Bike Forums

Bike Forums (https://www.bikeforums.net/forum.php)
-   Fifty Plus (50+) (https://www.bikeforums.net/fifty-plus-50/)
-   -   Average MPH (https://www.bikeforums.net/fifty-plus-50/1102758-average-mph.html)

Tbone2 03-28-17 08:29 PM

Average MPH
 
When I started my new adventure on the bike I was averaging 9.5 to 10.5 mph which I thought was pretty good for an old fart newbie.
After going on a few club rides with other more experienced old farts I realized I have a ways to go to get to there level, but I wouldn't expect to be able to hang with riders that have been riding for years but I do want to catch up to there speed.
Also when I started riding I assumed that it would be awhile before I could make 20+ mile rides, but I'm getting there.

I ride to work everyday now for 3 weeks (6 miles x2) I don't push I just go to work and go home at the end of the day, the weather has been kind so far. I make short grocery runs from time to time and just explore a little here and there. Amazing how much more I see on a bike as opposed to the car. Point is I may not be piling up big miles on one ride but I ride very regularly, daily. I've done 2 club rides of 20+ miles. Club rides are kind of hard, they keep a hot pace for me but I more or less keep up, however I realize that if not on a club ride, riding at my own pace 20 miles is no problem, I'm sure I can do much more. I do not yet have a bike rack for my car but when I do I'm going to do some serious trail rides.

Tthe daily commute and endless short rides is paying off, my ride to work is now up to 12.5 mph, there is no competition just me doing what I gotta do, get to work and get home. I wonder how long it will take to get to 14 mph?

GlennR 03-28-17 08:40 PM

You'll ride faster in a group than by yourself since you're not in front braking the wind for the entire ride.

jon c. 03-28-17 08:45 PM

Increasing distance is relatively easy for a new rider IMO. Increasing speed is harder unless you're riding with faster riders. Unless you have a lot of dedication and desire, it's difficult to push yourself riding alone. So if you want to get faster, ride with the club more often.

DaveQ24 03-28-17 10:21 PM

The type of bike you ride will have an effect on speed. While the human engine is always going to be the biggest factor, things like tire tread, width, and rolling resistance, bike geometry and aerodynamics, equipment level and weight will have an effect. How big of an effect varies a lot, and also generates a lot of argument on forums here, weight and component level being two big ones.

The most practical thing you can easily alter right now without spending much money is your tires - narrower, less tread, lower rolling resistance all mean more speed, at a tradeoff of less ability different substrates and conditions. Ultimately you will probably come to the multi-bicycle ownership solution known as "n + 1", n being the number of bikes you own currently - many of us enjoy various riding disciplines and end up buying different classes of machines for different rides. For a club ride, you can probably pick up 3-4 mph by switching from an upright hybrid with wider, gripping treaded tires to a road bike with an aero riding position and narrow road slick tires and clipless pedals - at least I know that is my differential in average speed between my hybrids and road bikes.

I guess the other thing you can do that could contribute is to maximize your overall health, treat any limiting health conditions, and condition and train your body like an athlete to the extent of your ability and willingness. Honestly, you can never judge a book by its cover, back in 2014 when I was at a really ideal weight for me, 160 @ 5'11" with a new 16 lb carbon road bike, I was regularly smoked on an evening route I did by an older man with a pretty substantial beer belly riding a heavy-looking mt bike with a plastic crate cargo carrier on a rear rack. I didn't have a problem with anything about the other guy - the problem was with the fact that I signed up for a 5 month triathlon coaching group class, bought a pride and joy bike, took private swimming lessons and was pushing myself harder through month 3 into month 4 and felt like crap and progressively worsening, dizzy, weak, tight chest, chest pain when I ran, held my breath between strokes in the pool, etc. My average speed on the bike was not much either, like 12.8 mph. Been diagnosed with a microcytic anemia prior and that was ok - and it wasn't the same kind that of feeling. Turmed out I was asthmatic - looking back I always was, but I never had the classic wheezing and gasping for breath presentation. In fact my air intake capacity when tested was 98% of expected normal, but exflow was 41% prior to albutetol. Proper diagnosis and treatment of that made everything that took any exertion easier, from running 5K to taking the stairs. And yes, I'm still slow, even treated for everything it all still takes its toll, I plod along on a road bike at 16-17 mph on average, with some top 10% days when I can do more "normal" speeds.

