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How fast can I expect to go on a road bike?

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How fast can I expect to go on a road bike?

Old 04-21-10, 07:19 PM
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cdiutpyriyuai
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How fast can I expect to go on a road bike?

I recently took an interest in cycling, but unfortunately all I have for a bike is a $250 schwinn MTB. Obviously, I know this isn't the right bike to be riding if I want to partake in longer rides and eventually group rides. When I first started a month ago I was barely able to maintain 10 mph over 5 mile rides. Now I can do 14-15 mph over 15 mile rides. What I basically want to know is, how fast, given the same amount of effort, would I go on a decent ($800-1000) road bike compared to my current mountain bike? Keep in mind that the mountain bike I am riding now has the standard 2.1? inch knobby tires, 26 inch wheels, 21 speed.
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Old 04-21-10, 07:22 PM
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41
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Old 04-21-10, 07:23 PM
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Yes!
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Old 04-21-10, 07:25 PM
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You guys sure are helpful...
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Old 04-21-10, 07:27 PM
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ask a dumb question ...
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Old 04-21-10, 07:28 PM
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Tbh it's hard to tell. Knobby tyres can have such variation in rolling resistance, there is no way of telling what type of body position you are currently in, whether the bike is set up properly for you etc. You will be faster, probably a few mph, but hard to tell.
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Old 04-21-10, 07:29 PM
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He probably didnt think it was a dumb question.


When i would use my mtb, i could avg about 12-13. when i moved to a road bike, that went up to around 17-18, but i could go 20+ sustained for a short period of time.
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Old 04-21-10, 07:36 PM
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If I had to guess you'd probably see a 4-5mph increase in average speed. There are so many factors to consider though.
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Old 04-21-10, 07:40 PM
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On flat ground and no stops, 18-20 MPH is pretty easy to sustain for a while...

Top speed will be a lot better on a road bike than a MTB though... I've done 41 MPH downhill and I don't even have drop bars. With a steep enough hill and drop/aero bars you can hit 50+.
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Old 04-21-10, 07:42 PM
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average 20 mph....all day
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Old 04-21-10, 07:50 PM
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more likely around 17-18...the power requirements to increase speed after that are alot more
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Old 04-21-10, 08:04 PM
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Your perceived speed will increase just by switching and for me.. that was more than enough.
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Old 04-21-10, 08:08 PM
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There's so many different factors for speed, no one can really tell you how much faster you'll go.
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Old 04-21-10, 08:16 PM
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Originally Posted by baribari View Post
On flat ground and no stops, 18-20 MPH is pretty easy to sustain for a while...
What's easy for you may not be easy for someone else.

Originally Posted by baribari View Post
With a steep enough hill and drop/aero bars you can hit 50+.
Oh god, I would not recommend going 50+ on aerobars.

Edit: Here is 50+ on a road bike


Last edited by umd; 04-21-10 at 08:23 PM.
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Old 04-21-10, 08:19 PM
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Originally Posted by pdedes View Post
ask a dumb question ...
Actually, it would have been a dumb question had the OP given little or no information about their current riding speed and bike type.

So, I'll disagree and say, "no, it's not a dumb question. but it is a question that has a lot of variables in the response."

Variables can include rider ability, weather (wind esp.), topography, distance of ride, road conditions etc..


But basically speed on the bicycle is influenced by several factors:



1) Aerodynamics. So the first thing is that the MTB and the road bike will position your body in different ways. The MTB is designed for a more upright, less aerodynamic position, the road bike, especially with drop bars will pitch the body forward into a more streamlined position. A large factor here is also bar width, which the more narrow bars will keep the riders elbows closer to the body, cutting down on wind resistance. If you dress in more fitted clothing, like jerseys and spandex shorts as opposed to a loose windbreaker and floppy shorts or pants you'll also reduce drag. A more aerodynamic position can gain you 1-2 mph or more under certain circumstances.

2) Rider strength/ability. No matter how light your bike, how aerodynamic your position you'll be faster the more you ride and train. An exceptionally fit rider can out distance an average rider even if the stronger rider rides a MTB and the other rides the lightest of carbon fiber road bikes. But two riders of equal ability will notice the difference in the two bikes. -- this is why some people will find your question "dumb"- because "it's not the bike it's the rider". Fit on the bike is also critical seat height, handlebar stem length etc. improves the rider's capacity for speed.

3) Rolling resistance. Higher pressure tires make for a faster ride- no doubt. Thinner tires. "Slicks" as opposed to "knobbies". Pumping any tire to it's max. pressure will increase your speed on the road. You can figure at least another 1-2 mph for higher pressure, narrow tires.

4) Bike weight/component weight. While gravity is a force we are constantly overcoming when we ride a bike the weight of the bike itself is not as significant a factor as aerodynamics, which is why some of the bikes used for land speed records weigh quite a bit. But for fast starts, sprints, breakaways and climbing having a lighter bike can make the difference between winning and losing a bike race or getting to the top of a hill faster. Components that are in motion- like wheels and cranksets are the second best place to reduce weight since that's where the effort will be put to gain momentum. First place to lose weight is weight of the rider. Unless you have a very low amount of body fat usually the rider can get down to a racing weight without losing muscle mass and strength- losing 5 lbs of body weight as opposed to reducing the weight of the bike is cheaper and more efficient most of the time. A lighter bike, components and rider will account for another 1-2 mph or more especially on a hilly course.

So at the most basic you can expect anywhere from about a 3 mph increase to 6 mph with the change in bikes if the fit is good and under the right circumstance. Meaning your 15 mile ride that you're doing at an average of 14-15 mph on your MTB you could do at around 17 mph to as much as about 21 mph on a well fitted road bike.
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Old 04-21-10, 08:22 PM
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16.3.







yep, 16,3 that's it.
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Old 04-21-10, 08:30 PM
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Originally Posted by buzzman View Post
Actually, it would have been a dumb question had the OP given little or no information about their current riding speed and bike type.

So, I'll disagree and say, "no, it's not a dumb question. but it is a question that has a lot of variables in the response."

Variables can include rider ability, weather (wind esp.), topography, distance of ride, road conditions etc..


But basically speed on the bicycle is influenced by several factors:



1) Aerodynamics. So the first thing is that the MTB and the road bike will position your body in different ways. The MTB is designed for a more upright, less aerodynamic position, the road bike, especially with drop bars will pitch the body forward into a more streamlined position. A large factor here is also bar width, which the more narrow bars will keep the riders elbows closer to the body, cutting down on wind resistance. If you dress in more fitted clothing, like jerseys and spandex shorts as opposed to a loose windbreaker and floppy shorts or pants you'll also reduce drag. A more aerodynamic position can gain you 1-2 mph or more under certain circumstances.

2) Rider strength/ability. No matter how light your bike, how aerodynamic your position you'll be faster the more you ride and train. An exceptionally fit rider can out distance an average rider even if the stronger rider rides a MTB and the other rides the lightest of carbon fiber road bikes. But two riders of equal ability will notice the difference in the two bikes. -- this is why some people will find your question "dumb"- because "it's not the bike it's the rider". Fit on the bike is also critical seat height, handlebar stem length etc. improves the rider's capacity for speed.

3) Rolling resistance. Higher pressure tires make for a faster ride- no doubt. Thinner tires. "Slicks" as opposed to "knobbies". Pumping any tire to it's max. pressure will increase your speed on the road. You can figure at least another 1-2 mph for higher pressure, narrow tires.

4) Bike weight/component weight. While gravity is a force we are constantly overcoming when we ride a bike the weight of the bike itself is not as significant a factor as aerodynamics, which is why some of the bikes used for land speed records weigh quite a bit. But for fast starts, sprints, breakaways and climbing having a lighter bike can make the difference between winning and losing a bike race or getting to the top of a hill faster. Components that are in motion- like wheels and cranksets are the second best place to reduce weight since that's where the effort will be put to gain momentum. First place to lose weight is weight of the rider. Unless you have a very low amount of body fat usually the rider can get down to a racing weight without losing muscle mass and strength- losing 5 lbs of body weight as opposed to reducing the weight of the bike is cheaper and more efficient most of the time. A lighter bike, components and rider will account for another 1-2 mph or more especially on a hilly course.

So at the most basic you can expect anywhere from about a 3 mph increase to 6 mph with the change in bikes if the fit is good and under the right circumstance. Meaning your 15 mile ride that you're doing at an average of 14-15 mph on your MTB you could do at around 17 mph to as much as about 21 mph on a well fitted road bike.
Wow, thank you for the wonderful response It seems the general consensus on this thread is I'd get an average of about 17-18 MPH on a road bike. That seems acceptable to me and I'd only assume it would get higher as I train more.
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Old 04-21-10, 08:32 PM
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Lots of people do long rides on crappy MTBs. Put some slicks on for starters.

For numbers:
http://bikecalculator.com/veloUS.html
or
http://www.noping.net/english/
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Old 04-21-10, 08:35 PM
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Originally Posted by cdiutpyriyuai View Post
Wow, thank you for the wonderful response It seems the general consensus on this thread is I'd get an average of about 17-18 MPH on a road bike. That seems acceptable to me and I'd only assume it would get higher as I train more.
17-18 mph "Average" speed? Probably not. Cruising speed in the flats with minimal wind? Yeah, sure. The whole "average speed" thing is a can of worms you don't wanna open.
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Old 04-21-10, 08:35 PM
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Originally Posted by cdiutpyriyuai View Post
Wow, thank you for the wonderful response It seems the general consensus on this thread is I'd get an average of about 17-18 MPH on a road bike. That seems acceptable to me and I'd only assume it would get higher as I train more.
Yup
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Old 04-21-10, 09:11 PM
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Originally Posted by umd View Post
What's easy for you may not be easy for someone else.



Oh god, I would not recommend going 50+ on aerobars.

Edit: Here is 50+ on a road bike

I imagine that feels a lot faster in real life, since 40 is a little scary to begin with.

Also, I've only been biking for a few months so I figure 18 MPH shouldn't be too hard for most people... especially since I'm on a $300 Schwinn flat-bar bike.

Also, that HUD in the video with the wattage, heart-rate and speedo is really, really neat.
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Old 04-21-10, 09:27 PM
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Originally Posted by umd View Post
Oh god, I would not recommend going 50+ on aerobars.
Oh man, this had me laughing so damn hard. I wouldn't even recommend 20+ on aerobars I hate aerobars, even while TT'ing I hate aerobars, always have hated them.

umd, on that descent, did that water freak you out a little bit? I just recently went down the hill leaving my house hitting 50MPH, and come across water just like that. I felt a bit of a hydroplane happen, and something puckered up coal-to-diamond style.

Last edited by nixternal; 04-21-10 at 09:30 PM.
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Old 04-21-10, 09:32 PM
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My speed on a MTB with center rib, MTB tires ( used for street or single track) on a gravel MUP is 13-14 MPH over a 12 mile course. On a road bike I typically ride with a "B" group, average speed 18-19 MPH over 50 miles.
Hope that helps.
BTW, why not buy some street tires for the MTB to give you some speed right now.
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Old 04-21-10, 09:32 PM
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throw the narrowest slicks allowed on your mountain bike wheels and the difference will be enormous.. the speed difference when you switch to 700c from 26" mtb wheels is only about 4 to 6 percent increased efficiency based on wheel size alone, according to frame builder Santana who did some research. but yah, knobbies are horrible on pavement. just make your mountain bike more efficient, and school roadies on it, it will make you feel good about yourself, and hopefully make them question their expensive plastic bike purchases, lol.
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Old 04-21-10, 09:33 PM
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Originally Posted by nixternal View Post
umd, on that descent, did that water freak you out a little bit? I just recently went down the hill leaving my house hitting 50MPH, and come across water just like that. I felt a bit of a hydroplane happen, and something puckered up coal-to-diamond style.
Nah, the water was fine. You can't hydroplane a bike. Just don't turn.
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