Your pace for 100 mile ride?

Discussion in 'Road Cycling' started by Archbob, Jul 31, 2011.

  1. Archbob

    Archbob New Member

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    100 miles along county roads. I live in Wisconsin and I will ride out from Madison Northward or westward along roads. Right now a century takes me around 8 hrs or so(when I know the route well and am not looking for directions all the time). Topography is about what you expect for country roads. No massive climbs but some rolling hills. Downtown Madison seems to be a low point and you'll gain about 1000+ feet or so overall for a 50 mile ride and then go down about 1000 ft on the way back. There are obviously some climbs and downhills. I can hit at about 12-13 mph on this kind of stuff. On flat dirt trial(like military ridge) which is mostly flat, I can get about 15mph or a little better.

    For the dirt trails I usually ride my 1999 Schwinn passage and for county road trails, I ride my 2011 GT 5 series(both bikes with stock parts except for saddle and the 28 inch wheels I put on the Schwinn for trails.)

    How about you guys.

    I haven't found any completely flat routes to test my speed on flat. I'm amazed that Cat 4 races average 24-25 mph. I'm assuming most of those courses are paved and pretty flat, right?
     
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  2. daveryanwyoming

    daveryanwyoming Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, a Cat 4 crit can average 25 or better but that's paved, flat and a short course for a race that lasts perhaps 45 minutes or so and is ridden in a big field which means a lot of people to push the pace and a lot of places to hide from the wind and draft which makes a huge difference. A longer Cat 4 road race in rolling terrain and on paved roads might average 21-23 mph or so perhaps a bit more or less depending on the course, the field size and the tactics being played out during the race.

    But for long solo century rides typically ridden on paved roads it's not unusual for Cat 3/4/5 men to ride them in 5 to 6 hours with sub 5 being fairly common for flatter courses with lots of open uninterrupted roads. Solo hundred mile training rides around Seattle with hills and plenty of traffic interruptions usually take me about six hours, in Wyoming with the altitude and long stretches of open road I'd finish solo hundred milers in about five hours and I'm a mid category racer so plenty of folks will do those faster.

    -Dave
     
  3. Archbob

    Archbob New Member

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    I actually can finish in about 6.5 or so on the flat dirt trail. Faster than rolling hills. I guess the 8 hours isn't that accurate. I'm never pushing because cycling directions you get from the internet generally suck and I'm almost always looking for directions. On the trail, there's little traffic and I'm never looking for directions so it doesn't make me nearly as long.

    By the ways, will it actually make that much difference in my time whether I'm riding a $700 GT 5 series like I have now or a $5000 bike with full dura-ace parts and race tires?
     
  4. daveryanwyoming

    daveryanwyoming Well-Known Member

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    Nope, it's really not about the bike.

    You might be able to buy a bit of speed by upgrading the stock tires, getting some decent clipless pedals and matching shoes or other small changes but if you want to go much faster you've got to ride more and train regularly including days where you push yourself a bit harder for sustained sections. The GT 5 series bike is not holding you back.
     
  5. Archbob

    Archbob New Member

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    Yeah, thats about what I thought.

    The last century I did this weekend, I hurt the ligament near my right knee attempting a 1.5 mile climb up a fairly steep gradient at mile 50 so the ride bike was pretty slow since I didn't want to really injure myself.
     
  6. swampy1970

    swampy1970 Well-Known Member

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    So you'll be selling me that fancy Orbea TT bike of yours with the flash TT wheels for $3.99 since it doesn't make much of a difference. :p

    :)
     
  7. daveryanwyoming

    daveryanwyoming Well-Known Member

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    Sure, I'll sell it to ya for 3999.99 (hmmm, with the wheels let's make that euros), I take cash....

    I sure like my Ordu but ironically my best 40K time yet was set on my vintage steel road bike (circa 1987) with clip on aero bars and a plastic cover on my PT wheel. Sure I wish I owned the full TT rig back then as the conditions were great and I had a good day but I still haven't beaten that in the past three seasons, dedicated bike fast wheels and all.

