Maintaining Speed

Discussion in 'Recumbent bicycles' started by Peters, May 28, 2003.

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  1. Peters

    Peters Guest

    This is my second season riding my Barcroft Virginia. I am not the strongest rider out there so it
    could just be me but... I just can't see how other recumbent riders can say they are able to "smoke
    roadies" etc..

    While under some road circumstances I can get up to a comparable speed there seems no way that a
    recumbent rider can maintain the same speeds. I live in Denver and ride on flat to moderately
    hilly trails. Most are paved some bumpy some very smooth. My observations are that most reasonably
    fit people on a road bike appear to ride along effortlessly at a much greater speed than I can.
    (15-17 MPH)

    I'd be iterested to hear comments from other riders. What speed do you maintain and honestly, are
    you really competetive with a good road bike?

    Appreciate your reply
     
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  2. Cletus Lee

    Cletus Lee Guest

    In article <[email protected]>,
    [email protected] says...
    > This is my second season riding my Barcroft Virginia. I am not the strongest rider out there so it
    > could just be me but... I just can't see how other recumbent riders can say they are able to
    > "smoke roadies" etc..
    >
    > While under some road circumstances I can get up to a comparable speed there seems no way that a
    > recumbent rider can maintain the same speeds. I live in Denver and ride on flat to moderately
    > hilly trails. Most are paved some bumpy some very smooth. My observations are that most reasonably
    > fit people on a road bike appear to ride along effortlessly at a much greater speed than I can.
    > (15-17 MPH)
    >
    > I'd be iterested to hear comments from other riders. What speed do you maintain and honestly, are
    > you really competetive with a good road bike?
    >
    > Appreciate your reply
    >

    I'm a flatlander so I'm not sure that all I have to say may apply. I cruise at 20-22 and
    while crusing in city with lots of stoplights, I manage an average of 17-18 mph over 50 miles
    on my Saturday fun ride. When I rode a DF I hoped for a 15 mph average and I rarely hit a top
    speed of 20mph.

    Here's what I have learned:
    1. Spin. When I started spinning, I immediately saw a 1-2 mph increase in my average. If you do not
    have a cadence function on your computer, get one and work at spinning in a gear that is one or
    two lower than your usual. Target 100 rpm. If you can't do 100 rpm, go to a lower gear until you
    can maintain that cadence. Once you are comfortable with that, work on moving that cadence up to
    bigger gears and faster speeds. Next, remove the Cadence computer and forget about it. If you
    find your self getting into old habits, put it back on.

    2. Get your BMI into the 'normal' range under 20%. The second biggest improvement came when I
    dropped 20 lbs and consequently total bike weight.

    3. Biking season is 12 months long. I know you think since I live here in Houston where it rarely
    gets below 25°F, that I can say that too easy. I have a friend that lives in the Va. Mtns. The
    temps there are not any different from Denver. He rarely misses a week without riding some. He is
    my benchmark. If he can do it, I can and you can.

    4. Commute or at least get in 100 miles a week. Every week. Consistancy makes the most of your
    conditioning. They don't need to be fast miles, just miles.

    5. Troll. Whenever you see a DF ahead, catch up and pass. Put enough distance between you and them
    to make it stick. When you spot that DF coming up fast in your rear view mirror, let them get
    within 50m and then gradually pick up the pace.

    > are you really competetive with a good road bike?

    Fifteen years ago when I was about 40, the hammerheads in my club started dropping me of the back of
    the peleton. I quit trying and then 4 years ago, I got my first recumbent. About two months ago on a
    cold and windy day, I rode with those hammerheads (or at least the current crop). At about 10 miles
    into the ride I left the pace line behind. When they stopped for a 'butt break' at about 12 miles, I
    decided that I would continue on alone. (They were almost out of sight by that time anyhow)

    I have a regular Saturday group that I ride with. It is a mixed group of both DFs and bents. We
    average ~17 and cruise at 20-22mph. I am usually in front of the pack.

    I am not competetive on a good road bike. I am competetive with a recumbent.

