Why am I not faster on new bike?

wishitwasallflat
wishitwasallflat Posts: 2,927
edited September 2011 in Road beginners
Hi,

I got a Carrera Crossfire two on C2W two years ago - I started way fat and way unfit and built up over that time to now be able to do 20miles, 2-3 times a week, at an average speed of about 14.25 mph. I know that's crap but I have lost about two stones in that time, I will be fifty this year and have a long history or muscoskeltal and joint issues (knee,neck and low back) so I have to be carefull and so I still feel that's an ok achievement. Now being compeltely hooked on cycling I bought myself a Specialised Sectuer Elite Apex - I love this bike and am very very happy. I didn't get it to go faster - my priority is to keep getting fitter and lose another two stone (yes another I really was that fat and unfit when I started!) - but I did think I would go faster on the new bike. I have only had it for two weeks or so and have done about four rides total 40-50 miles and my average speed is pretty much exactly the same as with the Carrera. I can't understand it I feel as though I am going faster but I'm not! Is there a running in period on a new bike like that or is it just that the engine is all that matters?

Any advice anyone may have much apprecaited.
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Comments

  • Tricky one. In my limited experience, I haven't seen a huge difference between my average speeds on a new bike. I am able eek out incremental improvements as I get used to the bike and trust it a bit more, but never huge chunks. You're proably pretty bike fit already so I wouldn't expect a major difference between the two. What a new bike will give you is some fresh impetus to keep training and hopefully put a smile on your face while you're riding it.

    The other thing to consider is that other factors (shoes, pedals, clothing, fuel etc.) can make quite a difference too.

    Oh, and, there are some very good athletes on here, but 14.25mph is perfectly respectable in my world.
    FCN 3 / 4
  • PostieJohn
    PostieJohn Posts: 1,105
    It's 'the engine' I'm afraid.

    If you took a mini engine and stuck it in a Ferrari it wouldn't go any faster.
    Although it might go a little quicker pushing less weight and with better aerodynamics.

    Which is what you'll be doing soon enough.

    As Fugg says, having a better bike, will make you want to ride more, which will help you lose weight, which will make you ride quicker, and so on.
  • desweller
    desweller Posts: 5,175
    I chiefly find that my roadie is only faster over long distances; 40 miles plus. This is mainly due to it being more comfortable. It is also marginally easier to get up long hills and having drops gives a nice option in a headwind, but all in all there's no reason why it'd be massively quicker I'm afraid...
    - - - - - - - - - -
    On Strava.{/url}
  • As above really - I dont think you'll see much difference in average speed "out of the box" unless there is significant differences in say, the wheels/tyres. If your new bike came with 50mm+ deep section aero wheels and low rolling resistance tyres then you "might" see a 0.5-1mph increase.

    More importantly really - is the new bike more comfortable / smoother / enjoyable to ride?? If so then you'll probably find you can ride a little further rather than faster but most importantly enjoy your cycling more. This as said above is the most important thing. Speed will come naturally to you when you get fitter / train more for speed. As weight loss is important to you now - then relax and enjoy your riding. 2 stone lost so far so you're clearly doing something right - keep up that great work :D
  • sungod
    sungod Posts: 16,878
    it's a matter of power (you) vs. drag (aerodynamic), friction and gravity

    changing the bike may give a slight improvement in aerodynamics, but most of the opportunity here comes from you, getting lower so you reduce frontal area is probably the biggest factor

    friction, losses in the drivetrain, might as well put rolling resistance here too, this isn't going to vary much, going from knobbly tyres to slicks helps, otherwise the rest is not going to make much difference bike to bike

    gravity, only a factor on climbs/descents, reducing total weight (you+bike) makes climbs proportionately easier

    on the flat, a zero weight, zero friction bike, will be a bit easier to get up to speed, and allow you to go only a bit faster for given power/effort, but mostly it's drag, and most of that is you not the bike
    my bike - faster than god's and twice as shiny
  • P_Tucker
    P_Tucker Posts: 1,878
    Maybe you should have done some research, rather than simply believing the marketing bolleaux?
  • Looking at the spec for the Specialised Sectuer Elite Apex it doesn't have particularly 'fast' tyres and you would certainly notice a difference if you changed these. Otherwise none of the differences with your Carrera (except perhaps the wheels) make any difference to speed, but perhaps nmake the ride better and the bike to last longer.

