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Thread: My speed....

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    Senior Member DaninTexas's Avatar
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    My speed....

    Okay first off I am riding a 2009 Giant Sedona Mountain Bike. If it matters I am about 360lbs or so. 36 years old.

    I have been riding for a couple months now. Thanks to this forum I have bought all sorts of fun gear for my bike. Latest being a mirror and I just ordered my first pair of bike shorts.

    I have worked up to doing 10 mile rides. I am trying to do about 3 or so of those a week with 2-3 smaller 6 mile rides. My butt right now is the fail point and I am hoping the shorts will help.

    Anyways....

    My question involves my speed. Generally I can hang in there about 9 mph - 11 mph for the whole ride. I usually am very consistent in that range. I will have dips as low as 7 if I am riding in 100+ degree temps.

    Is this horrible? WAY to slow? I read all through here about you fellow Clydes bouncing down the road at 15 mph. Right now if I drop it all the way down and stand up giving it my all I can do 16 mph or so and nearly have a heart attack after a couple blocks.

    Is it me? Do I need to work up to it? Or is it just being on a mountain bike with big fat knobby tires? All my riding is around the neighborhood on the street.

    If it is the tires - do they make tires that can get me going faster?

    Thanks all

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    Starting over CraigB's Avatar
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    Speed is no different from any other performance metric in cycling. Everything about it takes time and repeated efforts. It's all about physical conditioning.

    Don't sweat that you're not able to sustain 15 mph right now. As you continue to ride, push your own limits a bit each time, and you'll see it improve.

    And yes, tires can help. Skinnier tires generally require less effort to roll down the road. If you never take your bike off-road, there's little to be gained in having standard mountain bike tires on it. With skinnier tires you'll either go faster for the same perceived effort, or ride your normal speed with less perceived effort. Just don't expect the tires to get you all the way to where you want to be, speed-wise. It still takes work on your part.

    Oh, and street tires will make your bike sound a lot less like a 4X4 with studded snow tires on it, as you head down the road.
    Craig in Indy

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    you will get stronger, faster, and fitter!

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    Senior Member CJ C's Avatar
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    Dan,

    you'll get there bro. i am still working my way up to 15mph average and i am on a road bike with skinny tires.

    change the tires if your not going off roadin. get some nice commuter tires at your LBS or some slicks. the rest is all up to the engine to get the speed faster. once we work on that me and you will be able to average 20mph on a bamboo bike

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    Watching and waiting. jethro56's Avatar
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    I have a Sedona and a 15mph average would be really good. Think of it as a training bike. Just ride and don't sweat the details.(well... go ahead and sweat)

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    Galveston County Texas 10 Wheels's Avatar
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    I average 12.5 mph. Keep riding.
    [SIZE=1][B]What I like about Texas[/B]
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PGukLuXzH1E

    Set F1re To The Ra1n ( NY Night Rain Ride)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W7jfcWEkSrI

  7. #7
    Banned. Mr. Beanz's Avatar
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    Not bad at all! Actually pretty good for an MTB with knobby tires through the hoods.

    Some comparisons of my rides:

    40 mile smooth ride on a trail no stops pushing hard....MTB with knobbies 16 mph averge...roadie 19 mph

    8 mile climb 2200ft 6% grade............on knobby tires 1:30......roadie 1:01

    I rarely ride my knobby tires on pavement (save them for the dirt) but I do once in a while for something different and these are how the numbers compare.

    For a guy your size and only riding 2 months, you are doing fantastic. The more you ride the better you will get. At the beginning of my cycling I did improve with time but I'd say that it took a year of consistent cycling before I woke up one morning and said, "Holy cow I am fast!".

    We have a tandem. First year we tried to hang with some groups rolling by on the trail at 19 mph. We gave it our all but it wasn't happening. I thought they were super human, all of them. So we just did our thing then about a year later, I saw a group going by and wondered if we could hang this time. Next thing i know we are at the front pulling the group at 26 on the same road where we couldn't hang at 19 the year before. It was like waking up into a sweet dream.

    Keep riding and if you want a little more speed, try some 1.25 slick tires. Higher pressure 90 psi will make for lower rolling resistance and more speed.

    But like I said, for now, you are doing pretty darn well!!

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    Senior Member DaninTexas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jethro56 View Post
    I have a Sedona and a 15mph average would be really good. Think of it as a training bike. Just ride and don't sweat the details.(well... go ahead and sweat)
    Sweating is certainly something I do well. lol


    Thanks all. I will just keep working at it. Next time I take the bike in to the LBS I will have them toss some slicks on it.

