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Sorry if it's been asked a million times

Old 04-09-15, 02:23 PM
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Sorry if it's been asked a million times

Hi all.

Just wondering, I have a specialized tricross which is set up for touring, I'm only averaging around 12-13mph over 20 miles of road riding (this seems very slow) considering although I'm new in the saddle I am very fit in general.

I am just curious as to what may be showing me down?

Would it be my crankset (don't know what my set up is as it's new and I know nothing about how to find that out) could it be my positioning or something else?

Or alternatively could it be me just getting used to riding?

I did a 5 mile ride earlier on roads up and down hills and averaged 15mph a friend of mine is averaging 17-18mph over 20 miles on a road bike is there real that much difference?

Sorry for all the noob questions
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Old 04-09-15, 02:43 PM
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Maybe ask on the Training & Nutrition subforum! I average 10 mph ... I've been riding about 3000 miles a year the last four years, since I got back into biking. Maybe now I average 10.2 mph or something.

The route makes a huge difference. I go uphill at about 3 mph, downhill at about 30 mph, and on the level at maybe 13 mph. Only compare speeds against somebody else if you're on the same route. Also the wind can make a big difference.

On a hilly route, probably it's your pace going uphill that will make the biggest difference to your average speed. The average speed is total distance divided by total time. The total time is divided between up hill, level, and down hill. Or you can get fancier and split the grades up into ranges. But it takes a lot longer to go up a hill than to come back down! So if you want to shave off 30 seconds, the climbing time is the obvious place to start.

I have no idea how people ride 17 mph average speed! But anyway a lot of it has to be pacing. That comes with experience.

But yeah when you are getting into the 17 mph zone, cutting weight can help for the up hill parts, and aerodynamics can help for going down.

Your 17 mph friend is riding solo? Riding in a pace line is *much* faster!
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Old 04-09-15, 02:47 PM
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Maybe ride with your friend, and see what happens?
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Old 04-09-15, 02:48 PM
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Apparently riding solo, altho I do know he rides with other people so could have been a bit of a porky when he said he averages that on a normal ride.

I'm up to standard on my nutrition (I'm a pro boxer) my weight to power ratio is pretty off atm as I'm walking around heavier than I should be so that will make a difference.

So touring at around 12mph is not too bad then?
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Old 04-09-15, 02:49 PM
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This would be a good idea, imagine if he was lying 😂
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Old 04-09-15, 02:53 PM
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Fully loaded, no, about average.

I ride a road bike in the low to mid 20's on group rides, 19-22 solo, average 15'ish w/hills and I typically plan on 10 mph average while touring with a load, including lunch and the odd break here or there.

Riding position makes a big difference as does tire pressure as does bike maintenance. If you feel like something is holding you back, not to be captain obvious, but check brake pads contacting rim and wheel/bb bearings. Bearings can creep up slowly and create a ton of drag.
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Old 04-09-15, 02:56 PM
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Be patient with yourself, it takes time to bring your capacity up and comparing to others is mostly a waste of time. I've only been riding for going on to 3 years, will be 65 next month and am still seeing improvements with no desire to race, just increase my fitness level and have fun.Started with a heavy hybrid, felt like you around the same speeds for the distance and quickly moved to a mid entry level road bike, around 21#. There's no doubt there was an immediate improvement in speed and physical capacity but it wasn't huge by any means. The road bike has given me so much enjoyment and I can now avg 16-17mph on the same 20m ride. I got a touring bike about a year and a half ago which weighs close to 30 with rack and bomber wheels and I am slower, no doubt, maybe 2mph slower for the same ride. For some reason though I don't push myself when on the touring bike like on my road bike so that's clearly a factor as I see it. Your Tricross likely has bigger tires with maybe some tooth to the tread and that could slow you a little, as does my tourer, a Salsa Vaya.I doubt your crankset has anything to do with it but your position sure could. There's no substitute for time on the saddle though and if improving your output is important as it seems to be for most of us, there's different approaches for maximizing your training depending on your goals.
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Old 04-09-15, 03:01 PM
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Someplace I read Joel Friel talking about weight and climbing. He was talking pounds per inch. I'm like 5'11" and maybe 182 lb or so, make 2.56 lb per inch. I forget exactly but I think he said above about 2.1, forget it. My memory is that I need to get down to maybe 145 or less if I want to really race competitively on the hills. Ha! I have no interest in racing in the least! Still, my overall health would probably be a lot better if I could at least get below 155. I pulled it off about ten years ago.

