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Old 03-29-10, 11:40 PM   #1
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How fast is too fast?

At what speed do you start to think maybe you're going just a little too fast to feel comfortable?

For me, it's about 28 mph. After that I get too nervous to enjoy the ride. Got to thinking about that today, so I thought I'd make a little poll.

That said, I guess I don't know how to make polls in this newfangled forum. It didn't show me how to put up the questions.

So... how fast is too fast?

20+ mph?
25+ mph?
30+ mph?
35+ mph?
40+ mph?
45+ mph?
50+ mph?
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Old 03-29-10, 11:43 PM   #2
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I'll let you know when that happens.
So far, I haven't gone over 53mph.
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Old 03-29-10, 11:45 PM   #3
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At about 35 I find it harder to remain relaxed. (If I have been on the road surface before it makes a big difference.)
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Old 03-29-10, 11:49 PM   #4
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Depends on road surface - there are tons of steep descents around here; I do 30+ mph every morning on the way to work, a few blocks from my house, down a suburban street without much concern because I know the road so well. On bigger hills, 40+ is not unusual; I seem to start chickening out around 48mph or so because I haven't hit any max speeds higher than that.

Any of these speeds can be worrisome on bad roads -- some mountain descents have potholed roads and rocks on the road surface.

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Old 03-29-10, 11:52 PM   #5
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I've been to 48.8 and it wasn't scary. But sometimes 35 feels way too fast. But generally, I'm comfy up to 35 or a bit more on a good road.
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Old 03-30-10, 12:38 AM   #6
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Sure, it does depend on the road and having been (presumably, down) it before helps. Having been down it a lot helps even more.
For me, the dividing line is when I wonder if I could get up and walk away were I to go down hard.
That's "dividing" as in "I start to think about it" not "OK, I'm going to slow down now"
Some of us just have that "Need for Speed"... pretty stupid, really.
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Old 03-30-10, 03:37 AM   #7
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As others have said, it depends on the road, conditions and traffic. There are places around here on the asphault that I can exceed the speed limit without bothering to pedal. (even on the MTB). I've been to over 45 on pavement and over 25 on dirt. I can't say that either one is completely comfortable, but weeeeeeeee.
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Old 03-30-10, 03:42 AM   #8
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I have been 40+ but would like to bump that to 50+ someday.
As others have said , it depends on road conditions as to if it is scary though.

Oh and going down at 40 or 50 is in my book the same....a hurtin'
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Old 03-30-10, 03:46 AM   #9
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If you leave a compression wave and a sonic boom behind you on a bike, you're likely riding too fast.

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Old 03-30-10, 04:54 AM   #10
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I've felt like I was going too fast for a given situation, but the fastest I have been was about 52 on a long, straight downhill off a mountain and it felt great.
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Old 03-30-10, 05:02 AM   #11
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50 mph on the tandem,
less on the 1/2 bikes.
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Old 03-30-10, 05:22 AM   #12
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My top speed has been 50 MPH, which I have done a few times. I have been afraid of the situation and slowed down even at 20 MPH. It all has to do with the situation.

Something that slows me down almost as quicikly as a rough road is the wind. A cross wind during a descent can be brutal. Our highest peak is Mt. Magazine. During a descent on the North side I found anything over 20 MPH was scary in 30 MPH cross winds.
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Old 03-30-10, 05:30 AM   #13
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Top comfort about 40 - but on my mtn bike, which seems to me to be more stable. It depends a lot on whether or not I know if the road keeps going down as steep for some time ahead or whether I know it will flatten out. If I know it will flatten out, I let her loose. Strange, as it really makes no difference - it is just a mind game.
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Old 03-30-10, 05:37 AM   #14
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I'd only like to maintain 20 MPH plus average for the duration of a 2 hour ride.. I usually don't get spooked about speed unless it's a downhill... Especially if there are hairpin curves.. Looking back ,I've seen speeds of over 40 mph on long descents.. Looking down at the pavement doing over 40 ..... Spooky
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Old 03-30-10, 05:51 AM   #15
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As others have said the answer is situational. There are roads here where 10mph is too fast.
The fastest I ever went was two summers ago on a steep descent where the road was freshly paved - it was a thrill, can't remember the exact speed but it was about 45.
I did that same road last summer but after I had thought back to the speed I hit the previous year and the consequences that might have happened if I pulled a flat or a small mammal jump out in front of me - I slowed down. After nursing a broken collar bone for 8 weeks I think I'll slow even more when I do that descent this summer. I guess I am just getting older.

