What's The Top Speed You Achieved?

Discussion in 'Road Cycling' started by Bonzer, Jun 16, 2015.

  1. Bonzer

    Bonzer New Member

    Joined:
    May 25, 2015
    Messages:
    83
    Likes Received:
    4
    I'm no biker myself. I used to go to college on my bike, but I don't ride one now. I just opened this thread out of curiosity to know the max speed you reached as a hobby biker.

    There is a difference between professional bike riders and hobby riders (For professionals, it's a career and they devote heck lot of resources on it, the same doesn't apply to exercise riders/hobby riders). I just would like to know the max speed of hobby cyclists and if they ever reach anywhere close to professionals.

    Thanks!
     
    Tags:


  2. jhuskey

    jhuskey Moderator

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2003
    Messages:
    10,569
    Likes Received:
    317
    On flats , uphill or otherwise? A lot of us can cycle at 30 mph +, we just can't maintain it like a pro can over a longer period of time. Downhill is easy up to a point and especially tough at higher speeds in hairpin turns.
     
  3. ABNPFDR

    ABNPFDR Member

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2014
    Messages:
    212
    Likes Received:
    22
    On a flat - 38mph - DEFINATELY not sustained. I did once however get a ticket for going 34 in a 25. Also on a flat.

    On a downhill - 51.3mph in New Hampshire on Rt 2 heading east after Randolph Hill, descending into Gorham, NH. It's 2 miles at a -9° grade. Wide shoulder, straight shot of a road.

    I've been clocked faster on skis than I have on a bike.
     
    ejclarke likes this.
  4. ejclarke

    ejclarke New Member

    Joined:
    May 25, 2015
    Messages:
    9
    Likes Received:
    2
    Many years ago I cycled for fun with my cousin, Donald, just on good tarred roads on city outskirts.
    It was his idea, him being a triathlon participant and super fit.
    I was not very fit at all and he regularly nagged me for falling behind.

    But on one very steep and long downhill, I just lay down low and let gravity take me as fast as it could.
    I left Donald far, far behind on that stretch. He later berated me for reckless speeding. By chance, a friend in a car in the second lane clocked me at over 80 km/h (over 50 mph)

    I thought it was funny, at first, that I could easily reach this speed and leave the expert in my dust, so to speak.
    Later I reasoned that my wheels were probably very well balanced while Donald's were probably not, giving him vibrations while I felt nothing but wind.

    My guess is that an expert can do way better than myself, with the right bike and suitable downhill slope on a good road.
    I would be most interested to hear if a world record exists with such a thing :)
     
  5. ABNPFDR

    ABNPFDR Member

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2014
    Messages:
    212
    Likes Received:
    22
    Most of the roads in the U.S. Are not long and steep enough to get much faster than low 50's. I've heard of cyclists hitting high 50s in the mountains out west.

    wind resistance is your enemy. Even on a descent from Pinkham Notch which is over 10 miles at sustained gradient of 7-8 degrees is only enough to get up into the mid 40s. Think about it. Falling straight down you only get up to about 114 to 118 mph. Roads are not nearly that... Vertical.

    While not really a skill thing, it does require a certain degree of confidence in your equipment and handling abilities, or a certain degree of ignorance, stupidity, etc.
     
  6. jhuskey

    jhuskey Moderator

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2003
    Messages:
    10,569
    Likes Received:
    317
    I disagree on the skill comment. A skilled rider can decend much faster.
     
  7. ABNPFDR

    ABNPFDR Member

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2014
    Messages:
    212
    Likes Received:
    22
    You're talking descending which I agree is a skill, but the topic is top end speed. Does not matter how good of a descender you are, it's still gravity vs wind resistance/drag which is physics, not skill.

    On a twisting mountain descent, your handling skills absolutely cone in to play as far has how fast you can go.
     
  8. ejclarke

    ejclarke New Member

    Joined:
    May 25, 2015
    Messages:
    9
    Likes Received:
    2
    The road in question was about 1km long, perfectly straight, down a mountainside.


    I only did it once. Perhaps it was stupid, My cousin certainly thought it was stupid, and he was a very experienced cyclist. I simply do not know enough.

    It was good fun though :)

    [​IMG]
     
  9. swampy1970

    swampy1970 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2008
    Messages:
    10,014
    Likes Received:
    177
    Descending and cornering skills get you onto the straight for a 'top speed' run faster and therefore you will ultimately reach a higher top speed. It also requires skill to keep the bike in a straight line when your chest is on the stem and your hands either side of the stem on the bar tops.

    Fastest speed: 72mph descending Mt Tiede back down the hotel in Puerto de Santiago. A very strong tailwind off the Altantic and a 9% even gradient for a couple of miles.

    In the US - 61 mph on Monitor Pass in the Sierra Nevada and 58mph on Cobb Mtn. Cobb is pretty twisty and that top speed required some "interesting" descending skills and a big sprint out of all the corners because I couldn't remember where the fast part was. :p

    I think if I hit Monitor Pass now I'd rather warp speed within 200 meters and the world would spin backwards, such is the heft around my midrift now.
     
    steve likes this.
  10. Corzhens

    Corzhens Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 26, 2015
    Messages:
    1,287
    Likes Received:
    122
    This thread is kind of challenging. Since I am not a professional cyclist so I will be honest in saying that my top speed is 40 KPH and that's during a downhill ride. Hmm, maybe it's a bit slower than 40 because I remember that my brakes would be constantly pressed during the downhill ride. But anyway, my mountain bike is not designed for racing so I guess that speed of 40 kph or so is just good enough.
     
  11. Jojo83

    Jojo83 New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2015
    Messages:
    47
    Likes Received:
    0
    I have reached the speed of 60 kph before, riding downhill on a mountain road. I am not a professional cyclist, so I got scared of the speed that I am riding and slowed down. When riding on a flat road though, I think my top speed is 40 kph or something.
     
  12. ejclarke

    ejclarke New Member

    Joined:
    May 25, 2015
    Messages:
    9
    Likes Received:
    2
    Here are the records :)
    My puny highest speed is laughably slow when compared.
    But the opportunity is there for any soul brave or mad enough to beat 222 km/h (138 mph).
    Any takers?
    [​IMG]
     
    steve likes this.
  13. jhuskey

    jhuskey Moderator

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2003
    Messages:
    10,569
    Likes Received:
    317
    The OP didn't indicate where the top speed would be achieved but I assume that most have their top speed downhill and to clarify my thoughts if you have two pros going at it the most skilled decent rider will win the contest. If you have two goof balls on huffy mountain bikes it's all about luck.
    I can kick my bike up to 35 mph or better on a flat road but Cancellara can maintain that speed for miles. That's the difference.

    As far as skiing I have skied at 60 plus ,I am a high level skier and don't care to state that. I started cycling year ago to stay in shape for skiing but as in all things if you live long enough you get older and then old and instead of being the top dog you become the old dog .
     
    ejclarke likes this.
  14. ABNPFDR

    ABNPFDR Member

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2014
    Messages:
    212
    Likes Received:
    22
    EJ - was well aware of speed records like that. There are all kinds of niche records like that that make use of speed suits and all sorts are aero fairings. There are all sorts of salt flat records with moto-paced bikes or bikes that are towed to a starting velocity because the gearing is too high to start out from zero.

    I think that goes beyond the intent of what we are talking about for "Cycling".

    Top speed in the Giro is 74mph. Top speed in the TdF is 72. But we are talking super-steep roads at higher elevations. When Swampy mentioned riding Mt Tiede, the summit of that is at 12,000, some of the roads up top are at 7000-8000 ft ASL. The air is thinner, speeds are higher. Certainly you can hit the speeds he was hitting - Strava/Garmin back that up. But any of us could on those roads provided our C.O.Jones lets us.

    Modern Gearing of a 53/11 will require you to do 140rpm to hit 50mph. Probably not going to happen, that cadence is too fast to. To get up over 50 you need a steep road. We're talking greater than a 10° slope. And in a race descending skills matter but once above 50mph it's really a fight against air resistance and having a road steep enough to overcome the drag your body creates. In the high alps, andes, even in the Rockies, sure you might be able to hit 60, even 70. but it's hard to find that kind of road in the US.

    Visit http://penultimates.blogspot.com/2012/08/the-physics-of-cycling-ii-or-why-i-am.html or google Bicycle Terminal Velocity and do some reading.
     
  15. maydog

    maydog Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2010
    Messages:
    1,333
    Likes Received:
    90
    140 rpm isn't too high. I've hit 50 briefly on a relatively short steep hill with about 60 feet of elevation change, with a stiff tailwind and pedaling like mad.

    Track cyclists can get to the mid 40's with a very small elevation change.

    My highest sustained speed is in the mid 40's descending mountains on the big island of Hawaii; that was with a healthy fistfull of brake.
     
  16. Bonzer

    Bonzer New Member

    Joined:
    May 25, 2015
    Messages:
    83
    Likes Received:
    4
    OMG, most of you guys are clocking insane speeds. It's unbelievable for a normal man like me. Perhaps, I draw inspiration from you and start biking in the near future. Most of you must be boasting of rock hard bodies and highly toned Abs.

    Thanks for giving me an insight into endurance levels and speeds of amateur bikers.
     
  17. maydog

    maydog Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2010
    Messages:
    1,333
    Likes Received:
    90
    My sense of calm and control slips away in the mid 40's. Hitting the 70's on a bike is pretty crazy - major pucker time. I worry about my brakes at high speeds on long descents, they can start to smell and sound funny.

    I used to ride with a fellow that was officially clocked 70+ in a streamlined recumbent on the flat with no wind assistance.

    Going fast downhill requires little in the way of cardiovascular conditioning. Confidence and handling skills are helpful. This is the one place in cycling where additional mass makes you king. There is no need for rock hard, 7-minute, abs to go fast. Beer bellies work just fine. At 100Kg I drop pretty well.
     
  18. metalmancpa

    metalmancpa New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2015
    Messages:
    40
    Likes Received:
    3
    Many decades ago on a long downhill I was biking with a friend and a car passed us and told us we were going 50. On a flat I have come close to but not hit 30, and in no way can I sustain that. My normal sustainable speed on a flat is 22-24, and I can't seem to average much more than 17 over a long stretch.
     
  19. thetdog666

    thetdog666 New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2015
    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    0
    54.8mph going down the cairn o mount in scotland. Downwind on 53/11 gearing. Was up at 50mph another time going down the cairn when my back wheel locked up, ended up in hospital with a broken collarbone lol
     
  20. Jcycle

    Jcycle Active Member

    Joined:
    May 14, 2015
    Messages:
    599
    Likes Received:
    36
    I got a citation once for doing 41 in a 25. I was going down hill however. I'm not sure about speeds on flat land. Nothing high sustained.
     
Loading...
Loading...