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Starting Point for FTP

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Starting Point for FTP

Old 01-23-21, 07:06 AM
  #26  
rubiksoval
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Originally Posted by dsmyth12 View Post
I have done a few group rides the past few weeks as well. The last couple I did with B graders (in Australia) averaging 30-32 km/h over 2-2.5 hours. Managed to stick with them reasonably well until towards the end. Idk how that stacks up because as I said, I've only been cycling for four weeks.
If you can stick through most of a group ride with more experienced riders, then that's a good spot. That's far more important than FTP.

Once you get to the point where you can actively participate in the ride by taking pulls, going for sprints, or even dropping people, then you'll likely be in a good position to try some racing.

For the little that my anecdotal experience is worth:
When I started riding (all hr based training, with a coach prescribing workouts), I rode with Cat 4s/5s for a few months and was able to drop them all on the climbs. However, in my very first race with a decent field I just wallowed along and couldn't drop anyone and finished mid pack. I did about three months of races and had success with the much smaller junior fields but I don't think I even finished in the top 10 of a cat 4 race.

Disillusioned about my meager results, I started training in the city the next summer doing a race-paced weekday ride and a longer weekend ride with Cat 1s/2s/3s and and began winning sprints and dropping everyone except the 1s. Doing that ride each week helped me figure out how to actually navigate a bigger group and put myself in the position necessary for results, and I was able to upgrade from a 4 to a 3 to a 2 within the next 10 months.

All that to reiterate my first two sentences: success in group riding and racing comes from doing a significant amount of group riding and racing, In groups in which your FTP/power across multiple durations is lower than others, you have to be very cognizant of your actions and when and how you use your efforts. This is so massively important and seemingly ignored by so many that focus on power. I can't even begin to recount how many Cat 4s and 3s I see that have 4.0-4.5 w/kg FTPs yet never get a result because they focus entirely on power to the detriment of race craft.

So train with power, but do group rides in which you're trying to put out as little power as possible until you make a big move. If your current group ride is just tooling around all day, you'll likely need to find another one in which you can practice race craft.

It's such a vital component; more important than any other. That, and a sprint. Get a sprint. If you can't sprint, your results are going to be few and far between if Australian racing is anything like American racing (which it seems it is). Everything in the lower ranks is a sprint.
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Old 01-23-21, 07:21 AM
  #27  
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Originally Posted by dsmyth12 View Post
I have done a few group rides the past few weeks as well. The last couple I did with B graders (in Australia) averaging 30-32 km/h over 2-2.5 hours. Managed to stick with them reasonably well until towards the end. Idk how that stacks up because as I said, I've only been cycling for four weeks.

Very good performance for a beginner. But also good to know that even with smaller FTP than yours, I can easily average 33-34 km/h in groups. The effect of drafting is impressive. From my experience, I think they are right in saying that one can easily gain power savings of 20-30% by drafting a group. Maybe extreme 40% if you "suck" the wheels in front of you at 5-10 cm distance, or pull your front wheel 10-20 cm between the rear wheels of 2 parallel riders in front of you (I do it sometimes, although it is a little dangerous).


So: Don't be surprised if properly drafting a group at 36 km/h requires similar power as solo riding at less than 30km/h .
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Old 01-23-21, 08:06 AM
  #28  
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Originally Posted by Redbullet View Post
So: Don't be surprised if properly drafting a group at 36 km/h requires similar power as solo riding at less than 30km/h .
In a big enough group, you can go 50-55 km/h on the same power. I've done races in which we averaged 31.5 mph, and my average power was in the 230s. It's nice.
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Old 01-23-21, 08:56 AM
  #29  
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Originally Posted by Redbullet View Post
I still have a different opinion: that FTP is abnormally high (not that "it is no low") for an untrained beginner. I needed hard work for much more than 800 km, to reach such performance, then I lost it due to lacking time for training (only 7000 km/year).
For reference, you can also make a research on Zwift Power. On a scale from A to D (D=beginners), 3.2 is ranks as B. Riders in B category are very strong and have high mileage on Strava (much higher than my 7000 km/year or OP's 800). Such performance does not come from God, but from a high cost in effort, time and km for training. I don't believe in super-humans, I rather believe there is an error here.
Correct, I agree with you fully.

I said not low because even rubik really cannot dispute that.
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Old 01-23-21, 08:57 AM
  #30  
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Originally Posted by rubiksoval View Post
He's made three threads.

The first thread was asking about a good starting FTP. The second thread was about getting a coach. This third thread was whether his estimated ftp is good.

So yes, he is asking within a competitive context.

Frankly, there is no "good" starting FTP for a cyclist outside of a competitive context, because good in and of itself denotes competition.

