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Old 07-13-07, 10:31 PM   #1
NotAsFat
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New Personal Record

Thursday, I rode the fastest average speed I've ever recorded, 19.6 mph, for 12.4 miles. My previous fastest pace had been 19.2 mph, for just 6.2 miles. Full details are here.
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Old 07-13-07, 10:39 PM   #2
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12.4 miles in less than 38 minutes, a feat that I will likely never accomplish. I think it would be neat to be able to cover that much ground in so little time.
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Old 07-14-07, 12:09 AM   #3
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Now if you put 3 magnets on the wheel- It will be nearer 30.

Great speed but I never seem to bother about averages nowadays- Mainly because I have given up on all electronic gizmos- (Or they seem to give up on me) I seem to be going in for more distance at comfortable speeds, but still try to get the workouts on the slopes.

Now how did you feel after the ride? How were the legs this morning and more than that- How much faster do you want to get? You have got to get that 20 average soon.
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Old 07-14-07, 06:30 PM   #4
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Congratulations on your personal record. Now you'll have to up the ante.
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Old 07-14-07, 08:10 PM   #5
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WOW, "A" group speed. Way to go!
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Old 07-14-07, 08:13 PM   #6
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IMHO, those are great numbers.

I'm trying to get to an average 17, and have been really close a couple of times. So, I salute you for the 19+. Well done!
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Old 07-14-07, 08:17 PM   #7
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I forgot to mention in my first response about how much I hate NotAsFat.
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Old 07-14-07, 08:20 PM   #8
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Thats way faster than I can do. Now, if you can increase it by 50% and hold it for 120 miles you might be able to enter the Tour de France.
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Old 07-14-07, 08:22 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NotAsFat
Thursday, I rode the fastest average speed I've ever recorded, 19.6 mph, for 12.4 miles. My previous fastest pace had been 19.2 mph, for just 6.2 miles. Full details are here.
Congrats! I would love to be able to ride with an average like that.
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Old 07-14-07, 09:23 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by stapfam
Now if you put 3 magnets on the wheel- It will be nearer 30.

Great speed but I never seem to bother about averages nowadays- Mainly because I have given up on all electronic gizmos- (Or they seem to give up on me) I seem to be going in for more distance at comfortable speeds, but still try to get the workouts on the slopes.

Now how did you feel after the ride? How were the legs this morning and more than that- How much faster do you want to get? You have got to get that 20 average soon.
This is an astounding idea. Why not put on 20 wheel magnets? You will be going faster than the TDF guys.
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Old 07-14-07, 09:59 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stapfam
Now if you put 3 magnets on the wheel- It will be nearer 30.

Great speed but I never seem to bother about averages nowadays- Mainly because I have given up on all electronic gizmos- (Or they seem to give up on me) I seem to be going in for more distance at comfortable speeds, but still try to get the workouts on the slopes.

Now how did you feel after the ride? How were the legs this morning and more than that- How much faster do you want to get? You have got to get that 20 average soon.
If I put 3 magnets on my wheel, do you think I could get on a pro team?

I'm trying to get fast enough to finish centuries in under six hrs. Only way I know to do that is to spend quality time at lactate threshold, either through intervals , or time trialling.

I took yesterday off (it rained, and the TdF stage was great), but today, I did 20.2 mi. at 18.8 mph average.
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Old 07-14-07, 10:02 PM   #12
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Good work! With my fat-tired hybrid, I can only dream of those numbers.
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Old 07-14-07, 10:48 PM   #13
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Jen,

The aerodynamics of your riding position, and the power in your legs, has a LOT more to do with your speed than the width of your tires.

Since you have a Giant and your husband has a Trek, at some point you might want to revisit those bike shops and try a bike like a Trek 7.5 FX WSD or a Giant FCR2W. These are so-called "Fitness" hybrids, which are a few pounds lighter than your Cypress, have a slightly more aggressive riding position, and thinner tires. Both are women-specific designs (and not the old-style step-through design). See what you think of them.
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Old 07-15-07, 05:25 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Bombadil
Jen,

The aerodynamics of your riding position, and the power in your legs, has a LOT more to do with your speed than the width of your tires.

