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Ideal Conditions For Speed

Old 10-08-19, 09:46 AM
  #26  
tgenec86
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LOL - and to turn this on it's head - the WORST conditions for speed. Also in VA Beach when a tropical storm / borderline hurricane was coming in. The rain bands were offshore but I badly underestimated the worsening conditions. Had to ride home into a 42-46 mph headwind with gusts up to 55mph. I was moving on average 4-5 mph for an HOUR. Days before cell phones, no friends around to come get me, and everyone with any brains in their head already indoors.
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Old 10-08-19, 10:52 AM
  #27  
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The annual Human Powered Speed Challenge is held every year in Battle Mountain Nevada, in part because of the altitude - 4619 ft - where the air is thinner and aero resistance is less. High temps and high humidity also make the air thinner; but at some point the human factor needs enough oxygen to produce power!
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Old 10-08-19, 04:59 PM
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Nothing beats a rabid dog chasing a bike to inspire a high speed run. Temps irrelevant.
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Old 10-08-19, 06:16 PM
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Cycling as fast as possible to get away from the abominable snowman while on a unicycle in a blizzard will make any condition tolerable... so long as you make the escape.
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Old 10-08-19, 07:58 PM
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I think a lot of records are set in Mexico City, at 7000 feet elevation.
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Old 10-09-19, 05:41 AM
  #31  
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Originally Posted by berner View Post
Nothing beats a rabid dog chasing a bike to inspire a high speed run. Temps irrelevant.
Especially if it's a rabid greyhound.
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Old 10-09-19, 07:15 AM
  #32  
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Originally Posted by Payton1221 View Post
What's your ideal conditions for producing your fastest pace?
Nice smooth road, riding a steep downhill run with a stiff wind at my back.
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Old 10-09-19, 10:46 AM
  #33  
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I know some places where you can get an acceleration of 9.8 meters per second per second with very little pedaling. Weirdly. all types of brakes are equally effective in such places.
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Old 10-09-19, 11:10 AM
  #34  
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Amateur hour up in here.........pshhhh

Here's a good place to start:
Cycling Power Lab
https://www.bestbikesplit.com/features
https://velocomp-llc.myshopify.com/p...-and-cda-meter
https://www.bicyclerollingresistance...d-bike-reviews
https://www.goldencheetah.org/#section-science
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Old 10-09-19, 02:17 PM
  #35  
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Originally Posted by Payton1221 View Post
What's your ideal conditions for producing your fastest pace? Obviously, you wouldn't want any wind, but how about temperature?

All summer and, until recently, it has been very warm with most of my rides in the 90's. Tonight it was 65 and I crushed my old PR on this 11 mile loop that I typically ride. And I rode yesterday too, so I'm not attributing it to just being "more rested" than usual.
I think it's temperature - I did my usual 31 mile Tuesday evening loop in slightly chilly (60s) temps, and it was awesome. I set my 3rd fastest climb on our local "hill-shaped object" - 2 seconds off my PR, set more than 2 years ago
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Old 10-09-19, 02:53 PM
  #36  
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Open area - so there are no blind spots.
No junctions, no kids, no dogs, no people at all - or i'm staying under 25mph
No cars - i don't do roads
Uphill is fine, but no headwind - i sit upright and can have to lean all my torso-weight against the air over 40mph as it is.
Lumps, bumps, loose gravel, broken glass, water etc is fine, but no wet leaves - the fat tyres ride onto them, spreading the load instead of cutting through, can get a bit squirmy.

But most of all, no excessive speed - when you're on a comfortable bike, being sat up and cruising at around 20mph is the most enjoyable way to ride.
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Old 10-09-19, 09:40 PM
  #37  
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Originally Posted by MikeyMK View Post
Open area - so there are no blind spots.
No junctions, no kids, no dogs, no people at all - or i'm staying under 25mph
No cars - i don't do roads
Uphill is fine, but no headwind - i sit upright and can have to lean all my torso-weight against the air over 40mph as it is.
Lumps, bumps, loose gravel, broken glass, water etc is fine, but no wet leaves - the fat tyres ride onto them, spreading the load instead of cutting through, can get a bit squirmy.

But most of all, no excessive speed - when you're on a comfortable bike, being sat up and cruising at around 20mph is the most enjoyable way to ride.
When you're talking about a motorized bike, it pretty much has nothing to do with the OP.
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Old 10-10-19, 01:24 AM
  #38  
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Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
When you're talking about a motorized bike, it pretty much has nothing to do with the OP.
That's for them to decide. It's still riding a bike, they do vary somewhat but it's largely all quite similar. Especially for those of us who pedal.
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Old 10-10-19, 04:46 AM
  #39  
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Originally Posted by MikeyMK View Post
That's for them to decide. It's still riding a bike, they do vary somewhat but it's largely all quite similar. Especially for those of us who pedal.
Perhaps, but you should have mentioned the motor because otherwise your speed figures on an upright with wide tires are pretty silly. And the OP prominently mentioned air temperature, your comparative lack of exertion at any given speed really makes that a non-factor. You hid the fact that you're comparing apples to chainsaws, maybe not intentionally, but not everyone on bf knows what kind of bike you ride.
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Old 10-10-19, 05:12 AM
  #40  
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I find that as the temps fall below 10C or50F I can still dress as summer but have to up the pace to keep warm. Certainly helps the average pace over my usual 50k run.
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Old 10-10-19, 05:48 AM
  #41  
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Being rested and ready to go.

Temperature in the 70s.

About 30-60 minutes to warm up, unless I want to warm up on the trainer. I'm a very slow starter.

Either no wind or a good steady wind in the direction where I want to improve on a 2-6 mile segment because for a solo rider that's the only way to get a top ten shot against the guys working a tight paceline.

One jackass driver to pump up my adrenaline. That's usually good for a few PRs.

Or, if not riding solo, riding with a compatible friend who's a little stronger. Distant third choice is a spirited group ride with no half-wheelers, wobblers and slalomers, or guys who let gaps open without warning and waving you ahead before they slow down.

Remembering to put on the good wheel and tire instead of the trainer. I forgot to do that last night. Had a good ride despite the 30 mph gusting crosswinds. Good practice for aero tuck and handling skills. Especially combined with dodging skunks, owls and other critters out foraging and hunting.
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Old 10-10-19, 07:00 AM
  #42  
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Temperature: 65-80 and DRY. The dew point should be below 32F at all times (cold drinks should never have condensation.)

Obviously, a tailwind helps. For pure speed, I'll take a nice, straight, wide downhill with good pavement, low traffic, and an experienced rider to follow.
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Old 10-10-19, 08:24 AM
  #43  
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The prospect of a really good lunch halfway into my ride.
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Old 10-10-19, 12:16 PM
  #44  
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A little while back I was able to achieve a top 10 pr. It involved putting ribs in the smoker, & needing to get back from the ride in order to tend the meat. It was a very rewarding day!
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Old 10-10-19, 01:27 PM
  #45  
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When 'ya got horse-to-barn syndrome...
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Old 10-10-19, 02:51 PM
  #46  
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So if I may follow up. What's everyone's top speed, what bike, and under what conditions?

On my recumbent bike, there was a hill in Seattle I could go down that I would hit low 60s. My record was 64 mph. I spin out at around 47-48, so after than it's all gravity.

Here in SLC, there's a hill that's straighter, but not as steep, and I top out at 54 mph on my bent. That's 'terminal velocity, as it holds that for a good 8-10 secs before starting to flatten out.

In my velo, on the same hill, I've hit 65.6 mph. I think I could have broken that earlier this week, but traffic got my way.
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Old 10-10-19, 03:30 PM
  #47  
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Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
Perhaps, but you should have mentioned the motor because otherwise your speed figures on an upright with wide tires are pretty silly. And the OP prominently mentioned air temperature, your comparative lack of exertion at any given speed really makes that a non-factor. You hid the fact that you're comparing apples to chainsaws, maybe not intentionally, but not everyone on bf knows what kind of bike you ride.
That reminds me - gloves. Full-fingers. For speed. Unless it's summer. Even 10 oC can bite your hands at 30mph+
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Old 10-11-19, 04:03 AM
  #48  
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Originally Posted by Notso_fastLane View Post
So if I may follow up. What's everyone's top speed, what bike, and under what conditions?
Absolute top speed, regardless of conditions? Just over 40 mph on a 2% downhill with a tailwind. But since then I've switched chainrings and freewheels to be more suitable for all around riding and climbs, so the best I've done on those same downhills with tailwind the past year is 36 mph; 30 mph without a tailwind.

Supposedly I've done over 50 mph according to witnesses but that was drafting cars or trucks years ago when I was young and dumb. Nowadays I don't even draft trusted friends closer than a full wheel length, and a full bike length if I don't know or trust the guy ahead of me. Too many crashes and injuries tend to put a damper on recklessness in pursuit of speed, unless you're getting paid for the risk.

Best unassisted speed (flat, no tailwind) recently was 27 mph over 0.3 miles, the longest flat segment nearby. That's unusual for me. I was never much of a sprinter and at age 62 I ain't getting any faster. But that ride I was cut off by two drivers within five minutes and my adrenaline was pumping. Usually I do that segment at 20 mph. I had some in the tank after that sprint and I'm betting I can max out closer to 30 mph with some effort. I need to work on my sprint technique. It's not something I ever worked on before.

Best speed over 30-50 miles has been 17 mph. My stamina isn't great either. Within those rides I've managed some 10 mile segments at 20+ mph but can't sustain it. Yet. Still working on it. I'm the slowest of the serious older cyclists in my area. Some of those 60-70something guys are seriously strong and fast, although I'm a bit better climber than most of them -- mostly due to differences in pot bellies, extra weight, not strength.

So far my fastest rides have all been this year on an older 1993 Trek 5900, then their top of the line carbon fiber bike. It's not all original so the current mix of Shimano 105 and 600 components are a little heavier than the original Dura Ace, but I doubt it would matter other than on long continuous climbs, which we don't have.

My rides on an '89 steel Ironman are only a little slower. I suspect the main difference is aero, not bike or weight. I've set up the Ironman to be comfortable over longer rides, with a shorter stem and higher handlebar -- pretty close to the classic 1950s-'60s road bike setup. The Trek 5900 is set up a little more aero, with a bit more drop from saddle to handlebar. I don't know whether the monococque frame offers much aero advantage over the steel bike. And I've consistently recorded faster rides on a somewhat aero front wheel -- just a 30mm height rim with flat aero spokes, but apparently just enough advantage over my standard low profile 36 spoke wheels to offer a little extra speed over distance.

I'll find out soon whether the bike really matters. I'm building up a donor Diamondback Podium carbon frame with whatever parts I have in a bin or can buy cheaply. It'll be lighter and supposedly more aero than the Trek. It'll be interesting to see if that translates to faster.

Yeah, a TT/tri-bike would be faster but I can't get comfortable on aero bars for more than a minute at a time due to an old neck injury. And the bullhorns feel more like parachutes than narrow drop bars. The 38cm wide bars on the Trek may be a little more aero than the 42 bars on the Ironman. I plan to try a cheap carbon aero bar on the Diamondback, probably a Toseek.
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Old 10-14-19, 11:57 AM
  #49  
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I find that temperatures in the 65-75 degree range usually work best for me. My body is warm enough not to waste energy on staying warm, and it's not so hot that I overheat, so all of my energy goes into the pedals. Wind? Well, that's just something we all have to deal with.
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Old 10-14-19, 12:04 PM
  #50  
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Originally Posted by Notso_fastLane View Post
So if I may follow up. What's everyone's top speed, what bike, and under what conditions?

On my recumbent bike, there was a hill in Seattle I could go down that I would hit low 60s. My record was 64 mph. I spin out at around 47-48, so after than it's all gravity.

Here in SLC, there's a hill that's straighter, but not as steep, and I top out at 54 mph on my bent. That's 'terminal velocity, as it holds that for a good 8-10 secs before starting to flatten out.

In my velo, on the same hill, I've hit 65.6 mph. I think I could have broken that earlier this week, but traffic got my way.
56 mph, down the Brockway Grade between Kings Beach and Northstar (near Truckee). I think that was on my old Bianchi T-Cube.
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