Questions tagged [speed]

how to go faster or how to go faster safely. For questions about gears or derailleurs, use 'gears'

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72 votes
27 answers
60k views

Why aren't Tour de France riders going any faster?

I was having a look at the average speeds of the winner of the Tour de France over the years on this page. To help things along I put the data into LibreOffice and produced a plot: I put on the chart ...
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58 votes
11 answers
399k views

What is a reasonable speed for long distances on a bike?

I am curious what a reasonable speed to travel on a bike is. Speed will obviously vary based on the conditions in which you are riding. I am planning on taking the GPS out with me this weekend to ...
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25 votes
13 answers
28k views

How can you speed a road-bike up?

So, I have an 80's raleigh bike, reassembled from spare parts. I'm wondering what the best way to get more speed out of the bike is. Wheels? Gears? Lighter gear? Different pedals? I'm rather fond ...
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22 votes
11 answers
4k views

What aspects contribute most to me being slow on this bike?

So this is my bike (don't laugh). I've had it for about 20 years, still rolls. Lately I've been seeing on Strava or Garmin Connect that I'm just too damn slow vs. everyone else and I don't think the ...
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22 votes
8 answers
3k views

How much easier is it to go fast on a road bike and why?

I have a very comfortable ~500€ basic mountain bike with 2.2" tyres and 27.5" wheels on which I can maintain an average of 24-25 km/h on a windless day on flat asphalt when I'm feeling ...
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  • 281
21 votes
12 answers
19k views

Why is a road bike faster than a city bike with the same effort? How much faster it can be?

Why is a road bike faster than a city bike with the same effort? And how much faster it is? (if someone have measured it) Motive of the question: My current bike is a city bike with front fork shock ...
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19 votes
3 answers
6k views

What are the most significant factors affecting downhill cruising speed?

When I'm riding with my friend, I notice that he rolls down hills significantly faster than me. We can be riding next to each other, both in a similar aerodynamic position, but if we both coast he ...
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  • 8,856
18 votes
4 answers
17k views

Why am I slow on flat surfaces?

I've been riding about 300 miles a week for the last 2 years. I'm not riding in races, just riding with friends. I always ride 60+ miles (95+ km), and I'm in excellent shape. I have a low end road ...
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  • 181
18 votes
4 answers
6k views

Can I ride faster with a bike jersey?

I normally wear a cotton t-shirt when I ride. If I get a bike jersey, how much difference will the reduced air resistance make at, for example, 20 mph? I realize it's not possible to be precise, but I ...
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  • 1,226
17 votes
10 answers
44k views

How do I make a mountain bike go faster (commuting)

I just began biking around 4 months ago, and due to lack of experience I bought a Diadora Orbita Mountain Bike. I've staring commuting to work recently (about 14 km daily) but I'm not exactly happy ...
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  • 171
16 votes
8 answers
6k views

Is cycling behind a truck a bad practice?

Sometimes on a highway outside my city, Nairobi, I have been passed by fellow cyclist cycling behind trucks. As much as it is similar to holding onto the back of the track this is different since you ...
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  • 315
15 votes
9 answers
19k views

Fixie vs Road Bike - the right fixie bike for bunch rides

At our local bunch rides, we're seeing more and more guys out on fixies and they are going at a phenomenal pace. We have a local segment called the "Chicken Run" (and it's flat) and this one guy in an ...
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  • 1,167
15 votes
4 answers
8k views

For fitness's sake, is it better to ride with low cadence in high gear or higher cadence in medium gear?

I've started riding to get fit and lose weight. As part of that, I set little challenges for myself, eg: "I'm going to ride these next two blocks as quickly as possible in the highest gear". I'd be ...
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14 votes
7 answers
6k views

What skills/drills should I learn to descend faster and more confidently? (for mountain biking)

I've ridden road and mountain bikes for years, and this is my first year riding as a part of a team (and actually doing races). I've been stuck at nearly the same level of skill when descending and ...
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13 votes
4 answers
4k views

Is it possible to accurately measure airspeed on a bike, and is it useful?

So riding into a 15mph headwind at 15mph, your airspeed would presumably show as 30mph. In no wind, airspeed of 15mph. What would the airspeed be if cycling at 15mph with a 15mph crosswind? And ...
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12 votes
5 answers
6k views

Legs are very weak

So, I've been riding at different levels of difficulty for years now, from a 33lb, one gear bmx to a 21 speed, 44lb mountain bike, and now to a 22lb, 21 speed road bike. Each bike had its own ...
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12 votes
1 answer
4k views

How difficult would it be to maintain 17.5 Mph for an hour?

