Poll

How fast do you typically ride your bike?

0-5mph
1 (1.3%)
5-10mph
7 (8.9%)
10-15mph
36 (45.6%)
15-20mph
30 (38%)
20-25mph
4 (5.1%)
25+ mph
1 (1.3%)

Total Members Voted: 73

Author Topic: Bike Riders: How Fast Do You Ride?  (Read 14249 times)

arebelspy

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Bike Riders: How Fast Do You Ride?
« on: May 14, 2013, 09:20:03 PM »
For those of you with a bike computer, how fast do you ride, typically?  (Your normal speed along a busy road, not when sauntering enjoying the day, or booking it as fast as you can.)
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ThatGuyFromCanada

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Re: Bike Riders: How Fast Do You Ride?
« Reply #1 on: May 14, 2013, 10:12:23 PM »
I don't have a bike computer but I do track my average speeds. I ride a road bike to work and I'd say I cruise around 30km/h with peaks and troughs. The other day I was passing one of those temporary radar signs and said I was doing 37km/h (23mph)

Joet

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Re: Bike Riders: How Fast Do You Ride?
« Reply #2 on: May 14, 2013, 10:44:57 PM »
per strava moving avg on my commute is:
[this includes stops, starts, slowing for a light, etc all, anytime the app senses movement]

~16.5 mph, hybrid commuter/fenders/et all
~15.5 mph, full susp mtbike,
[these are averages looking @ 1k++ miles commuting on each]

not asked but will answer anyway :)
~19-20 mph on my ebike commuter (A2B metro)


I am far from fast tho! But I notice some slight improvements sometimes in my ETs per the good ol' strava app
« Last Edit: May 14, 2013, 11:01:40 PM by Joet »

Jwesleym

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Re: Bike Riders: How Fast Do You Ride?
« Reply #3 on: May 14, 2013, 10:55:28 PM »
Just started consistently riding my bike to work.  I average around 12 mph on flat roads.  This is week 3 and I have improved since the first week.  I ride an older mountain bike I traded for on CL it has knobby tires.  I use ipbike app to measure.

Jamesqf

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Re: Bike Riders: How Fast Do You Ride?
« Reply #4 on: May 14, 2013, 10:59:50 PM »
Not an easy question to answer, 'cause I'd have to find a level road with no tail or head winds, which isn't easy in these parts.  But I rode to the grocery store today, a bit over 12 miles round trip.  Average speed 13.3 (counts some stops, waiting to cross roads, etc), max speed 28.8 on a slight downhill.

Hamster

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Re: Bike Riders: How Fast Do You Ride?
« Reply #5 on: May 14, 2013, 11:23:41 PM »
My average speed on my 8 mile one way commute is 14.5 mph when I  ride my touring bike, ranging from 10mph on the uphill trail to 30s on some downhills. Clipless pedals, panniers, about half trails with hills and half road with some stops/starts. For the flat paved part of my commute, usually about 18-20. Occasionally I can draft behind a van or truck at 28-30 mph on that flat stretch for a couple minutes before I have to drop off.

Weekend long fitness rides on my unmustachian road bike usually average 16-18 mph for the course depending on route, companions for drafting, etc over 20-50 miles. These include rolling hills and a few climbs and descents. Cruising on flats on those rides is about 20-23mph.

Ottawa

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Re: Bike Riders: How Fast Do You Ride?
« Reply #6 on: May 15, 2013, 06:56:09 AM »
This is quite variable for me (10.5-17mph) due to the timing of traffic lights (1-1.5 minutes wait if you hit a full red light - and I have 3 (to work) - 4 (to home) sets of lights en route) however my general average is 13mph over a 5 mile commute. 

kendallf

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Re: Bike Riders: How Fast Do You Ride?
« Reply #7 on: May 15, 2013, 07:50:22 AM »
There are some hilarious, long threads on this topic on bikeforums.  It's highly variable depending on terrain and bike, and people almost always overestimate their averages (i.e., look down often during a ride, I'm doing 21 mph, thus I "average" 21 when, including stops and slow periods, it might actually be 17)..

Here's my log #s for this year so far:

2013 totals
Bike: 128h 55m 21s  - 2509.76 Mi

So, about 19.5 mph for a long term average for the year so far.  To give that some context, I live in flat Florida, I'm a master's racer who does a lot of fast group rides, and then I also commute on a loaded touring bike at much slower speeds. 

GuitarStv

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Re: Bike Riders: How Fast Do You Ride?
« Reply #8 on: May 15, 2013, 07:52:57 AM »
Traffic lights, wind, and snow drastically effect the time that my commute takes.

I've done my 11 mile commute in 40 minutes, with probably only 10 stops due to lights - works out to 16 mph (but I've got to be biking a lot faster than that counting out the stops).  I've also taken a full hour to get to work over the same distance (wind and heavy snow where my back tire kept slipping out from under me the whole way) - 11 mph.

foobar

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Re: Bike Riders: How Fast Do You Ride?
« Reply #9 on: May 15, 2013, 08:20:48 AM »
Just set your computer to  KM/hr. You will feel like a total bad ass.

 It is hard to average 20mph on a bike. 10mph is pretty good on a lot of commutes where you are only going 3 miles but have 5 mins of stops.

There are some hilarious, long threads on this topic on bikeforums.  It's highly variable depending on terrain and bike, and people almost always overestimate their averages (i.e., look down often during a ride, I'm doing 21 mph, thus I "average" 21 when, including stops and slow periods, it might actually be 17)..

Here's my log #s for this year so far:

2013 totals
Bike: 128h 55m 21s  - 2509.76 Mi

So, about 19.5 mph for a long term average for the year so far.  To give that some context, I live in flat Florida, I'm a master's racer who does a lot of fast group rides, and then I also commute on a loaded touring bike at much slower speeds.

skyrefuge

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Re: Bike Riders: How Fast Do You Ride?
« Reply #10 on: May 15, 2013, 08:33:57 AM »
My "cruising speed" (flat, no wind, infinitely sustainable, hands on brake hoods rather than in the drops) is about 19mph. My "average moving speed" on my commute (basically flat, winds cancel out) is more like 15-16mph, due to the slowing-down/starting-up at intersections.

anastrophe

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Re: Bike Riders: How Fast Do You Ride?
« Reply #11 on: May 15, 2013, 08:41:47 AM »
There are some hilarious, long threads on this topic on bikeforums.  It's highly variable depending on terrain and bike, and people almost always overestimate their averages (i.e., look down often during a ride, I'm doing 21 mph, thus I "average" 21 when, including stops and slow periods, it might actually be 17)..

I usually skip those threads;)

This is such a difficult question to answer. My commute is mostly rural roads and bike path, but the weather changes my times significantly. And, which bike? The cargo bike obviously doesn't go as fast as the road bike, and commuting's not the same as leisure rides.

Nothlit

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Re: Bike Riders: How Fast Do You Ride?
« Reply #12 on: May 15, 2013, 09:36:19 AM »
I've been using the MapMyRide app to track my bike commutes to work. The total 6-mile trip has been averaging around 11 MPH lately, but that includes stops for traffic lights and such. So I'd say I'm probably closer to 15 MPH on flat open road.

KulshanGirl

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Re: Bike Riders: How Fast Do You Ride?
« Reply #13 on: May 15, 2013, 09:56:35 AM »
Okay, I'll chime in on the low end of the spectrum.  I am a wobbler.  A cruiser.  A doodler.  Slow as they go.  With a bell that dings like on a child's bike.  My new bike doesn't have a basket on the front, but it should, and filled with carrots and flowers.  I am sure you get the picture.  Hehe.  (ding!)

I will ride fast on paved bike trails though.  And by fast, I mean fast-ER than my usual pace.  :) 

StarryC

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Re: Bike Riders: How Fast Do You Ride?
« Reply #14 on: May 15, 2013, 11:17:06 AM »
I am also incredibly slow as a newcomer to biking as transit.  On the way to work which is mostly downhill, with a few stop lights and long waits as I nervously decide whether or not it is safe to cross the intersection or get off the bike and use the crosswalk to make the left hand turn, it takes me about 20 minutes to go 2 miles.  (The car commute for this trip is about 13 minutes, and the bus is about 18, on foot it would take me about 40 minutes comfortably.)

On the way home, mostly uphill, it took me 45 minutes to go those same 2 miles.  However, about 1/3 was  walking the bike for a block on and off because my legs were on fire. 

I'm on a heavy mountain bike I borrowed from my roommate where one of the gears doesn't always engage.   The good news is, 2 miles is totally doable and there's no need to get home at a certain time.  You've got to start somewhere!

etselec

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Re: Bike Riders: How Fast Do You Ride?
« Reply #15 on: May 15, 2013, 11:50:11 AM »
I'm still pretty slow. My 4.7 mile urban commute has gone from taking me 50 minutes to 35-40. Some of that optimization is from finding a different route home that smooths out a big uphill, and some is from just plain riding faster. I have especially good motivation to speed up on my 3-mile flat section, because the lights there are phased for 20mph. A few extra mph is the difference between getting caught at a light every 2-3 blocks and every 7-8.

StarryC, have you heard of a box turn? It's a much less scary way of making a left turn that doesn't involve getting off and walking your bike. See http://www.cyclelicio.us/2011/box-turn/.

napalminator

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Re: Bike Riders: How Fast Do You Ride?
« Reply #16 on: May 15, 2013, 12:49:06 PM »
i'm a pretty consistent 18.5-19 avg on road bikes.  my goal this summer is to train enough to be able to pop off a 20mph avg consistently.  maybe the full Sram Red 10 group I got to put on my bike will help that. ;-)

Shandi76

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Re: Bike Riders: How Fast Do You Ride?
« Reply #17 on: May 15, 2013, 03:20:43 PM »
I've got a hybrid city bike with pannier and average a slow 12mph on my commute. I don't have a bike computer but I've got a map and a heart rate monitor that doubles as a stopwatch. My commute is 1.75 miles according to cycle streets, and it usually take me around 9 minutes. Around 30 seconds of that is probably waiting to get onto, and make a right turn (UK, so like a US left turn - crossing traffic) to get back off, the one busy road I have to get across. And it has a few hills, but they're not particularly long or steep.

smalllife

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Re: Bike Riders: How Fast Do You Ride?
« Reply #18 on: May 15, 2013, 03:57:13 PM »
No computer, but average speed 10-15 mph including traffic lights (I have at least 8 on my commute).  This is cruising speed.

GuitarStv

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Re: Bike Riders: How Fast Do You Ride?
« Reply #19 on: May 16, 2013, 06:32:20 AM »
Question for the slowest cyclists . . . do you cycle on the sidewalk?  There's no way I could move at the speeds I do if I wasn't on the road.

smalllife

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Re: Bike Riders: How Fast Do You Ride?
« Reply #20 on: May 16, 2013, 06:36:08 AM »
Question for the slowest cyclists . . . do you cycle on the sidewalk?  There's no way I could move at the speeds I do if I wasn't on the road.

No, but I'm also not in an area with fast cars and busy roads.  When I lived in the burbs I did cycle on the sidewalk on the super thoroughfare that was basically a highway with some stop lights. 

jp

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Re: Bike Riders: How Fast Do You Ride?
« Reply #21 on: May 16, 2013, 09:20:26 AM »
My average is almost always 13-14mph.  Sometimes I will hit speeds as high as 40mph and sometimes I will jog along at 10mph, usually in the same ride.  Sometimes i stay on the bike/pedestrian path, sometimes I stay on the road ( I get tired of scaring all the pedestrians).  This is on moderately hilly terrain.  My flat cruise is about 15 mph.  I am 220# on a 10 year old road bike.

 The cyclcomputer was fun at first, but it takes some of the fun out of riding for me now.  I ride for fun and fitness, the constant reminder of my slacking is killing the fun. 
« Last Edit: May 16, 2013, 09:23:38 AM by jp »

StarryC

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Re: Bike Riders: How Fast Do You Ride?
« Reply #22 on: May 16, 2013, 03:45:20 PM »
I'm either in a bike lane or in a side street that runs parallel to a main road.  I probably have bursts of high speed when I do have to cross a road or am in front of traffic.  Riding on the sidewalk would be practically impossible since there are people, bus shelter's, and signs.  Also, it is illegal unless there is a specific need.

Thanks for the turn post!  Now that I see it, I remember that I have seen someone do it.  I thought my options were the car left turn or the pedestrian left turn (to avoid riding on the sidewalk).


nonsequitur

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Re: Bike Riders: How Fast Do You Ride?
« Reply #23 on: May 16, 2013, 05:26:24 PM »
I spend most of my commute on a dedicated bike path, pulling a trailer.  The 6.2 km distance usually takes around 25 min, so  that's 14-15 km/h average, including stops at a few intersections. 

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Re: Bike Riders: How Fast Do You Ride?
« Reply #24 on: May 16, 2013, 05:49:00 PM »
Most of my 6.2 mile ride is strategically flat, so it's easy to estimate. 17 mph average, 21-22 mph when I'm hauling azz. I rode for a good year and figured I'd get faster, but I can't seem to break my comfort zone. Friend of mine who competes is sharing some principles he's learned over the years tho.

brybot

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Re: Bike Riders: How Fast Do You Ride?
« Reply #25 on: May 17, 2013, 09:16:31 AM »
While commuting, I do about 15 or so, when I have lots of stop signs and lights. If I have a long open stretch, which is rare for a commute, I'll speed up a bit. While training, I'll do considerably more. In races I'll hit 30 on flat stretches sometimes. Last week, I crashed in a race while going 25... not much fun!

smalllife

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Re: Bike Riders: How Fast Do You Ride?
« Reply #26 on: May 17, 2013, 09:18:39 AM »
For those of you with long distances, do you have a lighter frame bike?

I ask because I'd love to go for long rides but I've got a mid seventies steel bike (Raleigh Sport Ladies).  Beautiful, rides great, perfect for my ~5 mile commute and errands, but I'm not sure how comfortable it would be on anything longer than 10 miles.   It's a fairly upright bike, which I prefer, but everyone around here does the racing/road bikes for longer distances.

brybot

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Re: Bike Riders: How Fast Do You Ride?
« Reply #27 on: May 17, 2013, 09:58:20 AM »
Also, today is national bike to work day!

For those of you with long distances, do you have a lighter frame bike?

My commute/everyday bike is a steel touring bike (a variety of road bike with drop bars, but heavier duty) and it is 30 lbs without cargo.  I've taken it on long trips, and it does a good job, but it is not made to be fast. My racing bike is about 18 lbs and there is a very noticeable difference in performance between the two. However, the lighter bike mostly just helps with acceleration and hills. The other major difference is I'm running 23c tires on the road bike which really helps with rolling resistance. I'm using 32c on the touring bike. While a lighter bike would certainly help, so would a road bike over a hybrid. Bike shops should let you try them out to get a feel for them. Road bikes felt really weird to me at first, but I'd never consider going back.

ThatGuyFromCanada

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Re: Bike Riders: How Fast Do You Ride?
« Reply #28 on: May 17, 2013, 10:27:59 AM »
For those of you with long distances, do you have a lighter frame bike?

I ask because I'd love to go for long rides but I've got a mid seventies steel bike (Raleigh Sport Ladies).  Beautiful, rides great, perfect for my ~5 mile commute and errands, but I'm not sure how comfortable it would be on anything longer than 10 miles.   It's a fairly upright bike, which I prefer, but everyone around here does the racing/road bikes for longer distances.

Yup, I use a road bike since I do ~25km to work and then ~25km home. I did a whole riding season on a mountain bike and it was just too much. Since I've gotten the road bike my time down to less than an hour on the way to work; more on the way home since it's uphill.

Hamster

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Re: Bike Riders: How Fast Do You Ride?
« Reply #29 on: May 17, 2013, 10:50:32 AM »
For those of you with long distances, do you have a lighter frame bike?

I ask because I'd love to go for long rides but I've got a mid seventies steel bike (Raleigh Sport Ladies).  Beautiful, rides great, perfect for my ~5 mile commute and errands, but I'm not sure how comfortable it would be on anything longer than 10 miles.   It's a fairly upright bike, which I prefer, but everyone around here does the racing/road bikes for longer distances.

If going to longer rides, I'd look for a comfortable road bike with a "comfort" or "touring" frame/fit, rather than a racing fit. It will still have drop bars like a racing bike, and will have your upper body more forward than on your current cruiser type bike (although people do long-distance touring on a variety of handlebar types). Unless you are doing lots of hills or racing, I'd worry less about weight and more about the geometry/fit to be able to enjoy long rides.

I've done several 200 mile (over 2 days) rides on my very heavy touring bike. It's more comfortable (although a bit more effort) than my more racing-oriented lighter-weight carbon frame bike. And the touring bike has more spokes, meaning less likelihood of breaking a spoke or getting out of true if you hit something, and bigger lower pressure tires meaning more comfort and fewer flats. I love my racing bike, but the touring bike is also great for long easy rides.

As Howlin' Wolf said: "I'm built for comfort, I ain't built for speed"

GuitarStv

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Re: Bike Riders: How Fast Do You Ride?
« Reply #30 on: May 17, 2013, 11:18:47 AM »
My 22 mile round trip bike commute is done on a steel touring bike.  The combination of drop bars and a little flex from the steel (and wider 32mm tires) makes it very forgiving on the bumpy roads.

After the snow hits the ground I switch to an aluminum frame hybrid flat-bar bike with bar ends.  The v-brakes on this bike have much more stopping power than the cantilevers on my touring bike, and the components are a little more robust.  Plus I'm not as concerned about corrosion from all the salt on our roads.

Jamesqf

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Re: Bike Riders: How Fast Do You Ride?
« Reply #31 on: May 17, 2013, 12:38:17 PM »
The other major difference is I'm running 23c tires on the road bike which really helps with rolling resistance. I'm using 32c on the touring bike.

The downside of that is (if you live in the west) goatheads.  With light tires, I lost far more time fixing flats than I gained in speed.

smalllife

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Re: Bike Riders: How Fast Do You Ride?
« Reply #32 on: May 17, 2013, 12:42:37 PM »
Thanks for the replies!

I think I'm going to start perusing Craigslist for an old touring bike and take advantage of the nice weather :-) 

Undecided

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Re: Bike Riders: How Fast Do You Ride?
« Reply #33 on: May 17, 2013, 02:59:42 PM »
The other major difference is I'm running 23c tires on the road bike which really helps with rolling resistance. I'm using 32c on the touring bike.

The downside of that is (if you live in the west) goatheads.  With light tires, I lost far more time fixing flats than I gained in speed.

Leaving aside the debate as to what makes for a faster tire/tube, in my experience puncture resistance isn't dictated by tire width, although more puncture resistant tires (and tubes) will, as you suggest, be heavier than similarly sized and otherwise comparable tires. I have had good luck with some of the Schwalbe Durano and Ultremo tires as my (23c) winter training tires (that being both my wet season (more likely to pick up foreign objects) and my cold season (more miserable to fix a flat)). Of course, tires configured to be more puncture resistant also have higher rolling resistance than otherwise similar tires. Goatheads cry out for tubeless tires and sealant, but I'm not aware of a tubeless (road) tire that really goes out of its way to offer puncture resistance. A tubeless 25c Hutchinson Intensive with sealant is a "fast, still tough" (or "tough, still fast") long-lasting tire, but probably only worth it to someone riding a lot of miles. The (traditional) Schwalbes are a lot cheaper. 

Jamesqf

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Re: Bike Riders: How Fast Do You Ride?
« Reply #34 on: May 17, 2013, 04:41:30 PM »
I admit I'm no expert on current anti-flat tech, since I haven't ridden the aluminum-framed, skinny-tired road bike in a couple of years (no commuting!), but I used to get quite a few flats with it, but few if any with the mountain bike.

The_Dude

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Re: Bike Riders: How Fast Do You Ride?
« Reply #35 on: May 18, 2013, 01:28:23 AM »
My bike computer only calculates average spped of a trip when moving so if I get stuck at a light it doesn't count. When I partially bike commute 18.5 miles round trip I average ~13.5 mph when moving.  Trek 7200 hybrid.

madgeylou

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Re: Bike Riders: How Fast Do You Ride?
« Reply #36 on: May 18, 2013, 05:58:20 AM »
When I started bike commuting for real in April, I struggled to average 10 mph. Now, not counting the giant hill on which my speed slows to 5 or 6 miles an hour, I'm averaging 12-13 and often get going around 15-16 mph on the trails. Wheeee!

Shandi76

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Re: Bike Riders: How Fast Do You Ride?
« Reply #37 on: May 18, 2013, 08:21:11 AM »
For those of you with long distances, do you have a lighter frame bike?


I have a hybrid bike which is a 2006 Ridgeback Velocity. It weights about 28lbs, then I added a pannier rack and I always have my pack with me so it is around 35lbs+ with that. It's an upright bike. I can see how a lighter road bike with drop handlebars would be more efficient but I would feel less safe on that and I'd get regular punctures on some of the unclassified/ farm roads I need to cycle on.