Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > General Cycling Discussion
Reload this Page >

Increasing speed? stuck around 15MPH

Notices
General Cycling Discussion Have a cycling related question or comment that doesn't fit in one of the other specialty forums? Drop on in and post in here! When possible, please select the forum above that most fits your post!

Increasing speed? stuck around 15MPH

Old 07-29-17, 07:27 PM
  #51  
Machka 
In Real Life
 
Machka's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Down under down under
Posts: 51,559

Bikes: Lots

Mentioned: 134 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2942 Post(s)
Liked 143 Times in 90 Posts
Originally Posted by Maelochs View Post
I think he has found a level of exertion with which he is comfortable and to go faster he has to push himself past what is currently comfortable.
+1


That could be said for many things in life ... to go faster, further, to made advances, to accomplish more ... we have to push ourselves past what is currently comfortable.
Machka is offline  
Old 07-31-17, 05:26 AM
  #52  
Chuck Naill
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: US
Posts: 478
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 269 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
For me going faster means I have to gain the strength to pedal the higher gears with the same RPM as the lower gears. I agree totally that wind and road gradient are factors as well as weight. I've personally never gotten into speed or distance as the primary reason to cycle, but I have noticed these factors influence what is recorded on by bike computer.
Chuck Naill is offline  
Old 07-31-17, 07:42 AM
  #53  
DomaneS5
Fredly Fredster
 
DomaneS5's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2017
Posts: 592

Bikes: Trek Domane S5, Trek 1.1c, Motobecane Omni Strada Comp, Trek X-Caliber 6

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 198 Post(s)
Liked 4 Times in 3 Posts
I finally broke the 17mph mark this past week on my morning ride. I can get 16-17mph on the carbon fiber Domane, but I'm always 1mph slower on average with my aluminum 1.1. The bike's weight does make a difference.
DomaneS5 is offline  
Old 07-31-17, 12:15 PM
  #54  
fietsbob 
coprolite
 
fietsbob's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: NW,Oregon Coast
Posts: 41,396

Bikes: 8

Mentioned: 188 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6921 Post(s)
Liked 246 Times in 204 Posts
Motor Paced Training ..
fietsbob is offline  
Old 07-31-17, 04:29 PM
  #55  
bunkerman
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
Posts: 23
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
For sure what he said INTERVALS. Research HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training).
bunkerman is offline  
Old 08-02-17, 11:33 AM
  #56  
Milton Keynes
Senior Member
 
Milton Keynes's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2016
Posts: 2,661

Bikes: Two-wheeled human-powered vehicles, but that's not important right now

Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1170 Post(s)
Liked 87 Times in 48 Posts
Personally I'm more concerned with increasing my mileage endurance than I am speed. I have finally achieved a metric century and want to do a full century. One thing I have to learn is how to pace myself since I often want to go full steam ahead at the beginning, and have to talk myself down into holding my speed at around 12 MPH so I don't wear myself out.
Milton Keynes is offline  
Old 08-02-17, 12:55 PM
  #57  
REDMASTA
Senior Member
 
REDMASTA's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2016
Location: Traveling through time, will return last week.
Posts: 603

Bikes: Bare Rum Sword Knuckle Runner

Mentioned: 6 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 227 Post(s)
Liked 24 Times in 15 Posts
pedal harder
REDMASTA is offline  
Old 08-02-17, 01:13 PM
  #58  
Leebo
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: North of Boston
Posts: 5,508

Bikes: Kona Dawg, Surly 1x1, Karate Monkey, Rockhopper, Crosscheck , Burley Runabout,

Mentioned: 10 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 786 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 29 Times in 22 Posts
57 posts and no one asks about the bike? OP, bike used, tires, psi and gearing? Ride weight and fuel? Start there.
Leebo is offline  
Old 08-02-17, 01:20 PM
  #59  
1989Pre
Standard Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Brunswick, Maine
Posts: 2,731

Bikes: 2001 Raleigh M80, 1989 Raleigh Technium, 1983 F. Moser Sprint, 1963 Freddie Grubb Routier, 1948 P. Barnard & Son

Mentioned: 15 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 693 Post(s)
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
If you're riding a consistent 15 mph average in hilly terrain (or hot climate), then I would say you are not doing too bad at all! Yeah, like someone else said, maybe consider a lighter bike, may something aero-dynamic like a time trialer.
Outside of that, train with someone who is willing to go just a bit faster than you, to give you a target. Even if you have to pay a coach. He/she'll know what to do.
1989Pre is offline  
Old 08-02-17, 01:30 PM
  #60  
Maelochs
Senior Member
 
Maelochs's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Posts: 11,466

Bikes: 2015 Workswell 066, 2014 Dawes Sheila, 1983 Cannondale 500, 1984 Raleigh Olympian, 2007 Cannondale Rize 4, 2017 Fuji Sportif 1 LE

Mentioned: 137 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5467 Post(s)
Liked 120 Times in 81 Posts
Originally Posted by Leebo View Post
57 posts and no one asks about the bike? OP, bike used, tires, psi and gearing? Ride weight and fuel? Start there.
Nothing to do with the bike. Any bike can go a little faster ... maybe not a Lot faster ... but bikes don't come with speed governors
Maelochs is offline  
Old 08-02-17, 02:20 PM
  #61  
Leebo
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: North of Boston
Posts: 5,508

Bikes: Kona Dawg, Surly 1x1, Karate Monkey, Rockhopper, Crosscheck , Burley Runabout,

Mentioned: 10 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 786 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 29 Times in 22 Posts
Originally Posted by Maelochs View Post
Nothing to do with the bike. Any bike can go a little faster ... maybe not a Lot faster ... but bikes don't come with speed governors
Thats why they race hybrids, fat bikes with 4" tires and mt bikes with knobby tires at the tour de farce? Pertinent to the OP's situation and not addressed. I've been on a 26" mt bike with 2.1" knobby tires and a 44x11 max gear. Yes it has a speed limiter. The bike is one of many variables, agreed? Me? I advise full breakfast and double espresso
Leebo is offline  
Old 08-02-17, 02:27 PM
  #62  
MikeOK
Yo
 
MikeOK's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Ozark Mountains
Posts: 1,609

Bikes: 2003 Yeti AS-R, 2018 Waltly ti

Mentioned: 9 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 429 Post(s)
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
Originally Posted by tararogue View Post
I always thought clipless was this:

And clips were this:

Maybe tomayto tomahto?
The top one is for a mountain bike, the bottom is the standard road bike. They are both clipless. And I agree with the others, riding intervals is the best workout for improving your speed. Do it only once per week otherwise you'll burn out. It can and should be a brutal ride, you'll not look forward to them.
MikeOK is offline  
Old 08-02-17, 02:40 PM
  #63  
Maelochs
Senior Member
 
Maelochs's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Posts: 11,466

Bikes: 2015 Workswell 066, 2014 Dawes Sheila, 1983 Cannondale 500, 1984 Raleigh Olympian, 2007 Cannondale Rize 4, 2017 Fuji Sportif 1 LE

Mentioned: 137 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5467 Post(s)
Liked 120 Times in 81 Posts
There is a training /nutrition section, i think i already linked to it.

I have been slowly getting faster Without every doing a ride I didn't enjoy ... I just get faster more slowly than most would tolerate. If one is in a hurry to be fast, Intervals and more unpleasant rides in general are the key.

To go faster, suffer more and enjoy less.
Maelochs is offline  
Old 08-02-17, 02:45 PM
  #64  
SimcoeAce
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2017
Posts: 20

Bikes: 2012 Wilier Triestina Imperiale, 2016 Cannondale Qiuick Speed 2, 1988 Rocky Mountain Fusion

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 9 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by Leebo View Post

Thats why they race hybrids, fat bikes with 4" tires and mt bikes with knobby tires at the tour de farce? Pertinent to the OP's situation and not addressed. I've been on a 26" mt bike with 2.1" knobby tires and a 44x11 max gear. Yes it has a speed limiter. The bike is one of many variables, agreed? Me? I advise full breakfast and double espresso
Exactly. A great rider may be able to get more speed out of a heavier/slower bike, but the characteristics of the bike used are going to be a significant variable in a given rider achieving speed goals.
SimcoeAce is offline  
Old 08-03-17, 06:14 AM
  #65  
tararogue
Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Posts: 25
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 27 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by Leebo View Post
57 posts and no one asks about the bike? OP, bike used, tires, psi and gearing? Ride weight and fuel? Start there.
I ride a Surly Straggler, Knard 650b tires. Straggler 650b | Bikes | Surly Bikes

