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  1. #1
    vlad
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    How does one increase average speed?

    (I have already grasped that one must go faster to increase average road speed. Thank you.)

    What major factors influence road speed?

    -strength and endurance of the rider
    -the sail area of the rider
    -rolling resistance of the tires

    what can I do to my bike to increase my average road speed?

  2. #2
    BFSSFG old timer riderx's Avatar
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    Originally posted by vlad
    strength and endurance of the rider
    Assuming you have a fair to good bike, this is going to be the biggest factor. Fancy, lightweight parts won't do much for an out of shape rider.



    Originally posted by vlad
    what can I do to my bike to increase my average road speed?
    Start pushing bigger gears. Ride bigger hills. Do some interval training.
    Single Speed Outlaw
    Riding Bikes and Drinking Beer.

  3. #3
    NOT a weight weenie Hunter's Avatar
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    Ultimately it is you. However tires help, also the overall weight of the bike makes a difference in the long term for average speed.

  4. #4
    Love Me....Love My Bike! aerobat's Avatar
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    Decreasing sail area of the rider can be a factor as well. You'll really notice the difference going from an upright position to the hoods, down in the drops, and even using aerobars. The faster you go the more difference it makes, as drag increases as the speed increases disproportionately.

    It takes a little of all the things you mentioned, though, and eventually you get to the point of diminishing returns with light weight, position on the bike and small high pressure tires.

    The most important factor is legs!
    "...perhaps the world needs a little more Canada" - Jean Chretian, 2003.

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    Great guy poululla's Avatar
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    Quite simple, ride faster for longer.

  6. #6
    Fool O' crap sscyco's Avatar
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    A few years back when I wanted to increase my average speed on a mountain bike I tried many things - magic muscle juice from the local health food store, interval training, lighter components, stiffer shoes, shaving my head, bla bla. Finally I put a little sticker on the top of my stem, so it would be the first thing I saw when I was fatiguing and I dropped my head - it read "PEADAL FASTER, STUPID!!!" - and no joke it actually worked, I have those stickers on all my bikes now.

  7. #7
    Bike Happy DanFromDetroit's Avatar
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    Originally posted by sscyco
    ... Finally I put a little sticker on the top of my stem, so it would be the first thing I saw when I was fatiguing and I dropped my head - it read "PEADAL FASTER, STUPID!!!" - and no joke it actually worked, I have those stickers on all my bikes now.
    This is absolutely the best bit of advice that I have heard in a very long time. I am making one of these tonight.

    Thanks.
    There is nothing homlier than the face on your last dime.
    --John Wildcat, Greenback Friend

  8. #8
    Fool O' crap sscyco's Avatar
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    This is absolutely the best bit of advice that I have heard in a very long time. I am making one of these tonight.
    You won't be sorry - It really works

  9. #9
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    Its really difficult to increase your max speed, but a lot easier to increase your min speed.
    To increase your average, never stop at stop signs
    Blast through any red light.
    Accelerate quickly from a start and make every stop an emergency stop.
    Take descents and corners as fast as your gonads will permit.
    This will add a few mph to your average, but may remove a few years from your lifespan.

  10. #10
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    I think interval training will have the most effect on average speed, so you can achieve short high power bursts for getting up hills and accelerating from intersections. However I dont know anything about this from personal experience, as I always ride as fast as I can (it isnt very fast).

  11. #11
    Wood Licker Maelstrom's Avatar
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    Interval training would be your best bet. As well as (gasp) adding weight while training. Training with extra weight will make the bike seem lighter. Same theory as sprinters wearing parachutes but not as strange looking.

  12. #12
    Career Cyclist threadend's Avatar
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    Proper recovery will make you faster.

    Intervals tear down your muscles, literally ripping individual muscle cells apart, recovery allows them to heal, and they rebuild themselves stronger than they were before. The result is that it takes more exertion (faster more powerful intervals) to tear them down next time

    Doing all the intervals in the world will only get you overtrained without recovery.
    2003 Iceman Challenge - 2:34:55 - 897 / 2,000*
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  13. #13
    BFSSFG old timer riderx's Avatar
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    Originally posted by threadend
    Proper recovery will make you faster.

