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craniac
Starting Member

USA
15 Posts

Posted - 04/22/2012 :  08:15:51  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
For those of you that commute regularly on your recumbents, I was just wondering:

a) What is the average speed on your computer?

b) How long and/or hilly is your route?

Thanks!

Speedbiker
human power expert

USA
2277 Posts

Posted - 04/22/2012 :  16:28:50  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
And thus, Craniac opens the worlds biggest can of worms. Ha ha.
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Jeff Wills
human power supergeek

USA
1197 Posts

Posted - 04/22/2012 :  17:02:48  Show Profile  Visit Jeff Wills's Homepage  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by craniac

For those of you that commute regularly on your recumbents, I was just wondering:

a) What is the average speed on your computer?

b) How long and/or hilly is your route?



Duplicate of this thread: http://www.bentrideronline.com/messageboard/showthread.php?t=83693

a) I don't have a computer on my bike.
b) It gets me there and back.

__________________
Jeff Wills
All my bikes:
http://home.comcast.net/~jeff_wills/Gallery/index.html

Edited by - Jeff Wills on 04/22/2012 17:06:17
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warren
human power expert

4666 Posts

Posted - 04/22/2012 :  18:06:15  Show Profile  Visit warren's Homepage  Reply with Quote
c) I use e-assist, does that count?
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Steven Challenge
recumbent enthusiast

Netherlands
142 Posts

Posted - 04/23/2012 :  04:27:40  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
As a fellow starting member, I'm glad I didn't ask this question. :)
I'm going to commute with my recumbent for the first time tomorrow. A 35km ride (one way), fairly flat surface, with about half with shelter (forrest) from winds. I've done the ride before with a stretched cruiser bicycle and it took me 2 hours. So, 17,5km/h.
I think, with my posture of close to 100kg, moderate fitness, Challenger Hurricane, no fairings, 8 gears, I can go 18,5km/h. For starters. Plans are to go twice a week commuting by recumbent.
The problem with comparing is the difference in recumbents, fairing, road, weather, fitness. The average speed is a good indicator, if everyone would have the same variables.
What I do want to know is, do you use a bike-computer and how?

@warren, I'm pretty sure e-assist doesn't count. ;)
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alevand
human power supergeek

USA
1849 Posts

Posted - 04/23/2012 :  04:40:45  Show Profile  Visit alevand's Homepage  Reply with Quote
18.6 mph for the last 300 miles, hills 5 mph to 40 mph. 10 miles to work, 20 to 40 going home.

C:
Tony Levand
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craniac
Starting Member

USA
15 Posts

Posted - 04/23/2012 :  14:23:40  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I asked because for my short, three mile route with some slight hills my average speed, according to my computer, is about ten miles an hour. When I am on the flats and stopped by one of the four lights that I hit, my cruising speed on the flats is between 13-17 mph. I will probably put higher pressure tires on it, but the commute is so short that it's hard to get a good cruising speed established before I hit a light or arrive at work. I suppose there are worse burdens in life than a short commute!
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Steven Challenge
recumbent enthusiast

Netherlands
142 Posts

Posted - 04/23/2012 :  22:51:02  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Ah, I see. The 35km road I travel has got a total of 3 traffic lights. If I ride downtown the average speed doesn't exceed 15km/h. (and I don't always follow all the rules. Something I picked up when rollerblading)
Perhaps a different route without or less traffic lights. I don't know about your city, but where I live, traffic lights are all connected. This way you can, at a certain speed, get all the green lights. Trick is, what is that speed?
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Patrick Bateman
Starting Member

USA
19 Posts

Posted - 04/28/2012 :  09:18:23  Show Profile  Visit Patrick Bateman's Homepage  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by craniac

I asked because for my short, three mile route with some slight hills my average speed, according to my computer, is about ten miles an hour. When I am on the flats and stopped by one of the four lights that I hit, my cruising speed on the flats is between 13-17 mph. I will probably put higher pressure tires on it, but the commute is so short that it's hard to get a good cruising speed established before I hit a light or arrive at work. I suppose there are worse burdens in life than a short commute!



Recumbent bike speeds is something that's been vexing me for half a decade now. As another poster noted, it's a controversial topic.

Here are a few things which helped me get faster:

#1 - Don't get too wrapped up on the weight of the bike. Recumbent bikes have the potential to be very 'aero', and due to this, I've personally found that the biggest 'bang for the buck' comes from improving their aerodynamics. (Hint : seat angle and fairings count for a lot.)

This is quite a bit different than DF bikes, where weight savings pay off a lot because they make the bike faster up a hill, and aero on a DF doesn't yield the extreme results we get on recumbents. (Due to rider position.)

#2: DF bikes triangulate the bottom bracket. Due to this, it flexes WAY less than on a recumbent. Due to this lack of triangulation, a recumbent bike really suffers if the frame isn't stiff or well designed. The problem is exacerbated by a lot of bends in the frame. This may be one of the reasons that Bacchetta bikes are so popular. Straight frames are naturally stiffer than bent frames. This doesn't mean that straight frames are better, it means that bent frames need to be engineered so that they're rigid and strong.

