# Tag Info

60

The simplest answer to your question is that 1) speeds have increased; but 2) speeds would have increased even more except Tour organizers have been consciously making the Tour harder in order to increase the drama, suspense, and entertainment value of the race. That makes comparisons of overall winner's speed quite complex when combined with normal ...

52

Speed varies widely by cyclist, depending on fitness, road conditions and traffic. Some of my observations (cruising speed based on a flat, paved road in good condition): 20km/h (12.4 mph) - many "occasional" cyclists ride around this speed 25km/h (15.5 mph) - most commuters 30km/h (18.6 mph) - fast commuters, slower roadies 35km/h (21.7 mph) - fast ...

48

This is an interesting point of view. Let's unpack this a bit. Assume I have a ride that is 10 miles of flat, 10 miles of ascent, and 10 miles of descent. On the flat I maintain a constant 20 miles/hour. On the ascent I fall back to a constant 10 miles/hour. On the descent I maintain a constant 30 miles/hour. My average speed for this would be: (10 miles ...

43

There are a few "pseudo-facts" I think might be at play in this graphic: You mentioned 10% of increase, say from 35km/h to 40km/h average speed. That is a VERY significant increase. Anyone well trained can sustain 35km/h average for some time even in a mountain bike, but FORTY km/h is MUCH HARDER to sustain, and that's because aerodynamic drag is ...

43

The short answer is: not that difficult. The long answer requires some explanation. The equations of motion for a rider on a bicycle are well-understood if not always well-known. The power needed to propel a bicycle on firm flat ground (as on a velodrome) varies approximately with the cube of speed. Thus, to double your speed, you would need to increase ...

33

Gabe, If you love the frame, and are willing to spend the money to keep it, start upgrading everything else. Start with: Wheels/tires - rotating mass will slow you down the most - go to aluminum wheels and thin/light tires size 23 or 25. Bottom Crank - Once again rotating mass, you can get some hollow core cranks, and adjust the chainring sizes to the ...

33

What really struck me though was that the average speeds really haven't changed much The chart ranges from about 25km/h to over 40km/h, and that is a big change. As others have mentioned, increasing your average speed requires a non-linear increase in power applied to the pedals. In other words, to increase average speed from 25km/h to 26km/h is easier ...

29

Disclaimer: I am a fixie hater. I'll try to answer this as if I was impartial. Proper road bikes (Including the Moulton) are the machines for speed, and always have been (unless you're on a velodrome). Looking at it through a speed lens, a fixie has a slight weight, aero, and drivetrain efficiency advantage over a road bike, but this usually doesn't come ...

27

The key to understanding your situation is its unusual nature. Speed on hills is mostly determined by power-to-weight, while speed on the flat is mostly determined by power-to-aerodynamic drag. The problem is that speed in head winds is also mostly determined by power-to-aero drag, so the conundrum is why you're good in head winds but not on the flat under ...

24

I happen to be one of those who attract new riders into the sport, and have given the basic training to many people. Here is a brief of what I try to teach them: Riding position Be ready to react Have your bike properly tuned/fitted Scan the terrain(Look forward) Use a proper braking technique Never get to the extremes Grow progressively The most important:...

24

Always "riding your hardest" is called "junk miles" because it is not possible to always ride your hardest. The biggest performance gains come from more targeted and disciplined riding (as suggested by mattnz). To climb your steep hills (I assume these are relatively short, steep climbs, not a mountain pass) you need to work on developing high power over ...

21

No, you will not ride faster in any meaningful way unless you're doing time trials at an elite level where mere seconds (or less) of improvement are gained through optimizing a long list of equipment (with clothing in the middle of that list). As always, the overwhelming determinant of performance is training. The real reason for wearing a jersey is the ...

20

The only thing that will make the bike have a higher top speed (on the flats) is changing the gearing. Bigger rings up front and smaller cogs in the back. Beyond that: start training. You're the engine, after all.

19

The Tour de France is primarily an endurance event, where team strategy is more important than outright speed. In addition there are UCI rules for racing bicycles. This includes a 6.8kg weight restriction that has been in place since 2000. If you want to compare outright speeds it would be more interesting to look at how the average speed of the time ...

19

I am not a bike expert, but a computer programmer. The problem with this question is that there is no control to compare it to. Each year the TDF changes. They visit different parts of Europe, yes it is not 100% in France. This means you can't compare times between years. Weather (not climate) is a concern. The temperature, wind and humidity will impact ...

