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How fast do you cruise at on flat smooth pavement?

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How fast do you cruise at on flat smooth pavement?

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Old 11-27-16, 04:56 PM
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23109VC
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How fast do you cruise at on flat smooth pavement?

I'm new to cycling. I ride with my iPhone / apple watch and it tracks my speed in real time.... I recently bought a new bike...I went from a more vertical riding hybrid (fat tires) to a true road bike - aggressive aero body position, skinny tires, nice components..

I immediately noticed that with similar effort I could maintain higher speeds. what used to be "hard" to do on my old bike, is just "cruising' on the new bike.... technology is great.. my old bike was 10 years old and the new one is a nicer carbon fiber bike...

now if I really get pedaling hard on nice flat pavement I am able to hold much higher speeds..i'm wondering how fast the average cycling goes and by comparison, how fast are the "pros" going.. i'm sure they would smoke a guy like me...

If I am just cruising at a slower pace, I'm going 14-15 mph
if I am bent over / aero and going at a modest pace, i'm at like 16-17... maintaining 18-19 ins't too hard either.
if I really get going and put my effort up to what is "fast" and something that I can maintain for a bit but NOT for extended periods.. I'm going like 22-24mph.... I think I've hit as high as 25mph when i'm going all out.

on a downhill - where I feel like i'm going as fast as the bike will physically go, I think i'm going maybe 35? mayb ethat is about as fast as these bikes will go? not that I need to go faster..falling off at 35 I think i'd break a whole bunch of bones and be covered in road rash.....

anyway.. I just wondered what was considered a pretty good pace.

I also can imagine that on a longer ride you keep overall speeds a bit lower? to conserve energy? thel ongest I've gone is 40 miles... I would think if I was going to go for a century ride, I might opt to skip the 20+ mph sprints and stick to 15mph or less and go for conserving energy?

on a short 20 mile ride it's not a big deal to mix in some high intensity sprints...
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Old 11-27-16, 05:04 PM
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It depends if we're talking real life speed or internet speed. Everyone is faster on the net. Kinda like bench pressing.
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Old 11-27-16, 05:06 PM
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Laden, or unladen?
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Old 11-27-16, 05:10 PM
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400 watts.
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Old 11-27-16, 05:12 PM
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Originally Posted by 23109VC View Post
on a downhill - where I feel like i'm going as fast as the bike will physically go, I think i'm going maybe 35? mayb e that is about as fast as these bikes will go? not that I need to go faster..falling off at 35 I think i'd break a whole bunch of bones and be covered in road rash.....
Jump to 11:30
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Old 11-27-16, 05:22 PM
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I cruise right at 20 kmph. I'm 64 years old.
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I just love riding a vintage road bike. The smooth speed and quick response of the steel has to be one of the most enjoyable experiences I know.
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Old 11-27-16, 05:25 PM
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I don't believe in comparing speed to others. Unless you're racing, you only competition is yourself.

So, do a ride of some distance, make a note of the time, then beat it next time around. So you don't get bored, have a selection of a few "benchmark" rides and mix it up a bit.

I live in an area of rolling terrain with a nice selection of hills longer than half a mile and/or 500' of rise. I've timed some of these, and use them as benchmarks to see if I'm climbing better or not.

BTW - if you focus on beating yourself, you'll soon enough find yourself beating others.

Anyway, and FWIW, since you asked, I'm collecting social security and still bop along at a comfortable 17-18mph, with 15mph or so my average start to finish average on rides of 30 miles or longer.
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Old 11-27-16, 05:47 PM
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I cruise about the same speeds. I use Strava to track my progress. There are some really fast riders in my town, and i try to keep up. I suspect we will look back on this post a year from now and realize how slow we are today.

