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From 14 mph to faster

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From 14 mph to faster

Old 05-15-19, 06:59 PM
  #51  
Rajflyboy
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Originally Posted by Slightspeed View Post
Group rides. I was a steady 12-13 mph average until I joined a club. Even riding with 2 or 3 riders will boost your average. Besides drafting help, you will probably ride further, faster and maybe on roads that you would never think of going alone. Also depends how you measure the average. My Garmin pauses at stop light, coffee stops, etc. It only records and measures rolling time, which can make a big difference. On group rides, I'm usually 15-16 mph, sometimes into the 17s. When I rode solo, my average is also around 14-15mph. Don't obsess over the speed, just ride more, and you will ride faster.
Sounds like I should show up at the group ride and go for it and see how it goes. It would be my first group road ride.
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Old 05-15-19, 07:40 PM
  #52  
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Hand washing your bike shorts will make you faster.
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Old 05-15-19, 07:48 PM
  #53  
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Originally Posted by downhillmaster View Post
Hand washing your bike shorts will make you faster.
I never wash bike shorts at all
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Old 05-15-19, 07:55 PM
  #54  
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Originally Posted by Retro Grouch View Post
14 MPH is an interesting data point. It is about the speed at which aero drag losses surpass all the other things that are holding you back combined. If you want to go faster than that, work on your aero position on the bike.
Yup learn to tuck in, keep the back flat.

Originally Posted by Gresp15C View Post
Spandex.
It could help a little if ya got flappy mtb shirts, shorts.
Originally Posted by Rajflyboy View Post
Is some of this purely Mental? Can it be a mental barrier as much as a physical one ?

Im not a strava fan.
I went from mtb to road and it felt like mtb used different muscles, took me awhile to start hitting 17mph solo, finally was hitting 20mph without any wind on the flats. Probably a season of work. This is the start of my third season and finally I can hold a solid 18 - 20 on 30 mile solo rides. Nutrition has been a big issue now for those speeds.

Another thing that might be holding you back is the larger cassette gaps. But you should also learn to spin the cranks so it's a wash. It's easy to eek out another few mph's when your cog jumps are 6% in your "cruising range".
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Old 05-15-19, 08:06 PM
  #55  
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To a recreational / amateur cyclist riding more will make you faster. To a pro, already riding as many hours as the day permits, training smarter can help.

Also, slick tires help (that buzz you hear riding down the road at speed is the sound of watts being stolen from you).

Also, a more aerodynamic riding position helps. This is more easily achieved on a road bike than on a flat-bar bike.

The tighter the spacing of gears on your cassette the more efficient cadence range you will be able to find on terrain from flat to up to about 4% grades. The more low-end and high-end gearing you have the more efficient cadence range you will be able to stay within on grades greater than a few percent. It's nice when you have enough gears to satisfy both of those needs.

Shoes with cleats and stiff soles will aid power transfer more than riding along on tennis shoes and platform pedals.

Dedicated cycling clothes will be more aerodynamic than cargo shorts and baggy t-shirt.

But you also have to realize that if you ride among rolling hills or steep hills you will typically have a slower round-trip time than on flat terrain. Because even if you can hit 50 MPH on the descent, the aero drag at 50 assures that you're not making up entirely for the slow ascent you had to endure first. And if you ride on a windy day your round-trip will probably be slower than on a calm day. High or super low temps will impact your speed negatively. Ride distance/duration will have an impact on average speed. Stop-and go rides will have a lower average speed than non-stop open roads. Open road rides will have a higher average speed than neighborhood rides. Rough roads will decrease average speed. High rotational mass wheels/tires will result in lower average speeds in stop-and-go rides than lightweight tires/wheels. Aero wheels will do better in head winds or flat calm-day rides. A lightweight bike will do better on climbs than a heavy bike.

On top of that we sometimes just have off days, or strong days, or days where you're more motivated or less. Sometimes you're better hydrated, or better fed than others. Some days the stars just align.

