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Commuting Bicycle commuting is easier than you think, before you know it, you'll be hooked. Learn the tips, hints, equipment, safety requirements for safely riding your bike to work.

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Old 06-04-14, 11:19 AM   #1
briney11
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What is a good speed?

I have usually been having an average speed in the 10-12 m.p.h. range on my rides. I have been going between 3-6 miles. My fastest speed so far is on a flat stretch after turning a corner. I have been coming to the stop sign and then turning on the flat road and seeing how fast I can go. My top speed is 25 m.p.h. I think that I might be able to go faster, but I don't like how the bike wobbles when I hit the cracks in the road. I am just a noob when it comes to riding. So I know that I'll get better as I get into better shape. What do you guys average for speed on your rides? What's the fastest you go on a flat from a stop?
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Old 06-04-14, 11:24 AM   #2
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Average speed depends on so many different variables it's impossible to compare with other riders.

Some of the variables are:

1) The number of red lights encountered
2) Elevation gained during the ride
3) How steep the climbs are
4) Wind speed and direction in relation to your ride (headwind or tailwind?)

There are others but I think those are the main variables..
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Old 06-04-14, 11:25 AM   #3
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Fast enough to not get in trouble for being late!
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Old 06-04-14, 11:29 AM   #4
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You are on a mountain bike right? I would say those are good speeds. They will creep up over time.

I was elated when I hit 25 the other day, and I have been at it for years.

I would say my average commute speed is 24 kmph (15mph), fastest ever downhill was 77 kmph (48mph), from a stop line across an intersection I can hit on average about 20 kmph (12 mph). On a fairly flat with traffic on main road I max and hold about 35 kmph (21mph).

I hit 25 mph on a flat going all out the other morning, I think there was a mild tail wind, usually I have a head wind and cant get over 18 mph.

Last edited by joeyduck; 06-04-14 at 11:34 AM. Reason: Didn't answer questions
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Old 06-04-14, 11:32 AM   #5
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I normally average 15-16 mph on rides. If you have a lot of stop signs or red lights, it'll cut your speed down a fair bit.
Top speed- I don't often think to check, you know? I've hit over 40 mph on long downhills, hit 25-35 mph or so on flat straights with no wind. It depends a lot, if you know you need to keep riding, you have to leave a little in the tank.
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Old 06-04-14, 11:59 AM   #6
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My 7 mile route has a big hill and a couple of red lights/stop signs. I average 14-18mph depending on wind conditions. This is on a loaded down, fully upright bike (~45 pounds).

As far as top speed, I tend to max out at 30mph coming down the big hill on the way home, and that's with me pedaling hard and crouching down low. My bike just isn't made for speed. Definitely don't ride faster than you feel comfortable.

My regular speed on flats with no wind is 18-20mph.
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Old 06-04-14, 12:06 PM   #7
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It really varies a lot based on not only your condition but the bike, your route, the weather, what clothes you're wearing (really) etc.

I've been riding 10 years with about 33,000 miles under my belt at this point. On the slow winter bike I usually get 15 to 16 MPH average. On the road bike, usually more like 18. That's an average over an area with flats and hills. On the flats I generally average about 22.

headwinds will generally drop my speed by up to 2 or 3 MPH. Winter will drop it up to a couple as well just between riding the heavier bike and the denser air and a lot more clothing and cargo.

However, on a mountain bike I would guess that I would average about 0, because I could never motivate myself enough to ride 10 miles on a mountain bike, so if you're doing over 10, you're ahead of me.
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Old 06-04-14, 01:03 PM   #8
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I average 12MPH on a hybrid bike riding trails in the Tampa bay area.
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Old 06-04-14, 01:16 PM   #9
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Like a lot of posters have already said, there's too many variables to establish a correct speed - type of bike, fitness of rider, terrain, tire pressures, gearing, rider mood, whether there's a full moon . . .

I would just concentrate on spinning and just ride, and not be concerned about speed right now.

Me? I maintain about 17 or 18 mph on a flat paved surface with no wind; but with lights, stop signs, everything else my rides actually average between 11.5 and 13 mph.
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Old 06-04-14, 01:26 PM   #10
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Ditto, if you are riding in traffic and on streets with cross traffic, your time will be lower. And it should be. Riding as fast as you can where you may interact with cars is not safe. It lengthens braking distances and reaction distances.
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Old 06-04-14, 01:27 PM   #11
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What's a good speed? Whatever gets you to work safely and on time.

FWIW: On a pure commute ride, I usually average 12-13 mph, although this is mostly a function of stop lights. It really doesn't matter whether I ride my 30lb beater or my 17lb race bike.
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Old 06-04-14, 01:43 PM   #12
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Average on my flat 5 mile commute is about 14 according to Garmin. I consider it to be higher than that because of the time I spend slowing down, and accelerating away from traffic signals. I did that commute once at a Garmin average of just a hair under 19 (max 28) mph-catching most of the lights, and having a favorable tailwind. All time fastest was about 50 down a long, straight grade with no cross streets. Won't do it again because those brakes did not smell good after stopping for the signal at the bottom.
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Old 06-04-14, 02:01 PM   #13
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As others have said, to many factors to compare to others.

