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-   -   My cheap folder and Your average speed? (http://www.bikeforums.net/folding-bikes/918415-my-cheap-folder-your-average-speed.html)

BlackCheetah 10-17-13 07:57 PM

My cheap folder and Your average speed?
 
1 Attachment(s)
http://bikeforums.net/attachment.php...hmentid=346518

So I live in Houston/Katy/Cinco Ranch area and I work at a Papa Johns in Missouri City which is 25 miles of a journey for 5 days a week. I didn't have alot of money when I bought my bike, and I needed a folder for whenever I get a lift at any random time and because I love small wheels. I bought it on amazon for 129 dollars and its a pt062 Jane folding bike, really low quality bike but I've been slowly replacing many objects on the bike from the loose cup and cone bottom bracket to the chainring and the changing my 14-28t freewheel to DNP's 11t to 32t freewheel.

Bike weighs between 30-35 pounds, my current chainring is 48t and rear cog is 13t. I can ride the bike at a constant speed of 18-21 mph if there is no wind, if the bike was half its weight I could ride it much faster. I get to work in about 1 hr 30 mins for the 25 mile journey.

I really want to make the bike faster but for some reason I ride my 13t rear cog faster than my 11t I can max out the 13t to 24 mph but the 11t I struggle to stay at 20 mph.

What is everyone's fastest average speed along with their chainring size and most used rear cog?

BruceMetras 10-17-13 08:37 PM

Quickly running the numbers through a gear calculator, your 13t is giving you about a 68 g/i and your 11t about an 80 g/i .. that's a big spread.. I like to cruise in the mid to high 70's.. with your bike's 48 chainring, that would mean a 12t .. sounds like you like high cadence .. 24 mph with a 48/13 would be around 120 rpm .. not sure what tires you are running, but if stock, then something like a slick Kojak, Continental, Scorcher or the like might get you a little more speed.. I'm running Panaracer Minits on my go fast folder .. very fast tire.. I've also been running these super cheap Kenda Ksmart 406x1.35 (same size as the Kojak) tires and find them surprisingly fast ..

DoubleDiamonDog 10-17-13 08:47 PM

Black Cheetah - If you are riding 21 mph on that folder and want to go faster you may want to try to be more aerodynamic. Are there any adjustments you can make that will allow you ride in a less upright position that you can comfortably sustain for 80 minutes? You may find that you can get more out of the 11t, which should give you better top end than your surprising results.

Elvis Shumaker 10-18-13 12:13 AM

If that's your speed on that folder, it just proves my suspicion that equipment plays no more than a tangential role.

That's quick.

BlackCheetah 10-18-13 12:34 AM

2 Attachment(s)
Well, my part in aerodynamics is that I took off my rear rack, both fenders on both wheels, I keep the handlebars permanently done, and I recently installed some L bar ends I bought from walmart which help alot.

Yes, my cadence is between 90 and 110 depending on the wind, and how hungry I am. I've tested my cadence and I do get up to 20 mph at 100 rpm, the tires I have are both 20 x 1.75 and I keep them at 60 psi. Half a year ago I replaced my rear rim with bmx one from my Local bike shop which was heavier but stronger than previous one.

I really want to get work in a hour, but I keep maxing out on 48x13. I can cruise that at 17 mph easily, but 48x11 I can't cruise about 14, and the wind destroys me on that cog.

Quote:

If that's your speed on that folder, it just proves my suspicion that equipment plays no more than a tangential role.

That's quick.
18 used to be my top speed, and anything over 13 mph was so tiring, I don't know why but I'd so much faster now and 15 mph is like walking through a park.

I've been trying to figure out how to maximize this folder's performance and I think most like its the weight.

This is what it looks like now
http://bikeforums.net/attachment.php...hmentid=346548

And what it original looks like.

http://bikeforums.net/attachment.php...hmentid=346549

cplager 10-18-13 06:09 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BlackCheetah (Post 16170385)
Well, my part in aerodynamics is that I took off my rear rack, both fenders on both wheels, I keep the handlebars permanently done, and I recently installed some L bar ends I bought from walmart which help alot.

Yes, my cadence is between 90 and 110 depending on the wind, and how hungry I am. I've tested my cadence and I do get up to 20 mph at 100 rpm, the tires I have are both 20 x 1.75 and I keep them at 60 psi. Half a year ago I replaced my rear rim with bmx one from my Local bike shop which was heavier but stronger than previous one.