    Having said that, changing to 'faster' tyres and getting a slight speed improvement won't mean that you as a cyclist are getting any faster.
  • Many thanks to all for the encouraging and helpful replies - I am reallly enjoying the new bike it feels great and I much prefer riding it to the Carrera I did research it before I bought it and chose it for the geometry and comfort factor knowing ful well it wasn't a speed machine. I didn't really want more speed but was just surprised that it wasn't there and wondered if there was something about new bikes. The biggest factor it seems is drag and as I don't ride much in the drops yet but I will when I get more used to it that's probably a big reason. Also as you say any wieght difference as a percentage of total weight of me plus the bike is negligible!

    The main thing - as lots of you rightly said - is that I love the feeling of the new bike and can't wait to get on it (wish my knees were twenty years yonger so I could do more!) so I will definetly ride more and as you say the weight will go and fitness will come - 15mph average is the target for before the end of the year!

    Thanks again for the really helpful comments.
  • SLX01
    SLX01 Posts: 338
    Hi,

    I got a Carrera Crossfire two on C2W two years ago - I started way fat and way unfit and built up over that time to now be able to do 20miles, 2-3 times a week, at an average speed of about 14.25 mph.

    You are obviously not riding far enough to get fitter after 2 years you should have improved more than that! I started cycling at the end of last year and have worked my way up to an average speed of 30 km/hr over 100km. I was also overweight and have lost 2 stone. You need to start cycling further at least once a week if you cycle for 2hrs on a Sunday you should be able to do nearly 30 miles.
  • Mike67
    Mike67 Posts: 585
    Not sure if anyone has mentioned this but is your new bike set up correctly for you?

    It will no doubt have a slightly different geometry to your old bike and you yourself may well need a different position as you have lost weight/got more flexible/accustomed to the riding position.

    I rode a road bike for over a year before having a bike fit and I was miles out (well centimetres anyway) in my choice of saddle/stem/cleat position etc.

    All this won't double your speed or anything but will make it 'feel' better and easier to put the power down.
    I noticed a marked improvement once all the adjustments had been done after the bike fitting.
    Mike B

    Cannondale CAAD9
    Kinesis Pro 5 cross bike
    Lots of bits
  • danowat
    danowat Posts: 2,877
    but I did think I would go faster on the new bike.

    Why?
  • Once you reach a certain age it becomes very difficult to improve unless you become dedicated. As a youth I could burn my legs out and the next day still want to ride, now I'm 52 it take longer to recover.

    No matter how light or expensive a bike I buy will never help me take 30 years off my physical age, yet mentally I'm still 18 and wanting to ride, argue, party and riot :wink:

    To become faster you really need to ride more, but also put your body into a more efficient aero and riding position, as you mentioned you might not be able to achieve this.
    CAAD9
    Kona Jake the Snake
    Merlin Malt 4
  • morstar
    morstar Posts: 6,190
    SLX01 wrote:
    Hi,

    I got a Carrera Crossfire two on C2W two years ago - I started way fat and way unfit and built up over that time to now be able to do 20miles, 2-3 times a week, at an average speed of about 14.25 mph.

    You are obviously not riding far enough to get fitter after 2 years you should have improved more than that! I started cycling at the end of last year and have worked my way up to an average speed of 30 km/hr over 100km. I was also overweight and have lost 2 stone. You need to start cycling further at least once a week if you cycle for 2hrs on a Sunday you should be able to do nearly 30 miles.

