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  1. #1
    Senior Member icelemmings's Avatar
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    Professional Cyclists Speed?

    At what speed do professional cyclists/Giro Di Italia/TDF riders top out at? I haven't ridden in a while, but I don't remember ever passing 40mph. Even at that speed, pedaling was useless for me. At my lowest gear ratio I'd spin around 115-120rpm and I don't remember being able to catch up to propell the bike any faster. I've read reports of riders doing 50-55mph in the TDF regularly (perhaps a good deal faster?). At that speed are they just traveling on momentum or are they able to keep propelling themselves?

    I did a little research earlier. The new Madone 6.9's larger chainring is 53t, the smallest casset sprocket is 12t (on the stock setup). Now, my Ultegra combination allows for 52:11t as opposed to the Madone's 53:11t. I shouldn't assume that is the bike of choice of the Trek sponsored riders, nor should I assume they use the stock cassette option but with that information our ratio's are quite similar.

    Are they spinning at a cadence of 120+ rpm on hills, coasting down the steeper hill but carrying into it more momentum than I am, what's going on here?

    It's probably a combination of both

  2. #2
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    I have seen people do 65mph in like the Rocky Mountains and stuff but no you are not pedaling at that speed. The difference between 53:12 and 53:11 on your top end speed at the same cadence is just a little over 1mph. I don't know where you live but if you go some where that there are real mountains I promise you that you will do more than 40.

  3. #3
    Senior Member azdroptop's Avatar
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    Fast. Ridiculously fast.

  4. #4
    Senior Member ravenmore's Avatar
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    Eh - I've done 60+ mph down a hill here in Austin. That doesn't count.

    On the flats a TDF pro could probably hit 50 mph no prob? I remember Greg Lemond saying he knew he was in shape when he could motor pace for a couple of hours at that speed...
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  5. #5
    El Chingon
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    Quote Originally Posted by ravenmore View Post
    On the flats a TDF pro could probably hit 50 mph no prob? I remember Greg Lemond saying he knew he was in shape when he could motor pace for a couple of hours at that speed...
    No. Professional Sprinters hit 40 something for a little while...

    Nobody motor paces 50mph for a couple hours dude.

  6. #6
    umd
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    I don't know what they do, but I was stil pedaling when I was going 54mph yesterday...

  7. #7
    Senior Member enjoi07's Avatar
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    going fast=DIE

  8. #8
    umd
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    Quote Originally Posted by enjoi07 View Post
    going fast=DIE
    wtf?

  9. #9
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    How does one measure their speed on a bicycle. Are there aftermarket speedometers which can be installed?

  10. #10
    umd
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yarbo View Post
    How does one measure their speed on a bicycle. Are there aftermarket speedometers which can be installed?
    On the chance that you are not kidding, look here

  11. #11
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by enjoi07 View Post
    going fast=DIE
    Been watching too many of those "speed kills" ads?

  12. #12
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    I was curious about what pro cyclists average speed is (rather than top speed). And I Googled up this link. The entire Discovery team averaged 57.324 kmh (35.62 mph) in a time trial of 67.5 km at the 2005 TDF!

    http://www.letour.fr/2005/TDF/LIVE/us/2100/index.html

    I'm a 285 lb "clydesdale", riding to lose weight and get in shape. I just rode my fastest ride in my life today; 16 miles in 57 minutes and 30 seconds, at an average speed of 16.7 MPH. Damn, I got some work to do

    I live in a small town, and I work in a city 35 miles away. I'd love to get in good enough shape to make that ride, to and from work (in 90 minutes each way or less), five days a week in these dark days of peak-oil and spiraling gas prices! At this point, I could probably survive the ride one way (but it would take me 2-3 hours).

  13. #13
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nihilistic View Post
    I was curious about what pro cyclists average speed is (rather than top speed). And I Googled up this link. The entire Discovery team averaged 57.324 kmh (35.62 mph) in a time trial of 67.5 km at the 2005 TDF!

    http://www.letour.fr/2005/TDF/LIVE/us/2100/index.html
    Yes, I think some people get kilometers and miles mixed up. They look at that 57 km/h and think miles.


    Quote Originally Posted by Nihilistic View Post
    I live in a small town, and I work in a city 35 miles away. I'd love to get in good enough shape to make that ride, to and from work (in 90 minutes each way or less), five days a week in these dark days of peak-oil and spiraling gas prices! At this point, I could probably survive the ride one way (but it would take me 2-3 hours).

