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Ideal Conditions For Speed

Old 10-07-19, 06:38 PM
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Payton1221
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Ideal Conditions For Speed

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.
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Old 10-07-19, 07:24 PM
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80 to 85, downhill, with at least a breeze to my back

My fastest times on a known route seem to be when it's in the low 80's.
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Old 10-07-19, 07:36 PM
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55 about is my ideal temp, probably lower than for most people, though I don't tolerate the heat well as a consequence. I suspect most people perform best in hotter than average, rather than colder than average weather. That's why they have the Tour de Fance in July, not January.
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Old 10-07-19, 07:48 PM
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Seeing red while trying to hang on to a fast group.
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Old 10-07-19, 08:07 PM
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I am heat-intolerant, so fifties for me.
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Old 10-07-19, 08:46 PM
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Down hill, fast tailwind, 54/10 gearing no traffic or stop signs/lights. Temperature around 80. Those are my ideal conditions.
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Old 10-07-19, 09:02 PM
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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.
That's perfectly normal. Same thing happens to me. Probably most people. Lotsa hot days this year. 65 to75 is pretty good for me. I took photos of my bike thermometer at over 100 a few times

times.
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Old 10-07-19, 09:50 PM
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I know that I do far worse when it's hot or even kinda warm outside. My HR shoots up and I can't maintain power. So I'll say 50-65 and sunny.
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Old 10-07-19, 10:03 PM
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The effect of ambient temperature on gross-efficiency in cycling

Raise the temperature from 60ºF to 96ºF, and power drops by around 20%. I would say 55-60ºF is perfect. At that temperature there's no need for layers, and humidity doesn't much matter.

I don't think it's coincidental that the bulk of my PRs come in the SoCal winters, from November through March.
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Old 10-07-19, 10:11 PM
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"Ideal conditions for speed?" Downhill, tailwind, good pavement, no traffic, straight road, stable high speed geometry.
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Old 10-07-19, 11:56 PM
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caloso
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Ride with fast riders.
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Old 10-08-19, 12:08 AM
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Originally Posted by guachi View Post
I know that I do far worse when it's hot or even kinda warm outside. My HR shoots up and I can't maintain power. So I'll say 50-65 and sunny.
Same here. I averaged 17.5mph on a 30 mile ride today. Temperature was 95-99 Fahrenheit. I felt rather sapped after the ride too, as if I had put far more miles down than 30. Haven't been riding for too long though. I've heard people say your body will eventually get used to the Arizona heat. I have my doubts...

Looking forward to my first (cycling) winter in the desert!
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Old 10-08-19, 01:53 AM
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Conditions for me to go fast is a LONG downhill with a brisk hurricane force tailwind.
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Old 10-08-19, 03:46 AM
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Aside from the obvious - downhill, tailwind, smooth surface, no stopping, no sharp curves - the optimum temperature for me is 15-20 degrees Celsius (60-70 F), medium humidity.
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Old 10-08-19, 04:00 AM
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Anything between 50 and 75 degrees is ideal. I've ridden centuries in temperature ranging from 35 to 100 degrees, and haven't kept track of efficiency in different ranges. I do suspect that at humidity matters a lot. It's a lot harder to shed excess body heat when your sweat isn't evaporating quickly.

We had a freak condition a couple months ago where there was 100% humidity at about 75 degrees, and I wasn't the only rider complaining about how miserable that was to ride in. I've been more comfortable in 90 degree weather than that.
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Old 10-08-19, 04:06 AM
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Early morning, right before the sun comes up, 70's, no humidity, sunny, tail wind, down a slope & after a night of undisturbed rest.

Last edited by Troul; 10-08-19 at 04:15 AM.
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Old 10-08-19, 05:30 AM
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Fully charged e-bike.
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Old 10-08-19, 05:35 AM
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... and a 30 pack.
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Old 10-08-19, 05:36 AM
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I haven’t noticed much of a difference as long as I’m warmed up.
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Old 10-08-19, 05:52 AM
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I can't say for certain what my ideal temp is but I feel like its in the 70-80F range. I don't know what the temps were on RAIN ride this year but I know for a fact it was too hot for me.
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Old 10-08-19, 08:47 AM
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Somebody a while back suggested the best place for a fast century was from Leadville, CO to around Canon City. Downhill almost all the way. Throw in a tailwind, perhaps 60-75F, on a weekday with little traffic, and your "conditions" are just about ideal. Of course the biggest contributor is the downhill all the way.
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Old 10-08-19, 08:51 AM
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I like hot. When I lived in Tucson, I would wait until the afternoon in the summer to go on my typically 3-4 hour rides. I had the trails to myself.

Optimal though, is probably upper 70s.

Not sure I've found my optimal in the velomobile. It seems to do better in slightly cooler weather (I assume because I'm warmer since it's mostly enclosed) and just recently set a personal record on one of my 15 mile routes home from work. In a ~70 lb machine with all my commuting gear, so closer to 80 lb, a light wind (mostly head wind, which barely affects the velo) and traffic, I still averaged 19.4 mph over 15 miles.
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Old 10-08-19, 09:06 AM
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I went into this thread thinking in general terms— a cool day without wind, etc. For me personally, the optimum conditions for speed occurred on December 28, 2018. Winds were howling in from the ENE, so I headed almost directly WSW down the Santa Ana River Trail— pushed by a 25mph tailwind, with gusts into the 40s. Despite around 22 of the 70 total miles being on traffic-filled surface streets, I averaged 23.7mph on my final ride of that year’s Rapha Festive— meaning I had already ridden about 235 miles over the previous 4 days. Had it been my Festive opener, I think I could have managed 25mph.
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Old 10-08-19, 09:35 AM
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downhill, tailwind, any temp
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Old 10-08-19, 09:41 AM
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"Ideal Conditions For Speed" - coming up Dam Neck Road out of the Naval Base near VA Beach, drafting behind a work van. I hit 57mph! The guys knew I was there and kept increasing the pace at a very steady rate until I could not spin any faster.

Real world? Any temperature, any road, anywhere... Time Trials don't wait for conditions to be ideal, so I just go like h-e-double hockey sticks and hope it's fast enough.
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