Advertise on Bikeforums.net



User Tag List

Page 1 of 4 123 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 76
  1. #1
    Cyclist storckm's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Columbus, OH
    My Bikes
    Yuba Mundo; Early 70's Free Spirit (Reynolds 531) fixie; 80's Shogun 500; Mid 90's Iron Horse tandem; trailer and tag-a-long; Schwinn Range for commuting, with lights and front and rear racks.
    Posts
    550
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Where to focus efforts for fastest commute

    So as I was riding along yesterday, I began to wonder, as follows:

    Given that I am only capable of a limited amount of effort, and that the more effort I put forth at one time, the less I can put forth at another, is it faster to put more effort into flat or downhill sections where I can go faster, or into climbs (if you can call anything in central Ohio a climb), where I go fairly slow, no matter how much effort I put forth.

    My thoughts are that, since the faster I go, the more of my effort goes into fighting with the wind, it makes more sense to put a lot of effort into climbing, and take it easy when descending (or battling a headwind). It would seem easier to increase my speed given proportion climbing than it would descending.

    Is this right, or am I overlooking something?

  2. #2
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    NW,Oregon Coast
    My Bikes
    7
    Posts
    514
    Mentioned
    31 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    ... getting started earlier in the morning?

  3. #3
    johnliu@earthlink.net jyl's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Portland OR
    My Bikes
    61 Bianchi Specialissima 71 Peugeot G50 7? P'geot PX10 74 Raleigh GranSport 75 P'geot UO8 78? Raleigh Team Pro 82 P'geot PSV 86 P'geot PX 91 Bridgestone MB0 92 B'stone XO1 97 Rans VRex 92 Cannondale R1000 94 B'stone MB5 97 Vitus 997
    Posts
    3,807
    Mentioned
    41 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Your signature contains too many lines and must be shortened. You may only have up to 2 line(s). Long text may have been implicitly wrapped, causing it to be

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Vancouver, BC
    Posts
    5,063
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    If you want to maximize speed (minimize time) over a fixed distance you go a little harder on hills and into the wind. It's not really worth going a lot harder since the added stress is not linear, i.e. riding at 300W for 2 min up a hill and then coasting down the other side at 0W for 1min is far more stressful than riding at a steady 200W.

    My advice would be to try and ride with a steady effort. You'll naturally end up going a little harder on hills and into the wind.

  5. #5
    rugged individualist wphamilton's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Alpharetta, GA
    My Bikes
    Nashbar Road
    Posts
    6,070
    Mentioned
    18 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by storckm View Post
    So as I was riding along yesterday, I began to wonder, as follows:

    Given that I am only capable of a limited amount of effort, and that the more effort I put forth at one time, the less I can put forth at another, is it faster to put more effort into flat or downhill sections where I can go faster, or into climbs (if you can call anything in central Ohio a climb), where I go fairly slow, no matter how much effort I put forth.

    My thoughts are that, since the faster I go, the more of my effort goes into fighting with the wind, it makes more sense to put a lot of effort into climbing, and take it easy when descending (or battling a headwind). It would seem easier to increase my speed given proportion climbing than it would descending.

    Is this right, or am I overlooking something?
    I believe this is completely correct.

  6. #6
    tsl
    tsl is offline
    Plays in traffic tsl's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Rochester, NY
    My Bikes
    1996 Litespeed Classic, 2006 Trek Portland, 2013 Ribble Winter/Audax
    Posts
    6,410
    Mentioned
    8 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by storckm View Post
    more of my effort goes into fighting with the wind
    Given the upright posture of your Schwinn Range commuter bike, there's a limit to how fast you can push through the air. If you're thinking about being faster on the commute, maybe it's time to think about a drop bar bike. Battling the wind is exactly what drove me from my hybrid to drop bar bikes. Best cycling decision I ever made.
    Last edited by tsl; 03-28-14 at 01:56 AM.
    My two favorite things in life are libraries and bicycles. They both move people forward without wasting anything.
    The perfect day: Riding a bike to the library.—Peter Golkin


    Lucky for me, I work at a library and bike to work.

