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Avg Speed?

Old 06-04-18, 09:17 PM
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Weakbikr
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Avg Speed?

Guys I see numbers the road guys post on strava. I'm impressed but also disappointed with my performance. For instance I made a quick loop through the neighborhood after a tune up on the bike. It ran great btw, the chain was shot. So after I got home I finished my ride and my avg speed on this run of 4.6 miles was 12mph flat. I was pretty happy about that. I wasnt trying for speed just trying to hurry because I was headed to the gym afterwords. Then I see where guys are putting up 18 and 20 mph avg speeds for 20 and 30 miles runs it kinda takes the wind outta your sails. Lol. Am I just that slow or is there that big a difference between a hybrid and a road bike.
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Old 06-05-18, 01:18 AM
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Originally Posted by Weakbikr View Post
Am I just that slow or is there that big a difference between a hybrid and a road bike.
No. Yes. Over the last few months my average is a shade under 13mph. Max of over 18mph in very short bursts. I'm happier at a slower speed, as a clydesdale I prefer getting to my destination not stinking and dripping with sweat than getting there quickly.
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Old 06-05-18, 01:38 AM
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Originally Posted by Weakbikr View Post
Guys I see numbers the road guys post on strava. I'm impressed but also disappointed with my performance. For instance I made a quick loop through the neighborhood after a tune up on the bike. It ran great btw, the chain was shot. So after I got home I finished my ride and my avg speed on this run of 4.6 miles was 12mph flat. I was pretty happy about that. I wasnt trying for speed just trying to hurry because I was headed to the gym afterwords. Then I see where guys are putting up 18 and 20 mph avg speeds for 20 and 30 miles runs it kinda takes the wind outta your sails. Lol. Am I just that slow or is there that big a difference between a hybrid and a road bike.

Average speed relies on a lot of different factors. If I'm riding 30 miles on my hybrid on smooth level paths, I can average numbers like you're quoting, with bursts up to 25. That's on an FX 3 with 32c slick tires. If I'm doing neighborhood riding like you're describing, I'm lucky if I can average 14 because of all of the stopping for lights, stop signs, etc. I'm guessing you're making an unfair comparison. Those road bike guys are picking fast courses. That said, there are equipment choices that can marginally increase hybrid speed. Definitely read up on tires if you're interested in doing that.
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Old 06-05-18, 05:06 AM
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Road bikers are less likely to be stopping, but they also likely have a significant amount of money (thousands or tens of thousands of dollars) invested in the bike itself, their kit, their level of training, etc. The bikes themselves are likely very light (carbon frames), their position is much more aerodynamic than ours and, dare I say it, but I think the motivation for some of them is that average speed number on Strava. They optimize all of the factors they can to achieve a high number, either for personal satisfaction or for sharing on social media.

I'm not saying that all road riders are like that, and I certainly am not. I'll never have an average speed of 20 mph, unless I was pulled behind a motor vehicle. I think I generally average in the 9-12 mph range depending on where I'm going and what I'm doing, but I don't really pay attention to it.
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Old 06-05-18, 05:11 AM
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Ok cool, I was wondering. I know I have alot tp learn. I reckon I'll get it all figured out. I just kept thinking geez these guys are insane.
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Old 06-05-18, 05:20 AM
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$ makes little difference (almost none) and fitness is everything. When I was a young lad riding daily to university and longer rides on weekends, I got very, very fit. On my very cheap racing bike it was not unusual to go 50 miles and my cateye computer would show 23 mi average speed. Later I got a cheap fat tired mtn bike (mostly steel with 18 gears) and I could still average 22 mi/hr on that too. These days I feel great doing that down hill with a tail wind.
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Old 06-05-18, 06:05 AM
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On my hybrid for my commute of 7.5 miles I average about 11.5 mph but I'm also not really going for speed. With the Hybrid I'm in a much more upright riding position so I catch a lot of wind where if I was on a road bike in a more aerodynamic position I'm sure I would be faster. My hybrid also has wider tires than a road bike. I really don't worry about my speed to much since I'm not riding to see how fast i can go but more to get from one place to another or get is some modest exercise. Even at an average of around 12 mph you can get a decent workout in. Honestly, were I ride most of the people I see are going around the same speed as me or within a 2 mph difference.
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Old 06-05-18, 06:23 AM
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The average speed is valuable in that you can see if you are becoming faster or more fit, but it shouldn't be compared to others except in the most general way. Also, tracking average speed over time is most valuable if you are using the same cycling route; average speed will vary with terrain and other factors; don't compare apples to oranges.

I have a route I have ridden hundreds of times, and my average speed on that route tells me if I am getting faster or slower over time.

Everyone has his or her own best pace. Learn what it is and enjoy it. No matter how fast your speed, there is someone faster, and someone slower.
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Old 06-05-18, 06:40 AM
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Speaking in general terms and my personal experience.

I have a Treks hybrid fx7.3, a Domane 5.something, and Giant Defy Advanced. FX7.3 is @2-3 mph slower vs Domane. While on Domane, riding through town vs country I lose 3-4 mph avg.

Giant is 1-2 mph quicker than Domane, but that may be influenced by the tires on each bike and time of day I ride each bike. Domane is set up/ridden during pre-dawn hours while I normally ride Giant during the day. Not sure if it matters, but it might.
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Old 06-05-18, 07:36 AM
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Well, last year, a couple of months after I started riding, my typical average speed (on 1 to 5 hour rides) on my Trek 3500 was about 14 km/h (~ 8.7 mph). Replaced original Bontrager 50 mm knobby tires with 32 mm slicks (Continental Sport Contact II) - got 2 km/h more instantly (16 km/h or 9.9 mph). Replaced stock plastic platform pedals and sneakers with SPD clipless pedals and biking shoes - got 2 km/h more instantly again (18 km/h or 11.2 mph). And since then just by riding regularly my average speed is constantly increasing. Now, about 6 months later (of which about 4 months were cold, so not much riding), it is between 20 to 23+ km/h (12.4 - 14.3 mph) depending on distance and day. For example, my last 114 km (71 miles) ride was 20.2 km/h average but 45 km (28 miles) ride averaged 23.3 km/h.

So, my personal experience definitely says that average speed is definitely function of both right equipment and training. And training have bigger impact. :-)

Current amount of riding, for reference: May 2018 was 845 km (525 miles).
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Old 06-05-18, 07:44 AM
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Many of the higher speeds you see on strava are not solo rides. Get a few people to draft off of and you'll be faster without extra effort.
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Old 06-05-18, 07:58 AM
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My average speed is around 19-22 km/h (12-14 mph) when commuting in the city, and 22-27 km/h (14-17 mph) for longer rides.
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Old 06-05-18, 08:33 AM
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Road bikers are savvy and know they have to counter hill climbs with flat stretches to keep their avg overall speed at 18+ mph, lol.
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Old 06-05-18, 03:43 PM
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15 mph here.
10 miles in 40 min every other day

Last edited by Crzoomb; 06-05-18 at 03:47 PM.
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Old 06-05-18, 03:56 PM
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Weakbikr
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Originally Posted by jbell_64 View Post
Many of the higher speeds you see on strava are not solo rides. Get a few people to draft off of and you'll be faster without extra effort.
my father in law said the same thing. He told me in some of his group rides he can pick up an easy 2 to 3 mph.
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Old 06-05-18, 03:59 PM
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I really appreciate all the replies. I'm sure my questions are elementary to alot of folks here but I ask to learn tips and tricks to apply on my rides. Seems nothing helps more than fitness and that's what im working on. Trying to build a better motor.
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Old 06-05-18, 06:11 PM
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If your goal is a better motor, there aren't many better ways to measure that than average speed (especially if your riding routes are more or less consistent, so you can directly compare times). If setting goals to meet or exceed others' average speeds motivates you, then do it; that's great! I'd say you're on the right track.
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Old 06-05-18, 07:03 PM
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Originally Posted by hokiefyd View Post
If your goal is a better motor, there aren't many better ways to measure that than average speed (especially if your riding routes are more or less consistent, so you can directly compare times). If setting goals to meet or exceed others' average speeds motivates you, then do it; that's great! I'd say you're on the right track.
I have routes through the neighborhood that I can ride to measure. I try to ride faster each time but I also want to be able to ride a good 25 mile run without falling off on the back half. So I'm learning to pace myself.
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Old 06-06-18, 12:37 PM
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How far divided by how long a time is how you get an average, if it matters, simple math.
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Old 06-06-18, 01:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Weakbikr View Post
I have routes through the neighborhood that I can ride to measure. I try to ride faster each time but I also want to be able to ride a good 25 mile run without falling off on the back half. So I'm learning to pace myself.


