Hot answers tagged

82

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 ...


59

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 ...


50

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 ...


45

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 ...


45

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 ...


38

Having made the change myself, I can confirm that shock absorbers are actually detrimental to city riding. You lose a lot of power, especially when trying to stand on the pedals for acceleration. Road bikes are also typically much lighter, which in my experience not only helps you go uphill faster, but also makes it a lot easier to carry the bike when ...


30

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 ...


30

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 ...


25

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 ...


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: ...


23

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 ...


21

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 ...


20

I started commuting the same way about 8 months ago on a 29'er mountain bike, 2 things made the trip faster and more enjoyable. Firstly tyres, I changed from knobblies to slicks and it made a BIG difference both in feel and actual speed. Secondly I got a lot stronger from biking every day. I eventually got a lighter cheap touring bike which is faster, and ...


19

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 ...


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

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....


19

In my younger foolish years I actually did this exact scenario, except at a slightly lower speed 85 kph (speed limit was 80 km/hr), but for a distance of nearly 10 km (between two suburbs). In my case I drafted a double trailer gravel truck which was very slow to accelerate making it easy to keep pace. This was only possible due to the massive low pressure ...


18

I've been a cycle commuter for 12 years. Here are the things that had the biggest impact on my speed: Smooth high pressure tires (80+ psi for road) Greatly decreases rolling resistance Clipless Pedals & Shoes - When you're clipped in you put energy into pedaling all the way around rather than just on the downstrokes Remove any suspension - suspension ...


17

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 ...


17

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 ...


17

In terms of losing weight immediately, the obvious answer is to use whatever gear combo allows you to produce the greatest energy output. For most people this will likely be a hair lower than the "preferred" range of about 70-90 RPM -- maybe 50-60, and pedaling as hard as you can. However, if you want to KEEP losing weight by getting on the bike again ...


16

Speed is determined only by gearing, of which crank, cassette, wheel, and tire are components Any 2 bikes using, say, 42t cranks with a rear 32t cog and 25c tires on 700c wheels at 90rpm will be going the same speed. Bike type and size, rider/bike weight, and even front wheel/tire size and crank length don’t matter. These other factors only effect how much ...


16

Some representative values from http://bikecalculator.com/veloUS.html. It's a road-bike calculator, so it's not quite accurate. I simulated a hybrid/city bike by having the rider on a 30-lb road bike with MTB tires, and riding that "road bike" in the least aerodynamic position possible. Note that the difference between a road bike and an actual hybrid or ...


15

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) ...


14

According to BikeCalculator, assuming you drop 10 kg while everything else remains the same (power output, etc.), you would travel 0.3 km/hr faster over a 50 km ride, on the average. In other words, at 100 kg, assuming an average power output of 150 Watts, you'd average 27.54 km/hr over a 50km ride if you weighed 100 kg; doing the same ride at the same 150 ...


14

Not necessarily thinner tyres, but ones with less tread will make a difference. If you are commuting by road only, then putting on some 'slick' tyres will cut a lot of the wind resistance, and rid you of that whirring noise as the tread nobbles whiz through the air. I've had my rigid mountain bike up to 76 Km/h on slicks (but that was down hill). About the ...


14

The heavier person will present more area to the wind, but this is mitigated by two factors: The bicycle presents a fixed area to the wind and the area presented by the heavier person is not proportional because of the 2/3 power law. If you just scale up a rider by a factor in mass, the volume increases in proportion, but the frontal area scales up as the 2/...


13

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 speed ...


13

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 ...


Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible