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How fast do you cruise?

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How fast do you cruise?

Old 05-07-12, 12:01 PM
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bonbonbaron
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How fast do you cruise?

I bought my first, cheap road bike for $70 out of some guy's backyard a few months ago. It's made out of 1010 mild steel and feels about as heavy as my old mountain bike, if not heavier!

Two days ago I tested out my max speed: 26mph. A little disappointed, hoping for at least 30 on a road bike! I cruise comfortably at about 15mph.

I want to be able to comfortably cruise a little over 20mph, which requires a little higher max speed, huh? So,

1) How fast can you guys sprint?
2) What speed do you cruise at? and
3) How heavy are your bikes?

Thanks! -Michael
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Old 05-07-12, 12:03 PM
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If you want to hit 30 mph, find a big hill, climb it, and then enjoy your reward.
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Old 05-07-12, 12:08 PM
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Originally Posted by bonbonbaron View Post
Two days ago I tested out my max speed: 26mph. A little disappointed, hoping for at least 30 on a road bike! I cruise comfortably at about 15mph.

I want to be able to comfortably cruise a little over 20mph, which requires a little higher max speed, huh?
No. But it does require over twice as much power to go from 15 to 20mph. On level ground your speed is not affected much by the weight of your bike so you can toss that excuse. More likely, you need to improve your position and become more aerodynamic.
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Old 05-07-12, 12:11 PM
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1) I'm not really sure.
2) I cruise at 12.5mph. No more, no less.
3) I currently have 2 roadies @ approx 22 lbs, one MTB @ 24, one MTB at 25, one touring rig at 26 and one tank bike at 50-60 lbs. I try to keep them listed in my sig in order of lightest to heaviest.
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Old 05-07-12, 12:16 PM
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As a relatively new rider, I'm amazed at how much harder it is to spend significant time at 20mph vs 15mph - especially if you throw a bit of a road grade into the equation.

Last edited by bikerjp; 05-07-12 at 12:32 PM. Reason: brain fart
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Old 05-07-12, 12:18 PM
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Originally Posted by bikerjp View Post
As a relatively new rider, I'm amazed at how much harder it is to spend significant time at 20mph vs 15mph - especially if you through a bit of a road grade into the equation.
the word you are looking for is "throw"...

to the OP:
1) I sprint slow
2) I cruse at low speed
3) My bike is heavy.
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Old 05-07-12, 12:20 PM
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Originally Posted by bikerjp View Post
As a relatively new rider, I'm amazed at how much harder it is to spend significant time at 20mph vs 15mph - especially if you through a bit of a road grade into the equation.
Wait until it gets to 23, 24 mph, the wind resistance is quite substantial.
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Old 05-07-12, 12:34 PM
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[QUOTE=MikeyBoyAz;14191737]the word you are looking for is "throw"...

Oops. Pobody's nerfect.
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Old 05-07-12, 12:37 PM
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Originally Posted by hyhuu View Post
Wait until it gets to 23, 24 mph, the wind resistance is quite substantial.
I was just about to mention winds

For any riding in hills, I have to seek them out. But I can get in some decent flat riding right from home. In the morning, winds usually come from the east, but shift to west in the afternoon.

I've cruised some stretches at 22-24mph with a tailwind, and struggled to hold 15-17 on the same stretch going into a headwind.
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Old 05-07-12, 12:38 PM
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I cruise at 14-16 mph, my average at the end of a ride is usually around 13, maybe up to 13.5 if I've had a strong ride. A year ago my normal cruising speed was 12-13. The mileage has come easier than the speed has.
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Old 05-07-12, 12:40 PM
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about 20 knots

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Old 05-07-12, 12:43 PM
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Originally Posted by merlinextraligh View Post
about 20 knots

Ohh common. It can cruise faster than that. The passengers might not like it though.
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Old 05-07-12, 12:47 PM
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around 17mph solo
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Old 05-07-12, 12:49 PM
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Originally Posted by hyhuu View Post
Ohh common. It can cruise faster than that. The passengers might not like it though.
20 kt = 23 mph. That's surprisingly fast for most boats. For perspective, the speed limit in most of Seattle's waters is 7 knots.
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Old 05-07-12, 12:50 PM
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Yesterday I did 64 miles at 13.7 mph. I think my bike is maybe 23lbs? Not sure what my sprint is.
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Old 05-07-12, 01:02 PM
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Originally Posted by hyhuu View Post
Ohh common. It can cruise faster than that. The passengers might not like it though.
claimed 22 knot cruising speed with 73,000 ton weight. It puts out a few watts.
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Old 05-07-12, 01:07 PM
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Actually a sprint speed of 26 mph is not unexpected for a new cyclist, or even a decent recreational cyclist that doesn't trian, and doesn't specifically train sprints.

Doing sprint workouts, alone, flat ground, not wind aided, I'm typically in the low 30's. I've won sprints in Cat 4 races in the low 30's.

All depends on the situation. Fastest I've ever sprinted was 46mph ( big group, downhill run up to a very slightly uphill finish, awesome leadout, and that was only good for 3rd)
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Old 05-07-12, 01:19 PM
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I got faster by doing intervals and riding with people faster than me. I'm still not that fast but I found it much more effective than just going out and trying to go a little faster each ride.