I really want to get work in a hour, but I keep maxing out on 48x13. I can cruise that at 17 mph easily, but 48x11 I can't cruise about 14, and the wind destroys me on that cog.



18 used to be my top speed, and anything over 13 mph was so tiring, I don't know why but I'd so much faster now and 15 mph is like walking through a park.

I've been trying to figure out how to maximize this folder's performance and I think most like its the weight.

This is what it looks like now
http://bikeforums.net/attachment.php...hmentid=346548

And what it original looks like.

http://bikeforums.net/attachment.php...hmentid=346549

For speed, weight only matters on hills, not on flats. The only reason it makes sense to make a really light folder is because you might be carrying it.

For low speed, rolling resistance matters a lot (switching to the tires Bruce recommended above may quite a difference).

For high speed, aero is where you need to make improvements. I see you've already got bar ends - switching to drops would give you more positions (although this isn't cheap) - just lowering the handlebars you've got works too but may not be comfortable.

For gearing, you could put a double crank on as well (but it doesn't sound like gearing is your problem at this point).

Of all of these, tires is really the only one on which I'd recommend spending money - otherwise I'd recommend saving a buying a nicer bike.

Elvis Shumaker 10-18-13 07:03 AM

I actually DRIVE A CAR about 28 miles to work and 28 back every day, a main country road, no traffic snarls - and that journey takes 45 minutes. Doing 25 in 90 on a folder is no mean feat, you must be leaving any other cyclists dead in the water.

It's impressive that you want to go even faster.

darukhan 10-18-13 08:18 AM

This may not be the obvious change/upgrade to make to your bike when your goal is more speed, but it will work towards that goal: PEDALS!

Have you tried using pedal straps, toe clips or even clipless pedals?

Using any of the three pedal configurations metioned above will give you more pedal stroke efficiency, which means you'll be able to go longer with less energy expended on specific leg muscles. Rather, the same energy required to move your bike is spread out over more leg muscle groups, as you will be able to also PULL UP on the pedal with one leg, while the other is pushing the opposite pedal down.

When I switched to "toe clip" pedals (platform pedal with a cage strapped over it) , and then eventually upgraded to "clipless" pedals (where shoes physically attach to the pedal), I was almost giddy with excitement at how much it improved, and smoothed out my cadence!

As you know... a better, more efficient cadence will equal a faster ride.

PS... you mentioned that you work at Papa Johns... I love that pizza! ...you don't have to make any deliveries on your bike do you!? ha! I'm kidding of course. :thumb:

smallwheeler 10-18-13 08:32 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Elvis Shumaker (Post 16170723)
I actually DRIVE A CAR about 28 miles to work and 28 back every day, a main country road, no traffic snarls - and that journey takes 45 minutes. Doing 25 in 90 on a folder is no mean feat, you must be leaving any other cyclists dead in the water.

It's impressive that you want to go even faster.

next step: DRAFTING:


Sixty Fiver 10-18-13 08:42 AM

My folder usually hits the road at 35-40 pounds when I add the daily gear and when I was commuting 30 miles (one way) my rolling time was usually under 2 hours... this was the same speed I would see on my touring bike and touring worthy hybrid over shorter trips. Both curbed out at around the same weight and have similar aerodynamics.

The same trip on my road bikes is a little quicker by virtue of even better aerodynamics and and taller gearing to exploit that... this is what you need to take you past that 30kmh / 18 mph wall.

Most fit riders can manage 17 - 18mph on any decent bike, getting past that requires a lot more dedication and being able to ride 25 miles in an hour puts one in rarer company... the energy required to go from a speed of 17 to 25 mph requires almost twice the energy to overcome wind resistance.

Still Pedaling 10-18-13 09:04 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Sixty Fiver (Post 16171002)
My folder usually hits the road at 35-40 pounds when I add the daily gear and when I was commuting 30 miles (one way) my rolling time was usually under 2 hours... this was the same speed I would see on my touring bike and touring worthy hybrid over shorter trips. Both curbed out at around the same weight and have similar aerodynamics.

The same trip on my road bikes is a little quicker by virtue of even better aerodynamics and and taller gearing to exploit that... this is what you need to take you past that 30kmh / 18 mph wall.

