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Top Speed?

Old 04-07-05, 04:41 PM
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jakemoffatt
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Top Speed?

I am new to this forum and don't even have a bike! I want to start riding. How fast can you go on a bike? On a flat run I mean, not downhill.
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Old 04-07-05, 05:12 PM
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The pros can hit over 40mph on a flat sprint. Chances are better than not nobody on this forum can hit 40mph on a flat sprint. I can hit 36 or 37, but unlike the pros it isn't after a super long ride (although it is after a fairly long, hard training ride.). You might think 37mph is really close to 40, but believe me... it isn't. Most of the time I can't even hit 35, and at those speeds EVERY SINGLE MPH requires a huge amount of effort. On a flat in a paceline I can sustain 25-26mph forever (given theres like 4 people each taking good pulls - including me). In a TTT I can go faster for a shorter distance. On a flat by myself without standing to sprint (think long distance breakaway) I can hit and sustain 30-32 for quite a while if I put my elbows on the bars and make myself tiny...
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Old 04-07-05, 07:17 PM
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Wow. I'm not sure if I expected more or less than that. I better get a bike so I can give it a try.
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Old 04-07-05, 09:36 PM
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so far the fastest I have gone on the flats is 35.6 according to the flight deck.
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Old 04-07-05, 09:43 PM
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Results may very, some of the posts are not typical and require a lot of trainning.
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Old 04-07-05, 10:08 PM
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i can get up to and keep 36ish, but that is pouring it on.

I can sustain 26-27 solo for 10k or so, maybe longer if I didn't live near stop lights.

I don't ride with groups, so paceline...no idea. Roadies just hop on my wheel and sit there
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Old 04-07-05, 10:39 PM
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My top speed 4 months ago was 30 MPH, today after a fast 25 mile group ride we took our normal, flat sprint. I have not done over 32 MPH there before but I was able to push 34.2 MPH all out with no standing after 6 weeks of training. That is the fastest I have ever done. I also did my fastest slight climbing route today (think 9 miles, about 7 miles on some sort of grade) pulling a pace line (actually off the front) at 23.3 MPH. Race speeds average 21 - 28 MPH I have seen.

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Old 04-07-05, 10:44 PM
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The thing I don't understand (well maybe I do). It seems that most peoples' tucked in sitting speed on flat ground is DAMN CLOSE to their sprinting speed. I guess this is the same with the pros. The sprint really come down to who can accelerate to that 40ish mph and sustain it the longest, not so much who can go the fastest. You want to be able to go at the 200m line and hit that speed as soon as possible and hold it til the line, hopefully you hit that speed quicker than the other guy and he therefore won't be able to pass you.
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Old 04-07-05, 10:45 PM
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Originally Posted by jakemoffatt
I am new to this forum and don't even have a bike! I want to start riding. How fast can you go on a bike? On a flat run I mean, not downhill.

Are you trying to figure out how fast you should be going? What to aim for? What's your "schtick" with the question?

Can I just suggest you slow it down just a bit and get a bike first, then work on your conditioning. Once you've been training for a few months, ask a few questions with advice on what you can do and let us know how you've been doing so far.

Good luck with getting that bike!

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Old 04-07-05, 10:46 PM
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I totally agree with that... sprints are for acceleration, top speeds can be reached after a long acceleration.
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Old 04-08-05, 12:53 AM
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maybe altitude has something to do with it, but i can't imagine how you could ride the paces you speak of, directed towards my58vw and have trouble sticking with a cat V crit pack. i'm very comfortable in a cat IV crit pack for upwards of an hour and couldn't manage those paces for very long w/o a significant effort. I do however live at about 6500 feet, does it really have that much of an impact? i'd say my typical endurance ride is 2-4 hours at around 19mph.
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Old 04-08-05, 01:51 AM
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Originally Posted by koffee brown
Are you trying to figure out how fast you should be going? What to aim for? What's your "schtick" with the question?

Can I just suggest you slow it down just a bit and get a bike first, then work on your conditioning. Once you've been training for a few months, ask a few questions with advice on what you can do and let us know how you've been doing so far.

Good luck with getting that bike!

Koffee
Advice taken! I'm not going to be doing any speed trials without a bike am I? LOL I have some mtb my dad bought from a yard sale which obviously came from a walmart type store before that but no "real" bike yet. I was really just curious more than anything else. I live about 2 hours (driving time) from the coast and the thought has crossed my mind to train to bike across. With an average riding speed of 15 mph that could end up taking 8 to 10 hours! So I wanted to see kind of what people can do. From what I've gathered a long run would average about 15 to 20mph right?

Anyways I also want to start commuting to/from work some days (gas $$$ ^^^). I'm almost 21 and I haven't done anything physical for a while... biking is looking more and more interesting to me. I think I've got the bug for sure now!
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Old 04-08-05, 02:26 AM
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Originally Posted by jakemoffatt
So I wanted to see kind of what people can do. From what I've gathered a long run would average about 15 to 20mph right?
... I'm almost 21 and I haven't done anything physical for a while...
Again that depends on your fitness level and on conditions. For example going in to head wind will drop your average speed. Also there is certain amount of suffering involved in road cycling, but it's just so much fun that once you start it's kind of hard to stop.
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Old 04-08-05, 05:59 AM
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Originally Posted by Colorado
maybe altitude has something to do with it, but i can't imagine how you could ride the paces you speak of, directed towards my58vw and have trouble sticking with a cat V crit pack. i'm very comfortable in a cat IV crit pack for upwards of an hour and couldn't manage those paces for very long w/o a significant effort. I do however live at about 6500 feet, does it really have that much of an impact? i'd say my typical endurance ride is 2-4 hours at around 19mph.
yeah, i'm reading these reply's thinking "crap i'm slow". so either you guys are just very very strong, or what my uncle says is true: you always think your average speed is higher than what it really is because the only time you look at your speedometer is when you're going fast and want to know how fast fast is.
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Old 04-08-05, 06:54 AM
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Originally Posted by hair07
yeah, i'm reading these reply's thinking "crap i'm slow". so either you guys are just very very strong, or what my uncle says is true: you always think your average speed is higher than what it really is because the only time you look at your speedometer is when you're going fast and want to know how fast fast is.
I guess I am in the same boat as you all. I can hang with the A riders on our race training rides and I usually make the field sprints in my cat 4 races. The other nite after the race ride my average was 19mph. I usually sprint up to about 30mph I think? I don't live at altitude but I do live in the mountains and obviouslly that has a lot to do with it. Maybe this weekend I will find a flat place to see how fast I can sprint?

On another note. I did hit 57.5 mph going down a mountain last year. Now that was a trip!
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Old 04-08-05, 07:06 AM
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Originally Posted by Colorado
maybe altitude has something to do with it, but i can't imagine how you could ride the paces you speak of, directed towards my58vw and have trouble sticking with a cat V crit pack. i'm very comfortable in a cat IV crit pack for upwards of an hour and couldn't manage those paces for very long w/o a significant effort. I do however live at about 6500 feet, does it really have that much of an impact? i'd say my typical endurance ride is 2-4 hours at around 19mph.

You are right, he is talking about going 15 km at 37.5 kmh uphill. And he can't hang with the local Cat 5 crit. Sounds like he might need to check his numbers before someone calls him on it.
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Old 04-08-05, 07:17 AM
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Originally Posted by jakemoffatt
From what I've gathered a long run would average about 15 to 20mph right?
The original question was a bit vague as it did not indicate what distances you were thinking of. I have hit a maximum speed of about 30 miles per hour on slight downhills with short sprints of about 23 mph.

