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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 02-20-22, 08:18 PM
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AJW2W11E
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From your personal experience is this Bike Speed by Age chart correct?

Do you think this chart is correct and what are your personal thoughts? I have been passed by lots of people whom I think are 65 or older doing 15 mph plus.

Average cycling speed by age: A Detailed Analysis | Decline Magazine

Average cycling speed by age

Last edited by AJW2W11E; 02-20-22 at 08:22 PM.
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Old 02-20-22, 08:23 PM
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Holy crap. This from a magazine named "Decline". It's like they expect and promote becoming old and decrepit.

No thanks, and those charts are horrible.
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Old 02-20-22, 08:29 PM
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I wasn't that fast then, and I'm not that slow now, so...
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Old 02-20-22, 08:30 PM
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If it is there, I didn't see or didn't wish to wade through their site to find where they came up with those numbers so it is a safe bet they pulled the data out of their fart-boxes.
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Old 02-20-22, 08:37 PM
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"Decline" seems to be a publication about MTB, not about aging.

Those tables are total rubbish.
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Old 02-20-22, 08:41 PM
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WRT the article/charts/graphs…what is the criteria to be “a cyclist”? Owning a bicycle? Riding 5 miles twice per week? Riding 150 per week? More? All of the above might consider themselves “cyclist.” But a 150 per week rider might not consider the 5x2 per week a cyclist. That has a lot of impact on how one performs against the averages on the charts and graphs. They break everything down by age, but they should take it a step further and break it down by weekly/monthly/annual mileage.

Dan
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Old 02-20-22, 08:47 PM
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Originally Posted by MinnMan View Post
"Decline" seems to be a publication about MTB, not about aging.

Those tables are total rubbish.
I understand that. It just suits their outlook.
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Old 02-20-22, 09:11 PM
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Maybe the chart is right, for the wrong reason. I am sure there are lots of 65 plus riders who can do 20 mph, but does it really matter? The older you get, the wiser you get.
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Old 02-20-22, 09:15 PM
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Average speed is a useless metric anyway.
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Old 02-20-22, 09:19 PM
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According to that chart, I’m in my 40s!

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Old 02-20-22, 10:07 PM
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Random numbers on a web page mean nothing.

If I look at my times on 200k brevets or perms, starting when I was 50 y/o to today at 61, it looks like:

Age Best 200k
50 8:55 (Living in Indiana, flat to rolling terrain)
51 9:33
52 10:05
53 8:25
54 8:34
55 8:40
Moved to flat west Texas
56 7:55 (actually this was in even-flatter Florida)
57 7:30
Moved to not-flat Oregon
58 8:30
59 10:55
60 9:03
61 8:51
62 9:00 (2 months into the year)

This data is not consistent with a dramatic loss in power from age 50 to 60. I'm no highly trained athlete; the only thing I've done is kept riding my bike and learned a few things about fueling and such.

I don't have any recorded data from before age 50, but I do recall riding the same flat rectangular 15 mile loop in my late 20's and early 30's. My fastest was 20.0 mph average. Fast forward to my first Strava ride in 2015 at age 55, 18 miles at 18.7 mph average on a non-flat route with stop signs and traffic lights through town.

Again not consistent in a dramatic loss in power from age 30 to 55.

I'm sure if I were trained to the limits of my capability, a significant power drop would be evident. But then if I were trained to the limits of my capabilities, all my numbers would be far better than they are, and certainly higher than those on the web page.
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Old 02-20-22, 10:12 PM
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Originally Posted by big john View Post
Average speed is a useless metric anyway.
My question is this is the average speed of what?

Average speed of walking the dog by bicycle along the neighborhood MUP?

Average speed of a solo Century ride?

For me, my cycling fitness probably peaked in my early 50's when I spent a few years "car-free". I can't say about my actual speeds. I'm not a fast rider.

In High School, I used to ride with the traffic some. There was about a 10 block stretch in downtown Springfield with lights timed at about 20 MPH. It was tough in High School. I started hitting that stretch of road in my early 50's, and got to the point where the lights weren't a problem, but the slow cars kept getting in the way.
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Old 02-20-22, 10:57 PM
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From my readings on age and cycling the general trend line looks correct however the average speeds are grossly inaccurate (low) unless you are measuring neophyte speeds. For reference: At 67, my average speed this winter is 16 MPH with between 1000 to 2000’ of climbing. During the warm months my speed increases to 17.5 on average. In my 20s and early 30s, I could do a century at 20 MPH ave as a recreational cyclist.
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Old 02-20-22, 11:03 PM
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Here are some TT times from the Revenge of the Disc TT, 2018
https://obra.org/events/25868/results