For me the goal is to improve the speed going up, not the speed going down.
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Old 03-30-10, 05:52 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cyclezealot View Post
I'd only like to maintain 20 MPH plus average for the duration of a 2 hour ride.. I usually don't get spooked about speed unless it's a downhill... Especially if there are hairpin curves.. Looking back ,I've seen speeds of over 40 mph on long descents.. Looking down at the pavement doing over 40 ..... Spooky
Don't look down, never look down......................
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Old 03-30-10, 05:56 AM   #17
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DG - to make a poll one must be at the "Go Advanced" screen.
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Old 03-30-10, 06:31 AM   #18
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I've had the pleasure of riding Colorado's Triple Bypass the last 3 years in a row. Last year while decending Loveland Pass I actually broke the 60 mph mark for a sec. I could have gone faster but visions of tire blowouts, bad brakes, mechanical failures, etc, starting popping through my head.

What I've learned is at those speeds the slightest bump, pebble, road hazards, are greatly enhanced and the risk is something too much for me.

I'm comfortable at speeds just below 50 but only because I've ridden so several times. The first time I was scared half to death.

Can't wait to do it again this July....
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Old 03-30-10, 07:01 AM   #19
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I almost went "too fast" several years ago. At our cabin in Western PA there is a 1 mile long steep sweeping hill that I've hit over 52 mph on. At the end of rides I always try to hit the hill for max speed. On this day it was sunny and shadows from trees made patches on the roadway. While in my high speed position, everything tucked in and with my nose down to the stem, I crossed what I thought was a shadow. It ended up being a shallow pothole where the pavement overlay was missing. My first thought was a front wheel pinch flat, but that didn't happen. Relieved because I didn't end up going over the hillside at 50 mph I sat up and finished the ride. When putting the bike away I noticed the aluminum handle bar had a "smile" crack on it between the stem and the bar tape. Yikes, the computer showed 51+ mph, what might have happened if I was going 53 mph?
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Old 03-30-10, 07:02 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sgt. Spillco View Post
I've had the pleasure of riding Colorado's Triple Bypass the last 3 years in a row. Last year while decending Loveland Pass I actually broke the 60 mph mark for a sec. I could have gone faster but visions of tire blowouts, bad brakes, mechanical failures, etc, starting popping through my head.

What I've learned is at those speeds the slightest bump, pebble, road hazards, are greatly enhanced and the risk is something too much for me.

I'm comfortable at speeds just below 50 but only because I've ridden so several times. The first time I was scared half to death.

Can't wait to do it again this July....
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There was a very good article in the tech section of Velo News (probably more than a year ago) by an engineer from one of the wheel companies about temperature and pressure rise in the tires of the TDF while descending from the peaks in the Alps. The brake usage going into the corners at competitive speeds was bring the temps up to 400degf on the rims and the pressures in the tires up by 30lbs +. The danger of a long fast descent can be a melted tube/blowout.
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Old 03-30-10, 07:15 AM   #21
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It seems to me that a blowout/crash/whatever at 40 could be just as devastating as one at 60. I realize the forces increase geometrically, but I would think that a crash at 40 is fast enough to do crippling or fatal damage.
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Old 03-30-10, 07:20 AM   #22
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this is almost self regulating for me. meaning I can't generate so much speed that I feel unsafe. there are some very few exceptions but they always center on traffic and intersections
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Old 03-30-10, 07:22 AM   #23
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Have hit 53 mph but don't care to anymore. After about 45 I start thinking about it too much. If I'm not enjoying it then there is no point to going that fast.

You know what Jonathan Vaughters said? "Strip down to your underwear, take the car up to 50 mph, and jump out."
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Old 03-30-10, 08:26 AM   #24
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Don't look down, never look down......................
Yeah, I freaked when I read that, too.

I'll repeat: Don't. Ever. Look. Down.
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Old 03-30-10, 09:29 AM   #25
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Your question makes me think.

I've done 50+ mph quite a lot on the tandem, on long descents with a good surface and no road junctions where the sight lines are clear. Speed itself doesn't bother me.

But unpredictability does. Put a road junction, a change of surface, an incoming 'vanishing point' on a curve and I become very conservative indeed - on any 2 wheeled vehicle, powered or not. And 4 wheeled, come to that.

When the conditions were right, I had no apprehension about redlining a number of Ducatis. (Which, on a good day, could approach the national speed limit!)

And after a lot of years and miles, I hurt myself at 2 mph

So, like many previous responses - not the speed, all about the conditions
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