What is everyones average speed on their Cruiser

edited December 2013 in Legacy Products
I am just wondering what everyone else is doing speedwise on a normal casual ride, not really pushing yourself? I have read about people passing up upright bikes etc. I just looked at my averages over this last years 377 miles, and was shocked to see it is only 8.8 mph average. On a 40 mile ride last year on Hines Park in metro Detroit, seemed like upright bikes were passing me left and right. I am 55 and not out of shape, so I don't really understand some people talking about getting in the ranges of 15-20mph etc. Was thinking of seeing about putting on the 26" rear upgrade wheel, but don't want to spend the money for 1-2 mph difference. All of my rides are mostly flat. :evil:
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  • Here is a Poll I started on BROL, before I got "banned" for sticking up for the Rover ;) . It is a poll of trike riders , some of which ride quite a bit, and ride some pretty expensive trikes. You will see that the most common average speed is between 10-12 MPH. http://www.bentrideronline.com/messageb ... ht=average
  • Changing the wheel and gearing won't make you faster, anyway. Speed depends on how much power you can put to the pedals. I'm 50 and am now averaging 12 mph, after 3 months and about 500-600 miles. The trim, fit upright riders always pass me. I pass those who are less fit than me.
  • chuckg wrote:
    Changing the wheel and gearing won't make you faster, anyway. Speed depends on how much power you can put to the pedals. I'm 50 and am now averaging 12 mph, after 3 months and about 500-600 miles. The trim, fit upright riders always pass me. I pass those who are less fit than me.

    I am 71 and average 11 mph on a Rover in a hilly area of the country. Depends on terrain and fitness level. Changing to a larger wheel, which is the same as changing to a larger gear, wouldn't make me any faster, and in fact, on a hill would probably slow me down.
  • I was talking to Kelly ( I believe) today at Terratrike, and we were discussing the option of the 26" rear wheel upgrade, and I asked her what benefit it would have on the bike for the 150 bucks. She told me that due to raising the gearing it would give more speed to the bike, and I asked her "enough of a change for the money", and she said that most people think so.
    Also I just went out in the garage and looked to see what tires were on it, and they are Cheng Shin tires only rated at 40psi max. Would changing to a 100 psi tire make much of a difference, and if so, which ones would be the best bang for the buck?
  • I was talking to Kelly ( I believe) today at Terratrike, and we were discussing the option of the 26" rear wheel upgrade, and I asked her what benefit it would have on the bike for the 150 bucks. She told me that due to raising the gearing it would give more speed to the bike, and I asked her "enough of a change for the money", and she said that most people think so.
    Also I just went out in the garage and looked to see what tires were on it, and they are Cheng Shin tires only rated at 40psi max. Would changing to a 100 psi tire make much of a difference, and if so, which ones would be the best bang for the buck?

    If you are "spinning out" with your current gearing, which means you are pedaling as fast as you can, and that is what is limiting your speed, the bigger wheel size ( or higher gearing) will help. Another option is to change your gearing slightly with a larger chainwheel. If you are not spinning out, then the bigger wheel won't make much difference. These tires are pretty good and used by many trikers. http://www.terratrike.com/shop/accessor ... od_20.html
  • I was talking to Kelly ( I believe) today at Terratrike, and we were discussing the option of the 26" rear wheel upgrade, and I asked her what benefit it would have on the bike for the 150 bucks. She told me that due to raising the gearing it would give more speed to the bike, and I asked her "enough of a change for the money", and she said that most people think so.
    Also I just went out in the garage and looked to see what tires were on it, and they are Cheng Shin tires only rated at 40psi max. Would changing to a 100 psi tire make much of a difference, and if so, which ones would be the best bang for the buck?

    If you are "spinning out" with your current gearing, which means you are pedaling as fast as you can, and that is what is limiting your speed, the bigger wheel size ( or higher gearing) will help. Another option is to change your gearing slightly with a larger chainwheel. If you are not spinning out, then the bigger wheel won't make much difference. The stock high gear on the Cruiser is a 90" gear, so if you can pedal at say 85 RPM, you should be going around 23 mph


    These tires are pretty good and used by many trikers. http://www.terratrike.com/shop/accessor ... od_20.html
  • As stated above, you must first determine if it's the engine (you), or the trike that is causing you not to go as fast as you like.

    If you are not cruising in the mid 20s all the time, then it is *NOT* gearing - spinning out - ie pedaling as fast as you can, and not going any faster - RPM of anywhere (comfort range) of 75 (low) to 95 (high).

    If you can spin at a cadence of 90 for an hour (RPM, which is wonderful), but to you when you are in high gears it feels like you're in 1st, then raising your gear range (26" wheel in back, bigger chain-ring in front) is a great idea.

    But, if like me, you can not sustain 80-90 RPM in your tallest gear most of the time, then the above changes will only help you on down grades.

    So, either you must improve the engine, or, improve how easily the trike rolls, or, lose weight off the trike, or off the engine.

    Tires *can* play a big part in both comfort and speed~! But only you can decide which is most important to you. Samples:

    100PSI Marathons -bullet proof, faster, hard - less comfort
    90 PSI Kojacks - fastest tire according to many threads on 'BROL' - but not super-comfortable
    then you come to my personal favorite, the "Big Apple' - by going to the 20X2.00 tires, you now have a *suspension*. If you ride at their max of 70PSI, folks say they are almost as fast as Kojacks are. If you drop the pressure some, your comfort becomes almost wonderful~!!! I weigh 360lbs, and run mine at 50PSI - but comfort is more important to me than speed.

    At speeds *under* 15-16mph 'rolling resistance' is more critical than all else - Big Apples are built for low rolling resistance, and are bout a 4 out of 5 for fl@t-proofness.

    Then, look at what you carry when you ride? I carry everything but the kitchen sink - bout 15-20lbs - lighter is faster. Are you a big or small guy? If like me, then you gotta give up the speed idea, or be superman.

    Lastly, lighter trikes are a 'bit' faster.

    Anyhow, tires *will* help you to a degree regardless of your goal - comfort, speed, or both. here is a link to all the above tires...
    http://www.schwalbetires.com/bike_tires/recumbent

    Lastly, most folks think that high pressure skinny tires are the ticket to speed. Only on perfect surfaces! A wider tire with less rolling resistance is actually faster on less-than-perfect roads, plus, comfort adds to speed~!

    PS - if going over 20mph is your norm, time to add a fairing and/or a tail-sox to increase speed. But neither will help speed much under 20mph.

    HTH
    ---
    Peter_C
    TerraTrike Rover W/N360 by NuVinci
    http://s1103.photobucket.com/albums/g475/Peter_CC/Peter_C Trike Album/
    
    (copy and paste into your browser) to see ---> My Trike Photos
    ---
  • Hello and welcome!

    I have a TT Cruiser and upgraded my original tires to the Marathon tires that TerraTrike sells. I upgraded because I was having way too many flats. BUT, I was delighted to find that the upgraded tires upgraded my average speed from 6-7 MPH to 10-11 mpg!!!!! :o

    Caryl
  • MPG? I am switching my tires (Sheng Chen 40psi max) to Schwalbe Marathon Racers, that I have on a homebuilt 3 wheel. Will see what happens. Wonder what the psi difference will cause. Marathon Racers are 50-85psi.
  • I usually get 10 mph on rail trails that have a few hills, but I was pushing 12 mph on the paved Centennial trail in Illinois between Romeoville and Willow Springs for a 26 mile ride because it is nearly flat. If you live near the South West suburbs of Chicago, check it out as it was quite empty this past Saturday, after the rain passed. Make sure you bring enough water as there are no sources between the access point on the John Husar I&M Canal Trail in Willows Springs (near the Metra station) and the Isle a la Cache Museum in Romeoville, just off the trail at 135th Street, a distance of over 12 miles.
  • I own a Terratrike Cruiser and have been commuting and riding recreationally on it for about 9 months and 1200 miles. I live in a hilly area, often carry panniers, and have full fenders on the trike. I'm reasonably athletic and 43 yrs old. My average speed is almost always 10mph. Once, on a 42 mile ride when I removed the panniers, mirrors and lights (fenders stayed on), I was able to average 11.5mph.

    I've been reading and researching on the topic of trike speed for several months. I've concluded that trikes are slower than bikes for these reasons:
    1. Wind resistance of the trike front wheels in the clean air.
    2. Drive train (especially boom) flex
    3. Pedal steer robs power due to front wheels always slightly turning, even with the smoothest of strokes
    4. Extra rolling resistance of the third wheel

    I've ordered those in what I think is descending order, most egregious offenders at the top. For me (6'5", 220lbs), the Cruiser's chromoly frame delivers a smooth ride, but I can flex it quite a bit. I find it a good commuter, but it's not a performance machine.

    Having said all that tho, I find the Cruiser fun to ride at almost any speed. You do not have to sustain 20mph speeds to have fun...I have a recumbent grin every time I ride to work, even riding in the rain like I did today.

    G
  • Oh, I forgot to mention that I run Schwalbe Marathon's and run them pretty tight at 90-100psi most days.

    G
  • Im 74 and on the flats I ave around 13mph. I ride mainly bike trails that cross some streets I have to stop for. It doesnt make any difference whether it is a bent, a trike, or a DF you will find what I think are outlandish claims for ave speed.
  • Does anyone have practical experience with what a faring will do the performance of a trike. I am up to avg. 13-14 miles on short rides, but I am starting to do 80-100 mile rides and my avg. drops to 10 and that makes for a very long day. I am wondering how much a fairing might get me back?
  • You can average nearly 20mph on a pretty standard Cruiser. But in this race it was stripped for action. All mudguards, racks etc off. Standard 40psi swapped for uber-skinny 100psi things, plus I was pretty match-fit, doing 24 miles a day on an upright to and from work.

    http://www.bhpc.org.uk/Data/Sites/1/archive/events/events12/hayes2-12.html

    But for a special, leaning, narrow-track delta, I would have been the fasted unfaired multitrack, including a racing DF trike (column M). Shows that the monkey doing the grinding is the most important part. Even then I wasn't spinning out on a 3x8 gearset. A 26" wheel would have been no help.

