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Utility Cycling Want to haul groceries, beer, maybe even your kids? You don't have to live car free to put your bike to use as a workhorse. Here's the place to share and learn about the bicycle as a utility vehicle.

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Old 09-01-11, 02:09 PM   #1
Denelle
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How fast (or slow!) should I expect to be able to go?

I have a Breezer Uptown Infinity that has a Yepp Mini hooked up to the front, and a Trail-a-Bike hooked up to the back. I carry my 1.5 year old daughter in the Yepp and my 4 year old son rides the Trail-a-Bike. I have a rack and paniers that I use to haul groceries/library books/whatever.

I always feel like I am going SUPER slow. I average 7-8 mph fairly comfortably with this setup. Is that normal? Is it me and my ability, or is it just that I'm hauling a LOT of stuff on my bike?

Thanks
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Old 09-01-11, 06:38 PM   #2
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Well it depends? is it flat ground? Are you in great shape or just getting into shape? Is the avg what comes from you bike computer for avg speed or is it the number you see on the bike computer or is best guess.

I think that considering your bike (not a speedster per se ) your high value cargo up front, and trail a bike helper in back your are not doing too bad to start.

to put it in perspective I have a flat 5 mile one way commute that the bike computer says I average around 11.3 to 12 mph. I am not in super shape, am a clyde and my bike is probably naturally a little faster than your bike to apples to oranges it doesn't sound too bad..... and the more you are out the faster you go.

have fun
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Old 09-01-11, 06:42 PM   #3
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I think you are doing fine with that rig. I figure about 10-12mph on my upright city bikes and 15mph or so on my drop bar bikes. I have found, especially with the upright bikes you are going to hit a certain point and it isn't worth the effort to try to ride faster.

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Old 09-01-11, 08:17 PM   #4
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Well it depends? is it flat ground? Are you in great shape or just getting into shape? Is the avg what comes from you bike computer for avg speed or is it the number you see on the bike computer or is best guess.

I think that considering your bike (not a speedster per se ) your high value cargo up front, and trail a bike helper in back your are not doing too bad to start.

to put it in perspective I have a flat 5 mile one way commute that the bike computer says I average around 11.3 to 12 mph. I am not in super shape, am a clyde and my bike is probably naturally a little faster than your bike to apples to oranges it doesn't sound too bad..... and the more you are out the faster you go.

have fun
Actually, I just started riding again early this spring. I couldn't ride last year because I was busy with the new baby. I am still working on getting into shape too

The bike is brand new (just bought last weekend!) and wasn't really intended to be a speedster, just a nice ride around town (which is flat aside from a few overpasses). I took my teenager for a ride today, and she was complaining that I was really slow though I still have the Trek in my avatar for when we want to do longer family rides, but I find the Breezer to be a lot more comfortable.

The average mph is a guess on this bike (DH hasn't hooked up a computer yet), based on how long it took me to ride someplace. It was my average with the Trek though.

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I think you are doing fine with that rig. I figure about 10-12mph on my upright city bikes and 15mph or so on my drop bar bikes. I have found, especially with the upright bikes you are going to hit a certain point and it isn't worth the effort to try to ride faster.

Aaron
Thank you Maybe I shouldn't try to compare myself to my teenager or husband's riding! I can pretty easily do 10-14 when I just have the baby and not the 4 year old on the TAB. (When we are out as a family, DH has him on his bike). So I guess it's not that bad.
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Old 09-02-11, 06:29 AM   #5
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Denelle, I think 8mph with all that gear and kids is pretty good, actually. I'm a strong rider and do something close to 10000 miles a year, and I doubt if i'd be that much faster in town under similar circumstances. For comparison, I did a long tour recently with about 50lbs of luggage on my bike. I probably averaged 12 mph but there were plenty of days when I was down around 10mph.

Look at it this way. If you get used to riding this bike with kids, groceries etc., you're going to get pretty strong. When you get the Trek out for the family rides, you'll be flying.
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Old 09-02-11, 09:15 AM   #6
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The only way to know is to take a faster bike out for a ride without a load. If you are happy with your speed on that, then it is the load that is slowing you down. By the way, your speed seems fine to me with all that precious cargo you are hauling. Keep it up.
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Old 09-02-11, 10:14 AM   #7
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I have a teenager also...more focused on tracksttands and being able to go backwards on his fixie...but am sure would be quick to critique my speed given a chance.

but what you could do is swap bikes with the teenager and see who is faster? May not stop the teenage roll of the eyes, but good for the parental soul.

really it sounds like you are doing really good and getting the kids out on the bike is more points.
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Old 09-02-11, 10:47 AM   #8
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You're doing fine. I ride a big dummy with toddler and gear most places and do a bit faster usually, but add groceries or a hardware run and that's probably what I end up at. Still much faster than walking. To put it in perspective, you're probably hauling 100# extra on a regular basis figuring 50 to 60 lbs of kid, plus the weight of the bike seat, trail a bike and misc junk. Take a ride with your teenager without the younger ones and I bet it would be a very different story. Without a child, on a bike that comes in at about 25 lbs I'm amazed at how fast I can go. But I usually ride about 10 miles a day or so with kid etc... Take a solo ride someday, I bet you'll be surprised.
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Old 09-02-11, 06:24 PM   #9
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My cargo bike friend was thinking that she was a little slow until she went mountain biking with her friends and found that she could now ride away from the folks she used to not keep up with. It's not a race.
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Old 09-02-11, 06:40 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Denelle View Post
I have a Breezer Uptown Infinity that has a Yepp Mini hooked up to the front, and a Trail-a-Bike hooked up to the back. I carry my 1.5 year old daughter in the Yepp and my 4 year old son rides the Trail-a-Bike. I have a rack and paniers that I use to haul groceries/library books/whatever.

I always feel like I am going SUPER slow. I average 7-8 mph fairly comfortably with this setup. Is that normal? Is it me and my ability, or is it just that I'm hauling a LOT of stuff on my bike?

Thanks
With that load you are doing fine. Do it for a year and then try a light road bike, you'll be very fast. The more you ride the heavier rig the stronger you get. It's good for you. The speed does not matter anyway, I know about how much gear that is, you're doing fine. You can see the 100lb (loaded) rig I transport the dog with in my sig. I have used trailers etc. too.
I estimate you may have that much weight. 7-8 mph is typical on mostly flat terrain.

Weigh a typical load and come back here if you can, I would be interested to see how much weight you are pedaling. One thing that will help you go a little easier is high pressure smooth tires.
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Old 09-02-11, 06:41 PM   #11
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My cargo bike friend was thinking that she was a little slow until she went mountain biking with her friends and found that she could now ride away from the folks she used to not keep up with. It's not a race.
Exactly. A similar thing happened to me.
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Old 09-02-11, 06:57 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Denelle View Post
I have a Breezer Uptown Infinity that has a Yepp Mini hooked up to the front, and a Trail-a-Bike hooked up to the back. I carry my 1.5 year old daughter in the Yepp and my 4 year old son rides the Trail-a-Bike. I have a rack and paniers that I use to haul groceries/library books/whatever.

I always feel like I am going SUPER slow. I average 7-8 mph fairly comfortably with this setup. Is that normal? Is it me and my ability, or is it just that I'm hauling a LOT of stuff on my bike?

Thanks
Always expect to go faster. You need goals to shoot for.
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Old 09-11-11, 07:10 PM   #13
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I had the pleasure of riding without the 4 year old on the trail-a-bike and it felt SO much better. I guess his extra 45 pounds plus the weight of the TAB really makes a difference!

Anyways, thanks for the encouragement too
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