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sub 5hr solo century: power/speed

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sub 5hr solo century: power/speed

Old 06-16-21, 09:05 AM
  #1  
hubcyclist
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sub 5hr solo century: power/speed

So, I did a solo century on Sunday, my goal was to get under 5hrs, and I managed! 4:56 and to say the stars were aligned would be an understatement! Had a nice day, no stopping at all, no lights.

Of course, the effort was there too, I averaged 227w/233w NP/0.8 IF (3.2w/kg) for the ride, which was of course 100 miles and around 4k ft of elevation. I had run the course through best bike split a while back and at the time it suggested I could average 214w/217w NP to get a time of 4:50 (unfortunately I don't have a paid membership to see what type of wind conditions went into the modelling), so I do wonder how much the conditions of the day played a role in my speed (I shaved my legs, had an aero helmet, and wore race fit kit). I ran my ride through an app called windsock and got the following

Weather Impact: 1.5%
Headwind: 51% @ 8.4-11.3mph
Longest Headwind: 01h 2m 34s
Air Speed: 20.3mph
Temp: 75.3-75.4F

I'm not entirely sure how to interpret this, like how much the headwind affected things (it's a very north/south type of course in coastal southern new england, so that type of wind is more often than not a fact of life). It'll probably be a while before I attempt another 100 mile PR just because my training stuff is more oriented toward getting ready for CX season, but I may do a different loop in the future. Not sure if knocking an additional 10mins to get to do 21mph is feasible depending on weather conditions, but that may be the next goal to keep things interesting!
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Old 06-16-21, 09:40 AM
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Originally Posted by hubcyclist View Post
Not sure if knocking an additional 10mins to get to do 21mph is feasible depending on weather conditions
Congratulations on meeting your goal.

To be 10 minutes faster on the same route with the same weather conditions would require just about 10% more power.
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Old 06-16-21, 10:51 AM
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Might be worth getting a monthly subscription to BBS to answer your questions. One month would give you plenty of time to run through all the weather scenarios and fine tune all the setup parameters to get it super accurate. Ive been using it to generate pacing plans for hilly century rides this year. Its been spot on so far having followed the calibration tips for aero and tyre drag.
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Old 06-16-21, 11:38 AM
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Originally Posted by RChung View Post
Congratulations on meeting your goal.

To be 10 minutes faster on the same route with the same weather conditions would require just about 10% more power.
I'm not gonna say it's impossible to maintain 86% for 5hrs, but it's highly unlikely for me, I think! Will have to think about handlebar and wheel upgrades to maybe put me in that zone lol

I looked at another ride I did in the general area where I did the century, albeit a shorter loop, and I averaged 19.7mph on 208w NP/215w NP and seemingly windier (but also cooler) and with more headwind than my century ride.
Weather Impact: 5.1%
Headwind: 55% @ 14.9-24.2mph
Longest Headwind: 22m 6s
Air Speed: 20.1mph
Temp: 58.3F
Precip: 0% @ 0 Inch/hr

I wasn't looking at speed during my century, just power, so I was secretly hoping much of the time that I'd get a faster speed. Of course I'm super happy with the power production and final outcome, but hopefully I haven't squeezed all I can out of the whole personal best solo century thing.
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Old 06-16-21, 11:45 AM
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Originally Posted by PeteHski View Post
Might be worth getting a monthly subscription to BBS to answer your questions. One month would give you plenty of time to run through all the weather scenarios and fine tune all the setup parameters to get it super accurate. Ive been using it to generate pacing plans for hilly century rides this year. Its been spot on so far having followed the calibration tips for aero and tyre drag.
Yeah, I think if plan to do something like this I may mess around with BBS over a month. I didn't really plan anything for this other than the date since it was at the end of a rest week following a training block, plus I was visiting my parents who live near the century loop. I've also never really been one to hyperanalyze wind and speed and all that, I mainly like to focus on power targets, but it's been fun chasing the personal best and would be fun to see if I can outdo myself
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Old 06-16-21, 12:49 PM
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Holding those watts for 5 hours................yikes.

That's a super strong ride, congratulations!
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Old 06-16-21, 12:51 PM
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Originally Posted by hubcyclist View Post
So, I did a solo century on Sunday, my goal was to get under 5hrs, and I managed! 4:56 and to say the stars were aligned would be an understatement! Had a nice day, no stopping at all, no lights.

Of course, the effort was there too, I averaged 227w/233w NP/0.8 IF (3.2w/kg) for the ride, which was of course 100 miles and around 4k ft of elevation. I had run the course through best bike split a while back and at the time it suggested I could average 214w/217w NP to get a time of 4:50 (unfortunately I don't have a paid membership to see what type of wind conditions went into the modelling), so I do wonder how much the conditions of the day played a role in my speed (I shaved my legs, had an aero helmet, and wore race fit kit). I ran my ride through an app called windsock and got the following

Weather Impact: 1.5%
Headwind: 51% @ 8.4-11.3mph
Longest Headwind: 01h 2m 34s
Air Speed: 20.3mph
Temp: 75.3-75.4F

I'm not entirely sure how to interpret this, like how much the headwind affected things (it's a very north/south type of course in coastal southern new england, so that type of wind is more often than not a fact of life). It'll probably be a while before I attempt another 100 mile PR just because my training stuff is more oriented toward getting ready for CX season, but I may do a different loop in the future. Not sure if knocking an additional 10mins to get to do 21mph is feasible depending on weather conditions, but that may be the next goal to keep things interesting!
Great Job Hubs! If I may ask how old are you and what bike and gear set up did you use. Reason I ask is I have always wanted to do a solo 100 in 5 hrs. I never actually have my best 5:18 probably 7-8 years ago and I certainly could have but never really planned it out. I simply decide to do a century and see what happens, resting days before would have helped me make it for sure. Right now at almost 60 I could see possibly still hitting 100 in 5:10 on a good day but goin under 5 solo now sounds pretty difficult.