Unfortunately I can no longer find the race details, and the junior races were shorter than the other races. Winning Times:
Cat 1/2...... 1:23:57
Cat 3..........1:25:30
Cat 4/5.......1:25:25
Mast 40-44..1:27:35
Mast 45-49..1:24:01
Mast 50-54..1:26:51
Mast 55-59..1:26:32
Mast 60-64..1:28:32
Mast 65-69..1:30:46

And then to a shorter course for the 70+


I think they changed the course. My notes for 2017 indicate 24.8 miles.
https://obra.org/events/25095/results
Cat 1/2...... 54:53
Cat 3..........55:52
Cat 4/5.......1:00:32
Mast 40-44..59:55
Mast 45-49..55:49
Mast 50-54..57:12
Mast 55-59..58:31
Mast 60-64..1:01:04

Anyway, the old geezers are going mighty fast, averaging about 25 MPH. Maybe a slight degradation over time, but many of them could hold their own with at least the Cat 4/5 group.

And, I was thinking I could take up racing in my 50's, and it would be like a walk on the beach.
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Old 02-21-22, 12:11 AM
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Originally Posted by AJW2W11E View Post
Do you think this chart is correct and what are your personal thoughts? I have been passed by lots of people whom I think are 65 or older doing 15 mph plus.

Average cycling speed by age: A Detailed Analysis | Decline Magazine

Average cycling speed by age
This doesn’t describe the 50+ cyclists I ride with.
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Old 02-21-22, 01:09 AM
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Ah, you probably just had a better bike in your 50s than when you were in high school
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Old 02-21-22, 04:26 AM
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Who, in God's name, came up with that chart? That is so bogus for so many reasons. If the question is actually something like "How old are you and how fast can you ride?" I am 75 and can do a 1 mi. flat segment (without much wind) near 25 mph. Doing a 25 mi. ride with 70 ft/mi of climbing would put me around 15 mph.

Better yet....when I turned 50 I weighed 175 lbs and had a 20 mi. route I ran as a TT. My best was 20 mph. If I did that today at age 75 and 190 lb I'd guess it would be 15-16 mph.

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Old 02-21-22, 05:28 AM
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For individuals, charts like these are useless.
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Old 02-21-22, 06:36 AM
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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.

Last edited by Jtmav; 02-21-22 at 07:38 AM.
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Old 02-21-22, 07:32 AM
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Originally Posted by AJW2W11E View Post
Maybe the chart is right, for the wrong reason. I am sure there are lots of 65 plus riders who can do 20 mph, but does it really matter? The older you get, the wiser you get.
Are you interested in numbers or in values? If the latter, you don't need a chart to express your personal values.

Especially. a chart full of garbage.

And it certainly isn't effective in imposing those values on others.
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Old 02-21-22, 09:33 AM
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Originally Posted by caloso View Post
This doesn’t describe the 50+ cyclists I ride with.
Maybe it does. The chart is missing the standard deviation so maybe your friends could be in the top 10%.
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Old 02-21-22, 09:34 AM
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Woo-Hoo! I just got 15 years younger, according to the chart. (Well, sort of. I'm beyond the chart age.)
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Old 02-21-22, 09:36 AM
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Originally Posted by big john View Post
Average speed is a useless metric anyway.
Let's put it this way.

The average American is overweight. That does not mean it's normal or should be a weight we should use as a benchmark.
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Old 02-21-22, 10:12 AM
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Originally Posted by AJW2W11E View Post
Do you think this chart is correct and what are your personal thoughts? I have been passed by lots of people whom I think are 65 or older doing 15 mph plus.

Average cycling speed by age: A Detailed Analysis | Decline Magazine

Average cycling speed by age

I don’t know about the average speed, it’s a MTB ‘zine so maybe it’s trail riding speed. Reduction of FTP, at least in % terms might be right. Most of what I’ve seen says on average you get about a 10% reduction in FTP for every 5 years after age 40. So a cyclist that’s 4w/kg at age 40, in theory would be 2w/kg at age 65. Note over a long enough timeframe everyone’s FTP and average speed eventually goes to zero. 💀
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Old 02-21-22, 10:24 AM
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There are likely two things that happen.

Many people start doing fewer activities as they age. A good day of exercise may be a walk from the couch to the fridge and back.

Those who had jogged in their youth are happy to take a quarter mile walk in their elderly years.

The other thing that happens, however, is a midlife exercise craze. So, some people are actually getting a bit of exercise and doing well.

As a societal "average", the decline may well be true. But, not necessarily on an individual basis.
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