    --

    Cletus D. Lee Bacchetta Giro Lightning Voyager http://www.clee.org
    - Bellaire, TX USA -
     
  3. PeterS wrote:

    > I'd be iterested to hear comments from other riders. What speed do you maintain and honestly, are
    > you really competetive with a good road bike?

    While commuting I'm usually running around 35 km/h for as long as the road is clear, which, it has
    to be said, is not a common occurrence, chiz. Either the lights change or a big pack of tin boxes
    doing 0 km/h appear in the way... Racing speeds are somewhat higher, on account of *not* having to
    stop every three hundred yards, and can be found at or near http://www.bhpc.org.uk, under "Events"

    Dave Larrington - http://www.legslarry.beerdrinkers.co.uk/
    ===========================================================
    Editor - British Human Power Club Newsletter
    http://www.bhpc.org.uk/
    ===========================================================
     
  4. Skip

    Skip Guest

    "PeterS" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]... <snip>
    > I'd be iterested to hear comments from other riders. What speed do you maintain and honestly, are
    > you really competetive with a good road bike?

    My average speed not counting rest stops on my Ryan is almost identical to that of my upright
    touring bike. My average speed counting rest stops is higher on the Ryan than on the upright
    touring bike.

    My average speed on my GRR on flat to moderately hill terrain about the same as me riding a good
    quality road bike. If it's really hilly the road bike has the edge. So I think in my case the bottom
    line is that riding a recumbent I am pretty much competitive with myself riding a good road bike. As
    far as being competitive with other people is concerned it depends more on who they are than what
    they ride.

    skip

    skip
     
  5. Tom Blum

    Tom Blum Guest

    I agree with Cletus.

    But, in my case, I don't walk the walk. As in, I've never found the time to ride 100 miles a
    week. Cletus' idea of commuting is a good one to fit in higher mileage. I'm self employed, so I
    wake up at work.

    I have been riding 40 to 50 miles per week for years. My cruising speed is around 17 on diamond
    frame or recumbent. I can push to 18 or 20 for a mile or two on either bike. My Quazi low racer
    shows signs of being faster, by a mile or two per hour.

    It stands to reason, from a theoretical viewpoint, that as you are able to go faster, the aero
    benefit of the bent becomes more larger.

    What I have decided, is that the implied benefit of greater speed just by going bent is largely
    hype. You have to earn your miles per hour.

    --
    Miles of Smiles,

    Tom Blum Winter Haven, Florida Homebuilts: SWB Tour Easy Clone Speed Machine Clone

    www.gate.net/~teblum
     
  6. Cletus Lee

    Cletus Lee Guest

    In article <[email protected]>, [email protected] says...
    > I agree with Cletus.
    >
    > But, in my case, I don't walk the walk. As in, I've never found the time to ride 100 miles a week.
    > Cletus' idea of commuting is a good one to fit in higher mileage. I'm self employed, so I wake up
    > at work.

    You could take 'the long way' to and from work. Since you don't have that daily commute, what do you
    do with all that extra time???

    > What I have decided, is that the implied benefit of greater speed just by going bent is largely
    > hype. You have to earn your miles per hour.

    I don't think it is hype. It was not long after I became bent that I noticed a speed benefit.
    Another thing happened too. I went from less than 3000 mi/yr. to 4300 my first bent year. last year
    I manage almost 6000 miles. The more miles I rode the faster I got. I wonder if I had put that many
    miles into a DF would I have seen a similar improvement. Even in my best DF year in the mid to late
    80s, I did not manage more than about 4000 miles.

    My DF experience equated to less and less miles per year. Also to less and less enjoyment. On a
    DF I rarely rode for more than 10 miles without stopping getting off and taking a break. Last
    summer I tried a century with the goal of not stopping. If I had not flatted at 85 miles, I would
    have made it.

    I really think faster speeds are the result of putting more miles in the seat. This is easier to do
    on a recumnebt than a DF. And I think you are absolutely correct when you say, "You have to earn
    your miles per hour."

    --

    Cletus D. Lee Bacchetta Giro Lightning Voyager http://www.clee.org
    - Bellaire, TX USA -
     
  7. PreciousBbird

    PreciousBbird New Member

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    I just got my bent (April?) and I love it. I have noted approximately a 2-3 mph increase in my average speed compared to my road bike and my maximum speeds are about 8-10 mph faster than my road bike. I suspect with more time I will get stronger and faster. I already pass many DF bikes on the trails where I ride, but I think in the end, we would end up about the same because I don't have the sustained strength on the hills yet.

    So my answer is no, I am not beating all the DF's yet - but I do have hope and this forum is a good place to get inspiration!

    --

    Precious BusterBird on a HepCat :)
     
  8. g19glock1

    g19glock1 New Member

    Joined:
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    Since getting my bent about 5 weeks ago, I do notice a speed increase. While first riding it I stayed on the large chainring and about gear 5 on the rear cassette. My cadence was about 64 which gave me a little over 14 mph which was slightly faster than on my DF. After reading several posts regarding spinning in a lower gear I decided to drop to the middle chain ring. I am spinning about 90 to 95 now and consistantly produce 19.4 mph at that cadence. I am still learning but my bent is definately faster than my Giant DF.

    When I finally go clipless I think that I will do better yet, but I (at 52) never intend to race. Just ride for my enjoyment.


    Take the advise of those who know on this forum, put on miles and spin at a higher cadence.
     
  9. Tom Blum

    Tom Blum Guest

    Cletus Lee says: "I really think faster speeds are the result of putting more miles in the seat.
    This is easier to do on a recumnebt than a DF. And I think you are absolutely correct when you say,
    "You have to earn your miles per hour."

    Couldn't agree more. that is the big advantage of a recumbent.

    Right now I'm nursing a sore back/ Somehow or other, the cramps episode morphed into bsck pain over
    a four day period. Very Strange.

    --
    Miles of Smiles,

    Tom Blum Winter Haven, Florida Homebuilts: SWB Tour Easy Clone Speed Machine Clone

    www.gate.net/~teblum
     
  10. bentcruiser

    bentcruiser New Member

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    This is my third year on a recumbent. I have never been competitive in the least in cycling. Since my cancer it has been more about health and camaraderie than anything else.

    On my BikeE, I was able to crank out 2-3 mpg faster than my hybrid bike. I was a cruiser of 13-14mph on the BikeE. Hybrid speed was about 10-11mph. On my Burley Canto, I can cruise with no effort at 18mph. Is that good? i don't know or care. I am out there to cruise. I do not care about speed records. Touring is more my forte.

    OTOH, on the River Path the other day, I saw a roadie coming up and passing that is known to be fast. I could never ride with this guy on my BikeE. I thought, "what the hell" and I kept up with him at 21 for until he turned off. He seemed to be doing everything possible to drop me. But he couldn't. It is nice to know that my Burley can best a Litespeed.

    As he turned and rode off he looked back at me and said, "Damn! Good ride."

    I couldn't help but smile to myself.

    Derek
     
  11. Cletus Lee

    Cletus Lee Guest

    In article <[email protected]>, [email protected] says...
    > Since getting my bent about 5 weeks ago, I do notice a speed increase. While first riding it I
    > stayed on the large chainring and about gear 5 on the rear cassette. My cadence was about 64 which
    > gave me a little over 14 mph .... After reading several posts regarding spinning ...I am spinning
    > about 90 to 95 now and consistantly produce 19.4 mph at that cadence. I am still learning but my
    > bent is definately faster than my Giant DF.

    It took me nearly two years to figure that out, But then I am older than you, dementia must be
    starting to set in.
    >
    > When I finally go clipless I think that I will do better yet, but I (at
    > 52) never intend to race.
    B.S!!!!
    > Just ride for my enjoyment.

    Think of the enjoyment of leaving someone on a DF and half your age with their tongue hanging out
    trying to keep up. Call it perverse pleasure.

    --

    Cletus D. Lee Bacchetta Giro Lightning Voyager http://www.clee.org
    - Bellaire, TX USA -
     
  12. Like any sport that can be competitive...maintaining speed on a recumbent requires training.
    Training for speed and endurance on a recumbent is really no different than a DF. There are training
    routines available that are proven by the pro racers and will work for recumbent riders.
    --
    Jude....///Bacchetta AERO St. Michaels and Tilghman Island.. Maryland Wheel Doctor Cycle and Sports,
    Inc 1-800-586-6645 "bentcruiser" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > Peters wrote:
    > > I'd be iterested to hear comments from other riders. What speed do you maintain and honestly,
    > > are you really competetive with a good road
    bike?
    >
    >
    >
    > This is my third year on a recumbent. I have never been competitive in the least in cycling. Since
    > my cancer it has been more about health and camaraderie than anything else.
    >
    > On my BikeE, I was able to crank out 2-3 mpg faster than my hybrid bike. I was a cruiser of
    > 13-14mph on the BikeE. Hybrid speed was about 10-11mph. On my Burley Canto, I can cruise with no
    > effort at 18mph. Is that good? i don't know or care. I am out there to cruise. I do not care about
    > speed records. Touring is more my forte.
    >
    > OTOH, on the River Path the other day, I saw a roadie coming up and passing that is known to be
    > fast. I could never ride with this guy on my BikeE. I thought, "what the hell" and I kept up with
    > him at 21 for until he turned off. He seemed to be doing everything possible to drop me. But he
    > couldn't. It is nice to know that my Burley can best a Litespeed.
    >
    > As he turned and rode off he looked back at me and said, "Damn! Good ride."
    >
    > I couldn't help but smile to myself.
    >
    > Derek
    >
    >
    >
    > --
    > >--------------------------<
    > Posted via cyclingforums.com http://www.cyclingforums.com
     
  13. Peter, you poor soul. Your mistake is in telling the truth. Some folks on this NG have difficulty
    doing that. A few of our regulars are well-conditioned, very fast riders ... but my hunch is there
    are not many of them.

    --
    Gator Bob Siegel EasyRacers Ti Rush

    "PeterS" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > This is my second season riding my Barcroft Virginia. I am not the strongest rider out there so it
    > could just be me but... I just can't see how other recumbent riders can say they are able to
    > "smoke roadies" etc..
    >
    > While under some road circumstances I can get up to a comparable speed there seems no way that a
    > recumbent rider can maintain the same speeds. I live in Denver and ride on flat to moderately
    > hilly trails. Most are paved some bumpy some very smooth. My observations are that most reasonably
    > fit people on a road bike appear to ride along effortlessly at a much greater speed than I can.
    > (15-17 MPH)
    >
    > I'd be iterested to hear comments from other riders. What speed do you maintain and honestly, are
    > you really competetive with a good road bike?
    >
    > Appreciate your reply
     
  14. Gee Bob..So what else is new?

    --
    Jude....///Bacchetta AERO St. Michaels and Tilghman Island.. Maryland Wheel Doctor Cycle and Sports,
    Inc 1-800-586-6645 "Robert Siegel" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > Peter, you poor soul. Your mistake is in telling the truth. Some folks
    on
    > this NG have difficulty doing that. A few of our regulars are well-conditioned, very fast riders
    > ... but my hunch is there are not many
    of
    > them.
    >
    > --
    > Gator Bob Siegel EasyRacers Ti Rush
    >
    > "PeterS" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > news:[email protected]...
    > > This is my second season riding my Barcroft Virginia. I am not the strongest rider out there so
    > > it could just be me but... I just can't see how other recumbent riders can say they are able to
    > > "smoke roadies" etc..
    > >
    > > While under some road circumstances I can get up to a comparable speed there seems no way that a
    > > recumbent rider can maintain the same speeds. I live in Denver and ride on flat to moderately
    > > hilly trails. Most are paved some bumpy some very smooth. My observations are that most
    > > reasonably fit people on a road bike appear to ride along effortlessly at a much greater speed
    > > than I can. (15-17 MPH)
    > >
    > > I'd be iterested to hear comments from other riders. What speed do you maintain and honestly,
    > > are you really competetive with a good road bike?
    > >
    > > Appreciate your reply
     
  15. I forgot to tell you I averaged 23.368 mph on my last century over the Brenner Pass. Or was it IN
    THE last century? I am having trouble remembering. ;-))

    --
    Gator Bob Siegel EasyRacers Ti Rush "Jude T. McGloin" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:3ed544cb$[email protected]...
    > Gee Bob..So what else is new?
     
  16. "Jude T. McGloin" skrev ...
    > Gee Bob..So what else is new? "Robert Siegel" wrote
    > > Peter, you poor soul. Your mistake is in telling the truth. Some folks
    > on
    > > this NG have difficulty doing that. A few of our regulars are well-conditioned, very fast riders
    > > ... but my hunch is there are not many
    > of
    > > them.

    Well lookie here. It's the ARBR remake of "Grumpy old men". :)
     
  17. John Foltz

    John Foltz Guest

    PeterS wrote:
    > This is my second season riding my Barcroft Virginia. I am not the strongest rider out there so it
    > could just be me but... I just can't see how other recumbent riders can say they are able to
    > "smoke roadies" etc..
    >
    > While under some road circumstances I can get up to a comparable speed there seems no way that a
    > recumbent rider can maintain the same speeds. I live in Denver and ride on flat to moderately
    > hilly trails. Most are paved some bumpy some very smooth. My observations are that most reasonably
    > fit people on a road bike appear to ride along effortlessly at a much greater speed than I can.
    > (15-17 MPH)
    >
    > I'd be iterested to hear comments from other riders. What speed do you maintain and honestly, are
    > you really competetive with a good road bike?
    >

    Yes, recumbents can and will maintain respectable speeds. Tonight I rode my 'slow' bike - the V-Rex
    without a fairing - and averaged 21 mph for 29 miles. That's an overall computed average; cruising
    speed 'on the flats' ran closer to 23 mph. On my DF road bike I was strictly a 17 mph rider.

    Am I competitive with a good road bike? Yeah, I'd say so. I've been known to poseur-pass 26 mph
    pacelines. They go ballistic when I ding my bell as I go by, but they are powerless to do anything
    about it. >:)

    Too many people expect a recumbent to automatically make them fast, and it ain't gonna happen. The
    aero advantage doesn't even start unless you can first ride at 17 or 18 mph. And that's assuming you
    even *have* an aero advantage. Most American recumbents are only barely better than riding a DF on
    the drops, unless you add a fairing. Work on the engine: get a HR monitor and a book on HR training,
    and use them.

    --

    John Foltz --- O _ Baron --- _O _ V-Rex 24 --- _\\/\-%)
    _________(_)`=()___________________(_)= (_)_____
     
  18. >I'd be iterested to hear comments from other riders. What speed do you maintain and honestly, are
    >you really competetive with a good road bike?

    I do about 20 km/h (13.3 mph) computer average speed on a 100 km ride. (some small but steep hills,
    headwind half the time).

    Even that speed makes my knees hurt a little. After 5 years of riding i'm still waiting for knees to
    get better before even thinking about fast riding.

    I did not have computer when i had upright bike, so it is hard to compare the speed. I remember
    that my butt and ankles hurt like hell when i did a 222 km ride with it. I still have the bike, but
    never use it.
     
  19. g19glock1

    g19glock1 New Member

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    (Smiles cracking my face as I type)
    Cletus, I guess I had better qualify that statement, organized race! Now your B.S.!!! might have some truth in it as I slip by a DFer, and the joy that I would feel would certainly only be minimal - not!

    Happy ridin all!
     
  20. g19glock1

    g19glock1 New Member

    Joined:
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    Markku, you need to do some concentrated spinning of the cranks. Your knees should not be hurting to ride your bike. It makes me think that you are in too high a gear. Lower your gears and spin at a higher cadence. This will improve your speed. What is your cadence that you use regularly? You should be spinning 90 plus per minute. This will take the pressure off of your knees and increase your speed. Read some of the threads at this forum about cadence. Good Luck!
     
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