I know it's not built to be a speed demon, for the record.
tararogue is offline  
Old 08-03-17, 06:16 AM
  #66  
tararogue
Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Posts: 25
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 27 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by MikeOK View Post
The top one is for a mountain bike, the bottom is the standard road bike. They are both clipless. And I agree with the others, riding intervals is the best workout for improving your speed. Do it only once per week otherwise you'll burn out. It can and should be a brutal ride, you'll not look forward to them.
thanks for this suggestion (and all the others!). When I really started taking riding more seriously two years ago I did a lot of indoor intervals and I think it was quite helpful. I need to get back at that and take it outside as well.

Additionally, I actually ended up averaging 16.2 yesterday! I think I keep gearing up and disrupting things for myself, then I end up pushing harder at what feels like the wrong time.
tararogue is offline  
Old 08-03-17, 06:35 AM
  #67  
tararogue
Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Posts: 25
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 27 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by superdex View Post
I'm curious what races the OP has done? How'd you fare? What lessons have you learned? What is your goal? To be competitive? To 'just be faster?'

(cue @carpediemracing 's reminder that avg speed means nothing, which is also true. If you go for an hour ride, and spend half of that sprinting your eyes out and recovering, your average isn't going to be anything to speak of...)
I've done about a handful of track races. I suck. I have zero competitive drive so I'm really just out there to have fun, finish races, be safe and get stronger. I'm still trying to figure out if I even ENJOY it - track cycling might just not be my thing for racing.

Gravel races - I've only done one so far and placed square in the middle (about 51 out of 100) on a 33 mile course with tons of hills and loose gravel. I was really proud of myself. As far as lessons learned: eat more carbs in the morning the day before. I completely ran out of steam about 1/3 of the way through and had to slam some wood and CLIF blocs. It was also insanely hot so I had to peel off the top of my skinsuit on the side of the road for a bit in some shade to cool down. Those choices saved me.

I don't know what my goal is yet for gravel racing. So far, get faster and stronger. I'll be doing a 55 mile race in Northern Minnesota this fall so I'm trying to prep for that.
tararogue is offline  
Old 08-03-17, 06:38 AM
  #68  
tararogue
Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Posts: 25
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 27 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by cellery View Post
Yes definitely walk into your local bike shop and plunk down $1200 for a Stages Power Meter.

Also, a quality heart rate monitor can be had for under $100 and will get you a decent approximation of how hard you're working. You don't need a left foot right foot watt by watt comparison to get fast. Even the HRM is unnecessary for that.

Mostly getting fast at road cycling is about suffering, badly - with others. Over and over - as often as possible. It's honestly like that. Not 100% of the time or even 50% of the ride has to be a hammerfest. But you have to be willing to occasionally put yourself into a cave of pain beyond where you thought you could go. The way you see it done most of the time is just by riding with others who have already put tens of thousands of miles. Do their pace line rotation crap or whatever and then try to follow when they dial up the effort. Keep telling yourself it's fun!
This bit about the suffering is the most psychotic and accurate advice I think I've ever received? So much about this sport IS about suffering. And for some reason, we enjoy it. THANK YOU for this.
tararogue is offline  
Old 08-03-17, 07:57 AM
  #69  
Leebo
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: North of Boston
Posts: 5,508

Bikes: Kona Dawg, Surly 1x1, Karate Monkey, Rockhopper, Crosscheck , Burley Runabout,

Mentioned: 10 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 786 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 29 Times in 22 Posts
Originally Posted by tararogue View Post
I ride a Surly Straggler, Knard 650b tires. Straggler 650b | Bikes | Surly Bikes