linberl 03-28-17 10:43 PM

FWIW my speed increased once I started focusing on cadence and spinning and less on actual speed readings on my computer. I was riding around 12 mph but once I added a cadence sensor (you can apparently just count your revs for 15 seconds instead) I was riding 13.5-14 mph consistently within a few weeks. Spinning faster in an easier gear was something I could maintain at a steady pace, and pushing the cadence a little gave me immediate positive feedback. Easier to increase cadence by a point or two than to increase speed on the computer and I like the positive feedback. My cadence was at 65 rpm when I started and now it is in the low 80's, sustainable. So my suggestion is focus on cadence instead of speed.

canklecat 03-28-17 10:52 PM

I'm never going to be as fast as I was in my 20s but when I resumed cycling in 2015 after 30 years away I was surprised by how difficult it was just to ride three miles at all, let alone at anything resembling "speed". A couple of times I was passed by people walking uphill.

After a year I could manage an average of 12 mph over 10-30 mile rides on a heavy comfort hybrid. Beyond that my average dropped to around 10 mph.

Now, with a somewhat lighter (but still heavyish) 27-30 lb rigid frame bike, depending on what I'm carrying, I can average 14 mph over 10-20 mile rides, closer to 13 mph up to 60 miles. Over less hilly routes the main challenge I'm hitting is wind resistance with a somewhat upright riding position. I've set the riser handlebar to saddle height for comfort over distance. I can feel the wind catching my torso and dragging me down a bit.

With an upright riding position it takes an effort disproportionate to any increase in speed over distance to break a 15 mph average. I finally did break that 15 mph barrier on a recent 15 mile ride, despite the hills and some crosswinds. But it demanded a huge effort over my usual comfort zone for a 1 mph increase.

So far I've gone a year between each bike upgrade. So by this summer I might be ready to consider a lighter bike. Flexibility will be the main challenge in getting a more aerodynamic bike. Working on it, though.

But a realistic goal would be something closer to 16 mph average over distance. I see local men and women close to my age averaging 20 mph over distance on the same routes I ride. I don't see that happening with me. But if I can ride a bit faster and still enjoy the ride without feeling like I'm "working out", I'll be satisfied.

DaveQ24 03-29-17 02:45 AM

@CANcklecat - My anemia was diagnosed in Sept of '08 after several months of feeling progressively worse and constantly nauseous and dizzy etc. I was a pretty typical physician-adverse American male back then and hadn't seen my PCP for about 1.5 - 2 years or any other Dr. (now I have 8 I see regularly!). Hadn't been on my bike for a while, probably a month, decided to try to ride one night right after Labor Day - and it was about 92 degrees out at 7 pm - I made it out of my sub to the main road and turned back because I felt terrible, and collapsed on my lawn completely unable to catch my breath. Round trip captured on my bike computer 0.68 miles.

I felt a lot better by the next morning - a couple of units of blood/packed red cells brought my hemaglobin up from 5.6 to around 10 IIRC.

NealH 03-29-17 04:04 AM

You will get to 14.....and even 20mph if you start riding with groups (as mentioned earlier). Nothing will train you faster, or better.

MBurke 03-29-17 05:32 AM

Avg speed varies for me..depends on Where I ride. My local bike trail loop (30 mile ride) with some town stuff is lower avg speed (14 -15)
than open road riding where there are not so many stops and slow downs.

So for me it depends on Where I ride.

bargeon 03-29-17 06:12 AM


Originally Posted by linberl (Post 19475068)
FWIW my speed increased once I started focusing on cadence and spinning and less on actual speed readings on my computer. I was riding around 12 mph but once I added a cadence sensor (you can apparently just count your revs for 15 seconds instead) I was riding 13.5-14 mph consistently within a few weeks. Spinning faster in an easier gear was something I could maintain at a steady pace, and pushing the cadence a little gave me immediate positive feedback. Easier to increase cadence by a point or two than to increase speed on the computer and I like the positive feedback. My cadence was at 65 rpm when I started and now it is in the low 80's, sustainable. So my suggestion is focus on cadence instead of speed.