My advice would be to not focus on the speed at all, just on finding ways to enjoy a 25 mile or so ride. Doing the same route over and over is great for measuring progress, but it's also a good way to turn it into a chore and burn out on it. If I'm going more than a few miles, I pick a destination I want to see or that has some appealing routes on the way and make a day trip out of it. Those trips have gotten longer and longer (my record is 153 miles in a day, and I intend to break that this weekend), and speed has taken care of itself without me really having to think about it. But I will tell you that for road biking, there's nothing more comfortable than a good pair of slick tires--it really makes stopping and starting much easier.
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Old 06-06-18, 01:19 PM
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When I first got my Specialized Sirrus Comp, I was really disappointed with speed -- everyone was constantly passing me. But then I got decent road tires (700s28 Michelin Pro4's) and SPD pedals.

Now my average no-wind pace on flat terrain is around 17 mph, though on Strava I'll come in around 14 for the whole ride (taking into account minor hills and occassional slowing down for other things). Most roadies still pass me, but it's less common and the speed differential is less.


Originally Posted by Weakbikr View Post
Guys I see numbers the road guys post on strava. I'm impressed but also disappointed with my performance. For instance I made a quick loop through the neighborhood after a tune up on the bike. It ran great btw, the chain was shot. So after I got home I finished my ride and my avg speed on this run of 4.6 miles was 12mph flat. I was pretty happy about that. I wasnt trying for speed just trying to hurry because I was headed to the gym afterwords. Then I see where guys are putting up 18 and 20 mph avg speeds for 20 and 30 miles runs it kinda takes the wind outta your sails. Lol. Am I just that slow or is there that big a difference between a hybrid and a road bike.
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Old 06-06-18, 03:14 PM
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I'm not so much obsessed with speed, but if I go on a ride I'd like to be able to keep up with the majority of the riders. I dont want to be the last guy in the pack.
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Old 06-06-18, 03:21 PM
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That was my goal as well. If you haven't done so already, get a decent set of road tires. The ones I got transformed the whole experience, and I plan on getting the same ones when I get my road bike.

Originally Posted by Weakbikr View Post
I'm not so much obsessed with speed, but if I go on a ride I'd like to be able to keep up with the majority of the riders. I dont want to be the last guy in the pack.
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Old 06-07-18, 07:52 AM
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Originally Posted by hokiefyd View Post
The bikes themselves are likely very light (carbon frames), their position is much more aerodynamic than ours and, dare I say it, but I think the motivation for some of them is that average speed number on Strava. They optimize all of the factors they can to achieve a high number, either for personal satisfaction or for sharing on social media.

I'm not saying that all road riders are like that,
I will say it ! All the road bike guys I've met are all about time and distance, most are pretty cool about it though, it's just what they're into, and that's fine. (Its the road bikers that feel superior to anyone thats not on a road bike that don't acknowledge you on the trail or road that are the ****** bags lol)
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Old 06-07-18, 10:36 AM
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This is from my ride on Tuesday night this week. 2015 Giant FastRoad Hybrid Bike. I use flat pedals and not clipless. 28mm tires. Bike weighs ~21 lbs stock with pedals. I weigh ~200 lbs geared up.

The limiting factor isn't the bike. It's the persons fitness level.


Last edited by prj71; 06-07-18 at 10:40 AM.
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