So average speed isn't a great metric for how you're doing. Power is a better measure, but even then trends over time make more sense to follow than individual rides. The important thing to consider is that it's cheaper to get healthier and more fit, resulting in a modest speed gain, than it is to purchase equipment changes that will get you a marginal speed increase.
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Old 05-15-19, 08:21 PM
  #56  
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Originally Posted by Rajflyboy View Post
I never wash bike shorts at all
That should make your riding partners ride faster. So they can stay upwind.
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Old 05-15-19, 08:33 PM
  #57  
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Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
... and then I hit a stretch going through a city, and the number starts gravitating in this way. Miles of 20-23 mph at level get countered by stop-start, stop-start really quick. I've had to stop focusing on my average MPH because I found trying to maintain it high was causing me to do stupid things in traffic situations.
True, but it is kind of fun to hit the occasional pedestrian who isn't paying attention.
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Old 05-15-19, 08:33 PM
  #58  
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Originally Posted by flyjimmy View Post
That should make your riding partners ride faster. So they can stay upwind.
Gotta make it exciting somehow
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Old 05-15-19, 08:36 PM
  #59  
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To lay a good solid foundation for speed work, one needs a lot of TITS and LSD. That's what the old timers called time in the saddle and long slow distance. The young kids call it base training.

Personally, I think the old timers were on to something.
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Old 05-15-19, 08:47 PM
  #60  
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Originally Posted by jack002 View Post
I have a light road bike with 700x23s, you would probably ave like 18 on it. Get one. Or you can just not obsess with a number.


I agree. I also have a road bike with 700 x 23's and a mountain bike with the aggressive off road tires. A big difference, the mountain bike tires really bog you down. On the road bike with 700 x 23's you will notice a huge difference.
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Old 05-16-19, 06:55 AM
  #61  
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My first year of cycling, on a Trek 1.1 road bike, I typically averaged around 15-17mph. Unfortunately, I was struck by a car while biking late September of that year, fortunately I was able to sue for damages etc. I managed to get enough money to purchase a specialized tarmac, power meter, and smart trainer. The new bike helped a bit, but after going through Trainerroad's Sweet Spot HIGH plans 1 and 2, then Today's Plans plans (with a bunch of Zwift) my average speed for rides improved to about 19mph come spring. After a year of racing and training, and another winter of suffering, my average speed is easily 20mph+ on all rides, if I'm going hard, it'll be around 21-22 for distances up to 50 miles (rolling Wisconsin terrain) if I'm taking it down a notch, I'll normally average 20mph.

So, as you can see, it's a journey, the only points where I hopped on my bike and was magically faster was after a full 6 months of precise, on the trainer, training throughout winter.

The thing that helped me the most was a Smart Trainer, then a Power Meter, if you have one, or both, of these items, you will become significantly faster (if you pay attention to the numbers).

If you do want to just add on around 1 mph to your average without actually training, switch to latex tubes, race tires (gp5000s, turbo cottons, etc.), an Aero road helmet (not a TT one, just a regular road one that's designed around aerodynamics, not quite ventilation), race fit/very close fitting Lycra cycling kit, and perhaps an aggressive bike fit.
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Old 05-16-19, 02:06 PM
  #62  
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There's two concepts at odds here......going fast, and being fast.

They're totally different. To go fast you can buy and do things and join the right group rides and pick your terrain well or be a total tool and run every stop sign and light at full speed.

The other way, to actually be fast........ is to use structured training.

Also,
A lot of people throw around numbers, but once you get into following a lot of folks do you realize how relative speed can be. I follow the pros that are on the team our company sponsors, and often they will have training rides only right at 20 or so mph. Sometimes less. But.......they'll average 75 to 100 feet per mile elevation while doing so.

Not to mention, people play games with gps's. Some people screw with autopause speeds and will pause it manually if farting around or something.

I'm going to say among the rides that aren't on TT bikes, that of the 5 or so amateur racers I follow.......it's a coin flip as to whether a solo ride they post will crack 20mph or not.

20mph is also a turning point, power wise, due to how aero works. At, and below 20, the ratio of CRR and CdA isn't so heavy yet on the CdA side. Over 20, it starts to get a lot harder a lot quicker.

If it's flattish with just a couple rollers and nothing to hold up your progress like stop lights......it only takes about 175w or so on a road bike to average right at 20mph.

Just figure out what makes you happy on the bike and work on how to maximize that. Then adopt equipment and training choices that support maximizing that happiness.
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Old 05-16-19, 02:19 PM
  #63  
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Originally Posted by Rajflyboy View Post
I mostly ride mountain bikes but I have started riding some road/gravel

Iím averaging 14 ish mph on my rides and struggle with going faster.