My question would be what could person do in a group ride? I have always been a lone ranger but when I have gone with others my speed picks up considerably. I don't know your age but still no matter what impressive riding.
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Old 06-16-21, 01:09 PM
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Originally Posted by deacon mark View Post
Great Job Hubs! If I may ask how old are you and what bike and gear set up did you use. Reason I ask is I have always wanted to do a solo 100 in 5 hrs. I never actually have my best 5:18 probably 7-8 years ago and I certainly could have but never really planned it out. I simply decide to do a century and see what happens, resting days before would have helped me make it for sure. Right now at almost 60 I could see possibly still hitting 100 in 5:10 on a good day but goin under 5 solo now sounds pretty difficult.

My question would be what could person do in a group ride? I have always been a lone ranger but when I have gone with others my speed picks up considerably. I don't know your age but still no matter what impressive riding.
I'm 41, I've been cycling since late 2013. My gear is really modest, I have a base model Specialized Allez equipped with Claris and the most basic axis sport wheels. I did have a Lazer bullet aero helmet that was issued by my road club a few years ago and some tight fitting kit, but other than that nothing really aero. My pacing was just super solid, and I've been training a lot of sweet spot so the effort was easier than stuff I've been doing lately!

As far as groups, the fastest time on the course I followed was set by a few of New England's stronger riders in September 2020 and was 40mins faster than my time, so a decent group can definitely get under 5hrs.

I actually was messing around with mywindsock (it's a weather app that hooks into strava), and evidently there's an option to pick some future dates and it'll give estimates based on the forecast. I put in this coming Sunday the 20th and for the same power it's saying I could do 4:46, so I'll definitely try and plan future efforts!
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Old 06-16-21, 01:50 PM
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Good work!

Your weight worked out to about 71kg from the math on the AP, I think. Given that and the 227w, something is off on either your road bike position (aero) or your tire CRR. I am always around 70kg plus or minus a bit.

Your ride was 40 feet per mile. Lately around here on the roadie I'm 70kg and 230w AP on 75 feet per mile is getting me right close to 20mph. I'd say maybe your meter is reading high, you have your weight set too low and is actually higher or some combo of aero and tire CRR is holding you back from "more".

I also say analyze your route. Are you losing a lot for coasting down hills or around corners or having to re-accel from lots of stops?

Here's a metric I did recently on less power, same weight, and LOTS more elevation per mile......you've got some efficiencies to gain somewhere.....

https://www.strava.com/activities/5388992061
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Old 06-16-21, 02:31 PM
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Originally Posted by deacon mark View Post
My question would be what could person do in a group ride? I have always been a lone ranger but when I have gone with others my speed picks up considerably.
I've done a century in 4:18 riding in a group in a Gran Fondo. The fastest riders finished in 3:47.
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Old 06-16-21, 03:37 PM
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Originally Posted by hubcyclist View Post
I'm 41, I've been cycling since late 2013. My gear is really modest, I have a base model Specialized Allez equipped with Claris and the most basic axis sport wheels. I did have a Lazer bullet aero helmet that was issued by my road club a few years ago and some tight fitting kit, but other than that nothing really aero. My pacing was just super solid, and I've been training a lot of sweet spot so the effort was easier than stuff I've been doing lately!

As far as groups, the fastest time on the course I followed was set by a few of New England's stronger riders in September 2020 and was 40mins faster than my time, so a decent group can definitely get under 5hrs.

I actually was messing around with mywindsock (it's a weather app that hooks into strava), and evidently there's an option to pick some future dates and it'll give estimates based on the forecast. I put in this coming Sunday the 20th and for the same power it's saying I could do 4:46, so I'll definitely try and plan future efforts!
That's solid work!

As an aside, I have one of those Lazer Bullets. Did you keep the vents closed?
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Old 06-16-21, 03:55 PM
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Originally Posted by caloso View Post
That's solid work!

As an aside, I have one of those Lazer Bullets. Did you keep the vents closed?
I did, fortunately didnt get too hot with the lack of ventilation.
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Old 06-16-21, 11:05 PM
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If you're looking to go faster for the same effort, a decent set of 50-60mm deep section wheels will cut minutes off your time (although not as much a picking a perfect weather day).

That's some decent power over five hours!
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Old 06-17-21, 12:11 AM
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You done real good.
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Old 06-17-21, 02:24 AM
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Originally Posted by hubcyclist View Post
I'm not gonna say it's impossible to maintain 86% for 5hrs, but it's highly unlikely for me, I think!
I think you did extremely well to hold an IF 0.8 for 5 hours. I'm usually down in the low to mid 0.7s for that length of ride. I don't think I could get to 0.8 actually with an accurate FTP. Not for 5 hours solid.
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