Yeah, this helped me. If you don't ride in groups it's useful to have something to measure yourself against.

BlazingPedals 03-29-17 06:20 AM

The other thing about commuting is, you're usually in a situation where you're stopping at a lot of intersections. When I bicycle-commuted, 14 mph was a GREAT average speed, even though at the time I routinely averaged 19-20 mph on club rides.

CrankyOne 03-29-17 06:23 AM

What you are doing is fine. Globally the overwhelming majority of people riding bicycles are doing just what you are, they're riding to work, to the grocery or pharmacy, or to dinner. They're not concerned about speed or looking like Lance Armstrong. They wear normal clothes and enjoy riding their bicycle for local transportation and maybe weekend recreational rides. They like the simplicity, being out in the fresh air (or rain for me the other day), not polluting or contributing to congestion and maintaining their health. For more: Cycle Chic®.

Another option is to go a bit more towards racing which is what folks above are focusing on.

I do a bit of both though probably 90% of the time I spend on a bike these days is riding to dinner or the grocery on my city bike (City Bikes | LocalMile) and usually average about 11-13 MPH. I use to race (Avg: 25 MPH) and do lots of club rides (Avg: 22 MPH) but these days I'll do a couple of club rides a year (Avg: 16-18 MPH) though last year I didn't do any.

From a health standpoint there's no real difference. Do whichever you enjoy.

Kindaslow 03-29-17 07:40 AM

Like the Crankyone said, do whichever you enjoy. I have seen a lot of folks focus on average speed and totally lose the joy of biking.

wphamilton 03-29-17 08:16 AM

When I started at 48, I didn't even get a speedometer for over a year - I was biking just to get around, and I didn't really care much for speed except for being slower than other riders which did bother me, a little. But I measured my progress by how far I rode, and how difficult particular hills were.

When I finally did get a speedometer, my speed turned out to be around 12-13 mph, and I admit I had expected it to be a little faster than that. Like you I kind of had the idea that I could bump it up, and get to where I had a "forever pace" of maybe 14 or 15 and I'd be more or less satisfied if I could achieve that. I only sort of fantasized about speeds a few mph faster than that, with no real expectation of it.

So I started working at it, no formal training plan and certainly not group rides, but simply rides became "workouts". Some just harder rides, but I'd switch up sometimes concentrating on cadence, sometimes sprints, sometimes hills, technique, and so on. My speeds did start creeping up. Every half mph improvement seemed hard - I can't sugarcoat that - but it did happen. I'd say about a year to get to that first target pace, maybe a few months less than a year.

But as long as you're still improving, why stop there? Amazingly to me, I continued to get stronger. and after another year, maybe a little more, I was riding at the speeds I'd fantasized about earlier. It felt pretty good when I realized that had happened. And I still improved from that! I was riding 10 miles to work at that time, and my slower commutes took 32 minutes door to door. The situation had reversed with respect to those faster riders.

I'm not saying to target some improbable arbitrary speed and begin a rigorous training regimen - just the opposite! To my mind it doesn't really matter where our starting point is, because initial improvement is usually pretty quick even at our age. Don't worry about how fast we're improving either. Just keep working, take it as it comes and don't limit yourself. It may take a couple of years to get the speeds you want, but you might wind up surprising yourself.

BobbyG 03-29-17 08:18 AM


Originally Posted by Tbone2 (Post 19474879)
"...a few club rides with other more experienced old farts..."

When riding in a group or pelloton I believe "farting" is referred to as "crop dusting".;) Personally I think of the posterior emission of expanding gasses as JATO (Jet Assited Take Off) which the airforce uses to aid in short runway take offs. And this is how I use them, although I haven't measured their effectiveness.


Originally Posted by Tbone2 (Post 19474879)
"my ride to work is now up to 12.5 mph...I wonder how long it will take to get to 14 mph?

I'm 55. I've been commuting to the same job for 25 years. My average speed in is 13.5, and 12 on the way home, due to the 500ft difference in elevation.

A few of times in the last few years I have pushed to see how much faster I could go. I did 14.5 on the way in and 13.5 on the way home. I was exhausted. And in practical terms it saved me five minutes over 9 miles in total door to door time which includes traffic lights.