Whats a good target speed to maintain inside a velodrome for an hour? I believe Bradley Wiggins maintained an average speed of around 35 Mph for an hour, how difficult would it be to maintain half ...
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  • 429
12 votes
4 answers
16k views

Can you ride a bicycle at 90 km/h on a flat road?

This video was featured in a leading news website in my country. It's a cyclist riding on a highway with very high velocity - said to be 90 km/h - close behind a truck. The road is flat, so it keeps ...
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  • 223
12 votes
8 answers
16k views

Does a 700c wheel help you go faster?

Someone suggested going with a 700c wheel to go faster, and after thinking about it I am wondering if a larger wheel actually does go faster. I understand that your gears will cause a wheel to rotate ...
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  • 3,025
11 votes
7 answers
2k views

What is the most efficient way to ride up or down hills, and into or away from wind?

I'm trying to work out how hard I should push myself when riding up or down a hill. Similarly, how hard should I push myself when riding into, or away from, or perpendicular to wind? My aim is to ...
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  • 310
11 votes
3 answers
5k views

How fast do you need to be going to get an effective slipstream on a bike?

How fast do you need to be going to get an effective slipstream on a bike?
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  • 1,378
11 votes
8 answers
28k views

Will increased weight make me go downhill faster?

I have had this question for a while. I want to know how I can get down a hill as fast as I can. So, I was wondering if increasing the weight of a bike increases the speed on downhill stretches, or ...
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  • 554
10 votes
5 answers
15k views

Why does reducing bike weight have such an impact on speeds?

I am trying to understand the physics of bike weight. I have just made a switch from an 11Kg road bike to an 8Kg one (obviously there are many more factors and differences between the 2 bikes other ...
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  • 221
10 votes
5 answers
4k views

How does weight influence your speed when descending?

I have recently bought a road bike and went on a little trip with a friend who is also a novice. We have approximately the same height but he weighs a lot more (I weigh 67-68kg for 1m81 and he weighs ...
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10 votes
4 answers
2k views

Does rocking the bike side to side when e.g. sprinting or climbing help?

Or would more power go through the pedals if the rider held the frame still/upright? Or is there little difference? How would it be measured and what are the forces acting on the bike when rocking ...
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  • 1,240
9 votes
6 answers
6k views

How do you shift your weight when leaning on a turn?

When I turn I usually shift my weight on the same side I'm turning to. To ease the discussion let's assume we are turning left, on a paved road (no mud/gravel/potholes/grease/oil/ice/door traps). I ...
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  • 496
9 votes
9 answers
85k views

How do I estimate how long it will take me to ride my commute?

How can a cyclist, new to commuting by bike and not all that experienced in riding, estimate how long a commute will take? I have been riding for 4 days to and from work. 156km over over 4 days. I'd ...
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9 votes
2 answers
19k views

How much faster will I be if I lose 10kg (from 100kg, all else equal)

All else being equal (power output, weather, wind resistance, etc.), how much faster will I be if I lose 10kg (going from 100kg to 90kg) while riding? Acceleration and climbing might be much ...
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  • 901
9 votes
2 answers
2k views

Why exactly did Boardman manage a further distance than Wiggins?

In light of Bradley Wiggins' recent hour record of 54.526km, I heard a lot about how Chris Boardman has the absolute record of 56.375km. What I didn't hear and (hence my question) what I want to know ...
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  • 507
8 votes
13 answers
3k views

Why aren't average speeds computed over distance? [closed]

Average speed is computed so that average speed = total distance / total time. This means that if you go up a hill, which takes a long time, your average speed drops. This isn't regained on the ...
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  • 199
8 votes
4 answers
3k views

Is there a limit to safe downhill speed on a bike

I have a very steep hill on my route which levels out after about 2 km. The first quarter is extremely steep and shortly after I enter it the bike skips around a little bit and by the time I'm at the ...
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  • 1,460
8 votes
2 answers
18k views

What are typical max speeds for pro downhill races?

Looking videos like Red Bull Rampage or Mega Avalanche make me wonder about the speeds attained by those pro bikers. How fast they go in straight line sections?
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7 votes
2 answers
833 views

Does going faster always result in more calories burnt

Say the same 5mile ride going at 5 miles per hour versus 10, 15 20 etc. Even though the faster speed means shorter ride does it also always result in more calories burned? I have the same commute ...
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  • 1,099
7 votes
3 answers
7k views

At what speed does Aerodynamics of a bike come into play?

