Is the rider type Rouleur to be seen as a kind of catch-all for all riders who don’t really have any strengths at all, but are given a nice name so that they don’t have to feel bad?
Personally, I can’t understand the nice euphemism for this rider type. At the end of the day, he’s just not good in any category. If I have understood correctly, the classification is made in one of the 6 categories by setting NM, AC and MAP in relation to the FTP value and certain conclusions can be drawn about the driver type.
What are your thoughts about this rider type?
Taken from Wikipedia. I’d say you have some good company
A rouleur is a cyclist who is able to maintain a high level of power for a long period of time. They will generally be relatively poor at short, very intense efforts and will be unable to match the accelerations of pure climbers in the mountains. They excel on long efforts on relatively flat terrain, such as solo breakaways and time trials. Examples of rouleurs include Jacques Anquetil, Tony Martin, Fabian Cancellara, Sylvain Chavanel, Jens Voigt, Kasper Asgreen, Thomas De Gendt, Alessandro De Marchi, Steve Cummings, Rohan Dennis, Filippo Ganna and Alison Jackson (cyclist).
Looking it at the other way around, a Rouleur is an all-rounder with no weaknesses
Rouleur beats a Sprinter uphill through higher W/kg, or in a longer TT through higher absolute FTP
Rouleur beats an Attacker uphill through higher W/kg, or in a longer TT through higher absolute FTP
Rouleur beats a Pursuiter because of their better sprint and or short burst attack, or in a longer TT through higher absolute FTP
Rouleur beats a Time Triallist because of their better sprint and or short burst attack
Rouleur beats a climber in a TT through higher absolute FTP, or in a sprint or short burst attack
I think the 2nd statement is closer to accurate. I might rephrase the first one to “he’s just not EXCEPTIONAL in any category.”
The only 2 times I’ve tested and gotten the categories, I was an Attacker the first time, and later, a Rouleur.
In my experience, I can generally compete well in nearly any challenge from sprints to climbs to time trials, but while I’ll be in the upper end of competitors, I won’t take the top honors unless the big dogs didn’t show up.
A lot of other riders have a very specific strength mix, and in that mix, they will perform at a high level, but get them out of that mix and they are likely to fold fast and end up near the bottom of the pile. As I understand it, Roulers are basically NEVER at the bottom of the pile.
I don’t think that’s actually how it is implemented though. For example, if you have an average FTP, AC, and MAP but a terrible sprint, I’m pretty sure you still wind up as a Rouleur. I think it’s more like the OP describes it.
For me, it’s a bit like window dressing. I think a sprinter or attacker or time trialist has a special quality in a certain area without having weaknesses in the other areas. In my opinion, this is something that the rouleur simply lacks. However, depending on their level of performance, that doesn’t mean that a rouleur has to be bad.
I’ve been a Rouleur for years, and in the group I ride with, that’s exactly what I do. I’m not a pure anything, but on a good day I can give any of the specialists a good run for their money, but over mixed ground…
I’ve never seen it as a slight, just a great positive
FWIW, these rider types do not have nearly enough interpretive power that you should feel good/bad about yourself as a result. Think of them as more like 30,000 foot view of your strengths abd weaknesses, totally decontextualized (bc they are you compared to other aspects of you, not mapped to event or sport demands etc).
Tl;dr, for actionable insights they’re not that nuanced. They ARE a fun way to get people in a productive mindset that is not just over indexed on FTP.
I’m not bad in our group either. Can manage to win a sprint and sometimes even an uphill challenge. So I will take it positive. Thanks for your oppinions on that topic
I don’t mean to be dismissive btw, it is a bummer if the fun thing doesn’t feel fun. I felt the same way about “climber”, all it tells you is “surprise you’re light”
Exactly, strength is not just physiological but mental.
The minions proposed an alternate system, but it was found to be perfectly un-cromulent.
(credit to Thrillhouse Cycling)
Yeah, none of those riders you listed ever amounted to much
Har! It’s as much what you’re bad at as what you’re good at. 4DP has me as a Sprinter, not because my NM is high (it’s pathetic), but because my FTP is even more pathetic. It doesn’t really matter though, as the main thing is that the resulting plans focus on what you need to improve for your chosen objective.
Ok, have to improve all aspects equally
a little update on this topic - I made it to Pursuiter. This time I did the 4DP Full Frontal in Level Mode That has changed everything. FTP and AC are relatively low in comparison to MAP and NM. Age 57, 189 cm, 86 kg → FTP = 197, MAP = 261, AC = 329, NM 870. I can’t really interpret this because I don’t have the comparative values from my age group.
Taken from XERT which uses many of the 4DP principles. I’m 90% certain you could create a free XERT account (I’m a paid user) and see your profile in there too. XERT also automatically calculates your FTP without testing just like Intervals.icu . Intervals is also free and extremely accurate:
Here is a summary of the Athlete Types, by category, with their Focus:
- Road Sprinter : 2 minutes watts/kg
- Pursuiter : 3 minute power
- Puncheur : 4 minute watts/kg
- Breakaway Specialist : 5 minute power
- Rouleur : 6 minute power
- GC Specialist : 8 minute watts/kg
- Climber : 10 minute watts/kg
- Sprint Time-Triallist : 20 minute power
Further reading Wahoo Supports explanation of rider types:
This chart is the general guidance that Garmin provides. It’s not age-specific.
I’d caution you about getting too excited about apps that automatically calculate your ftp without performing tests. My Garmin does this, but I turn this function OFF. It will perform the calculation based on the rides I have done, however, except for one year when I did a lot of time trials, I rarely ride at my maximum effort for extended periods of time. Therefore, GARMIN’s estimate of my ftp was always significantly lower than what I achieved during a focussed test.
The tests are very hard (for me) which can be intimidating, but once I came to grips with that, I learned to tolerate them (never really enjoyed them). The results they provided give me targets for the workouts that feel about right and when I’m outside I have a good idea of what power I should be able to maintain.
If you’re new to all of this, I would say the most important thing is to track your progress over time to understand how it is affected by consistent, structured training (or even just consistent general riding). I believe there are limits to what you can ultimately achieve, and after many years of training I’ve come to understand how my riding affects my ftp (frequency, intensity, duration).
Sorry, I couldn’t help geeking out on this. Andrew Coggan is a preeminent authority on training with power. He put together this chart ranking power outputs for various durations.