Climber versus time triallist

Afternoon all,

What are the key differences between the climber and time triallist as rider types?

I’ve just finished the intermediate all-purpose road plan with FF. Ended up with good improvements on FTP (284-298) and MAP (327-345), holding steady on NM (1019) and dropping on AC. Strength is still sustained power, and weakness is still VO2 max.

I was most struck that my rider type changed from time triallist to climber, though, and was wondering why this might have happened. Aside from increasing FTP and MAP, the only other big change is that I’ve dropped from 76 to 65 kg since 1 January. Does that mean that the climber type is defined by weight and w/kg?

Thanks in advance

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Most recent FF came out as climber too, in January I was labelled attacker.

Not much changed in the profile (VO2 was weakness both times and AC&NM both ‘good’ to ‘very good’ range) but similar to you I also moved to >4W/kg for FTP in the latest test.

Since my strengths aren’t even ‘very good’ perhaps it defaults to climber if you have a decent W/kg for FTP

Congrats on 11kg (of not very much in the first place). :slight_smile:

And yeah - rider type.

It’s mostly down to the relationship of the other stats to your ftp. Apart from when you’re power to weight reaches a point (as far as I can tell).

If you do proportionally well in the sprint but map and ac are lower than the stock average relationship to ftp then you’ll be a sprinter.
Ditto attacker (ac higher than average this time and others lower)
Ditto Time Trialist I think it is (map this time)
Roleur if they’re all matched closely to the average of expected relationship with ftp

Then climber if you’re now ready to join the pro peloton :slight_smile: Only kidding obvs. Yes, if power to weight has become the most significant factor.


Sometimes just not feeling it for one of the 4 elements can define strengths and weaknesses as well.
So if for some reason I mess up gearing on the 1min and/or just handle it badly then I’ll be told I need to do revolver …
So also need to consider how the test went alongside the rider type.

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Ha! Thanks: that kind weight loss is usually what happens at the start of each year when I start to think about the season ahead. Usually treat the new year as a prompt to get back control of autumn and winter drinking that gets out of hand as work gets more intense. This year I’ve just stopped drinking and eating sweet food etc completely which seems to have really helped.

I did screw up the gearing for the one minute effort. Definitely a technical fuck-up in how I rode the test rather than levels per se. Though I guess it’s hard to tell how things would have gone in a bigger gear.

Hello @Mattie_H - congrats on the nice improvements. As you noticed, with such a significant change in body weight, there can be a change in rider type, specifically to climber type since that is the only rider type that we use power/weight as one of the defining characteristics. That’s a pretty dramatic weight loss since January, so as a coach I would recommend having a proper body composition test and working with a registered dietitian to ensure that you’re maintaining an appropriate and healthy weight. Best of luck! Neal

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Thanks Neal! That’s really helpful. You’re right about the weight and importance of making sure it’s sustainable and healthy. I’m actually down to where I’d normally be in spring / summer after really letting things slide dealing with lockdown and work in the second half of last year. Definitely need to avoid that happening again…

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out of curiousity, what rider type is best suited to “diesel engine that isn’t quick but can grind it out all day long and has the torque to get up hills but is too heavy to be a climber”.

i.e. an endurance rider that does bikepacking or long multi day events. I’m doing the 100m plan at the moment but I’m classified as a sprinter (due to my size). I tried the gravel grinder for a week and it just wasn’t my cup of tea but am really enjoying the 100m plan. But my goal doesn’t match time trialist, sprinter, all rounder etc. Even if I get back down to 10-12% body fat, I’m going to be about 85kg.

(I realize I’m probably not designed to be a cyclist, but we love what we love).


A Time Trialist is a slow, heavy climber.

You sound a lot like me. I’m classified as a sprinter because of my weight and NM numbers, but I prefer longer endurance efforts even if I don’t climb quickly.

I did the Century Plan last year. Right now I’m doing the Mountainous / Hilly Gran Fondo Plan and enjoying it. It usually has 2 days of intense efforts with 2 recovery or tempo days in between, and then 2 long endurance rides at the end of each week.

I much prefer this to the All Purpose Road Plan. It had too much short intensity with intense workouts 3 to 5 times per week. And I really enjoy the 2-4 hour longer endurance rides.

The Full / Metric Century Plans are similar. I’m not sure what the difference is between the 3.

This week went like this:
M: The Shovel (1:15)
T: Tempo Alternating 1 x 40 (00:59)
W: A Dogs Life 2 (00:24)
Th: Strength (00:29), Igniter (00:21) & Revolver (00:44)
F: Tempo Build 1x60 (2:00) (in/out)
S: Endurance+ (3:45) (in/out)
Sn: Rest Day

@emacdoug it does sound like we are similar. I have no idea why I didn’t like the hilly gran fondo plan. Maybe after my full century plan I’ll give it a go again.

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