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  1. #1
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    How fast?

    I have been riding to work on and off for awhile now but i am finding that I want to just hammer it to work (wish i had that same moto on the trail). So i bought bike computer to track mileage and how fast i am going but i am finding that 10mph is the clip i need to cruise to work at without looking like a sweat rag. just wonderng what everyone elses speed is on their commutes.
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  2. #2
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    My average speed it 13/14 mph

  3. #3
    Unhinged Aussie on a 29er
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    My average speed on flat ground is 17-19 mph on flat ground, no wind, 30 mi distance on a Surly Ogre w/ Big Apple 28x2.0 tires.

  4. #4
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    I'd say around 10mph normal cruise speed since I live in the city and it's stop and go all the time

    I speed up to 20-30 mph whenever I need to for whatever reason

  5. #5
    CB of the East
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    That's heavily dependent on the route, bike, wind & whether I'm due for a rest day.
    Best case, road bike, flat route, no wind= 20 MPH (little faster with a tailwind)
    Worst case, heavy bike, hilly rouge, windy = 14MPH (little slower after a long ride)
    These are on routes that have almost no stop and go traffic.
    I'm always a little disappointed if i can't keep my average above 15 but life's full of little disappointments.
    Today: Flat route, road bike, headwind, tired legs: 16.2MPH

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris M. View Post
    I have been riding to work on and off for awhile now but i am finding that I want to just hammer it to work (wish i had that same moto on the trail). So i bought bike computer to track mileage and how fast i am going but i am finding that 10mph is the clip i need to cruise to work at without looking like a sweat rag. just wonderng what everyone elses speed is on their commutes.
    When I first started I was slow about 20 Kph....

    Now low thirties Kph.

  7. #7
    Still want a fat bike....
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    Looks like I typically average around 12-13 mph on my way into work where I gain around 500 feet of elevation, but that is overall and stupid MyTracks updated and now they only do total average and don't differentiate between average moving speed and average overall. I really liked it when they had that.

    I'm slightly faster on the way home.
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  8. #8
    CB of the East
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    ^^Yeah, what's up with that My Tracks? Since when did update mean significant loss of features?

  9. #9
    Still want a fat bike....
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    Quote Originally Posted by bedwards1000 View Post
    ^^Yeah, what's up with that My Tracks? Since when did update mean significant loss of features?
    My thoughts exactly! A change might be in order for me, but I just don't know which to move to.....
    I am a man of many words. KCCO!

  10. #10
    CB of the East
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    They all seem to lock up more than My Tracks. I did a quick search and they are adding that feature back in. Until then, old versions are here: My Tracks Archive

    I'm running 1.1.16 which still has the feature and seems pretty stable

  11. #11
    weirdo
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    Quote Originally Posted by bedwards1000 View Post
    That's heavily dependent on the route, bike, wind & whether I'm due for a rest day.
    Bingo!

    Sorry, I glance at the avg speed, but pay more attention to the overall time when it comes to my commute, so wouldn`t care to guess. I can say that for a short road ride (< 2 hr), on my commute bike, if I end up with an average of ~15 MPH I`m pretty happy. Occasionally I get a great mix of conditions that bumps my speed up a few notches. The opposite often occurs too, of course

  12. #12
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    I had to take my computer off. I found myself so focused on speed that it was taking the fun out of the ride. I was obsessed with that little screen. Do you guys ever feel the same way? Maybe its just me.

  13. #13
    I dream on two wheels
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    I just checked my cycle computer and my average for the last 800 miles is 15.6.
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  14. #14
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    I usually don't ride with a computer on my commute.

    however when I have used a computer, I've noticed a few things. there's one spot on my morning commute where I regularly hit 34mph (small downhill). I find that a comfortable cruising speed on my SS is usually in the 13-14mph range as long as there's no headwind. If I want to hammer in the flats, I can push 18 easily enough with the gearing I've chosen. much faster than that and it requires a cadence much higher than I can push.

    nowhere on my commute do I really get below 10mph, even when climbing the hill where I hit my top speed (maybe I do for a pretty short time on that climb). my sweat levels are more highly dependent on the weather conditions. lately, we've been having a lot of thunderstorms in the afternoons/evenings, and I've not been bike commuting.