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    Senior Member DaninTexas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Beanz View Post
    *snip*
    Thanks Mr. B

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    2 Fat 2 Furious contango's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DaninTexas View Post
    My question involves my speed. Generally I can hang in there about 9 mph - 11 mph for the whole ride. I usually am very consistent in that range. I will have dips as low as 7 if I am riding in 100+ degree temps.

    Is this horrible? WAY to slow? I read all through here about you fellow Clydes bouncing down the road at 15 mph. Right now if I drop it all the way down and stand up giving it my all I can do 16 mph or so and nearly have a heart attack after a couple blocks.

    Is it me? Do I need to work up to it? Or is it just being on a mountain bike with big fat knobby tires? All my riding is around the neighborhood on the street.

    If it is the tires - do they make tires that can get me going faster?

    Thanks all
    Big fat knobby tyres will roll more slowly than slick tyres. So that won't help your speed.

    When I started riding I was overtaken by just about everything else on any number of wheels. Kids on BMX bikes, middle aged women on bikes with baskets on the front... you get the picture. If I managed to hit 15mph even briefly on the flats I was thrilled. The thought of cycling 10 miles seemed daunting. Put even a modest gradient in my path and I'd slow, and from a speed that wasn't exactly blasting along to begin with. Having been cycling for a while 15mph is the kind of speed I aim to maintain as an average (and there are riders in here that are way faster than that), but you don't get from one to the other overnight.

    Over time your average speed will increase, your endurance will increase, your fitness will increase. Along the way your weight and resting heart rate should decrease. Just keep at it... and before you know it you'll be doing things you'd consider impossible now.

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    Senior Member Mithrandir's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Beanz View Post
    Keep riding and if you want a little more speed, try some 1.25 slick tires. Higher pressure 90 psi will make for lower rolling resistance and more speed.
    You sure about that? I agree with the slicks, but when I was doing research into mine, the only size that would carry my weight (370ish at the time) was 2.0". I read that if you go smaller at our weight you would risk getting blowouts.

    I'll have to get out the calculations again but I think I pegged myself at 2.0 until around 280 pounds, then I could go down to 1.5...

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    Senior Member Seattle Forrest's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DaninTexas View Post
    My question involves my speed. Generally I can hang in there about 9 mph - 11 mph for the whole ride. I usually am very consistent in that range. I will have dips as low as 7 if I am riding in 100+ degree temps.

    Is this horrible? WAY to slow? I read all through here about you fellow Clydes bouncing down the road at 15 mph. Right now if I drop it all the way down and stand up giving it my all I can do 16 mph or so and nearly have a heart attack after a couple blocks.
    Other people have mentioned that your tires are slowing you down. And if you're in pain from your saddle, that's got to be working against you, too.

    Are you a speed demon? I mean, is going fast the most fun you have on a bike? If not, then it doesn't matter in the least how fast you are. But a ~10 mph average isn't bad at all on a MTB with knobbies.

    People in the road forum will say that average speed is almost meaningless, or at least that you can't use it to compare anything important. Even if you do the same ride twice, the wind will be different, but if it's your ride compared to someone else's, then you have things like hills, traffic, and the like, that are messing the comparison up. With that said, you should have a look at peoples' Garmin Connect data. People who brag about sprinting at 30 mph will post their GPS data, and sometimes if you look at it, you'll notice that when they say "we average 25 mph" what they really mean is "if you discount all the stops and up hills, we would have averaged 25." That's a long and drawn out way of saying ~10 mph isn't bad at all on knobbies.
    Don't believe everything you think.

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    Don't give up DT, as most of the others say....keep riding.....I sit here at my desk just waiting to get off so I can ride my bike. Im 48 and Im as my third son would say "Giddy" with the thought of riding a bike....incredible!

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    Banned. Mr. Beanz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mithrandir View Post
    You sure about that? I agree with the slicks, but when I was doing research into mine, the only size that would carry my weight (370ish at the time) was 2.0". I read that if you go smaller at our weight you would risk getting blowouts.

    I'll have to get out the calculations again but I think I pegged myself at 2.0 until around 280 pounds, then I could go down to 1.5...
    I never weighed 360 so I never researched into tires for riders that big. But I myself don't see how a rider can get a blowout from a tire .75 narrow.

    Where did you find that info? Scientific or word of mouth from other riders? Just curious as I've seen some word of mouth claims that a Giant Cypress comfort bike is just as efficient as a Colnago C50 on the climbs. Which sort of shocks me since the TDF riders aren't all riding comfort bikes.

    FTR, I have afriend that rides a road bike with 700X 23 and 25 wheels while weighing 290. So I myself can't really see a 26 X 1.25 slick being a problem. I'd think the 2.0 with less psi would allow more flex and more of a chance of a blowout.
    Last edited by Mr. Beanz; 08-11-11 at 02:08 PM.