    Intervals tear down your muscles, literally ripping individual muscle cells apart, recovery allows them to heal, and they rebuild themselves stronger than they were before. The result is that it takes more exertion (faster more powerful intervals) to tear them down next time

    Doing all the intervals in the world will only get you overtrained without recovery.
    I agree on the recovery part. I suggest reading some of Ed Burke's research. Great article here:
    http://www.outsidemag.com/magazine/2...0105body2.html
    He helped formulate the Endurox and Accelerade recovery drinks. I've been using the Endurox religiously after rides and it definitely speeds my recovery. You can get the same benefits from eating regular foods the way he outlines in his article, just not quite as quick and convenient for me during and after rides.
    Single Speed Outlaw
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  14. #14
    Senior Member Richard Cranium's Avatar
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    I'm kind of surprised. No one offered to tell you how to "read the road."

    I don't have time to lay it all out, but the short answer is -- learn not to go slow.

    Work like hell on the hills when you are most efficient and coast and rest when you going downhill and downwind.

    Get it?? There's a whole lot more. Someone - go find a website for this guy.......

  15. #15
    serial mender
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    Don't be deceived by what your computer calculates as the average speed. As MichaelW's response suggests, there are lots of external factors (like stop lights) which affect it. So, use it only as a broad benchmark.

    Rather, figure out what kind of typical speed you want to maintain on the flats or on hills of various grades (as reported by your cyclocomputer as you are riding), and use those numbers as benchmarks.

    But, like the others have said, intervals is the way to go. Ya gotta just get stronger. And be patient. If you rush it you'll hurt yourself one way or another.

    Cheers,
    Jamie

  16. #16
    Don't Believe the Hype RiPHRaPH's Avatar
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    well, this is one of those generic threads. i need some specifics. is your ride flat or hilly or undulating? decreasing weight (rider) is important for avg speed on hills for example.

    i'd say over the years, learning what gear to be in during different parts of the ride is important. weight is important. intervals are crucial, rest is crucial, base miles and learning how to go slow on your slow days and fast on your fast days.
    there is no substitute for time in the saddle. your body knows time, not miles. so it is proper to say that after 100 hours in the saddle for the year i am beginning to feel fit and fast.
    I have enough words to get me into trouble, but not enough to get me out of trouble.

  17. #17
    Senior Member sprockets's Avatar
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    Pedal faster.

    Sorry, I had to say it.
    *************************
    As god as my witness, I thought turkeys could fly

  18. #18
    Oh God, He's back! 1oldRoadie's Avatar
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    Originally posted by sscyco
    I put a little sticker on the top of my stem, so it would be the first thing I saw when I was fatiguing and I dropped my head - it read "PEADAL FASTER, STUPID!!!" - and no joke it actually worked, I have those stickers on all my bikes now.
    I put a little card like that in my shirt pocket. It said "NO MATTER IF YOU SMOKE THIS CIGARETTE OR NOT THE URGE WILL GO AWAY IN 5 MINUTES". I would reach in my pocket, feel the card and wait 5 minutes. I stopped a 3 pack a day, 30 year habit cold turkey, ten years ago this month.
    I can't ride and Frown!

  19. #19
    Fool O' crap sscyco's Avatar
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    That is soooo awsome. Good job.

  20. #20
    Great guy poululla's Avatar
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    There we go again guys, we are re-inventing the wheel....

    Average speed is distance divided by time. Providing the distance stays the same, you need to shorten the time it takes you to cover it. In other words, cycle faster and your average speed will increase. It is really that simple.

    Everything else is secondary. That is the problem with cyclists sometimes. We have way to many excuses (tires, frames, weight, etc) when the answer simply is that our bikes are way better than we deserve.

    Eddy Merckx said it best when asked how to become a better cyclist, he answered: "Ride a bike, ride a bike, ride a bike...."

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