What is your average speed on out and bike rides?- Mtbr.com

1. What is your average speed on out and bike rides?

For those of you using computers, what is your average speed on out and back rides. An "out and back ride" being a ride where you finish at the same place that you started. So, for every foot that you ascend, you descend a foot. Describe your ride. Like, how long, how much road and dirt. You know, the important stuff, so we can have a picture in our mind of what your ride is like. It's really the only thing on my computer that I pay attention to. If you have pics of your computer, post them up.

Edit: By "out and back", I only mean that your ride ends at the same place that it started. So, overall there is no elevation gain or loss. It could be lolly pop shaped, it could be shaped like your wiener. It could be that you ride out and take the same route home. Not everyone rides this way. I often take a 30 mile ride and catch a ride home. Starting where you finish is the only way to fairly compare average speeds between your rides or other people's rides.

2. Obviously there is a lot of variety from day to day. But a bread and butter ride
Time: 2hrs
Distance 30km
Elevation gain and loss: 1000m
Single track: 80%.

3. Originally Posted by Mountain Cycle Shawn
An "out and back ride" being a ride where you finish at the same place that you started.
By that definition, wouldn't nearly every ride except for shuttles and many bikepacking segments be an out-and-back? Not very descriptive.

Out-and-back ACTUALLY describes a point-to-point trail that you ride each direction to finish where you started. A lollipop would be such a trail with a loop at one end. A loop would be a ride that is mostly on different trails, but you still return to the same point.

4. Originally Posted by Harold
By that definition, wouldn't nearly every ride except for shuttles and many bikepacking segments be an out-and-back? Not very descriptive.
Seems close enough to me, I consider any ride where I end up where I started that isn't an out & back a loop. More or less.

I don't have Strava or anything but if I can believe my math using time and approximate distance ~10mph is about the best I can manage, which seems kind of sad.

5. I tend to do ~15 mile, nearly all single loops with ~1500 ft of elevation gain most frequently. I average around 6 or 7 mph, which is considered standard for the terrain... It's damn rocky.

6. Most rides for me are 15-30 miles and 1500 to 5000' in gain. Today is a short one from this morning before work. Zero rest so moving time is same as ET.
50% ST, rocky, multiple small creek crossings
13.7mi Distance
1:11:16 ET
1,525ft Elevation Gain
236W Avg Power
11.6mi/h Avg Speed
32.0mi/h Max Speed
1,125 Calories
Elapsed Time 1:11:20

Below is a longer ride I like to do with a little over 5000 feet in it so it tends to wear on me. It is 50% ST, 40% Fire Road, and 10% short road set

Distance: 26.52 mi
Elevation Gain: 5,047 ft
Calories: 2,634 C
Time: 3:36:04
Moving Time: 3:15:36
Elapsed Time: 3:36:04
Avg Moving Speed: 8.1 mph
Max Speed: 30.7 mph
Elevation Gain: 5,047 ft
Elevation Loss: 5,034 ft
Min Elevation: 827 ft
Max Elevation: 1,257 ft
Avg Temperature: 64.6 °F
Min Temperature: 53.6 °F
Max Temperature: 77.0 °F

7. Originally Posted by trmn8er
Most rides for me are 15-30 miles and 1500 to 5000' in gain. Today is a short one from this morning before work. Zero rest so moving time is same as ET.
50% ST, rocky, multiple small creek crossings
13.7mi Distance
1:11:16 ET
1,525ft Elevation Gain
236W Avg Power
11.6mi/h Avg Speed
32.0mi/h Max Speed
1,125 Calories
Elapsed Time1:11:20

Below is a longer ride I like to do with a little over 5000 feet in it so it tends to wear on me. It is 50% ST, 40% Fire Road, and 10% short road set

Distance:26.52 mi
Avg Speed:7.4 mph
Elevation Gain:5,047 ft
Calories:2,634 C
Time:3:36:04
Moving Time:3:15:36
Elapsed Time:3:36:04
Avg Speed:7.4 mph
Avg Moving Speed:8.1 mph
Max Speed:30.7 mph
Elevation Gain:5,047 ft
Elevation Loss:5,034 ft
Min Elevation:827 ft
Max Elevation:1,257 ft
Avg Temperature:64.6 °F
Min Temperature:53.6 °F
Max Temperature:77.0 °F
we didn't get the color of your lycra!?