#3: That damn chain weighs a lot. Front wheel drive has some very real benefits.



Just my .02

Take it with a grain of salt; all of this is subjective and what works for one rider on one course may not work for another rider on a different course
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Steven Challenge
recumbent enthusiast

Netherlands
142 Posts

Posted - 07/27/2012 :  00:41:47  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I went for a hilly road trip yesterday with my wifes cousin. He was on his mountainbike, I on my Challenge Hurricane. Uphill was quite a challenge as I couldn't ride to slow or I would fall over. He could balance at walking speed, I had to get off and walk up the hill. Downhill I was much faster! 50km/h and over. I think I should stay on flat lands with my recumbent. Trikes would be a good alternative, I guess. Anyone with other experiences, riding on hills?
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JMvD
New Member

Netherlands
82 Posts

Posted - 07/27/2012 :  10:20:31  Show Profile  Visit JMvD's Homepage  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Steven Challenge

I went for a hilly road trip yesterday with my wifes cousin. He was on his mountainbike, I on my Challenge Hurricane. Uphill was quite a challenge as I couldn't ride to slow or I would fall over. He could balance at walking speed, I had to get off and walk up the hill. Downhill I was much faster! 50km/h and over. I think I should stay on flat lands with my recumbent. Trikes would be a good alternative, I guess. Anyone with other experiences, riding on hills?


Hills and mountains are no problem on a recumbent. Right now I am in Austria spending some miles in the mountains. Walking speed on a Hurricane should be quite easy. 10-15% is doable; 250 meters 20% is tough but practise makes perfect. My wife did the Alpe 'Huez on her hurricane last spring. And i know a recumbent rider who did the Alpe d'Huez within an hour.

Cheers,

Jan-Marcel
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Steven Challenge
recumbent enthusiast

Netherlands
142 Posts

Posted - 07/27/2012 :  10:43:11  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Ah, perfect answer! My wife's cousin is going to train for the "Alpe d'huZes". A charity ride for Cancer. Physical goal is to climb the Alpe d'Huez six times in one day. I'm not planning on going, he's going. :)
A week ago I was in Austria and I haven't seen a single recumbent there. Here in the Netherlands, most recumbent are in the north, where the ground is the flattest. I thought there was a connection with flat lands and recumbents.
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tank
Starting Member

United Kingdom
36 Posts

Posted - 07/30/2012 :  09:58:53  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I commute every day on my recumbent but because I work in a city centre I spend as long sat at lights (or slowed down by cars waiting at them) that I dont bother about my average speed.

As a computer engineer I also spend too much time in fornt of a computer I dont want to worry about what another one is try to tell me.
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WanaB
Starting Member

USA
7 Posts

Posted - 08/01/2012 :  07:20:15  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
10.5 mph on a BikeE, 220 feet of drop over 3.5 miles, 60 + feet of it on one short hill. Not having the planetary gear, I push up that hill on the return.
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jimincolorado
Starting Member

USA
26 Posts

Posted - 08/01/2012 :  14:50:22  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
a) What is the average speed on your computer?
Typically 11 to 12.5 mph, depending on wind, rain, traffic, etc.

b) How long and/or hilly is your route?
23.5 miles each way.
Elevation is 860 ft going in and 1900 coming home. The return trip is a bear! Really brings my average speed down. I'm still trying to determine a route home that spreads the climbing out.

Jim
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oscarmv
Starting Member

USA
13 Posts

Posted - 08/02/2012 :  20:01:01  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Averaging a little less than 12mph (20km/h) in the three weeks since I got my recumbent. South SF Bay, mostly flat.

I'll probably get faster, but there's no getting faster through red lights so I don't expect great improvements in average speed. Once cruising the doohickey says between 25km/h and 32km/h depending on whether it's a slight uphill or a slight downhill.

Once it's really downhill are bets are off wrt speed and it's only limited by one's lack of survival instinct :P

It's a 26" wheeled Nazca Gaucho BTW, far from the lightest thing around but hey, it holds my weight and is comfy. I'm also running with the seat as upright as it'll take (for the time being) so the aerodynamics will probably improve later.
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Steven Challenge
recumbent enthusiast

Netherlands
142 Posts

Posted - 08/06/2012 :  05:07:23  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I have to update my first post on this thread. I now take 1 hour and 15 minutes to travel the 35km. Start at about 19mtr above sealevel, the first 1/3 of the route it uphill to 38mtr, after that it's downhill to about 13mtr. Average speed 28km/h. My weight has dropped from 105kg to 97kg and still dropping. From the variables I've tried (other tires, different gear changes, lowering suspencion, loosing weight) the last one worked best. I haven't tried clip-ons yet or fairings. That's going to be the next step, before winter comes. I've read and experienced that riding on slippery roads doesn't go well with two wheel recumbents. For the winter I'm going for a mountainbike, to keep up the fitness.
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jeroen Schasfoort
New Member

Netherlands
51 Posts

Posted - 08/08/2012 :  12:13:41  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
My ride is very flat ca 10-15 meters elevetion gain and downhill ca 10 km long. Speed is 25 km/h over 10.000 km. It makes very little difference if i go all out fast or just relaxed. No trafficlights, little traffic. It takes me about 25 minutes.
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OpusthePoet
recumbent guru

USA
678 Posts

Posted - 08/08/2012 :  19:39:22  Show Profile  Visit OpusthePoet's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Not a 'bent, but my 3.6 mile one way commute on a RANS Fusion crank forward bike with kitty litter buckets mounted as permanent hardshell panniers is 11-12 MPH average most of the year. The aero package can best be described as "Dutch city bike with a garden shed on back". But the route is almost dead flat. I don't think there is 50 feet of altitude gain on the ride.

Opus

My gas is up to $0.99 a burrito, $5.99 for premium and I'm only getting 10 miles to the regular burrito. Dang $0.99 burritos are smaller now.

Edited by - OpusthePoet on 08/15/2012 21:00:43
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warren
human power expert

4666 Posts

Posted - 08/09/2012 :  05:50:05  Show Profile  Visit warren's Homepage  Reply with Quote
With the e-assist my average is 24.1 MPH, through city streets with stop lights and signs and in and out of a river valley. (7 miles each way) Typical averages without e-assist are more like 15 MPH for this same journey on a 60 lb fully suspended SWB recumbent.
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Speedbiker
human power expert

USA
2277 Posts

Posted - 08/09/2012 :  06:58:43  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Commute distance is 30 miles each way. Best time 1:35(tailwind). Average time 1:45. Bike is a cromoly Nirvana midracer with two meduim panniers and lots of lights. Surfaces are all good country roads with a few hills and little traffic. Twice a week is common, never three, sometimes one.
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Steven Challenge
recumbent enthusiast

Netherlands
142 Posts

Posted - 08/14/2012 :  23:22:19  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Steven Challenge

I have to update my first post on this thread. I now take 1 hour and 15 minutes to travel the 35km. Start at about 19mtr above sealevel, the first 1/3 of the route it uphill to 38mtr, after that it's downhill to about 13mtr. Average speed 28km/h. My weight has dropped from 105kg to 97kg and still dropping. From the variables I've tried (other tires, different gear changes, lowering suspencion, loosing weight) the last one worked best. I haven't tried clip-ons yet or fairings. That's going to be the next step, before winter comes. I've read and experienced that riding on slippery roads doesn't go well with two wheel recumbents. For the winter I'm going for a mountainbike, to keep up the fitness.


I have to correct this drasticly. Yesterday my 'bent came back from the shop after an overhaul. (could have done it myself, but I don't have the time to do it.) New cassette, new chains, new breaks, new computer. Average speed is now 35km/h, sprints 45km/h, max speed 52km/h. The last being downhill a fly-over.
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bowi
Starting Member

Netherlands
16 Posts

Posted - 08/15/2012 :  01:37:27  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
My commute is 24km, average speed 37km/h (incl. traffic lights).
10km parallel to the shore. (Dunes = hilly)
14km flat city (traffic lights etc.)
Cruising speed outside the city is 45km/h and city speed is 40km/h.
Bike: standard Optima baron 2x26 (K-drive), seatangle is flat, 20 degree.


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Speedbiker
human power expert

USA
2277 Posts

Posted - 08/15/2012 :  12:53:39  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Sebastian is very strong! Probably one of those Dutch giants that pedals 350 going to the store.
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Human
Starting Member

USA
3 Posts

Posted - 10/27/2012 :  22:57:24  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I like taking an average at about 1000 miles
I average 12.9 mph using on average about 127 watts and an average cadence of 74 RPM (Revolutions per minute)
I am uncertain as I write this what the watts is rated to ? as in is that watts per hour or watts per minute but I lean toward Watts per minute?
There is on average 400 feet between highest and lowest portion of the "commute" but it can be well over 1000+ feet difference so averaging over 1000 miles to even out the ups and downs <try to cancel out the effect of gravity assist>
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purplepeopledesign
recumbent guru

Canada
583 Posts

Posted - 10/28/2012 :  13:46:43  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I'm happy as long as my speed is faster than the guy in front of me... and the guy behind me.

Seriously though, I just schedule in roughly how long it takes to get from A to B. Since it takes about 35 minutes to get from the house to one of my jobsites, I try to depart 45 minutes before I need to be there. That leaves enough time to wait for the occasional train at one of the myriad level crossings.

And even so, there are unexpected traffic delays and the odd cyclist that goes just the right speed to catch a draft.

:)ensen.

Those who claim to be making history are often the same ones repeating it.

Video of my trike
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MdSLRD_2vzc
Photos of my trike
http://www.flickr.com/photos/purplepeople/
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