If you are a boxer, you must have good upper body strength. Sorry, but you will never be a really good bike racer. That muscle up there just slows you down!
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Old 04-09-15, 03:18 PM
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Originally Posted by iftkwoody
Hi all.

Just wondering, I have a specialized tricross which is set up for touring, I'm only averaging around 12-13mph over 20 miles of road riding (this seems very slow) considering although I'm new in the saddle I am very fit in general.

I am just curious as to what may be showing me down? ....
Odds are that nothing is slowing you down. It's just that nothing is speeding you up enough.

In other words you need to work on your engine. One of the fastest to gain power is to ride hills, or you can push yourself moving to a bigger gear (your cadence is already high enough) and consciously ride 2-5 mph faster until you feel the burn. Then recover and repeat.

IME, besides putting in the miles and consciously training, the best way to improve is to ride with people slightly better --- faster for longer. Slightly better is the key. Too big a difference and you'll get frustrated, or they will, but someone slightly better will motivate you to keep up and work beyond yourself. When I was younger, I had the ultimate training partner, who was faster on the flats and would pull me along until I'd fall off, then tease me by keeping the gap small enough that I could close it up with a surge, at which he'd slowly stretch it out. He could do this for 100 miles, breaking it up with stretches where we'd ride together as if we were matched.

Besides the engine, there may be things slowing you down. One is the tires which IMO make a bigger difference than anything except actually dragging a brake. Make sure the pressure us where it needs to be, which is the maximum possible, but short of where you get chatter or handling issues on curves. I can't give you a magic number here, because it varies with the width, your weight and the pavement. But feel free to experiment up to 20% above the max rating. When you feel handling has worsened, go back to the last good pressure. If you'15-20% above the tire rating, consider a wider tire, at least for the rear next time you buy tires.
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Old 04-09-15, 03:45 PM
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Before the invention of the electronic speedometer one was never aware of going 3, 13, 15, 17 or 18mph. Unless you're competing these are just arbitrary numbers of forward motion. 5,280' with a multiplier. I still don't use a bike computer. Speed has become an obsession with riders ever since their advent. When I'm climbing a hill I don't care if I'm going 2, 3, 4 or 5mph. On the flats anywhere between 8 and 25 mph is fine. Downhill I ride the speed of gravity, coasting. You do not need a silly number on a screen to make yourself feel inadequate. Just throw away the speedometer, ride and enjoy!

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Old 04-09-15, 04:08 PM
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Originally Posted by BobG
Before the invention of the electronic speedometer one was never aware of going 3, 13, 15, 17 or 18mph. .... On the flats anywhere between 8 and 25 mph is fine. ..... Just throw away the speedometer, ride and enjoy!
I never used any kind of speedometer, and still don't use a computer when touring, but that doesn't mean I don't have a sense of speed. If I start out in one place, and end in another 100 miles away and it took me 8 hours, that was 13mph.

While current speed isn't useful, having a sense of your average speed is. It allows you to plan your day, especially if there are deadlines like a ferry or train you need to catch. It can also tell you if you have time to push on to the next town, when evening is coming on.

With experience, most riders get a decent sense of they're pace or average speed, and with more experience can predict how long a day's ride will take, based on the expected terrain. This isn't an exact science, but a basis for being realistic in planning the day's ride, or knowing roughly how long a trip will take (in days, not hours).

In a way biycle toruing is like sailing, and as Captain Hans used to say, "sailors don't wear watches, we use calendars".
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Old 04-09-15, 04:12 PM
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Originally Posted by iftkwoody
Hi all.

Just wondering, I have a specialized tricross which is set up for touring, I'm only averaging around 12-13mph over 20 miles of road riding (this seems very slow) considering although I'm new in the saddle I am very fit in general.

I am just curious as to what may be showing me down?

