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First big dose of reality after installing computer.

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Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

First big dose of reality after installing computer.

Old 07-17-19, 04:52 PM
  #26  
Dean V
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Originally Posted by ridingfool View Post
Not sure of your budget but if your bike still has stock rims look to upgrade them . That should add a couple mph increase to your speed .also when u get another bike u can switch the rims. But in general keep at it and try to increase the miles by 10 percent each week and in about 20 weeks or less you should be able to reach 30 mph not mantaining that speed but hitting it and holding it for a min or 2 is a good start.
Holding 30mph for a minute or 2 is not easy at all. Do do that on a road bike unassisted (wind, gradient, drafting etc) requires you to be a lot better than the average cyclist.
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Old 07-17-19, 05:02 PM
  #27  
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I regularly do a speed workout where I roll down a small hill (overpass or levee works) to hit my target speed and then hold it for 60 seconds. I start early in the season at 27 and try to work up to 32. Repeat 6-10 times per session, 1 or 2 sessions per week.

It's meant to replicate coming to the front of the race and drilling it in the late laps. That will get you fast, and requires no equipment other than a basic speedometer.

Last edited by caloso; 07-17-19 at 06:31 PM.
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Old 07-17-19, 06:20 PM
  #28  
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Originally Posted by runnergoneridin View Post
So from what you guys are saying, I just need more time with the gearing I have and work into it. And the better I get at riding, the closer I'll be to optimizing my average speed with the bike the way it currently is set up. Makes sense, and is simple enough to understand.

At the very least, it seems like I'm right in line for my level of experience. For the most part I was between 16 and 19.5 mph where I was riding.

Plus, I'm not completely comfortable on the bike yet, either - I need a new seat or something, because this one sucks donkey balls.
Average speeds are misleading until you consider the terrain. The only way you can compare average speed from a ride is if you ride the same route again. We ride where it's up and down hilly. Then we went to Florida and did some riding where we rarely shifted (it was sooooo flat). Average speeds went up by 30%.

And then there's wind which is never constant.....

A better measure of how your conditioning is improving is your average power output for the ride (and more sophisticated measurements beyond that). But for that, you need a power meter.

J.
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Old 07-17-19, 06:50 PM
  #29  
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Originally Posted by caloso View Post
I regularly do a speed workout where I roll down a small hill (overpass or levee works) to hit my target speed and then hold it for 60 seconds. I start early in the season at 27 and try to work up to 32. Repeat 6-10 times per session, 1 or 2 sessions per week.

It's meant to replicate coming to the front of the race and drilling it in the late laps. That will get you fast, and requires no equipment other than a basic speedometer.
Yea, but that is still a far cry from accelerating from ~20mph on flat ground, solo, all the way to 30mph on flat ground, solo, and then continuing to hold that speed for 30 seconds. I'm not saying it can't be done, but that would be a monumental effort.

edit: gee...now that I'm really thinking about it...maybe it's not QUITE so monumental. I could probably do it at 27-28 on my cross bike. Somebody kitted out on a TT bike with skin suit, that was a bit stronger, 30mph for a minute might not be so impossible. Still - thats a pretty big effort.
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Old 07-17-19, 07:08 PM
  #30  
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Originally Posted by Abe_Froman View Post
Yea, but that is still a far cry from accelerating from ~20mph on flat ground, solo, all the way to 30mph on flat ground, solo, and then continuing to hold that speed for 30 seconds. I'm not saying it can't be done, but that would be a monumental effort.

edit: gee...now that I'm really thinking about it...maybe it's not QUITE so monumental. I could probably do it at 27-28 on my cross bike. Somebody kitted out on a TT bike with skin suit, that was a bit stronger, 30mph for a minute might not be so impossible. Still - thats a pretty big effort.
That's a different workout. The levee dropoffs are all about maintaining speed as fatigue builds, then recovering and doing it again.

I'll also do something similar to what you're describing, those are great for simulating a jump to get separation or having to dig deep to bridge.

