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  1. #1
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    Cruising Speed on LWB

    Ok, so I see people talking about their speed on an LWB and I wonder what is wrong with me. I ride a Cycle Genius Falcon and do about 2000 miles per year, much of it commuting. My average speed is around 13 mph. I see people posting that they average 16, 18, even 20 mph. So what is the deal? Just curious about what conditions, load, fairings, etc. that people are using to achieve these speeds. For me, I ride the Falcon, loaded with panniers carrying clothes, tools, laptop, fenders, no fairing. I run Schwalbe marathon tires at 85 psi. I generally ride on the middle chain ring up front and the 3-6 rings in the back. As I said, I go about 13 mph over a 10-15 mile commute each way.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    1. There's lots of variables, horsepower and motivation to name the 2 biggies.
    2. Anybody can say on the internet that they average 20 MPH. Some of them really can.
    3. Unless somebody is giving out trophies, who cares?

  3. #3
    Senior Member BlazingPedals's Avatar
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    Starting with the motor is always the first step. Get a heart rate monitor and a book on how to use it. Develop a plan of hard days and rest days, and stick to it. Once you start seeing results, then you *may* start thinking in terms of a faster bike; but at 13 mph your bike is not holding you back yet.

  4. #4
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    Do you mean cruising speed or do you mean average speed over your commute, including stop lights and stop signs? I'm much like you if you meant average speed over your commute, including stops and delays. But, if you meant cruising speed (on the flat, stable, at the level of effort you are willing to use), then I think 13 mph could be a factor of engine or equipment. You can manage the engine as you want. As a first remedy, I'd make a friction inspection (no dry idler bearings, no flat spots on idlers, no tight or clogged chain tubes, clean and lubricated chain and chainrings, no dry seals in the hubs, no dirt or crunchies in the hub bearings or bottom bracket, etc.). My typical average speed is 12-13 mph for commuting, but I probably have a cruise speed more in the 17-18 mph range (although Indianapolis is way flat compared to Lanco so its possible the rolling vertical nature of Lanco roads is also slowing you down somewhat, despite the notion of gaining back on the downhill side what you lost on the uphill).
    Longbikes Slipstream

  5. #5
    Senior Member BlazingPedals's Avatar
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    When I read "cruising speed" I interpret it as a somewhat vague number which represents what you'd expect to see if you looked down at your speedo while "cruising" along on flat ground with no headwind. Average speed is what your computer shows. Average speeds will be lower, because they include all the sub-optimal conditions too. The other way of stating performance is elapsed time. That's from start to finish, including time while stopped.

    Are we on the same page? If we are, then an average speed of 13 mph might be indicate nothing more than a route with stop signs and lights. Stops can really kill your average. As WB says, hills can kill average speeds, too; time lost climbing is never made up on the downhills. If you're really talking about "cruising" speeds, then unless there's some obvious defect with your bike like a dragging brake, then training is the way to go.

  6. #6
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    I have the same bike as the OP, but mine is a few years old with the 20" front wheel. I don't have any aero add-ons. I am in my early-40's and somewhat overweight.

    I "usually" go maybe 15 mph starting out on rural rides, and I end up doing ~10 mph after 75 miles or so. Not many hills really (Illinois).

    I don't attempt to go fast, I ride alone so there's not really much motivation... and the weather is a BIG factor. I can go a lot farther and a lot faster at 70F/low humidity than I can at 95F/high humidity. It's a big difference between good days and bad days.

    ------

    On windy days I have noticed that I often spin out in the highest gear, when the wind is at my back. This doesn't surprise me much as the Falcon (at least the year I bought,,,) isn't really a racing bike, having a rather upright seating position.

    One of these days I am going to make a front fairing & sock just to see what a difference it makes. I've just never gotten around to doing it yet.

  7. #7
    Senior Member gcottay's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Retro Grouch View Post
    1. There's lots of variables, horsepower and motivation to name the 2 biggies.
    2. Anybody can say on the internet that they average 20 MPH. Some of them really can.
    3. Unless somebody is giving out trophies, who cares?
    Yes, this.
    George
    Laissez les bon temps rouler

  8. #8
    rebmeM roineS JanMM's Avatar
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    I was averaging (not including red lights) 16mph last Fall on my 9 mile suburban/urban commute. But I don't haul a laptop. Ditch the laptop.
    RANS V3 (steel), RANS V-Rex, RANS Screamer

  9. #9
    Senior Member rydabent's Avatar
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    retro grouch +1 Your 3 points cover it quite well.

    Personally early in the year "just cruising" I do about 13mph. Late in Aug it is up around 15.

    And this year I may have to put a snow plow attachment on because of this lousy spring and will only be able to do about 5mph!!!

  10. #10
    Senior Member BlazingPedals's Avatar
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    Get a seat bag that will hold what you need so that you can ditch the speed-killing panniers. Smaller bags have a remarkable way of forcing you to pare down what you think you need so you're not unnecessarily lugging 50 pounds of junk everywhere. That way you win twice - one by lowering your bike's weight, and two by becoming more aerodynamic.

  11. #11
    Senior Member
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    I generally average about 13mph as well in the hilly suburban to urban areas I usually ride in, whether I'm on my LWB or upright road bike. In my case it's simply that I can't put the power to the pedals that most people can, especially after recent knee surgery. I climb pretty well though.

