Forum home Road cycling forum Road beginners

Why have I slowed down.

StrongbullStrongbull Posts: 24
edited May 2017 in Road beginners
Hi all

Bit of advice needed into why my average speed has slowed down.been cycling since march and progressed quite quickly (well I thought it was )to doing a 30 mile loop ride a couple times a week.did a few longer rides (up to 60 ish miles at the weekend when I had more time,shattered after 45 miles mind but have to get home)but still kept up the same loop at least once and often twice a week.I progressed up to 16mph average but recently gone down to about 14ish mph.is there a reason for this my thoughts are maybe wet roads so a bit more caucious or wearing more clothes.a chap told me today that mudguards slow you down.it seems very strange as I've lost loads of weight also so surely I should be continuing to speed up.

Any help or advice much appreciated
«13

Posts

  • webboowebboo Posts: 2,685
    The winds thicker between November and Febuary.
  • You do get slower when its colder - Ive gone from averages 15.4 to 15.9mph to be doing well to be over 15 on exactly the same roads. Air is denser which AFAIK is the main factor but more clothes, caution on wet/dirty roads etc. contribute. Notsure if mudgaurds add anything themselves other than a bit of weight but could well have a negative aero effect but never read anything specific on that.
  • StillGoingStillGoing Posts: 5,207
    It's nothing to do with you being cold. Your muscles warm up as you get into the ride, so nothing is different there. But, the air is thicker, the roads are colder (probably greasy or wet too) and the tyre side walls colder creating increased rolling resistance, more clothing and less aerodynamic. Do bearings struggle in colder weather too? I don't know, but some suggest they are affected too.
    I ride a bike. Doesn't make me green or a tree hugger. I drive a car too.
  • hsiaolchsiaolc Posts: 492
    Strongbull wrote:
    Hi all

    Bit of advice needed into why my average speed has slowed down.been cycling since march and progressed quite quickly (well I thought it was )to doing a 30 mile loop ride a couple times a week.did a few longer rides (up to 60 ish miles at the weekend when I had more time,shattered after 45 miles mind but have to get home)but still kept up the same loop at least once and often twice a week.I progressed up to 16mph average but recently gone down to about 14ish mph.is there a reason for this my thoughts are maybe wet roads so a bit more caucious or wearing more clothes.a chap told me today that mudguards slow you down.it seems very strange as I've lost loads of weight also so surely I should be continuing to speed up.

    Any help or advice much appreciated

    Normally I find that I am much faster over the summer (kids not in school) and winter especially it is very slow.

    So two combinations. Traffic makes yous lower and also in winter everything is a drag including extra clothing, lights etc etc.
  • Sutton_RiderSutton_Rider Posts: 436
    edited December 2016
    I'm the same as you strongbull, your post could have been written for me.
    http://www.qsl.net/g4gvb
    Ridley Fenix SL Ultegra Di2 - 2020
    Carrera Virtuoso - 2015
    ex Focus Cayo Ultegra Di2 - 2016
    ex Giant Defy 1 - 2015
  • Every ten degrees you lose about a quarter of a mile per hour in speed. Between now and July it's likely you have lost half a mile simply down to temperature... that's simple aerodynamics
  • Yep lower temperatures and more clothing being less aero slows you down, winter is always going to be slower you just learn to deal with it.

    Or then again maybe you've just been eating too many mince pies...
  • jgsijgsi Posts: 5,026
    Try Zwift... if after a couple of weeks you are indeed 'going slower' , then the alternative is golf.
  • webboo wrote:
    The winds thicker between November and Febuary.

    :lol:
    "You really think you can burn off sugar with exercise?" downhill paul
  • Multiple reasons apart from air pressure and weather conditions - eg a lot of winter cycling kit isn't the most aero. But properly fitting mudguards shouldn't slow you down.
  • Thanks everyone.Roll on the spring then I say.

    Interestingly went up to the cat and fiddle today and was a few minutes quicker than a the last time I went up there about a month ago.
  • FWIW, I'm the same, and it definitely isn't mudguards, as I keep mine on all year round.

    My speed drops every year as soon as I get into long bibs. This year I've gone from 15.5 or a bit more over the summer to about 14.5 now. And as most of my riding in the last year has been exactly the same route, clothing and colder weather are pretty much the only variables.
    Is the gorilla tired yet?
  • ForumNewbieForumNewbie Posts: 1,664
    Multiple reasons apart from air pressure and weather conditions - eg a lot of winter cycling kit isn't the most aero. But properly fitting mudguards shouldn't slow you down.
    On one bike I have SKS mudguards with a sort of wide spray flat at the bottom of the front mudguard, which is not the most aero and I feel it catches the wind a bit. Standard mudguards also add a bit of weight obviously - about half a kg.
  • mrb123mrb123 Posts: 2,589
    There's a reason why they want it hot in the velodrome for an hour record attempt.
  • Multiple reasons apart from air pressure and weather conditions - eg a lot of winter cycling kit isn't the most aero. But properly fitting mudguards shouldn't slow you down.
    On one bike I have SKS mudguards with a sort of wide spray flat at the bottom of the front mudguard, which is not the most aero and I feel it catches the wind a bit. Standard mudguards also add a bit of weight obviously - about half a kg.

    I wouldn't be surprised if mudflaps did add some drag. There was a wind tunnel study a few years ago, which basically found that the front one acted as a fairing, whilst the rear added as much drag as the front cancelled out - but I can't remember if they used mudflaps.
  • Once again thanks everyone.