But with some training and a fast bike you should be able to achieve average speeds in the range of 15 to 20 mph- on my last weeked ride I averaged 15 mph over 42 miles for the whole ride (as independently verified by my Sigma speedometer). That takes into account stopping at lights and getting stuck behind slow cyclists..Etc. I was quite pleased with that but I would guess there are loads faster people on the forum..
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Old 04-08-05, 10:55 AM
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The numbers I speek of for last night (about 22.5 MPH) were above LT, we are not taking an aerobic ride by any means. I was pushing way over comfort levels to keep that kind of speed in the front. At some points my speedo was about 24.2 MPH and at points around 21 MPH. This was not my average for the whole ride by any means, our cumlative average was around 19.2 MPH with some real climbing. It was for the test section only. When I say I could do 22.5 average it was on the more crit type grades, slight grades (less than 3 percent, some up to 5 percent for bursts). Right before we got to the road I climbed a 3 - 4 percent constant grade with the speedo peged at 19.5 - 19.8 MPH the whole time. We are not taking about climbing by my definition, where as the final hill in our ride is about 7 percent for a short time, 4 - 5 percent most of the way and we all climb about 14 MPH.

My arerobic ride which I can hold for 2 - 4 hours is also around 18 - 19 MPH assuming it is straight riding and not stopping for a gazillion stop signs along the way, that slows my average down consiterably. I have "averaged" 25 MPH on a truly flat road test, no stops, in the drops solo for a short distance with no wind.

I do not get dropped in crits for average speed, I am getting dropped in the corners and when the pace gets really fast, over 30 MPH for example. I can hang in a pack that does not go over 27 MPH, testimate to fast group rides. Over that point I start struggling, expecially on the hills due to my lack of peak power and anareobic endurance right now.

I am about 2 MPH from hanging in a CAT 4/5 pack the whole time, that will come soon. Let me say these numbers were about 19 MPH average with the same effort 4 months ago. Racing is not just about speed either, it is about tatics, etc. I could never sustain the 26 MPH average in a CAT 4/5 crit right now solo. In the pack it is more than possible. I get significantly less draft that 90 percent of the cyclist out there so even in the pack it is harder for me to keep with the pace. When I can hang in the front the whole time I feel that I will be competative, and I am almost there...

Just more time in race training and in the saddle... five months on a road bike is definitly not enough...

In a race speed on the meter means nothing. If you can not hang it does not matter if you are going 12 or 30 MPH, you are still going to get dropped. It does not matter if you can average 25 MPH solo, it you can not accelerate to 30 MPH after some corners then you are going to get dropped. Someone said that racing was 90 percent tatics and 10 percent power... the more crits you ride in the faster you will get...

Riding fast is being fit... hanging in and winning crits is being in "race shape"... two different worlds!
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Old 04-08-05, 11:27 AM
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Originally Posted by my58vw
The numbers I speek of for last night (about 22.5 MPH) were above LT, we are not taking an aerobic ride by any means.
So much for your recovery week, eh?
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Old 04-08-05, 11:35 AM
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I can do one fast ride ride this week...

I did not ride Monday, Tuesday I went easy, Wednesday I did not ride, Thursday was fast, Today I am off on a nice long ride to the beach with some friends (slow friends), and Saturday I am taking off. I felt rather recovered on Tuesday but I did not push at all on Tuesday.

I am faster now... isn't that what recovery is supose to do yes and group rides are very bad for recovery weeks... I think a few guys got the wrong idea when I ended up off the front in the small ring yesterday... I was only spinning along at 18 MPH for a while at the beginning but they said I was going "too fast". About mile 13 one guy took off off the front and I slowly creeped up on him.

My mistake... I said "there are no attacks on a recovery ride"... then he made a infamous statement... who said THIS was a recovery ride ... "then whats with the small ring", I said "to limit my speed to around 20 MPH..." "Then it was... well small rings are for slow people... go ride with them" which made me a little annoyed... He then attacked and even with my knee still hurting a little from the crash on Tuesday I took off after him, now almost half way up the big ring. By the time we had gotten to the hill I forgot my knee was a little sore and counter attacked... and that was it... I was off the front.

Group rides are bad for recovery days... my emotions come out too quick... I need to learn to ride along sometimes...