Since you have a Giant and your husband has a Trek, at some point you might want to revisit those bike shops and try a bike like a Trek 7.5 FX WSD or a Giant FCR2W. These are so-called "Fitness" hybrids, which are a few pounds lighter than your Cypress, have a slightly more aggressive riding position, and thinner tires. Both are women-specific designs (and not the old-style step-through design). See what you think of them.
Agreed, the aerodynamics of a properly fitted drop bar road bike is a big advantage. But the tires (and the lighter wheels they go on) help, too. As does the lighter weight of the road bike (especially on hills). The riding position on a road bike absorbs bumps better than that of a hybrid, which lets you get along without sprung forks and/or seat posts. Having a solid seat post makes it much easier to get your saddle position dialed in perfectly.

Also, the forward leaning position makes it easier to get more of your weight on the pedals without actually standing up. This means more power with (slightly) less effort.

The bikes Tom mentioned are basically road bikes with flat bars, wider tires, and lower gearing than a regular road bike. I'd recommend bar ends, if you go that route. They give you an extra hand position, and are especially nice when standing up on a climb.

If you have the flexibility to comfortably ride a drop bar road bike with your hands on the hoods, you'll find that it's both faster and more comfortable on long rides than any hybrid. When I first got my Tourmalet, the hoods were a bit of a stretch, and I took frequent breaks by shifting my hands to the tops of the bars. I hardly ever used the drops. I've gotten to where I use the drops a lot more, especially riding into the wind.
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Old 07-15-07, 06:44 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NotAsFat
Thursday, I rode the fastest average speed I've ever recorded, 19.6 mph, for 12.4 miles. My previous fastest pace had been 19.2 mph, for just 6.2 miles. Full details are here.
Great ride!! I admire your ability to push so far into your HR zones. I wish we were closer so we could push and pull one another to higher speeds--being former fatties and all. Also, it would be fun to trade bikes for a ride and see how your Tourmalet and my Buenos Aires fared in one another's hands. Any plans to come ride in the east?

By the way, 1+ on your comments about the hoods and drop bars--I still use the drops mostly on downhills to gain speed and have not yet gotten into the habit of ride the flats on the drops. Maybe it would increase my speed...ya think?
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Old 07-15-07, 08:43 AM   #16
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"Getting forward" and down by using drop bars also allows your butt muscles to come into play. Out on the bike, do a sudden accelertion and notice how, even with flat bars, your body will want to lean forward to get that extra power from your butt and even your hamstrings to help turn those pedals.

Maintaining a constant speed on fatter tires (not talking mtn knobbies) is not so much the issue as accelerating fatter tires because of the extra rotating weight. BUT, try riding super hard skinnies on a rougher road and notice how you ricochet and bounce around-- which makes you go slower partly because you're uncomfortable and partly because the bike is bouncing a bit and losing speed. Softer, somewhat fatter tires will keep speed better as they "float" over bumps.

Speed differences for skinny vs. fat are marginal...important for high competition riders but maybe not so much for us. If you have the legs and lungs, you could do high avg. speeds with 28's and 32's........and, in fact, you might become a stronger cyclist because those more comfy tires might encourage you to go farther!

For sustained speed and range and (actually) comfort, I think the drop bars are much more significant. But, each person has different needs....and we can all do surprizing personal wonders with whatever gear we've got.
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Old 07-15-07, 09:36 AM   #17
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I am reading all this above expert advise of drop bars vs straight bars. Nobody mentions aerobars. If I go at speeds as the OP reports, I always go on aerobars against the wind. For a personal best time trial I do the whole thing on aerobars.
I agree that drops and aerobars are comparable in speed but find aerobars more doable for longer distance.
I disagree that fat lower pressure tires are not significantly slower. I just spend over $1000 for two sets of wheels to prove that. I will be happy to document test results but there is also Kreuzotter.de to check it.
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Old 07-15-07, 11:27 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Bombadil
Jen,

The aerodynamics of your riding position, and the power in your legs, has a LOT more to do with your speed than the width of your tires.

Since you have a Giant and your husband has a Trek, at some point you might want to revisit those bike shops and try a bike like a Trek 7.5 FX WSD or a Giant FCR2W. These are so-called "Fitness" hybrids, which are a few pounds lighter than your Cypress, have a slightly more aggressive riding position, and thinner tires. Both are women-specific designs (and not the old-style step-through design). See what you think of them.
Tom, I've considered lowering the handle bar back down to its original position, just to test how it really feels in a real-life ride (not just a ride around the parking lot at the shop) now that I have a little bit (emphasis on little bit) of riding skill. I'll never know unless I try. But, I suspect that the top tube will be too much of a reach, and I will concede that this bike is a little on the big side for me, but not by a lot. I'm also curious how I'd fit on a WSD bike like the ones you suggested; I've read that they are more suitable to a smaller woman, while I am tall.

