Results 1 to 13 of 13
  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Posts
    477

    Does the rider with the best 20 min power to weight ratio win the race?

    When first getting involved with mtb racing an expert/elite told me that the racer with the best 20 min power/weight ratio (ftp/weight) wins the race.

    I guess that makes sense to me, event though mtb racing is not a steady 'push' like a time trial, and there are skills involved, etc. that could make a difference - that you want a 'big engine'.

    I guess my question is, has anyone with access to multiple power profiles seen where this is not true - OR that 1m or 5m power makes more of a difference? (putting things aside like a seasoned roadie's first mtb season where it would be an obvious case of lack of skills)
    https://www.google.com/search?q=powe...35%3B567%3B714

    IF it is true, shouldn't we spend majority of our training trying to raise our ftp?

  2. #2
    Formerly of Kent
    Reputation: Le Duke's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    2,236
    Generally speaking, raising your FTP also helps with shorter efforts, to a point. You will have more repeatability with shorter efforts.

    Essentially, the fitter you are, the faster you'll recover from the shorter efforts. You might not be the first guy up the first 1-2min hill, but you'll be able to hit the next 10 of them at the same pace, and drive hard on the flats, instead of fading away.

  3. #3
    mtbr member
    Reputation: wetpaint's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    214
    It probably depends on your terrain, but here in Michigan that's generally true. The people with that have big FTPs usually win. Based on my data files, You need to be able to ride at nearly your FTP for the whole race with lots of 400+ watt pushes

  4. #4
    Drop in?... Anyone?
    Reputation: strat819's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Posts
    241
    I am going with "yes"... with a few assumptions.

    >>> Every racer in the race has the same descending skills
    >>> Every racer is on the same weight bike with the same tires

    An XC race is a time trial I suppose. If we were talking road racing or a crit, as Lee Corso would say... not so fast...
    "Money can't buy you happiness. But it can buy you a yacht and you can sail right up next to it!" David Lee Roth

  5. #5
    mtbr member
    Reputation: WR304's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Posts
    3,429

    Does the rider with the best 20 min power to weight ratio win the race?

    .
    Last edited by WR304; 05-18-2013 at 06:58 AM.

  6. #6
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Poncharelli's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Posts
    2,149
    I would say no within .5 W/kg. Another words, a rider with 3.5 w/kg can match a rider with 4.0 W/kg due to other factors: skills, repeatability, punch power, course efficiency, mental toughness, superior endurance, course knowledgability, etc., etc., etc.

    But 1.0 w/kg difference becomes a bit insurmountable (4.5 vs. 3.5 for example).

    I'm one of those guys who does pretty decent despite pretty low P/W (3.4-3.7, depending on time of year) for a Cat 1. I believe that my repeatability, punch, course efficiency (no brakes!!), and endurance is usually better than most others with similar P/W.
    Head Coach, Ben Lomond HS MTB Team
    www.utahmtb.org
    Cycling Team and local Club:
    http://www.roostersbikersedge.com/

  7. #7
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Posts
    97
    On the twisty, woodland singletracks I generally race on, I'd say bike handling skills and course knowledge are a major deciding factor. I'm a good climber on steady hills but get dropped rapidly on the flat/descents.
    I'm training my ability to ride fast down rooty, loamy tracks at the moment and hope it makes a significant improvement in my placings. Am also running a Dirty Dan 2.0 up front even in the dry to give me more grip on soft corners.
    If it was totally about power then I'd just do time trials instead!

  8. #8
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Posts
    479
    There were a couple races where I beat a Cat 2 roadie just starting out in mountain biking. I had seen pictures that he podiumed in road racing last year in fairly big races. I am just a lowly mid-pack CAT 2 mountain biker and when in the non-technical sectioned flats he just flew by. On the downhills I would pass him up and the rooty uphills had him stumped as well.

    So yes, given all things equal. The person who has the best 20 minute power is going to win. However, a good chunk of it is technical ability and flow.

    I have a belief that most beginner mountain bikers go as slow as they do mostly because they ride their brakes the whole time and not because of their w/kg.

  9. #9
    mnoutain bkie rdier
    Reputation: rydbyk's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Posts
    2,718
    Yes and no. I ride road with guys with higher ftp's than me on occasion, but they are not necessarily always faster than me on mtb race day. This is only true if we have similar ftps, yet my bike handling skills is superior to theirs.

    Some guys lose a ton of time because they can't descend well..

    Having said this, I would trade a some of my bike handling skills for a little more ftp...haha.

    **Oops...looks like tooclose just said this..

  10. #10
    LMN
    LMN is offline
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Posts
    3,392
    I think what you are try to ask is if CP20 is the best predictor of race performance. Obviously technical, mental, tactical, and equipment choice(although to a rather limited extent) is going to play a significant component in race results.

    Ultimately for the fitness side of racing the person with greatest aerobic engine is going to be fastest. It doesn't take 20 minutes to find out who has biggest aerobic engine, 6 minutes is enough.

    EDIT:

    BTW from my experience with elite racer the fastest racers have the highest FTP. The guy with an FTP of 5.3 beats the guy with an FTP 5.2, who solidly beats the guy with an FTP 5.0. At an elite level everybody has similar technical skills, generally it comes down the who can sustain the highest power output.
    "The best pace is suicide pace, and today is a good day to die." Steve Prefontaine

  11. #11
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Posts
    477
    Quote Originally Posted by LMN View Post
    I think what you are try to ask is if CP20 is the best predictor of race performance. Obviously technical, mental, tactical, and equipment choice(although to a rather limited extent) is going to play a significant component in race results.

    Ultimately for the fitness side of racing the person with greatest aerobic engine is going to be fastest. It doesn't take 20 minutes to find out who has biggest aerobic engine, 6 minutes is enough.

    EDIT:

    BTW from my experience with elite racer the fastest racers have the highest FTP. The guy with an FTP of 5.3 beats the guy with an FTP 5.2, who solidly beats the guy with an FTP 5.0. At an elite level everybody has similar technical skills, generally it comes down the who can sustain the highest power output.
    Thanks! That is exactly the kind of answer I was looking for, with all other things being equal (technical skills, bike, etc).

  12. #12
    mtbr member
    Reputation: WR304's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Posts
    3,429

    Does the rider with the best 20 min power to weight ratio win the race?

    Quote Originally Posted by scottz123 View Post
    When first getting involved with mtb racing an expert/elite told me that the racer with the best 20 min power/weight ratio (ftp/weight) wins the race.
    ...
    IF it is true, shouldn't we spend majority of our training trying to raise our ftp?
    FTP (Functional Threshold Power) is defined as your best power output for 1 hour. It isn't your best 20 minute power output.

    Your best 20 minute power output (multiplied by 0.95) is one method of estimating what your best 1 hour power output could be. It's often used because a 20 minute hard effort is easier to do and recover from than a full 1 hour time trial if you're testing regularly.

    The big danger with overly focusing on the Training Peaks power profile chart and its emphasis on shorter durations (5 seconds, 1 minute, 5 minutes, 20 minutes) is that you can get sucked into "chasing numbers". If you train for a particular test then you tend to get better at that test, sometimes at the expense of other aspects of your training. Repeatability (being able to do the same effort multiple times), recovery, endurance and mental toughness are all factors that come into play also.

    I'm sure you've seen this chart on the subject by Andrew Coggan that was posted on Cyclingforums.com already.

    "FTP can be used to predict someone's power to w/in (on average) +/- 5% from 2 minutes onward:" Andrew Coggan


    Andrew Coggan Power Chart

    http://www.cyclingforums.com/t/49449...obic-endurance

    .

  13. #13
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Posts
    477
    Thanks for the detailed answer WR!

Similar Threads

  1. Best price to weight saving ratio parts ?
    By David C in forum Weight Weenies
    Replies: 13
    Last Post: 08-23-2011, 02:28 AM
  2. Bad power-to-weight ratio = BUMMER.
    By SWriverstone in forum Clydesdales/Tall Riders
    Replies: 14
    Last Post: 04-13-2011, 07:04 AM
  3. Next best price to weight ratio upgrade?
    By alphaqforever247 in forum Weight Weenies
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 02-24-2011, 07:30 AM
  4. Best $ to weight ratio upgrades
    By GVSS in forum Weight Weenies
    Replies: 18
    Last Post: 02-05-2011, 09:35 AM
  5. Best Weight to Dollar ratio bike build?
    By ron m. in forum Weight Weenies
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 01-25-2011, 08:34 AM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •