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From your personal experience is this Bike Speed by Age chart correct?

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From your personal experience is this Bike Speed by Age chart correct?

Old 02-21-22, 10:30 AM
  #26  
Wildwood
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Why stop at 65 years old?
...and don't forget your readers!

Just took 30years off my age.
If only our wishes could become truths
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Old 02-21-22, 10:32 AM
  #27  
MinnMan
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Originally Posted by billridesbikes View Post
I donít know about the average speed, itís a MTB Ďzine so maybe itís trail riding speed. Reduction of FTP, at least in % terms might be right. Most of what Iíve seen says on average you get about a 10% reduction in FTP for every 5 years after age 40. So a cyclist thatís 4w/kg at age 40, in theory would be 2w/kg at age 65. Note over a long enough timeframe everyoneís FTP and average speed eventually goes to zero. 💀
I had no means (or for that matter, motivation) to measure my FTP until I was in my late 50s, but if that 10%/5 year estimate were true, then had I been a trained rider at 40 (I wasn't), I should have had an FTP of 5.4 W/kg. That would be right up there with the World Tour Pros.

I think this is very unlikely. Except in my dreams, I was never such a remarkable specimen.
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Old 02-21-22, 10:45 AM
  #28  
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Once I got over the feel-less-awful-about-myself initial reaction, I began to think someone just made up a phony plot based on the assumption (recently falsified) that you go into steady decline after about age 25 to 30. There is no mention of the source for data, no mention of how much climbing is involved, what population is represented (serious bikers, once-a-year Walmart bike riders, ...?), so it is basically fiction. “Decline” apparently is a mountain bike mag, not one focused on aging. (Still, who titles a mag on mtn biking "Decline"? This looks like some sort of machine-generated internet content filler. Also, if it is mtb specific, are these numbers for mountain biking, in which case they are far too high.)
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Old 02-21-22, 11:00 AM
  #29  
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It's complete garbage for anyone who actually goes near a bike. According to their FTP chart I should now be down to around 100W, which is not even a warm-up.
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Old 02-21-22, 01:06 PM
  #30  
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Originally Posted by MinnMan View Post
I had no means (or for that matter, motivation) to measure my FTP until I was in my late 50s, but if that 10%/5 year estimate were true, then had I been a trained rider at 40 (I wasn't), I should have had an FTP of 5.4 W/kg. That would be right up there with the World Tour Pros.

I think this is very unlikely. Except in my dreams, I was never such a remarkable specimen.
1) The study was a small group of triathletes over a few years presumably training to near their max potential FTP. But it's consistent with research that shows VO2 max decreases pretty steadily with age (until it goes to 0). If your VO2 max is higher than your age group you have a 'younger' fitness body.
2) Everyone ages differently and it's affected by exercise, diet, amount of booze you drink blah blah blah. We don't know the error bars of the study.
3) I don't think 5.4w/kg is unreasonable for possible FTP for an average healthy man in their late 20s/early 30s with the right nutrition, training, and disciple. We used to have this debate all the time when I was racing: Are the pros made or are they born? By your own admission you didn't train when you were 40 so we'll never know.

Anecdotally it seems close for me, I raced Cat III in my early thirties and while I didn't have a power meter I know my weight, times, and course distances for various TTs and hill climbs from my cycling journals. I've estimated my FTP to be about 300W when I was 30, today it's closer to 240W so the formula fits for me considering I'm also about 5kg heavier a quarter century later.
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Old 02-21-22, 01:46 PM
  #31  
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Originally Posted by billridesbikes View Post
1) The study was a small group of triathletes over a few years presumably training to near their max potential FTP. But it's consistent with research that shows VO2 max decreases pretty steadily with age (until it goes to 0). If your VO2 max is higher than your age group you have a 'younger' fitness body.
2) Everyone ages differently and it's affected by exercise, diet, amount of booze you drink blah blah blah. We don't know the error bars of the study.
3) I don't think 5.4w/kg is unreasonable for possible FTP for an average healthy man in their late 20s/early 30s with the right nutrition, training, and disciple. We used to have this debate all the time when I was racing: Are the pros made or are they born? By your own admission you didn't train when you were 40 so we'll never know.

Anecdotally it seems close for me, I raced Cat III in my early thirties and while I didn't have a power meter I know my weight, times, and course distances for various TTs and hill climbs from my cycling journals. I've estimated my FTP to be about 300W when I was 30, today it's closer to 240W so the formula fits for me considering I'm also about 5kg heavier a quarter century later.
There's a LOT you can do to mitigate the loss of VO2 with age e.g. Maintaining intensity in your workout regime, weight training, increasing protein intake, etc, etc. It's thought that older athletes of the next generation will lose less potential than the previous generation. It's already starting to happen now that the science is becoming more widely known. Obviously you are going to lose the battle eventually, but you can certainly affect the slope and quite dramatically too.
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Old 02-21-22, 01:52 PM
  #32  
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10% every 5 years..................

I musta made the power of one horse back in the day.

I am sure I have not lost more than 15% in 40 years, probably closer to 12% of my total aerobic capacity.
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Old 02-21-22, 01:56 PM
  #33  
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what good are charts like that? looking at my records, I have the avrg speed of someone 20 years younger & I'm not a fast rider. I get my doors blown off all the time. I guess they're all 40 years younger? don't think so!
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Old 02-21-22, 01:58 PM
  #34  
Polaris OBark
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Maybe, on whatever planet this is from, the years are much longer.
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Old 02-21-22, 02:21 PM
  #35  
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PeteHski Oh, I totally agree with you.
This study from mid 1980s shows couch potatoes VO2 declines at 12%/decade but well-trained master athletes declined at 5.5%/decade. That's more than a 2X difference based on lifestyle. And as you mention understanding of health and aging is getting better all the time so maybe you can even get a lower decline today. My personal unresearched opinion is that VO2, FTP, MaxHR decline with age, although inevitable, is neither linear nor uniform for most.

Keep riding a lot and hope for the best!
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Old 02-21-22, 02:28 PM
  #36  
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Originally Posted by billridesbikes View Post
I don't think 5.4w/kg is unreasonable for possible FTP for an average healthy man in their late 20s/early 30s with the right nutrition, training, and disciple. We used to have this debate all the time when I was racing: Are the pros made or are they born? By your own admission you didn't train when you were 40 so we'll never know.
So, I could have been.a contender?


(Aged 60, 250 W FTP, 68 kg, 3.7 W/kg, and I've never done any structured training or lifted weights.)


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Old 02-21-22, 02:47 PM
  #37  
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@MinnMan I'm a never-has-been!

And even if 5.5w/kg could get you to the pros, it's not going to win any races. You'll make more money at your day job than fetching water bottles and jackets from the team car.

Last edited by billridesbikes; 02-21-22 at 02:53 PM.
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Old 02-21-22, 03:25 PM
  #38  
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I like that chart! It took 20 yrs. off of my age, and I don't even get a chance to ride that often! Nor do I consider myself a "fast" rider.
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Old 02-21-22, 05:01 PM
  #39  
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Originally Posted by billridesbikes View Post
PeteHski Oh, I totally agree with you.
This study from mid 1980s shows couch potatoes VO2 declines at 12%/decade but well-trained master athletes declined at 5.5%/decade. That's more than a 2X difference based on lifestyle. And as you mention understanding of health and aging is getting better all the time so maybe you can even get a lower decline today. My personal unresearched opinion is that VO2, FTP, MaxHR decline with age, although inevitable, is neither linear nor uniform for most.

Keep riding a lot and hope for the best!
Yes there are plenty of books discussing what we can practically do to minimise our decline of fitness with age. The obvious one being Joe Friel's "Fast after 50" and then there's Phil Cavell's recent book "The Midlife Cyclist". Both of these summarise both the science and experience of older athletes in holding back the clock and it's mostly very encouraging.

I've just turned 54 so this is all just beginning to get real for me! More by luck than design I just happen to have been following much of the advice I'm now reading about, which might go some way to explaining why my performance appears to be holding up better than most of my age group peers. I'm not by any means a naturally talented athlete either. I was very average as a 20 something, but have been gradually getting stronger (in a relative sense for my age group) ever since. I can only put it down to my consistently active lifestyle over the last couple of decades, along with improved nutrition. I spent most of my 20s living off takeaways, so there was a lot to gain! It's a shame we can't go back and have another go, LOL.
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Old 02-21-22, 05:05 PM
  #40  
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I was going to ask "uphill or downhill?" 'til I clicked on the link. (Guilty!)