I started cycling five months ago on an entry-level CX bike. I keep getting faster, alough the gains are getting smaller and harder earned.
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Old 11-27-16, 06:56 PM
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Only as fast as I want to go, and not one teeny bit faster.
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Old 11-27-16, 07:18 PM
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It depends.
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Old 11-27-16, 07:19 PM
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I have no extended flat land here that I am aware of, unless it is for a mile max. If I had 10 flat miles, I really would not know what my speed would be. I'm either going up or down, to some degree. On the flat sections I am aware of, I can maintain 20-22. Downhills- 30-45, unless I really go all out to hit 50. Uphills- embarrassingly slow.
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Old 11-27-16, 07:54 PM
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Originally Posted by 23109VC View Post
I'm new to cycling. I ride with my iPhone / apple watch and it tracks my speed in real time.... I recently bought a new bike...I went from a more vertical riding hybrid (fat tires) to a true road bike - aggressive aero body position, skinny tires, nice components..

I immediately noticed that with similar effort I could maintain higher speeds. what used to be "hard" to do on my old bike, is just "cruising' on the new bike.... technology is great.. my old bike was 10 years old and the new one is a nicer carbon fiber bike...

now if I really get pedaling hard on nice flat pavement I am able to hold much higher speeds..i'm wondering how fast the average cycling goes and by comparison, how fast are the "pros" going.. i'm sure they would smoke a guy like me...

If I am just cruising at a slower pace, I'm going 14-15 mph
if I am bent over / aero and going at a modest pace, i'm at like 16-17... maintaining 18-19 ins't too hard either.
if I really get going and put my effort up to what is "fast" and something that I can maintain for a bit but NOT for extended periods.. I'm going like 22-24mph.... I think I've hit as high as 25mph when i'm going all out.

on a downhill - where I feel like i'm going as fast as the bike will physically go, I think i'm going maybe 35? mayb ethat is about as fast as these bikes will go? not that I need to go faster..falling off at 35 I think i'd break a whole bunch of bones and be covered in road rash.....

anyway.. I just wondered what was considered a pretty good pace.

I also can imagine that on a longer ride you keep overall speeds a bit lower? to conserve energy? thel ongest I've gone is 40 miles... I would think if I was going to go for a century ride, I might opt to skip the 20+ mph sprints and stick to 15mph or less and go for conserving energy?

on a short 20 mile ride it's not a big deal to mix in some high intensity sprints...
Seems a fair question but you will find no satisfaction on this forum. The bicycle forums world is terribly unfriendly. And a certain, odd delight at answering without answering, especially anything regarding speeds.

Nowadays, on flat ground, little or no wind (rare), I typically cruise at 16 MPH on my steel, fendered Surly Cross Check running on Michelin 32mm Pilot tires. By "cruise" I mean a speed that I can sustain for an extended time without tiring or going anaerobic. A more gentlemanly speed might be more like 14 MPH and when the local snooty, road weenies show up I might make briefly 20 MPH before I decide they are not worth pursuing.

When I was younger I could do 25 miles in under an hour on my steel Pinarello on Specialized original issue Turbos in 21mm (I think they were 21mm). At 25 MPH, I would not have then considered that cruising, as it was intense effort.
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Old 11-27-16, 08:42 PM
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If I ever find some flat smooth pavement I'll let you know.
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Old 11-27-16, 08:43 PM
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Well I can only speak for myself. Anything in the 16-17 mph means I'm taking it easy, sick, or having an issue with a bike. 18-19 mph is what i average on most of my daily rides of 23-30 miles. But I can hold this pace for up to a century with no problem. My base 23-30 mile route will have around 350 to 500 feet of climbing but nothing major. I ride all steel bikes weighing from 19 to 24 lbs but pretty much all are shod with the same Conti GP4000s 700 x 25c tires. Mostly I ride on the hoods. I'm over 50 and riding at around 5000 ft above sea level. Oh and I suck at climbing although I do a fair amount of it. Descending I go as fast as I can, usually limited by wind conditions and how aero I can get. Top speed this year on a descent was 55.2 mph. Oh and i have one section of my usual route where I'll kick up the speed into the 25-27 mph range and then hold it as best I can for around a mile. All out sprint can be more. Now where I live I usually pass the other cyclists but sometimes someone shows up I can't keep up with. Ran in the 23-25 mph range about 2 weeks ago on the Bob Jackson for 4 miles and just kept dropping farther and farther behind the guy I was trying to catch.

