The "Average Speed" Mystery

Discussion in 'Cycling Training' started by AmpedCycle, Apr 2, 2005.

  1. AmpedCycle

    AmpedCycle New Member

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    I keep getting the run around when I ask people to tell me what speed they ride at. I'm thinking to myself,"I don't care about your heart rate or cadence," while they go on and on and never give me a definitive answer. Jeez, I just want to what other people average out at in the flats with no wind. Right now I'm pushing between 21-23 mph. How am I doing?
    I don't want to hear about sprints. I don't want to hear about hills... or drafting, or about your damned components. Just cough up some figures if you don't mind.
     
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  2. bikeguy

    bikeguy New Member

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    25 mph (40 km/hr) out on the highway, alone, on the level with no wind wearing a skinsuit but no aerobars for maybe 30 km. This is an attempt to hold as a high a speed as possible for about 30 km. Regular helmet, semi aero bike. Then I get tired. My Wmax is about 440 watts and I figure Wobla at about 330 watts (35 minutes sustained 330 watts) and Wlac (2 hrs) at about 240 w. My speedo shows 17.5 km/hr avg, after 210 km of riding through slush and ice on bikepaths.

    -Bikeguy
     
  3. werzel

    werzel New Member

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    on a 90-130km ride, average is usually 20-34km/hr for a nice relaxing sunday ride.
     
  4. mike7382

    mike7382 New Member

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    i cant say that i have an average speed. Mostly because i live in a town with a lot of traffic. Conctantly stopping and going slow. When i do get out of there for a long ride i stay at about 19-20 mi/h. I think that is a good average speed.
     
  5. BlueJersey

    BlueJersey New Member

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    "Average speed, average racer." On a 6 miles loop with rolling terrain coupled with one 1 mile long 4% to 5% garde climb, 22 mph, at TT pace. Total time is 19 minutes. Average HR is 184. Top end speed for 1 minute is probably around 30 mph.

     
  6. AmpedCycle

    AmpedCycle New Member

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    Man, you really missed the point.



     
  7. BlueJersey

    BlueJersey New Member

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    Average speed is pointless. It has no point in itself. Average is a void. A black hole. Average watts over a duration may mean something given with your know weight.

     
  8. shokhead

    shokhead New Member

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    What the hell does it matter? Ego? I've never looked at my avg speed,never. I dont even watch my speed when i ride. I watch my cadence to keep it above 90. Avg speed is water cooler talk,imo.
     
  9. AmpedCycle

    AmpedCycle New Member

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    I think there's more to it, than that. Average speed is a direct function of the speed you maintained over a certain distance. Why wouldn't it be important? Pretend for a minute you didn't have a heart rate monitor/cadence computer, and you were trying to get better. Ballparking my heart rate and cadence won't work. I can think about my rpm's, my heart rate, etc, but when it comes down to it I see the "mph" on the computer, and that seems to be the best judge of my effort when I know enough about conditions, my bike, and myself. So, average speed is a necessarily helpful tool for evaluating performance, and certain similarities exist between myself and others in this regard. Maybe comparing average speeds isn't all that important, because I'll admit, there are many things that effect it, but knowing what speed you train at is.
     
  10. BlueJersey

    BlueJersey New Member

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    You think if you could maintain 23 mph average speed for 30 miles you could have been a contender of the last race I did on last Sat??? :D A cat3/4 field 34 miles. When I attacked on the 2nd lap on a 4% to 5% grade climb, .33 miles long, I was going up at 23 mph. The first 5 sec my power was in the 850w+. It evened out around 420w for a minute. The decisive move that I launched my teamate to bridge the break and ending him placing 5th I was going up the same climb on my 8th lap. 22mph. Around 19 mph at the top. The pace shattered what was left of the pack. Max HR was 194.

    Train for your average speed, you will be an average rider.


     
  11. lorrod

    lorrod New Member

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    I think that knowing average speed compared to others can be somewhat useful. For instance, on a weekly group ride/race, I am trying to be able to hang with the group until the very end of the ride. The ride itself is about 32 miles in total distance and it's all flat. However, the speed varies. During the warm-up, we're only doing about 17-18mph. As the pace picks up, it goes up to about 21-22mph. However, when the first "attack" starts, the pace picks up to about 25-26mph.....and this is when I usually get dropped. Although the pace can peak to about 32mph on the ride, by the time the group gets to the end and have done a cool-down spin, their average speed is only about 22mph from start-to-finish-to-cool-down. However, mine is about 17.6mph for the total ride(which I usually finish alone). I'm quite a bit off the pace.

    The same goes for a local ride I compare with a friend of mine. The ride itself is only 23 miles in length and it's mostly flat. His average speed is usually about 21mph, while mine is about 17mph on the same ride.

    But, looking back over this past year, I've been able to see an increase in my "average" average speed on rides. Last year at this time, I was averaging about 15.1 to 15.3mph on rides.....this year, I'm averaging about 17.1 to 17.3mph on rides. I put in the training during the year, and the ride speeds did go up.

    However, conditions and bicycles do play a role. I ride a 30-pound steel 15-year-old bicycle. My wheel weight is like lead(including 320 gram 700x25 tires and 275 gram puncture-resistant tubes per wheel.....attached to 32-spoke lead-like wheelsets). The guys I'm comparing my average speeds to are riding bicycles that weigh, on average, 10-12 pounds less....many riding Ksyrium SLs. If I were to upgrade my bicycle to the equivalent of what they ride, would my average speed suddenly be bumped up to 21-22mph? Maybe.
     
  12. AmpedCycle

    AmpedCycle New Member

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    What does any of this have to do with me? You're not responding to the argument I made about average speed. This response is irrelevant to me. You're not even considering the meaning of average speed... so answer me this: what was your average speed for that race? What was the average speed of some of the other riders? Did these two values have a meaning?
    I don't know about % grades... but I know that I ride up freeway overpasses at around 17.5 mph... sometimes higher, and hit the crest going at least 20. This gives me an average speed. Hence what I said earlier, about the meaning of average speed.



     
  13. Dr.Hairybiker

    Dr.Hairybiker New Member

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    Doesn't it kind of depend upon the ride? My last century, last fall, I averaged around 18.5 mph on a windy day. This time of year(wearing cold weather clothing), I'll average 17.5 mph or so on a typical 30-40 mile weekday ride, knowing I have to go to work later on that day. Once the weather turns nice, I can average around 19-20 mph on a 40-50 mile ride on a weekend day, if it's a relatively calm day. Once, on a 28 mile ride over to my girlfreinds house, with the wind at my back, I averaged around 25 mph. When I'm riding my beater/winter bike in January and it's below freezing, I probably average 13-14mph. I can go on and on, but the fact of the matter is, average speed varies with weather, terrain, equipment, circumstances, etc. If you are expecting people to just spit out a simple figure, probably won't happen.
     
  14. cdaleguy

    cdaleguy New Member

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    About 17 mph is my avg. I know that if I'm riding at 15mph going one way, then I will probably ride at 19mph when I turn around.......all in all, I'd say my avg is 17mph. Oh yeah, on the flats.
     
  15. Orange Fish

    Orange Fish New Member

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    blah blah blah, what the hell does it matter to talk about TT pace, etc? Here's my number. 23-24mph. Why do all these other people have to get caught up debating over what this and that means??? Jeeeeeze.
     
  16. frenchyge

    frenchyge New Member

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    Kinda depends on the distance and conditions, doesn't it?

    I typically ride 19-21 mph solo on rides between 30-60 miles over the rolling hilly terrain near my house. I typically get 21-23 with a small group, and I'm comfortable in a pack up to 25-26 mph.
     
  17. OCRoadie

    OCRoadie New Member

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    Simple question, simple answer = 21-25 mph
     
  18. jhuskey

    jhuskey Moderator

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    What the hell is flat terrain? I am not familiar with the term.
     
  19. velomanct

    velomanct New Member

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    NONE of my training is based on, or factors in average speed. Having said that, I usually do my tempo rides at 20-22mph average over rolling terrain.
    Most of my rides, either intervals, sprints, edurance day, hills, etc, I average 16-18mph average.
    i'm a cat 3, with a FTP of 4.1w/kg currently. that is my weakest ability on the power profiling chart.

    If you are averaging 21-23mph on your rides, over rolling terrain, that sounds pretty good.

    How about you do a 1 hour time trial and tell us your average speed and what the course was like. It's the only way you can remotely quantify average speed.
     
  20. mitosis

    mitosis New Member

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    That's an uninformed statement. Average speed is one of the measures you can use to see how you are improving. If you are riding the same course (say in a training ride) you can see whether you are getting faster by looking at the time improvements or average speed as you ride that course.

    I didn't read anyone's post saying you weren't allowed to vary your speed when riding. Nor did anyone say that they didn't take other things into account when they train.

    Maybe you are missing out by not taking into account your average speed.
     
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