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Old 08-22-07, 01:03 PM   #1
stapfam
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Cars and cadence

Today I had the opportunity to test a top of the range car that we have in the UK. Not for me but the Car had an interesting display with regard to Fuel economy.

6 gear car and The electronic display showed me how many miles to the Gallon I was getting (MPG) Started up the Motorway at 70MPH on the flat and I was going to get 45mpg with my normal driving. By easing off the Throttle a bit- I got that up to 50mpg. Then a hill- yes we have them on motorways and to maintain 70- The fuel economy dropped to 30mpg. Downhill where I was coasting I was going to get 999.9mpg so there is a limit on the display. Time to get out on the country roads and lets see what was happening. Not many straights so I would estimate top speed at 50 at the most. On the level I was getting around 50mpg but Going up a hill-about 8% and the mpg dropped to 25 in 6th. Change down to 5th and it rose to 30. Thgen time to see what I could get by blasting it (Still max of 50) and the economy dropped to around 15mpg. Then see what "Economy" driving was going to do-Use the gearbox less- soft right foot and with a bit of practice and I was going to get 45 again.

Then I started thinking about the Bike- Those engine revs equate to cadence. On the flat- find the right gear at your speed and Your energy levels do not drop a great deal- Go up a hill and mash and energy levels drop a bit. Change down and higher cadence and Economy improvess.Go like the clappers everywhere and that fuel tank is going need replenishing a heck of a lot more. So much so that as my wallet will not hold any more money to buy fuel with- Your body will not be able to take in enough Fuel to keep going for too long.

This is exactly as I found on the bike-I can ride hard for about 20 miles and then I start to feel it. Slow down a bit and a 60 miler is on the cards with ease. Don't have to slow down much though. It may feel like it but How many times have you blasted up a hill- Overtaking cyclists and then rested at the top. Its not long before the other riders come up the hill chatting to their mates while you are still trying to catch your breath. Or on one of the organised rides- There are plenty that shoot off ahaed never to be seen again. But there are also some of those that an hour or later you catch up and they then struggle to stay with you- or even finish the ride.

By the way- Over 80 miles on the test-I averaged 52mpg on all types of roads and the car was nice. Just glad that I don't have a need for a 30,000 car as I didn't like it either.
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Old 08-22-07, 01:11 PM   #2
John E
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Pedal cadence is extremely important, which is why I am such a big fan of gears and completely unenthusiastic about either fixed gear or single speed.
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Old 08-22-07, 01:11 PM   #3
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I guess technology is slow to spread. We have a fuel use computer in our 1996 Linclon. Great miles per gallon when your going down a mountain.
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Old 08-22-07, 01:45 PM   #4
BluesDawg
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Ironic that driving a dinosaur-burner enlightened you about conserving energy while riding a bicycle.

I suspect there is more to it than just cadence. In fact, a little time spent on a SS or fixie would probably do a lot to tune us in to the most efficient ways to use energy on a bike.
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Old 08-22-07, 07:48 PM   #5
dorosz
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You were going 50MPH on backcountry English roads!!!! OMIGOD!
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Old 08-22-07, 08:28 PM   #6
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Was it the Honda Diesel?

We are supposed to get it in the 2009 model and I can't wait to try it.
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