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Low speed on road bike

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Low speed on road bike

Old 07-23-22, 11:00 AM
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Low speed on road bike

Hi, whole life I was riding mtb bike, but because last years mostly on paved roads, so I decided to buy road bike. I took race geometry road bike and i had hope for higher increase of average speed. On asphalt roads with mtb 2.3" knobby tires i can get (in zone 2 HR) 17-18mph and on road bike(25c tires) this speed increase very little by 1-2mph. I was thinking that in same hart rate zone i will be doing 3-4mph more.
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Old 07-23-22, 11:34 AM
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Others can chime in, but your numbers sound reasonable. If you are able, lower your bars and get more aero, that may buy you another 1MPH if your current setup is upright-ish.
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Old 07-23-22, 01:18 PM
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But many friends doing here around 23-24mph on road bikes(solo rides) but they are slower on MTB than me. I still have 3 spacers under stem but stem is upside down so a bit lower than standard. Maybe because of lower position some different parts of muscles have to develop?
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Old 07-23-22, 02:41 PM
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I think it’s time to join some of those solo riders just to keep things honest.
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Old 07-23-22, 03:30 PM
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In my experience, bike weight, gearing, tire rolling resistance, equals 1-2 mph in average speed, depending on the terrain, the exact tires, the gearing, the rider’s power etc.

Any gain much over 1mph is going to depend on bike position, which is mostly aerodynamics, but also affects the power you can put out in the position.

So one obvious question is how aero you are on each bike, and whether you can put out the same power in your position on the road bike.

if your road bike position is no more aro than your mountain, then the speed difference mostly devolves to rolling resistance, a relatively small part of the equation.

if your road position is more aero, it may be you’re not producing as much power in the new position, particularly one tp which your not welll adapted.
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Old 07-23-22, 03:44 PM
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Averaging 23-24 on solo rides?
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Old 07-23-22, 03:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Elvo View Post
Averaging 23-24 on solo rides?
lot depends on terrain. In better shape that’s doable for me on a pancake flat ride in Florida, particularly if winds are favorable.

However, I get your point, for most terrain, and particularly recreational non racing cyclists, 23-24 mph average is a bit of a stretch.

Also, people often equate their “cruising speed” with “average speed”

A ride that you spent a pretty good amount of time rollling along at 23-24 might often equate to an average speed for the whole ride several mph slower.
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Old 07-23-22, 05:40 PM
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I've heard that the head tubes on modern road bikes are pretty tall, so your chest is probably up in the wind. Trying finding a -20 degree stem and getting lower. I assume you're not riding in a large peloton?
Here's some reading material on the subject: https://www.bikeforums.net/general-c...etitiv-28.html


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Old 07-23-22, 05:42 PM
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Without any position changes to reduce aero drag, a speed difference from MTB to road bike of 1-2 mph sounds reasonable.

According to the Kreuzotter calculator, a power of 210 watts on level ground will produce:

MTB -> 17.9 mph
Road bike, hands on tops -> 19.1 mph (+1.2 mph)
Road bike, hands on drops -> 21.4 mph (+3.5 mph)
Time trial/triathlon bicycle -> 22.6 mph (+4.7 mph)
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Old 07-23-22, 05:53 PM
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You can probably ride your road bike further at that average speed than you can a mountain bike.
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Old 07-23-22, 06:53 PM
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Originally Posted by MrLuke View Post
But many friends doing here around 23-24mph on road bikes(solo rides) but they are slower on MTB than me. I still have 3 spacers under stem but stem is upside down so a bit lower than standard. Maybe because of lower position some different parts of muscles have to develop?
If, for real, your friends do 23-24 solo, for a full ride - fitness and power are NOT the issue...
quite some many years back, I visited a friend in VT. He took me for an MTB ride (suspension forks had just become 'THE Thing'). It was the ride from hell... Took on some knarly stuff I'd never ridden before...and dusted me. After, he asked " I thought you once were a Cat 2 racer? What gives?" I told him, I haven't ridden mtb much and never what he took me through, and it was my 1st pass, he rides the same frequently. I told him " A Crit or road race is much longer, harder for power and speed, but no where near as crazy, dangerous as his ride... LOL!" Survival is Project 1.
Speed Skating and Hockey are both done on ice, with skates, but they're both completely different games.
Same with bikes
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Old 07-23-22, 11:37 PM
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Originally Posted by MrLuke View Post
but they are slower on MTB than me.
Is that because you're pedaling harder, or because you're better at mountain biking?
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Old 07-24-22, 02:02 AM
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Originally Posted by HTupolev View Post
Is that because you're pedaling harder, or because you're better at mountain biking?
Probably different degrees of self-preservation.
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Old 07-24-22, 03:26 AM
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Originally Posted by MrLuke View Post
But many friends doing here around 23-24mph on road bikes(solo rides) but they are slower on MTB than me.
"Negative Placebo" effect or in your case, you're simply not used to road bike fit.
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Old 07-24-22, 05:58 AM
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Originally Posted by MrLuke View Post
But many friends doing here around 23-24mph on road bikes(solo rides) but they are slower on MTB than me. I still have 3 spacers under stem but stem is upside down so a bit lower than standard. Maybe because of lower position some different parts of muscles have to develop?
That and you have to stop wearing MTB clothes while riding your new road bike.
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Old 07-24-22, 11:02 AM
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Originally Posted by merlinextraligh View Post
lot depends on terrain. In better shape that’s doable for me on a pancake flat ride in Florida, particularly if winds are favorable.

