Help with average cycling speed

Discussion in 'The Bike Cafe' started by Loridenn, Nov 18, 2004.

  1. Loridenn

    Loridenn New Member

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    Hi, Iam new to cycling as an adult...I rode an incredible amount as a kid, but am just getting back to it.I bought a Trek 7300 fx Hybrid and have rode a bunch of times each ride being between 13 and 24 miles. My concern is, does the hybrid bike, like this one restrict speed? I mean Iam in pretty good shape, male, 34 and I ride fairly hard and I only average about 12 m.p.h.... the terrain is average with normal conditions......I know road bike riding averages anywhere between 17and 25 m.p.h. under similar conditions.....I just don't if that bike wasn't made for running or Iam just a weak rider.....
     
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  2. azshidog

    azshidog New Member

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    You're riding a much heavier bike than my road bike. Your tires are bigger than my skinny tires and the gear ratios are designed for slower riding. Road bike wheels are also bigger in circumfrence. Your front gears are smaller than mine which results in slower speeds even with equal effort. Your body position is upright and not as aerodynamic as a roadie position which is significantly lower than yours. With all this against you, you can't expect much better than what your doing right now. I used to commute to work on a bike like yours. It took me an hour to get there now it takes me 35 minutes on my road bike.
     
  3. Bob N.

    Bob N. New Member

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    My wife and I are 39 years old and cycle on hyrbids as well (Marin San Rafael for me, Bianci Advantage for her) which have the wider tires that enable us to ride on multi surfaces. We hover in the 10-15mph range usually, but you should certainly be able to get it up over 20 on a well paved, flat surface. We like the fact that we can still do the same speeds (slightly less) on towpaths, etc. where skinny tire rooad bikes can't even go. It's a trade off, speed for versatility.

    We recently did 36 miles on the W&OD trail in Virginia with my younger (26yrs) brother. He rode a fixed gear homemade bike and whupped our rears!! Don't be discouraged though, ride MORE, not less. You are, like the other person said, at a distinct disadvantage with respect to speed, not distance though.
     
  4. Topsi1208

    Topsi1208 New Member

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    I ride a Trek 7200 hybrid as well. My longest ride to date was 38 miles and it took me 3 hrs & 52 mins. That was mainly due to under-inflated tires. I'm new to cycling so I was unaware the tires had to be aired up so frequently. Since then I've rode 32 miles in 2 hrs & 38 mins with an avg speed of 12.08 mph. Yes, it is so slow but I keep working on it. The route I ride has 3 steep climbs & lots of rolling hills. My downhill speed has 29 mph so I know the bike the can do it. Each ride I get better & better but when I can avg 13 mph, I'm rewarding myself by trading up to a road bike! :D


     
  5. samkin1963

    samkin1963 New Member

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    I just started back up cycling for the first time in 30 years. I am a 47 year od male, and for the last year a marathon runner and wanted to add cyclnig to my workout. I bought a TREK 7.2FX Hybrid 6 weeks ago and started going on group rides with some experienced riders. They were pretty amazed that I could almost keep up on m Hybrid - I averaged 15.5-16MPH, but it was a struggle, especially on the 60 mile rides!

    2 days ago I traded in the Hybrid for a TREK 1.2 Road Bike and WOW the difference. Everything people have said is true. Gear ratios, aerodynamics, skinny light tires, lighter bike, and most importantly getting away from open pedals all resulted in a pheominally different ride. In yesterday's 30 mile group ride my average moving speed was now 18.9MPH! On top of that, I did it with ease, not struggle.

    My advice would be to ask yourself, what are you cycling for? If leisure, then the Hybrid is fine, if you want to compete, if only with yourself, or call it being a bike enthusiest, then go with a road bike. Most high end TREK Dealers will take you Hybrid in on trade if it close to new condition. The 1.2 I got was a good fit. Mixed Aluminum/Carbon build and for under $1000.
     
  6. rizz

    rizz New Member

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    The rider makes the bike, not the other way around. Sure, you are pushing more weight, placed in a less aerodynamic position (though that would seem less of a factor given the average speed you listed), and have more drag, but ultimately, the limiter is you. Look at including intervals in your riding to help improve your performance on the bike. And saying 'in good shape' is a relative term. I consider myself in poor shape but I ride faster than most people that I meet while out riding, yet when I go on the team rides, I'm middle-of-the-pack at best. It takes quite a bit of time to build up aerobic endurance while riding so give it time. Stuff like that doesn't happen overnight.
     
  7. maydog

    maydog Well-Known Member

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    rizz is right.

    Bikes make a difference, but it is not as big as you perceive. No way that transitioning from a hybrid bike to a road bike is going to double your speed as some of the previous posters suggest. I put street slicks on my heavy as hell old school cromoly mountain bike with a front fork in the late fall, early winter and can ride my 20 mile commute just about as fast as I can on my roadie as long as there are no headwinds.

    With the proper tires, hybrid bikes are not "slow" bikes. At 12mph, the drag difference between a hybrid and road bike is negligible, but the hybrid rider will likely be more comfortable. Not until you increase your speed quite a bit will the road bike give you an aerodynamic advantage mostly due to the rider positioning. In the back or middle of a paceline, hybrids can keep up in the 18 to low 20mph range - I have seen it done many times on charity rides.
     
  8. BHOFM

    BHOFM Active Member

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    I had an aluminum hybrid and sold it and got an old chromoly Trek hybrid, it may not be much faster
    but I can go about thirty to fifty percent farther with more comfort at the end. The difference is there
    in the first five or six miles. My average speed is up about two mph but my distance is about double.
    And I never feel washed out at the end of the ride like I did on the Schwinn. Both bikes were the
    same size. The Trek is about five pounds heavier but feels lighter when riding.
     
  9. maydog

    maydog Well-Known Member

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    BHOFM - Did you have knobby tires on that schwinn? How much pressure do they inflate to? How did the schwinn fit compared to your new bike?

    Most likely you are more fit now, your bike fits better and your new bike has more proper tires for road riding, that is why you are faster and can ride farther.
     
  10. kdelong

    kdelong Well-Known Member

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    Even if you don't change bikes, you will get faster over time. You just have to ride more and strrengthen the leg and back muscles that are associated with riding. But if riding fast is a goal of yours, then you do need to get a road bike. The right tool for the job. Oh, and then there is interval training but that is a whole different topic.
     
  11. samkin1963

    samkin1963 New Member

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    Let me clarify my earlier post since some seem to embellish on my words. I did not say switching would double, but as some have expressed a road bike will matter if you are looking for speed. Could you do the same in a Hybrid - YES, but with a whole lot more effort. Sure you could take the Hybrid too and change out the tires, the fork, the stem, etc... By the time you pay for all that, why not get a Road Bike. What I can tell you is that I was in your same exact boat just a week ago on a Hybrid, I did my first 30 mile ride on the road bike last night and the "EASE" of which last night was, was remarkable. So, the moral is, yes, you could do it as I was on a Hybrid, but in the long term you will most likely burn yourself out. Why not use a bike that is more efficient, if speed and distance is your goal. Sure, the RIDER makes the bike, but there is no reason not to have it be a partnership and let the right bike help you! See if someone will let you try theirs and see if you can tell the difference, then make your decision :)
     
  12. BHOFM

    BHOFM Active Member

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    The tires are similar, both 700cX35, Schwinn had Kenda road tread, the Trek has Bontrager H2 ECO's. Both 80psi tires. Bike fit is about the
    same. I think the Trek has a better gear range for one thing I seldom got in the big chaining on the Schwinn, use it some on the Trek. The small
    chaining on the Schwinn was almost useless.
     
  13. maydog

    maydog Well-Known Member

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    The advantages felt on a road bike at higher speeds are not going to be felt at 12mph. I, for one, prefer to ride my mountain bike if I am going for slower rides. For giggles, I tried several online bike calculators for power. Based on a boatload of assumptions, 12mph requires somewhere south of 100 watts of power on the flat, in a more aerodynamic position (road bike) one can get maybe another 1 or 1.5 MPH of speed at that power which is nowhere near the 17+mph the OP mentioned for group rides.

    If anything the OP may be better served by keeping the tires inflated and riding the hybrid bike until he builds up his base and feels the need for more speed. At that point, the advantages of a road style bike will be more appreciated. Several posters on this thread did just that.
     
  14. tonymod

    tonymod New Member

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    Hi there

    On my heavy 13.6kg hybrid, I average between 16 - 17.5mph on shorter rides of between 10 and 30 miles and around 15mph if I ride between 40 and 60 miles. My longest ride to date was 77 miles and I managed to squeeze out 14.5mph.

    As a 47 year old, like samkin 1963, I have returned to cycling after many years out of the saddle, but six months ago I moved Germany and got back into it as this country is just so well set up for cyclists in comparison to the UK.

    I was a bit hasty with buying this hybrid and should've taken more time looking for a bike with an aluminium frame and better componentry as I now know that I can't go faster for all of the reasons previously posted e.g. weight and design of bike, upright position, gear ratios, wind drag etc. so for the first time in my life I decided to splash out and buy a racing bike which I ordered a month ago.

    I am pretty impatient to take delivery of it and would expect to see averages increase after first getting used to riding longer in a crouched position. In addition, it will also be the first time I use shimano 105 SPD pedals, so there might be a couple of tumbles along the way if I forget to twist my ankle out of them at traffic lights etc.

    As with most things in life you need the right tools to do the job, so when it comes to riding faster and maximising your physical potential, a racer is that tool. I will still use my hybrid for commutes and for getting about town, but I expect the racer will certainly take its place as my preferred fitness and speed machine.
     
  15. tahoekrs1

    tahoekrs1 New Member

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    I dont have a car, Ive ridin every day to and from work for over 6 years. My computer has registered over 8000 miles (8039 to be exact) with the total time calculated. 8.2 mph average with a 600ft elevation change. I can imagine most people on here being on road bikes with tight wearing gear on a weekend workout at higher speeds. I ride a commuter bike in fat jackets or baggy shorts/shirts = more wind resistance.
     
  16. davereo

    davereo Well-Known Member

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    I imagine people on here wearing tight clothes also.
    [​IMG]
     
  17. alienator

    alienator Well-Known Member

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    Let's see what Victoria Pendleton wears.... [​IMG] Hmm. That doesn't look too tight, and she's a champion racer.
     
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