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# Average speed - cruising (the definitive answer!)

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Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

# Average speed - cruising (the definitive answer!)

05-22-12, 08:50 PM
#1
lazerzxr
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Average speed - cruising (the definitive answer!)

After all the average speed threads I thought I’d do a test to answer the most important and exciting BF question of all time “what’s your average cruising speed?”
Firstly, I need to set the scene and define a few things:
• Cruising power was defined in a previous thread as an IF of 0.8. Therefore I aimed for an effort that would produce IF = 0.8.
• That’s fine for those with power meters but what does it mean? I decided (I’m doing the test I can decide what I like) that you should be able to maintain cruising speed for a BF average ride time of a few hours – so I rode for a few hours – repeatable without a PM.
• I recoded HR as most people can do this - it shows it was a maintainable effort for a “cruising” time period. Again, repeatable without a PM. Obviously your numbers will be different and obviously I don’t give a s\$!t what your numbers are. The HR trace is simply proof that this was a maintainable and comfortable effort for those without a PM. Yes there is some interference from overhead power lines near the start – I don’t care, I was in town.
• Cruising (by definition) does not include the warm up / cool down therefore I recorded these as separate files and excluded them.
• Cruising speed is relative to terrain, so I rode a basically flat course. It is also relative to conditions so I did it on a calm ish night and I did an out and back route to even out wind effects. The Garmin elevation is way off but I assure you it was flat – along the sea front, town is 50m higher than the sea front.
• My route had an average number of stop lights/junctions. It started by going through town and ended back near town.
• I consider myself an averagely strong rider. My power profile shows my FTP as mid Cat 3 and upper Cat 3 for 5 min. It’s enough gogo to enjoy riding – it won’t win me much/anything.
• I did it on my average Synapse carbon 5 105 set up to position me averagely aero. It has bog standard everything except a non aero powertap training wheel. I could have used my Colnago but that would have caused you BF muppets to get all excited about me doing it on a “faster bike” so I saved myself the effort of having to read your effin silly ideas about bike speed.
• I did it after an average day at work on an average week night and finished averagely tired.
• I can’t think of any way to make this more average! I put the emphasis on cruising, maintaining a constant RPM and power with no hard efforts, rests or anything other than just cruising. Speed wandered according to conditions. Any peaks in the graph are due to stop lights/junctions. I was in the drops for the bulk of the test.

So I now have a definitive answer – I know what the cruising speed of an averagely trained, average cyclist on an average bike riding in average conditions on an averagely flat course actually is

I’m just debating whether to post up the graph of this utterly stupid and pointless test or just leave you all to flame my method of testing for a few pages before deciding to save myself the effort.
05-22-12, 08:58 PM
#2
Shimagnolo
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Is this average cyclist laden, or unladen?
05-22-12, 09:03 PM
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Silvercivic27
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Principal: Mr. Madison, what you've just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.
Billy Madison: Okay, a simple "wrong" would've done just fine.
05-22-12, 09:07 PM
#4
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Originally Posted by lazerzxr
After all the average speed threads I thought I’d do a test to answer the most important and exciting BF question of all time “what’s your average cruising speed?”
Firstly, I need to set the scene and define a few things:
• Cruising power was defined in a previous thread as an IF of 0.8. Therefore I aimed for an effort that would produce IF = 0.8.
• That’s fine for those with power meters but what does it mean? I decided (I’m doing the test I can decide what I like) that you should be able to maintain cruising speed for a BF average ride time of a few hours – so I rode for a few hours – repeatable without a PM.
• I recoded HR as most people can do this - it shows it was a maintainable effort for a “cruising” time period. Again, repeatable without a PM. Obviously your numbers will be different and obviously I don’t give a s\$!t what your numbers are. The HR trace is simply proof that this was a maintainable and comfortable effort for those without a PM. Yes there is some interference from overhead power lines near the start – I don’t care, I was in town.
• Cruising (by definition) does not include the warm up / cool down therefore I recorded these as separate files and excluded them.
• Cruising speed is relative to terrain, so I rode a basically flat course. It is also relative to conditions so I did it on a calm ish night and I did an out and back route to even out wind effects. The Garmin elevation is way off but I assure you it was flat – along the sea front, town is 50m higher than the sea front.
• My route had an average number of stop lights/junctions. It started by going through town and ended back near town.
• I consider myself an averagely strong rider. My power profile shows my FTP as mid Cat 3 and upper Cat 3 for 5 min. It’s enough gogo to enjoy riding – it won’t win me much/anything.
• I did it on my average Synapse carbon 5 105 set up to position me averagely aero. It has bog standard everything except a non aero powertap training wheel. I could have used my Colnago but that would have caused you BF muppets to get all excited about me doing it on a “faster bike” so I saved myself the effort of having to read your effin silly ideas about bike speed.
• I did it after an average day at work on an average week night and finished averagely tired.
• I can’t think of any way to make this more average! I put the emphasis on cruising, maintaining a constant RPM and power with no hard efforts, rests or anything other than just cruising. Speed wandered according to conditions. Any peaks in the graph are due to stop lights/junctions. I was in the drops for the bulk of the test.