The older I get, the more I am interested in how often I ride, and how good it feels to be in some sort of shape, without overdoing it and suffering achy knees for days or having to collapse at work or home.

Biker395 03-29-17 09:41 AM

FWIW, I've never bothered to keep track of my average speed. I don't have a speedo on my commuting bike, nor on Disco. I just ride on a level of effort basis.

One of the reasons is that my speed varies a lot based on wind, air density, and all kinds of factors that change from day to day, so the comparisons are difficult.

Probably the biggest difference is the way *I* feel that particular day. Some days, I'm feeling my oats ... other days, not so much.

Rick@OCRR 03-29-17 10:49 AM

Average Speed can be a rough measure of your cycling fitness but (as some have noted above) keep the context of the ride in mind when looking at your Ave. speed readings.


My commute (20 mi. Round Trip) is usually in the high 13's or low 14's. Lots of traffic lights though and they can really put a serious dent in your Ave. Speed numbers.


When I ride on the local mountain roads I'm climbing at 7 - 8 mph but when descending I can stay in the high 20's and low 30's (typically) so my Ave. Speeds are 12-13 mph. I would think that the screaming descents would bump the Ave. up more . . . but they don't last nearly as long as the climbs, so the numbers can still be discouraging.


Unless . . . you keep the numbers in the context of the ride. Yes, if I'm on a club ride on relatively flat ground I can Ave. in the high 15's and low 16's, which is what I expect in that context.


While Ave. Speed can be a good indicator of your cycling fitness, please keep in mind all the things that can effect your Ave. negatively, which have nothing to do with your actual cycling fitness.


Rick / OCRR

fietsbob 03-29-17 12:01 PM

I'm doing 1037 miles/hr, just sitting in this chair.

JanMM 03-29-17 12:08 PM

This being the Internet, I can state without hesitation that my average speed is at least 25 mph.

I say that in spite of averaging 14.5 mph yesterday on my ride home from work. And in spite of never having averaged faster than about 16 mph on a significant ride. Internet math is a funny thing......:lol:

Kindaslow 03-29-17 12:16 PM


Originally Posted by JanMM (Post 19476113)
This being the Internet, I can state without hesitation that my average speed is at least 25 mph.

:

Amazing, me too!!!!




Down a big hill....

mrodgers 03-29-17 12:35 PM


Originally Posted by JanMM (Post 19476113)
This being the Internet, I can state without hesitation that my average speed is at least 25 mph.


Originally Posted by Kindaslow (Post 19476141)
Amazing, me too!!!!




Down a big hill....

I don't believe either of you. You didn't post the proof. Here's one of my 50 mile rides at 54 mph average and top speed of 91 mph on my Giant Escape hybrid....

https://www.dropbox.com/s/wot6q5ad48...RWGPS.jpg?dl=0

:D

Kindaslow 03-29-17 12:38 PM


Originally Posted by mrodgers (Post 19476199)
I don't believe either of you. You didn't post the proof. Here's one of my 50 mile rides at 54 mph average and top speed of 91 mph on my Giant Escape hybrid....

https://www.dropbox.com/s/wot6q5ad48...RWGPS.jpg?dl=0

:D

Yes, but the bike was in the back of your pickup truck...

mrodgers 03-29-17 12:40 PM


Originally Posted by Kindaslow (Post 19476209)
Yes, but the bike was in the back of your pickup truck...

Dropbox changed, I can't share the photo any more.

I don't own a pickup truck. Just a fun drive I had out in the car.

wphamilton 03-29-17 12:59 PM


Originally Posted by JanMM (Post 19476113)
This being the Internet, I can state without hesitation that my average speed is at least 25 mph.

I say that in spite of averaging 14.5 mph yesterday on my ride home from work. And in spite of never having averaged faster than about 16 mph on a significant ride. Internet math is a funny thing......:lol:

https://www.strava.com/activities/182173079 is about average for me. I have a shorter commute these days, but my Strava records don't go back to my 10 mile commutes or I'd show one of them.

Retro Grouch 03-29-17 01:44 PM

If I'm riding with a group I don't like feeling that I'm the slowest one.

I don't like being the fastest one either. I hate it when I get out in front and have to decide whether to slow or if the group will catch up with me anyway.


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 07:10 AM.


Copyright © 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.