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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2011

    Odometer and speed

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    Does anyone have a good recommendation on an odometer? I use map my run on my phone and am ready to get an odometer for my bike.n y

    Also, what would you say is an average mph on road bike on flat/moderate hill 20 mile loop? I find I'm averaging 12.5 and seem slow. I am wanting to ride with some groups that say they do about 13/14 mph. I don't think I can keep up...how do I get faster?


  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2013
    north woods of Wisconsin
    Can't help on the odometer thing. Sorry.

    The problem when dealing with hills and average speed are the specific hills involved. A short, but very steep hill, cuts into my average speed more than a longer, more gradual hill, partially because I need a bit more time to recover on the steeper hill after cresting it. I have several 20 mile loops that I do - all have hills and level stretches - but my average speed can vary 2 mph or more, depending on the specific hills involved, not to mention other factors like wind (especially this), pavement quality and so on.

    As far as average speed, yours versus the group, really tough to predict until you actually ride with the group. Then, too, if you are the competitive type, you may also find that you'll push harder when riding with the group. The good news is that you are at least in the ball park, so well worth giving it a try. Go for it. Best of luck.
    Last edited by north woods gal; 08-30-2016 at 09:38 AM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2008
    northern Virginia
    I've used a Garmin Edge 500 for some years now and before that used a Polar device that included a heart rate monitor. So it's been a while since I used a simple odometer for my bike. I know that Cateye makes (made?) some good ones. The Garmin Edge products are very popular for cycling. If you're interested in one of those, I can find a link to a blogger that has reviewed a bunch of them.

    As for speed, it really depends on the person. The club I ride with most often has defined their ride categories as: 8-10 mph, 10-12, 12-14, 14-16, 16-18, 18+. Most of our active members tend to average 10-13 or above 15. I am a lonely in-between rider these days, averaging 13.5-14 on most routes that have some hills and topping out around 15 on flat routes. On a very hilly ride the other day I averaged 12.5 mph. Everyone else on the ride (except for the friend I rode with) was faster that, out of sight and up the road and never to be seen again after the first few miles.

    To get faster, well you have to ride faster. People often advise interval training for this. Ride very fast, push yourself to work hard, for an interval of time or distance. Then go easy for a while. Then another hard interval followed by another easier one, and again and again. Usually you want a warm up period of easier riding before the first hard interval and an easy cool down period at the end. As for how to define the intervals, to be honest I only really do them on the indoor trainer during the winter so they're based on time, e.g., 1 or 2 or 5 minutes hard effort followed by 30 seconds or 1 or 2 minutes of easy pedaling. But riding outdoors, you can do it based on time or it can depend on where you're riding. It can be from one intersection to the next, from one lamp post to the next, up a hill, etc.

    The less formal approach that I take is to (a) ride as much as I can and (b) do some rides with people who are faster than me and try to keep up with them for as long as possible. Eventually I get annoyed and slow down to a more comfortable pace, but in the long run it does help to push myself. You want your leg muscles to be tired at the end.

    p.s. one more thing I should add -- I would be faster these days if I wasn't hauling around an extra 10 pounds of fat on my butt. If you're overweight, losing weight typically helps you ride faster. Of course if losing weight were easy I wouldn't be hauling around these extra 10 pounds...
    Last edited by ny biker; 08-30-2016 at 01:59 PM.

    - Gray 2010 carbon WSD road bike, Rivet Independence saddle
    - Red hardtail 26" aluminum mountain bike, Bontrager Evoke WSD saddle
    - Royal blue 2018 aluminum gravel bike, Rivet Pearl saddle

    Gone but not forgotten:
    - Silver 2003 aluminum road bike
    - Two awesome worn out Juliana saddles

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2016
    I have a Garmin Edge 25. May not be what you are looking for but it is on the less expensive end of the Garmin products. They also have an Edge 20.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2016
    I've used a lot of different speedometers over the years. They all tell you the same info, so I go as cheaply as possible. I base my choice on wired vs wireless and ability to quickly remove it from the bike. I like the wireless ones that I can remove without tools, but the major downside is they chew through batteries like mad. If you store your bike for the winter with one of these, you have to remember to take both batteries out because the devices never turn off. I don't care for anything that has GPS because I can just use my phone for that.

    As for going faster, I'll admit to being one of those who will automatically go faster if other people are around. But...I can't know them. If I know them, I'll want to chat and we won't go very fast. If I don't know them then game on. If I see someone up ahead, I just sort of focus on them until I pass them. I think it's the same thing that happens to me when driving. If there's a rider/driver ahead of me, they tend to take a lot of my concentration and I don't like that, so I pass them. And I keep the speed up for a long time after passing so that they don't get a chance to pass back, lol. And if they catch up, then I speed up again. If I'm utterly alone, this won't happen. In that case it's other stuff that will push me, like being late, being bored, needing the darn washroom, etc. Sometimes I'll race the bus if I'm on a bus route and I can see the bus coming up behind me way off in the distance and I don't want to be passed by it (some bus drivers are bad with cyclists).



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