    And yeah, the bike makes a difference when we're talking about a road bike with racing tires vs. a cyclocross bike with knobbies on a slick muddy course or a big travel full suspension mountain bike vs. a road bike on steep and loose technical single track descents or the OPs GT Series vs a thirty pound beach cruiser for general road riding and sure a dedicated TT bike is generally a pretty big advantage over a stock road bike for time trials on relatively flat courses, but that's not really the question he posed.

    Pedantic much swampster???
     
  8. Froze

    Froze Well-Known Member

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    You and I are not Cat 4 racers, I once was a Cat 3 racer but that was about 30 years ago! I'm now 58 with no intentions in the near future to train to race thus my miles are a lot less then they use to be and in the winter it goes even lower since I have to ride a trainer indoors and it bores me to tears and by the time spring comes around I hate and dread getting on the dang thing. I live in Northern Indiana and I average about 13 to 14 mph on a 100 mile ride on a road bike nothing blazing but I can do it.

    And no Cat 4 or 3 races are not done on all flat and level roads.
     
  9. An old Guy

    An old Guy Member

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    Cat4's cheat. They ride in groups. They don't ride very far.

    When I was young, all of the regulars on our group rides could ride solo under 5 hours. Most of the occasional rides could ride under 6 hours. 6 hours is a respectable time.

    I am old now. I don't have any motivation to ride 100 miles, but I could get close to 6 hours on any day. I don't look for favorable routes. I just take what comes.

    Most of the people I see riding 100 miles lack the motivation to ride much under 6 hours. If they want to be under 6 hours, they work with a group.
     
  10. bgoetz

    bgoetz Member

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    My last Cat 4 road race was ~47 miles on a fairly rolling course with a couple of 8-10% sections of 1-1.5 miles, our average pace was around 25.5mph, it was a faster race, we actually passed the 3s. I think the slowest 4 race I had this year was on a 55 mile course with some big climbs and that pace was just under 24mph. It seems in this area the 4 races have had some strong contenders and have been pretty fast races. You also have to keep in mind that while hills slow the pace, it is a race so slow is not slow, and then we have to come down them, at which point speeds of 50+ mph are reached.

    Old guy, no disrespect, but I don't think you have ever done a day of racing in your life, I have yet to be in any race (5, 4, or now 3), where we have "rode as a group", and 50+ miles is a long time to be on the rivet. If races were group rides and we all worked together at a race pace, we would be faster. Now there is some merit to Dave's comments that the race (attacks and tactical moves) do push the pace, plus the fact that it is a race, so a group ride at a race pace is kinda an unrealistic thing. People don't work together in a race though, and a pace that fluctuates between 20mph and 40+ mph to equal out at 25.5 mph is certainly not conducive to finding the fastest pace a group can complete a set distance in. While there are wheels to be had in a peloton, everyone is fighting for a good one, and in crosswinds race tactics typically dictate that there are much fewer good wheels than racers.

    I have done a few solo century rides at a steady pace and I am typically under 5hrs, I have never done a solo century at anything more than a steady pace. I did do a fast pace group century last year and we came in under 4.5hrs, but the group was made up of very fit cyclists, not elite racers
     
  11. swampy1970

    swampy1970 Well-Known Member

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    You must be getting old. The next time I inject a little humour and stick a bunch of smileys at the end of the sentence I'll make 'em really really big!

    :p

    :)
     
  12. jpr95

    jpr95 Active Member

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    I'll find out here in about a month and a half when I ride my first ever century. Considering how much I've been on the bike so far this summer (not much at all), I've got a 7-hour (in the saddle) time in the back of my mind as a goal. Crappy weather or lots of hills (I'm not familiar with the area), and I'll be happy with 8 hours.
     
  13. Archbob

    Archbob New Member

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    Unfortunately, this isn't my job. I get in as many miles as I can while the weather permits. Don't usually have time to hit 200+ in a week often.
     
  14. An old Guy

    An old Guy Member

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    It would be nice if you compared times for similar distances. Your 55 mile race with big climbs at just under 24mph took about 2:15. While a friendly group may have been able to go faster, I don't think you could have gone faster solo.

    ---

    I don't know about you but both my effort and my pace going up hills is a lot different than going down hills. Same with regard to changes in the wind direction. Perhaps you meant something else.

    I knew Cat5 racers were stupid but even Cat3s know how to draft. For the most part that is what they do.
     
