This has been on the back of my mind for ~5 years after I started riding consistently but never got around to asking it. I always get faster average speed/power (Strava estimate, I don't have a power meter) in the evening compared to morning or noon. I've verified this over many, many rides. Why is this?

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    What are your eating and drinking habits? You'll be faster with some carbs on board and not in the slightest dehydrated. Do you live somewhere where the wind changes predictably over the course of the day (common near the sea)? Are you comparing exactly the same route in the same direction? What about traffic?
    – Chris H
    Jul 14, 2019 at 16:29
  • In my experience it’s because I am excited to get home from work and vice Versa in the morning Jul 14, 2019 at 20:37
  • Back when I'd cycle to and from work I'd usually do better in the morning. Jul 14, 2019 at 21:02
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    Early signs of vampirism.
    – Robert
    Jul 14, 2019 at 23:45
  • What are the elevations of your home and work ? an average of 1% gradient won't be visible but could be altering your times. Same goes for prevailing weather conditions, if your area has a prevailing wind direction that blows from work toward home more often.
    – Criggie
    Jul 15, 2019 at 0:27

1 Answer 1


This is a very normal, but not particularly well understood phenomenon.

If you google "cycling higher power output in evening" you will find several published scientific papers showing improved performance in the evening.

  • I have just read briefly the top result in Google and it seems flawed unless I'm not reading it correctly. A quote from the top result " A greater mean power output occurred in the evening 210.56 + 55.51 (W) compared to 201.83 + 58.09 (W) in the morning. " that's backwards for a start. The whole paper can be read here biologyofexercise.com/images/issues/42.pdf if anyone is interested
    – Dan K
    Jul 15, 2019 at 9:13
  • what's backwards? 210 is indeed greater than 201
    – Andy P
    Jul 15, 2019 at 9:17
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    My bad, had a feeling i was reading it wrong :doh: more coffee needed
    – Dan K
    Jul 15, 2019 at 9:25

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