    OP, ignore this post^

    There are plenty who can ride 100km at 30kph (62 miles at 18.5mph) but that is quite an accomplished level, unless of course, they are riding in a group.

    There is plenty of scope to get faster if you work at it but, as you're not worried about troubling the pro's, enjoyment is key.
  • SLX01
    SLX01 Posts: 338
    morstar wrote:
    SLX01 wrote:
    Hi,

    I got a Carrera Crossfire two on C2W two years ago - I started way fat and way unfit and built up over that time to now be able to do 20miles, 2-3 times a week, at an average speed of about 14.25 mph.

    You are obviously not riding far enough to get fitter after 2 years you should have improved more than that! I started cycling at the end of last year and have worked my way up to an average speed of 30 km/hr over 100km. I was also overweight and have lost 2 stone. You need to start cycling further at least once a week if you cycle for 2hrs on a Sunday you should be able to do nearly 30 miles.

    OP, ignore this post^

    There are plenty who can ride 100km at 30kph (62 miles at 18.5mph) but that is quite an accomplished level, unless of course, they are riding in a group.

    There is plenty of scope to get faster if you work at it but, as you're not worried about troubling the pro's, enjoyment is key.

    If he wasn't worried about going faster then he would not have asked the question! 18 mph for 60 miles is average club run pace not an accomplished level!! If after 2 years of riding he can still only ride 20 miles there is something seriously wrong with his training programme. I am 50 had done no excercise for years and still managed to get up to 60km rides after a few months. Buying a new bike cannot replace hard work however much you spend.
  • petemadoc
    petemadoc Posts: 2,331
    A bike in itself will not make you go faster

    If it's lighter than your old bike then it should make you go up hills a little quicker and accelerate marginally quicker too. Over s short distance this will amount to just a few minutes or even seconds.

    If a new bike puts your in a more aerodynamic position (arguably less comfortable) then this will have more of an impact.
  • morstar
    morstar Posts: 6,190
    But he makes no mention of speed in a group ride and then you suggest he should be achieving group ride speeds. I acknowledge he has scope to go quicker but you quoted a speed the likes of which is accomplished for a solo rider.
  • SLX01
    SLX01 Posts: 338
    morstar wrote:
    But he makes no mention of speed in a group ride and then you suggest he should be achieving group ride speeds. I acknowledge he has scope to go quicker but you quoted a speed the likes of which is accomplished for a solo rider.

    What difference does riding with a group make? Unless its a chain gang type training ride ride club social runs do not involve sitting on a wheel slip streaming. Anyone that trains for fitness on a bike for 2 years should be able to ride at 18.5mph its not exactly racing speed is it?? To not be fit enough to ride both fast or far enough for even the slowest of club rides after two years means there is something seriously wrong with his training. 4 rides totalling 50 miles in 2 weeks is 12,5 miles a ride which is barely long enough to warm up let alone get into a sensible aerobic training zone.
  • morstar
    morstar Posts: 6,190
    SLX01 wrote:
    morstar wrote:
    But he makes no mention of speed in a group ride and then you suggest he should be achieving group ride speeds. I acknowledge he has scope to go quicker but you quoted a speed the likes of which is accomplished for a solo rider.

    What difference does riding with a group make? Unless its a chain gang type training ride ride club social runs do not involve sitting on a wheel slip streaming. Anyone that trains for fitness on a bike for 2 years should be able to ride at 18.5mph its not exactly racing speed is it?? To not be fit enough to ride both fast or far enough for even the slowest of club rides after two years means there is something seriously wrong with his training. 4 rides totalling 50 miles in 2 weeks is 12,5 miles a ride which is barely long enough to warm up let alone get into a sensible aerobic training zone.
    OK, this will be my last post on the subject as I don't wish to involved in tit for tat all night and we're going off topic.
    My view is this, we don't know what terrain the op rides over so average speeds are fairly meaningless. However, suggesting that a solo rider who openly admits to carrying two stone excess weight should be able to ride 60+ miles at 18+ mph seems unrealistic.
    Group rides are faster (or less effort) than solo rides and seem to bear little relevance to the OP.

