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  1. #1
    Senior Member on2wheels's Avatar
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    How fast can I expect to go on a road bike?

    I have only ever ridden mountain bikes, and have come to the point in my life where I'd rather ride for speed and distance, rather than risking my life on mountain bike trails. The fastest I've ever gotten my mountain bike on a level road is 22mph. I realize that road bikes are much lighter and much more efficient than mountain bikes... how much faster I can I expect to go on a road bike? What's your top speed on a road bike, with a level road and no tail wind? I'm really curious what kinds of number are possible.

  2. #2
    Senior Member keithnordstrom's Avatar
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    on a level road, no wind and no hills, you could probably sprint to 40+ without too much training.

    of course, i don't know where you'll ever find such a place lol. most of the time i average about 18-20 mph, but i live at altitude and ride in a mountainous area. top speed ever? 65 mph coming down a 10% grade with a tailwind. some scary **** ...

    btw, welcome to road cycling. i too started out as a mountain biker, but gradually came to love the road.

  3. #3
    cycle-powered nathank's Avatar
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    40mph?

    on my XC full suspension i can sprint up to at least 52km/h (32.5mph) on a level road with knobby tires... on the road bike it's maybe 15%-20% faster (37-40mph), but as i spend more time on the mountain bike i can't say exaxctly as all my numbers get jumbled (most of my road riding was in mph and now i am in Germany with km/h)...

    track racing is even faster! man i miss that!
    why drive when you can ride?
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  4. #4
    Senior Member Stubacca's Avatar
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    dexmax posted this a couple of months ago - interesting comparison.

    Quote Originally Posted by dexmax
    -----------------------------------------------------------
    I tried using my xc mtb on one of my routes (roadbike routes -- highway), just a few minutes ago.

    The experience was cool.. here's what I have found out.

    Total Distance: 26km
    Road: Very smooth asphalt road (highway)
    Traffic: light, high speed; 100kmh speed limit(cars)
    Weather: slight headwind, cloudy, cool (about 28 deg C).

    Roadbike
    Gearing: 52T-42T. 12T-23TCassette; didn't have the chance to use the big ring.
    Wheels/Tires: 700c, 700x23C Maxxis
    weight: 18.5lbs
    Top speed: 46kmh
    Ave speed: 32kmh
    Fun Level: Excellent


    MTB (hardtail)
    Gearing:44-32-22T. 11-32TCassette
    Wheels/Tires: 26", 26x2.1 WTB NanoRaptor
    Weight: 26lbs
    Top speed: 35kmh
    Ave speed: 23kmh
    Fun Level: Good workout; won't be taking this route again on this bike...

    Anyway, this numbers seem to be correct..
    --------------------------------------------------------------

  5. #5
    hello roadfix's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by on2wheels
    how much faster I can I expect to go on a road bike?
    Noticably faster, gauranteed!
    .cinelli.olympic.surly.long.haul.trucker.kona.ku.surly.steamroller.
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  6. #6
    Senior Member Avalanche325's Avatar
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    Well On2, I just made the switch two weeks ago. There is a very big difference. I would say that average speed over a given distance is the real measurement. But, I could get my mountain bike over 30 mph with knobbies for a very short distance. I actually haven't tried a full bore lung burner on the roadie yet. Now, see what you going to make me do?

    I would say that the numbers above, by Dexmax would be about what you can expect.

  7. #7
    Back in the Sooner State
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    Highest speed I can hit is about 52 on about a 5 or 6% downhill on the roadie. Not sure I'd try that on my mountain bike. Maybe on the fixie, though (obviously, not quite the same speed coming down. Or going up for that matter.)

  8. #8
    Lance Hater Laggard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by keithnordstrom
    on a level road, no wind and no hills, you could probably sprint to 40+ without too much training.
    Why aren't you in the pro peloton?

