Average Speed for heavy rider

Hello all,

Looking for some advice on my current riding, I’m a heavy rider weight 92kg and 188cm tall (6 Foot 2 inches) and I’m looking to increase my average speed would love to be able to average 18/19mph on most of my rides. I’ve being riding around 18 months and gone from 12/13mph too 18 MPH on flat routes and around 16/17 on hilly routes.

I’m on a Sweet Spot base plan on trainer road and being training for a few months with trainer road. Has anyone got any advice for out on the roads that could help increase that speed?

I’m fully aware average speed has its limitations due to weather and route issues, but I do have a power meter and use it on all rides.

I guess that really depends on the route you ride. I am 6.4 at 100kg and riding something like 29-30k per hour average on a flat route which still gives me about 500vm on 60k. On hilly routes with some steep section >10% I still average around 25k per hour with 1000vm on 60k.
That said I would say you are in good company :wink:

Ps: Thanks to the lock down, more healthy food and more training with and without TR I hav already lost 6kgs… Thanks but no thanks to the virus…

That’s good to know, nice on the weight loss! I’ve come from weight lifting so still trying to shed some of the weight I gained doing that I’ve lost 15kg so far wouldn’t mind loosing some more to get me to 90kg dead! I’m by no means looking to be as fast as a pro but just enjoy being faster than my previous rides.

1 Like

Multiple factors and seems like you are getting there which is great to hear. Glad you are enjoying the TR experience as it really works.

More power of course will help, better fitness, tires like gp4000 or 5000 and a better aero position. To be honest though in my personal experience having less weight will help you move the bike easier.

How many watts did you need to average the 18mph and what is your general riding position? Tops/hoods/drops/aerobar, elbows straight or bent.

I’m running GP5000 on my bike at the minute. I’m currently working on a more aero position to get myself lower. Hopefully the weight will come off quicker with more training! :joy:

1 Like

This has been covered on lots of threads you will ride faster if 1/ You put out more watts (obviously) so keep at the TR sessions. 2/ You have decent tyres - GP5000 are about the best you can get bar the Corsa Speeds - but I wouldn’t use them unless you race at the pointy end (I have a pair - they are fast but fragile) 3/ You are riding a bike that fits you well 4/ You are wearing decent kit - tight well fitting bibs and shorts - I use a skin suit for tt but you won’t need that riding a road bike. 5/ Good position - get low, ride on the hoods, elbows tucked in - this needs a strong core as mentioned on another thread 6/ Lose some weight which you have eluded to - this helps on the climbs but makes little difference on the flat - although you will be more aero if you are a bit thinner (I have a TR FTP of 300W from the ramp test - although in hour long tt I put out about 268 - 272W - I weigh 60.5kg - so I climb well but I know guys who tt better than me even though I have a higher w/kg - just because they have more absolute power.) - All this will help - along with the terrain and weather conditions - good luck :grin:

2 Likes

We are about the same size. Out my door its flat and windy, in these conditions speed depends on several factors:

  • aero
  • wind direction
  • power

From yesterday with a 4-6mph wind out of the west, pulling up Strava segment data:

  • into the wind headed west
    image

  • same road with tailwind:
    image

about 3mph difference at same average power (~190W) depending on headwind / tailwind.

  • on that 12 minute / 21mph segment the road turns North for about a mile, so I had a bit of a crosswind:
    image

about 40W more power required to maintain that 21mph speed.

On the flats it is all about aero and raw power. What really helped me is buying a power meter for the bike and training to power. Raise your FTP. Its a lot easier to average >20mph when my FTP is above 250W. But wind is a factor especially riding solo, here is a recent 15 mile ride pretty much due west into 9-12mph headwind:
image

My FTP is about 250W right now, so in addition to raising your FTP you need to be able to use it for long periods of time. Having a high FTP that you can only hold for 20 minutes isn’t going to help on a long ride.