In any case, what the OP will hopefully have the chance to learn if group rides and racing resumes is that at the end of the day FTP is not what determines how "good" you are. It can put you on the field, but there are other, more crucial, components for actually getting results.
So despite me quoting you his exact words, you interpret his various threads to guess what his 'real' motive for asking was?

Edit: Look, I have gotten into arguments with people because I do what you just did so I get where you are coming from. But in this case he clearly wanted to know where he stands as a beginner. And it makes sense - no normal person would ask if they, as a beginner, already compare to pros. That comparison makes no sense. One would have to be deluded and arrogant to ask for such a comparison.
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Old 01-23-21, 09:01 AM
  #31  
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Originally Posted by rubiksoval View Post
In a big enough group, you can go 50-55 km/h on the same power. I've done races in which we averaged 31.5 mph, and my average power was in the 230s. It's nice.
Yea, the more I look into segments that are longer and flatter, the more I realize a lot of the top results were done in at least a small group.
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Old 01-23-21, 09:10 AM
  #32  
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Originally Posted by ZHVelo View Post
So despite me quoting you his exact words, you interpret his various threads to guess what his 'real' motive for asking was?
As a beginner what? There's ambiguity there and I think it's perfectly sensible to bring in context from his other threads.
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Old 01-23-21, 09:45 AM
  #33  
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Originally Posted by Redbullet View Post
I still have a different opinion: that FTP is abnormally high (not that "it is no low") for an untrained beginner. I needed hard work for much more than 800 km, to reach such performance, then I lost it due to lacking time for training (only 7000 km/year).
For reference, you can also make a research on Zwift Power. On a scale from A to D (D=beginners), 3.2 is ranks as B. Riders in B category are very strong and have high mileage on Strava (much higher than my 7000 km/year or OP's 800). Such performance does not come from God, but from a high cost in effort, time and km for training. I don't believe in super-humans, I rather believe there is an error here.
’Untrained’ in cycling doesn’t mean he wasn’t fit. 19 yr olds have plenty of time for sports. It wouldn’t take long for a fit soccer or rugby player to have decent power on a bike.
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Old 01-23-21, 01:47 PM
  #34  
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Originally Posted by WhyFi View Post
As a beginner what? There's ambiguity there and I think it's perfectly sensible to bring in context from his other threads.
I don't know about you but "beginner competitive" is an oxymoron to me. Especially considering OP mentioned he had no cycling or any other endurance history. Sorry, but this is very clear cut.
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Old 01-23-21, 01:51 PM
  #35  
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Originally Posted by ZHVelo View Post
I don't know about you but "beginner competitive" is an oxymoron to me.
Not an oxymoron to me, at all - I've seen cat 5 races.
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Old 01-23-21, 03:16 PM
  #36  
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Originally Posted by ZHVelo View Post
I don't know about you but "beginner competitive" is an oxymoron to me. Especially considering OP mentioned he had no cycling or any other endurance history. Sorry, but this is very clear cut.
???

Every racer ever had to have a first race. Most of us start out just riding for recreation/transportation/exercise, but occasionally people want to jump right into racing, especially if they have an athletic background.
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Old 01-23-21, 05:46 PM
  #37  
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Originally Posted by ZHVelo View Post
So despite me quoting you his exact words, you interpret his various threads to guess what his 'real' motive for asking was?

Edit: Look, I have gotten into arguments with people because I do what you just did so I get where you are coming from. But in this case he clearly wanted to know where he stands as a beginner. And it makes sense - no normal person would ask if they, as a beginner, already compare to pros. That comparison makes no sense. One would have to be deluded and arrogant to ask for such a comparison.

Originally Posted by dsmyth12
And in terms of getting a coach, it would be for the purpose of seeing how far I can push myself in competition.


Okay, then.

Last edited by rubiksoval; 01-23-21 at 06:44 PM.
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Old 01-23-21, 05:52 PM
  #38  
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Originally Posted by ZHVelo View Post
Correct, I agree with you fully.

I said not low because even rubik really cannot dispute that.
No, I stand by my first post. It's probably low relative to anyone he wants to compete with.

Which is perfectly, 100% fine.

In no way whatsoever is being at any specific level a bad thing, especially if you have a desire to improve upon that and are trying to understand the various factors that impact performance. Doubly especially as someone who just started.

Triple especially in cycling, in which case he may be perfectly fine in competition provided he learns how it works, regardless of whether or not his FTP is at any particular level. That's what's great about bike racing: all that matters is the order of crossing the line, not how many watts it takes to get there.

