Optimising long distance cycling speed

oreo_muncher

Senior Member
I don't have any weight to lose! My tyre pressure is always about 110psi before any long ride, my bike is fairly new still so I'm not changing the tyres, my drivetrain is in good condition. Clothes are fairly aerodynamic, could probably change rapha silk Jersey for something more tight fitting. So I don't know how else to get my average speed for long rides from 20.0km/h to 22km/h in the least...
 

Ajax Bay

Guru
Location
East Devon
Unless you are 100+kg or your tyres are 23s, 110psi is 'too much' and is losing you time, and particularly, comfort (with the added fatigue that undamped vibration causes).
how else to get my average speed for long rides from 20.0km/h to 22km/h in the least
Stop for less time and pedal consistently a little bit harder. Do not freewheel below 32kph. Get on a decent wheel.
 

oreo_muncher

Senior Member
Unless you are 100+kg or your tyres are 23s, 110psi is 'too much' and is losing you time, and particularly, comfort (with the added fatigue that undamped vibration causes).

Stop for less time and pedal consistently a little bit harder. Do not freewheel below 32kph. Get on a decent wheel.
I'm 49kg. I don't know what number my wheels are- it's the ones for trek al 2 domane. How much pressure to have then? The freewheeling thing- i try not to do it too much.I don't stop much when Im cycling- I even semi mastered eating and drinking whilst cycling, so I don't have to stop. Maybe Im just a lousy cyclist :sad:
 

ColinJ

Puzzle game developer
I'm 49kg. I don't know what number my wheels are- it's the ones for trek al 2 domane. How much pressure to have then?
The size of the tyres will be marked on the sides of them.

I weigh 87 kgs and I would only use about 100 psi on my rear tyre and 90 in the front if I had 23s on my bike. I actually ride 25s so I use about 90 psi rear and 80-85 front. (There is less weight on the front wheel so you can get away with lower pressures than on the back, and that will be much more comfortable). At your weight, I'd probably ride at least 10 psi lower pressures. Experiment. If you go too low then you will start getting excessive rolling resistance and pinch punctures.

Maybe Im just a lousy cyclist :sad:
You are young and new to it. Never fear - stick at it and you will get fitter, stronger and faster. At your size you will probably become much quicker riding uphill compared to bigger people like me!
 

Tribansman

Senior Member
I'm 49kg. I don't know what number my wheels are- it's the ones for trek al 2 domane. How much pressure to have then? The freewheeling thing- i try not to do it too much.I don't stop much when Im cycling- I even semi mastered eating and drinking whilst cycling, so I don't have to stop. Maybe Im just a lousy cyclist :sad:
49kg?! You clearly don't munch too many oreos! Either that or you've got crazy metabolism...

As Colin says, as you get more used to being on the bike and put the hours in, the aches and pains from what is let's face it a pretty unnatural posture - esp if it's for hours on end - will either start to reduce or just bother you less. And don't be afraid of hills...weight is your enemy when climbing, so as long as you build some fitness, you'll be storming up them at 49kg!

Definitely lower your tyre pressure, perhaps to 60ish front and 70 rear (I'm 68kg and run mine at 55 rear and 50 front and have never had a pinch flat, albeit my tyres are 32 wide). Practice doing intervals and make sure you regularly push beyond what's comfortable, but not for long to begin with, and gradually longer as your endurance builds.

Also, don't underestimate the importance of resting/recovery. That's not being lazy, that's an essential part of training and improving your speed/power/endurance.

Keep it up, you'll get there 👍
 
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oreo_muncher

Senior Member
49kg?! You clearly don't munch too many oreos! Either that or you've got crazy metabolism...

As Colin says, as you get more used to being on the bike and put the hours in, the aches and pains from what is let's face it a pretty unnatural posture - esp if it's for hours on end - will either start to reduce or just bother you less. And don't be afraid of hills...weight is your enemy when climbing, so as long as you build some fitness, you'll be storming up them at 49kg!