Most fit riders can manage 17 - 18mph on any decent bike, getting past that requires a lot more dedication and being able to ride 25 miles in an hour puts one in rarer company... the energy required to go from a speed of 17 to 25 mph requires almost twice the energy to overcome wind resistance.

I was just looking at your green '54 Raleigh. Boy does that bring back some fond memories. Did you change that to a single speed by any chance because I didn't notice a shifter on board? I'm almost positive that it would have come stock with a 3-speed SA hub. You have it looking mighty nice.

Sorry that this is off topic guys.

Edit: I did find your shifter. I had to look a little closer as you have mounted it below the rear (right) brake lever. Or are you using the right lever for the front beak -- hard to tell from the photo.

Sixty Fiver 10-18-13 09:18 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Still Pedaling (Post 16171078)
I was just looking at your green '54 Raleigh. Boy does that bring back some fond memories. Did you change that to a single speed by any chance because I didn't notice a shifter on board? I'm almost positive that it would have come stock with a 3-speed SA hub. You have it looking mighty nice.

Sorry that this is off topic guys.

Edit: I did find your shifter. I had to look a little closer as you have mounted it below the rear (right) brake lever. Or are you using the right lever for the front beak -- hard to tell from the photo.

It is a 3 speed with a right hand front brake (British set up).

As it applies to the topic... it has had a bunch of it's steel parts replaced for lighter alloy ones and did come with drop bars originally. This makes it 12 pounds lighter than it's upright counterpart (with all it's stock steel parts) and the improved aerodynamics make it a much faster ride and better over longer distances.

fietsbob 10-18-13 10:29 AM

No matter what bike I ride, I'm still 65years old :50:

BlackCheetah 10-18-13 11:33 AM

I bought pedals with straps yesterday and it feels wonderful, and It does make my cadence more efficient but I'm not going to test my full performance until I go to work today in 30 mins.

jur 10-18-13 04:09 PM

25mph average is FAST. At that speed, wind resistance completely dominates. Drag is a function of speed squared, so a marginal imcrease in speed causes a big increase in drag. Eg if you increase speed by 10% drag goes up by 20%. To increase your performance by 20% is a huge jump if you are already near your maximum. I would say impossible.

The only real way to get significantly faster is go aero. Install aero bars and tuck down for an hour.

cplager 10-18-13 04:46 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jur (Post 16172401)
25mph average is FAST. At that speed, wind resistance completely dominates. Drag is a function of speed squared, so a marginal imcrease in speed causes a big increase in drag. Eg if you increase speed by 10% drag goes up by 20%. To increase your performance by 20% is a huge jump if you are already near your maximum. I would say impossible.

The only real way to get significantly faster is go aero. Install aero bars and tuck down for an hour.

It's even worse than that as power need to maintain speed goes like speed cubed. So 10% increase needs 30% more power. Clip on aero bars aren't a crazy idea...

BlackCheetah 10-20-13 12:59 AM

This may be crazy but, I want to try using a fairing?

Today on my way to work I had a tailwind directly behind me for a short while on a strip of road and was able to keep up speed of 25 miles per hour. I was going so fast that a new traffic law had to be placed. Of course, my cadence melted my pedals...:lol:

I tried toe straps, and I performed worse for some reason, I tried them and thought I was faster, but when I took them off, I gained 3 mph. I think my legs are awkward. This was all on 48tx11t. Tommorrow I will try 11t cog again, but everyone is correct about aerodynamics. 3 mph headwind is easily to cut through on 13t, but on 11t, I am so heavy and slow that I can see the past as if it were the current time.

cplager 10-20-13 06:29 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BlackCheetah (Post 16175444)
This may be crazy but, I want to try using a fairing?

Today on my way to work I had a tailwind directly behind me for a short while on a strip of road and was able to keep up speed of 25 miles per hour. I was going so fast that a new traffic law had to be placed. Of course, my cadence melted my pedals...:lol:

I tried toe straps, and I performed worse for some reason, I tried them and thought I was faster, but when I took them off, I gained 3 mph. I think my legs are awkward. This was all on 48tx11t. Tommorrow I will try 11t cog again, but everyone is correct about aerodynamics. 3 mph headwind is easily to cut through on 13t, but on 11t, I am so heavy and slow that I can see the past as if it were the current time.

