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Tips on increasing speed on hybrid

Old 04-11-19, 08:46 PM
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grayslaker
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Tips on increasing speed on hybrid

Got back to cycling a year ago after 20 plus years. Riding a flat bar hybrid. FX Sport 4

Often my speed average around 12miles per hour on 30+ mile ride. Need tips to increase speed by another 3 or 4 miles. Not looking to race. But looking to ride at 15-16mph consistently

No suggestions to convert to drop bar please Ain't doing it. Got a decent high end flatbar that I can afford. Happy with comfort and capable of higher speed. Limitation mostly on me. Have decent quality 32m 700C tire. Weekend warrior for the past 1 year. Having tough time to average above 12mph mark
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Old 04-11-19, 09:15 PM
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The most effective way to increase your speeds is to work on your strength.

Build up leg muscles by riding more and pushing harder. The muscles will come. The speed will follow.
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Old 04-11-19, 09:25 PM
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Clipless pedals and shoes?
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Old 04-11-19, 09:58 PM
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Originally Posted by grayslaker View Post
Got back to cycling a year ago after 20 plus years. Riding a flat bar hybrid. FX Sport 4

Often my speed average around 12miles per hour on 30+ mile ride. Need tips to increase speed by another 3 or 4 miles. Not looking to race. But looking to ride at 15-16mph consistently

No suggestions to convert to drop bar please Ain't doing it. Got a decent high end flatbar that I can afford. Happy with comfort and capable of higher speed. Limitation mostly on me. Have decent quality 32m 700C tire. Weekend warrior for the past 1 year. Having tough time to average above 12mph mark

I would give these tyres ago, probably the "hybrid" tyre with less rolling resistance than any other.


Schwalbe Marathon Almotion Evolution Folding Tire - 28x1.50 Inches | 700x38C - Black-Reflex
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Old 04-12-19, 12:52 AM
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The easiest, most cost-effective, performance "boost" is often realized by reducing rotating mass ... installing lighter tires can make a noticeable difference.
I'd recommend a pair of Continental GP 4000s2, in the 28mm size ...awesome tire.
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Old 04-12-19, 03:52 AM
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Originally Posted by grayslaker View Post
Got back to cycling a year ago after 20 plus years. Riding a flat bar hybrid. FX Sport 4

Often my speed average around 12miles per hour on 30+ mile ride. Need tips to increase speed by another 3 or 4 miles. Not looking to race. But looking to ride at 15-16mph consistently

No suggestions to convert to drop bar please Ain't doing it. Got a decent high end flatbar that I can afford. Happy with comfort and capable of higher speed. Limitation mostly on me. Have decent quality 32m 700C tire. Weekend warrior for the past 1 year. Having tough time to average above 12mph mark
Work on your spin. Min 90 rpm should be effortless and sustainable for the entire ride.
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Old 04-12-19, 07:01 AM
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Thanks all for the suggestions. First thing I intend to do is install a bike computer and see if I continuously maintain 90rpm. If not will start making investments one after the other on tires and SPD to help me achieve it.

Currently I have Bontrager H5 hardcase ultimate 32mm. Little bit on heavier side. Love its puncture protection and comfort. 25% of my ride is on packed gravels and crushed limestone. So 32 is minimum I need. H5 hardcase does appear to have some rolling resistance for its size though. Appreciate recommodations that would also help me with both road and forest preserve trails

https://www.trekbikes.com/us/en_US/equipment/cycling-components/bike-tires/hybrid-bike-tires/bontrager-h5-hard-case-ultimate-hybrid-tire/p/09389/
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Old 04-12-19, 07:18 AM
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Once you get the computer see what your speed is at the 90 rpm on a flat. That will tell you what your speed is at that rpm with your bikes gearing. Once you know what your speed is with your gearing. then you can consider if changing the chainring to a larger gear or the small gear on your rear cogs. I was surprised how much a 50 compared to a 48 in the large chainring made between my two bikes with the same 11 tooth rear cog. Just another idea but listen to the advice given in the previous posts first as I do not have the experience that so many others here have.
Frank.
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Old 04-12-19, 07:23 AM
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Tires, strength, aerodynamic riding position.