    The OP wants to know where his free speed is. You've decided to give a little tough love, fair enough, only to be expected on the internet. Imho, you've undermined your wake up call with an unrealistic target.

    Fwiw, I've been on hill fest club runs where we've only averaged 16 mph with good riders and conversely TT'd a lot faster on flat courses. I can't recall ever doing 60 miles solo at 18mph+ and I don't have two stone excess baggage.
  • b45her
    b45her Posts: 147
    jlx01 , to put it bluntly your being a cock, , 18 mph solo for 60 k is good going for a decent club rider , to slag off someone's "training" when they are obviously riding for exercise and fun is simply bigoted . please get in touch so i can take you on an mtb ride and then tell you how poor your training regime is when you cant get down a hill without falling off .
    ribble sportive for the black stuff

    Canyon Strive AL 8.0 for the brown and green stuff.
  • I think some of you may have missed the bit in the OP,s original post where he says he had/has a long history of quote, musculoskeletal issues, bad knees, neck etc and that he has to be careful, maybe thats why his progress has been slower than what you would expect.
  • SLX01
    SLX01 Posts: 338
    morstar wrote:
    SLX01 wrote:
    morstar wrote:
    But he makes no mention of speed in a group ride and then you suggest he should be achieving group ride speeds. I acknowledge he has scope to go quicker but you quoted a speed the likes of which is accomplished for a solo rider.

    What difference does riding with a group make? Unless its a chain gang type training ride ride club social runs do not involve sitting on a wheel slip streaming. Anyone that trains for fitness on a bike for 2 years should be able to ride at 18.5mph its not exactly racing speed is it?? To not be fit enough to ride both fast or far enough for even the slowest of club rides after two years means there is something seriously wrong with his training. 4 rides totalling 50 miles in 2 weeks is 12,5 miles a ride which is barely long enough to warm up let alone get into a sensible aerobic training zone.
    OK, this will be my last post on the subject as I don't wish to involved in tit for tat all night and we're going off topic.
    My view is this, we don't know what terrain the op rides over so average speeds are fairly meaningless. However, suggesting that a solo rider who openly admits to carrying two stone excess weight should be able to ride 60+ miles at 18+ mph seems unrealistic.
    Group rides are faster (or less effort) than solo rides and seem to bear little relevance to the OP.

    The OP wants to know where his free speed is. You've decided to give a little tough love, fair enough, only to be expected on the internet. Imho, you've undermined your wake up call with an unrealistic target.

    Fwiw, I've been on hill fest club runs where we've only averaged 16 mph with good riders and conversely TT'd a lot faster on flat courses. I can't recall ever doing 60 miles solo at 18mph+ and I don't have two stone excess baggage.

    You seem to be totally missing my point not that I really care. I never said he should be riding at that speed I was simply stating that I was 2 stone over weight the same age and have been cycling for only 10 months and could now ride easily at 18mph for 60km rides so 2 years to get to 14mph for 12 miles seems wrong. If I went to a running site and said I could now run 3km after 2 years training why wasn't I any faster in my new trainers the same point would probably be made. He has health issues which I get but then it should be obvious that buying a new bike will not make them go away the only way he will get faster is to review his training and cycle further even if it means stopping for a rest
    If he is happy doing 10 miles and he is happy going slowly then fine but then do not come online and ask why you are not going faster and not expect to be told to train harder.
  • Good stuff folks and very much appreciated - even the tough love!