Also, drag race intervals: from a trackstand (or near enough), 15 seconds all-out, shoot for 30. No shifting, alternate big ring (53x15) and small ring (39x15). In the big ring, you're focusing on getting on top of the gear. In the small ring your focusing on turning the feet over.
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Old 07-17-19, 08:50 PM
  #31  
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Originally Posted by runnergoneridin View Post
With all this, what can I do to get more speed ?
Engine performance aside, your bike seems like a real clunker; too low-end to be worth upgrading. There's not a huge difference in performance between midrange and high-end bikes, but there is between boat-anchors and half-decent machinery.

Keep an eye out for used bargains, but watch out for excessive wear on rims and chainrings.
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Old 07-17-19, 08:51 PM
  #32  
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Originally Posted by caloso View Post
That's a different workout. The levee dropoffs are all about maintaining speed as fatigue builds, then recovering and doing it again.

I'll also do something similar to what you're describing, those are great for simulating a jump to get separation or having to dig deep to bridge.

Also, drag race intervals: from a trackstand (or near enough), 15 seconds all-out, shoot for 30. No shifting, alternate big ring (53x15) and small ring (39x15). In the big ring, you're focusing on getting on top of the gear. In the small ring your focusing on turning the feet over.


What a lot of work! Can't I just get a lighter bike?
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Old 07-17-19, 10:36 PM
  #33  
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Originally Posted by DrIsotope View Post
I have personally never seen anyone, at any time, post a road ride with a 26-27mph average speed-- including Zwift. Even pro races seem to average around 25mph, and that's a peleton of 150+ of the world's best cyclists. Closed course time trial by a pro? Absolutely. Closed course criterium? Sure.
It isn't as unusual as you think. I did a gran fondo last September and averaged 26.5 mph for the first 65 miles. The fastest guys averaged 26.4 mph for the full 100 miles.
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Old 07-18-19, 12:55 AM
  #34  
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Originally Posted by woodcraft View Post
What a lot of work! Can't I just get a lighter bike?
Well that’s not going to help you accelerate downhill, it will ruin your ballistic coefficient
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Old 07-18-19, 12:55 AM
  #35  
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See, we have this thing here where the elevation changes— sometimes a lot. The local pro races (aside from the crit) average 23-25mph. Pros. There are a couple of local Strava segments that hold 26-27mph for a few miles— but whole activities? Nope. I rode a 20mph tailwind all the way to the Pacific Ocean, almost 70 miles, and averaged 23.7mph. Open roads and hills.
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Old 07-18-19, 09:53 AM
  #36  
tomato coupe
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Originally Posted by DrIsotope View Post
See, we have this thing here where the elevation changes— sometimes a lot. The local pro races (aside from the crit) average 23-25mph. Pros. There are a couple of local Strava segments that hold 26-27mph for a few miles— but whole activities? Nope. I rode a 20mph tailwind all the way to the Pacific Ocean, almost 70 miles, and averaged 23.7mph. Open roads and hills.
The average speed at local races is not the ultimate, because tactical considerations often temper the speed. That same group of cyclists could go faster if their goal was to work together to maintain the highest possible speed. You may not have seen one, but sub 4-hr centuries are not that unusual. (I know at least a dozen riders that have done it.)
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Old 07-18-19, 12:36 PM
  #37  
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Originally Posted by TimothyH View Post
Only very strong riders and likely not solo efforts.

15 MPH to 18 MPH average speed is more likely for most riders on solo rides more than 20 miles.




Many cyclists and runners are surprised at the level of difficulty encountered when they take up the other discipline for the first time. Fitness in one discipline does not correlate well to fitness in the other. I think you are seeing this so give it time and keep riding.


-Tim-
Pretty much what I'm gathering from everyone is simple enough to understand - focus on making myself a good and strong rider, then tend to the chassis. Makes sense and I'm familiar with this concept from my running background. I'm fine with this mode of thinking.

