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Recumbent What IS that thing?! Recumbents may be odd looking, but they have many advantages over a "wedgie" bicycle. Discuss the in's and out's recumbent lifestyle in the recumbent forum.

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Old 05-20-04, 08:40 AM   #1
kevin.heber
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20 MPH avg?

Wondering if it is possible to avg 20 MPH over an ideal 35-mile ride (flat, no wind, reasonably fit rider, etc)? What sort of 'bent might achieve this, or is this just highly unlikely?
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Old 05-20-04, 09:57 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by kevin.heber
Wondering if it is possible to avg 20 MPH over an ideal 35-mile ride (flat, no wind, reasonably fit rider, etc)? What sort of 'bent might achieve this, or is this just highly unlikely?
The main answer to your question is that it depends on what kind of shape you're in. Regardless of the type of recumbent, the guy/gal pushing the pedals is the most important component.

That said, I think there are a lot of reasonably-fit riders who could average 20 MPH for 35 miles under ideal conditions. Last weekend, I rode the kind of course/conditions you're describing and averaged 17.5 miles for 110 miles. That included some significant leg cramping during the last 30 miles. I was holding back during the first 20-30 miles so I wouldn't run out of gas later in the ride. I think I could have pushed 20 MPH for 35 miles on that course.

I've been riding 3 & 1/2 years and rode a V-Rex (reasonably fast, but not the fastest bent) on Saturday.
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Old 05-20-04, 10:55 AM   #3
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Any upright road bike with aerobars would do for a reasonably fit rider.

Dave
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Old 05-20-04, 01:06 PM   #4
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There is a big difference in effort between going 17 mph and 20 mph. A 18% difference in speed...but remember the resistance due to wind increases with the square of the increase in speed which mean close to 40% more effort is required to go 20 mph instead of 17 mph.

Sure the Tour de France guys can average 25 mph all day long on some stages but your average 20lb+ overweight, 40+ weekend warrior would have a tough time. IMHO

It sound like a worthy challenge though...why don't we try it and post the results.
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Old 05-20-04, 02:50 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by kevin.heber
Wondering if it is possible to avg 20 MPH over an ideal 35-mile ride (flat, no wind, reasonably fit rider, etc)? What sort of 'bent might achieve this, or is this just highly unlikely?
Like others have said it is the fitness of the rider. Some bikes, however, make it a bit easier. Bikes that come to mind are Reynolds T-Bone, Lightning F40, etc.

Derek
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Old 05-20-04, 03:10 PM   #6
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well let use my trusty super numerical aerodynamics calculator. lets see its um R=Rho*v^2*A*Cd*0.5 so click click grind screech clunck chuug chug chug kerplow poof.
18mph increasing to 20mph is between a 23% and 23.5% increase in wind resistance depending on the exact drag coefficiant of the bike-rider combo.

Thats at sea level, if you want another elevation I can do it real quick but it won't vary much more than 0.2 percentage points

Last edited by capsicum; 05-20-04 at 03:16 PM.
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Old 05-20-04, 09:09 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by kevin.heber
Wondering if it is possible to avg 20 MPH over an ideal 35-mile ride (flat, no wind, reasonably fit rider, etc)? What sort of 'bent might achieve this, or is this just highly unlikely?
At 57+, I am a reasonably fit rider. I challenge myself every year on the Katy Flatland Century in july. Two years ago, I had an average of 22 mph for the first 50 miles. I finished with a 17.5 mph average (had a flat). Last year I did the Metric Century in 3 hours. That is total time no stops. So, yes it is possible. Even for an old man like me. I probably could do better if the temperatures were not in the high 90s every year. Riding 15 years ago (read younger) I never managed better than 16 mph on a DF.

A few weeks back, John Schlitter (one of the principals of Bacchetta) won the Bike Across Florida (~167miles) with an average speed of 27mph. John is 47 and on the upper end of average rider.
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Old 05-21-04, 12:30 AM   #8
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It's definitely achievable. A fit person on a standard road bike could do it, so I imagine a bent, could easily. I did a 100km race earlier this year and averaged 34.5kph/21.2mph for the first 85km/52miles, over rolling hills, and I am only a C Grade rider.

CHEERS.

Mark
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Old 05-21-04, 11:14 AM   #9
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Hi:
Here's a web site that can do speed/energy calculations for various bike types
http://www.kreuzotter.de/english/espeed.htm
with it you can calculate the answer for you (based on your size and weight)
Regards
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Old 05-21-04, 02:23 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kevin.heber
Wondering if it is possible to avg 20 MPH over an ideal 35-mile ride (flat, no wind, reasonably fit rider, etc)? What sort of 'bent might achieve this, or is this just highly unlikely?

20mph? that is kinda slow speed to average on a lowracer of any brand. I've done a 100 mile race solo with a 24.8mph average. I regularly pull a 25 to 27 mph average on a 34 mile course which has some small hills in it but mostly flat.

The baron with tailbox is a heavier bike than my stock carbon vk2 racer, but at this point, on a flat course the baron is still a tad bit faster. Hilly course, the vk2 is faster.

http://groups.msn.com/BicyclingForum...o&PhotoID=6615

http://groups.msn.com/BicyclingForum...o&PhotoID=6616

http://groups.msn.com/BicyclingForum...o&PhotoID=6996

http://groups.msn.com/BicyclingForum...o&PhotoID=6995

And for a real fast looking carbon bike.......... don't know the speed potential yet, check out the velokraft no-com.

http://www.wisil.recumbents.com/wisi.../nocomside.jpg
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Old 05-21-04, 02:31 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lowracer1
20mph? that is kinda slow speed to average on a lowracer of any brand. I've done a 100 mile race solo with a 24.8mph average. I regularly pull a 25 to 27 mph average on a 34 mile course which has some small hills in it but mostly flat.

The baron with tailbox is a heavier bike than my stock carbon vk2 racer, but at this point, on a flat course the baron is still a tad bit faster. Hilly course, the vk2 is faster.

http://groups.msn.com/BicyclingForum...o&PhotoID=6615

http://groups.msn.com/BicyclingForum...o&PhotoID=6616

http://groups.msn.com/BicyclingForum...o&PhotoID=6996

http://groups.msn.com/BicyclingForum...o&PhotoID=6995

And for a real fast looking carbon bike.......... don't know the speed potential yet, check out the velokraft no-com.

http://www.wisil.recumbents.com/wisi.../nocomside.jpg
No breaks in 100 miles? I'm sure it can be done but dam. Unless you are taking breaks and are either REALLY fast or not including them in your time. Even I could string together a series on one mile sprints with long breaks in between, and probably average 30mph over a 100miles if the breaks are left out.
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Old 05-21-04, 02:33 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by capsicum
No breaks in 100 miles? I'm sure it can be done but dam. Unless you are taking breaks and are either REALLY fast or not including them in your time. Even I could string together a series on one mile sprints with long breaks in between, and probably average 30mph over a 100miles if the breaks are left out.

This is for no breaks. If I do quote a time for a certain event, all stops are included in the overall time.

The 24.8 mph average though, was no breaks..........no stops.......just hammering.
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Old 05-21-04, 03:34 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BikeTourist
Hi:
Here's a web site that can do speed/energy calculations for various bike types
http://www.kreuzotter.de/english/espeed.htm
with it you can calculate the answer for you (based on your size and weight)
Regards
from Ottawa
Harvey
I just checked the site and, at 160 watts, it says that I should be able to do over 20 mph. Some of the recumbent exercise bikes at my health club measure watts and 160 is easy for me to maintain for a couple of hours.
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Old 05-23-04, 03:05 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dpvan
I just checked the site and, at 160 watts, it says that I should be able to do over 20 mph. Some of the recumbent exercise bikes at my health club measure watts and 160 is easy for me to maintain for a couple of hours.
on truely flat ground with good pavement its easy to zip along most ground has a slight slope or breeze though.
For me at 165lb rider of 69 inches and 160 watts on flat ground.

longwheelbase = 16.8mph------@1/4% grade 16.0
shortcommuter = 18.2---------@1/4% 17.3
shortracer = 20.8-------------- @1/4% 19.4
lowracer = 22.6---------------@1/4% 21.2
Racebike on tops = 17.0--------@1/4% 16.3
Racebike on drops = 19.1------@1/4% 18.2
Triathelon = 20.1--------------@1/4% 19.1
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