So I now have a definitive answer – I know what the cruising speed of an averagely trained, average cyclist on an average bike riding in average conditions on an averagely flat course actually is

I’m just debating whether to post up the graph of this utterly stupid and pointless test or just leave you all to flame my method of testing for a few pages before deciding to save myself the effort.
No.
05-22-12, 09:15 PM
#5
fishymamba
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Originally Posted by Silvercivic27
Principal: Mr. Madison, what you've just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.
Billy Madison: Okay, a simple "wrong" would've done just fine.
05-22-12, 09:21 PM
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cruising speed...define it by being able to hold a normal conversation without having to stop to breathe...
05-22-12, 09:30 PM
#7
jeepseahawk
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So what is it? I need to subtract 5 mph to get a real BF average. I just want to compare my average to yours.
05-22-12, 09:39 PM
#8
lazerzxr
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Since the average BF member spends \$\$\$\$ reducing bike weight by 1/8 lb I assumed (and rode) unladen, thanks for the extra variable
05-22-12, 09:39 PM
#9
lazerzxr
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Originally Posted by fishymamba
Love it, made my day
05-22-12, 09:42 PM
#10
lazerzxr
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Originally Posted by DropDeadFred
cruising speed...define it by being able to hold a normal conversation without having to stop to breathe...
You clearly haven't been paying attention, this has been flamed previously for not being accurate enough to define what is essentially a pointless metric. I could breathe normally except for when I dont for example, and there is no recordable proof of how I breathe either.

Get with it
05-22-12, 09:45 PM
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Originally Posted by lazerzxr
You clearly haven't been paying attention, this has been flamed previously for not being accurate enough to define what is essentially a pointless metric. I could breathe normally except for when I dont for example, and there is no recordable proof of how I breathe either.

Get with it
05-22-12, 10:05 PM
#12
lazerzxr
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Originally Posted by DropDeadFred

Thanks I will, these are afterall extremely important and exclusive values.
05-22-12, 10:13 PM
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Originally Posted by lazerzxr
Thanks I will, these are afterall extremely important and exclusive values.
I think you put way too much time into figuring out what speed you cruise at. it's simple...go out and cruise...then look down at your computer and see what speed you are at. /thread
05-22-12, 10:18 PM
#14
lazerzxr
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Originally Posted by DropDeadFred
I think you put way too much time into figuring out what speed you cruise at. it's simple...go out and cruise...then look down at your computer and see what speed you are at. /thread
I agree. But you're missing the point.
05-22-12, 10:19 PM
#15
lazerzxr
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Originally Posted by jeepseahawk
So what is it? I need to subtract 5 mph to get a real BF average. I just want to compare my average to yours.
Thats the spirit
05-23-12, 05:16 AM
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Personally, I think the use of "average speed" as a performance metric is a red herring; a snark, because it is so variable with wind conditions.

A constant-power cruise can vary in speed over 10 km/h depending on which way and how strong the wind is blowing.

DG
05-23-12, 05:29 AM
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Silvercivic27
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Originally Posted by RecceDG
Personally, I think the use of "average speed" as a performance metric is a red herring; a snark, because it is so variable with wind conditions.

A constant-power cruise can vary in speed over 10 km/h depending on which way and how strong the wind is blowing.

DG
Me too, that's why I use the Strava "suffer score".
05-23-12, 06:59 AM
#18
lazerzxr
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Originally Posted by RecceDG
Personally, I think the use of "average speed" as a performance metric is a red herring; a snark, because it is so variable with wind conditions.

A constant-power cruise can vary in speed over 10 km/h depending on which way and how strong the wind is blowing.

DG
I agree, thats why I rode an out and back route holding a constant cruise POWER. The wind was light anyway and the route means whatever assistance it gave was taken away again as it would be for any other cyclist. Since i was guided by power, the average speed just took care of its self with all conditions accounted for.

I never stated average speed was actually a valid metric - it's utter BS in fact, but this is BF and this stuff is important, thats why it keeps coming up
05-23-12, 08:27 AM
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merlinextraligh
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Originally Posted by Shimagnolo
Is this average cyclist laden, or unladen?
African or European?
__________________
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05-23-12, 10:05 AM
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HokuLoa
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Originally Posted by Shimagnolo
Is this average cyclist laden, or unladen?
Originally Posted by merlinextraligh
African or European?
Thank you both. I needed that laugh...
05-23-12, 10:08 AM
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average speed is easy, its 1mph faster than the poster before me
05-23-12, 10:26 AM
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Top speed - the only metric to care about.
05-23-12, 11:10 AM
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ColorChange
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No matter how much data you provide some will always find problems.
05-23-12, 01:36 PM
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Tl;Dr
05-23-12, 05:17 PM
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lazerzxr
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Originally Posted by ColorChange
No matter how much data you provide some will always find problems.
True, my data is full of problems. Anyway out of all the average speed threads, I have never come across anyone who has posted a reasonable test of average speed over an entire average ride. Since the metric is BS anyway, I dont miond doing it - and it just happened to be good training.