    Don't want to prolong the agony unduly or take up too much time - but for info. My training increases over these two years have been (and still are) very very limited by a long history of joint problems. I completely agree that for someone who started out fat (like me) but basically sound muscoloskeltally and cardiovascularily then my level of improvement is pathetic - BUT - when you have to nurse your old creaky bones back to life for a couple of days (literally) after each run then it is different. On this new bike I feel 20/30 even 40 niles is now possible because it feels easier - my op was just because I couldn't understand how can it feel easier to ride but not be faster. I now understand that because it feels easier and better I can (and will) train more go further and so get faster. Getting in the drops for prolonged periods is a target now.

    I really do appreciate all the input and advice and if I reach 18.5 mph I shall re-post in delight imediately - for now though - 15 is my target for this year. Each time I grit my teeth up one of the many hills (yes loads of nice hills and 1+ mile or so long climbs on my training route) I am sure the tough love will prove inspirational!

    Thanks to all.
  • ^^^^ He came online asking basically why he didnt get any free speed given he'd bought a clearly much more expensive new bike - hardly a question that deserves to see the OP flamed for not having "improved" to the extent that you might think he should!!

    Personally I think its a fair question to ask, especially in a "Beginners Forum" - and one that the first few posts very clearly answered in a positive, encouraging way without the need to try to be a keyboard warrior and belittle the OP's efforts. He very clearly stated his age, numerous health issues as well as a fair bit of excess weight and so personally I think he should be applauded for simply still being on the bike after 2 years, and making the effort to continue to improve his health by his own efforts including through our mutual hobby of cycling,

    As stated above by many, 18.5mph average is a decent club rider's pace. Clearly the OP isnt likely given all the medical history to be riding any big distances at what some might consider to be a fast enough pace - so some on here should maybe chill out and be more considerate of those who simply can't show such vast improvements as may be expected from a beginner with a good medical history.

    Sermon over :lol:
  • I have got to agree with SLX01 around the point of building distance of rides over time as that is my experience of building the average speed I cycle. I am no expert however the way I see it for myself is that there came a point after reaching 50 miles where I plateau'd in weight loss. Building up to 50 mile rides my average speed on the same route moved from 14mph to almost 16mph but sticking to the same 50 mile distance for a period of around 3 months I saw no improvement in my average speed. This coincided with a slow down in the weight loss which I believe was due to me not pushing on my training but sticking at a level that was becoming comfortable.

    Kicking on again and building up to 80 to 100 mile rides on a Sunday with a 30 to 40 mile ride mid week saw my weight loss move on again and my average speed move up to almost 17mph.

    I know there are lots of other factors to consider and the OP has to consider his joint and skeletal condition for pushing up the distance but done month by month in bite size chunks I think it may be something to consider as part of the OP's training if he wants to build up his average speed. Notably on shorter rides now of 20-30 miles I can comfortably average around 18 mph on solo rides.

    The point on the bike making you go faster I think has been covered as again the only difference I can really see is that a lighter bike will improve time and subsequently average speed by a marginal amount for an amateur cyclist on the hills.

    Great to hear the new bike is keeping the motivation going and you are enjoying your cycling.
    Trek Madone 5.9
    Kinesis Crosslight T4
  • GG53
    GG53 Posts: 20
    SLX01

    I don't often reply to some of these discussions, but - and with respect - you sure know how to beat the fun out of cycling. Your comments thus far seem laden with words like "work", "training programme", "I did this..."

    From my understanding, the OP was simply raising a valid point regarding performance differences between bikes. Many of us have asked the same question... "Why is my new Road bike not significantly quicker than my MTB or Hybrid?" It becomes so given time and familiarity with new riding positions, confidence in the bike, confidence in yourself and possibly even the time of year you changed bikes (times now, with the wind and rain in the North East, are inevitably lower than a couple of months ago).

    Again, from my understanding, the OP is riding a bike for a combination of enjoyment, fitness and health. All of that is clearly going well. He has lost a lot of weight (metabolic rates vary from person to person), he feels significantly fitter (this is relative to how we used to feel and would like to feel.. and not how others say we should feel), and he says he has been enjoying his cycling thus far and is now chomping at the bit to ride and enjoy more because he has a new bike. None of that is, nor should it be, contingent on work, training programmes or comparisons with others.