On my commute, my average speed seems to fall in the 13-16 range depending on how hard I push it, lights, wind, etc. I have two bikes, one ~10lbs more and a bit more upright then the other, and while the heavier bike is a bit slower its seems to be a small factor in overall average speed.

On uninterrupted flats with minimal wind I typically average between 17 and 22. Not sure what my top speed is. I know I have hit 35 downhill a number of times, but I am generally not a speed demon.
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Old 06-04-14, 03:52 PM   #14
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I'm riding a hybrid. I was just hoping that I'm not like a major slow poke.
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Old 06-04-14, 04:17 PM   #15
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I'm on an Oma for a six mile, fairly flat commute with lots of stop-and-go traffic and lights. I average 11-12 mph. I don't make an effort to go faster because I don't want to get to work sweat drenched.
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Old 06-04-14, 04:36 PM   #16
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I think there was an older thread that got revived recently that had a poll that was similar to this one.

Anyways, most of my trip is flat 4 miles, I cruise anywhere between 18-25 mph depending on how clear traffic is. I've maxed at 35 mph while drafting a bus. Of course my trip is shorter than most so I can afford to go faster energy wise.
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Old 06-04-14, 04:52 PM   #17
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@briney11 As long as you are not like to guy in front of me a few weeks ago. He was going 5 mph. Downhill.

I get sweaty regardless of how I ride. Luckily I have a shower at work that is my own change room. So I go as fast as I can. When i take it easy, with stoplights it all ends within a few minutes of each other. So my commute speeds are usually consistent, no matter how hard I ride.

I cannot recall my drafting speeds, they used to be nice along a 50 mph road with trucks. Every once in a while I timed it right at a light and we hit 15 mph at the same time which was my perfect slip in the draft speed.
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Old 06-04-14, 07:30 PM   #18
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Most days I haven't a clue and it doesn't really matter. I enjoy the ride, maybe stop at a cafe along the way if I think I have time. Or not. Like Doofus I'm usually on an Omafiets (my Oma herself would be really slow :-).
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Old 06-04-14, 07:54 PM   #19
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@briney11 As long as you are not like to guy in front of me a few weeks ago. He was going 5 mph. Downhill.

I get sweaty regardless of how I ride. Luckily I have a shower at work that is my own change room. So I go as fast as I can. When i take it easy, with stoplights it all ends within a few minutes of each other. So my commute speeds are usually consistent, no matter how hard I ride.

I cannot recall my drafting speeds, they used to be nice along a 50 mph road with trucks. Every once in a while I timed it right at a light and we hit 15 mph at the same time which was my perfect slip in the draft speed.
sweaty..in Canada...really?

8- 15 mph in city traffic with bike lane, one stretch going to work
with a south wind, heading north i can get into my last gear
guessing 25 mph
coming back i'm not so fond of that stretch of road .....
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Old 06-04-14, 08:00 PM   #20
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if you're commuting on roads, it's all about pace for me. my commute is about 12 miles and i average around 16 mph. my route has a little of every thing as the longest single segment is only 1.5 miles. a couple segs are less than 1000 ft. i have a hill on the way home that gets me 30 mph, but the same hill on the way to work brings me an 8-9 mph. i have about a mile of bike path and some bumpy ass residential streets as well. throw in a handle full of potential signalized intersections and a long flatter sloped inclines. i'm happy with a 16 mph average, but everyday i work harder to get that up. more of a self challenge than a need. so all in all, everyone that has answered is right.

what's a good speed? if you're going as fast as you can go, it's a good speed. in a week, your good speed will change.
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Old 06-04-14, 08:20 PM   #21
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hit 25-35 mph or so on flat straights with no wind
sigh.

i can do 36ish for a few mins when i stand up and full on sprint on a 17 lb road bike. but when i'm done sprinting i want to puke. methinks another commuter needs to recalibrate their bike computer (and/or stop guessing).
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Old 06-04-14, 08:24 PM   #22
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sweaty..in Canada...really?
some enjoy toodling along and smelling the fresh air. there is nothing wrong with that at all. and there is nothing wrong with enjoying being a speed racing cat 6 mother ****er.

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Old 06-04-14, 08:43 PM   #23
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some enjoy toodling along and smelling the fresh air. there is nothing wrong with that at all. and there is nothing wrong with enjoying being a speed racing cat 6 mother ****er.
lol no offense meant ... just teasing hehehehe
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Old 06-04-14, 10:42 PM   #24
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I'm riding a hybrid. I was just hoping that I'm not like a major slow poke.
There is no reason to worry about speed. The folks on roads bike fly past me all the time.
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Old 06-04-14, 10:45 PM   #25
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lol no offense meant ... just teasing hehehehe
No offense. I am American anyhow. I do not miss the east coast humidity one bit in the summer.

I rode halfway home with my wife today. I can say I was actually not sweating, our pace was much difference than what I was used to. About 8 mph, but we were chatting and talking with the little man.
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