If you really want a fairing, then first you should convert your folding bike into something
like this:

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-fO3Q-eRFJF...0/IMAG0682.jpg

Aid then you can put a fairing and even a sock on it:

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3097/...dec952d81c.jpg


As far as feet attachment methods, I personally prefer clipless pedals over both clips and straps.

Cheers, Charles

darukhan 10-20-13 11:53 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by cplager (Post 16175606)
As far as feet attachment methods, I personally prefer clippers pedals over both clips and straps.

Cheers, Charles

Hey Charles, when you say "clippers" pedals, you're referring to "clipless" pedals, correct? If that's the case, I'm with you there.... when I switched from clips and straps to clipless, it was like night and day! The addition of the float factor completely eliminated the knee pain I was experiencing after long rides.

cplager 10-20-13 01:19 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by darukhan (Post 16176184)
Hey Charles, when you say "clippers" pedals, you're referring to "clipless" pedals, correct? If that's the case, I'm with you there.... when I switched from clips and straps to clipless, it was like night and day! The addition of the float factor completely eliminated the knee pain I was experiencing after long rides.

(Stupid auto correct) Yes, that's exactly what I meant. :D

Your experience with knee pain and float aren't obvious for those who have never used clipless pedals, but happens for many people.

darukhan 10-20-13 08:39 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by cplager (Post 16176334)
(Stupid auto correct) Yes, that's exactly what I meant. :D

Ahhh.. gotcha... that's technology making our lives easier, eh? :lol:

Quote:

Originally Posted by cplager (Post 16176334)
Your experience with knee pain and float aren't obvious for those who have never used clipless pedals, but happens for many people.

The interesting thing (at least to me) was that I was getting the knee pain with toe clips and straps due to my habit of tightening the straps down very tightly so my foot wouldn't move at all against the pedals. (Which made for some tricky dismounts a few times!) This fixed mounting of my foot really strained my knees.

When I switched to the clipless pedals, my pedals were attached to my shoes, but the freedom of side-to-side movement was realized and that connection to the pedals feels so much more organic now, and the pain is gone!

(To keep this on topic...) My cadence has greatly improved with the use of clipless pedals and I'm now able to ride faster, more consistently.

oronzous 10-20-13 08:55 PM

1 Attachment(s)
Quote:

Originally Posted by BlackCheetah (Post 16170385)
Well, my part in aerodynamics is that I took off my rear rack, both fenders on both wheels, I keep the handlebars permanently done, and I recently installed some L bar ends I bought from walmart which help alot.

If you have some minutes to fool around your bike you can try and flip the handlebars. Detach grips, brakes and shifter and put them the other way around.

http://bikeforums.net/attachment.php...hmentid=346974

Costs you nothing, test it and if you feel it uncomfortable on hands and wrists, just raise the post.

BlackCheetah 10-21-13 12:09 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by oronzous (Post 16177237)
flip the handlebars.

I wish I could try that but... my handle bars are straight and welded on. :p I've realised I definitely need something like a fairing to totally do everything for me. I could get aerobars but I do not think they'll add very much speed, or maybe the comfort would help me go faster...

I'm a handy kind of guy, I might one day build myself a fairing and put myself in a sock, oh the honks I would receive.

cplager 10-21-13 05:43 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by darukhan (Post 16177204)
The interesting thing (at least to me) was that I was getting the knee pain with toe clips and straps due to my habit of tightening the straps down very tightly so my foot wouldn't move at all against the pedals. (Which made for some tricky dismounts a few times!) This fixed mounting of my foot really strained my knees.

When I switched to the clipless pedals, my pedals were attached to my shoes, but the freedom of side-to-side movement was realized and that connection to the pedals feels so much more organic now, and the pain is gone!

(To keep this on topic...) My cadence has greatly improved with the use of clipless pedals and I'm now able to ride faster, more consistently.

Even people who use platform pedals with pins often find that going clipless helps their knees as the pins prevent your feet from turning when pedaling. And I find getting my feet out using clipless is much easier than with toe clips and the strap being anywhere near tight.

And, yes, I find it helps my cadence a lot.

Quote:

Originally Posted by BlackCheetah (Post 16177447)
I'm a handy kind of guy, I might one day build myself a fairing and put myself in a sock, oh the honks I would receive.

One of my observations: The weirder your bike looks, the more likely cars are to notice you and give you room passing.

rdlange 10-23-13 03:11 PM

I live in Spring, up I45. Got some old drops that might work for you? Maybe? Let me know. No rush...


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