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Things that suddenly make you faster or slower

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Things that suddenly make you faster or slower

Old 09-16-20, 12:53 PM
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CoogansBluff
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Things that suddenly make you faster or slower

The past couple of solo rides that I've made (30-35 miles), I've found myself going significantly faster. And while the purpose of riding isn't speed improvement, I'm still always curious as to what causes the ups and downs.

So, which of these things probably made the most difference?

-It was 75-80 degrees vs. 90-95 degrees and humid.
-In a good mood, eager to ride with nothing on my mind
-Tires inflated to 105 instead of 95 (I've gained a little weight to 210 and wondered if I'm squishing the lower-pressured tires)
-Got my gear lever fixed (wasn't always getting crisp gear changes going up hills)
-Got my chain lined up where it's quieter, not rubbing against something.

And what sort of things affect why you find yourself going faster or slower on a given day? Ever had a repair or bought something new (ie, tires), or tinkered with tire pressure and suddenly noticed a difference?
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Old 09-16-20, 01:18 PM
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I find that if I ride hard on a day, two days later I'm faster with normal perceived effort. Also cooler and not having the sun beat down on me definitely helps.
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Old 09-16-20, 01:37 PM
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Adequate recovery.

Tailwind

Seriously though I have been riding my cross bike/gravel bike a ton and I went and rode my road bike yesterday on the same route and same conditions as every ride for the last month or so and I went 1.5-2 mph faster.
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Old 09-16-20, 02:22 PM
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Originally Posted by CoogansBluff View Post
The past couple of solo rides that I've made (30-35 miles), I've found myself going significantly faster. And while the purpose of riding isn't speed improvement, I'm still always curious as to what causes the ups and downs.

So, which of these things probably made the most difference?

-It was 75-80 degrees vs. 90-95 degrees and humid.
-In a good mood, eager to ride with nothing on my mind
-Tires inflated to 105 instead of 95 (I've gained a little weight to 210 and wondered if I'm squishing the lower-pressured tires)
-Got my gear lever fixed (wasn't always getting crisp gear changes going up hills)
-Got my chain lined up where it's quieter, not rubbing against something.

And what sort of things affect why you find yourself going faster or slower on a given day? Ever had a repair or bought something new (ie, tires), or tinkered with tire pressure and suddenly noticed a difference?
Better weather and correct tire pressure are two things I've noticed that can dramatically improve the ride, and that usually translates to an easier time putting out power. I'm not surprised that a lack of oppressive heat + properly inflated tires made a big difference for you. The gear lever and chainline probably helped your morale, too, but probably not as much as having better conditions and less rolling resistance.
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Old 09-16-20, 02:31 PM
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Yeah, the tire pressure might be something I've not considered enough. People frequently throw out numbers that they think are best, but the optimum is going to differ from rider to rider. Maybe even month to month if you're weight fluctuates for any reason.
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Old 09-16-20, 02:33 PM
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Cooler weather does it for me. 65-75 seems like a sweet spot. And don't underestimate the psychological effect of your gears and all working better. I seem to go faster the more 'at one with the bike' I feel, when it feels like an extension of my own body rather than a recalcitrant mechanical device.
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Old 09-16-20, 02:50 PM
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Originally Posted by CoogansBluff View Post
The past couple of solo rides that I've made (30-35 miles), I've found myself going significantly faster.
How much is significantly faster, 10 seconds? , 10 minutes?
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Old 09-16-20, 03:35 PM
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For me, a solid training block followed by good recovery.
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Old 09-16-20, 03:39 PM
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Dewpoint makes a massive difference. 73 versus 68 is huge.

Being topped up with carbs also makes a massive difference.

Two single biggest factors I've ever noticed.
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Old 09-16-20, 03:50 PM
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I forgot to add:

Day after drinking a lot of beer

Second race of the day
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Old 09-16-20, 04:01 PM
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A pre-ride bowel movement does it for me.
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Old 09-16-20, 04:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Oakman View Post
A pre-ride bowel movement does it for me.
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Old 09-16-20, 05:29 PM
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Originally Posted by roth rothar View Post
How much is significantly faster, 10 seconds? , 10 minutes?
Maybe 7-8 minutes, or 1.2 mph. I don't mean that much faster than I've ever gone that distance, but that much faster than recent typical times. And noticing that I was going faster encouraged me to keep it up, so some of the extra speed was probably the chase factor.

Hearing these responses (which are really good, especially the bowl movement theory) have me thinking cooler weather and finding the right tire pressure had to be pretty significant. I rode again today and found similar results.

I might also say that it's not that it was cool, but that it wasn't hot. I know that's the same thing, but you have to prepare for hotter weather (hydrate), and I don't always do that sufficiently unless I'm on a group ride that will drop me if I'm not prepared.
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Old 09-16-20, 05:44 PM
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I ride faster in the cooler weather.
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Old 09-16-20, 06:11 PM
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For me there is a huge psychological component to having a bike that is operating flawlessly. I'm new to road cycling and the first month or so, I'd be thinking about the noise my drivetrain was making instead of focusing on riding efficiently and putting power down. It has been mentioned but weather and wind are a huge factor in my times around Central Park, the amount of beers the day prior, and how rested I am.
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Old 09-16-20, 07:10 PM
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Rabid dogs
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Old 09-16-20, 07:21 PM
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My optimum temperature for speed: 55F. Supposedly, the optimum temperature for running a marathon is between 49-52F, so maybe there's something to it.

I lose probably 1.5mph on average in the summer months, and ride duration is cut by about 20% as well. So I guess SoCal "winter" suddenly makes me faster, whenever it decides to show up.
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Old 09-16-20, 08:00 PM
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For me it's Fridays. Based on my riding schedule, it makes sense.. I do a long Sunday, slower recovery Monday. Commute on T/Thurs. Something Wednesday. And on Friday I typically fly - well fly for an overweight 45 year old getting back into serious riding after a few years of mixing in a little riding with running / eating / drinking beer. That said cooler weather and no wind has a major effect. I did a 70 mile ride Sunday that was faster than my average 30 miler from a month ago when it was really, really hot here (like 79-80 at 6:00AM).
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Old 09-16-20, 08:11 PM
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Sugar and caffeine.
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Old 09-16-20, 11:33 PM
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I definitely went faster when I changed my gravel tires to smooth road tires. Continental 5000. Get to all points on pavement faster.
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Old 09-17-20, 07:54 AM
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smooth pavement on the TT bike.
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Old 09-17-20, 08:23 AM
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Changing from Gatorskins to Schwalbe Ultremo ZX. Felt like riding in sand with the Gatorskins
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Old 09-17-20, 08:41 AM
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Out of true wheels that rub on the brakes. Other wise heat/humidity/route.
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Old 09-17-20, 08:42 AM
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Speed bumps and yellow lights.
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Old 09-17-20, 08:57 AM
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