Definitely lower your tyre pressure, perhaps to 60ish front and 70 rear (I'm 68kg and run mine at 55 rear and 50 front and have never had a pinch flat, albeit my tyres are 32 wide). Practice doing intervals and make sure you regularly push beyond what's comfortable, but not for long to begin with, and gradually longer as your endurance builds.

Also, don't underestimate the importance of resting/recovery. That's not being lazy, that's an essential part of training and improving your speed/power/endurance.

Keep it up, you'll get there 👍
I'm not very tall. Between 5'2 and 5'3. I had 4 oreos today or maybe it was 5?

I think I got slightly better at hills since I started, hills I struggled with before- less of a struggle now.My neck and shoulders get stiff :S I try change my position every now and then. I go Richmond Park and all those pros in their fancy kit outspeed me on hills! Im always the slowest person in that park, it seems like it.

The thing with tyre pressure, what is the benefit of having it high vs low? I always feel like riding is better when I pump them to 110psi/100 .How do you do intervals, how does that work?:shy:

Any tips for resting and recovery?I just sleep the whole day on the next day after a big ride.

Really appreciate the advice and encouragement.:wub::wub::wub:
 

oreo_muncher

Senior Member
The size of the tyres will be marked on the sides of them.

I weigh 87 kgs and I would only use about 100 psi on my rear tyre and 90 in the front if I had 23s on my bike. I actually ride 25s so I use about 90 psi rear and 80-85 front. (There is less weight on the front wheel so you can get away with lower pressures than on the back, and that will be much more comfortable). At your weight, I'd probably ride at least 10 psi lower pressures. Experiment. If you go too low then you will start getting excessive rolling resistance and pinch punctures.


You are young and new to it. Never fear - stick at it and you will get fitter, stronger and faster. At your size you will probably become much quicker riding uphill compared to bigger people like me!
It says 700 x 25.

When do you use a low and when do you use a high tyre pressure? I see bike pumps go up to 200psi but who uses that?! I think it says 110psi recommended on my wheels.

I am finding the hills I struggled with a lot at the start are becoming more doable every time I attempt them again. All the guys in lycra in Richmond park are always way faster than me, especially uphill :'( it feels a bit intimidating knowing I'm nowhere near as good as them, they're in a completely different league to me!
 

Tribansman

Senior Member
It says 700 x 25.

When do you use a low and when do you use a high tyre pressure? I see bike pumps go up to 200psi but who uses that?! I think it says 110psi recommended on my wheels.

I am finding the hills I struggled with a lot at the start are becoming more doable every time I attempt them again. All the guys in lycra in Richmond park are always way faster than me, especially uphill :'( it feels a bit intimidating knowing I'm nowhere near as good as them, they're in a completely different league to me!
Seriously, don't worry about anyone else. Your benchmark/reference point should be your own performance. If you feel yourself gradually improving, that's all that matters. You'll then get to wherever those gains take you, depending on how much effort you want to put in.

I always use low pressures, purely for comfort as have nerve damage in my hand. I can still average 16mph+ on a 100 miler without killing myself, and feel much more comfortable than when I used to run higher pressures. Comfort is as important as rolling resistance, in my experience.

My advice: get some 700x28 tyres, run at 60-65 psi, enjoy the ride and dont fret about everyone else, and see how you get on! 👍
 

Tribansman

Senior Member
I'm not very tall. Between 5'2 and 5'3. I had 4 oreos today or maybe it was 5?

I think I got slightly better at hills since I started, hills I struggled with before- less of a struggle now.My neck and shoulders get stiff :S I try change my position every now and then. I go Richmond Park and all those pros in their fancy kit outspeed me on hills! Im always the slowest person in that park, it seems like it.

The thing with tyre pressure, what is the benefit of having it high vs low? I always feel like riding is better when I pump them to 110psi/100 .How do you do intervals, how does that work?:shy:

Any tips for resting and recovery?I just sleep the whole day on the next day after a big ride.

Really appreciate the advice and encouragement.:wub::wub::wub:
Intervals = periods of higher effort. For example, riding normally for 5 minutes and then much harder for a minute, or going harder every time you hit a hill, or variations on that. Basically, it's about varying your effort and not just plodding out the same intensity all ride. It really helped build my fitness.

