Bike speeds

As most are aware cycling to me is quite new so I've not really got much experience of what is a good speed (mph).

I live in an undulating area and yesterday on my 'getting to know my bike properly' cycle I averaged 18mph. Now I'm sure this is slow to most of you, but it felt ok to me, not too fast or slow!

What I want to know is what is a good standard mph speed on a flat route?


  • sounds a reasonable pace.

    my 10mile TT time was something like 27mins.. my race pace is usually around 22mph av. on a flat course.

    the quick guys seem to manage 25mph average even on some hideously hilly courses (i.e. swindon).
  • I average about 23mph for an Olympic distance race (40k), and about 20mph for Ironman distance (112 miles). Pros on the tour average about 26mph over the whole tour I think. Cougie is the man to ask really.

    18 sounds pretty good for a start though.
  • dr nic on the other hand...
  • 18 is pretty good as a start on a hilly course

    i average about 22.5 on a very, very flat route over 80-100 miles
  • LizzyBLizzyB ✭✭✭
    Hilly - 18 mph sounds pretty good to me, although what a 'good' speed is, does depend on the distance, also whether you have junctions, traffic lights, hills, wind (our local menace) etc. When I first started cycling I was happy with 15 mph, I've changed a bit since then though!

    I try to average 20 mph on a 1-3 hour ride (don't always manage it!). I'm currently working on my pace, trying to keep up to 25 mph for as long as I can ... until I can do it no more.... then I blow up and crawl home at about 10 mph!
  • Hilly - 18mph is a good pace indeed. I was out yesterday doing just over 50 miles, and we probably averaged 17 or 18mph.

    When you are racing though - you'll go a lot faster - my 10 time is a long 22 - so that's about 26mph, but you need the course for that.

    Tri courses tend to be a lot bumpier than the average cycling Time Trial course.
  • Blimey Lizzy - you kick a** !!!
  • LizzyBLizzyB ✭✭✭
    Nah Cougie, I just sit on the ass of my ex- first cat hubby (he's a lot bigger than me, so displaces an awful lot of air) and let him do the hard work. 'Cept it's not hard work for him.

    He usually drops me quite quickly. :(
  • Thanks guys and gals (Lizzie) of course!

    I'm quite pleased with that then as I had 2 steep hills and very bumpy road in places! Mind I only did 11 miles.

    Going up hill I was not too good, but I'm still getting used to the gears!

    Blimey Lizzy I'm sure I could do 25mph unless downhill!
  • That should say couldn't do 25mph not could do!
  • LizzyBLizzyB ✭✭✭
    Hilly, you can - just pick a long straight downhill and remove your brain... (dunno why I´m recommending this approach, I have the courage of a day-old kitten and I almost wee myself with fear on some descents).
  • I can always tell when things are getting 'hairy' I start to giggle uncontrolably..!!

    Start by just daring yourself not to touch the brakes at the top of the hill... By the time your really scared its probably round a corner and well, no-one brakes round a corner do they!! So you end up scaring yerself so much at the consequences of braking that its actually less scary not to brake....

    Understand my 'logic'...
  • Mmmmm - did you ever race at Eatridge (?) forest when they held the National Champs there ? Was it the Cliff or something you were meant to ride down ???
  • Cougie..
    Never raced there but I ride eastridge every thursday night!! And yes, I know it...

    tee hee... T'is my local patch!!!
  • Oooh ya lucky devil. Brilliant course. Went down the cliff on me b*m though. I'm not THAT stupid.

  • Cougie,
    You need to drop yer saddle a bit and get yer @rse right skimmin' the rear wheel... but its not really the done thing in a race to stop and adjust saddle height is it!!!

    But I do love Eastridge.. are some amazing rooty singletrack drops... you'll have to come over sometime...
  • LizzyBLizzyB ✭✭✭
    Twinkler - yeah, I do the 'I'm going to count to 10 before I touch the brakes'. Next time I do the hill it's '11' and so on.

    and I'm not dead yet.

    Funnily enough I don't get scared when I'm racing (not that I've done very much), just when I'm training!
  • Oh I had me A** hanging right over the back wheel, and decided it was tooo dodgy.

    And I saw Mick Ives wipe out and split his lip on it just before I had a go, so I thought - 's*d that for a game of soldiers !'

    Wish I hadn't sold me MTB. Still - good reason to get another eh ??? ;-)
  • It works too Lizzy!!!! and adrenaline is brown coloured....

    and yes Coug... always a good idea to get another!!!!!
  • I reckon 18mph is a very good average on a long ride - talking computer average including stops, junctions etc On shorter training rides (say 20 miles) I aim just to keep the average over 20. To me that's a good training pace - I do plenty of easy rides slower than that. If you went on a 60 mile club ride and it averaged 20 you'd find a lot of people complaining - well me anyway.

    It's best not to place too much emphasis on what your computer tells you - I set mine using the standard figures that came with it and I always record times 1-2mph slower than the people I'm riding with. On top of that things like the weather, the road surface, traffic, towns, tri bars, your bike etc make so much difference.

    Your best bet is to try going out with the local chain gang - good fun - or if you don't feel up to that yet find a local club and do their evening 10s - although you'll have to wait to spring for that.

    We did our club hill climb and freewheel comp on Sunday - managed to crash on the freewheel trying to get maximum momentum round a corner - landed on my head and after checking my neck wasn't broken remounted - luckily nobody saw me can you imagine the mickey taking for crashing on a freewheel.
  • Popsider ! You crashed on the freewheel ! Tee hee hee ! I won ours once sporting non-aerodynamic reindeer antlers through the vents of my helmet.

    If you tried to do 20mph average on our club runs, they'd probably kill you and burn your bike.
  • Oh - glad you are OK by the way.

    How's the bike ?
  • Nothing you'd really notice - broke 2 cateye rear led mounts and a few scuffs on the pedal and quick release.
  • LizzyBLizzyB ✭✭✭
    Popsider - what hill were you using for the hill climb? (I'm getting all nostalgic for the East Mids. cycling scene!!)

  • That's OK then. And we won't tell your club. Better luck next time !
  • I think I'd prefer your club cougie than popsiders! One reason I won't join a cycle club is 'cause I've heard of such 'elite' snobbery, worse than running!

    I live just down the road from Portland, now that is one big steep hill and goes down for 1 whole mile! I don't think I'd be fool enough to attempt coming down there without using brakes. Or maybe I've just got lots to learn yet.
  • Pistern hill near Calke Abbey - not much of a hill really - we rode it right from the bottom though so it takes about 5 minutes but the first half isn't that steep. I did suggest we change to a real hill next year but they reckoned nobody would turn up. Probably just as well I could really have killed myself coming down Riber or something.
  • We have some hideously steep hill in N Wales that we use for our hill climb. It's summat like 10 mins to the top.

    I keep pointing out that lotsa hillclimbs are only 2mins long, but they can't hear me as they are already halfway up the hill.


    Freewheel hill is a much gentler one in Delamere.
  • Hilly,

    I was worried about elitism in cycling too - but I've not found it too bad. To be honest my club is probably not all that friendly - I wouldn't say they are unfriendly but they don't go out of their way - but I've found the local chain gang to be much more welcoming - it's not a club as such - you just turn up at one of a number of points along the route and tag on.
  • I think bike clubs tend to be like that.

    Last time I did the chain gang - it was fearsomely competitive ! Which reminds me - must have another go ! ;-)
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