One thing I've been hard focused on the last couple days is seat comfort. And this I feel is having a big influence on my ride duration, too. My current seat feels like I'm straddling the rear part of my perineum on a cushioned four inch diameter round-bar when I lean forward. I've tilted the seat down in the nose to see if that helped, but it didn't. Put a gel seat pad on it to see what that would do - still nothing. So just a while ago I went to a LBS and was checking out seats. I told the guy there that I feel like I'm straddling a metal fence beam. I'd already measured my butt bone width, center-to-center at approx 10.5cm. After talking, he almost instantly wasn't so focused on seat options anymore and asked if I was wearing riding shorts. I said no, just my running shorts I still have. He said before buying a seat, try these first since I'll need them anyways. He said he can't make it very far without them. So I bought a pair and will give them a go. He also grabbed my seat and asked if that's the position it was in, and after confirming he said try moving it forward some so my butt is positioned more to the back of the seat.

So in all fairness, I'll try the shorts - no worries. Yet I feel like it'll be no different than having the gel seat pad, which I already tried. I dunno.
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Old 07-18-19, 12:43 PM
  #38  
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Originally Posted by caloso View Post
I regularly do a speed workout where I roll down a small hill (overpass or levee works) to hit my target speed and then hold it for 60 seconds. I start early in the season at 27 and try to work up to 32. Repeat 6-10 times per session, 1 or 2 sessions per week.

It's meant to replicate coming to the front of the race and drilling it in the late laps. That will get you fast, and requires no equipment other than a basic speedometer.
Poor mans motor pacing. Velodrome riders use the banking in the same way.
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Old 07-18-19, 12:48 PM
  #39  
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Originally Posted by Dean V View Post
The bike isn't worth upgrading in any way.
Just do what is required to get it working properly and ride it.
The 50-14 high gear is not a problem and won't hold you back.
After a few months if you are still into it, and can afford it, look for another bike.
This. Don't spend a dime on that bike.

Training and experience, like everyone said, but this too. Not saying this to be snobby, but there are plenty of entry and mid-level options out there that will be much better suited for long-term serious road riding.

I'm pretty sure that Vilano is made by people who have either never seen a bike, or just don't like them.
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Old 07-18-19, 12:51 PM
  #40  
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Not sure how the guy knows that your seat needs to go forward without fitting you. I think he's basing it off your description of what you feel and thinks your sitting too far forward on the seat.
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Old 07-18-19, 01:55 PM
  #41  
runnergoneridin
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Originally Posted by jadocs View Post
Not sure how the guy knows that your seat needs to go forward without fitting you. I think he's basing it off your description of what you feel and thinks your sitting too far forward on the seat.
Yeah that's what I'm thinking. It's worth trying, and takes no time adjust.
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Old 07-18-19, 05:02 PM
  #42  
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Originally Posted by Dean V View Post
Holding 30mph for a minute or 2 is not easy at all. Do do that on a road bike unassisted (wind, gradient, drafting etc) requires you to be a lot better than the average cyclist.
I can hold 40 mph for half an hour. Agree that it's not easy at all, I have to spend a couple hours riding uphill first!
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Old 07-18-19, 05:04 PM
  #43  
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Originally Posted by runnergoneridin View Post
Yeah that's what I'm thinking. It's worth trying, and takes no time adjust.
Put a piece of tape on the rails to mark the current position before you move the saddle.

That's the second rule of DIY bike fitting. Only change one thing at a time, and mark where it used to be in case it was the wrong move.
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Old 07-19-19, 06:10 AM
  #44  
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When gearing is brought up and how going faster requires a higher gear, I always think of the legendary Ray Booty. Back in the 1950's he posted a 3hr58min 100 mile TT. His gear?...84" fixed, equal to a 50x16.