How do I bust through this barrier ?
Here is the simple answer: to ride faster you must ride faster.

A simple, time-honored, and effective way to do this is to start riding with someone who is just a bit stronger than you. A variation of this is to find a group that you struggle to not get dropped.

If you don't like riding with others, you can do intervals. Essentially, instead of riding your whole ride at one speed, you are going to break it up into shorter time segments (intervals), ride those harder than you could for the entire distance, rest and recover, and then repeat. You will get faster.
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Old 05-16-19, 04:09 PM
  #64  
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Originally Posted by caloso View Post
Here is the simple answer: to ride faster you must ride faster.

A simple, time-honored, and effective way to do this is to start riding with someone who is just a bit stronger than you. A variation of this is to find a group that you struggle to not get dropped.

If you don't like riding with others, you can do intervals. Essentially, instead of riding your whole ride at one speed, you are going to break it up into shorter time segments (intervals), ride those harder than you could for the entire distance, rest and recover, and then repeat. You will get faster.
Thanks for the advice!!

thanks to all
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Old 05-16-19, 07:03 PM
  #65  
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I don't ride that much. Probably 100 miles a week. Sometimes more, but often less.

On flat routes on a flat bar bike, my cruising speed with moderate/average effort is between 16 to 18 mph.

On a road bike, typical pace is around 2 mph faster. However, I've never averaged more than 17 mph on any ride on this route even though the terrain is quite flat. This is probably because there are at least 15 stops and/or sections where I must slow at trail intersections in the first 5 miles.

There are few stops or slow down sections over the next 10 miles but it's very windy, often with 15 to 20 mph winds.

On group rides, my effort level drops drastically. At 14 to 16 mph, I might as well be at home sitting on the couch. 20 mph feels more like 12 mph on a flat bar bike if I'm in the pack.

Basically, the more you ride, the more efficient you will become and the faster you'll ride. Also, a set of michelins improved my efficiency noticeably as well.
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Old 05-17-19, 07:16 AM
  #66  
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Originally Posted by Doctor Morbius View Post
True, but it is kind of fun to hit the occasional pedestrian who isn't paying attention.
I know you're kidding, but watching Strava junkies buzz pedestrians and little kids on bikes is what really convinced me I needed to de-emphasize average MPH.
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Old 05-17-19, 08:39 AM
  #67  
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Originally Posted by radroad View Post
I don't ride that much. Probably 100 miles a week. Sometimes more, but often less.

On flat routes on a flat bar bike, my cruising speed with moderate/average effort is between 16 to 18 mph.

On a road bike, typical pace is around 2 mph faster. However, I've never averaged more than 17 mph on any ride on this route even though the terrain is quite flat. This is probably because there are at least 15 stops and/or sections where I must slow at trail intersections in the first 5 miles.

There are few stops or slow down sections over the next 10 miles but it's very windy, often with 15 to 20 mph winds.

On group rides, my effort level drops drastically. At 14 to 16 mph, I might as well be at home sitting on the couch. 20 mph feels more like 12 mph on a flat bar bike if I'm in the pack.

Basically, the more you ride, the more efficient you will become and the faster you'll ride. Also, a set of michelins improved my efficiency noticeably as well.
Get yourself one those cheap, Walmart mountain bikes with the FAT tires and springs every where. It might be better exercise since they are a chore to ride.

Last edited by xroadcharlie; 05-17-19 at 02:28 PM.
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Old 05-17-19, 10:26 AM
  #68  
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1. Ensure you have a good fit.
2. Ride more.
3. Ride with people faster than you.
4. Ride more.
5. Focus on the engine (you) not the bike. Buy upgrades if you can afford it, but the engine is what you need to focus on.
6. Ride more.
7. Establish some structured training to your riding and incorporate recovery rides (those are easy days).
8. Ride more.
9. Take care of your bike and develop a structured maintenance/cleaning regimen. A clean and well maintained bike is a fast bike.
10. Ride more.
11. Have fun, because if your not having fun, you're not going to want to do it. Set a goal, start of with a C group (about your speed). Learn how to ride in a group, enjoy the comradery. Move to a B group and challenge yourself. Hang on for as long as you can and the next time try to hang on longer. Before you know it you will be finishing the ride with them. Move to A group and repeat.
12. Ride more.