I'm not sure how to answer the cruising question because it depends hugely on wind, elevation, traffic. My average speed on endomondo is 14.5 mph.
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Old 05-07-12, 01:28 PM
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Originally Posted by merlinextraligh View Post
about 20 knots
I can't go that fast anymore.

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Old 05-07-12, 01:42 PM
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Bike weight has almost nothing to do with flat-land speed. Aerodynamics rule on the flats. Fully-faired bikes aren't light, but a strong rider can easily cruise at a much faster speed (assuming flat ground) on a fully-faired bike than is possible on a traditional bike.

On an actual flat road, I can cruise at 18mph or so (solo) and still carry on a conversation. Sprinting? I've never bothered trying to train sprints, but I can usually hit 29, 30mph when I bother trying.
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Old 05-07-12, 01:56 PM
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What kind of tires and pressure? Skinny, high pressure tires seem to make more difference to me than frame weight once you're rolling on the flat. Any mechanical problems with bearings, including bottom bracket? Wheels true? An old $70 bike might be a real mess mechanically.

I just started riding flat terrain after living in mountains for a few years. I'm amazed that I can cruise at 20 sustained in still air, and can ride 80 miles in five hours of saddle time (not counting two short breaks). In hills, my typical best average is less than 15 and cruising doesn't apply.
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Old 05-07-12, 02:02 PM
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Originally Posted by merlinextraligh View Post
Actually a sprint speed of 26 mph is not unexpected for a new cyclist, or even a decent recreational cyclist that doesn't trian, and doesn't specifically train sprints.

Doing sprint workouts, alone, flat ground, not wind aided, I'm typically in the low 30's. I've won sprints in Cat 4 races in the low 30's.

All depends on the situation. Fastest I've ever sprinted was 46mph ( big group, downhill run up to a very slightly uphill finish, awesome leadout, and that was only good for 3rd)
+1
26mph is pretty good for the average guy starting out. A decent cyclist can hit 30 mph in a sprint...about all I am good for...sprinting not my forte...but honestly, I sprint against a lot of guys who are pretty good cyclists and they aren't any faster really...or much and I can pull some.
A high Cat guy can get into the low 30's generally as Merle stated.
I was riding solo yesterday and amped up the pace to 27mph and I had a bit to go without trying too hard and it was only 60 degrees. Temperature matters a fair amount. OP...I am a pretty average decent recreational cyclist and cruise all the time in the 17-20 mph zone solo...can sustain 20 mph for a few miles with no wind against. Yesterday I rode about 22-23 for the last 5 miles of my 30 mile ride and passed another guy who may have been a stronger rider than me but he didn't want to keep up.
The bike matters some...technique aka position, cadence etc matters and of course your fitness. Pretty early in the season yet.

Below is a general correlation between watts and road bike speed:
14 mph = 130 watts
15 mph = 145 watts
16 mph = 160 watts
17 mph = 185 watts
18 mph = 210 watts
19 mph = 235 watts
20 mph = 265 watts
21 mph = 295 watts
28 mph = 600 watts
30 mph = 700 watts

Since 1 hp = 746 watts, if you can push 30mph on a road bike you are doing pretty well as most of us aren't horses.

A couple notable things come to mind about these figures.
I read that Lance in his prime...probably still can...sustain 500 watts for 30 minutes. That is pretty freaky good if anybody has tried it. Its hard to do for 5 minutes.

The other thing that is hard to fathom is Thor or Boonen's sprinting power...approaching 2000 watts which isn't far from 3 horsepower. Both put into perspective the difference between somebody who rides a bike for recreation versus somebody who does it for a living.

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Old 05-07-12, 02:10 PM
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Living in a flatland state, the only resistance I have is a good headwind and we get pretty good headwinds on a daily basis. If my wife rides with me, we average 10 mph. On my 30 mile, daily solo rides, I can maintain 17-19 mph riding on aerobars. Depending on how strong the headwinds are, I've gone as low as 13 mph and had to struggle to get that. During intervals, my sprints have gone up to 24 mph and the fastest I have gone while drafting is 28. That's probably slow for some of you, but I'm 65.
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Old 05-07-12, 02:24 PM
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When I started a couple years ago, I found cruising at 17mph on flats to be comfortable and I couldn't hit more than about 26 mph when I'd try to sprint. Now, with "only" ~10,000 miles of riding in my legs, I cruise comfortably at 20-21 on flats and no wind and my moderately hilly rides of around 30-40 miles average 18-19mph when I ride alone. For sprinting, I found out that holding the drops instead of the hoods and keeping my head down towards the stem in a sprint has allowed me to get to 32+ on a flat before my legs blow up.
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Old 05-07-12, 02:38 PM
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I know you're getting razzed but here are honest answers, assuming flat and no wind.

1. Sprint: mid to upper 30's for a very short time, my sprint sucks.
2. Cruise: 21-23 mph for up to about 2 hours.
3. Weight: about 15 lbs.

When I started I was about 12 mph. Then I was happy when I regularly cruised at 15 mph after a few months of riding. Now, 5 years later, my average speed doesn't really climb anymore as going from 22 mph to 25 mph is a big difference for a significant time (1 hour +).
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