Would it be my crankset (don't know what my set up is as it's new and I know nothing about how to find that out) could it be my positioning or something else?

Or alternatively could it be me just getting used to riding?

I did a 5 mile ride earlier on roads up and down hills and averaged 15mph a friend of mine is averaging 17-18mph over 20 miles on a road bike is there real that much difference?

Sorry for all the noob questions
Averages
Do you have a bike computer, or do you calculate average speed from distance / total time? Most bike computers are set to ignore stopping time, and only average in the moving time.

Stop signs and stop lights in city traffic will really lower your average. The slowing and accelerating can drop 2 or 3 mph off your average, compared to a ride with few stops.

Hills also lower your average. You can't make it back on the downhills. A 15 average on a hilly ride isn't bad at all.

( For example, 2 miles on the flats at 18 mph takes 400 seconds. But 1 mile uphill at 10 mph is already 360 seconds, and a 1 mile, fast 40 mph downhill is 90 more seconds, or 450 seconds total. And lots of climbs are way slower than 10 mph, so they are even worse. )

Road bike
Does your cross bike have slicks? A knobby cyclocross tire will be slower. A smooth 25c tire will be maybe 1 mph faster than a 32c knobby. So, some difference, but not huge.

Otherwise, a cross bike should be close in speed to a regular road bike. The road bike might be a little lighter, and might have lighter wheels. But the weight difference will just be in the tens of seconds per mile on climbs, and almost no difference on flats.

Fit, but new to bike riding
For these rides over an hour, you body will adapt to be more efficient at producing a steady power output over that long period. It's different than the demands of boxing, for instance.

I'm terrible and slow at running, but I can ride all day. I think riding uses different muscles that take time to get in shape.

New riders tend to be in a too-hard gear. They are pushing hard at a lower cadence, instead of spinning easy at a higher cadence. On a flat road, count your right pedal strokes for 20 seconds, and multiply by 3. A good cadence target is around 90 rpm, but even 80 is often reasonable. If you are closer to 60, one pedal revolution per second, that's low.

If you typically ride at a low cadence, try shifting one easier gear than you normally would use.

Group rides
It's way easier for me to maintain a faster pace in a group. On faster rides, I save 20-30% of my energy by staying in the draft behind a few other riders. So it's motivation to not slack off and open up a gap. On my own, I tend to relax the pace more often.


Aero
Riding upright with hands on top of the bars near the stem can be a couple mph slower than riding down in the drops. It's difficult for many riders to stay in the drops very long, though. But riding in the drops isn't hard if the bike is set correctly. Many riders don't have a good setup, with reaching too far to the bars, and the bars set too low.

Last edited by rm -rf; 04-09-15 at 04:31 PM.
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Old 04-09-15, 04:20 PM
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I toured at a Que Sera Pace The point was never to rush through It .. It may be your Only chance to see things along the way.



I beg to differ.. Sailors Use Watches , It as a reliable time piece was a Great advance to Marine Navigation,

You/they set them at Noon GMT IE 12:00 at the Greenwich Observatory Prime Meridian time.

and then at Noon Local Time, you look at your watch and that tells You the Longitude you are..



But in the middle of the Ocean You cannot just stop and ask some one like You can on A Bicycle.
Stop in a Pub and have a Pint with the Locals

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Old 04-09-15, 07:41 PM
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Originally Posted by iftkwoody
Hi all.

Just wondering, I have a specialized tricross which is set up for touring, I'm only averaging around 12-13mph over 20 miles of road riding (this seems very slow) considering although I'm new in the saddle I am very fit in general.

I am just curious as to what may be showing me down?

Would it be my crankset (don't know what my set up is as it's new and I know nothing about how to find that out) could it be my positioning or something else?

Or alternatively could it be me just getting used to riding?

I did a 5 mile ride earlier on roads up and down hills and averaged 15mph a friend of mine is averaging 17-18mph over 20 miles on a road bike is there real that much difference?