You do this and you will see the improvements fast. How do I know? Because I've done it. I was exactly where you were at your speed when I started. Those improvements will motivate you to train harder and ride more, making you even faster.
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Old 05-17-19, 11:12 AM
  #69  
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Originally Posted by jadocs View Post
1. Ensure you have a good fit.
2. Ride more.
3. Ride with people faster than you.
4. Ride more.
5. Focus on the engine (you) not the bike. Buy upgrades if you can afford it, but the engine is what you need to focus on.
6. Ride more.
7. Establish some structured training to your riding and incorporate recovery rides (those are easy days).
8. Ride more.
9. Take care of your bike and develop a structured maintenance/cleaning regimen. A clean and well maintained bike is a fast bike.
10. Ride more.
11. Have fun, because if your not having fun, you're not going to want to do it. Set a goal, start of with a C group (about your speed). Learn how to ride in a group, enjoy the comradery. Move to a B group and challenge yourself. Hang on for as long as you can and the next time try to hang on longer. Before you know it you will be finishing the ride with them. Move to A group and repeat.
12. Ride more.

You do this and you will see the improvements fast. How do I know? Because I've done it. I was exactly where you were at your speed when I started. Those improvements will motivate you to train harder and ride more, making you even faster.
Total agreement about the ride more method, but I took a different tack than group riding to improving speed. I take the point you make about fun very seriously, because I know I'll burn out on it if it starts to feel like a chore. My method is to give myself a fun destination half the day's goal distance away--lunch, a zoo, something cool to look at, whatever--and route a round trip to and from it. That way I'm motivated to get there as fast as I can, and on the way back, I'm motivated by getting home sooner. I like solo riding because I don't have to negotiate "terms" with people, and I can do what I want in terms of dealing with weather, wanting to stop and look at the turtle or whatever. This way, I'm able to make myself ride like crazy, and never feel like I'm "training".
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Old 05-17-19, 06:26 PM
  #70  
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Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
... I take the point you make about fun very seriously, because I know I'll burn out on it if it starts to feel like a chore. My method is to give myself a fun destination half the day's goal distance away--lunch, a zoo, something cool to look at, whatever--and route a round trip to and from it. That way I'm motivated to get there as fast as I can, and on the way back, I'm motivated by getting home sooner. I like solo riding because I don't have to negotiate "terms" with people, and I can do what I want in terms of dealing with weather, wanting to stop and look at the turtle or whatever. This way, I'm able to make myself ride like crazy, and never feel like I'm "training".
Before I re-discovered the bike in my mid 40s, I spent nearly three decades as a runner ... You know the difference between a runner and a cyclist? A smile!
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Old 05-17-19, 07:26 PM
  #71  
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Originally Posted by Whib View Post
Before I re-discovered the bike in my mid 40s, I spent nearly three decades as a runner ... You know the difference between a runner and a cyclist? A smile!
Or in my case, feet I can still use to walk on.
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Old 05-18-19, 09:45 PM
  #72  
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Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
Or in my case, feet I can still use to walk on.
Or hips...the real ones I once had...
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Old 05-18-19, 10:34 PM
  #73  
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OP, you know, I was, maybe sometimes still am, a competitive cyclist. I have owned and own several MTB/ATBs, and I swear, sustained 14 MPH on the fat, low pressure knobby tires they are outfitted with, that is about it. You need a cyclecross/gravel bike with 700c wheels and tires. I can maintain significantly higher speeds on my road bikes and my Surly CC vs my no suspension 26 inch, fat tire MTB or my hard tail Stump Jumper. The right tool for the job.
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Old 05-20-19, 12:28 PM
  #74  
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Originally Posted by AlmostTrick View Post
14 mph solo, in most situations, is not bad. Especially for a beginner. Why do you want to be faster?
Agreed. I might run 14 with a group, but most of the time when training by myself, I come in between 11 and 12. Of course, I am an old fart, so completion is my main goal.
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Old 05-20-19, 01:15 PM
  #75  
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Why not try more efficient pedaling? Instead of just pushing down on the pedals, push forward before the top and pull back at the bottom. This will give you added power. Then try shifting up a gear or two. I ride on pavement with mtn bike tires. It's no big deal.
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