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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 02-20-14, 11:40 AM   #1
dvdslw
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What's your average speed, over 200lbs???

Just wondering what other 200+lb riders are averaging out there? I find my average to be quite a bit less than lighter riders over in the "road bike" section of the forum. Obviously strength and endurance training will bring my average up but will I max out because of my weight penalty? I don't have much to loose body fat wise so I'm as close to fit as I will probably get without going on an extreme diet.
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Old 02-20-14, 12:05 PM   #2
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dvdslw,
Last year I rode my MTB all year and my average speed for my 500 miles was 12 MPH. I was told that is pretty good for a mountain bike (half the miles on trails and the other half on roads). Since I just purchased my road bike this winter, I have not been able to ride it yet. I will post on how my speed goes on the road bike vs. mountain bike. I still plan on riding my MTB, but only on trails which I am sure will decrease the average speed.

Thanks,
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Old 02-20-14, 12:17 PM   #3
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250# here. Hour long race pace (crits) 23 mph. Solo riding on flatter ground 19 mph hitting a lot of hills 16 mph. Mtbs 7mph hilly and 13 on flatter trails with some little rollers.
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Old 02-20-14, 12:19 PM   #4
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If I get on a flat, wide open trail over ten miles is was 10-12 when I was at 250. Now at 205 it is fifteen if I go easy, 16-17 if I push harder, almost twenty if I go all out, as in a time trial. http://www.strava.com/activities/107352189/analysis (The younger skinny guys averaged about 24-25)
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Old 02-20-14, 12:22 PM   #5
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Road - 15-16 generally speaking
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Old 02-20-14, 12:28 PM   #6
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9.5 mile commute, solo, with some hills tossed in, was about 12 mph average (road or commuter bike). Of course, when I ride with one or more other people, its about 14 mph. I'm at 235 now (down from close to 250), and looking to be at 200-205 this year...
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Old 02-20-14, 12:34 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dvdslw View Post
Obviously strength and endurance training will bring my average up but will I max out because of my weight penalty? I don't have much to loose body fat wise so I'm as close to fit as I will probably get without going on an extreme diet.
What are you goals? ride faster? hang w/ the club ride? racing? In any case, weight/power ratio shows it's head more when the hills start. Longer the hill, more it's a problem. Flatter the road I'd say your weight shouldn't hold you back, but your training/riding regiment might.

I'm right under 200# now, and hand full of the guys on my club ride are about my size or bit more. Trick is to DITCH the whole idea of losing weight. Sure losing it helps, but goal should be just ride FAST. Ride fast by your self, find fast guys to ride with and keep up or get dropped. Repeat often and you will see results. It an't easy but a fun path to follow
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Old 02-20-14, 01:30 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dvdslw View Post
Just wondering what other 200+lb riders are averaging out there? I find my average to be quite a bit less than lighter riders over in the "road bike" section of the forum. Obviously strength and endurance training will bring my average up but will I max out because of my weight penalty? I don't have much to loose body fat wise so I'm as close to fit as I will probably get without going on an extreme diet.
Make sure you evaluate those '41' claims with a healthy dose of salt. Then keep in mind there are ways to calculate your average that affect the result. Are you deducting idle time? Are you just looking down at your computer when you're flying along and that's your "average" for the whole ride?

If I ride on the local mup, wiht all it's flipping stop signs, lights and diverts, I'll average < 15 mph. If I ride on the street next to the mup I'll average 17-18. Ride in a group and you can add a few mph to that.
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Old 02-20-14, 01:32 PM   #9
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What are you goals? ride faster? hang w/ the club ride? racing? In any case, weight/power ratio shows it's head more when the hills start. Longer the hill, more it's a problem. Flatter the road I'd say your weight shouldn't hold you back, but your training/riding regiment might.

I'm right under 200# now, and hand full of the guys on my club ride are about my size or bit more. Trick is to DITCH the whole idea of losing weight. Sure losing it helps, but goal should be just ride FAST. Ride fast by your self, find fast guys to ride with and keep up or get dropped. Repeat often and you will see results. It an't easy but a fun path to follow
Very true that hills are the biggest drag for a heavy rider, but there are two other areas where weight will slow you down, though to a much smaller extent.

Air resistance. This isn't really a function of weight, but heavier riders tend to be wider, and a major factor in air resistance is area of the cross section fighting he wind.

Rolling resistance. This is a function of the construction and pressure in the tires. It is also affected by the weight on the tires.

Of course there is conditioning. You're an animal Jeff, and younger than me with a better health history. Still I do OK. I have ambitions of being able to keep up with the likes of you.

Quote:
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If I ride on the local mup, wiht all it's flipping stop signs, lights and diverts, I'll average < 15 mph. If I ride on the street next to the mup I'll average 17-18. Ride in a group and you can add a few mph to that.
For me it is the opposite. There are a couple of MUP's, like the one that makes up about half of my afternoon commute, that let me bypass some of Orange County's most horrific traffic signals. http://www.strava.com/activities/114607078 (Mile 2 to mile 7.75)

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Old 02-20-14, 01:45 PM   #10
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For me it is the opposite.
The river trails around here are always better for speed that streets, but the little MUP near me is a disaster. At intersections, you have to ride sideways on the sidewalk to the light, cross, come back to the MUP and get going again. Never mind the leashless dogs, kids on razor scooters, people pushing shopping carts etc. (It's the whittier greenway trail and it's a living ad for why you should ride on the streets instead of MUPs. )
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Old 02-20-14, 01:52 PM   #11
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When I first started last year I was over 200lbs and averaging 12.7mph (according to my records) on the rough(crushed limestone) but flat trails. Once I got past the ~ 500mile threshold, I noticed my average speed improving, when I stopped riding I was averaging 15mph on the same trail at ~170lbs. Just imagining how heavy my bike is (I've never actually weighed it), and the fact I'm running on size 700x35 tires, I don't see that # improving any further
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Old 02-20-14, 02:40 PM   #12
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12-15mph, mountain bike, smooth tires, urban terrain (not simply flat pavement). And this is just plain riding, I'm not trying to actually go fast or anything, just trying to arrive at work in a timely manner.
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Old 02-20-14, 02:43 PM   #13
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The river trails around here are always better for speed that streets, but the little MUP near me is a disaster. At intersections, you have to ride sideways on the sidewalk to the light, cross, come back to the MUP and get going again. Never mind the leashless dogs, kids on razor scooters, people pushing shopping carts etc. (It's the whittier greenway trail and it's a living ad for why you should ride on the streets instead of MUPs. )
Gag. I hate those. The issue I have with Rails to Trails is that most of the stuff made in that mode are of this type. http://ridewithgps.com/routes/4076435
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Old 02-20-14, 03:03 PM   #14
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I just started and my 10 mile rides average 13-15 mph. I am not trying to go fast just riding at a comfortable pace. My first couple of rides were at 10-12 mph so as I ride more my comfy pace increases all on its own.
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Old 02-20-14, 03:40 PM   #15
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I live in a very flat area. My 30-mile out and back yesterday literally had just 16 feet of elevation change according to Strava. When I get calm days I can get a pretty good idea what my real average speed is like.

I'm 230# and my road bike is around 24#. On my road bike on a calm summer day I average between 16 and 18 mph on relatively short solo rides <30 miles. My century average on my 30# touring bike both in this area and in the lakes region, with its rolling hills, is between 15 and 16 mph. On my winter bike with fenders, rack, big studded tires, and wearing winter gear, I average between 10 and 13 mph depending on road and weather conditions.

I calculate my averages by comparing the average on my cycling computer and the average recorded by Strava, which are usually quite close. My peak speeds are a different story. There I rely completely on my cycling computer as Strava likes to credit me with brief burst of incredible speed. According to Strava, I hit 30 mph for about 100 yards on my ride yesterday, for no apparent reason and which I do not remember. My cycling computer says my max was 16 and small change.

The good news is that the weight penalty comes into play more on hills and sprints than it does in sustained or average speed on relatively flat ground. It's not as much about overall weight as it is about watts per kg.

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Old 02-20-14, 04:09 PM   #16
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Average speed is all over the place. Terrain, weather, wind, solo, groups, trainin goal for the day... etc... It's almost meaningless.

