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Cold weather theory

spasypaddyspasypaddy Posts: 5,731
edited October 2007 in Commuting chat
I have a theory that when it is colder your bike runs quicker over the road as there is less friction, am i correct in this theory? Or am i just getting to work quicker when its colder because its colder and i have to pedal quicker to warm up?

I've take 4 minutes off my personal best commute this week (my commute is only 5 miles! so am now doing it in the low 20minute and something seconds!)

Posts

  • spen666spen666 Posts: 17,709
    Alternatively, it could be because this week is 1/2 term for the school kids and there is much less traffic on the roads
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  • GussioGussio Posts: 2,452
    spen666 wrote:
    Alternatively, it could be because this week is 1/2 term for the school kids and there is much less traffic on the roads

    It is wonderful, isn't it?
  • Eat My DustEat My Dust Posts: 3,965
    Gussio wrote:
    spen666 wrote:
    Alternatively, it could be because this week is 1/2 term for the school kids and there is much less traffic on the roads

    It is wonderful, isn't it?

    Yup, I don't think I had to put my foot down once on my 13 miles commute, and I was around 12 minutes quicker than last weeks commute times!!
  • nottscobbnottscobb Posts: 147
    I wouldn't expect cold roads to make 4 mins of difference - the traffic levels might though!

    I'm definitely enjoying the quieter roads through the city centre. I've just finished building my winter fixie do I don't have to spend loads repairing the road bike again in the spring. I've not ridden fixed before so it's nice to get a week with quieter roads to practice.
  • You go faster because you pedal like a mofo to try to warm up
    <a>road</a>
  • spasypaddyspasypaddy Posts: 5,731
    spen666 wrote:
    Alternatively, it could be because this week is 1/2 term for the school kids and there is much less traffic on the roads
    i dont tend to have too much of a traffic issue on my commute (not if i make the right decision at a certain set of lights!)
  • BelvBelv Posts: 866
    Colder air is more dense which will make your 'engine' run slightly better.
  • You go faster because you pedal like a mofo to try to warm up

    +1 for that view - my cold or wet commutes usually have a higher average speed (according to the cycle computer), largely because pootling tends to be uncomfortable in that weather...
  • Clever PunClever Pun Posts: 6,778
    Belv wrote:
    Colder air is more dense which will make your 'engine' run slightly better.

    and make your ears feel like they are on fire
    Purveyor of sonic doom

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  • hambomanhamboman Posts: 512
    Clever Pun wrote:
    Belv wrote:
    Colder air is more dense which will make your 'engine' run slightly better.

    and make your ears feel like they are on fire

    The air hold more oxygen when it's colder, it also holds more oxygen when it's humid or raining.
  • bonceyboncey Posts: 12
    I tend to pedal like stink to warm up and to get to my destination (and therefore out of the cold) as quickly as possible.
    I am also less concerned about working up a sweat in the cold so my usual reason for taking my time doesn't really apply.
  • AleAle Posts: 180
    Belv wrote:
    Colder air is more dense which will make your 'engine' run slightly better.

    But produces more drag.
  • You go faster because you pedal like a mofo to try to warm up

    +1 for that view - my cold or wet commutes usually have a higher average speed (according to the cycle computer), largely because pootling tends to be uncomfortable in that weather...

    And will present more wind resistance. Yes?
  • AidanRAidanR Posts: 1,142
    Leaving aside traffic/warming up issues, you should really go slower when it's cold - the rolling resistance of tires goes up markedly, and as pointed out denser air will create more air resistance.

    All the HPV speed records are set when it's warm (but not so hot the rider's output suffers).

    Traffic and warming up sound like the most plausible reasons. It's also possible you happened to have a tail wind.
    Bike lover and part-time cyclist.
  • spasypaddyspasypaddy Posts: 5,731
    this morning was a perfect day for commuting and i would of broken the 20minute mark for my commute had it not been for the bloody bus at the roundabout just before my office. In the end it probably added about 20 seconds and i got in at 20.06. GRRRRrrr
  • sbullettsbullett Posts: 139
    Very unscientific i know, but cold weather does reduce my speed a fair bit, max of around 35-36 instead of the normal 40 coming down the last hill to the office, generally about 5-10% slower than in the summer. I put it down to wearing more clothes (more drag?) and my lungs not enjoying sucking in air at 1-2 degrees first thing in the morning, takes longer to get the legs working well...

    Only exception was last Feb when I rode in with a 30-40mph tail wind, boy was that quick....
  • tardingtontardington Posts: 1,379
    hamboman wrote:
    Clever Pun wrote:
    Belv wrote:
    Colder air is more dense which will make your 'engine' run slightly better.

    and make your ears feel like they are on fire

    The air hold more oxygen when it's colder, it also holds more oxygen when it's humid or raining.

    Really? I can see why when it's cold (the air is denser, or something). But if it's humid, or raining, surely there's less? Due to the water in the air?

    Or is it more efficient to breathe that way?
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