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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    NE Ohio
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    135

    I want to ride faster

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    I want to ride faster.

    Is there a top limit to the speed I will be able to reach on a hybrid (trek 7,5fx) compared to exerting the same effort on a road bike?

    Would a road bike help me go faster?

    Or do I just need to be fitter and ride more to get faster on the bike I have?

    As Eddie Mercxx says, should I ride upgrades, not buy upgrades?

    Do I NEED a road bike to go faster?

    Colleen

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    San Francisco Bay Area
    Posts
    9,351
    Is there a top limit to the speed I will be able to reach on a hybrid (trek 7,5fx) compared to exerting the same effort on a road bike? yes

    Would a road bike help me go faster? yes

    Or do I just need to be fitter and ride more to get faster on the bike I have? yes

    As Eddie Mercxx says, should I ride upgrades, not buy upgrades? yes

    Do I NEED a road bike to go faster? no

    I think you need to define what you mean by going faster. Are you talking about increasing your average from 8 to 12 mph? Or 12 to 18 mph?

    V.
    Discipline is remembering what you want.


    TandemHearts.com

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    NE Ohio
    Posts
    135
    My average speed now is about 14-15 mph, (ok.....13 mph with a strong headwind!). I'd like to be able to go 18-20 mph.

    Colleen

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    San Francisco Bay Area
    Posts
    9,351
    How far are you riding? How hilly is it?

    Unless you're pretty intense about training, averaging 18 - 20 mph on a 30 to 40 mile ride is pretty fast.

    It took me a year of serious training to increase my average speed from 14 - 15 mph to 15 - 16 on a 40 mile ride with 2000 - 3000 feet of climbing in it.

    V.
    Last edited by Veronica; 11-19-2006 at 06:26 AM.
    Discipline is remembering what you want.


    TandemHearts.com

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    San Antonio, TX
    Posts
    2,024
    You will go faster *for the same effort* on a lighter bike, especially where climbing is concerned. That is because speed depends on your power to mass ratio. Mass is the weight of you and the bike, so if that is reduced, especially rotational weight (wheels, hubs, etc.) you will be faster. But as Veronica said getting to 18-20 mph requires mucho series training and a super light bike both. But getting from 12-15 mph to 14-17 is realistic with consistent riding and a lighter bike (average speed too depends a lot on how hilly it is where you ride).

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    San Francisco Bay Area
    Posts
    9,351
    Quote Originally Posted by Triskeliongirl View Post
    You will go faster *for the same effort* on a lighter bike, especially where climbing is concerned. That is because speed depends on your power to mass ratio.
    And you have to decide how much are you willing to spend for the two or three minutes you may save by getting a lighter bike.

    Here's a calculator that shows you how much faster you can be with a lighter bike.

    http://www.kreuzotter.de/english/espeed.htm

    Use a ride you have some data on and plug in the weight of your bike and then do the same thing with what you think a new road bike would weigh.

    V.
    Discipline is remembering what you want.


    TandemHearts.com

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    San Antonio, TX
    Posts
    2,024
    I agree that often folks have unrealistic expectations when they move from a 20 lb bike to an 18 lb bike, or 18 to 16. BUT, moving from a 25 plus pound bike (typical hybrid) to 18-20 will make a difference. So will moving from a hybrid to a road bike, where in addition to weight savings, she may get a more effecient position (with proper fitting), a more aerodynamic postion which can cheat the wind, more hand positions, etc. I do think that someone who is averaging 14-15 mph on a hybrid is probably topped out, and will benefit from a move to a road bike.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    San Francisco Bay Area
    Posts
    9,351
    That's why I posted the link to calculator. She can play around with all the numbers and various configurations and decide how to spend her money.

    I know I put out 188 watts. When I put my data into the calculator and say I am on a mountain bike with medium slick tires it would take me 5 more minutes to do my local climb.

    Is five minutes on an 11 mile ride worth a couple of thousand dollars? That's something she has decide.

    Also how long is she spending on the bike? Is she averaging 15 mph on a 30 minute ride? Or a 3 hour ride? That makes a difference as well.



    V.
    Last edited by Veronica; 11-19-2006 at 07:00 AM.
    Discipline is remembering what you want.


    TandemHearts.com

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Kelowna, BC, Canada
    Posts
    2,737
    Cool link Veronica! I don't know how many watts I put out but according to the chart, it varies between 148-198 depending on whether my hands are in the drops or not! Interesting!

    How to do increase my "wattage"? Just ride more? Is it something one can improve?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    San Francisco Bay Area
    Posts
    9,351
    Last year based on the same ride I was putting out about 160. My improvement came from riding hard, medium distance rides.

    V.
    Discipline is remembering what you want.


    TandemHearts.com

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    467
    In the flats, by far and away, the biggest limitation is aerodynamics. Whereas on a climb, more so the steeper it gets, power to weight is the biggest limiter while aerodynamics becomes rather secondary.

    I could for example, put a 25 pound plate in my backpack, and to ride at 20mph would only need to produce about 4 more watts than I do at my present weight.

    Meanwhile, if I tried the same stunt on a 5% grade, to ride at 10mph, I'd need to make 25 more watts.

    You can see this in practice because drafting on a climb saves you much, much less than in the flats, where you can ride with much stronger riders just by sitting in and staying out of the wind.

    I think average speed in the flats is a rather vague number to use as a measure of fitness. On a climb, that you do regularly, then it can be really useful since aerodynamics & wind have a lesser effect.

    Using calculators for climbs has an important limitation - when you plug in the numbers, % grade, etc - the assumption is that the climb is steady, and I've yet to see a climb of any significant length that fits such a description.

    Where I do a climb locally that averages about 6% for 10+ miles, segments range from a short downhill to over 10%. So in reality, my power numbers are higher than what the calculator predicts because of the variation in terrain.

    There are many, many ways of getting faster. Veronica mentioned what worked for her. My preferred method consists of 10-40 minute intervals at TT (1-hour) pace several times per week.
    Last edited by Cassandra_Cain; 11-19-2006 at 08:58 AM.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Switzerland
    Posts
    2,033
    Interesting - why does low air temperature increase my calories burnt on that link?

    Correlates with what I felt today after a 60 km ride at 10C - trashed....
    It's a little secret you didn't know about us women. We're all closet Visigoths.

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  13. #13
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    1,375
    Quote Originally Posted by momof4greatkids View Post
    My average speed now is about 14-15 mph, (ok.....13 mph with a strong headwind!). I'd like to be able to go 18-20 mph.

    Colleen
    For reference (from someone who has both, sort of)
    On my 20" front wheel bent (the recumbent equivalent to your hybrid DF), I average ~13 mph on my commute to work. On my performance bent (equivalent to an entry level road bike), I average ~17 mph on my commute to work.
    Differences: aerodynamics, weight (32 lbs vs 25 lbs, bents are heavy) - that's pretty much it, I have narrow tires on both. My faster bent is also aluminum, which I think works well for me, and the other is cromoly. The weight difference is more than that, though - I carry cloths and lunch and things with me on the comfortable bike and much less on the road bike.
    You should always buy a new bike when you want to! OK, my comfort bent is for sale, I've run out of room to store them all.
    Last edited by TsPoet; 11-19-2006 at 11:23 AM.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Illinois
    Posts
    3,135

    Tires?????

    I have averaged either 21.3 or 23.1 mph on a 30 mile ride - in a paceline - on my 7500FX. The paceline of course made me a whole lot more streamlined.

    Did I miss this skimming the replies: What tires do you have? I added 2 mph, no effort, when I went to skinnier tires (tho' I did it on the bike before the trek; when I bought this one, Fritz said "of course you'll want to switch out tires." I have 25 cc tires; most of my road buddies have 23s.

    The only way I could hold 18-20 is with a paceline (or a tailwind - I did average 17.9 on the RAIN ride but the 8 mph breeze helped ) unless it was prestty short and sweet.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Posts
    860
    cool link! thanks v

 

 

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