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Opinions are like A-holes... everybody
has one & they're usually full of...??

8. Originally Posted by targnik
we didn't get the color of your lycra!?

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Opinions are like A-holes... everybody
has one & they're usually full of...??
No lycra here. 53 year old trail rider. But if I did, it would be hot pink. ;-)

9. Originally Posted by J.B. Weld
Seems close enough to me, I consider any ride where I end up where I started that isn't an out & back a loop. More or less.

I don't have Strava or anything but if I can believe my math using time and approximate distance ~10mph is about the best I can manage, which seems kind of sad.
Not to me. Maybe it says something more about my region, but 10 mph is my under/over speed for racing.

Almost all my rides are loops or lollipops. I find out and back depressing.

Last Thursday's ride, during my lunch break at work...

I rode 9.3 miles in 1.1 hours. Gained 1057'. The average was 8.7. This is from Strava; I lost two minutes waiting for a long light. Probably about half that ride, by miles, was asphalt. But by time, it's more like two thirds mountain biking.

Last time I raced, I rode 7.9 miles in conditions I hated. Took an hour and two minutes; 7.6 mph average. I didn't do great for me, but I wasn't last either. 552' of gain, no asphalt, and only a small portion of the course was service road. It reminded me that I need to be practicing flat and heavy trails more - nowhere to hide on that course.

MTB is really not that fast when there's no net elevation loss.

10. Originally Posted by Hawg
All I know is, I've never reached 65+ mph on any non-powered bike, unlike another member here in this thread who claims to have.
I once dreamed that I was doing about 60 and hucking 100 foot gaps on a 16" wheeled Schwinn Pixie with streamers on the handlebars, does that count?

11. Originally Posted by J.B. Weld
I once dreamed that I was doing about 60 and hucking 100 foot gaps on a 16" wheeled Schwinn Pixie with streamers on the handlebars, does that count?
Most definitely!

12. i don't do out and backs very often because most of my rides involve a loop.

however, here's a screenshot of my last out and back on the SS. i think i'm actually slower on my geared HT:

13. Did 11 miles today. AVG speed, 6.5. Max speed, 28.

14. Originally Posted by trmn8er
Most rides for me are 15-30 miles and 1500 to 5000' in gain. Today is a short one from this morning before work. Zero rest so moving time is same as ET.
50% ST, rocky, multiple small creek crossings
13.7mi Distance
1:11:16 ET
1,525ft Elevation Gain
236W Avg Power
11.6mi/h Avg Speed
32.0mi/h Max Speed
1,125 Calories
Elapsed Time 1:11:20

Below is a longer ride I like to do with a little over 5000 feet in it so it tends to wear on me. It is 50% ST, 40% Fire Road, and 10% short road set

Distance: 26.52 mi
Avg Speed: 7.4 mph
Elevation Gain: 5,047 ft
Calories: 2,634 C
Time: 3:36:04
Moving Time: 3:15:36
Elapsed Time: 3:36:04
Avg Speed: 7.4 mph
Avg Moving Speed: 8.1 mph
Max Speed: 30.7 mph
Elevation Gain: 5,047 ft
Elevation Loss: 5,034 ft
Min Elevation: 827 ft
Max Elevation: 1,257 ft
Avg Temperature: 64.6 °F
Min Temperature: 53.6 °F
Max Temperature: 77.0 °F
where do you live to get 5000 feet of elevation gain on a 26.5 mile ride?

here's a ride i did the other day in the marin headlands that was close to yours in almost everything but elevation gain:

15. So Cal. It's easy to get that much. I have the Garmin data too.

16. Shekky, we live/ride among the 3rd steepest mountain range in the entire state. Here, you are either going up sharply or down sharply. Flat is uncommon here.

BTW, you rode across the Golden Gate Bridge?! How cool!