Slick tires will roll faster than treaded if all other things are equal. A stronger, more fit person will put out more power over the course of the ride. And aerodynamic position will further reduce the power lost to drag.
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Old 04-12-19, 07:42 AM
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I was just reading about wind resistance and tire rolling resistance a few days ago. The conclusion was, at less than 10mph and less, the tire's rolling resistance matters. When riding at speeds above 10mph, rolling resistance is no longer an issue as it is the wind resistance that is the biggest thing slowing you down. That tells me that the only way to sustain a faster speed above 10mph, is to have stronger legs and to find a way to be more aero on a flat bar bike. Both of those have already been suggested by previous posters. Maybe switch your tires to 32mm Schwable G-One speed and slam your stem so you can get lower and more aero.
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Old 04-12-19, 09:44 AM
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Ride more.
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Old 04-12-19, 01:49 PM
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Originally Posted by finch204 View Post
I was just reading about wind resistance and tire rolling resistance a few days ago. The conclusion was, at less than 10mph and less, the tire's rolling resistance matters. When riding at speeds above 10mph, rolling resistance is no longer an issue as it is the wind resistance that is the biggest thing slowing you down.
I think a better way for the article to state that would be that, above 10 mph (or whatever speed they claim), rolling resistance is not longer the predominant factor. I wouldn't say that it's no longer a factor...as it will continue to be a drag on your speed, and probably with an increasing amount as your speed increases. Rolling resistance's increase is linear, though -- wind resistance increases with the square of speed, so its influence ramps up much faster as speed rises.
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Old 04-12-19, 02:20 PM
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Originally Posted by hokiefyd View Post
I think a better way for the article to state that would be that, above 10 mph (or whatever speed they claim), rolling resistance is not longer the predominant factor. I wouldn't say that it's no longer a factor...as it will continue to be a drag on your speed, and probably with an increasing amount as your speed increases. Rolling resistance's increase is linear, though -- wind resistance increases with the square of speed, so its influence ramps up much faster as speed rises.
Correct, I was trying to paraphrase but ended up leaving details like that.

I searched for the article again and found it:
https://www.exploratorium.edu/cyclin...dynamics1.html
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Old 04-12-19, 02:34 PM
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You realize that the current speed to desired speed is 25%-33% improvement, right? I wish it were that easy to just change components and/or spin at 90 to get that increase. Your best way to get towards that goal is to reduce weight (yours) and just bike more to get your power up.
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Old 04-12-19, 04:16 PM
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Originally Posted by grayslaker View Post
Got back to cycling a year ago after 20 plus years. Riding a flat bar hybrid. FX Sport 4

Often my speed average around 12miles per hour on 30+ mile ride. Need tips to increase speed by another 3 or 4 miles. Not looking to race. But looking to ride at 15-16mph consistently

No suggestions to convert to drop bar please Ain't doing it. Got a decent high end flatbar that I can afford. Happy with comfort and capable of higher speed. Limitation mostly on me. Have decent quality 32m 700C tire. Weekend warrior for the past 1 year. Having tough time to average above 12mph mark
How often do you ride; how far?

The difference from 12 mph 'average' to 15/16 mph 'average' hasn't anything to do with 'equipment', within reasonable limits. Your bike is 'within reasonable limits' -- a perfectly good flat-bar road bike.

That difference simply comes down to cycling fitness, and cycling fitness can be acquired by, and only by ... riding ... lots. Assuming you are riding solo, and not in a group, then you need to structure things a little: do long rides at a comfortable pace, and then figure out how to 'up' your tempo. If you can sustain 60 rpm cadence in a given gear/gears over, say, 30 miles, then set yourself a goal to up the cadence to 70 rpm in the same gears; then to 90. That alone will increase 'average speed'.

In additon to that, set aside a day or two a week to do intervals. These are horrifying, but they work! Go out for, say, just an hour: ride for 10 minutes at an 'easy' pace/cadence, then go into a hard gear and pedal as fast as you can for one or two minutes. You'll feel sick. Back off -- easy pace for 10 minutes or until you don't feel sick; repeat for up to an hour, then go home and try to recover.

Before you know it, that 'average speed' will be on the up. If your rides involve hills, same thing: set aside a day or two for 'hill repeats': ride up a shortish hill as fast/hard as you can, coast back down. Repeat.

Caveat: if like many of us you are overweight, or have other health issues, make d__n sure you talk this over with your physician.

But at the end of the day, getting 'faster' on the bike simply comes down to putting in the work, or in sporting terms, the 'training'. Outside of trivial increments, you can't 'buy' speed on a bike.
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Old 04-12-19, 06:24 PM
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Originally Posted by KLiNCK View Post
The easiest, most cost-effective, performance "boost" is often realized by reducing rotating mass ... installing lighter tires can make a noticeable difference.
I'd recommend a pair of Continental GP 4000s2, in the 28mm size ...awesome tire.
This is your first step.....and pump them to 110psi. Also...Ergon GP3's......
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Old 04-13-19, 03:49 AM
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Old racer joke, "I would've won if I had just pushed a bigger gear faster."
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Old 04-13-19, 07:22 AM
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The difference between 12 and 15 is a HUGE over 30 miles. Set goal for 13 first and push harder on your rides. If you hit a plateau, you'll need to provide someone far more info and stats for the next steps.

Last edited by u235; 04-13-19 at 07:25 AM.
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Old 04-17-19, 10:16 AM
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Yep, ride harder and longer. I ride one gear up from easy, and it built my legs up amazingly; I can ride up hills that I used to have to do in stages. Ride as often as you can, and remember to enjoy the ride.
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Old 04-18-19, 12:32 AM
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Easiest free speed is to get more aero. Lower position. Snug fitting, less flappy clothing.

Then tires. The size -- 700x32 -- doesn't matter much if the tires are sluggish. I recently switched my hybrid from Continental Sport Contact 2 700x32 back to Conti Speed Rides (700x42), and picked up another 1-2 mph just from the tire switch. The specs seem similar -- similar weight, etc -- but the Sport Contact 2 tires felt harsh at full pressure and sluggish at a comfortable pressure. The Speed Rides are better tires overall, faster, better grip, more comfortable and more versatile. I use heavy, puncture resistant tires on my errand bike/comfort hybrid, but I don't want them on my fun bikes.

That's good for a little more speed without major modifications or switching to a road bike.

I also switched my hybrid over the past few years from the original flat bars to riser and now albatross swept bars. The albatross bars are comfortable and more versatile, with upright position on the grips and more aero in the forward curved part of the bar. That's my casual and group ride bike. Over the usual 20-50 mile rides I average 12-14 mph.

Better physical conditioning can help a bit. But the faster we go, the more wind resistance becomes a greater factor. Beyond around 14 mph it takes a lot more energy just to overcome wind resistance, whether lack of aero positioning or headwinds. Makes more difference than bike weight, rotating wheel/tire weight or the type of tire. That's the advantage to a drop bar road bike. But I don't always want to ride my road bikes so my compromise was albatross bars on the hybrid.
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Old 04-18-19, 12:57 AM
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Originally Posted by badger1 View Post
How often do you ride; how far?....
This! How many miles a week are you riding? For a long time I was commuting and doing 60 miles per week with 9 miles each way to and from work. Not very fit. I started doing 20 mile rides on the weekends and one day during the week I detoured coming home from work for another 20 miles. I mixed in some elevation (I suck at hills for sure). This improved my fitness and I started doing 40 mile rides and then longer. I try to ride a metric century (100 km = 62 miles) every month. Riding more is the key. Do intervals. Ride longer rides. In six months, you'll notice a big difference. A road bike with drop bars will be more aerodynamic riding position, wheels will probably be lighter and it might even make a noticeable difference is average speed.
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Old 04-18-19, 01:09 AM
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When I was trying to bump up my fitness I tried really hard to improve my average speed on the bike computer, and my time around a 12 mile lake loop. I suppose today I’d be using a power meter. Health issues slowed me down and I quit “training” per se.

I was always improving by a few seconds at a time but the only sudden quantum leap like you desire came with a road bike... a very racy one.
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Old 04-18-19, 11:12 AM
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Cool Air resistance of your chest, sitting up is part of the problem.

Part of Mr Merckx, setting his Hour Record , was location .. lower air density of Mexico City , at altitude.

Inverse; a Friend's mother was on Bottled Oxygen As many with Smoking history people are ,

she moved from Colorado to the Salton Sea basin which is below sea level, in southernmost California ,
and with greater air density got off the bottled O2..

air resistance is greater the faster you try to go .. It's better if you were shaped like a fish..







...

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Old 04-19-19, 07:49 AM
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short answer: look at the speedo less

long answer: I wanted to do the same thing 10 yrs ago but with a worse starting point than you have now. got lots of good suggestions here ... wound up modifying that bike a lot! & it did indeed get faster. but eventually, I just wound up with a modern drop bar road bike

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Old 04-19-19, 09:16 AM
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Originally Posted by leob1 View Post
Ride more.
Lots of responses in this thread but this one is the best one.
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