Half Monty - When to stop on the ramp - really

Hello Sufferlandrians,

I am struggling a bit with the Half Monty ramp and hope someone might have an advice (other then buying a smart trainer :wink: )
I am using an Elite fluid trainer (wheel on) and a crank based power-meter.
Therefore i do not have ERG-Mode.

Instructions says, the second that i am not reaching the target, i should stop.
But to be honest, it is quite difficult to stay in that target zone.
The first time i did Half Monty i constantly overpowered so i will not drop below the target. My numbers (FTP and LTHR) seemed too high after that.
The second time i did Half Monty i tried to avoid this and decided quite early to stop.
But now i think that my numbers are too low.

I would like to ask for guidance, when to stop, and when dropping under target is still ok.
The problem is, when using a not-so-smart-trainer with a resistance curve and a powermeter, you are always bouncing around between a little to high and a little to low. it is very difficult to stay in a very small range, and it gets harder the smaller the timeframe is you have to stay in that range.
I would suggest, that dropping below target because of this “bouncing” is ok, trying to slowly increase the power over time. But i have the feeling that this may be wrong.

Is there any advice on how i might “feel” that i “dropped” too far for too long or any settings to the software that can be done?
Maybe switching from 3sec power avg to 1sec power?

Greetings
Lasse

From the HM FAQ page:

CAN I USE VIRTUAL WATTS?

Yes, but you need to be very careful to stick as closely to your power target as possible during the ramp test. Be very honest about when you can no longer maintain the power target, don’t drop below the target and then try to surge. Ride ON TARGET until you can’t and then you’re done with that portion of the test.

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Hi @Lasse. I had an Elite Qubo Fluid trainer before trading up to a Kickr so I understand the problem you describe. In the HM at the start of each 2 minute increment I would surge and go over the power target and then oscillate over and under it until the next increment. My advice now would be to slowly build up to the power target so that you’re at it (or over) for at least the second minute. If you can’t get there within that time with a slow build up then you’re done

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Hi JC2020,

thank you for your reply. I was aware of that part of the FAQ. However, that is exactly what i am struggling with. I just cannot imagine, how hard the effort is meant to be. And pedaling on such small target range seems impossible for me. “Pedal to failure” -> Yep i know when this happens.
But as far as i understood Half Monty it is not about pedaling to total failure.
I am just trying to find a better indicator what type of effort exactly sufferfest is expecting, or if i should change anything to be more precise while pedaling in the target range.
But maybe this is just not possible and i will need to feel it in ERG mode. Maybe one day in the future. :smiley:

Well back in the day I didn’t have a direct drive, I really had to toggle around with gears!, not on HM but on a ramp test I did pedal until I couldn’t stabilize the power. What I mean is for any power above 150w I had to be on big ring at front and second or third smallest sprocket in the back to be able to stay at a comfortable cadence of 75rpm, then in the ramp keeping cadence in « check » I couldn’t hold a target power with steady cadence, I knew that was the point I had to stop. I don’t know if this helps you, but that’s basically how I « felt » that’s it!

Hello, I would totally agree with @genolan regarding his assessment. If you are still struggling with exactly what the effort should “Feel” like or how hard it should be I would recommend the video below which outlines the purpose and execution details for the HM.

Hope this helps!

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Half Monty and Full Frontal may be the new tests but good to see that Sir Neal still employs the Rubber Glove :grimacing:

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I’ve done Half Monty a gazillion times, plus or minus a few, on my non-erg Wattbike and my approach is to respect the target while not worrying too much about the natural oscillations in power. Look at the real power data from somebody riding erg and you’ll see plenty of oscillations there too (unless they’re using Wahoo’s fake erg mode power smoothing feature :face_vomiting:). Main thing I do is try to maintain a constant cadence and pedaling style for each step. If my power drops below the ramp target for a second or two but I can bring it back up then I keep going. When I hit the point where my cadence, pedaling style and target compliance fails/goes to :poop: for more than a few seconds then I stop. That approach seems to give me good numbers for LTHR and MAP.

Oh and 3s power averaging - off. Always off. Off, off, OFF (sorry, historical sore point :wink: )

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Some oscillations are normal, but when your cadence drops to a point that’s silly for a threshold effort, I’d just call it quits then. I.e. lower than 60-70 cadence depending on your comfort zone.

I don’t consider it a fail if you’re warbling over and under the target but if you’re fighting to stay at the target and your cadence is falling or you’re having big fluctuations in power where you drop then surge then drop then surge… welp. that’s that.

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Hi @all,

thank you very much for your responses.
Let me conclude:
No Power-Smoothing,
Oscillation is normal,
Erg-Mode doesn’t necessarily mean, that power is on point because it oscillates too.
Don’t be too focused on numbers, i need to stop when i feel that i would need to push too much to still stay in the required power target.

One might think that this should have been obviuos, but someone it wasn’t for me.
So, thank you all very much. I feel like i do have a better understanding of what to do next time!

P.S i was just thinking of buying a smart trainer just because of that! The fact that they are sold out eveywhere and your answers saved me a whole lot of money :smile: at least for a few months i guess