17. As fast as I can manage.

18. Originally Posted by Hawg
Shekky, we live/ride among the 3rd steepest mountain range in the entire state. Here, you are either going up sharply or down sharply. Flat is uncommon here.

BTW, you rode across the Golden Gate Bridge?! How cool!
i get to ride across the bridge almost every time i go north. (don't own a car) the sunsets are awesome!

19. Typically without fail, I end up right back where I started on rides.

Like most knuckleheads, I start fast, fad faster, suck it up, and finish strong. With running, I'm really focused on negative splits, so I run each mile progressively faster. That's probably the right thing to do with cycling if you are alone. If you are riding with a group, the goal is to stay with the group.

Basically this rambling is to say there are too many variables to compare. Fatigue, winds, elevation profile, right of ways issues, etc are more important at determining pace. There are also different goals for each ride.

Nonetheless, I had a 22 mile out and back today. Here's the screen shot of the data. As you can see, the data are too variable to make some sense.

Attachment 980518

20. This would be a pretty normal ride for me. Without time constraints I would do a second lap or ride down the road and do a lap on another trail system. I try to get 16-25 miles each tim out.
Avg speed on this trail is about 8mph and about 1390' of climb in that 9.5 mile loop.
Some other trails in our area I can maintain 10-11 mph.

Sent from my XT1080 using Tapatalk

21. I ride really fast and really slow then I repeat, but always with a big ass smile on my face.

22. Originally Posted by Mountain Cycle Shawn
For those of you using computers, what is your average speed on out and back rides. An "out and back ride" being a ride where you finish at the same place that you started. So, for every foot that you ascend, you descend a foot. Describe your ride. Like, how long, how much road and dirt. You know, the important stuff, so we can have a picture in our mind of what your ride is like. It's really the only thing on my computer that I pay attention to. If you have pics of your computer, post them up.

Edit: By "out and back", I only mean that your ride ends at the same place that it started. So, overall there is no elevation gain or loss. It could be lolly pop shaped, it could be shaped like your wiener. It could be that you ride out and take the same route home. Not everyone rides this way. I often take a 30 mile ride and catch a ride home. Starting where you finish is the only way to fairly compare average speeds between your rides or other people's rides.
The elevation gain/loss doesn't make any sense. You can bike up a mountain on the out (which would be slow) and return back to the start all downhill (which would be fast).

Here's an example of this. Unfortunately, my garmin died on the return and you can't see the whole ride. We bike up a rails to trails to one of the long tunnels. We turned back to head to our cars.

Attachment 980552

By the way, what you are describing or wanting to discuss is called a segment in Strava-topia.

23. for my regular all mountain route ( actually over two mountains and back) its like 10 average and 25 max, downhill race runs are like 23 average and around 35-40 max

24. All of our rides are start/stop at the same spot. (Loop)

Most mountain rides are 5-9 mph, most road rides are right around 18.

Back when I was actually in shape - the same road rides were 21-23 mph!

Mountain -
https://www.strava.com/activities/280614757
https://www.strava.com/activities/277667755
https://www.strava.com/activities/276012705

https://www.strava.com/activities/278225550
https://www.strava.com/activities/281067190
https://www.strava.com/activities/269376104

25. I tend to average about 9.8 mph on the majority of my rides....30 miles/4500-5000'.

Average could be higher if I was riding the geared bike.

26. Originally Posted by heyyall
The elevation gain/loss doesn't make any sense. You can bike up a mountain on the out (which would be slow) and return back to the start all downhill (which would be fast).

That's the whole idea. it equals itself out so you can compare your ave. speed to another persons average speed. Im just curious what people are doing.

27. Originally Posted by Mountain Cycle Shawn
That's the whole idea. it equals itself out so you can compare your ave. speed to another persons average speed. Im just curious what people are doing.
Well in that case, how is this?

Attachment 980558

This is a mix of road, regular mtb, fatbiking, and trainer.

28. ^ That's what I'm talkin' bout!

29. Originally Posted by Mountain Cycle Shawn
That's the whole idea. it equals itself out so you can compare your ave. speed to another persons average speed. Im just curious what people are doing.
I averaged 7.6 mph this afternoon but I was in a groove and climbing like a madman.

30. Originally Posted by Hawg
I averaged 7.6 mph this afternoon but I was in a groove and climbing like a madman.
Seriously Hawgster?

31. Originally Posted by Mountain Cycle Shawn
Seriously Hawgster?
Yes according to Garmin Connect after I uploaded the data. It was on a serious climbing ride too. Some days we just ride well, I guess. I admit that I have been riding my bottom off lately so I think I'm getting back into the groove I used to be in.

32. Originally Posted by shekky
where do you live to get 5000 feet of elevation gain on a 26.5 mile ride?

here's a ride i did the other day in the marin headlands that was close to yours in almost everything but elevation gain:
It works out to a little less than 200' per mile.....not really that much.

33. Originally Posted by Mountain Cycle Shawn
^ That's what I'm talkin' bout!
it does show context is key. In the winter months, I don't have any rides at my average speed yet the average line drawn is pretty close to what the average of the trainer rides (higher speeds) and the fat bike speeds (just poking along). This is also the point of the up and down argument I was trying to make above. You can "average" a speed yet never travel it. In this case, the average isn't a meaningful summary. There's even a joke about it --

"A statistician can have his head in an oven and his feet in ice, and he will say that on average, he feels fine. "

(yes, I'm a statistician and think too much about data)

But I agree, it is fun to look at what others can do. That's why strava is used by millions of people. It is sickening to see just how fast some people are.

34. Originally Posted by Hawg
Yes according to Garmin Connect after I uploaded the data. It was on a serious climbing ride too. Some days we just ride well, I guess. I admit that I have been riding my bottom off lately so I think I'm getting back into the groove I used to be in.
Umm, I was thinking that's kinda slow. Maybe not.

35. Slow, some days not as slow, some days slower.

36. Originally Posted by Mountain Cycle Shawn
Umm, I was thinking that's kinda slow. Maybe not.
Total ride was:

10.57 miles
2055' elevation gain

1899' of that elevation gain came in a 3.5 mile stretch.

37. For a broader average, this year I've got 695 miles in 67.8 hours. So I'm averaging 10.3 mph. That's a mix of mountain, a tiny bit of road and mixed surface, and some trainer. It's from Strava, so it's probably "cheating" for me a little bit on the road rides, and not counting stopped time.

Last year, I rode 2354 miles in 251.8 hours. So 9.34 mph. (Same Strava cheating.) I realize that also predates me using TrainerRoad, so my trainer rides show up as occasional 0-mile hours. I also think mountain biking is more heavily represented - I have a pattern of spending more time on the trainer and on the road in the winter and early spring, then pretty much only riding my mountain bike until the weather gets sucky. After the spring of 2014, I decided I wasn't going to get out my trainer until after the New Year, so when the weather turned gross in November, I just rode less. Actually I'm okay with that - I was having a pretty kickass winter and spring until my wife and I bought a house; I think part of that is that I wasn't burned out on the trainer before finishing the part of the year when I need it most.

About the only point-to-point ride I do lately is a race in May in which I get dropped off at one end, drop 20' or less over 13 miles, soft-pedal to a party, and then ride home. Actually, the ride may have net elevation gain, since I live higher than where the starting line is.

My highest average speeds come from Century rides. Seriously. It's a bunch of road miles, usually on routes with not nearly so many stop signs and intersections (I typically ride from home if it's not an event, so some city mileage) and opportunities to draft. One I did on a relatively nice day in 2012 took me 5.8 hours for 94 actual miles, though it was 5.3 hours moving - I don't feel like I have that much to prove with respect to sitting on my road bike for a really long time, so I hung out with friends I bumped into, stopped at a couple aide stations, etc. They're actually more fun that way. Pretty similar results when I did one in 2013. I meant to do a different event last year, but it got canceled.

Today's ride was 7.3 miles and 1125' in an hour. So average 6% grade I guess? It felt like going straight up the nose of a ridgeline, then straight down again. Which it pretty much was.

38. Originally Posted by J.B. Weld
I once dreamed that I was doing about 60 and hucking 100 foot gaps on a 16" wheeled Schwinn Pixie with streamers on the handlebars, does that count?
I've hit 80km/h getting to the trail on a steep road ^^

fastest I've been on any sort of trail is 62km/h

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Opinions are like A-holes... everybody
has one & they're usually full of...??

39. 11.9kmh today according to Strava, there was a fair bit of gravel road in there though...

40. Originally Posted by AndrwSwitch
MTB is really not that fast when there's no net elevation loss.

That is surprisingly true ^

Sometimes it feels like I'm absolutely flying out on the trail but the math says otherwise. ~10mph? Don't runners move nearly that fast?

41. Originally Posted by J.B. Weld
That is surprisingly true ^

Sometimes it feels like I'm absolutely flying out on the trail but the math says otherwise. ~10mph? Don't runners move nearly that fast?
The fastest runners can run ~5 mi /mile. That puts them running nearly 12 mph. Basically, they are smoking us on foot.

42. Originally Posted by heyyall
The fastest runners can run ~5 mi /mile. That puts them running nearly 12 mph. Basically, they are smoking us on foot.
That's on flat land. We smoke them on flat land. They may or may not be able to smoke us on the climbs, though (probably).

43. My last ride: One big loop

Moving Time: 1:39:03
Avg. Speed: 6.3mph
Max Speed: 35.8mph
Elevation Gain: 1,769ft
Calories: 881

44. According to my Topeak Panoram my average speed is 8 mph and the top speed is about 16 mph.

45. When I was in high school, I could run a six minute mile on a track. Probably not two in a row.

I do hate it when trail runners can out climb me. At least it's rare. I think there's a certain level of grade where bikes go from helpful to being an impediment. Not sure what it is, or if it's the same for everybody, though.

46. Originally Posted by Zomby Woof (MCM700)
According to my Topeak Panoram my average speed is 8 mph and the top speed is about 16 mph.

47. Originally Posted by DIRTJUNKIE
Seriously! You claim you went 65 mph on a mountain bike?
I know of a few roads out in AZ where I could accomplish that. One is an interstate road that cuts through some mountains. The grade is high enough to coast my car from 65mph up to 90mph.

South mountain has a very steep road as well, same deal, high grade for enough time to gain some serious speed

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48. i think i've maxed at 39 or 40 aboard my HT on a paved downhill, maybe 33 on my SS and 49 with the 'cross.

i wish there was an easy way on the free strava app to (accurately) track my top speeds on certain dirt sections.

49. I hit 40.0 mph on a steep paved downhill blast on my roadie.

50. Originally Posted by shekky
i think i've maxed at 39 or 40 aboard my HT on a paved downhill, maybe 33 on my SS and 49 with the 'cross.

i wish there was an easy way on the free strava app to (accurately) track my top speeds on certain dirt sections.
GPS is somewhat problematic for this.

But if they're longish, you can highlight the portion where you hit a steady max speed, and the average should be reasonably accurate.

51. Originally Posted by AndrwSwitch
GPS is somewhat problematic for this.

But if they're longish, you can highlight the portion where you hit a steady max speed, and the average should be reasonably accurate.
the only place i think i'd get a steady average is coming down mt tam on the panoramic highway.

the other spot where i think the high speeds are recorded is just too steep and short.

52. You can use a wheel sensor if you want more accurate speeds.

53. I had an app for my phone called my tracks. Iirc it can do what you described

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54. Originally Posted by shekky
i think i've maxed at 39 or 40 aboard my HT on a paved downhill, maybe 33 on my SS and 49 with the 'cross.

i wish there was an easy way on the free strava app to (accurately) track my top speeds on certain dirt sections.
To see your recorded top speeds in Strava the easiest way is to open Strava in a web browser, go to the ride that you're interested in and click on the "Analysis" button on the left hand side. This brings up a graph showing your maximum and average speed for the ride.

You can either click on a Strava segment or manually drag over a section of the ride. The maximum and average speed displayed follows the selection so you can zoom in on what you're interested in.

55. These are pretty average for me on our local trail system, although the max speeds are a little lower- I generally top 30 at least once on the longer profile. My rides are usually in the 6-12 mile range. Anything over ~15-20 is reckoned to be a sizable local ride.

56. I went digging through some old rides.

Fastest speed on a bike since using a garmin 50.6 mph on a road bike. This was a part of a group ride coming off a "mountain". I got in a nice tuck and stayed focused.

https://www.strava.com/activities/66220601

I think this is the fast mtb speed I've had - 40.3 mph.
https://www.strava.com/activities/139471248

I can't say I'm responsible for any of this. Gravity did most of the work.

57. Originally Posted by WR304
To see your recorded top speeds in Strava the easiest way is to open Strava in a web browser, go to the ride that you're interested in and click on the "Analysis" button on the left hand side. This brings up a graph showing your maximum and average speed for the ride.

You can either click on a Strava segment or manually drag over a section of the ride. The maximum and average speed displayed follows the selection so you can zoom in on what you're interested in.

thanks! i remember doing this somehow...

58. Originally Posted by Hawg
That's on flat land. We smoke them on flat land. They may or may not be able to smoke us on the climbs, though (probably).
IME, the average trail runner climbs faster than the average rider. But an elite rider is usually faster than all but the most elite trail runners. There was a local bet about this a few years ago [link], and the singlespeeder beat the runner by a good margin, but when it was a team effort the following year, the runners won.

One of the more popular local trails has a scheduled shuttle service, and there are usually a lot of bikes, runners, and hikers. The runners usually make the top of the 800' climb ahead of us, and then we start passing them.

59. I usually average between 8-10 mph over an 8-13 mile ride. Our trails are pretty rocky. I haven't broken 30 mph off road on my bike yet, but I'm somewhat trying without thinking about it too much. I've maxed out at right at about 28 mph.

60. Here's some of my times from sports-tracker:
2,570' vertical on this one:

4,480' vertical on this one:

61. My speeds vary a good bit. Normal is over 8mph but under 9mph when on MTB. Gravel road and single track trail climbs and single track trail descents.

If i ride pavement only on flat ground (on MTB) then nearly 15mph.

62. Flat road ride on MTB.

Bigger climb road ride on MTB. Avg. speed slowed wsy down to under 10mph.

63. Looks like you're rockin' Lil Sexy!

64. Originally Posted by Mountain Cycle Shawn
Looks like you're rockin' Lil Sexy!

65. I think i have reached 40mph once on pavement on MTB. I dont pay attention to top speed too much and find average speed more important. Most of the time i will be right around 30 one time during my ride.

66. Originally Posted by DIRTJUNKIE
They were right, you are challenged. Read post 61.

67. I knew that i should have posted one with the PR on the big sexy segment.

68. Average ride is about 13 miles, with little or no elevation gain/loss (Florida). I do that about 3 times a week. 85% trail with 15% road connecting the trails. I average 10.6 mph on a single speed Lurcher. I am not in great shape, so clearly level terrain yields faster results than up and down, despite being able to average in downhill sections.

69. My average speed is, um, average? I just have a bike computer, and only look at total miles. Here in MA, trails tend to be rocky or rocky, not much double track that I ride on. Usually rides are tallied by tough sections cleaned or tough ups cleaned. Or bleeding. People keep track of this stuff when not racing? How can you compare trails and speed? Usually I compare miles and smiles.

70. Originally Posted by Mountain Cycle Shawn
They were right, you are challenged. Read post 61.
Nope sorry without a quoted reply it's only a guess to who you were talking to. Especially in such a provocative manner. I was just hoping it wasn't me several posts above that.

71. i just go warp chicken. speed is nuthin without style

72. Originally Posted by leeboh
How can you compare trails and speed?
I'm just interested in average speed. The reason why I said rides that end where they start is because that's the most fair way to compare what people are doing. That's because on this type of ride, for every foot that you climb, you get to descend a foot, if you finish where you started. I'm not really interested in how fast people can go.

Originally Posted by DIRTJUNKIE
Nope sorry without a quoted reply it's only a guess to who you were talking to. Especially in such a provocative manner. I was just hoping it wasn't me several posts above that.
Keep looking. I'm fairly certain that even you can find it. Again, it's in post 61. Which, last time I looked, wasn't your post.

73. Originally Posted by leeboh
My average speed is, um, average? I just have a bike computer, and only look at total miles. Here in MA, trails tend to be rocky or rocky, not much double track that I ride on. Usually rides are tallied by tough sections cleaned or tough ups cleaned. Or bleeding. People keep track of this stuff when not racing? How can you compare trails and speed? Usually I compare miles and smiles.
every ride > stravatard
dual warp drive chicken afterburners

74. Originally Posted by RobLyman
I am not in great shape, so clearly level terrain yields faster results than up and down, despite being able to average in downhill sections.
I'm not sure that's true. Because, if you start where you finish, for every foot that you climb, you descend a foot. So, if I'm on a ride with a lot of slow climbing, at some point, there would be fast descending. It should all average out.

75. Originally Posted by Mountain Cycle Shawn
I'm not sure that's true. Because, if you start where you finish, for every foot that you climb, you descend a foot. So, if I'm on a ride with a lot of slow climbing, at some point, there would be fast descending. It should all average out.
No, not when you account for different periods of time at those varying speeds. That's why flatland rides will generally have a higher average speed than a big climb followed by a big descent. Only say ~10% might be at high speed while the rest is plodding.

Also, if you're considering a loop rather than a pure out-and-back, you generally have different gradients and lengths on the outbound or return leg.

76. Originally Posted by Mountain Cycle Shawn
Keep looking. I'm fairly certain that even you can find it. Again, it's in post 61. Which, last time I looked, wasn't your post.
Nice!

77. Originally Posted by Mountain Cycle Shawn
I'm not sure that's true. Because, if you start where you finish, forums every foot that you climb, you descend a foot. So, if I'm on a ride with a lot of slow climbing, at some point, there would be fast descending. It should all average out.
It doesn't (usually) though, climbing takes more time than you can make up descending.

78. Originally Posted by Mountain Cycle Shawn
I'm not sure that's true. Because, if you start where you finish, for every foot that you climb, you descend a foot. So, if I'm on a ride with a lot of slow climbing, at some point, there would be fast descending. It should all average out.
No unfortunately it doesn't work that way.

Let us look two theoretical rides:

Ride 1: 10 mile climb, 10 mile descent. I climb at 10 miles/hr and descend at 30 miles/hr. Total time for the ride is 1hr and 20 minutes.

Ride 2: 20 miles flat. I ride a 20 miles/hr. Total time for the ride 1hr.

How fast would I have to descend in ride one to average the same speed as that in ride two?

79. This is from the last ride on the 30 pound rigid SS.

26.7 dis
2,600 ft elevation gain
11.0 avg.
2:04 moving time.

80. The ride before.

20 miles
10.9 avg

2k feet of elevation.

Again on the SS.

Of course the geared bike is faster, but I haven't even ridden it on the loop this year. I will and report back out of my own curiosity.

81. Geared bike. No pavement. Some of the same trails, but starting on the other side of the hill.

19.6 miles
1:32 moving time
12.7 avg
2,500 feet climbing

82. Originally Posted by Mountain Cycle Shawn
I'm just interested in average speed. The reason why I said rides that end where they start is because that's the most fair way to compare what people are doing. That's because on this type of ride, for every foot that you climb, you get to descend a foot, if you finish where you started. I'm not really interested in how fast people can go.
Fr'instance, look at the ride I did over lunch today.

Notice the part of the profile that has a very slight grade. If the whole ride had been more or less level, my average would be in the 10 mph range. And even though I started and ended at the same point, I bet my average would be higher if I rode this route in reverse - I'd be able to climb much faster because the way I rode this today has me climbing the steepest grades.

83. His average speed was anything but average on this day:

Frenchman breaks world mountain bike speed record - Mtbr.com

84. I checked out a few pro races and it seems like the very best riders in the world are averaging 13-14mph for 1.5 hour events, just goes to show how hard those last few mph are to achieve.

85. Originally Posted by J.B. Weld
I checked out a few pro races and it seems like the very best riders in the world are averaging 13-14mph for 1.5 hour events, just goes to show how hard those last few mph are to achieve.
So true. There us even a big difference in 9.5 and 10.0 on a given trail.

86. Originally Posted by Mountain Cycle Shawn
I'm just interested in average speed. The reason why I said rides that end where they start is because that's the most fair way to compare what people are doing. That's because on this type of ride, for every foot that you climb, you get to descend a foot, if you finish where you started. I'm not really interested in how fast people can
Again there will be too many variables. Where i ride regularly there are several trails up and back down. If i ride the gravel and paved road up and down i can be very fast. Climb up that same amount on single track to the same hilltop and then go down the much twistier single track and i will be much slower.

This is very apparent on downhill. I can blast the gravel road to the point of hanging on the breaks for my life. I couldnt average half that speed on the single track that has a bunch of tight switchbacks.

87. Pretty slow rides in Whistler. Lots of lung busting climbs with 20-25% grades. Descents are steep, twisty and technical for the most part. You could not ride up any of the descending trails. My averages tend to be around 7 kph.

88. today was a mighty dog out and back (pretty much) to bolinas ridge from san francisco on cross bikes. the ride was almost all road but we did ride a few miles of the bolinas ridge trail before we had to run back.

89. Originally Posted by someoldfart
Pretty slow rides in Whistler. Lots of lung busting climbs with 20-25% grades. Descents are steep, twisty and technical for the most part. You could not ride up any of the descending trails. My averages tend to be around 7 kph.
Good to see someone else with average speeds in this range.

I'm on the extreme other end of the country but our trails definitely have similarities to yours. Lots of rocks and roots, steep and technical climbs and descents. Much less total elevation, though. A typical ride for me would include 3 or 4 total lung buster ups and an equal number of descents interspersed with varied rolling terrain in between. Everything is highly technical. My average speeds on my default ride are around 7kph as well, and the fast guys aren't much faster. The only places I ever get above 20kph are on fire road descents.

Of course, there are lots of opportunities to go fast in Whistler but they typically involve a chair lift two. Can't wait to head out there in August for both park and xc riding.

90. Here's the stats on a recent longer ride. All my rides start and end at the same point, it's where I leave my car. These days I'm trying to avg 11+mph.

Distance

40.22 mi
Distance
Calories

2,018 C
Calories
Heart Rate

bpm % of Max Zones
150 bpm
Avg HR
172 bpm
Max HR
Timing

Pace Speed
3:30:06
Time
3:29:30
Moving Time
4:02:42
Elapsed Time
11.5 mph
Avg Speed
11.5 mph
Avg Moving Speed
24.1 mph
Max Speed
Elevation

2,251 ft
Elev Gain
2,264 ft
Elev Loss
1,820 ft
Min Elev
2,863 ft
Max Elev

91. I think I am a pretty good representative of the average, mid-sport-class rider. Riding a rigid 29er with gears.

The Mohican SP MTB course is ~24 miles w/ 3500ft. vert., and not a lot of technical features (although there are a few more roots these days than in days past).

This early in the season, I will probably have trouble getting in under 3 hrs. (8mph avg.)

My PR is 2:31 (~9.6mph). <---This was an OUTSTANDING late season ride for me. I could've gone half-again at the same pace (but not much faster for a single lap - not sure how that works).

I think the big dogs have cracked 2 hrs. (it's really demoralizing ), and can turn 2 laps in ~4:10 (IIRC). When bikes still had triple chainrings, these guys stayed in the big ring the whole time.

-F

PS - a recent wind-assisted point-to-point ride on pavement on a rigid 26er with old 2.1 knobbies and flat pedals was 18.3mph avg. for 1:38 with ~1285ft gained (1245 descent).

92. For me it really depends what trail I'm going. It can be 25km/h average for one loop which is about 45-50km long and has something like 1000 height meters, or it can be 14km/h average for 40km loops with around 3500 height meters.

93. The Pro Men XC race at Sea Otter Classic completed 2 - 18 mile laps with 2,700' of climb per lap totaling 36 miles with a total climb of 5,400' in 2 hours! Avg speed of 18mph. Now that's insane if you ask me.

Thats fast for me on a road bike on level ground for 30 miles.

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