According to the chart from "Decline" I'm too young to be reading that ****!

Last edited by Trsnrtr; 02-21-22 at 06:00 PM. Reason: Invoking censor
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Old 02-21-22, 10:43 PM
  #41  
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Originally Posted by Jtmav View Post
So I will assume that after 65, since the chart stops there, that the speed starts to increase again, right?😉

The older I get, the better I was.
Nope. He died the day after his 65th birthday.
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Old 02-21-22, 11:28 PM
  #42  
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Speed of whom? It's all over the place, depending on who we are and what we do. In my last 50s, I was averaging 18 on 60 mile rides in 50'/mile terrain. I haven't been out on my single this year, but I'm probably at about 16. Last Sunday we averaged 14.5 on our tandem, similar hilly terrain. Oh - as most of you know, I'm 76, my wife 72. I'm not talented, I just ride as much as I can. My best time on a 400k in my early 60s came out to 16.66 including stops. Only 6600' though.
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Old 02-22-22, 01:28 AM
  #43  
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Originally Posted by nmichell View Post
Ah, you probably just had a better bike in your 50s than when you were in high school
I've still got the SAME bike I had in High School

Ok, a couple of parts have been changed here and there over the years.

I do like riding moderately newer bikes though.
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Old 02-22-22, 10:46 AM
  #44  
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Durn, my average speed makes me even younger than the thirty-five or so my max HR suggests I am.

I like that chart!
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Old 02-22-22, 11:55 AM
  #45  
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This is great, using interpolation, Iím not 67, Iím 47! Still feel 67 though. Chart only goes to 65, so I should not be cycling, or dead?
Tim

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Old 02-22-22, 12:01 PM
  #46  
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Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post
but the slow cars kept getting in the way.
I have that problem a lot.
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Old 02-22-22, 12:14 PM
  #47  
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Originally Posted by SpedFast View Post
I have that problem a lot.
You can bet someone made a Strava segment of that 10 block gauntlet of traffic lights, all timed at about 20 MPH.

https://www.strava.com/segments/3558571

I did manage to get myself in the top 10. One trick is to hit the first light on a yellow, and catch up to the rest of the lights over the cycle.

But, I struggle to figure out how anybody faster than me did the segment without running red lights at high speed.

I have gotten myself into the left lane because there is more turning traffic in the right lane.
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Old 02-22-22, 01:11 PM
  #48  
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Without seeing the underlying data, the chart is meaningless. While it may be intuitive that most of us "seniors" may not have the same strength and stamina we had 30 years ago, these number are hard to reconcile. Before my knee surgeries ( I was 65), I was doing about 80-100 miles a week on my old 1984 Univega GT (almost 30lbs) . Not the most "aero" bike and I'm certainly not very "aero". Yet I was able to maintain around 15-16 MPH average on calm, cool days on 20 mile rides along fairly flat roads (live near the beach in SoCal).

Now that I'm getting back into it (at 68), I have a Fuji Newest. Not the latest and greatest but the bike is 6 lbs lighter and much "cleaner". I haven't quite made the 1 hour threshold but over a 30 minutes ride, I'm holding about 18-19 mph average.

Nice to know I've taken about 10 years off just by changing bikes!!
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Old 02-22-22, 01:13 PM
  #49  
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The problem with the chart is that is stops at 65. Apparently speed levels off at that age, because I will be 84 this year, and my average on the trike is 12mph and 14 on my recumbent bike. And then I could ride faster, but I have no need to. The only time I do is to try to beat a pop up rain home. The speed I ride is comfortable, and I like to see my surroundings.
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Old 02-22-22, 10:31 PM
  #50  
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Originally Posted by billridesbikes View Post
3) I don't think 5.4w/kg is unreasonable for possible FTP for an average healthy man in their late 20s/early 30s with the right nutrition, training, and disciple. We used to have this debate all the time when I was racing: Are the pros made or are they born? By your own admission you didn't train when you were 40 so we'll never know.

.
You seem to be saying that an average healthy man can be a world tour pro? Or, at least, train to that level?
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