# General Cycling Discussion - where can I find the average speed of people riding stationaire bikes

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03-03-06, 10:20 AM
hello.

i have been looking for this for all over the net and i haven't been able to find anything

does anybody of you know a site of if you just know the answer to my question please answer it.
my question is, what's the average miles that people do in determined time and resistence? i would like to see a table about it, or something

i do in 30 minuts, 10 miles with a 7 resistence, can u tell me if this is slow, or intermediate or fast
thanks

kf5nd
03-03-06, 10:26 AM
there is no direct, reliable way to compare.

the only way to make a comparison is to measure the load on the engine, namely, your heart.

if you ride for an hour with your heart rate at, say, 140 BPM, and you cover 17 miles on your bike in your neighborhood

then if you hop and your stationary trainer and keep 140 PBM for an hour, and the stationary bike says, let's say for sake of argument, 12 miles

then you know that in order to convert stationary miles to neighborhood road miles you have to multiple the stationary miles by 17/12, or 1.42

obviously, you need a heart rate monitor, or at the very least a watch with a second hand... and the ability to count and use a calculator

03-03-06, 10:52 AM
All of the stationary bikes I have ever seen go 0 mph. :)

Paul L.
03-03-06, 01:53 PM
All of the stationary bikes I have ever seen go 0 mph. :)

Of course there was that one that TV's Frank on Mystery Science Theatre 3000 invented that had a drive train connected to wheels on the bottom of the floor bracket of a stationary bike, that one didn't go too fast though. (Or am I thinking of the stair machine he made that went places, or perhaps it was the rowing machine that had a boat put under it and paddles added to the arms so it could go somwhere).

Little Darwin
03-03-06, 03:02 PM
I tend to pedal at between 80 - 90 rpm according to the displays on the exercise bikes I ride. There are a couple of models at my gym, and another in the fitness room of my apartment complex.

I do 12 - 13 mph at a level 3 on one stationary bike...

I do 16 mph on level 3 on another stationary bike...

I do 20 mph on level 4 on yet a third stationary bike...

On each I go for an hour... I have recently started doing 1.5 hours to prepare for Spring.

You won't any meaningful numbers anywhere. The only measurement that is likely to be meaningful to you is if you improve on the same machine.

kamoke
03-03-06, 03:52 PM
All of the stationary bikes I have ever seen go 0 mph. :)

How about the one in Les Triplettes de Belleville thats connected to the movie screen, which ends up to be more of a ship in the end.
What a good movie.

oh, I don't have any insights to the actual thread topic though.. :o

Machka
03-03-06, 05:39 PM
I highly doubt that information exists. Every stationary bike is different - there is no consistancy where every single stationary bike in the world has the same "Level 7". Even within the same brand they're different depending on how much the bike has been used, or the year the bicycle was made, or whatever. Also, in the gyms I've frequented over the years half the time half the bikes are broken in some way .... and those Monarch bikes, which I've seen in every gym I've been in, are the worst!! I don't think I've ever seen one operate correctly, or consistantly, or comfortably.

The question does bring something to mind though .... I've been going to gyms for over 20 years now, and I'm currently going to my college gym, and I notice this same thing in every gym .... the people who use the stationary bikes, stair steppers, etc. almost in slow motion!! They sit or stand there flipping through their magazine for 10 or 20 minutes, barely turning the pedals or taking steps or whatever ... so incredibly slowly with practically no resistance. I have to wonder why they even bother to use the machines. Walking around the block would probably raise their heart rate more using the equipment in the gym. Just an observation.

'nother
03-03-06, 05:49 PM
I highly doubt that information exists. Every stationary bike is different - there is no consistancy where every single stationary bike in the world has the same "Level 7". Even within the same brand they're different depending on how much the bike has been used, or the year the bicycle was made, or whatever. Also, in the gyms I've frequented over the years half the time half the bikes are broken in some way .... and those Monarch bikes, which I've seen in every gym I've been in, are the worst!! I don't think I've ever seen one operate correctly, or consistantly, or comfortably..

