Is it really possible to fail your 4DP test?

Is taking the Full Frontal 4DP test like doing a Blood Group test? Your results are your results. There is no correct blood group, as there is no correct number to any of the power metrics.

One cannot train to be a different blood group, but one can train weaknesses to be strengths with regards to 4DP numbers. When I read “I failed my 4DP test”, is that because we don’t meet some expectations we created ourselves? Potentially based on others’ people’s numbers.

Too many times I read how the 5&20minute segments of the FF test has caught people out. And now their numbers are not correct. Yet, and most times, their NM and AC numbers are what I dream of and cannot fathom how they don’t make it through MAP and FTP segments, which I find ‘easy’.

The realization is that we are different, 6 rider different, so why is there this notion of failing a 4DP test.

One does not fail their 4DP test.


Straightforward.You can pace it so wrong that you can’t continue

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Welcome to the group dan-vh,
You can fail to meet your expectations, and believe you have failed the test. If you set your targets too high, overcook a section and grind to a halt, then it is not so much a failure, but a lesson to stand you in good stead the next time you try.You can also skew results by not riding hard enough in any section. You would not expect your FTP to be higher than your MAP, or your MAP to be higher than AC.The app checks the ratio’s between one segment and another, and if you performed out of the norm, then the app would tell you it is not confident in the results.

If you don’t meet your expectations or don’t get the rider type you want, that is not a test failure. Your numbers are your numbers.

But, most of the “failure” posts I see are:

  1. when someone doesn’t pace the 1, 5, or 20 minute sections and blows up and has to stop riding. That could definitely be deemed a failure. But it’s still a learning experience.
  2. when someone gets their MAP or FTP numbers flagged for being too far apart or too close together. These aren’t usually a failure because your numbers are your numbers. But it could be the test not being performed correctly. Also a learning experience.

However, if someone is sandbagging the 5 min to save for the 20 min effort, that may not be a failure, but it would definitely be not performing the test correctly.

I think it starts to boil down to semantics at some level. And you can always say it’s not really a “failed test”. But, if you don’t do it right and have to stop mid-test, then yes, that could definitely be termed a “failed” test, even if some others may choose to spin it another way.


Totally get the spirit of what you’re saying there @dan-vh - thanks for sharing.

(I sometimes berate myself for not doing as well as I had hoped/expected… but a day later just get back on it after a quick moan about never getting any better. Lol)

I also get that temporary feeling of ‘failing’ whenever I don’t achieve something (anything in life - often more important to me than a FF bike test) I consider important. But it’s only temporary
And importance to one person is irrelevant to another person, so hey, these things affect people differently.

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