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Clydesdales/Athenas (200+ lb / 91+ kg) Looking to lose that spare tire? Ideal weight 200+? Frustrated being a large cyclist in a sport geared for the ultra-light? Learn about the bikes and parts that can take the abuse of a heavier cyclist, how to keep your body going while losing the weight, and get support from others who've been successful.

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Old 09-26-06, 07:17 AM   #1
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Average speed for uber Clyde?

I was curious...what kind of speeds you fellow uber Clydes (300+) ride at? One problem I've had is that I've never significantly increased my speed since I started riding...I'm still dirt slow. I started riding around 10mph average, and am probably now (after 2 1/2 years) only at about 12.5 mph average give or take.

Any tips on speed increase?
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Old 09-26-06, 07:47 AM   #2
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On my road bike, I would average about 16.5 mph, when solo.

In a small group (2 to 4) we could kick it up to 19 mph.

When riding in a pace line, I could cruise with the 21 mph group.

On my mountain bike off road, I'm lucky to avg 8 mph.
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Old 09-26-06, 08:17 AM   #3
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Since YOU are the engine on a bike your maximum speed ,bikes
being equal, is determined by the condition of your cardio and lung
systems. You must be able to supply MORE blood & oxygen to you
muscles to get MORE speed.

That said, you can loose weight from calorie consumption but not
get any faster if your cardio & lungs limit you.

It ain't magic it's physics, mate.
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Old 09-26-06, 09:09 AM   #4
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I'm borderline uberclyde(290), and the biggest hit we clydes have is when it comes to hills. About 3 weeks ago I spent a week in Savannah and went for a ride out to Tybee Island, which was about a 70 mile round trip from my hotel. At home, in NW CT, I might be able to average about 12-13 mph riding through the hills. In Savannah, my avg speed jumped by at least 2-3 mph. Into the wind, I was averaging 15 mph. On the return leg, my average jumped above 18mph. For more speed, and better conditioning, do more hill climbs, plan a route that takes you into the wind on downhill legs, and uphill on downwind legs--and never get off the bike. If you are sore the next day, take a couple of days off and do something else.
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Old 09-26-06, 09:30 AM   #5
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Last night my total commute time was 45 minutes for 11 miles and 35 minutes for 7 miles. Those times include stopping for traffic lights, crossing signals and water. So my moving average speed on both rides was probably around 14-15mph. This is on commutes that are a even split of fast downhills (max speed last night was 31.3mph), some flat stretches, and a lot of gradual uphills.

My speed on the gradual uphills over the past month has jumped noticeably. Hills I used to struggle up under 7mph, now I'm closer to 10mph. On the hills I had a hell of a time getting up at 9mph, I usually run 13-14mph.

As far as a bike setup, I have a bone-stock '07 Specialized Hardrock MTB. 99% of my riding is done on pavement, be it paths, sidewalks or city streets.

And hopefully tomorrow I will no longer be 400+ (this morning it was 400.5, hoping that my 20-ish mile ride tonight will drop another pound ), down from 567 in June of '05.
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Old 09-26-06, 12:33 PM   #6
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Short rides, 25 miles or less: 24-25 mph
Moderate rides, 50-100: 15-20 mph
Long Rides, 100+: 14-16 mph
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Old 09-26-06, 12:41 PM   #7
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On my mtb with 1.95 'dillo tires:

Without traffic lights and stopping I average around 15 mph
I can burst up to 20-23 for a while but I'm comfortable between 15-17.
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Old 09-27-06, 12:50 AM   #8
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Depends on the wind factor. If I'm on a flat and I'm riding into the wind I rarely go over 14 mph (unless I'm trying to make a light, which is rare). With the wind on my back, I'm cruising at around 20 mph. Uphill with or without wind, I'm lucky to do 6 mph. On long hills I sometimes drop down to 3-4 mph (walking). I should mention my rides are usually less than 20 miles.
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Old 09-27-06, 01:48 AM   #9
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I'm uber (300+), I ride 20-25 miles 5 days a week @ 14-15 MPH. My fastest average is 15.3. What brought my time up is the cyclocomputer, it keeps me motivated.
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Old 09-27-06, 07:37 AM   #10
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First don't worry so much about the speed. Are you getting a good workout ? Blowing off Stress ? Getting the Heart Rate and Breathing up ? If so that's by far the most important part. Back to average speeds, it's hard to compare average speeds because of the variables, everyones routes are different(hills vs flats), their height above sea level, their cardio pulmonary capacity is different, and the type of bike (eg beach cruiser vs roadbike with skinny tires). That said I had someone say something to me earlier this year that kind of sank home. "If you want to ride faster then you have to ride faster" sounded kind of lame when I first heard it but when he explained to me that I needed spin faster and use larger gears it made sense. I've made a conscious effort to push large gears longer and spin faster this season and I've seen a pretty dramatic increase in my average speed. Something else I have done is to take the mountain bike with knobbies out on the road as it provides more rolling resistance and a better workout. Can I also suggest finding someone slightly faster to ride with ? Go find a social ride with a group somewhere as they usually stop to re-group often and there is no competition so you don't get left out alone.