Then for more useless data, I'll add in this. I ride outside year round in all weather to include the harsh winters here in northern Utah. I've done 7560 miles so far this year and my average pace during all those miles is only 17.15 mph. If it matters, I ride solo, so no drafting. The times are all mine, whether they are fast or slow.

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Old 11-27-16, 09:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Loose Chain View Post
The bicycle forums world is terribly unfriendly...

...when the local snooty, road weenies show up...
you proved your own point.
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Old 11-27-16, 10:22 PM
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Originally Posted by FullGas View Post
you proved your own point.
At least I answered his question. You only were a smart axx. And you have no sense of humor thus reinforcing exactly what I said. GBIOYR.

Back on topic, my speeds are for a 62 yo, in my twenties and thirties they were substantially quicker.

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Old 11-27-16, 11:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Shimagnolo View Post
Laden, or unladen?
Depends if you are in Europe or Africa.
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Old 11-27-16, 11:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Shimagnolo View Post
Laden, or unladen?
Originally Posted by mgvh View Post
Depends if you are in Europe or Africa.
Well done.
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Old 11-28-16, 12:17 AM
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It depends on who I'm riding with. By myself, 20-22. On the weekly group ride, 28-30.
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Old 11-28-16, 12:30 AM
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Checking my cycling apps over the past six months (I'm not counting the first six since resuming cycling because I was in such bad physical shape), and comparing the same routes, both hilly and flat:

On my 35 lb comfort hybrid with suspension fork, padded springy saddle and heavy puncture proof tires -- about 12 mph.

On my more recently added sub-30 lb rigid fork mountain bike -- about 14 mph.

Good enough for me. I might try a road bike next year if my neck can handle the drop bars. Usually I prefer a more upright position, with the bars an inch or two above saddle height. So I'm giving up some wind efficiency for a riding position I prefer.
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Old 11-28-16, 01:21 AM
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Originally Posted by 23109VC View Post
i'm wondering ... how fast are the "pros" going.. i'm sure they would smoke a guy like me...
Follow the Tour Down Under when it comes on in January. Then you'll know.
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Originally Posted by 23109VC View Post
on a downhill - where I feel like i'm going as fast as the bike will physically go, I think i'm going maybe 35? mayb ethat is about as fast as these bikes will go? not that I need to go faster..falling off at 35 I think i'd break a whole bunch of bones and be covered in road rash.....
Your bicycle should be able to go faster than 56 km/h.



Originally Posted by 23109VC View Post
I also can imagine that on a longer ride you keep overall speeds a bit lower? to conserve energy? thel ongest I've gone is 40 miles... I would think if I was going to go for a century ride, I might opt to ... stick to 15mph or less and go for conserving energy?
Yes. Especially for your first.
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Old 11-28-16, 05:52 AM
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Originally Posted by mgvh View Post
Depends if you are in Europe or Africa.
And how you grab.
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Old 11-28-16, 06:09 AM
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I have a 1 mi. Strava segment that is flat and my best speed is 24.1 mph. If I had to sustain a speed over several flat miles (really not available anywhere I know) I'm guessing I'd be around 20 mph assuming no wind. I'm 70 yrs. old.
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Old 11-28-16, 07:24 AM
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Well, yesterday on the way to church I was on flat ground . . . riding into a 40mph headwind. . .

Ok, under normal conditions: on my utility bike without assist about 12-14 mph, my utility bike with assist, 17-18mph, on my recumbent about 17-18, on my trike about 17-20.
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Old 11-28-16, 07:36 AM
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It's really hard to say unless you do a time trial or something. Just looking down at the speedometer now and again is deceptive. There's always a small grade, some wind, or it's faster or slower than I could keep up for longer. For what it's worth though, when I'm out riding with a smattering of lights (not one every block), the "cruising speed" I see in glances is 1.5 to 2 mph faster than the overall speed of the trip. That's also dependent on a lot of variables, but it's surprising how many different people say the same thing so it's a pretty general rule of thumb.
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