Is a more aero bike more efficient than less aero bike at 10mph? At what speed does Aerodynamics affect your speed significantly. update: "The question is dealing with the minimum speed that a ...
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  • 1,260
7 votes
2 answers
2k views

How do I descend faster on the straightaway?

I've heard a lot of advice about descending mountain roads involving cornering and braking. I want to know how to go faster when descending on the long straightaway. Is it worth pedaling at speeds ...
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  • 231
7 votes
5 answers
2k views

I am putting drop bars on one of my MTB Shimano 10 speed 1x Deore. I am looking for a road hydro shift lever

I will be putting road drop bars on one of my mtb's for this coming winter as a project that has Shimano 10 speed 1x Deore. My goal is to "simply"🙈😆 have road shift levers and hydraulic ...
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  • 87
7 votes
5 answers
14k views

Sources of vibration at high speed in and around rear wheel

I’m experiencing vibration somewhere in the rear half of the bicycle when descending at high speed (say more than 30 mph), and I haven’t been able to pinpoint the cause. Everything looks fine, ...
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  • 1,451
7 votes
1 answer
2k views

Is it worth upgrading to 28mm tyres from 25 for a 250 mile ride?

Next month I'm embarking on a 250 mile ride over one day - I've done plenty of training and I'm ready. Currently my bike has 25mm tyres and some of the 100 - 175mile training rides I've done have ...
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  • 1,210
7 votes
3 answers
9k views

What is the braking (stopping) distance for bicycles?

A vehicle driver must keep enough braking distance (aka stopping distance) between him/her and a vehicle in front in order to avoid collision. It depends on the driving speed. What is the braking ...
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  • 175
6 votes
4 answers
1k views

How much slower should I expect to be in winter rides?

I typically do ~100km rides (almost always alone). In summer, I manage average speeds of 30km/h or more. This is the first (of only three in total anyhow) winter in which I keep riding somewhat ...
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6 votes
1 answer
185 views

Flat land speed development

I guess I'll start off by saying that I am not a necessarily experienced rider. After years of doing ultra-marathon running I decided to move to triathlon to cross train. I signed up for a 70.3 a few ...
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6 votes
2 answers
6k views

Are folding bikes less efficient than full sized bikes?

I've recently been touring with my Birdy folder, and people constantly ask me if it's hard work to tour on a folding bike. Compared to my normal sized bike (which has the same gearing, 8-speed ...
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  • 163
6 votes
3 answers
955 views

Which components affects downhill speed? [closed]

So my riding buddy can never keep up with me downhill. I'm slightly heavier than him (5-10lbs). I have an older non aero bike. He has a newer aero bike. His is probably a few lbs lighter than mine. ...
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  • 173
6 votes
2 answers
1k views

How much does wind affect the speed of a professional cycling peloton?

It's a well known fact that due to air resistance increase of speed on a bike takes non linear increase of power, so the huge marginal increase of power needed to go faster while riding at around 40-...
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  • 171
5 votes
4 answers
4k views

How does weight and strength of a person effects the riding of bicycle at higher speeds?

I weigh very low about 56 kilograms and height is 5 feet 6 inches.I use a hybrid for fun and commuting. While riding i use the hishest gear on my bike always i.e 48 tooth front and 11 tooth back. I ...
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  • 315
5 votes
5 answers
34k views

Is 25 km/h average speed good? What speed should I aim for?

So, I recently got into road cycling and have been riding for a few weeks. My average speed for most of my rides is around 25 km/h for the first 40 km and drops to 15 or 20 km/h for the next 20 or 30 ...
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  • 385
5 votes
2 answers
659 views

At what slope will the best bikes keep a constant speed?

At what slope will the best bikers (in terms of aerodynamics) on the best bikes roll at a constant speed at 80 km/h on an asphalt surface on a dry day? The reason for this question is because it gives ...
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  • 175
5 votes
3 answers
6k views

Do I need a Road Bike to go fast?

Do I need a road bike to go fast, my average mph is normally around 11 - 12mph according to strava & fitbit The thing is I normally overtake most people, and some cars when I'm going downhill, ...
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5 votes
6 answers
2k views

I want an old road bike to fix up that goes fast. Where do I start?

I would like to get into road biking with some co-workers who have fancy new road bikes. However, I prefer to buy an older bike from the 70s, 80s, or 90s because I like fixing up older stuff and I'm ...
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  • 51
5 votes
4 answers
683 views

How do sidewinds affect forward speed?

If I'm riding at 20mph on the flat with no wind, and then a 10mph wind kicks up, if I'm heading directly into it I'll slow down by X mph, and if I'm heading directly with it (i.e. pure tailwind) I'll ...
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  • 1,240