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Old 09-27-06, 08:23 AM   #11
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First don't worry so much about the speed. Are you getting a good workout ? Blowing off Stress ?
There is a good reason I want to increase speed though.

I've found 4 hours is about the average long ride I can do.....difficult to go much longer than that. I want to increase my mileage (like to do a century)...but I can't get many more miles in if I can't ride longer or ride faster in the time I do ride.
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Old 09-27-06, 09:45 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KingTermite
There is a good reason I want to increase speed though.

I've found 4 hours is about the average long ride I can do.....difficult to go much longer than that. I want to increase my mileage (like to do a century)...but I can't get many more miles in if I can't ride longer or ride faster in the time I do ride.
KT, don't worry about speed right now, instead build aerobic capacity and cardiac function and get your nutrition program down pat. Those are the primary keys to long rides. It doesn't matter if you do the century in 10, 8 or fewer hours, it's still a century! Considering your start point, I think you are doing a great job and just build the endurance a step at a time! You'll get there! Century and longer is just time in the saddle!
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Old 09-27-06, 11:20 AM   #13
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KT -- I'm at about the same place as you are. I am down to 250 after about 18 months of serious riding and my typical speed when I have hills to contend with is about 12.5 mph. What I have been doing is slowly working my speed on the uphill a little bit harder. By working on a better pedal stroke and concentrating on maintaining a good cadence I'll keep my uphill speed above 13 mph. Doing that I am slowly increasing my speed. If I go all out on my uphill trip home I can actually do it with an avg speed around 14mph. I figure little by little I will keep pushing that up.

My desire to ride faster is not only to go further, but to make it easier to keep my normal schedule of commitments while still riding. Being able to ride faster just makes it easier to do everything. Plus the harder workout burns more calories since your body tends to adapt to a certain energy output level and you stop losing weight unless you can cut calories further.
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Old 09-27-06, 11:26 AM   #14
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Honestly i am afraid to wire up a cycloputer as to not die of embarassement when i look at my speed.

I already know i am slow. So i concentrate on how i feel as far as level of exaustion and heartrate.
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Old 09-27-06, 12:36 PM   #15
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speedo

You are probably better off without the stinkin speedo, since in my experience, using one often leads to overdoing it. You are better off to get a heartrate monitor or even just use your wristwatch and finger. You probably know when you are pushing too hard since you can't carry on a conversation and you feel like barfing or passing out.
I took my speedo off and have saved my knees from further damage pushing in too heavy of a gear. You should consider avoiding using one. Its far safer to keep your eyes on the road rather than on the speedometer. This whole thinking about riding faster is just so much BUY cycling magazine B.S. in the first place IMHO. What we should be doing is getting a sensible, consistant workout and enjoying it at the same time. When you are overweight you can't afford to max out your heart or blow out your knees trying to climb hills carrying a perminent 80 + pound " touring load" with you.
I started riding after a 15+ year layoff and at 280 pounds now 268 I could barely go five miles.Now I am riding 40-55 mile rides in 85 plus degree weather at between 11-13.5 mph. For my daily 9-18 mile route I average between 12-15 mph. I have done a ten miler in 30 minutes for a 20 mph average but its meaningless because the route was ideal and the conditions perfect for it. If all you can do is 8 mph and your heartrate is in the right place just be happy riding and eat sensible. Eventually your average speeds
and hill climbing will improve as you get lighter and in better cardiovascular shape. The whole point is to be healthy, first!!!
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Old 09-27-06, 12:51 PM   #16
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I usually average around 12-13mph. I could probably average more, but I have no desire to ride so hard that I am not enjoying the scenery around me.
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Old 09-27-06, 02:23 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mordy
Honestly i am afraid to wire up a cycloputer as to not die of embarassement when i look at my speed.