However, using this Strava app, it spits out statistics by year & grand total. This I found very interesting as it does speak to my "cruising" speed, and shows that I've gotten faster over the years.



It also implies that more mileage gives better/faster results:

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Old 02-20-14, 04:17 PM   #17
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I pull the guys on flats, and anchor on the hills. 12- 14 averages. There was a time...
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Old 02-20-14, 04:32 PM   #18
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66 years old, 230 lbs, from my Garmin from May to December 2013: 2296 miles, 14.7 mph. That is both road and 29er (mainly on the road). In September I did a flat 160 mile, 2 day - 80 each day, charity ride. First day 17.3 mph second day 16.4 mph.

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Old 02-20-14, 04:38 PM   #19
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Me and the bike, weigh in at 240-250. 68 yr old male. Specialized Crosstrail Sport, '08. Tires at 92PSI, Schwalbe Marathon Supremes. Primarily paved MUP, (rail trail) with about 4 miles of surface streets.

Over 30 miles = 15MPH, over 40 miles = 13MPH. That last 10 really slows me down.

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Old 02-20-14, 04:41 PM   #20
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My speeds vary a lot depending on whether I am dealing with intersection stop/starts, hills, winds, time of day, temperature extremes, rough pavement, distance, trying to ride somebody else's pace, social -vs- training -vs- race.

I ride slowest when I am at higher weights either at a stable weight or losing weight. I also ride better after several days of rest from a long punishing ride. My body performs better later in the day, early morning I am sluggish. On longer solo rides I am less focused on riding as fast as possible. Cold air is thick and hard to breathe and more constrictive clothing is worn; hot air is thin and clothes are light but I carry extra water bottles and overheat easily. Nighttime I go slower for better visibility including varmits (deer) on the roads. Rough pavement particularly chipseal sucks the speed out of my wheels especially climbing.

Average speeds for a loop route vary between 12mph and 17mph depending on the above.

One of my favorite rides is a 5-mile club time trial I do twice a year, and I have a few local strava QOMs that I protect -- so I do some all-out blast efforts on a regular basis.
The QOMs and time trials were much faster but not so meaningful due to short distance, net flat/downhill elevation, and tailwinds (1-way route, not a loop).
Anything resembling a climb and I'm back of the pack.

So there is no single answer.
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Old 02-20-14, 04:50 PM   #21
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MUPS ... the powers that be decided to put in "speed bumps" for bikes due to congestion near downtown. With all the kids sitting on the mup playing, strollers, dogs on retractible leashes, earbud-wearing joggers, contraflow pedestrians, skaters (use full width of trail), walkers 4-abreast, kayakers walking across -- during peak times one can have no expectation of going faster than 10mph. As the MUP gets away from downtown, traffic is mostly cyclists and it is safe to ride fast. My favorite routes are on streets near the city limits and on park roads with almost no motor vehicles.
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Old 02-20-14, 05:03 PM   #22
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Average speed is generally answered very subjectively as it varies greatly by type of activity. A pure average since I started tracking via garmin connect is 14.3mph. If I break it down by year, 2011 was 13.5mph, 2012 was 14.4mph, 2013 was 14.2mph and ytd is 15.1mph. Without the remainder of the data it would appear as if I slowed down in 2013 when in reality the difference was caused by a 50% increase in elevation.
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Old 02-20-14, 05:13 PM   #23
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250's and about 10mph
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Old 02-20-14, 05:46 PM   #24
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Veloviewer says 15mph average this year, including everything. Stops, hills, goes, traffic lights, etc, etc.
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Old 02-20-14, 07:37 PM   #25
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In my best shape last summer I did just over 20 MPH for 20 miles. I weighed 192 Lbs at the time. This was solo, pancake flat, and no wind. To accomplish this I trained and peaked up to it including a 30 min. warmup prior to the ride. In other words one time all out effort. Take away the aero bars and just go ride hard and it's more like 18.5. Currently averaging 17 is a treat. But this allows for 18 - 20 MPH, due to drafting, spirited group rides and a big smile. I'm 56 y/o 5'7" @ 210 lbs. It takes time and training to build speed not just lots of miles.
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