  7. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Decatur, GA. USA
    My Bikes
    Surly Long Haul Disc Trucker
    Posts
    876
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Going up hills, effort increases your speed by a larger proportion. So effort pays off more there. For example, let's say 150 watts gets you up the hill at 3 mph. Since most of your drag is proportional at that low speed, doing 300 watts makes you go nearly 6 mph.

    Conversely, on the flats or a little downhill, 150 -> 300 might send you from 20 mph to say, 28 mph. So the effort increases speed less than 50% instead of nearly 100%.

    And since uphill hill is slower than down, you'll spend more time doing it. So the effort has a more dramatic proportional impact on your speed, and you spend more time at that higher speed. So conserving energy as you approach climbs and then putting out a less sustainable effort during the climb has the biggest impact on overall speed.

  8. #8
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    WKY
    My Bikes
    2014 Trek Crossrip LTD, 2013 Raleigh Misceo
    Posts
    384
    Mentioned
    2 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by tsl View Post
    Given the upright posture of your Schwinn Range commuter bike, there's a limit to how fast you can push through the air. If you're thinking about being faster on the commute, maybe it's time to think about a drop bar bike. Battling the wind is exactly what drove me from my hybrid to drop bar bikes. Best cycling decision I ever made.
    Bingo!

  9. #9
    Senior Member jrickards's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Sudbury, ON, CA
    My Bikes
    2002 Norco Bigfoot, 2012 KHS Tempe, 1988 Bianchi Strada, 2012 Kona Sutra
    Posts
    1,537
    Mentioned
    9 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Walter S View Post
    And since uphill hill is slower than down, you'll spend more time doing it. So the effort has a more dramatic proportional impact on your speed, and you spend more time at that higher speed. So conserving energy as you approach climbs and then putting out a less sustainable effort during the climb has the biggest impact on overall speed.
    I've read something similar although what I read was more in context of racing where it seems to be more beneficial to drop someone on the hills (it certainly would be from a psychological perspective), the effort in fact is disproportionate to the total speed gain. The author went on to say that if you're simply challenging yourself, conserve your energy going uphill and then put in the effort downhill and on the flats.
    A word to the wise ain't necessary - it's the stupid ones that need the advice. Bill Cosby

  10. #10
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Vancouver, BC
    Posts
    5,063
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by jrickards View Post
    I've read something similar although what I read was more in context of racing where it seems to be more beneficial to drop someone on the hills (it certainly would be from a psychological perspective), the effort in fact is disproportionate to the total speed gain. The author went on to say that if you're simply challenging yourself, conserve your energy going uphill and then put in the effort downhill and on the flats.
    In racing you can attack on a hill because the group chasing you will have less of an advantage than they would on the flats where they can share the load and most of the riders are shielded from the wind.

    You may have mis-remembered what you read or it was just wrong but if you want to go faster it never makes sense to go easier on a hill.

    As others have said though, whether you push 5-10% harder on a hill is a red herring if you're riding an upright bike with baggy clothes. I notice a 3-5min penalty on days when I wear a rain jacket (too baggy). The bottom line: if you want to spend less time on your commute get yourself in an aero position with tight fitting clothes. Adjusting your pace on hills is just fine tuning that will have far less impact than the aero improvements you could make.

  11. #11
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    near Charlotte, North Carolina
    My Bikes
    Trek 5000 TCT
    Posts
    330
    Mentioned
    2 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    And don't forget to shave your legs.

  12. #12
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Posts
    393
    Mentioned
    2 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Focus your efforts uphill AND into the wind. However unless your commute is quite long it really isn't going to make a difference.

  13. #13
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Posts
    4,092
    Mentioned
    2 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by jrickards View Post
    I've read something similar although what I read was more in context of racing where it seems to be more beneficial to drop someone on the hills (it certainly would be from a psychological perspective), the effort in fact is disproportionate to the total speed gain. The author went on to say that if you're simply challenging yourself, conserve your energy going uphill and then put in the effort downhill and on the flats.
    What do you mean by "challenging yourself"?