I already know i am slow. So i concentrate on how i feel as far as level of exaustion and heartrate.
I think having the cyclocomputer is important. In my opinion, you need the timer to monitor how many hours and minutes you are riding. You also need the trip distance and total distance to record in your training log. Knowing your total distance helps you keep on top of bike maintenence as was as giving you milestones to work toward. Average speed is very tempting to fall in love with, and I must admit, I probably get overly obsessed with it. Here's a suggestion: leave your cyclocomputer on "clock" so that you are only monitoring the time of day, then assign an arbitrary milestone where you give yourself the "reward" of being allowed to scroll through the data. For me, I do it no more than at the top of the hour and half past the hour. Another option is to tie the reward of checking your average speed into a physical location marker on your route. In my case, I ride to Xenia Ohio and check it at the rest stop, then I ride to the next town and am allowed to check it again, etc... After you check whatever stats you're interested in, I put it back to "clock" and get back to work.
By the way, last year (my first serious year back into cycling in 10 years) I weighed a max of 266 and for the most part my fastest ride averages were in the 16.8 range. This year I can pull a 16.8 on an "easy" day and when I'm pushing it on my varied terrain course I've gotten to between 17.4 and 17.9 mph.
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Old 09-28-06, 08:28 PM   #18
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a different perspective

Quote:
Originally Posted by masi61
I think having the cyclocomputer is important. In my opinion, you need the timer to monitor how many hours and minutes you are riding. You also need the trip distance and total distance to record in your training log. Knowing your total distance helps you keep on top of bike maintenence as was as giving you milestones to work toward. Average speed is very tempting to fall in love with, and I must admit, I probably get overly obsessed with it. Here's a suggestion: leave your cyclocomputer on "clock" so that you are only monitoring the time of day, then assign an arbitrary milestone where you give yourself the "reward" of being allowed to scroll through the data. For me, I do it no more than at the top of the hour and half past the hour. Another option is to tie the reward of checking your average speed into a physical location marker on your route. In my case, I ride to Xenia Ohio and check it at the rest stop, then I ride to the next town and am allowed to check it again, etc... After you check whatever stats you're interested in, I put it back to "clock" and get back to work.By the way, last year (my first serious year back into cycling in 10 years) I weighed a max of 266 and for the most part my fastest ride averages were in the 16.8 range. This year I can pull a 16.8 on an "easy" day and when I'm pushing it on my varied terrain course I've gotten to between 17.4 and 17.9 mph.
Not trying to start an argument but.....whats wrong with using a stopwatch and a pencil and paper to figure your average speed? I know the distances and routes I ride (all of them) as far as mileage and what dogs to avoid etc. After two years of using a digi speedo I found myself constantly pushing too hard trying to keep my speed up to some imaginary level, instead of keeping my heartrate in the good zone and my eyes on the road.
As far as maintainance on the bike, thats a simple matter of counting up the days you rode, times the miles. A simple checkmark system on the calender is all you need. You don't even need a fancy logbook unless you are a paid racer in training!!! I think we bike nuts are sometimes a little too nutty!
What ever happened to riding just because we enjoy it? Without all the focus on "training"!!!
To each his own!
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Old 09-28-06, 08:37 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by charles vail
Not trying to start an argument but.....whats wrong with using a stopwatch and a pencil and paper to figure your average speed? I know the distances and routes I ride (all of them) as far as mileage and what dogs to avoid etc. After two years of using a digi speedo I found myself constantly pushing too hard trying to keep my speed up to some imaginary level, instead of keeping my heartrate in the good zone and my eyes on the road.
As far as maintainance on the bike, thats a simple matter of counting up the days you rode, times the miles. A simple checkmark system on the calender is all you need. You don't even need a fancy logbook unless you are a paid racer in training!!! I think we bike nuts are sometimes a little too nutty!
What ever happened to riding just because we enjoy it? Without all the focus on "training"!!!
To each his own!
Not a thing....the computer is simply more convenient is all. Agreed, to each his own! Personally, the computer is better because it gives me a real time display of elapsed riding time vs. Total time, avg and peak speed. I ride extremely long distance though, because that's my thing!50 miles a day as training and event rides or weekend rides in excess of 100 miles a day. That's just what I enjoy....pushing myself as far as I can. You can get a ride computer as cheaply as about $15.00 at Walmart and a stopwatch is also usefull to me as well on short sprints to build my breakaway speeds.

The logbook is a tool I use to track my miles and let me see tangible evidence of my progress and I am an amateur racer as well. It let's me analyze my training weaknesses and trends.
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Old 09-28-06, 09:18 PM   #20
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The best way to increase your speed is to ride with faster riders who are willing to wait from time to time.
If you want to do a century you should concentrate on increasing your mileage first. Are you thinking you should train to do a 4hour first century?
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Old 09-29-06, 02:53 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by charles vail
Not trying to start an argument but.....whats wrong with using a stopwatch and a pencil and paper to figure your average speed? I know the distances and routes I ride (all of them) as far as mileage and what dogs to avoid etc. After two years of using a digi speedo I found myself constantly pushing too hard trying to keep my speed up to some imaginary level, instead of keeping my heartrate in the good zone and my eyes on the road.
As far as maintainance on the bike, thats a simple matter of counting up the days you rode, times the miles. A simple checkmark system on the calender is all you need. You don't even need a fancy logbook unless you are a paid racer in training!!! I think we bike nuts are sometimes a little too nutty!
What ever happened to riding just because we enjoy it? Without all the focus on "training"!!!
To each his own!
Hello Charles, King Termite requested tips on how to increase average speed after putting in 2 years of hard work and seeing only modest improvements. I was responding with my ideas on how I believe a "Clyde" can turn it up a few notches. Your basic Cateye corded cyclocomputer is not only inexpensive, but also very accurate and extremely useful. The auto start/stop feature is something I would not want to do without. Your stopwatch system sounds dubious to me as it is more fussy, not less fussy than the CatEye. The fact that you found yourself pushing too hard in order to keep your speed up to a particular level and not keeping your eyes on the road just proves my point about only scrolling through the data at set intervals or milestones along your ride. The idea with an auto start/stop computer is that you can basically forget it. You could just reset it at the beginning of the ride then check it one time at the end if that makes you happier.
I have a mac computer that comes with a free planner program called ical. Its real easy to use and its color coded so you can track your various responsibilities with color coded lists. Very easy to keep updated and also to look at from a glance to gauge progress. I'm sorry but making a commitment to a goal and sticking to it is a choice many of us make. Having a system of assuring results falls under the category of training. Termite King's modest gains have been a bit underwhelming to him at this point. As he continues to build his base, my "nutty" recommendation is that he formalize and structure his cycling MORE, not LESS as you suggest. Call me OCD (or even OCP ) but being laid back and not pushing yourself in cycling after you've started to make some positive training adaptations is a recipe for a plateau that not only blocks your forward progress, it may frustrate the rider enough to make him want to give up completely thus re-enforcing the Clydesdale inferiority complex even further.
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Old 09-30-06, 08:06 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Stormcrowe
Short rides, 25 miles or less: 24-25 mph
Moderate rides, 50-100: 15-20 mph
Long Rides, 100+: 14-16 mph
You do these speeds and you weigh over 300 pounds? That's incredible. You were hiding a lot of muscle under all of that weight.
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Old 09-30-06, 08:17 PM   #23
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You do these speeds and you weigh over 300 pounds? That's incredible. You were hiding a lot of muscle under all of that weight.
No, I'm down to 232and I do have legs like tree trunks! I LOST 352 pounds!
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Old 10-01-06, 01:36 PM   #24
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No, I'm down to 232and I do have legs like tree trunks! I LOST 352 pounds!
That's great but your speed numbers don't compute in my book. So you can ride a 25mph one hour time trial, but after 2 hours your speed drops to 15 mph. I'm sorry but to ride 24 to 25 mph even as a fit clyde you would have to be busting your a** with an aero rear wheel, aero bars, with a tailwind and down-hill. How about some real training data.
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Old 10-01-06, 02:10 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by masi61
That's great but your speed numbers don't compute in my book. So you can ride a 25mph one hour time trial, but after 2 hours your speed drops to 15 mph. I'm sorry but to ride 24 to 25 mph even as a fit clyde you would have to be busting your a** with an aero rear wheel, aero bars, with a tailwind and down-hill. How about some real training data.
As far as the drop in speed, it is a generalized average based off of 50 miles, I just used 25 mile intervals. The 25 mile is actual data from local TT's. I just kept things general, for simplicity. I do have to slow down for a 50 mile or longer event if I want to finish it. I deplete Glycogen fairly quickly and have uptake issues due to dietary tract modifications. There are anatomical differences with me so the data curve skews away from my favor more the further I ride, and as I said, I just used 25 mile intervals for simplicity. I can sustain a hard effort for about an hour at which point I'm done or I can ride slower, conserve for the end in a longer event. Just the drawback to having a section of small intestine bypassed. As to busting my A**, you betcha I am! In a 25 or shorter, I go all out til I finish or drop. I don't save anything for later.
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