Booty recalled:

It was one of those lovely sunny summer mornings you crave for when you are time-trialling. It was calm, as I remember, and eventually it became very hot. And I was really having to hang on in the last half hour. I remember it was a real struggle. I knew I was on to a good ride if I could hang on. The thing I remember about that particular event was at the finish, and I was absolutely shattered at the finish. And I sat down. And, of course, when I finished I realised just how hot it was. I was desperate for some drink and somebody came with all they'd got, which was a bottle of milk. And it was sour. And he said it was sour. It was all he'd got. It was really sour. But I drank it all. That was the thing I remember mainly about that event.[7]
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Old 07-19-19, 07:40 AM
  #45  
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So I did a 20 mile ride yesterday. I reset the averages on the new meter then hopped on and took off. I was bucking a headwind most of the time, and there was some inclines I had to stay low geared for (nothing extreme). Total time was 1:06:45, and top speed was 25.9mph. My average speed was 17.8mph, which honestly is complete bs because this crappy bike threw the chain 4 times - oh and more fun than that was when I wiped out once trying to avoid hitting some dude walking in the bike path. Yeah it was ridiculous looking - I went almost over the handlebars. It left a big gash in my left handlebar wrap, lesser in my left elbow (had to be wrapped afterwards), and scrapes on my left shoulder and hip. Whatever, I jumped back on as fast as I could to keep the workout going.

I think I need to reset the meter while moving rather than from a dismounted stand-still. This I need to look into. The new riding shorts seemed to help with saddle comfort. I was indeed sliding forward into the saddle, which tells me my positioning still isn't right. Hoping for better luck next time lol. Plus, I'll start targeting longer distances.

Last edited by runnergoneridin; 07-19-19 at 07:47 AM.
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Old 07-19-19, 10:22 AM
  #46  
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To inject a dose of reality into this, have a look at Bike Calculator

Assuming the default of 154 lbs rider+bike, riding in the drops, and no wind or slope, you need to put out just over 300 watts to maintain 25mph on a level road. If you can put out 300W for extended periods of time, you're up there with pro-level riders. Temper your expectations a bit and enjoy the riding rather than focusing on speed. Your peak and average speeds will increase naturally as you ride more.
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Old 07-19-19, 10:30 AM
  #47  
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Originally Posted by road292 View Post
To inject a dose of reality into this, have a look at Bike Calculator

Assuming the default of 154 lbs rider+bike, riding in the drops, and no wind or slope, you need to put out just over 300 watts to maintain 25mph on a level road. If you can put out 300W for extended periods of time, you're up there with pro-level riders. Temper your expectations a bit and enjoy the riding rather than focusing on speed. Your peak and average speeds will increase naturally as you ride more.
Well said. Laws of Physics are a tough one.

Much more satisfying and practical to focus on physiological fitness or performance aspects related to cycling because those generally have a bigger range and more room for improvement. Resting heart rate, weight loss, watts/kg, BMI, TSS on the fitness side. Cadence, distance, average power, ascent, etc.. on the performance side.

J.
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Old 07-19-19, 10:54 AM
  #48  
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Originally Posted by runnergoneridin View Post
reset the meter while moving ... & so on ...
when I first started riding w a bike computer I too tried to get the best possible readings. now I just keep track & loosely use the stats for comparison ride-to-ride. meaning can I get a better average speed if I reset the computer while rolling then stop it when I finish a ride which has no stops? sure, but so what?
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Old 07-19-19, 11:32 AM
  #49  
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Originally Posted by runnergoneridin View Post
this crappy bike threw the chain 4 times -

I wiped out once trying to avoid hitting some dude walking in the bike path. Yeah it was ridiculous looking - I went almost over the handlebars. It left a big gash in my left handlebar wrap, lesser in my left elbow (had to be wrapped afterwards), and scrapes on my left shoulder and hip. Whatever, I jumped back on as fast as I could to keep the workout going.
It sounds like average speed and a cycling computer are the least of your problems.


-Tim-
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Old 07-19-19, 01:07 PM
  #50  
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Switch your computer to metric. You'll get an instant 30% speed increase but you may have put on more clothing because it will indicate a lot colder too..
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