  15. #15
    weirdo
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    Quote Originally Posted by muayteg View Post
    I had to take my computer off. I found myself so focused on speed that it was taking the fun out of the ride. I was obsessed with that little screen. Do you guys ever feel the same way? Maybe its just me.
    Sometimes I get that "little screen obsession". It comes and goes. For some reason, I always had it on my road bike even though I wasn`t really any faster on that bike than on my commuter.

  16. #16
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    I ride a SS with 48x16 on a 16 mile one way commute. I'd say my average is about 17mph. My ride is totally flat. There are a few miles on the begining and end that are stop and go and the middle is open pedaling. Depending on the wind it can go up or down. I'd say on a heavy headwind day it will drop to 12mph. On a good tailwind and lucky timing on stop lights I can get up to 20 for my average. Fortunately I don't have to worry about sweating because we have a shower at work.
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  17. #17
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    I'd recommend just comparing to yourself and just comparing the same route. It's hilly here, and my old commute was commonly up to 15 mph avg one way (11mi, down for about 3 miles and then fairly flat) and only 5 mph the other way (3.5 mi with about 1000' elevation gain and part dirt). My temporary office is on the trails so I pay even less attention to the avg.

  18. #18
    gran jefe
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    "without looking like a sweat rag" is a pretty tough criteria. the more fit you get, the more easily you sweat. 10mph sounds about right, but would be seasonally adjusted for hot or cold conditions.

  19. #19
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    I average around 20km/h give or take a few depending on the wind direction on the day. My top speed each commute peaks out around 50km/h for the downhill section. I do look like a sweat rag but I have showers at each end :-)

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by muayteg View Post
    I had to take my computer off. I found myself so focused on speed that it was taking the fun out of the ride. I was obsessed with that little screen. Do you guys ever feel the same way? Maybe its just me.
    I like to ride with mine. I still find it fun to kinda compete with myself. I only ride 4.25 one way. My morning ride is a little slower so I don't get all sweaty but since I work outside and get all sweaty anyways it's not a huge deal. But I try to avg 12/13 mph In the morning but on the way home I try to push myself a little harder. And avg 13/14 mph sometimes 15 mph when I'm feeling good at the end of the day.

  21. #21
    Fat-tired Roadie
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    I probably average around 15 mph or a little lower. Stop signs, traffic signals, and I try not to commit too many moving violations on the way.

    "Cruising speed" for me is higher. A little short of 20 mph most of the time, lately.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill in Houston View Post
    "without looking like a sweat rag" is a pretty tough criteria. the more fit you get, the more easily you sweat. 10mph sounds about right, but would be seasonally adjusted for hot or cold conditions.
    Bill, where we live, sweat rag season is 365 days/yr, no? I tend to go by how long it takes for my clothes to dry. <1hr, then it's perfect riding weather. More than 3hrs and it's too damn hot. And this is for a 3mi commute where it isn't really worth it to change and shower in the gym, as the prep takes longer than the commute

  23. #23
    Clyde on a mission!
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    Quote Originally Posted by muayteg View Post
    I had to take my computer off. I found myself so focused on speed that it was taking the fun out of the ride. I was obsessed with that little screen. Do you guys ever feel the same way? Maybe its just me.
    I don't look much at mine. Sometimes when I go flat out down a hill I'll sneak a peak at the speed, other times after mashing up a steep hill I'll look at the heart rate and go "whoa!". Before a particular hard hill I'll slow down and wait for my heart rate to drop below 140 before starting the climb. Most of the time though I don't care about the computer, it just logs the ride for me to look at once I get home.

  24. #24
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    Started commuting in April and was averaging 16-17 KPH now its 19-20 KPH. Not trying to speed just taking it easy. My commute is about 14 km each way and I ride average 2x/week.

  25. #25
    gran jefe
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    Quote Originally Posted by NateHawk View Post
    Bill, where we live, sweat rag season is 365 days/yr, no? I tend to go by how long it takes for my clothes to dry. <1hr, then it's perfect riding weather. More than 3hrs and it's too damn hot. And this is for a 3mi commute where it isn't really worth it to change and shower in the gym, as the prep takes longer than the commute
    no kidding. about 3 months of the year, just moving my legs inside long pants would make enough friction to make me sweat no matter how slowly i'm moving.

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by muayteg View Post
    I had to take my computer off. I found myself so focused on speed that it was taking the fun out of the ride. I was obsessed with that little screen. Do you guys ever feel the same way? Maybe its just me.
    I record my rides with my iPhone but it's in my pack so I've no idea what my pace is until the end of the ride. I think I would become obsessed over the details if I could see it all the time.

  27. #27
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    Also took my Speedo off. I was getting too obseessed with the time, and not enjoying my ride. Now its off, I find myself obsessed searching for the young ladies going for a run!

  28. #28
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    Cruising speed is right at 20, average depends on lights and traffic.
    Marin 29'r hardtail MTB w/Serfas Drifters 2" tires.
    4.5 mile flat commute.

  29. #29
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    On the Embarcadero in SF, you can rip really fast where there are no tourists, and you can get 30 points for hitting tourists at Pier 39!

  30. #30
    Digital Toast
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    I'm usually on my SS which keeps me at a moderate pace. I enjoy my rides much more when on my SS instead of my geared bikes. Average speed on the SS is around 12. I'm in no hurry.

  31. #31
    Bicycle Radical
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    My average speed for the commute home is around 25-26km/h. For some extended sections of the trip, I average around 30km/h and downhill sections, closer to 50km/h.
    Free people must travel the road to productive social relations at the speed of a bicycle.- Ivan Illich

  32. #32
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    I only know how fast I'm going when I get to that Highway Patrol school zone radar "Your Speed Is" sign. Based on that I'd say on flat ground I average 16 or 17 for the ride to work. I do use My Tracks on some longer rides, and I'm stoked to average over 20 on this one particular 18 mile route I do, but that's when I'm "riding", not commuting. I definitely push harder on the way home.
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  33. #33
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    usually 15-17mph. i use a computer, but don't find myself obsessed with it. it was very handy for monitoring my cadence when i first started paying attention to that and trying to increase it. my average cadence is high 70s now, i'm pushing for 90.

  34. #34
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    I tend to sit on roughly 20-25km/hr on the way to work, on the way home its as fast as my legs will spin.

    Usually low 30km/hr. I have found that I have started pushing it a little harder towards the end of the week to see how I place on Strava.

    My weekly commuter is a bit of a boat anchor though, heavy and old. It is probably the biggest POS MTB lined up in the bike racks during the week, but hopefully that means it is less likely to get stolen.

    I do still use a decent bike lock, as you can never be too sure.

  35. #35
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    My bike is 26-inch, 3x10, full suspension, 14.5kg. I changed the tyre to Bondrager H2 26x2.0.

    My average is 10mph and max speed is 21mph on flat, no wind.

    They say road bike's cruising speed is 20-25mph. I wonder what causes this difference most.

    1. Tyre size.
    If it's 29er, will cruising speed be much higher than 26?

    2. Tyre width
    If I change tyre to 26x1.5, can I increase the max speed?

    3. gear ratio

    4. weight of the bike

    5. pedal bob
    actually there wasn't much difference if I lock out both suspensions. I dunno if cruising is easier.

    Maybe tyre width is the only factor I can change now. I may be able to return 26x2.0. I've got to buy tubes tho.

  36. #36
    weirdo
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    Quote Originally Posted by massimopotenza View Post
    They say road bike's cruising speed is 20-25mph. I wonder what causes this difference most.
    I have no doubt that some riders can hold speeds like that, and even faster, but I doubt the numbers of people who claim to be able to crusie at 20+ MPH are close to the number of people who actually can. Unless they`re talking about a very short "cruise", that`s really smoking.

  37. #37
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    Just logged my 500th mile this morning, been at it for seven weeks. According to Endomondo (android app) my average is 11.8mph for those 500 miles.
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  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by rodar y rodar View Post
    I have no doubt that some riders can hold speeds like that, and even faster, but I doubt the numbers of people who claim to be able to crusie at 20+ MPH are close to the number of people who actually can. Unless they`re talking about a very short "cruise", that`s really smoking.
    I have an 18 mile "commute" route I do sometimes on the road bike, and if I can average over 20 I'm doing well... I do it fairly regularly, but I woundn't call it "cruising". I could "cruise" at over 20 for a few miles, but by about mile 10, it's a conscious decision to inflict a bit of pain on myself in order to maintain that. It also depends on if I can get out of town without getting held up in traffic... the first couple miles are slow town riding.

    One time I averaged 22 on that ride on my mountain bike with dirt knobbies on it. That was an epic tailwind.
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  39. #39
    Making due...
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    I average about 13.8 mph with several roundabouts and on mostly residential roads.
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  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by massimopotenza View Post
    My bike is 26-inch, 3x10, full suspension, 14.5kg. I changed the tyre to Bondrager H2 26x2.0.

    My average is 10mph and max speed is 21mph on flat, no wind.

    They say road bike's cruising speed is 20-25mph. I wonder what causes this difference most.

    1. Tyre size.
    If it's 29er, will cruising speed be much higher than 26?

    2. Tyre width
    If I change tyre to 26x1.5, can I increase the max speed?

    3. gear ratio

    4. weight of the bike

    5. pedal bob
    actually there wasn't much difference if I lock out both suspensions. I dunno if cruising is easier.

    Maybe tyre width is the only factor I can change now. I may be able to return 26x2.0. I've got to buy tubes tho.
    Whoever "they" is is messing with you.

    I have a few too many bikes. I think the biggest difference in cruising speed between my MTB and my road bikes is that I set up my MTB for a little more upright riding position and the flat bars put my hands further apart. I push more air. Since I ride that bike almost exclusively off-road, it also has big, low-pressure knobbies. They don't help either. Those are the biggest differences.

    For me, the road bike goes to a bit above 17 mph on the flats before I start to spend effort.

    As far as the others - if you can't spin out 44/11, your gear ratio isn't limiting you. If you think you can spin out 44/11 without a descent or a hell of a tail wind helping you, you should learn to pedal better. You ought to be able to break 30 mph in that gear, with your tires.

    Weight certainly matters, but not all that much and only as its contribution to system weight. Which is to say that I weigh 160 lb right now and my bikes are probably a bit under 30. So the system weighs, say, 190 lb. While it's quite expensive to get a pound off a bike, that only reduces system weight by about half a percent. BFD. I think it matters a bit more off-road, where handling is more important.

    Pedal bob on a hardtail should have a negligible effect on your efficiency when you're seated.
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  41. #41
    weirdo
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    Quote Originally Posted by CommuterBoy View Post
    I have an 18 mile "commute" route I do sometimes on the road bike, and if I can average over 20 I'm doing well... I do it fairly regularly, but I woundn't call it "cruising".
    Rub it in! I live 4.2 almost flat miles from my local 7-Eleven and have been trying for ages to make the RT with a 20 MPH average even one time. Depending on which way the wind is blowing, I can often make it one way or the other, but starting to doubt I`ll ever get BOTH directions to 20 back-to-back. Granted, my speed work leaves a lot to be desired, but I just KNEW you was a stud muffin! That pilot car draft training is paying off for you

  42. #42
    CB of the East
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    Maybe it's cause you're going to the 7-Eleven for smokes. They're not always associated with peak performance.

  43. #43
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    ^^


    I don't think I could do the route I'm talking about both directions averaging over 20, unless the wind REALLY cooperated. I'm actually riding it after work today on the Ogre, I'll record it and see how it goes.

    I just started reading Amazon.com: Around the World on a Bicycle (Classics of American Sport) (9780811726535): Thomas Stevens: Books. In one of the first sections he mentions going 16 miles in an hour and 32 minutes. Not bad for a high-wheeler in 1884, but he's sort of complaining becuase the road conditions were so bad. Makes me curious...

    Rodar, if you haven't read that, it's worth checking out the first chapter... he basically starts in San Fran and comes straight over Donner... has descriptions of the remnants of gold rush mining claims, etc. It's pretty fascinating.
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  44. #44
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    If I switched from Basic kings to Marlboro lights, maybe I could make a spot on Team Philip Morris. You think they`d comp me all my smokes?

    Never heard of that one, CB. I`ll see if the library has a copy.

  45. #45
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    Well here you go. This is from Friday. I had a very rare slight headwind on the majority of the ride, and I was working pretty hard, because I knew the phone was recording it for posterity I was so bummed to see that 19.7, because 20 was the goal.

    Based on this effort, I'd say that with no headwind, 20 is reasonable on this bike on this relatively flat route (you can see from the map that I was actually riding on the surface of the moon). And this is the Ogre, with 2.0 not-really-slicks, so I could definitely bump that up on a road bike. But I was working... I never push like that on the way to work, and only sometimes on the way home.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails How fast?-picture1.jpg  

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  46. #46
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    Pretty quick with this....


  47. #47
    CB of the East
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    Something looks funny about that bike....OH, the front fork is on backwards.

  48. #48
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    50mph at 110 rpms On paper, maybe.
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  49. #49
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  50. #50
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    Long term average for me is 12mph. I can't seem to break it either. Couple hundred feet of elevation change over my commute, and a couple of long lights, but even on weekend rides, it's hard for me to average >14mph.

    You guise are fayst.

  51. #51
    Unhinged Aussie on a 29er
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    Quote Originally Posted by massimopotenza View Post
    They say road bike's cruising speed is 20-25mph. I wonder what causes this difference most.
    I can cruise at 20-25 mph on my road bike. I generally cruise at 16-18 mph on my mountain bike. But one is an almost-top-of-the-line racing bike, and the other was built by Surly. Not exactly apples and apples comparison. When I think of the two, the biggest differences are aerodynamics and ability to transfer energy to the wheels... but mostly aerodynamics. I've motorpaced trucks without difficulty at 45+ mph on the mountain bike. If the gearing was higher, I would say that provided the imperfections in the frame didn't impact the handling too much and make it too unstable (speed wobbles), I would be able to go as fast as 60 mph on it motorpacing a truck. Tire resistance feels like nothing at those speeds. The lack of wind is definitely noticed though.

    I can only speak for the following in terms of my own personal experience - YMMV.
    Quote Originally Posted by massimopotenza View Post
    1. Tyre size.
    If it's 29er, will cruising speed be much higher than 26?
    I'm roughly the same speed on a 26" as I am a 29".

    Quote Originally Posted by massimopotenza View Post
    2. Tyre width
    If I change tyre to 26x1.5, can I increase the max speed?

    3. gear ratio
    There is some research on tire drop which indicates that a skinnier tire may not be as fast as a wider tire; if you look online hard enough you can find it (or PM me and I'll go hunt it down). It has to do with the way vibrations are transmitted through the frame and the impact of this on overall speed. When I switched from thinner tires to wider tires, I lost about 1 mph, but I could maintain that -1 mph average for much longer because I wasn't fatiguing as fast.

    Gear ratio will only make a difference if you're hitting the end of your cassette, pedaling as fast as you can and can't go any faster. My 42x11 at 135 rpm (not my max RPM) is approximately 44 mph. I rarely hit that speed, so changing the gearing won't make much of a difference for me.

    Quote Originally Posted by massimopotenza View Post
    4. weight of the bike
    I find this only makes a difference on the hills and when accelerating. Steady state speed on flat ground should not be impacted by the weight of the bike; it might impact how much energy you expend to get there, but another way to think of it is that bicycles that set the motorpacing records are usually quite heavy.

    If your route is nothing but hills, hills and more hills... you'll probably benefit from having a lighter bike.

    Quote Originally Posted by massimopotenza View Post
    5. pedal bob
    actually there wasn't much difference if I lock out both suspensions. I dunno if cruising is easier.
    I personally found that rear suspension impacts my top speed by -2 mph or so. Again, YMMV.

    Quote Originally Posted by massimopotenza View Post
    Maybe tyre width is the only factor I can change now. I may be able to return 26x2.0. I've got to buy tubes tho.
    It's easier and cheaper to accept what you have and be happy just riding!
    Last edited by hunter006; 10-07-2012 at 05:18 PM. Reason: Grammar, spelling...

  52. #52
    mtbr member
    Reputation: hesston's Avatar
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    I live in the mountains...avg about 14...but I ride like something is chasing me...
    experience life

    Trek RSS, GT Force FS, Diamondback Podium (Commuter)

    www.atheistphilbiz.blogspot.com

  53. #53
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Lone Desert Walker's Avatar
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    Damn Brah, that slow eh.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jmann8686 View Post
    My average speed it 13/14 mph
    thirteen fourteenths is 0.92857142857mph , so less than one mile per hour! What are you riding, a concrete bicycle?

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