It took me 3 days to fully recover... I feel stronger now than right before Redlands... now if my road rash would heel faster...
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Old 04-08-05, 11:39 AM
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dude, i know this is a cycling forum and people like to crunch numbers constantly, but it sounds to me like you are WAY overanalyzing everything in your training, also likely training too hard. if you main problem is accelerating with the pack after turns, i'd suggest riding solo more often. while you get somewhat of an aerobic benefit from riding with other riders since you can go longer at some pace, your power doesn't benefit much since you're rarely pushing against much air. practice accelerating hard out of stop signs and stop lights. and just be willing to put your head down and go harder than you think you oughta in a crit, there are always slow downs and other places to recover. you talk about getting significantly less draft that other riders. is that because you don't feel comfortable riding in a group? or because as your sig says you're a tall guy? if the former, i don't know what to tell you since you seem to ride w/ a group fairly often already, if the latter, that just sounds like a lame excuse, there are pro riders of all shapes and sizes. if you just mean that you get less draft b/c you're riding solo more of the wy, just make sure you're nicely tucked into the pack going into turns and you'll be pulled along, don't be afraid to get out of the saddle and power yourself right back onto the wheels of the riders in front of you, they may accelerate quicker, but they cannot possible continualy accelerate, so if you'll put in the effort, you just may have to accelerate longer to get on their wheels. I'm definitely starting to ramble, but that's just my head since it boggle my mind that you could ride those training speeds you claim and not be able to ride in a cat 5 crit. are you at sea level?
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Old 04-08-05, 11:57 AM
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I am 6'6"... I rarly ride for long in a pack on the group rides that I do, most of the guys I ride with are mid 5 foot. Drafting is probably a lame excuse. On some of the roads I can not afford to get in a super aerodnamic posistion while inches off someone wheel due to issues like crappy roads, traffic, etc. I have no problems riding meer inches off someone wheel. Of course I try to pull as much as I can because sitting in a recovering means you are not really training.

Yes I am at sea level, actually about 500 feet or so up at the most.

I do lots of solo riding, my problems in CAT 4/5 stem from sprinting, and anareobic endurance. Once I get off the wheel I have a problem getting back on by sprinting. I work on sprinting when I do solo endurance training rides, I am much better than I was 3 months ago at it.

I over analyze everything, a consequence of doing it all day at school and at work (analytical chemist)... as I said average speeds do not help in a crit because of the constant accerations. In my last RR (circuit) I was able to hang the whole time, even near the front... why... less acceleration, we were moving along at speeds varying from 18 MPH to 24 MPH and I was right there in the pack.

For a while I was training way too much, as you can read in the above post. With the help of my new coach we are completly changing my training shedule to work more on my limiters, i.e. power, anaerobic endurance, etc. I discovered overtraining the hard way last week.

you claim and not be able to ride in a cat 5 crit
Almost no one can go into a Cat 5 crit here the first few times and stay with the pack unless they are quite strong in the first place. I think I could have stayed in the whole time at Redlands if it was not for the crash that I had to drop to avoid. I am not saying that I can not hang until after the 24th when I ride in the CBR crit in Rancho Domingaz. Last time, 6 weeks ago, I rode the crit I was dropped in the first corner. At that time I could hold bairly 19 MPH up the same ride I did at 23 MPH this week. I feel confident that I will do good in that crit, then it goes from there. I think I can hang in CAT 5 now but only time will tell that... and I still have 2 weeks of training ahead...
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Old 04-08-05, 12:06 PM
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Vocab: LT? Crit? Cat = Category?

And finally how does the difference in altitude affect everyone? I live at 300ft ASL. Is that easier or harder than say 6000ft ASL? Or are there certain tradeoffs?
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Old 04-08-05, 12:10 PM
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Originally Posted by jakemoffatt
Vocab: LT? Crit? Cat = Category?
Crit = Criterium
LT = Lactic Threshold
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Old 04-08-05, 12:34 PM
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I live at around 5,000 feet ASL and when I go down to lower elevation I find it easier to do things, but also a lot of the time I feel worse due to higher hummidity but overall I would say that lower elevation is easier.
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