on your own.
  • AlejandrosdogAlejandrosdog Posts: 2,007
    doraymon wrote:
    MishMash95 wrote:
    I imagine your Bolt was only reading input from one of the pedals, or conversely, if it was the single-sided variant of the vector, it may have assumed the double-sided version was used, and thus didn't double power output.

    The larger reading is definitely more reasonable, for 77kg bodyweight, 89w would be lighter force/effort than a standard walking pace.

    Thanks, that’s what I suspected but have no previous experience with power meters.

    Or cycling if thats what youre doing
  • AlejandrosdogAlejandrosdog Posts: 2,007
    cougie wrote:
    If your FTP is 89 you'd probably be overtaken by small children.

    You didn't say you'd done any proper FTP tests and I wondered if the new wheels could have affected the FTP readings. You should be faster on them anyway even if the FTP shouldn't change.

    Not necessarily. Just to muddy the waters, i have data from one of the Rabobank riders (when Rabobank was a pro cycling team) showing the rider finish in the leading peloton, during one of the TdF stages (a flat stage), and averaging the huge power of 98 W. Yes, ninety eight W. Not 198 W. Of course, this tells us that to be a TdF rider you need to be able to hold a wheel very well (i'm pretty sure no small children overtook him).

    That said, i do my recovery rides at about that power (and marvel about the fact i could be in the leading peloton of a TdF stage at that power).

    Ric

    Do you have the whole file Ric? was his bike/ computer on the roof for some of it?
    Im not saying I dont believe you but i would be more than surprised if that were the average power for a whole stage.
  • cougie wrote:
    If your FTP is 89 you'd probably be overtaken by small children.

    You didn't say you'd done any proper FTP tests and I wondered if the new wheels could have affected the FTP readings. You should be faster on them anyway even if the FTP shouldn't change.

    Not necessarily. Just to muddy the waters, i have data from one of the Rabobank riders (when Rabobank was a pro cycling team) showing the rider finish in the leading peloton, during one of the TdF stages (a flat stage), and averaging the huge power of 98 W. Yes, ninety eight W. Not 198 W. Of course, this tells us that to be a TdF rider you need to be able to hold a wheel very well (i'm pretty sure no small children overtook him).

    That said, i do my recovery rides at about that power (and marvel about the fact i could be in the leading peloton of a TdF stage at that power).

    Ric

    Do you have the whole file Ric? was his bike/ computer on the roof for some of it?
    Im not saying I dont believe you but i would be more than surprised if that were the average power for a whole stage.
    yes, average for the stage.
    Coach to Michael Freiberg - Track World Champion (Omnium) 2011
    Coach to James Hayden - Transcontinental Race winner 2017, and 2018
    Coach to Jeff Jones - 2011 BBAR winner and 12-hour record
    Check out our new website https://www.cyclecoach.com
  • singletonsingleton Posts: 1,641
    I don't have a power meter on my bike, but I do have a smart turbo that gives me power readings.
    I don't think they're correct and I don't think they're comparable to other people's numbers - but I'm pretty sure they're consistent which is all that matters.
    Whether you improve from 100w to 110w or from 200w to 220w - both are a 10% improvement.
  • AlejandrosdogAlejandrosdog Posts: 2,007
    cougie wrote:
    If your FTP is 89 you'd probably be overtaken by small children.

    You didn't say you'd done any proper FTP tests and I wondered if the new wheels could have affected the FTP readings. You should be faster on them anyway even if the FTP shouldn't change.

    Not necessarily. Just to muddy the waters, i have data from one of the Rabobank riders (when Rabobank was a pro cycling team) showing the rider finish in the leading peloton, during one of the TdF stages (a flat stage), and averaging the huge power of 98 W. Yes, ninety eight W. Not 198 W. Of course, this tells us that to be a TdF rider you need to be able to hold a wheel very well (i'm pretty sure no small children overtook him).

    That said, i do my recovery rides at about that power (and marvel about the fact i could be in the leading peloton of a TdF stage at that power).

    Ric

    Do you have the whole file Ric? was his bike/ computer on the roof for some of it?
    Im not saying I dont believe you but i would be more than surprised if that were the average power for a whole stage.
    yes, average for the stage.

    amazing.
  • okgookgo Posts: 4,368
    5 hour borefest transition stages, break must have gone early that day!
    Blog on my first and now second season of proper riding/racing - www.firstseasonracing.com
  • he finished in the leading group...

    anyway, me and the rabobank rider are about the same weight and height (which is where the similarities end) and being honest i'm not overly good at riding tight on the wheels to save watts (mainly because i'm old, and don't bounce like i did when i was a kid, and the smashfest 2.5 years ago is still giving me grief) but i've managed to get round a crit in the lead group in a 1/2 race averaging ~48km/hr at ~145W. (i'm sure more skillful riders could do it at lower power).
    Coach to Michael Freiberg - Track World Champion (Omnium) 2011
    Coach to James Hayden - Transcontinental Race winner 2017, and 2018
    Coach to Jeff Jones - 2011 BBAR winner and 12-hour record
    Check out our new website https://www.cyclecoach.com
  • cougie wrote:
    If your FTP is 89 you'd probably be overtaken by small children.

    i have data from one of the Rabobank riders (when Rabobank was a pro cycling team) showing the rider finish in the leading peloton, during one of the TdF stages (a flat stage), and averaging the huge power of 98 W.

    Yep, I've sat in the draft at ~100W flying along on the flat. Crazy how much power you can save.

    Averaging 98W in a massive peloton over a flat Tour stage and having an FTP of 98W are two very different things though, aren't they? :wink:
  • Doesn't matter
  • doraymondoraymon Posts: 20
    doraymon wrote:
    MishMash95 wrote:
    I imagine your Bolt was only reading input from one of the pedals, or conversely, if it was the single-sided variant of the vector, it may have assumed the double-sided version was used, and thus didn't double power output.

    The larger reading is definitely more reasonable, for 77kg bodyweight, 89w would be lighter force/effort than a standard walking pace.

    Thanks, that’s what I suspected but have no previous experience with power meters.

    Or cycling if thats what youre doing
    yeah well, that's what I'm trying to do.
  • philbar72philbar72 Posts: 2,216
    just get out on the road and go hard for 20 mins. make sure both pedals are reading and are calibrated correctly. that'll give you a number to work from.
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