Sounds like you've got resting sorted, that's a good plan. Also don't overdo how many days you ride consecutively
 

Ajax Bay

Guru
Location
East Devon
My tyre pressure is always about 110psi before any long ride, my bike is fairly new still so I'm not changing the tyres
I'm 49kg.
The thing with tyre pressure, what is the benefit of having it high vs low? I always feel like riding is better when I pump them to 110psi/100.
[Tyres =] 700 x 25.
When do you use a low and when do you use a high tyre pressure? . . . it says 110psi recommended on my wheels.
You are running 25mm wide tyres, the bike Trek Domane (and tyres) are quite new and you don't want to change them. Recommendations to run 28s or 32s are a) therefore not applicable b) not possible (clearance) and c) for a v light rider not needed.
Total load on tyres is 60kg (say: 49 + 11). Load on front wheel 26kg; load on rear wheel 34kg. 25mm wide tyres. Run them at 55psi and 70 psi. If you carry luggage, add 1 psi for every extra kg.

Pumping them up harder may seem/feel as if they are 'faster' but on normal roads (as opposed to a cycle track circuit) the losses in your body from being bounced around are greater than the marginally improved rolling resistance that higher pressures (to a point) can offer. The 110psi on the tyre wall is the 'max pressure' ie do not exceed it and is NOT a recommendation.

I've attached the Bicycling Quarterly article (with graph) which many people consider authoritative. And for the benefits of tyre width v pressure, with regard to rolling resistance, also have a read of this:
https://www.bicyclerollingresistance.com/specials/grand-prix-5000-comparison
 

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oreo_muncher

Senior Member
You are running 25mm wide tyres, the bike Trek Domane (and tyres) are quite new and you don't want to change them. Recommendations to run 28s or 32s are a) therefore not applicable b) not possible (clearance) and c) for a v light rider not needed.
Total load on tyres is 60kg (say: 49 + 11). Load on front wheel 26kg; load on rear wheel 34kg. 25mm wide tyres. Run them at 55psi and 70 psi. If you carry luggage, add 1 psi for every extra kg.

Pumping them up harder may seem/feel as if they are 'faster' but on normal roads (as opposed to a cycle track circuit) the losses in your body from being bounced around are greater than the marginally improved rolling resistance that higher pressures (to a point) can offer. The 110psi on the tyre wall is the 'max pressure' ie do not exceed it and is NOT a recommendation.

I've attached the Bicycling Quarterly article (with graph) which many people consider authoritative. And for the benefits of tyre width v pressure, with regard to rolling resistance, also have a read of this:
https://www.bicyclerollingresistance.com/specials/grand-prix-5000-comparison
Are they not more likely to get punctured if I keep them at a lower pressure? Why do people in the bike shop insist I get them pumped weekly to 100psi? If Im going on a long ride- 100km+ do I not inflate them 10+ psi at least to your recommendations, I don't want to end up with a flat tyre.
 

ColinJ

Puzzle game developer
Are they not more likely to get punctured if I keep them at a lower pressure? Why do people in the bike shop insist I get them pumped weekly to 100psi? If Im going on a long ride- 100km+ do I not inflate them 10+ psi at least to your recommendations, I don't want to end up with a flat tyre.
You are tiny so you don't need the kind of pressures that big heavy people need!

As a matter on interest, I pumped my 25C tyres up to about 100 psi rear and 95 psi front a few days ago. After a couple of rides getting battered on our rough local roads, I let some air out, reducing pressures to roughly 90 psi R and 85 psi F. The bike is much more comfortable now.
 

iluvmybike

Über Member
If I pump my tyres up to same as hubby, who is heavier, I get pinged about on every bump so yep you have to adjust according to body weight..
 

currystomper

Über Member
Location
Fife
The guys in lyra, how far they going, I'm pretty fast for a 50 year old, but that's just for the first 20 miles, over 50 miles I'm pretty slow as don't get the time to do longer miles....
 
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