I use a rowing machine ("erg") at a local gym and they have the same problem in that "level 7" on one machine is a different actual resistance than "level 7" on another machine . . . however, they are able to measure the actual drag (which changes over time as the components wear, etc.), so it's possible to set up 2 machines for the same amount of drag. They also compute your "effective" distance traveled, taking all of this drag/power output/etc. into account.

There's no reason that idea couldn't also be applied to stationary bikes, spin bikes, etc.. It's actually a little surprising that no one's done that yet, especially with the popularity of Spinning(tm) these days.

Machka
03-03-06, 07:41 PM
There's no reason that idea couldn't also be applied to stationary bikes, spin bikes, etc.. It's actually a little surprising that no one's done that yet, especially with the popularity of Spinning(tm) these days.

As far as the stationary bikes go, I think there are two reasons why no one has done that yet:

1) The riders who are like the ones I described above -- riding so slow that grass grows faster and more energetically than they pedal -- don't care whether the resistance level on one bike matches that of the next ....... and from my observations there are quite a few people out there like that.

2) A stationary bike, like a LifeCycle, or one of the more expensive ones could probably be calibrated. But those Monarchs (which are everywhere!) can't really be calibrated because the resistance is created by a strap around a flywheel. If that strap has been stretched at all, or is fraying, or if the tightening mechanism is damaged, or whatever, that bike will have a different resistance than the one next to it. And unfortunately I have rarely seen a Monarch with a new strap ... they are all stretched or fraying ... or the tightening mechanisms are damaged.

Katrogen
03-03-06, 09:50 PM
In my oppinion there will never be an average number or reliable number on any gym stationary bike. I'd get a cyclo computer and trainer for that sort of thing. If you want to enjoy stationary bikes for their benefits (I love them.) then join a spin class! Theres so much more variety in those and you don't have to stare at numbers.

slagjumper
03-04-06, 09:54 PM
In my oppinion there will never be an average number or reliable number on any gym stationary bike. I'd get a cyclo computer and trainer for that sort of thing. If you want to enjoy stationary bikes for their benefits (I love them.) then join a spin class! Theres so much more variety in those and you don't have to stare at numbers.

Here is a Monarck Ergo, usually found in University Metabolic Labs. Note the scale and the weight. These are rarely found in health clubs, but the non-ergo models are pretty common. Like Machka said, many of the Monarcks that I have seen in clubs are in pretty bad shape as far as the springs and belts are concerned. I think that people who dont know what they are doing, crank the dials too much and that streches the spring and can mess up the belts. Pedaling backwards can also mess them up.

As I recall the Ergo models read in newton-pounds or some wierd scale like that. You have to calibrate the older ones with seperate weights. Not all Monarchs models are able to produce a quantifiable result.

http://www.uwlax.edu/sah/ess/hprl/images/monarchergo.jpg

I have a small Monarch that I got at a goodwill for 7 bucks! It's cool because it is small enough for kids.

skiahh
03-05-06, 12:46 PM
The question does bring something to mind though .... I've been going to gyms for over 20 years now, and I'm currently going to my college gym, and I notice this same thing in every gym .... the people who use the stationary bikes, stair steppers, etc. almost in slow motion!! They sit or stand there flipping through their magazine for 10 or 20 minutes, barely turning the pedals or taking steps or whatever ... so incredibly slowly with practically no resistance. I have to wonder why they even bother to use the machines. Walking around the block would probably raise their heart rate more using the equipment in the gym. Just an observation.

Yeah, and don't forget the makeup and perfume. Or cell phones! I was at the gym the other night and a lady walked by me reeking of perfume. She had been on a bike or elliptical - not sure - and went over to do some other stuff by the free weight mats. And then another lady came in, got on the elliptical and flipped open her cell phone. She was still talking 35 mins later when I finished up.

DannoXYZ
03-05-06, 01:09 PM
Comparing average-speed on an exercise bike is much less useful than trying to compare average-speed on a bike in real-world conditions. Since that's really worthless anyway, less than worthless is negative worthlessness?

I think either actual watts/hr generated or calories/hr burned would be better measurements for comparisons. Watts would require a hub or crank-based strain-gauge to measure actual force from pedaling and the computer would integrate with distance & time to come up with watts. Measuring calories burned would require an temperature-isolated chamber to measure total heat output.