I know it's not built to be a speed demon, for the record.
Knobby 41 mm cross tires are not what you want for max speed. Get something lighter and smoother, say a 28 or 32 mm tires or so, with enough psi, say 65-85 depending on rider weight. Will make a big difference on rolling resistance and tire drag. Riding in the drops? Being aero will help as well. Could easily get 2 mph with better tires. Cross check owner here too. A true road race bike will improve things as well, if max speed is your concern.
Leebo is offline  
Old 08-03-17, 10:01 AM
  #70  
superdex
staring at the mountains
 
superdex's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Parker, CO
Posts: 4,311

Bikes: Fairdale Goodship, Spesh Crux

Mentioned: 6 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 288 Post(s)
Liked 30 Times in 24 Posts
Originally Posted by tararogue View Post
I've done about a handful of track races. I suck. I have zero competitive drive so I'm really just out there to have fun, finish races, be safe and get stronger. I'm still trying to figure out if I even ENJOY it - track cycling might just not be my thing for racing.

Gravel races - I've only done one so far and placed square in the middle (about 51 out of 100) on a 33 mile course with tons of hills and loose gravel. I was really proud of myself. As far as lessons learned: eat more carbs in the morning the day before. I completely ran out of steam about 1/3 of the way through and had to slam some wood and CLIF blocs. It was also insanely hot so I had to peel off the top of my skinsuit on the side of the road for a bit in some shade to cool down. Those choices saved me.

I don't know what my goal is yet for gravel racing. So far, get faster and stronger. I'll be doing a 55 mile race in Northern Minnesota this fall so I'm trying to prep for that.
I think this confirms it: you need to ride in groups. groups that go faster than you, that will push you. Faster, then, you will be. [edit] and road tires. those knobbies are holding you back.
superdex is offline  
Old 08-03-17, 10:17 AM
  #71  
corrado33
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Bozeman
Posts: 4,096

Bikes: 199? Landshark Roadshark, 198? Mondonico Diamond, 1987 Panasonic DX-5000, 1987 Bianchi Limited, Univega... Chrome..., 1989 Schwinn Woodlands, Motobecane USA Record, Raleigh Tokul 2

Mentioned: 24 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1125 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by canklecat View Post
This

Whenever I've plateaued I go back to interval training. Mostly one-half to hour sessions once or twice a week on the local roller coaster hills. Charge up the hills until my legs and lungs are burning and my body is shaking, then coast down and loaf-pedal for recovery. Later, rinse, repeat.

Sucks. Not fun. At all. But it works for me.
Agreed. Most people that have never competed in a sport don't know true "workout" pain. I started doing intervals again (after never doing them since college) and I really... really forgot how badly they hurt.

You NEED to be mentally tough. You NEED to convince yourself not to stop. Your body will be screaming at you to stop, your legs will scream stop, your brain will scream stop, then the thought will creep in "Well maybe if I just slowed down" or "Well maybe if I did an extra interval next time."

NO!

You buckle down and you finish that workout. Your speed will reflect your effort.

Don't get caught up in science behind intervals. Go find a hill that takes ~ 5 minutes or less to ride up, ride up it hard, and ride down it easy. When you're riding up, you're not going to be able to go all out every time from the beginning. Make it so that when you get to the top you are very... very tired and your legs are screaming for you to stop.
corrado33 is offline  
Old 08-03-17, 11:21 AM
  #72  
athrowawaynic
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2016
Location: MA
Posts: 507

Bikes: 2015 Niner RLT9, 1987 Atala

Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 251 Post(s)
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
At this level of riding, almost anything will help.

1. Intervals--go hard for a few minutes, then go easy for a few minutes (don't stop pedaling or coast--keep the cadence up, just change to an easier gear). Repeat a bunch of times.

2. Hill repeats--pretty much the same as intervals. Ride up a hill, spin back down. Repeat a bunch of times. They're great in that you can't really cheat on the effort--you have to work to get up the hill. But because your posture may be different (slower pace, more upright position, etc.), you may engage different muscles. So hill repeats may help with overall/average speed, but they aren't a substitute for intervals--and intervals aren't a substitute for hill repeats.

