Frustrated (FTP confusion)

Hail Citizens…

I’m a 40 year old male, 5’5" (1.4m) and 126 lbs (57kg).

I’ve been cycling in earnest since February, having started with Peloton. I ultimately made the jump to riding on the road in March, and have been riding with increasing seriousness since then - including some on Zwift before I settled in with SUF.

My first FTP test with Peloton (back in May) had me at 147. My first Half Monty on SUF was in early August, and it showed my FTP as 117. The scared me, cuz that seems really low. But onward we went.

Since then I’ve been riding pretty consistently 5-6 hrs/week, and have been able to tackle ~35 mile rides with >2000’ of climbing as I build up to longer rides. I’ve also been doing the SUF Novice Training Plan (with Strength) for the last month or so, and have been eating primarily plant-based foods since September 1.

I did another Half Monty today. And my FTP decreased to 116. My Garmin watch (which I log everything through) auto-detected a new FTP during the ride, but called it 144.

1.) Doesn’t 116 and 117 seem ridiculously low? I’m a little guy, but I’m not sure it makes a difference in this metric. I average 17-18 mph on moderately hilly rides, and 13 mph on very hilly rides. Maybe I really am just that weak? I guess the silver lining would be that I have plenty of room to improve.

2.) Why is there such a disparity between the Peloton/Garmin FTPs and SUF’s? I have two data points now that suggest a gap of ~30W.

3.) Should I be worried that I’m not improving? I’m riding more than I have in the past - though I’ll admit that some of the adjusted Novice rides are too easy and I find myself needing to manually crank things up a little.

Thanks for any insights. This community (and this ecosystem) is awesome.



@TimTurnip, please send us a message at! We’d love to help you figure this out.

Welcome to the forum sir !! The minions are on the case already and have the coaches to speak to.

So basically, welcome and there’s a heap of people here who will help in all subjects.

Ps. On the ‘should I be worried’ thing. Irrespective of ‘protocols and numbers’ I’d say if you’ve been steadily doing more over 8 months then you will be better off for it, whatever our app or anyone else’s says. These profiles can lead down rabbit holes until things become super consistent … in short though there are massive differences between how these things are measured by diff apps and monitoring devices.

The specifics of HM I’ll leave with the minions and the coaches who might dig in to your data a bit more.

Welcome … you can never leave …


Hello Tim!
I’m 37 yo and I’m inside the 55-58kg weight gap almost always.
But I’m a somewhat taller guy, 170cm.

On the edge of normality in terms of body mass index :slight_smile:

There are some of my numbers below if it might be useful.

17-18 mph on moderately hilly rides looks like a pretty good start for me. I’m actually around 16-17mph in solo rides with no serious hills around (but almost always Siberian winds are here, haha). And I ride occasionally from 2018 and do structured training from 2020.

SUF 4DP test measured my FTP as 166W this summer (135W in January being completely out of shape).

So as for (1) - yes 116W looks kind of low, I would say.

As for (2), the gap between SUF FTP estimation and others actually may exist, as SUF protocol measures more practical numbers.

I did the HM test about 6 weeks after the last 4DP this summer and was done around 250W of minute power. Traditional ramp test protocol would say I’m 187W FTP but no chance I can hold this for 1 hour. SUF says I’m 175W and I was able to hold 170W avg for 55 mins at local ITT a few days after the HM test so that was a pretty close estimation.

I guess this gap always here for riders with sustained weakness (as I am), for the rest of ‘rider types’ there are some other options.

After all, I think that whether power may be in the first place when we planning our workouts, it is secondary while we riding outside. Lighter riders as we are could really benefit from better aerodynamics as our ‘surface area’ tends to be lower too. My 170W turns into 19.5mph average speed at ITT riding on the drops of a simple road bike not TT one (180bpm avg HR, haha). While heavy guys should do 200+ for that speed.


Out of interest, what were your numbers for NM, MAP and AC? Possibly a dodgy set up on the trainer? Or maybe it’s just a familiarity with the 4DP Test.

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What is your setup?
Are you using the smart trainer to measure power or do you have a power meter on the bike?

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Thank you!

I have ordered a direct drive trainer and am going to use it from now on; after talking with the minions, I think it’s my setup that’s driving inconsistency here.

Hearing about your numbers makes me feel a lot better, too!


I’m using a KICKR SNAP, and after talking with the minions, I’m convinced that I’ve been inconsistent in recalibrating/setting up the bike.


My numbers were: 501 NM, 225 AC, 152 MAP and 116 FTP.

I also think I had a dodgy trainer setup. Definitely didn’t pay enough attention to the number of cranks, warm up time, etc.


Your numbers seem relatively comparable with each other. Hopefully adjusting your set up will sort that out. I’m sure my numbers are also a bit low but after 3 years on the same set up with SUF, I think consistency of measurement is now more valuable than accuracy for me!


What happens if you run the calibration on the trainer and redo the monty?

I.e. go through the entire calibration procedure.

How is your garmin estimating your power? Do you have a power meter on the bike or is it just estimating your ftp from your workout?

I’m really curious what happened with your snap if things don’t look better once calibrated.
Here’s the procedure:

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I will probably retry the test on the SNAP this weekend if my new trainer isn’t here; I always perform spindowns, but I had been doing less than two cranks and hadn’t been watching the time.

My Garmin watch is getting its power readings from the KICKR SNAP, too. It’s connected to the same stuff via Ant+, but it’s estimate on my FTP was 30 points higher. I can’t figure that one out.

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Your Garmin watch may just be looking at your power curve for a particular ride and extrapolation the curve to give an FTP estimate - similar way to Strava. I don’t know if that’s the case but I’m just guessing. I’d trust a proper testing protocol though, and there will be more consistency and comparison as you can repeat the exact same test in the future.

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Yeah, i posted this elsewhere on the forum earlier as well. It may be looking at the NP from these rides to generate things. Going from a 5 min effort to an FTP effort to a 1 min effort may cause the NP to jump a fair amount higher than the ‘true’ ftp.

Because I’m relatively anaerobic skewed, it wasn’t uncommon for me to have crits where my NP was significantly higher than my FTP, think something like a 320W ftp based on NP where my actual FTP was somewhere in the 270-280 range. That’s a pretty huge difference.

The other thing you can do is look at your workouts. Are they hard? Are you having trouble finishing them (in a good way)? If this is true with what sufferfest generated, then imagine doing them with the numbers all pushed way up because of how NP was being used to calculate FTP.


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