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BobtheBuilder
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was wondering what some of your typical speeds where. Average over a distance, top speed, etc....

No road bike(yet) just a mountain bike I ride to work and back.

7.7 miles each way - average 18.2 mph as my best overall average on the way there. 17.8 on the way home.

Highest top end - 26.4
 

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My typical average on solo training rides winds up between 16 and 17 mph dependent on distance, grade, headwind, temperature, and how fresh I'm feeling.

Solo best over a decent distance for me has been 17.65 mph over 35 miles of relative flat w/ a few sustained 1.5-2% grades (550ft of total elevation gain). I have averaged 18.9mph over a 12 mile more or less flat course once.

I hit my max recorded speed of 37.6 mph pedaling down a long 6-7% descent last week while I was in Seattle.
 

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39x21
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I typically average ~20mph over my 15 mile traning loop which starts fairly flat, enters a few light climbs and ends with rolling hills.

Over distance, my best to date is 17mph over a 55 mile circuit that involves some slow climbs and a couple of pretty nasty hills that almost grind me to a halt. Highest speed is 42.5mph, not-so-coincidentally occuring on the other side of one such hill!
 

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Make sure you look closely at the distances and the nature of the terrain (like posted by SidNitzerglobin) when people report their "typical speeds". Also, don't take too much stock in these figures because other than in time-trialing, cycling is not about "typical speeds." It's more about the ability to handle speed variations.

Here's a good example: I recently borrowed a computer-equipped track bike to train myself up for an upcoming track event. I did one of my standing-start 500-meter runs at a beginning speed of 0 mph, a maximum speed of 28.3 mph and an average speed of 24.5 mph. But could I turn in an average 18.9 mph over 12 miles on a mountain bike as you did? No way in a million years!
 

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Depends on what I'm doing, the weather conditions, terrain, people I'm with (if any), which bike, which wheels, etc.

For my windy ~40k TT with lots of rolling hills, ~22 mph. 30 minute pan flat crit: 25mph. Pan flat 13mile TT: ~24.5mph. 55 mile road race: 22.6mph. Hilly 45 mile RR with nasty winds/cross winds: ~20mph. Solo rides: varies depending on the type of workout I need.

Top speeds: ~60mph on a descent (that was freaky) and I think ~35mph during a sprint in a crit with somewhat of a tail wind.
 

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Vintage cyclist
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My avg. speed depends on terrain,wind, and distance.

My best top speed recently in a sprint (flat, no wind at all) was 38mph. Solo sprint against a pick up truck from a stop light. NOT a bunch sprint with a nice lead out train! I felt pretty good about that.
 

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Resident Curmudgeon
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There is no typical or average speed. No one can answer your question with any certainty. There are just too many variables. Road surface, tires, tire size, tire inflation, wind, hills, what mood you happen to be in that particular day, temperature, humidity, etc. It's just not possible to say.
 

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Average speed is only usefull as a measuring stick against one's self on a constant route. Or as constant as possible....the wind will always be different.

It's more or less useless to gauge your progress by how you stack up to people on the interwebs unless they happen to be doing the same exact route.

For example most of the group rides I do are on rolling hills and we generally average about 22-23 MPH over a 40-50 mile route. This is with a good hard effort but not 'all out'.
When I drive just an hour or so North where the hills are not rolling and some are actually mountains and I ride alone usually.....I have to put myself on the verge of puking to average over 17 MPH.

So looking at my average speeds am I fast or slow (rhetorical question)? You could pick either. I'm probably neither but see how if I just used average speed and compared them to strangers riding different routes under different conditions it's impossible to compare.

Top speed? Whatever it is it's 99% due to gravity and more a gauge of how crazy I'm willing to get than how fast I can go.
 

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BobtheBuilder
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I completely understand that it differs. I was just curious what most people are doing. I am assuming most everyone has a favorite ride that they do fairly often and that was how I should have worded it.

Top speed is really a dare devil question and I find that answer the coolest.
 

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On a 30 mile semi-loop with half usually into a headwind while going against a 2% grade and the other half with some rolling hills and then a slight downhill grade I generally average about 21-23mph. I do this ride 3-4 times a week.

On my 55 mile loop with various terrain and numerous stoplights in one section I average about 16-18mph.

I try and focus more on maintaining a steady cadence and ending each trip with less fatigue than the day before.

I hit 41.7mph last week on about a 3% grade at the end of a 20 mile interval workout.
 

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I also avg about 20 on short flat rides (20-30 mi). I can slow to a crawl on a long hill climb. Got to mention frpax 38 mile per hr sprint. I'd be pretty proud of that too. Your my new hero.
 

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'brifter' is f'ing stupid
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how about a 40mph sprint on the track, 51/14. in a keirin...from the front...

that lap and a half had me hacking all day!
 

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I ride with a buddy; we do a ~20 mile morning ride on the weekend and average just over 19mph with a max of 35mph. This is just a hair over 1 hour. Ride is rolling with one strong climb that we do 3 times that our speed drops to about 10mph.
 

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BobtheBuilder
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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
So stoked!

Just rode to work(the normal 7.7 route) and set a new best for time over the distance(24:29) and average moving speed(18.8mph). I know those are nothing special but I am so freaking happy with them.

I felt like crap right after the ride(30 minutes ago I finished) but feel great now!!



On another note, I got passed again by a dude on a Trek 2.1. I am starting to not like my mountain bike just because a guy 20+years my age goes flying by me when I am trying freaking hard.



2 weeks until I get my new bike!
 

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Mountain bikes are not meant to keep up with road bikes. It usually takes an extremely strong rider on a mountain bike to keep up with a modest road biker.

Don't let age or gender fool ya. Someone who trains more than you and has more experience will naturally be faster, especially if you're on a mountain bike and they're on a roadie.
 

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BobtheBuilder
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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
spade2you said:
Mountain bikes are not meant to keep up with road bikes. It usually takes an extremely strong rider on a mountain bike to keep up with a modest road biker.

Don't let age or gender fool ya. Someone who trains more than you and has more experience will naturally be faster, especially if you're on a mountain bike and they're on a roadie.

Oh I know. It was meant in jest. I tried my hardest to keep on his wheel but he just effortlessly(it seemed) pulled away.
 

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Beatchin' Technology
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Variables

Average speed depends on whether there are traffic lights, how many vf of climbing you are doing, how much traffic, whether you are in a group, whether the other group members are stronger than you, which whip you're palping, etc.

Some examples:

Yesterday: 63miles @ 17.7mph with 3,700vf of climbing but 18mph on the 30 flattish miles returning after a break. Last Wednesday: 29miles @ 21mph with <2,000vf. on heavier rain bike. In June with six strong riders we did the first 90 miles of a century over 20mph until we ran into a school bus and loads of traffic lights 10 miles from home. I think I averaged about 14mph doing 4k vf of hill repeats about three weeks ago.:cryin:
 
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