Background is... I am 15 and want to start racing next summer after a winter of training. I want to know what sort of average speeds I should be able to keep over certain distances without getting dropped. I would like to be race ready by the summer to start riding crits and then possibly ride road next winter
There is a lot more to racing than average speed. While it is interesting you will find a lot of variation in the racing.
Suggest you join your local racing club and talk to the club members, they will be able to guide you thru to your first race.
Reading the "Race Report Thread" http://www.bicycles.net.au/forums/viewtopic.php?f=11&t=23454 will give some idea of average speeds/effort required (and tactics).
A broad answer for a broad question.....
For crits, I'd say as fast as you can for as long as you can.
You'll start in the lowest grade and if you can ride faster and longer than the rest of the field, you might be lucky and win and will likely go up to the next grade.
Rinse and repeat until you hit the grade where you're not fast enough or have the endurance to sustain it for long enough....and other rider tactics are better than yours... (whichever grade that happens to be and will vary from club to club).
Lastly the fastest and fittest riders don't always win. Race tactics and good positioning are every bit as important as having the speed and stamina.
Join the local club, get some races under your belt and soon you'll be able to answer your own question!
You really do need to join a club and get proper advice. You can't just rock up to a crit and enter - you will need a racing licence. Since you are under 18 you will be subject to gear restrictions and I don't think you can enter open events.
+1 to what the others have said
Get in touch with your local cycling club now and ask questions, you might be surprised with the answers and you might be ready to race in the upcoming road racing season. ps racing is the best training.
Each club is different, I can give you some general information about the club I am a member of, Peel District Cycling Club in WA.
The easiest grade is E grade, which has riders aged from 14 to 76. The club criterium championship was run last weekend over 30 minutes + 1 lap. The average speed for the 1st 30 minutes was about 29kph and the winner attacked and rode the last 1.6km lap at 33kph.
The next grade up is D grade, it is quite a jump in speed, mind you we did have almost three times the number of riders, same course, 35 minutes + 1 lap, 36kph average for first 35 minutes, with the last lap topping 40kph for most riders.
It is very hard to compare race speed (and that varies dramatically from race to race depending on course, wind, who is riding, how many are riding and individual rider tactics) to solo, group or time trial riding speeds.
I would expect that PDCC E grade would average 28 to 30kph for most road races this season, and if you can keep an average of 26 to 28 kph over an hour solo, you should be competitive.
Thanks everyone for the helpful responses. I can keep around 30-33 km/h solo and I have been riding lots of hills recently so i probably could race road this season but will wait until next year anyway I have only been training seriously for 3 months or so, so I would like to get a bit more experience in different conditions and get my fitness level higher.
I would suggest the opposite and start racing now as you have a decent fitness level, and three months more serious training than I did before I started racing.
There is a lot to learn, you win more races with racecraft, positioning and tactics than brute strength, speed and stamina. So spend time working on the last three only when you can be working on all six.
Road racing is generally less hectic than criteriums, better chance to learn and more opportunity to correct your mistakes, get back on and learn more.
Racing is the best training for racing.
Last edited by nickobec on Thu Mar 28, 2013 10:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.
I race D grade, I do not have a sudden snap of acceleration, so I don't want the race to finish in a short sprint, so I will go from some distance out, this generally takes the edge of the sprinters, the ones that pass me are generally in the 50-53kph range. Earlier in the season, when I was not strong enough to try to disrupt sprints, we had riders hitting 55-57kph, they are now riding C grade and doing well.
Hmmm, that's very impressive for C grade - they would probably get a pro contract with a finish like that.
It is not if you can hold it, but how many times you can get there, particularly out of a slow harpin turn and up a slight rise at the Motorplex, if I am feeling in a bad mood.
When you are hitting 55kph+ and competing for the win in your first ever race (and 4 of your next 5 races) you think the guy has a future in the sport.
We are talking D grade here, for beginners, juniors, older riders, those with health issues and those whose lifestyle does not permit lots of training, we are not talking the young fit athlete, who rides 600+km a week and whose life is cycling.
Talking speed numbers is irrelevant both for training and racing. Ive lost races at 66kph sprint speed and won others at 52. You only have to beat who is there at the end. Average speeds mean absolutely nothing and are not a measure of fitness. Bike computers are at best an interesting distraction. Geez i wonder how coppi managed without a computer, or harris , van steenbergen, sercu, merckx ...
Unless you are talking time trialling (the same course) and average speed is everything as it distance over time, and your time is what you win or lose by.
Some of D grade riders I crit race with I also TT with. One of them I am more the 90 seconds faster over 16km, that is 2kph faster. But that does not translate to a crit race. If he rides to his strengths, riding in the bunch at moderate pace, he will usually beat me because his positioning is a lot better and he has a slightly better sprint. However, if I ride to my strengths, keeping the pace high, with a few attacks, stringing the group out, he is one of the first out the back, particularly if the course is undulating. Speed and stamina are not everything, but in the absence of racing smarts, I will have to make do.
+1... except for TT's when I will take the occasional glance at the power meter to make sure I'm not being silly.
Sent from my iThingy...
You are correct!
50/11 gives u 119.5 chain inches
53/12 gives u 116.1 chain inches
But 53/11 would give me 126.6 inches.
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