    I never thought when I started earlier this year as an overweight 50 year old I would be concerned about slowing down. You've put my mind to rest.
  • fat daddyfat daddy Posts: 2,632
    mrb123 wrote:
    There's a reason why they want it hot in the velodrome for an hour record attempt.

    oh ..... I naturally assumed they have it hot so the people that have to sit there and watch a cyclist go round and round in circles for an hour didn't get cold
  • Strongbull wrote:
    Interestingly went up to the cat and fiddle today and was a few minutes quicker than a the last time I went up there about a month ago.

    That'll be the weight loss, at that speed aerodynamics and thick air don't really come into it.
    Advocate of disc brakes.
  • keef66keef66 Posts: 13,286
    I've had my Garmin for 3 years now and there's quite a consistent loss of 1-2mph in my average speed over winter. I've always assumed it's the accumulation of marginal losses; denser air, windier conditions, less aero clothing, more caution on slippier roads and because of a higher proportion of night riding.

    I've discounted the effect of winter vs summer bike, despite the weight difference and mudguards; when I did the same route on the 2 bikes back to back I posted identical times!
  • andy9964andy9964 Posts: 930
    Surely thicker air will provide more oxygen to fuel the muscles, thus overcoming aforementioned thicker air :lol:
  • andy9964 wrote:
    Surely thicker air will provide more oxygen to fuel the muscles, thus overcoming aforementioned thicker air :lol:

    Ahh but you are failing to consider that thicker winter air doesnt flow as well through your viens so it doesnt reach your muscle's lungs as fast as that thin fluidic summer air. You can buy tanks of thin air to breath but the weight of those can outweigh the airoh benefits.
  • You can buy tanks of thin air to breath but the weight of those can outweigh the airoh benefits.

    But if you balance the weight of the oxygen tank with a second tank filled with helium then you're breaking even. Of course they need to be aerodynamically shaped tanks to get the full advantage.
  • bompingtonbompington Posts: 7,284
    You can buy tanks of thin air to breath but the weight of those can outweigh the airoh benefits.

    But if you balance the weight of the oxygen tank with a second tank filled with helium then you're breaking even. Of course they need to be aerodynamically shaped tanks to get the full advantage.
    ...and don't forget, the more helium you can compress into the tank, the lighter it will get
  • cyclecliniccycleclinic Posts: 6,865
    Speak for yourselves i have not slowed down i getting fitter counteracting the thicker air.
    http://www.thecycleclinic.co.uk -wheel building and other stuff.
  • DavidJBDavidJB Posts: 2,019
    On a base ride in the summer I average 20-20.5mph in the winter it can be 19-19.5 with the same or higher power. Same bike, same wheels...just environmental conditions.
  • bompington wrote:
    You can buy tanks of thin air to breath but the weight of those can outweigh the airoh benefits.

    But if you balance the weight of the oxygen tank with a second tank filled with helium then you're breaking even. Of course they need to be aerodynamically shaped tanks to get the full advantage.
    ...and don't forget, the more helium you can compress into the tank, the lighter it will get

    Reduces friction between tyres and road though which slows you down even more and you are also prone to being attacked by WW1 flying aces who mistake you for a zeppelin. Only solution is to train for this by fitting front wheel to rear of bike and riding backwards on a turbo.
  • DavidJB wrote:
    On a base ride in the summer I average 20-20.5mph in the winter it can be 19-19.5 with the same or higher power. Same bike, same wheels...just environmental conditions.

    Well you are the special one aren't you.
    Advocate of disc brakes.
  • keef66keef66 Posts: 13,286
    DavidJB wrote:
    On a base ride in the summer I average 20-20.5mph in the winter it can be 19-19.5 with the same or higher power. Same bike, same wheels...just environmental conditions.

    Well you are the special one aren't you.

    Look, some people can cycle at average speeds of 20mph. The results of the local club TTs suggest it's happening quite regularly past the end of my drive in the summer. I suspect the fast riders do an awful lot of training to reach and maintain those times though, so I wouldn't be too dismissive of anyone who posts stuff like this.

    I've never been very fast on a bike. These days as I approach 60 I think I've done well if I return an average of 14mph for a ride. It's the reason I decided I didn't like sportives; it's quite demoralisisng spending an entire day being overtaken. I know I'm slow, but a sportive is a bit like having my nose rubbed in it. All my riding is at my own pace and in glorious isolation :D
  • If you take note of some of his previous posts along the lines of "my sh!t bike is more likely better than your good bikes" then you'll understand my response.

    I have no problem at all with people who can maintain that pace and good luck (although I doubt luck has much to do with it) to them but don't sound so uppety about the fact.


    10 minute later edit...

    DavidJB wrote:
    okgo wrote:
    But these guys won't be riding their sh!tty training bikes I suppose...

    Having looked back at a few of my rides, on my good bike (I don't have a sh!tty one) it seems that it takes me 250 or so as well, but I'm a lot heavier than you.

    What I describe as 'sh!tty training bike' is probably as good than most peoples good bikes just shittier than my race bike.
    Advocate of disc brakes.
  • MikeBrewMikeBrew Posts: 814
    DavidJB wrote:
    On a base ride in the summer I average 20-20.5mph in the winter it can be 19-19.5 with the same or higher power. Same bike, same wheels...just environmental conditions.


    Hey impressive ! Though I'm intuiting that the return journey is by cable-car :mrgreen:
Sign In or Register to comment.