    OP... I am just a couple of years shy of your age, and if I have your levels of enthusiasm and enjoyment when I pass fifty I shall be very pleased and encouraged to ride on.

    It;s funny as I was just going to start a new thread, based on something I had read on the Pro race forum and discussions running through the current grande tour commentary, debating How Much Is It Bike and How Much Is It Engine? It got me wondering when folks talked about the pro bikes sometimes being badged inaccurately / misleadingly to accommodate team sponsorships. In F1, it used to be that anyone driving a McLaren was pretty much nailed on for a Championship win... it then moved to Ferrari and then Honda etc.... It was less about the driver and very much more about the engine and the small aerodynamic adjustments the teams made.

    How does translate to cycles and cyclists?

    I apologise for any rants, verbosity or tangents.
  • Thanks a million for the encouragement and advice folks -

    SLX01 you are right my progress is ridiculously slow but as others have flagged up I love my cycling anyway am a real begginer and a fat old man!

    Encouragement comes in many forms and both praise and criticism can help motivation -no pain no gain. So if you hear me cursing your name on a big hill (and you will!) then don't take it personally - nothing like a bit of rage to get the adrenaline and endorphins flowing!
  • GG53
    GG53 Posts: 20
    Inspiring attitude.
  • m00nd0g
    m00nd0g Posts: 176
    Are you riding clipless?
    What wheels have you got?
    What tyres have you got?
    How big is your budget.
    Ditch the reflectors in the spokes if you aint already
    Are you riding or training?
    Perhaps buy the Time Crunched Cyclist read it and take what you need from it
  • Hey I would echo suggestions that you might look at the tyres and bike fit.

    But first, I would suggest give it a few more weeks. I have just looked up your old and new bikes they are quite different, and you have only had the new one two weeks. I reckon that although you seem to feel at home on the new bike it will take you a while for your body to adapt to the position to ride it efficiently, and see any benefits from it being a road bike. I would assume your muscles are tuned to propelling the more upright hybrid and would need to re-train a little on the racer. That your speed is the same straight away is a good thing.

    I feel it when switching between my mtb and road bikes if I have had a few months concentrating on road or mtb.
  • Thanks moondog and giantpete (and others) -

    Yes I ride with speedplay zeros

    The Hybrid Carrera was as specced apart from replacement wheels. Shimano Tiagra hub on the rear one, unbranded hub on front and Mach 1 rims on both (cost about £114 the pair as near as I can remember from lbs) - it made a huge difference when I changed the wheels on that bike. Both front and back had Michelin tyres (£13.50 or so each).

    The Sectuer has the specced wheels which are Mavic CXP22 rims, Specialised own hubs and their All Condition Sport, 700x25c, wire bead, 60TPI, w/ Flak Jacket protection tyres (I run these at 110 front and 120 rear though). Some one else said the tyres weren't built for speed (but neither was I) and maybe I could upgrade those whe thees ewear a bit but - please don't tell me to upgrade the wheels (not just yet anyway) my wife will kill me!

    I think the stuff about position and retraining is spot on - I trained as a Physio and know that muscle power and efficiency is really strongly position and angle specific and while I locked out the suspension on the carrera as low as it could go my position on the Sectuer is very different. When in the drops I feel I get a much better workout - my whole body works rather than feeling like its sitting with legs working mainly - but - probably as a direct consequence I can't sustain it for longer than about five minutes or so at 20 mph on a flat stretch. I also don't feel my breathing is as good in that postion and so I am trying to work on cores but its so boring!!

    Riding in the drops is something I am really looking forward to working on and developing. Speed is not my thing but it helps in that it gives feedbacl beyond just miles covered a target and motivation.