  12. #12
    Senior Member delcrossv's Avatar
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    I used to average around 15 on the Ryan. Not all that fast but I could do that all day. Last summer the kid got it up to 27 mph in a 200m sprint at the track



    He used a primo comet in front, Panaracer pasela in the back. I was using a Marathon Racer in the back . Marathons are great tires but really slow IMO.
    Last edited by delcrossv; 03-15-13 at 09:57 AM.
    Lightning P-38 / M5 M-Racer/Ryan Vanguard

  13. #13
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    Well, I guess by cruising speed I meant the average speed for the commute, including all of the delays. So if people are posting their speeds as when they look down at the speedometer, then I guess I am OK with it and with what I am doing. It isn't so much I care about what my speed is as much I care about reducing my commute time. Taking an hour and 5 minutes to commute to work versus 50 minutes would concern me if it is something I am doing incorrectly. Thanks for the input everyone.

  14. #14
    Senior Member osco53's Avatar
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    http://www.bentrideronline.com/?p=1484

    Your doing fine,, I can average 18 mph but thats on a paved MUP that has no stop signs, intersections, curbs, dogs or cars to stop for XD

    13 mph sounds good.
    Other than the junk you carry your bike is 36 lbs just like my TE. and I'm 190 lbs
    I like a cadence range of 60 to 90 rpm and also run the middle chaining up front and often stay in 6,7 and 8 out back.
    I just cant pull top gear.
    Pumping the big chain ring and cog # 7 is real fun,,try it.

    http://sheldonbrown.com/gears/

    Up front,
    the little ones for up hill,
    the middle for the flats,
    and the biggun's for the down hill runs,, vroom vroom
    Last edited by osco53; 03-17-13 at 07:14 AM.
    Scott Aspect 940 29er, Tour Easy LE, Sun EZ-3 sx, Walmart Thruster :P

  15. #15
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    Not to mention incorrect entry of tire circumference into the computer.

    But really, what's the hurry? bk
    Last edited by bkaapcke; 07-04-13 at 12:34 PM.

  16. #16
    Senior Member rydabent's Avatar
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    There is just one other thing to consider. On an internet forum anyone can claim any speed they want to!!!!!

    Besides that there is the fastest speed, and then there is ave speed. It all depends on where you are riding. Terrain and wind will make the big difference. Btw I am super fast down hill with the wind.

  17. #17
    The Recumbent Quant cplager's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rydabent View Post
    There is just one other thing to consider. On an internet forum anyone can claim any speed they want to!!!!!

    Besides that there is the fastest speed, and then there is ave speed. It all depends on where you are riding. Terrain and wind will make the big difference. Btw I am super fast down hill with the wind.
    Not only can you claim anything you want, you can doctor your GPX files to have them say anything you want as well.
    http://Charles.Plager.net
    http://RecumbentQuant.blogspot.com

  18. #18
    Senior Member delcrossv's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cplager View Post
    Not only can you claim anything you want, you can doctor your GPX files to have them say anything you want as well.
    Now's the time to insert the pic of the fat guy sitting at a computer- you know the one I'm talking about.
    Lightning P-38 / M5 M-Racer/Ryan Vanguard

  19. #19
    rebmeM roineS JanMM's Avatar
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    I was cruising on my LWB at 30mph on a ride this evening.
    Downhill.
    With a tailwind.
    For a minute.
    RANS V3 (steel), RANS V-Rex, RANS Screamer

  20. #20
    Senior Member rydabent's Avatar
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    JannMM

    Well here is one person that tells the truth.

  21. #21
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    I don't worry about my speed. I average 13 mph on the total ride but do cruise at 18 or 19 mph. I find these 6% hill here in WV slow me down. I don't feel so bad about being slow when I read the speeds of other riders on much flatter ground. I am just burning calories and having fun anyway.

  22. #22
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    I run a RANS Gliss and average about 13 mph on all pavement rides. I believe that heart health and conditioning are key to getting well maintained good equipment up to higher speeds. I ride for pleasure and health reasons so I ride as fast as my old body will go and not blow out early on a ride. I've been doing a lot of 35-40 mile rides locally and average 12 to 13 mph on these flatland rides. We have a lot of wind here and I try to make my rides upwind outbound and downwind back rides. I carry tools and water on my bicycle so this adds to the effort needed. Bicycling is wonderful.

  23. #23
    rebmeM roineS JanMM's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tallbikeman View Post
    I run a RANS Gliss and average about 13 mph on all pavement rides. I believe that heart health and conditioning are key to getting well maintained good equipment up to higher speeds. I ride for pleasure and health reasons so I ride as fast as my old body will go and not blow out early on a ride. I've been doing a lot of 35-40 mile rides locally and average 12 to 13 mph on these flatland rides. We have a lot of wind here and I try to make my rides upwind outbound and downwind back rides. I carry tools and water on my bicycle so this adds to the effort needed. Bicycling is wonderful.
    Agreed
    RANS V3 (steel), RANS V-Rex, RANS Screamer

  24. #24
    Senior Member BlazingPedals's Avatar
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    Most of my evening rides are 25-35 miles, and I'm not afraid of pushing too hard and possibly running out of steam prematurely. I can always limp in; and you don't know what you're capable of unless you push the limits. Now, longer weekend rides are another matter. For those, I rarely push as hard.

    Unless they have a heart rate monitor, most people have no idea how hard they're going, and grossly overestimate how hard they're riding; i.e. they might think they're riding hard, but only doing 65% MHR.

  25. #25
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Zzipper fairings improve the aerodynamics a Bit.

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