18

In "Epidemiology of bicycle injuries and risk factors for serious injury" by Frederick P Rivara, Diane C Thompson, and Robert S Thompson, the authors gave a questionnaire to 3,390 bicycle riders who had attended a hospital emergency department in the Seattle area. They found that cyclists involved in a crash at a speed greater than 15 miles per hour were 1....

16

The increased weight of the larger wheel (if indeed it does increase) will of course add weight to the bike, but additional weight adds very little rolling resistance (though it does of course affect hill climbing). It is a myth that "rotating mass slows you down". In terms of top speed there's no difference between weight on the wheel rim and weight ...

15

Who rides fixes? Roadies who have got bored with always being out the front? Maybe its someone wanting to make a statement to the "Freds" (look it up) in the group I once did a 160km ride where some guy on a MTB (with nobbiles, back in the mid 1990's steel, 26" etc) arrived home 00:04:35 behind the leading pack (About 4:10 hours). Some argued the only ...

14

I think this relates quite nicely to motorbikes where you corner at very high speeds and I'll give a run-down of the techniques, why they are useful and how they apply, and how they might apply to cycling. So when turning left: You shift your weight over on the seat and tilt the bike left. This allows the centre of gravity to be slightly lower, aiding in ...

14

Your average speed is always going to be a measure of distance over a period of time. What I think you're trying to get at is accounting for your grade losses (i.e. riding up a hill), but it would be equally pertinent to include losses for wind resistance and friction as well. This would allow you to determine the amount of work per distance (or per time) ...

12

The following forces are acting on your bike as you roll downhill (in more or less decreasing order): Gravity The force of gravity is proportional to mass. If two riders have the same aerodynamic profile, the heavier rider will descend with a higher maximum speed. This is easily seen in the formula for terminal velocity. The intuitive explanation is that ...

12

Boardman used what is known as the "Superman" position, as shown in this image. This position has been deemed to be against the rules by the UCI. Compare it to the position that Wiggins had on the bike, shown here. His arms are not as outstretched, and therefore it is not as aerodynamic. The superman position was first used in the hour record attempt ...

12

I get the impression when you hit the road its full out 110% effort for the length of the ride. I would suggest from the "lungs burning" description that you are over training and exercising above your anaerobic threshold. You don;t say how often or how far you ride. First up - your cadence is way too low and you risk damaging you knees. Go for a series ...

12

I think the terms used here are a bit confused. Rather than saying that a road bike has 22 "gears", you should be saying that it has 22 "speeds" (or more correctly, as pointed out in the comments, "gear ratios" is the technically correct most accurate term (when people say 'gear', they are using it as short for 'gear ratios')). Even that can be a bit ...

11

Honestly. Get a new bike. Technology has changed greatly since the 80's bikes are much lighter, comfortable and stiffer thanks to space age technologies like carbon fiber. Can't afford it, check craigslist. That being said. If your are really attached to your bike. You will see the best performance improvement in new tires and wheels. When you accelerate ...

11

Average speed is extremely dependant on: Your fitness (main factor) Weather (particularly wind) Road surface quality Interruptions like traffic lights, dog-walkers on bike-lanes Accumulated fatigue over multiple days How hilly the terrain is (although this can be balanced out by the faster descent) As you mentioned, best way to see is using a GPS and ...

11

It depends. I don't know of any scientific research to support an actual speed. The main factors are the speed of the wind that you are riding in, and the size of your shield (i.e. the bunny in front who is giving you the wind break - the bigger the better) and how closely you follow. In still conditions I find that even at about 24km/hr (15mph) I will ...

11

Last year I plotted average speed versus race distance and there's an incredibly accurate inverse relationship. http:///www.32sixteen.com/2011/07/25/correlation-does-not-equal-causality/ But to add to my chart and flesh out the reason I think it hasn't increased so greatly. The Tour is a stage race. The average speed we have presented is the average ...

11

The main thing you have to consider at speed is drag: The force F on you+bike (mass m) is: F = ma = mg sin Q - F_d - F_rr where a is your acceleration, g is the acceleration due to gravity and Q is the hill angle to the horizontal. F_d is the drag force which doesn't scale with mass. Try dropping a balloon and a (soccer) football of the same size and you'...

11

TLDR - Weight training is the wrong activity for improving both your sustained speed (26-30kph) and your 1-minute speed (40kph). Read below to understand why. Background There are three main types of skeletal muscles: slow twitch (type 1), fast oxidative (type 2 a) and fast glycolytic (type 2 b). Your make up of the three types determined primarily by ...

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