3. More aero--remove flappy bits. Spend some time riding in the drops.

4. Cadence--find the sweet spot, where you're not struggling to turn the cranks, but you're still putting in some effort.

5. Rest--after particularly hard efforts, you need to give your body time to recover. Hard exercise is effectively microtrauma to your body, so you need to let your body heal from those efforts.

6. Smoother tires--the knobby tires are probably slowing you down. That doesn't mean you need to go narrower--wider tires supposedly have lower/better rolling resistance than narrow tires at a given pressure/suppleness.

You could make it all very strict and regimented. I don't. I'm not at the level where I need it--I may revisit that when I stop getting PRs on Strava. But for now, as long as I'm seeing improvements on every ride, I know I'm making progress.
athrowawaynic is offline  
Old 08-03-17, 11:49 AM
  #73  
caloso
Senior Member
 
caloso's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Sacramento, California, USA
Posts: 38,320

Bikes: Ridley Excalibur, Gazelle Champion Mondial, On-One Pompino, Specialized Rock Hopper

Mentioned: 59 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1955 Post(s)
Liked 353 Times in 196 Posts
Originally Posted by tararogue View Post
I ride a Surly Straggler, Knard 650b tires. Straggler 650b | Bikes | Surly Bikes

I know it's not built to be a speed demon, for the record.
I think I've spotted your problem.
caloso is offline  
Old 08-03-17, 12:22 PM
  #74  
Kevindale
Senior Member
 
Kevindale's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Amsterdam
Posts: 1,681

Bikes: 1980 Koga-Miyata Gentsluxe-S, 1998 Eddy Merckx Corsa 01, 1983 Tommasini Racing, 2012 Gulf Western CAAD10, 1980 Univega Gran Premio

Mentioned: 47 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 598 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
Originally Posted by tararogue View Post
I ride a Surly Straggler, Knard 650b tires. Straggler 650b | Bikes | Surly Bikes

I know it's not built to be a speed demon, for the record.
That's not a fast road bike, but there's no reason you shouldn't be able to average higher speeds on road rides with that bike, especially if you use tires with much less tread. The weight of the bike is much less important than getting used to riding in an aerodynamic position, which is elbows bent 90 degree with hands on the hoods, and about 45 degrees when in the drops. Wind resistance is by far the biggest issue as you go above 15 mph. Rolling resistance on the road will also start to get significant. It takes getting in shape to maintain that position - work on your core strength.

You should also make sure you're saddle position is good - have some people look at how you ride. Riding at an efficient cadence will require you to have your saddle setback correct, and especially your saddle height correct.

Now, if that's the bike you're using for track racing, then that would be like wearing flip flops to play soccer. You could do it, but it wouldn't be pretty.

I'm older than you, didn't get semi-serious about riding until recently, and have no thoughts of racing. That said, I have found my average speeds on rides of 20-30 miles going from 16.x mph this spring to 18 mph now just by riding regularly, and pushing myself just a bit. No intervals, no hill repeats, no group rides, just pushing myself to ride further and further, resting between hard rides, and focusing on my riding position. If I ride with a faster group, I'm instantly 2 mph faster, but that's just from the improved aero of the group. However, if you find yourself getting bored trying to ride far and fast, a group ride is a great motivator. But make sure the group goes faster than you would on your own, or it actually won't do you much good.

If you can find a set of inexpensive wheels that will work with your bike, you might snag them and set them up with some 35-38 mm slicks or low tread road tires. Save the knobbies for the gravel races. You'll immediately feel yourself flying.
Kevindale is offline  
Old 08-03-17, 04:59 PM
  #75  
highrpm
Senior Member
 
highrpm's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: Bruce Twp, MI
Posts: 302

Bikes: Trek FX 7.4

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 53 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I know that most advice is focused on spending more time on the bike, but I think that doing other exercises helped me to get faster on the bike.

OP, what you may want to try is to buy a set of 5 pound ankle weights at Wal Mart, and then do sets of stair climbs at home. Like, go up and down 10x in the morning and again in the evening. You'd be surprised how much stronger your legs get from something so seemingly simple. It takes 2-3 minutes to do this. Your bang for the buck is huge here, time-wise.
highrpm is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service

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