    Can you drive partway and ride the rest?

  14. #14
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    16.7 mph is not bad at all.

    Top pro cyclists average about 37-40 kmph (~24 mph) in long road races.

    Cycling is all they do every day and are on dope.

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    >>Top pro cyclists average about 37-40 kmph (~24 mph) in long road races.<<

    That's about right.

  16. #16
    Senior Member 04jtb's Avatar
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    iirc the TDF UK stage last year averaged 40 odd mph
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  17. #17
    Peloton Dog patentcad's Avatar
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    One BILLION miles per hour.


  18. #18
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    the top sprinters can get up in the low to mid 40mph's for a very short period of time (200 meters or so). all the other high speeds you are seeing are on downhill runs, like this:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-kZSzB4kEE8
    Slow-O-Meter: 200%

  19. #19
    a big man
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    Aren't speeds in bike races elevated due to paceline riding?

    As a single rider you'd be limited because you can't trade drafting with other riders.

  20. #20
    Senior Member Homebrew01's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by enjoi07 View Post
    going fast=FUN
    Fixed
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  21. #21
    Senior Member Homebrew01's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by justin70 View Post
    Aren't speeds in bike races elevated due to paceline riding?

    As a single rider you'd be limited because you can't trade drafting with other riders.
    Of course. A while back I did a 105 mile road race, and we finished in 4 hours. Never could have done that on my own.
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  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nihilistic View Post
    I was curious about what pro cyclists average speed is (rather than top speed). And I Googled up this link. The entire Discovery team averaged 57.324 kmh (35.62 mph) in a time trial of 67.5 km at the 2005 TDF!

    http://www.letour.fr/2005/TDF/LIVE/us/2100/index.html

    I'm a 285 lb "clydesdale", riding to lose weight and get in shape. I just rode my fastest ride in my life today; 16 miles in 57 minutes and 30 seconds, at an average speed of 16.7 MPH. Damn, I got some work to do

    I live in a small town, and I work in a city 35 miles away. I'd love to get in good enough shape to make that ride, to and from work (in 90 minutes each way or less), five days a week in these dark days of peak-oil and spiraling gas prices! At this point, I could probably survive the ride one way (but it would take me 2-3 hours).
    What you may not realize is team tt speeds are much higher than individual tt speeds becuase the team works ina constant paceline throughout. Those same riders average much less on the individual legs.
    You're just trying to start an argument to show how smart you are.

  23. #23
    Senior Member rufvelo's Avatar
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    The qualifying speeds for say Olympic selection works out to 23-25mph solo. So a century at around 4hrs is expected. In the pro peleton 23-28mph is the norm. On really fast decents 50-60mph is possible on closed roads where you can use the entire road but you're not pedalling at this speed, just getting a few pedal strokes in around the bends. On your own with anticipated traffic, you'll find it very hard to decend on most roads around the world at over 30mph and still be safe.

    At some point it is fitness, it is form plus a racing training program to get to speed. Then there is genetics to consider - most folks regardless of training and experience won't handle 20-22mph for 4-6hrs.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nihilistic View Post

    I'm a 285 lb "clydesdale", riding to lose weight and get in shape. I just rode my fastest ride in my life today; 16 miles in 57 minutes and 30 seconds, at an average speed of 16.7 MPH. Damn, I got some work to do
    There's a thread around here somewhere containing a poll of peoples' average speeds. Search for "average speed" and you should find it. Most people said their average speed is between 15 and 18 mph. Your 16.7 is actually pretty good.

  25. #25
    dpr
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    Quote Originally Posted by rufvelo View Post
    The qualifying speeds for say Olympic selection works out to 23-25mph solo. So a century at around 4hrs is expected. In the pro peleton 23-28mph is the norm. On really fast decents 50-60mph is possible on closed roads where you can use the entire road but you're not pedalling at this speed, just getting a few pedal strokes in around the bends. On your own with anticipated traffic, you'll find it very hard to decend on most roads around the world at over 30mph and still be safe.

    At some point it is fitness, it is form plus a racing training program to get to speed. Then there is genetics to consider - most folks regardless of training and experience won't handle 20-22mph for 4-6hrs.
    With what kind of ascent, descent and wind conditions would these athletes be working at these paces and delivering centuries in these times? Averages are pretty meaningless without intimate knowledge of the conditions underwhich they are formed.

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