    I also don't get what you mean by "the effort in fact is disproportionate to the total speed gain". Because it's on the uphills where speed gains are much more proportional to effort (power level). Double your power up a hill, you'll go just about twice as fast. Double your power on a downhill and you might go from 40 to 42 mph.

    And no, that's no exaggeration.

    Uphill, you're going slow enough that drag is negligible, and almost all your effort is spent lifting you and your bike against the force of gravity. And that's a linear force - double your power and you go up twice as fast.

    But downhill? Two things happen. First, drag is by far the most significant force holding you back. By far. And the power to overcome drag is a function of speed cubed. It ain't linear. Double your power on the flats and you go only about 25% faster.

    It's more complicated going downhill because you're getting a significant assist from gravity. Go down a 10% grade and you'll coast somewhere around 40 mph depending on how aerodynamic you are. For a 150 lb rider, that's the equivalent of pedaling hard enough to put out about 1500W.

    On any significantly steep downhill, your power output is just messing around the margins. Why expend a ton of effort to go from 42 to 44 mph for the 2 minutes it takes to go down a hill that took you 10 minutes to climb?

    But if you expend the effort climbing, you'll get up that hill in 7 minutes instead of 10.

  14. #14
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    northern Deep South
    My Bikes
    Fuji Touring, Novara Randonee
    Posts
    1,796
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Not to mention, check your route. If there's a direct route with stop signs or traffic lights every block, and another route that's slightly longer but only has you stop every couple miles, the route with less stopping will be faster.

  15. #15
    Senior Member alan s's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    MD/DC/VA
    Posts
    2,866
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Drafting faster bikes is the easiest way to go faster. Just make sure the rider in front is OK with it. And, don't think a different bike or drop bars are necessary. Most bikes can be set up to be much more efficient. On a flat bar MTB, I'm more aerodynamic than most road bikes out there, because I set the bike up that way.
    Last edited by alan s; 03-28-14 at 08:29 AM.

  16. #16
    Packfodding 3 caloso's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    Sacramento, California, USA
    My Bikes
    Ridley Excalibur, Gazelle Champion Mondial, On-One Pompino, Specialized Rock Hopper
    Posts
    29,810
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Focus on timing the stoplights.
    Cyclists of the world, unite! You have nothing to lube but your chains!

  17. #17
    Senior Member CommuteCommando's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Southern CaliFORNIA.
    My Bikes
    KHS Alite 500, Trek 7.2 FX , Masi Partenza, Masi Fixed Special, Masi Cran Criterium
    Posts
    2,940
    Mentioned
    4 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by mgw4jc View Post
    And don't forget to shave your legs.
    The Italians all do it.

    (What a funny country. The women don't save their's)

    Quote Originally Posted by achoo View Post
    But downhill? Two things happen. First, drag is by far the most significant force holding you back. By far. And the power to overcome drag is a function of speed cubed. It ain't linear. Double your power on the flats and you go only about 25% faster.

    It's more complicated going downhill because you're getting a significant assist from gravity. Go down a 10% grade and you'll coast somewhere around 40 mph depending on how aerodynamic you are. For a 150 lb rider, that's the equivalent of pedaling hard enough to put out about 1500W.

    On any significantly steep downhill, your power output is just messing around the margins. Why expend a ton of effort to go from 42 to 44 mph for the 2 minutes it takes to go down a hill that took you 10 minutes to climb?

    But if you expend the effort climbing, you'll get up that hill in 7 minutes instead of 10.
    This^. If you watch the pro racers, you will often see them coasting on the descents, or they're softpedaling to keep the legs loose, recovering to hammer it on the hills and flats. Also notice that when they are coasting on the descents, the crank is horizontal, which is aerodynamically "cleaner" than having one leg resting on the down stroke pedal.
    Last edited by CommuteCommando; 03-28-14 at 08:51 AM.
    As much as you paid for that Beemer [Mercedies, Audi, Escalade], I'm surprised it didn't come equipped with turn signals.