The main problem, if there is one, is my doggone wrists. I just do not have good range of motion in either one. I woke up this morning feeling mad about that for the first time in my life.
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Old 07-15-07, 12:45 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yen
The main problem, if there is one, is my doggone wrists. I just do not have good range of motion in either one. I woke up this morning feeling mad about that for the first time in my life.
This is a problem that some of us are forgetting about in that Yen does have a wrist problem that will limit her fit on a bike.

Now as an experiment yen- You have straight bars so why not get the shop to fit a pair of Bar ends to your existing bike with your existing set up? They are not expensive- but do take a bit of fitting. It will give you an alternative riding position that is a bit more lean forward- and you never know- It might help you get out of the saddle a bit- or take pressure off the saddle to give you the lean forward position for hill climbing.
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Old 07-15-07, 12:54 PM   #20
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stapfam: I am planning another handlebar option, I just haven't done it yet. Yesterday at REI I saw these Ergo Bars and wondered if they might work for me, and if my shifters and brake levers would work on them. Has anyone tried this bar?

Another one is the Moustache Handlebar at Rivendell, it also looks promising.
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Old 07-15-07, 02:58 PM   #21
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I know of what you speak. My right thumb lets me know every now and then that it is not to be forgotten when I make changes to my handlebars, grips, bar ends, stems, etc.

Still, if'n I were you, I probably would play around with that stem setting. Just like I do now!

Oh, and WSD designs are not intended for the smaller woman. They are set up to more closely match the upper to lower torso ratios of a woman, and for how that changes the stresses when riding. The frame size addresses the height issue. It is true that bicycle manufacturers don't always make frames large enough for tall women (like maybe 6' and over), so those women might have to go with a man's bike. And as people come in all shapes and sizes, there will be women may be better fitted on a man's bike, and vice versa.

If WSD designs were intended solely for small women, then many of the WSD bikes wouldn't be available in 19" or 57cm frames (some aren't).

Here's what Trek has to say about their WSD efforts:
http://www2.trekbikes.com/us/en/WSD/WSD_Difference.php

Note that one of the issues they specifically aim to address in their WSD bikes is to lessen hand fatigue.
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Old 07-15-07, 03:54 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yen
stapfam: I am planning another handlebar option, I just haven't done it yet. Yesterday at REI I saw these Ergo Bars and wondered if they might work for me, and if my shifters and brake levers would work on them. Has anyone tried this bar?

Another one is the Moustache Handlebar at Rivendell, it also looks promising.
The Ergobars you linked would be essentially the same as flat bars with bar ends, but more trouble to install. The moustache bars would not be a good choice if you are already concerned about the reach being too far. Normally you would use a shorter reach stem than normal when switching to them. "Tip: Most people, switching from drops to Moustache H'bars, prefer a stem about 2cm to 4cm shorter in the extension." - Riv. I have found that to be true on the bike I use them on.

While looking at the Rivendell site, do you think the Albatross or Dove bars would be better?
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Old 07-15-07, 04:01 PM   #23
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The Ergobars you linked would be essentially the same as flat bars with bar ends, but more trouble to install. The moustache bars would not be a good choice if you are already concerned about the reach being too far. Normally you would use a shorter reach stem than normal when switching to them. "Tip: Most people, switching from drops to Moustache H'bars, prefer a stem about 2cm to 4cm shorter in the extension." - Riv. I have found that to be true on the bike I use them on.

While looking at the Rivendell site, do you think the Albatross or Dove bars would be better?
Thank you for the info. I like the Albatross bars a lot.
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Old 07-15-07, 06:43 PM   #24
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Jen,

Have you tried using bar ends yet?

When I first put them on, I configured them pretty much straight up. My bike looked like it had horns. This was great for giving me a very upright position, adding about 3" of height to my handlebars. Then I replaced my 1.5" riser handlebars with 3" riser bars and removed the bar ends. This was great.

Then recently I felt like I needed to have an alternate position that was a bit more forward, so I re-installed another set of bar ends, longer ones. And I took an unused set of foam grips and wiggled them onto the bar ends. This gave me three hand positions - on my grips, on the upright sides of the bar ends, and forward onto the top of the bar ends. I had them a little more upright, then adjusted them down a bit last week.

I rode about 5-6 miles on the forward position today. It was nice. I may continue to tweak them as I use them more.

It's an easy way to add more hand positions and to try different set ups.

The first image below is how I had my first set installed. Second image is how they are now.
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