1 Like

Thanks for the reply. I have the same FTP as you I’ll try some of your advice :+1:

We are really close in size and weight. I’m on a Trek Domane 58cm frame with an endurance geometry, and that geometry makes it a bit more difficult to get aero. But I’m not replacing the bike anytime, so the plan is to keep pushing FTP higher. Three years ago my FTP was as high as 280 and I’ve got a lot of 90-120 minute rides with 20mph average. Keep doing that sweet spot, and challenge yourself to go well beyond 20 minute intervals.

1 Like

I’m on a 56cm I had a bike fit and they said that will be good for me. But I’ll stick at the sweet spot and try to push myself beyond 20 minutes. Thanks for the help :+1:

1 Like

If you want to maintain a high average speed on your rides, depending on what you do now, there are some strategies you could use as well. Don’t go too hard on the climbs. Don’t go too easy on the descents. If there is a rolling road terrain, you might want to push just a little bit over the tops to maintain a high speed. I have a 15km road close to me that is really rolling and it is amazing how different my average speed is if i just do some 5-10 second standing 500w ish pushes over the tops instead of maintaining a steady 200w.

4 Likes

I read an interesting presentation yesterday about estimating drag coefficients. Might be worthwhile if you want to quantify speed gains with respect to your position, tyre choice and power improvement.

I’m going to give this a go to assess whether my semi-aero road bike was worthwhile haha.

http://anonymous.coward.free.fr/wattage/cda/indirect-cda.pdf

This site is a good ready reckoner for power needed for a given speed, and factors in weight, position etc. Plug in the speed/power numbers you’re currently seeing, and see how they compare.
http://bikecalculator.com/

If you’re fairly new I wouldn’t spend too much money on fancy clothes just yet. See what happens with your weight over 6 months or more before you drop money on fancy skin suits or race fit jerseys that will be like a sail if you lose 10kg. An aero helmet would be a good place to start IMO if you feel the need to buy some speed.

Interesting that calculator amazing how much your weight slows you down up a hill. Good to see the figures though.

1 Like

I’m 6’2" and I did 103km last summer at 30.5kmph with an average power of 225W when I was around 76kg - so quite skinny. That route had 900m of climbing. The route was straight out and back.

I also did a 167km loop with 1750m of climbing at 28.3kmph and 206W.

We are obviously different shapes though.

Honestly, average speed for training rides is a meaningless metric unless you are contesting a Strava segment. The whole concept forces you to go faster when the plan might call for going slower.

Here is the best thing that has boosted my average speed - riding slower - long slow distance riding. I switched to polarized training last year. My watts at my “slow” heart rate (70% HR max) have gone from 150 to 210 watts in one year. That is huge. It means I can ride all day at 210+ watts. My LSD speed has gone from 12mph to 18-20mph in one year.

My advice is to forget completely about average speed. Stick to your training plan and philosophy and let that be your guide. When you do an event or strava segment then you might look at average speed.

3 Likes

Sounds like I’m in the same boat as you 92 KGs been riding for about 4 years and have slowly gotten stronger and faster, I’m maybe .5-1 MPH faster than what you described but generally the same. Let me know what you come up with I have tried everything and it seems I’m getting better but its a slow grind power has equaled speed that is for sure.

Hi, I just looked you up on Strava, you are doing quite a low average mileage per week, now I know you are on a plan and you are riding regularly, but the quickest way to get faster is to get aero. If it takes 100w to do 15mph then
5mph:11W; 10mph:44W; 15mph:100W; 20mph:178W; 25mph:278W; 30mph:400W; 35mph:544W; 40mph:711W; 45mph:900W; 50mph; 1111W.
As you can see you it really Ramps up quickly. If you are time limited working on your flexibility and core strength will pay dividends, think about what you wear a aero helmet, aero socks, shoe covers, arm warmers will all help, think about your bike an aero handlebar, aero water bottle, deeper wheels, can be transferred to a future bike and need not be to expensive.