  18. #18
    Senior Member WonderMonkey's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Vandalia OH
    My Bikes
    2011 Cannondale Quick 5, 2014 Raleigh Revenio 2.0
    Posts
    2,146
    Mentioned
    3 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Depending on how big the hills are if you go down one I would put a moderate amount of effort into gaining speed then carry that into the uphill.
    http://www.280dude.com/
    https://www.facebook.com/Michael.R.Henry

  19. #19
    Senior Member jrickards's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Sudbury, ON, CA
    My Bikes
    2002 Norco Bigfoot, 2012 KHS Tempe, 1988 Bianchi Strada, 2012 Kona Sutra
    Posts
    1,537
    Mentioned
    9 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by achoo View Post
    What do you mean by "challenging yourself"?
    Not challenging someone else, as in a race.

    Quote Originally Posted by achoo View Post
    I also don't get what you mean by "the effort in fact is disproportionate to the total speed gain". Because it's on the uphills where speed gains are much more proportional to effort (power level). Double your power up a hill, you'll go just about twice as fast. Double your power on a downhill and you might go from 40 to 42 mph.

    And no, that's no exaggeration.

    Uphill, you're going slow enough that drag is negligible, and almost all your effort is spent lifting you and your bike against the force of gravity. And that's a linear force - double your power and you go up twice as fast.

    But downhill? Two things happen. First, drag is by far the most significant force holding you back. By far. And the power to overcome drag is a function of speed cubed. It ain't linear. Double your power on the flats and you go only about 25% faster.

    It's more complicated going downhill because you're getting a significant assist from gravity. Go down a 10% grade and you'll coast somewhere around 40 mph depending on how aerodynamic you are. For a 150 lb rider, that's the equivalent of pedaling hard enough to put out about 1500W.

    On any significantly steep downhill, your power output is just messing around the margins. Why expend a ton of effort to go from 42 to 44 mph for the 2 minutes it takes to go down a hill that took you 10 minutes to climb?

    But if you expend the effort climbing, you'll get up that hill in 7 minutes instead of 10.
    OK, maybe I had it wrong. I'll have to go back to that book again. I clearly remember the author saying to conserve energy going uphill and then spend it downhill and on the flats.
    A word to the wise ain't necessary - it's the stupid ones that need the advice. Bill Cosby

  20. #20
    Senior Member CommuteCommando's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Southern CaliFORNIA.
    My Bikes
    KHS Alite 500, Trek 7.2 FX , Masi Partenza, Masi Fixed Special, Masi Cran Criterium
    Posts
    2,940
    Mentioned
    4 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by WonderMonkey View Post
    Depending on how big the hills are if you go down one I would put a moderate amount of effort into gaining speed then carry that into the uphill.
    This tactic works well on really short, rolling terrain. Sustained climbs and descents of as little as a hundred yards or more are better to work on the uphill, rest on the down.

    Gleneyre.jpg

    This is Gleneyre Dr. in Newport Beach. I like to hammer down the short decent in the foreground so that inertia carries me through the following steep rise, that I stand for. This gives me enough speed coming out the top that I can settle in an cruise to the next little roller. You can see there are a couple more like it further down.
    Last edited by CommuteCommando; 03-28-14 at 09:19 AM.
    As much as you paid for that Beemer [Mercedies, Audi, Escalade], I'm surprised it didn't come equipped with turn signals.

  21. #21
    Senior Member jrickards's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Sudbury, ON, CA
    My Bikes
    2002 Norco Bigfoot, 2012 KHS Tempe, 1988 Bianchi Strada, 2012 Kona Sutra
    Posts
    1,537
    Mentioned
    9 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by gregf83 View Post
    You may have mis-remembered what you read or it was just wrong but if you want to go faster it never makes sense to go easier on a hill.
    Maybe I'm wrong, or maybe, I'm in that same race as you and trying to give you bad advice!!