However, I get your point, for most terrain, and particularly recreational non racing cyclists, 23-24 mph average is a bit of a stretch.

Also, people often equate their “cruising speed” with “average speed”

A ride that you spent a pretty good amount of time rollling along at 23-24 might often equate to an average speed for the whole ride several mph slower.
So true.
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Old 07-24-22, 11:11 AM
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Originally Posted by Elvo View Post
Averaging 23-24 on solo rides?
I picked up on this. Anyone who is riding solo at this average speed is either lying or training for a pro contract. The only time I ever did an average speed that fast was in an individual time trial on closed roads or over a short Strava section. I have done group rides in rural areas with strong groups at those sorts of speeds and have done road races on closed courses at even faster speeds, but solo? on normal roads? Guys who can do that in real life are very, very strong. I have met tons of guys who confuse average speed with the speed they can do on clear roads for awhile. Not the same thing
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Old 07-24-22, 11:44 AM
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Originally Posted by alcjphil View Post
I picked up on this. Anyone who is riding solo at this average speed is either lying or training for a pro contract. The only time I ever did an average speed that fast was in an individual time trial on closed roads or over a short Strava section. I have done group rides in rural areas with strong groups at those sorts of speeds and have done road races on closed courses at even faster speeds, but solo? on normal roads? Guys who can do that in real life are very, very strong. I have met tons of guys who confuse average speed with the speed they can do on clear roads for awhile. Not the same thing
This. I can cruise on the flats at 23-24 MPH with a group and/or a tailwind. No way I can do a full round trip solo ride and end up with that average.
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Old 07-24-22, 12:04 PM
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Check your saddle to bar drop. Something around 10cm is fairly aggressive. Big guys might go quite a bit more. My saddle height is in the 72-73cm range and a 10cm drop is what I use. I used 8cm for many years, but tried a big change by using a -17 stem instead of a -6. It didn't bother me to make the large change all at once.

Many years ago I had a 26 pound hybrid bike that was about 2mph slower than my road bike on the same terrain.
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Old 07-24-22, 12:05 PM
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Originally Posted by datlas View Post
This. I can cruise on the flats at 23-24 MPH with a group and/or a tailwind. No way I can do a full round trip solo ride and end up with that average.
Good to know that you agree. As an aside I used to train with a masters team that won Canadian national, Quebec Provincial and even North American championship winners.
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Old 07-24-22, 12:48 PM
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Road bikes have a bigger advantage at higher speeds, I bet if you did a 5 minute all out effort you'd be much faster on the more aerodynamic road bike. Sub 20 MPH it just isn't as important. Also nerves and the unfamiliar position might affecting your heart rate

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Old 07-24-22, 01:43 PM
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I saw those speeds on strava 2h average around 39km/h so it's like 24mph on flat but maybe draft I don't know, but in 3people group they doing 22-23mph for 100miles.
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Old 07-24-22, 06:59 PM
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It is the "magic wand" syndrome, and the magic-wand is money. People in the West often turn to dumping money onto a problem as the first resort to solving it. In reality there is no real functional difference between a road and mountain-bike except for the tires each has to suit the road surface. I did a 42-mile road-race on my Marin Bear-Valley 25 years ago after pumping the knobby tires up to 80psi, and the only part of the race I was dropped on was long fast downhills where I ran out of gear, which a simply cassette switch would have solved. The sanctioning body banned riding MTBs in the race the next year. If you set up both your MTB and road bike to give the same body position, and run close to the same pressure in the tires, there will be almost no difference in their speed on pavement, the road bike will just be more comfortable for longer. I still have my Marin and it is not set up much different than my road bike, and it works great on dirt-trails because the low bar i great while climbing steep hills, and downhill I just drop off the back of the seat and put my butt on the rear tire.



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Old 07-24-22, 10:55 PM
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Your main issue is muscle memory. You are used to riding a mountain bike, your body has adapted to it. You’ll find a road bike to be a much different animal, and you are likely to find that many of the fundamentals are not the same. The reach from the saddle to the bar is different, fore-aft position of the saddle is probably different, and there is a good chance your crank arm lengths are different. A main speed advantage of a road bike is a more aerodynamic riding position, and adapting to a good position comfortably takes time. It took years of riding for me to more-or-less develop a good position, good pedal stroke, and to flatten my back.
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Old 07-25-22, 12:26 PM
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After all its funny or even disappointing that mtb clothing flat peals and mtb bike can do almost same speed as expensive bikes with very expensive areo clothes spd-sl shoes etc.
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