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    I average about 15-20 on my road, while on my old mtn bike the fastest sprint i ever had was 24 and i averaged about 12 or so.....so yea speed is a guaranteed on a roadie

  10. #10
    Senior Member djbowen1's Avatar
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    40+ mph with little training. ok.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by djbowen1
    40+ mph with little training. ok.
    On my mountain bike, going down a pretty steep, long section of road, i was passing cars that were going most likely 5 over the 45 mph speed limit. So fast, i burned my hand from touching the rim. If you think im full of sh**, check out Pete Fagerlin's website, where he has video of his brakes boiling his water bottle water. It was white knukle all the way, i only pedaled for the first bit, i was worried that if i pedaled much faster than 40, i would throw off the gyro-effect of the wheels, and end up dead. Very scary, fun descent, and damn was it a lot of work going up it(I feel guilty if i don't earn my speed)!!

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by ImprezaDrvr
    Highest speed I can hit is about 52 on about a 5 or 6% downhill on the roadie.
    Same here!

  13. #13
    DEADBEEF khuon's Avatar
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    Downhills will of course skew the numbers. On a flat level road, I can sprint to the upper 30s and burn myself out. If I can have someone pull for me until I'm at around 35 or higher, I can launch into the lower 40s before burning out. Mind you that the duration is probably around 10 seconds or less.
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  14. #14
    Senior Member djbowen1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by trekkie820
    On my mountain bike, going down a pretty steep, long section of road, i was passing cars that were going most likely 5 over the 45 mph speed limit. So fast, i burned my hand from touching the rim. If you think im full of sh**, check out Pete Fagerlin's website, where he has video of his brakes boiling his water bottle water. It was white knukle all the way, i only pedaled for the first bit, i was worried that if i pedaled much faster than 40, i would throw off the gyro-effect of the wheels, and end up dead. Very scary, fun descent, and damn was it a lot of work going up it(I feel guilty if i don't earn my speed)!!
    On a downhill????

  15. #15
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by khuon
    Downhills will of course skew the numbers. On a flat level road, I can sprint to the upper 30s and burn myself out. If I can have someone pull for me until I'm at around 35 or higher, I can launch into the lower 40s before burning out. Mind you that the duration is probably around 10 seconds or less.
    Oh, totally. On flats on my MTB the most i can muster is 30(measured by my buddy driving his car) and that was before my legs were about to give out and my lungs were about to explode. The lower gearing and fatty tire of a MTB really slow you down.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by keithnordstrom
    top speed ever? 65 mph coming down a 10% grade with a tailwind. some scary **** ....
    Now that's a rush!!!! The fastest I have ever gone is 53 mph and I walked down the "mountain" and checked out the road before I did it to make sure there were no rocks, etc. to wreck me!

  17. #17
    Senior Member djbowen1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by trekkie820
    Oh, totally. On flats on my MTB the most i can muster is 30(measured by my buddy driving his car) and that was before my legs were about to give out and my lungs were about to explode. The lower gearing and fatty tire of a MTB really slow you down.
    ok, that makes sense.

  18. #18
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    If you are aiming for 40+ Mph with little training, I would suggest that you invest in a new cycle computer as well. If you can still sprint at that range, you have a great future in a pro team. However, I bet you will have difficulties with maintaining 35Mph for over 30 seconds.

    Cheers

  19. #19
    Senior Member keithnordstrom's Avatar
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    40+ mph with little training. ok.
    If you are aiming for 40+ Mph with little training, I would suggest that you invest in a new cycle computer as well
    jeez this was not meant as a penis measuring contest.

    40+ is not that fast - and i said i could hit it, not maintain it for any length of time. nor did i say how long it takes me to reach that number. the top pro sprinters can hold up to around 50; moreover they get to speed a lot faster than i do.

    i'm a rhythm climber type, at a low-end category 2 level - can't sprint for ****. picture jan ullrich, only much slower. but yes, on a flat road with no wind i can get to 40. and i was able to do it years ago, so i don't think it's something that will require too much training to get to. just do intervals for a while and it'll come.

    Now that's a rush!!!! The fastest I have ever gone is 53 mph and I walked down the "mountain" and checked out the road before I did it to make sure there were no rocks, etc. to wreck me!
    yeah lol it was. i was coming down the canyon and decided to see how fast i could go before i got scared. the answer was about 50, but i decided to push it higher anyway. when the odometer said 65 i couldn't keep myself from braking any longer lol.

    i have a friend with a speeding ticket framed on his wall - it says 73, in a 25mph zone, on his bike. i wouldnt have believed it if i hadn't seen the ticket ...

  20. #20
    We drive on the left. Dutchy's Avatar
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    To answer the original question. On a road bike a semi-fit (someone who rides 160km per week) rider can average 32kph on the flat for hours. In a sprint most could hit 60kph or very close to it. The main difference with a road bike and an MTB is the ease that an RB will go up hills and how quickly it will accelerate downhill. Also a MTB takes a lot more energy to propel, extra weight, fatter tyres etc, this also add to the riders recovery time. Over short distances 40km the difference is only a few minutes, but over long distances 100km+ the difference is huge.

    CHEERS.

    Mark
    I'd rather be riding.

  21. #21
    Pat
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    How fast one can go in a sprint depends on the person and conditioning. That you hit 22 mph on a mountain bike suggests to me that you are not going to hit 40 mph on a road bike.

    Road bikes accelerate faster then mountain bikes and you are more aerodynamic. I would think that if you can hit 22 mph on your mountain bike, you should be able to easily exceed 25 mph on a road bike. Now some people get really encouraged by the performance of the switch like from a mountain bike to a road bike (they get a bit discouraged by the difficulty of pushing a mountain bike to high speed). If you have that experience, you may even break 30 mph in a sprint.

  22. #22
    Gone DnvrFox's Avatar
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    Will all this bragging, perhaps Lance should leave the Postal Team. It seems as practically everyone on the forum can beat him!

    WOW!

    http://www.trekbikes.com/news/news_d...egory=hot_news


    Armstrong won his only stage of this summers Tour de France aboard the new frame, finishing with the second fastest time trial average speed in the Tours 87-year history. Armstrongs average speed of 53.986 kph (33.5 mph) was second only to Greg LeMond, the only other American to win the Tour de France.
    Gone >> Gone >> Gone >> Gone >> Gone >> Gone >> Gone

  23. #23
    05 Roubaix Comp Double
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    Top speed means nothing but to brag about something,its avg speed over a nice ride,over 20 miles at least. My avg stays the same,15 or 50,it 15-16 mph,not very good but i maintain it. Of course that includes warm up and cool down.

  24. #24
    Senior Member keithnordstrom's Avatar
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    Will all this bragging, perhaps Lance should leave the Postal Team. It seems as practically everyone on the forum can beat him!
    i do not see how that follows at all - lance can average 33.5 mph on his own (on a hilly course, i should add - i saw that stage) for an hour. on a flattish course at see level i once managed 25 on my own for that long. once i averaged 23 for two. and in my original post i clearly stated that "most of the time i average about 18-20 mph."

    that's a big difference. and nobody else here has posted an average time even close to lance's. hell, lance averaged over 25 for the entire tour, which you may have noticed wasn't exactly flat.

    anyway, i'm done with this thread.

  25. #25
    sea
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    Senior bicyclist sea's Avatar
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    My girlfriend's new bike.

    I met my SO while commuting. We are of somewhat different ages & I passed her nearly every day. One day while we were stopped at a light she asked why I was able to fly by her with the hidden implication of our age difference. I quickly commented on the difference between riding a 17lb road bike & a 28lb mt bike. When we next met up she asked for more information which was the opportunity for our first date to discuss bikes. On our second date I took her bike shopping. That turned into a regular weekend event where we would ride to different bike shops and try out bikes. The upshot of this story is she in now the happy owner of a Litespeed titanium road bike and whishes she had switched much sooner. She now has no trouble keeping up with me now and says that alone makes it more than worth the horrendous price she paid for titanium. She now makes the trip to work in 21 minuets instead of the 34 it used to take and figures she will recover her investment in less than a year from the ten extra minuets she has time to work each day.

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