    I'll check the book tonight.
    A word to the wise ain't necessary - it's the stupid ones that need the advice. Bill Cosby

  22. #22
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    North of Boston
    My Bikes
    Kona Dawg, Surly 1x1, Karate Monkey, Rockhopper, Crosscheck , Burley Runabout,
    Posts
    1,861
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Some bike details would be helpful. Schwinn range? Tire type, bike weight, gear, drivetrain, commute distance & elevation etc.

  23. #23
    Cyclist storckm's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Columbus, OH
    My Bikes
    Yuba Mundo; Early 70's Free Spirit (Reynolds 531) fixie; 80's Shogun 500; Mid 90's Iron Horse tandem; trailer and tag-a-long; Schwinn Range for commuting, with lights and front and rear racks.
    Posts
    550
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by tsl View Post
    Given the upright posture of your Schwinn Range commuter bike, there's a limit to how fast you can push through the air. If you're thinking about being faster on the commute, maybe it's time to think about a drop bar bike. Battling the wind is exactly what drove me from my hybrid to drop bar bikes. Best cycling decision I ever made.
    Actually, I've got drop bars on that bicycle (I can't stand flat bars), but when I was thinking about this, I was riding my Yuba Mundo (with trekking handlebars).
    On the whole, I'm not really worried about how fast I go, but on occasion I am running late, or need to make a quicker trip.
    I wonder if anyone has accurately calculated differences made by things like shaved legs, clothing, etc. I wonder if part of the effect is mental.
    The bike calculator is pretty fun, thanks, jyl.

  24. #24
    Senior Member rumrunn6's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    25 miles northwest of Boston
    My Bikes
    Bottecchia Sprint
    Posts
    12,087
    Mentioned
    5 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    have you google-mapped your shortest distance?
    cycling is like baseball ~ it doesn't take much to make it interesting

  25. #25
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    New Rochelle, NY
    My Bikes
    too many bikes from 1967 10s (5x2)Frejus to a Sumitomo Ti/Chorus aluminum 10s (10x2), plus one non-susp mtn bike I use as my commuter
    Posts
    20,987
    Mentioned
    47 Post(s)
    Tagged
    1 Thread(s)
    Since most of the drag comes from wind resistance which is proportional to the square of speed, the most efficient way to ride is at constant wind speed. The effort spent to ride faster, will not be offset by the energy saved riding slower later. So, train yourself not to fight headwinds too much, while taking fullest advantage of any tailwinds.

    Hills are a different story. The object is to avoid losing time, yet not exhaust yourself to where you need a long recovery at low effort. I divide hills into two categories, bite size and longer. A bite size hill is one you can take at a single go, maintaining good speed and cresting without gearing down much. It can be a short steep wall you simply sprint, or something a bit longer, that might need a downshift, but can be pushed up in a relatively big gear most of the way without your legs giving out.

    Attack bite size hills hitting the bottom fast and using reserve power to take you to the top. You may be a bit flagged at the top, but you've lost little time, and can afford a short recovery.

    Longer hills are the opposite, here the need to stay fresh enough to ride after climbing overrides climbing time concerns. Find a gear you can climb in, and settle in. If the hill is long enough, it's OK, to attack some at intervals to make time, but make sure you leave enough in your legs to make the top without being too dead to ride fast after.

    Interestingly, over the years I find that my fastest average speeds are on stretches of bite size roller coaster hills. It seems that the attack psychology motivates me to exert more effort than I will on long flat stretches, and I can use gravity and my higher gears to gain speed on the descents.

    I hope this helps.
    FB
    Chain-L site

    An ounce of diagnosis is worth a pound of cure.

    “Never argue with an idiot. He will only bring you down to his level and beat you with experience.”, George Carlin

    “One accurate measurement is worth a thousand expert opinions” - Adm Grace Murray Hopper - USN

    WARNING, I'm from New York. Thin skinned people should maintain safe distance.

Page 1 of 4 123 ... LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •