average road speed mtb on slicks

scottgeniusltd2005
scottgeniusltd2005 Posts: 575
edited February 2009 in Commuting chat
hi guys,

in a quandary. i know that in september i will be commuting between 24 to 27 miles each way (in 6 week blocks) i start uni to be a nurse. i was thinking of selling my beloved scott and getting a moulton. however, after watching some on ebay sell for silly money (cheap!!) i don't think getting £800 for my £5000 bike is worth it. SOOO, i will have to grin and bear it, going to put on some good slick (currently got cheapo panaracer pasela's on). get a decent back pack (tho the thought of putting on a 'sherpa' rear rack is appealing) i was doing a 15 mile commute for few weeks in new job but they shutdown (i must be a jinx) my average over a really silly hilly 6% commute was 12 m.p.h. i know i would have easily improved this to 15 maybe 16m.p.h thru fitness and losing weight. what is the highest regular average m.p.h i would realistically be able to do? the new commute will be reasonably hilly but very good long roads in good condition. i've got till sept to get my fitness up...what am i aiming for?
Cotic Soul rider.

Comments

  • Rich158
    Rich158 Posts: 2,348
    I average between 16-20mph over a 23 mile commute on a road bike, but at least 50% of that is through south London traffic. I would say that 12-16 mph is pretty good with mtb gearing on slicks, maybe pushing to 18mph if the roads are good and there's little traffic.

    Good luck
    pain is temporary, the glory of beating your mates to the top of the hill lasts forever.....................

    Revised FCN - 2
  • alfablue
    alfablue Posts: 8,497
    edited February 2009
    I have commuted on an mtb 14 miles each way, but fairly flat. Averaged 15mph on a good day. Carried 2 panniers with laptop, paperwork, books and clothing, so quite a load. I am not too fit either.

    That is an ambitious commute, so some things may make it easier / less prone to mishap - so some suggestions about modifying the bike for a long commute:

    I would suggest fitting rigid forks (suspension corrected length) which will save maybe 1.5kg on the front and make climbing a LOT nicer. I got Kona Project II Triple Butted for about £45, but there are other choices.

    As for tyres, I went as narrow as poss - 26x1 Specialized All Conditions Pro's (they have never punctured on me, they grip well and are fast, not to be confused with the heavier, poorer Armadillo models). 26x1 is equivalent to a 700x25 road tyre, for width. Websters have 26x1's on offer for £35 the pair at the moment.

    You may want to lower your bars, flip stem or move spacers, for a more aero position. Flat bars preferred over risers. I also fitted long bar ends for multiple positions (edit: and covered them with bar tape for added comfort).

    I wouldn't want a back pack for such a long commute, I would fit a rack - the Tortec Ultralight is only 400g (compared to the usual 800g to 1kg) but I presume you have discs, so either use a Tubus QR adapter or p clips higher up the stays, or get a Lifeline Disc Rack for £24 - lighter and a lot cheaper than a Sherpa. I have done touring with camping gear on one, held up well.

    Fit SKS Chromoplastic mudguards - on a wet ride you will be VERY glad of them over that distance (singlespeedexplosif will come on here and tell you they are rubbish because you should expect to get wet in this country - take no notice!). Even without mudguard eyes you can fit them with p clips.

    take 2 spare tubes, a tyre boot, a chain tool, some KMC links, multitool, puncture repair kit, tyre levers, a good pump like a Topeak mountain (or road) Morph.
  • bigmat
    bigmat Posts: 5,134
    I do 15mph to 16mph for a 7 mile commute through central London, the main limiting factor is traffic / lights. Hard to say what you could expect on clear roads as all depends on how hilly you are talking.
  • hi alfa,

    thanx, with regards to the forks, this isn't a problem as i am lucky enough to have pace fighters rc41 so i can lock out out in bottom position which does give sportier position. with regards to the rack i have 4 linkages on the back so really limited to 3 racks, but you are right, a rack is the way to go, probably going to fit full length mudguards as well. if i can get up to 18 mph i would be seriously chuffed. i can lock out the rear as well. my full spec racing mtb is going to look ridiculous but has to be done. mind you a fat bloke on full race spec mtb is ridiculous...lol
    Cotic Soul rider.
  • m0scs
    m0scs Posts: 196
    Would it not be easier to save your top spec MTB for its intended use and buy a used roadbike on the cheap and save yourself a lot of messing with your expensive machine?

    Just a thought.
    Specialised Epic MTB on slicks.
    SPD clipless pedals: FCN 7
  • not really,

    need to keep costs down. new bike that's up to the job costs way more than some tyres and a rack n bag combo. did play with the idea of getting an old moulton and restoring on the cheap, but why bother? got a good bike maybe add on a few extra pounds in weight but a new bike to save 20 mins each way, doesn't seem worth the effort. if i can get to 18 mph average i will be really happy. if however i only manage to do 14 mph average then a serious rethink will be needed. but the bikes not worth £5k anymore
    Cotic Soul rider.
  • simon_e
    simon_e Posts: 1,706
    Good info from alfablue.

    20+ miles is quite a long run. A rack would be more practical than even the world's best rucksack. Bungee a bag on the top if you don't want to buy panniers.

    If you're trying to avoid a big spend you could always pick up a useable older road bike on ebay or local classifieds/gumtree etc. I use a saved search on ebay for bikes in <25 miles in case anything suitable appears. 700c tyres and drop bars make a big difference to average speed, particularly if you're on open roads as opposed to trying to remain upright in stop-go urban traffic. Don't automatically discount older bikes with downtube shifters - they are cheap to run. Bear in mind that 250 miles a week will take its toll on your bike's components regardless. Using a hack bike will also stop you worrying about your MTB being a thief-magnet and you won't feel too bad if you don't get round to washing it every week.
    Aspire not to have more, but to be more.
  • m0scs
    m0scs Posts: 196
    Well said that man! My thought entirely
    Specialised Epic MTB on slicks.
    SPD clipless pedals: FCN 7
  • jimmypippa
    jimmypippa Posts: 1,712
    not really,

    need to keep costs down. new bike that's up to the job costs way more than some tyres and a rack n bag combo. did play with the idea of getting an old moulton and restoring on the cheap, but why bother? got a good bike maybe add on a few extra pounds in weight but a new bike to save 20 mins each way, doesn't seem worth the effort. if i can get to 18 mph average i will be really happy. if however i only manage to do 14 mph average then a serious rethink will be needed. but the bikes not worth £5k anymore

    I'd consider the second-hand option (twenty minutes each way mightn't sound much, but that is over three hours a week).

    I have just moved over from a (good) rucsac (Berghaus freeflow 20) to panniers on a 12-mile hilly commute each way and the difference to my back is substantial. I'd recommend panniers for longer distances; I can also fit more lunch in them...
  • Nick6891
    Nick6891 Posts: 274
    i do a 9 mile commute each way on a MTB with slicks and a pannier, i average about 17mph on way there and about 15mph on way back
  • wgwarburton
    wgwarburton Posts: 1,863
    Commuting year round will kill your #5K bike. The salt & road grit will accelerate wear and the constant use will take it's toll. Before long you'll be spending the money you saved by using it on getting it back up to good condition.

    24 miles each way is a challenging commute. I'd go for a road bike of some sort, that's what they are good for. A classic "racer" or an Audax style light tourer would be ideal, rather than a contemporary "road bike"- they tend to be a bit extreme.
    With cash tight, I'd be looking for a nice used bike- an upmarket older model with friction shifters, classic brake levers and so on will be light, reliable and roadworthy- with the mileage you're putting in you'll soon adapt to the old-fashioned mechanicals and the quality will see you through.

    You might get away with something like this:

    Dawes Road bike

    or this:
    531c racer

    ...though both would need mudguards. A Galaxy or Horizon might be a better bet but they go for more money... Raleigh, Claude Butler, Holdsworth all sold similar things.

    Hope this helps..
    Cheers,
    W.
  • Jay dubbleU
    Jay dubbleU Posts: 3,159
    I use one of these for my commute with a rack and panniers and SCS mudguards - I get about 15mph on average - swapped the tyres for Marathons as I used to get a lot of punctures but they don't seem to have slowed me down


    http://www.bikeradar.com/gear/category/ ... e-m2-11181