Sorry for all the noob questions
Nothing is slowing you down but it's not clear why you're posting on the touring forum and not road racing forum. Being very fit "in general" and "new in the saddle" is a clear indication that technique is the issue and not crankset, mechanics or fitness. Learn to spin at higher rpms.
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Old 04-09-15, 10:10 PM
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I hope you realise this is the touring section and not to be confused with the Tour De France section of the forum.
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Old 04-09-15, 11:33 PM
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I posted here to see if my averages were OK for touring, I am planning on joining up with a few friends to go on a 10 day tour and don't want to get left behind. although I do like the idea of being the fastest man in two wheels it's not what I'm after. Just want to make sure I'm in a good position to keep up.
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Old 04-10-15, 09:17 AM
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Ditch the speedometer. Your bike will be a tiny bit lighter, you'll go a tiny bit faster. Better yet, you won't care.
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Old 04-10-15, 12:30 PM
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Originally Posted by FBinNY
...I don't have a sense of speed. If I start out in one place, and end in another 100 miles away and it took me 10 hours, that was 13mph.
yeah, you can be a touring cyclist or a mathematician, but not at the same time.......dang metric system!
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Old 04-10-15, 12:34 PM
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Originally Posted by saddlesores
yeah, you can be a touring cyclist or a mathematician, but not at the same time.......dang metric system!
Or you can type one thing while thinking another. I meant to say 7 hours, then was thinking or 10 hours with a 3 hour stopover, then screwed up on the edit.
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Old 04-10-15, 12:46 PM
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Originally Posted by FBinNY
...I meant to.....screwed up....
oh.....i thought it was on purpose, to show that time really doesn't matter
when you're touring, to forget about the dang clock and schedule, and
just to enjoy the ride.
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Old 04-10-15, 01:03 PM
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Originally Posted by saddlesores
oh.....i thought it was on purpose, to show that time really doesn't matter
when you're touring, to forget about the dang clock and schedule, and
just to enjoy the ride.
Might have been subconscious. But as I posted, I don't use a speedometer or watch the clock, but I do have an overall sense of time and distance, and use it for the big picture -- will I get to a place to stop for the night at a reasonable hour, or when do I have to start out to catch a ferry. Other than things that impose deadline, I don't make set plans or impose deadlines on myself.

Based on my average speed I plan riding days with destinations that I can reach by 3-4PM, or earlier, leaving me time to hang out if I find something interesting. My touring rule is pretty simple --- know roughly how fast you can ride, and plan on no more than 7 hours riding time unless there's a reason to spend more time in the saddle. If you're actually riding more than 7 hours per day, you don't much have time to do anything along the way, in which case you might as well ride locally.

I also try to plan overnights around local attractions, doing most of the riding first, so I'm can relax knowing I'm within of where I'm planning to spend the night.
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Old 04-10-15, 01:34 PM
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I find that "hurrying" on my bicycle just doesn't work. I'm already riding aggressively. If I were to try and speed up significantly to make up for delays, I'm quite likely to actually go slower. And not have much fun. That leads to "now why am I doing this??"

In practice that means I try to make careful decisions before I leave, allowing some pad and considering risks if schedule is important. But once I leave I quit thinking about my schedule much. I can no longer leave earlier so what's the point? Time to just enjoy the ride.
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Old 05-25-15, 06:08 AM
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Ask your friends what their typical pace is for a regular day of touring. Then map out a local loop of 50-80 miles and load your bike up like you will for the tour, then ride the loop on your loaded bike to see how your speed averages out.

As to general speed I try to think of efficiency and pedaling in squares or circles, and working on a general pedaling cadence of 75-110 rpm. Everybody is a little different and you have to find your own sweet spot. It's a ride, not a race, so just work on being efficient and I think you'll be okay.
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Old 05-25-15, 09:42 AM
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see that computer you have on your bars,well give it a drop kick over the nearest hedge and enjoy your cycling ,if you feel like your going well then you probably are ,so forget about speed its not what cycling is about.
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Old 05-25-15, 03:34 PM
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My favorite Bike computer is an old German Ciclomaster , with a fork blade mount. I Built my bike with the computer hidden below the right cantilever Brake

just above the bag on the lowrider rack.. it comes off to look at Miles traveled , and the trip meter can be 0 reset at a Sign on the road
saying how far to the next town,

so counting down: as it counts up, you can know how much further to go till you get there .

Between tours I take the Battery Out.
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