Last edited by rubiksoval; 01-23-21 at 05:57 PM.
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Old 01-23-21, 07:30 PM
  #39  
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Originally Posted by ZHVelo View Post
I don't know about you but "beginner competitive" is an oxymoron to me. Especially considering OP mentioned he had no cycling or any other endurance history. Sorry, but this is very clear cut.
Someone who buys a bike to ride around on doesn't post questions on a bike forum trying to gauge their strength or fitness level. Hard to imagine another reason other than interested in competition of some type.
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Old 01-23-21, 08:05 PM
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Originally Posted by ZHVelo View Post
I don't know about you but "beginner competitive" is an oxymoron to me.
Just for future reference.

Originally Posted by USACycling
At USA Cycling races, riders typically start at the beginner level (category 5) and work their way up the ranks with upgrade points.


https://usacycling.org/get-involved/find-support
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Old 01-24-21, 12:04 PM
  #41  
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Originally Posted by gregf83 View Post
Someone who buys a bike to ride around on doesn't post questions on a bike forum trying to gauge their strength or fitness level. Hard to imagine another reason other than interested in competition of some type.
How many people here do you think race?

I don't. Yet I have subscribe to Strava, I post here, I post on ****** and I am on a cycling discord.
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Old 01-24-21, 12:07 PM
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Originally Posted by rubiksoval View Post
Being a beginner to competitive racing isn't the same thing as being a beginner to cycling.

But let's run with your folly. Put him into your cat 5 beginner competition.

https://zwiftinsider.com/rider-categ...w-do-you-rank/

According to this 3.11 is at the very top end of cat 5.

OP has an FTP of 3.21.

So do you still maintain that his FTP is low for what you call beginner competition?

And don't come back with racing is more about skill than raw power, because a) OP asked about power and b) you passed judgment on his power.
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Old 01-24-21, 12:11 PM
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Originally Posted by caloso View Post
???

Every racer ever had to have a first race. Most of us start out just riding for recreation/transportation/exercise, but occasionally people want to jump right into racing, especially if they have an athletic background.
OP mentioned he does not have such a background.
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Old 01-24-21, 12:32 PM
  #44  
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Originally Posted by ZHVelo View Post
Being a beginner to competitive racing isn't the same thing as being a beginner to cycling.

But let's run with your folly. Put him into your cat 5 beginner competition.

https://zwiftinsider.com/rider-categ...w-do-you-rank/

According to this 3.11 is at the very top end of cat 5.

OP has an FTP of 3.21.

So do you still maintain that his FTP is low for what you call beginner competition?

And don't come back with racing is more about skill than raw power, because a) OP asked about power and b) you passed judgment on his power.
I can't figure out why you're so invested in this. Are you that desperate to try to save face on being wrong? Or is it that you don't like the implications of your own performance relative to someone that's being described as a beginner?
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Old 01-24-21, 01:35 PM
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Originally Posted by ZHVelo View Post
Being a beginner to competitive racing isn't the same thing as being a beginner to cycling.

But let's run with your folly. Put him into your cat 5 beginner competition.

https://zwiftinsider.com/rider-categ...w-do-you-rank/

According to this 3.11 is at the very top end of cat 5.

OP has an FTP of 3.21.

So do you still maintain that his FTP is low for what you call beginner competition?

And don't come back with racing is more about skill than raw power, because a) OP asked about power and b) you passed judgment on his power.

You're so out of your element. You were wrong. Just move on.
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Old 01-24-21, 01:37 PM
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Originally Posted by WhyFi View Post
I can't figure out why you're so invested in this. Are you that desperate to try to save face on being wrong? Or is it that you don't like the implications of your own performance relative to someone that's being described as a beginner?
Probably both.
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Old 01-24-21, 03:39 PM
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Originally Posted by ZHVelo View Post
According to this 3.11 is at the very top end of cat 5.
OP has an FTP of 3.21.
So do you still maintain that his FTP is low for what you call beginner competition?
It's in line with beginner competition associated with Cat 4/5 races. Around here, which isn't bike racing mecca, he'd be unlikely to leave 4/5 with an FTP of 3.2.
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Old 01-25-21, 06:46 AM
  #48  
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It is a great starting point for only 3 weeks on the bike. Assuming that you continue to progress and improve your skill, if you wanted to race you have the potential to do quite well. Not sure what all the nonsense back and forth above is about.. Continue to advance and enjoy.
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Old 01-25-21, 10:25 AM
  #49  
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As noted before, competition is about crossing the line first, not who puts out the most watts. And often times, the guy who crosses the line first put out fewer watts than other racers.
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Old 01-25-21, 12:37 PM
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Originally Posted by rubiksoval View Post

You're so out of your element. You were wrong. Just move on.
Great reply rubik, as usual.
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