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What's the fastest you've gone on your bike?

Old 03-18-23, 11:21 PM
  #126  
VegasJen
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Originally Posted by ofajen View Post
Interesting to check this stuff out. From Omnicalculator, I get 3,872W required in the drops at 76 mph down a 12% grade. Coasting down a 12% grade gets me about 53 mph. Coasting down a 24.2% grade gets me to 76 mph. Not sure how accurate that is, but I donít doubt the numbers can get big easily, depending on weight, grade and speed.

Otto
So here's what I want to know about these posts. How are you getting any watts at these speeds? I mean, just on my little rides where I'm going down my 2% grade with a tailwind, I might push 40mph. But at that speed, pedaling has no input. My wheels are turning faster than I can pedal.
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Old 03-19-23, 02:54 AM
  #127  
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Warp .0000000000001.
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Old 03-19-23, 06:24 AM
  #128  
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64 MPH, totaling terrified, grinning ear to ear. Much younger.
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Old 03-19-23, 06:59 AM
  #129  
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Originally Posted by VegasJen View Post
So here's what I want to know about these posts. How are you getting any watts at these speeds? I mean, just on my little rides where I'm going down my 2% grade with a tailwind, I might push 40mph. But at that speed, pedaling has no input. My wheels are turning faster than I can pedal.
The fundamental equation for bike speed in relation to pedal power doesnít have to worry about gearing. Pedal input is theoretically possible, but ordinary gearing doesnít allow for it.

The equation just looks at conditions (wind, grade up or down, riding surface) and bike/rider data (total weight, frontal surface area, tire rolling resistance) and then figures out the power the rider needs to supply to make the equation work. On a down hill grade, the answer could be negative meaning that is the braking power needed to stay that slow and not reach terminal velocity. Typically itís positive and means pedaling is needed.

Example, I can run the calculator to see I can coast my road bike down a 12% grade at 53.5 mph. That means I put in all the factors, and get roughly zero watts needed. In theory, if I pedaled at 300 watts, I should be able to nudge up to 56 mph and hold that for a while since I can sustain that power a long time.

However, as you point out, I likely donít have relevant gears at that speed to let me add any power. Even at my top gear and spinning at 130 rpm, the bike is already going faster, so I just spin up and coast.

In theory, a really big chainring and really small cog or a compound drive with an internal gear hub as well could offer the ridiculously high gearing needed to spend your energy making tiny speed increases rather than just relaxing and enjoying the thrill of coasting down.


Otto
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Old 03-19-23, 09:23 AM
  #130  
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Originally Posted by VegasJen View Post
So here's what I want to know about these posts. How are you getting any watts at these speeds? I mean, just on my little rides where I'm going down my 2% grade with a tailwind, I might push 40mph. But at that speed, pedaling has no input. My wheels are turning faster than I can pedal.
53x11 gears (std road bike gears) = 40mph at 105 RPM. It can be done, I can put power down up to about 130RPM - not for a long time, but I can pedal that fast.

The 76mph down hill is very suspect on a road bike. On a -15% grade, you need a 60x10 gear ratio at 160 rpm just to keep up. And at sea level you also need to ADD 3330+/- watts to the equation. 1/2 of that a 5k elevation - about 800watts at 10k.

Assuming a road bike was being used - this feller would need huge gear ratios and have the ability to put down some serious power at 160RMP while controlling a bike at 76mph. Or he had a 50mph wicked fast tailwind.
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Old 03-19-23, 09:32 AM
  #131  
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https://www.cyclist.co.uk/news/faste...h-on-a-bicycle
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Old 03-19-23, 09:41 AM
  #132  
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Originally Posted by Eric F View Post
Back in the days when I was a young, lean, crit-bro, finishing sprints would often top out at 40-41mph on a flat course. Of course, this was assisted by launching out of a pack already moving at high speed.
Ive never had the opportunity to launch from a draftÖ

Alone I will crank up to 26 mph, not easy for me, settle in for a bit and do an all out sprint. Max flat ground speed was close to 31mph@1140w. I wonder what a launch,, if I could keep up with the lead out, would doÖ

Ive even tried to slow roll up to speed and I poop out between 30-31, even when trying to be aero as my big body will allow.

Im always amazed to see solo riders finish a long stage on a 34+ breakaway.
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Old 03-19-23, 10:45 AM
  #133  
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Maybe a little different for me, since now I only ride single speed analog and e-bikes, which in both cases limit me to the single gear ratio.

Every ride, get up to about 38-40mph. Max speed 53 mph, down a mountain. Got to really crank up the RPMs, then get in an aero tuck, since Iím geared out.
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Old 03-19-23, 10:58 AM
  #134  
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Originally Posted by Jughed View Post
The 76mph down hill is very suspect on a road bike. On a -15% grade, you need a 60x10 gear ratio at 160 rpm just to keep up. And at sea level you also need to ADD 3330+/- watts to the equation. 1/2 of that a 5k elevation - about 800watts at 10k.

Assuming a road bike was being used - this feller would need huge gear ratios and have the ability to put down some serious power at 160RMP while controlling a bike at 76mph. Or he had a 50mph wicked fast tailwind.
Realistically we are discussing terminal velocity and coasting at such high speeds. That will be dictated by total weight, grade and rider position.

Weight has a significant impact. On a 30 pound total bike weight, my 180 pounds gives a terminal velocity of 53.5 mph on a 12% grade. If I weighed 250 pounds, my terminal velocity rises to 62mph.

I would need a 24% grade to reach 76 mph (and boy would that be hair-raising), while a 250 pound rider needs about 18%.

Oh myÖ two 200 pound riders on a tandem would need to brake slightly on a 12% grade to stay at 76 mph.

Otto

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Old 03-19-23, 11:07 AM
  #135  
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Originally Posted by jadmt View Post
heck i have no idea what strava even is.
Internet search?
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Old 03-19-23, 12:18 PM
  #136  
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Originally Posted by ofajen View Post
Realistically we are discussing terminal velocity and coasting at such high speeds. That will be dictated by total weight, grade and rider position.

Weight has a significant impact. On a 30 pound total bike weight, my 180 pounds gives a terminal velocity of 53.5 mph on a 12% grade. If I weighed 250 pounds, my terminal velocity rises to 62mph.

I would need a 24% grade to reach 76 mph (and boy would that be hair-raising), while a 250 pound rider needs about 18%.

Oh myÖ two 200 pound riders on a tandem would need to brake slightly on a 12% grade to stay at 76 mph.

Otto
I'm guessing your calculations are for sea level. If you're in the mountains, on a hot humid day, terminal velocity increases by a fairly significant amount.
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Old 03-19-23, 12:25 PM
  #137  
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59 mph
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Old 03-19-23, 12:42 PM
  #138  
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Originally Posted by tomato coupe View Post
I'm guessing your calculations are for sea level. If you're in the mountains, on a hot humid day, terminal velocity increases by a fairly significant amount.
For instance, in the canyons up above Fort Collins, Colorado? In June?

Iím a bit amused by all these armchair physicistsÖ None of whom were actually there.
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Old 03-19-23, 02:19 PM
  #139  
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Originally Posted by tomato coupe View Post
I'm guessing your calculations are for sea level. If you're in the mountains, on a hot humid day, terminal velocity increases by a fairly significant amount.
Yeah, just doing things for my reference first. I donít know what Koyote weighs nor the relevant elevation but if I were cycling at, say, 8000 feet my terminal velocity on a 12% grade increases to 61.5 mph. For a 220 pound rider it increases to 67 mph. For a 250 pound rider itís 71 mph. For two 200 pound riders on a tandem, itís 88 mph.

Itís also not uncommon for a long descent to have a somewhat steeper section based on terrain that would increase the max speed. A quick dip to 14% makes a difference in max speed.

And these online calculators are just using standard formulas but any real life situation will be different in some way. A particular effective tuck posture could have a significant impact.

Otto
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Old 03-19-23, 02:22 PM
  #140  
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Originally Posted by Koyote View Post
For instance, in the canyons up above Fort Collins, Colorado? In June?

Iím a bit amused by all these armchair physicistsÖ None of whom were actually there.
Fair enough. I have no peer-reviewed publications in aerodynamics or fluid flow, only condensed matter experiment and theory and those were a long time ago.

Otto
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Old 03-19-23, 03:18 PM
  #141  
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Originally Posted by rsbob View Post
Internet search?
I did a search and downloaded it right after I posted that
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Old 03-19-23, 05:17 PM
  #142  
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Originally Posted by ofajen View Post
Fair enough. I have no peer-reviewed publications in aerodynamics or fluid flow, only condensed matter experiment and theory and those were a long time ago.
Otto
No, don't get me wrong -- I think your comments, below, are quite reasoned. They demonstrate more nuance than most others. You're pointing out that the online calculators can't account for everything - which is true.

Originally Posted by ofajen View Post
Yeah, just doing things for my reference first. I donít know what Koyote weighs nor the relevant elevation but if I were cycling at, say, 8000 feet my terminal velocity on a 12% grade increases to 61.5 mph. For a 220 pound rider it increases to 67 mph. For a 250 pound rider itís 71 mph. For two 200 pound riders on a tandem, itís 88 mph.

Itís also not uncommon for a long descent to have a somewhat steeper section based on terrain that would increase the max speed. A quick dip to 14% makes a difference in max speed.

And these online calculators are just using standard formulas but any real life situation will be different in some way. A particular effective tuck posture could have a significant impact.

Otto
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Old 03-19-23, 07:54 PM
  #143  
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And then again there is the terror of high speed wobbles. Must be something better than bracing the top tube with knees and raising your bottom off the seat.
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Old 03-20-23, 11:11 AM
  #144  
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Originally Posted by rsbob View Post
And then again there is the terror of high speed wobbles. Must be something better than bracing the top tube with knees and raising your bottom off the seat.
At 60mph, I was sitting on my top tube, with my chest on my stem (the now-illegal position in UCI racing). Maybe I could have gained a bit more speed if I didn't have my hands out in the wind on the drops, in easy reach of my brake levers.
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Old 03-25-23, 06:59 PM
  #145  
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53mph on fresh, flat pavement, Disneyland Anaheim Parking lot, 1971, Mitzutani Super-lite Factory race bike, 120 lbs in the 19mm tubulars(sew-ups). no aero-aids... I was "clocked" by the security guard

72mph coming downhill from Govt,. Camp, Oregon on Hwy 26, Fresh pavement. Same year, same bike

i was 12 at the time
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Old 03-25-23, 08:25 PM
  #146  
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Originally Posted by maddog34 View Post
53mph on fresh, flat pavement, Disneyland Anaheim Parking lot, 1971, Mitzutani Super-lite Factory race bike, 120 lbs in the 19mm tubulars(sew-ups). no aero-aids... I was "clocked" by the security guard

72mph coming downhill from Govt,. Camp, Oregon on Hwy 26, Fresh pavement. Same year, same bike

i was 12 at the time
geeze that is faster than Mark Cavendish can sprint. pretty good for a 12 yoa...
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Old 03-25-23, 10:18 PM
  #147  
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Originally Posted by maddog34 View Post
53mph on fresh, flat pavement, Disneyland Anaheim Parking lot, 1971, Mitzutani Super-lite Factory race bike, 120 lbs in the 19mm tubulars(sew-ups). no aero-aids... I was "clocked" by the security guard

72mph coming downhill from Govt,. Camp, Oregon on Hwy 26, Fresh pavement. Same year, same bike

i was 12 at the time
Interesting article about unassisted top speeds by pro-riders and on the velodrome. https://biketoworkday.us/how-fast-can-you-go-on-a-bike/
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Old 03-25-23, 10:24 PM
  #148  
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Originally Posted by jadmt View Post
geeze that is faster than Mark Cavendish can sprint. pretty good for a 12 yoa...
if i'd only known that back then, eh? my childhood nickname was "telephone pole legs"
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Old 03-25-23, 10:39 PM
  #149  
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Originally Posted by LV2TNDM View Post
But the fastest I've gone on a non-motorized "vehicle" was a descent I used to do from a water tower on my Flexy Racer. The Flexy Racer is a head-first sled on wheels with almost zero brakes. It was just so stupid fast. I only did it 3-5 times ever; I would shake from the adrenaline before the ride, and for a while thereafter! My parents' street was on a good hill; my sister's boyfriend clocked me at 45mph on his motorcycle. This was child's play by comparison to the water tower hill; could have done it blindfolded and backwards. Had several friends positioned at the intersections where cars were thought to be a probable issue. So insanely fast. Given how my vision blurred as tears streamed sideways from my eyes, I'm thinking I was pushing 70. Can't believed I lived to tell the tale.

Sure wish I had been clocked on that one!
Just looked up the Flexy Racer - now that looks like a terrible idea and a great time!
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Old 03-25-23, 11:02 PM
  #150  
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Originally Posted by rsbob View Post
Interesting article about unassisted top speeds by pro-riders and on the velodrome. https://biketoworkday.us/how-fast-can-you-go-on-a-bike/
as i recall.. Guinness listed the world record, unaided, as 47.5mph, back then... my endurance was lacking, but i was never outrun in a 1/4 mile sprint. Proper training would have helped in that respect... i went into off road racing instead of bicycles. i whittled the trophies down to three a few decades ago... I grew up in a city filled with big hills... The Mitzutani had 53/48 in the front, and a corncob in the back. Standard faire back then. ;-) I snapped the Nitto bars once while climbing... pulling up for more torque.
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