normal for people of similar fitness and age groups have totally differing heart rate levels when excercising (particularly cycling).
I am 32, 67 kgs (147lbs) and have an estimated max of 195. When finishing my ride or CV exercise my average heart rate is considerably higher than all of my fellow riders. I would expect that to be the case with riders much older with lower maximum HRís, but I find it the case with riders of a similar age and perceived fitness.
Regardless of my perceived fitness levels my Ave HR is nearly always 160-165 over a 2-3 hr ride, whereas my fellow riders of a similar age would seem to be 140-145 at the same intensity of effort. Maintaining 170-180 for a long time is very normal for me and causes me no pain or problems, 150-160 feels like no effort at all.
I only have start most gradients and I am at 180 in an instant. But I am still one of the best hill climbers in my club !
I tried keeping it down recently on a steady, level solo ride, I really took it easy and didnít suffer all. But as before the ave HR was 165 !
Is it possible to have this much variance at the same perceived effort levels or is it : -
a. That I am putting more effort in than others and am suffering more than, I think they are.
b. I am not as fit as they are, and I am kidding myself. And pushing too hard.
It's just what you stated before. It is normal for people of similar fitness and age groups to have totally differing heart rate levels when exercising. That means that average heart rate will also be different for different parts of the ride. Of course, the level of training you have will affect what heart rate.
If you can get a professional to measure your heart rate, power output, etc., then you'll be better off. Estimates suck.