  15. swampy1970

    swampy1970 Well-Known Member

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    If you're "time limited" then there's always some training that you can do. Even if you only have 45 minutes - go out, warm up for 5 minutes and ramp it up to full on race pace and kill yourself for about 30 minutes to 40 minutes. Take a couple of minutes breather in the middle and call it a 2x20 session ;) It's not the best training session but if all you have is less than an hour it's all you can do. If you have lots of stop signs and traffic lights in your area then such a session may be best done on the trainer/rollers.

    If you have a couple of hours every once in a while then use those to do a less intense session, focusing on a sustainable pace that'll leave you nicely toasted at the end ;)

    Whatever you do, if you have a goal or a purpose for riding then you can use that as an incentive when you ride and the going gets tough.
     
  16. bgoetz

    bgoetz Member

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    No, I certainly could not do 25.5 mph on a 55 mile hilly course and never implied that I could. My comment with regards to pace up and down hills, was meant that assuming they are not massive long climbs, hills in a race do not have as big of a factor on average pace as one might think, plus in a race you are pushing going up much harder than you ever would on a normal ride, even a hard one (at least if you hope to stand a shot at winning). Wind is a bit more difficult, but assuming that you have an even head/tail wind the same could be said about that as with hills.

    Your comment about drafting just shows how little you really understand racing. Have you watched how a professional peloton blows up in a hard crosswind? Do you think the pros know a thing or two about how to draft, they do, as does an experienced racer, which is why they position themselves to minimize the draft. This with the constant attacks and positioning going on in a race peloton does not lend to efficient drafting and pace, at least not like you are implying by stating that "Cat 4s cheat and ride in a group". I am not saying that they are not more efficient than an individual effort because most of the time they are, I am just saying that I think you lack understanding that races are not group rides where you can just easily sit in the pack and go along for the ride, at least not most of the time. It is ok though, most people who do nothing, but fast hard ego driven group rides don't have that understanding until they jump in a race that carries an average pace that is slower than their group ride and get dropped. Our club actually put on a USCF race this past weekend and a few people that I tried to explain the same thing I am trying to explain to you showed up and did the Cat 5 race, I will just say they finished the race "eyes wide open".

    There are times when a peloton is very efficient, but these are pelotons that are made of strong teams that are working to chase down a break, which is certainly not the typical Cat 4 peloton that is made up of mostly individuals and a few small teams that typically don't allow a break enough room to even require any type of hard chase. When they do the chase is typically driven by a couple of strong guys while the rest of the group sits on because they either cannot put out the effort required or are so focused on trying to place well they would rather risk spinting for a top 5 finish then contributing to the effort of the group.

    Most of this rebuttal and my previous explanation don't have as much to do with the OPs original post, as it is a response to your comment, which rubbed me the wrong way and deserved clarification.
     
  17. Felt_Rider

    Felt_Rider Active Member

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    I think you will find this is a waste of time with this person.

    After his first couple of posts on this forum I have personally lumped this person into my NSI (non-credible source of information) category and running a real fine line of being in the Troll category.
     
  18. Felt_Rider

    Felt_Rider Active Member

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    Here is an overview of some of the century rides I have done in the past few years.

    I look at this topic and there are too many factors to make a real apple to apple comparison even with the same event courses since group dynamics, head winds, tail winds, heat, climbing and many other factors play a role in century speeds. The Jackson Brevet at the top was slow due to heat and we started so far back that we spent half of the ride trying to get around slower cyclists. Too many factors even when I compare against myself.


    I am classified as a mediocre club rider and low functional threshold and cannot keep up with Cat 5 racers, but here is how it has looked for some of my events.
    This is just a partial list.


    [​IMG]
     
  19. limerickman

    limerickman Moderator

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    I know exactly the type of terrain that your ride covers and for myself I average 16-17mph for 100 mile distance.

    I use 6 hour threshold to try to complete 100 mile distance.
    Needless to say I have never completed 100 miles in less than 5 hours/img/vbsmilies/smilies/redface.gif (since giving up racing)
     
  20. limerickman

    limerickman Moderator

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    For a contributor who seems to think that he's struggling, your spreadsheet shows otherwise, felt.
     
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