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    Senior Member CJ C's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DaninTexas View Post
    Sweating is certainly something I do well. lol.
    you had me laughing so loud at my desk three rows over they heard me

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    Watching and waiting. jethro56's Avatar
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    He stated the Sore Butt is the limiting factor. I'd stay with the 1.95X26" size that came with the bike. It's not super aggressive. Yes a slick would go faster but he needs saddletime. Here's a picture of the stock tread.


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    Senior Member DaninTexas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CJ C View Post
    you had me laughing so loud at my desk three rows over they heard me
    lol


    And to all - Thanks. What I am getting from all this - I won't worry about my speed. I will concentrate on my main goal which is time in the saddle. Can not wait to get my bike shorts. Maybe I can ditch the big fat gel seat then. Thing gets rough sitting on it for hour long rides.

  18. #18
    Banned. Mr. Beanz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jethro56 View Post
    He stated the Sore Butt is the limiting factor. I'd stay with the 1.95X26" size that came with the bike. It's not super aggressive. Yes a slick would go faster but he needs saddletime. Here's a picture of the stock tread.
    Ahh yes! Has the flatter section in the middle for less rolling resistance. I myself would wear these sucker out then go with the slick. As long as the stock tire is durable.

    But yes, as I mentioned, keep riding, he'll get better and faster.

  19. #19
    Banned. Mr. Beanz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DaninTexas View Post
    lol


    And to all - Thanks. What I am getting from all this - I won't worry about my speed. I will concentrate on my main goal which is time in the saddle. Can not wait to get my bike shorts. Maybe I can ditch the big fat gel seat then. Thing gets rough sitting on it for hour long rides.
    Shorts makes a big difference but so does the saddle. Many rides don't stick with the stock saddle. I can do about 20 miles on a stock saddle then it starts to give me sore spots, even saddle sores if I am not careful. Most bikes are sold with a saddle that is only good enough to get it of the show room floor.

    But depending on the green factor (money) some riders stick with the stock saddle and don't ever really see the best side of the comfort factor. Our saddles on our bikes cost anywhere from $50 to $120. Only one of our 10 bikes has the stock saddle. That's because it's on my MTB and most of those rides are in the dirt aren't over 15 miles with lots of standing on bumps, descents etc.

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    You already have your answer, but I'll chime in and say YOU'RE NOT ALONE! Some rides I average 9-10, and on longer rides (my longest is 2.5 hours), I might average 7. This is on a flat bike path, and my Forerunner 305 "auto pauses" if I stop, so there's no stop signs, stop lights, trains or anything else to help me rationalize my slowness .

    It's not easy, but you need to do what I'm trying to do, and ONLY MEASURE YOURSELF AGAINST WHERE YOU WERE LAST WEEK OR LAST MONTH. Nothing else matters.

    PS. The shorts will help - ALOT!

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    Senior Member Mithrandir's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Beanz View Post
    I never weighed 360 so I never researched into tires for riders that big. But I myself don't see how a rider can get a blowout from a tire .75 narrow.

    Where did you find that info? Scientific or word of mouth from other riders? Just curious as I've seen some word of mouth claims that a Giant Cypress comfort bike is just as efficient as a Colnago C50 on the climbs. Which sort of shocks me since the TDF riders aren't all riding comfort bikes.

    FTR, I have afriend that rides a road bike with 700X 23 and 25 wheels while weighing 290. So I myself can't really see a 26 X 1.25 slick being a problem. I'd think the 2.0 with less psi would allow more flex and more of a chance of a blowout.
    I'll try to dig up the info, it's been a few months.

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    Senior Member Mithrandir's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DaninTexas View Post
    lol


    And to all - Thanks. What I am getting from all this - I won't worry about my speed. I will concentrate on my main goal which is time in the saddle. Can not wait to get my bike shorts. Maybe I can ditch the big fat gel seat then. Thing gets rough sitting on it for hour long rides.
    Yes ditch the gel seat. I had one, but more solid is far better.

  23. #23
    Banned. Mr. Beanz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mithrandir View Post
    I'll try to dig up the info, it's been a few months.
    Cool, I've never seen it but it all adds up to the mental data base.

  24. #24
    Senior Member DaninTexas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mithrandir View Post
    Yes ditch the gel seat. I had one, but more solid is far better.
    Will work on it

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    Senior Member fast89fox's Avatar
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    When I made a uninformed decision and bought a mountain bike to ride on the road I was miserable. The one thing I did to make it a lot easier was to swap out to slicks. Made a night and day difference, until I bought a road bike.

    Don't worry about the speed right now.As you build your muscular endurance and lungs up, the speed will come. Just keep on riding and you will see.
    http://pedalmybike.com/userTrackies/myTrackie3859.jpg

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