    I disagree that wind resistance is the killer; I rate the trike as being better aerodynamically than most uprights, exempt time triallists. It's the weight. A really good road bike weighs in at 10 kg or so (top end down to 6, but that's nuts), a Cruiser weighs considerably more. It's most pronounced going up hills, where one loses all momentum almost immediately. On the flat, and down an incline (where you need to be aero-slippery), I could hardly keep up with my wife with me on an old DF racer. Up the hills, however, no contest.

    So to get quicker:

    0. Pump up the tires (40psi isn't much...)
    1. Get fitter
    2. Get lighter
    3. Fairings
    4. Go to a fully-faired recumbent bicycle (something I think TT ought to consider...)

    And to get lighter:
    - Carbon boom
    - Carbon Frame
    - Narrower track
    - Aluminium in place of Cromoly
    - SS Wheels
    - Strip for action
  • The biggest difference you can make is in the engine; i.e., you! For most of us, taking 5 pounds off our body is simpler - and much cheaper - than taking 5 pounds off the trike. But my question is "why do you want to go faster"? If it is to take 10 minutes off a commute, that is a worthy goal. That 10 minutes might be the difference between commuting to work on your trike or driving. If you want to ride with the DF riders, get a fairing and avoid hilly routes. If, on the other hand, you just want to ride as fast as you used to ride on a DF, I'd encourage you to try attitude adjustment. For me, the big measure of trike riding is smiles-per-hour, not miles-per-hour.

    Ken
  • I ride a fair amount and usually average 11-12mph. I averaged 11 on RAGBRAI several times. (That is the about 500 mile ride across Iowa) I cannot see how a larger rear wheel will change your speed. It is about how much power you can put in. I am working on a sprint Triathlon that has a 10 mile bike ride and I am trying hard to get my average speed up to 13-14. Don't forget it is all quads. We can't stand up and dance on the pedals to get the speed up. 11mph is a great speed to enjoy the ride.
  • I forgot about tires. I have found Schwalbe Marathon 100 psi tires to be best. And keep them pumped up to 100 psi. It makes a huge difference. Average speed is also affected by actually stopping at stop signs as required by traffic rules. Most 2wheel cycles NEVER stop at stop signs. We can follow the correct Ride Right rules.
  • I have a recently built Zoomer with a 26" rear wheel. The trike frame is aluminum and appx. 3 inches narrower then other models and the only additional gear is mirror, water bottle, front and rear lights. I'm 6 '  and weigh 183 lb. The tires are kept around 75 psi. I average in the 13 mph range on paved bike trails with some moderate hills during a 18 mile ride.

    ed

  • I averaged about 4 mph when I started. Six months later I am up to 7.5 on a Rover with a NuVinci hub. I weigh just over 300 lbs and am in not so great shape. I just keep peddling along knowing that with time and patience the results will come.
  • edited December 2015
    First question:  What is your reason for riding a trike?  I'm going to offer a different perspective.

    Second question:  You are shocked at an average of 8.8 mph.  How did you calculate your average? 

    My average is probably more like 6 mph. There are times when I'm going down a steep hill doing 20+ and getting bugs in my teeth (white knuckle riding).  There are other times when I'm struggling and doing 3 mph climbing a hill, sometimes stopping for 2 or 3 minutes to rest my legs and catch my breath. MapMyRide's clock keeps right on ticking even when I stop.  I'm not surprised that my average is not that great.  Forgive me if you already know the math behind the calculation and meaning of average.  I cannot tell from your post.

    I get passed by bicycles all the time with some of them going so fast I think I'm going backwards. When I slowed down it changed my whole perspective.  I began to see things: vegetation, the road surface, birds and animals, and others on the trail.  I could now hear ambient noises, smell things around me (including the chicken processing plant) and I could say hello and sometimes stop to chat with others. That's the beauty I found in riding a trike.

    When I had my road bike, which I gave up because of shoulder problems, the things I noticed were more a matter of safety (keeping my balance, cars, other cyclists, potholes, pedestrians, traffic signs, etc.).  I really wasn't seeing the world or the things in it.  Bicycling is really a different thing.

    Finally, again I ask, "What is your reason for riding a trike?"  Is average speed really that important?  Are you comparing apples to oranges?

    Author's Note:  This forum software seems to do whatever it wants to the formatting of a post.  It changes type size from one paragraph to the next or it changes line spacing at random.....drives me crazy.  Anybody else seeing this happening?
  • jamesr, cool!  I've made all my posts directly into the "leave comment box" and it randomly goes crazy.  I didn't think Win 7 had notepad any longer because I hadn't checked.  I used notepad in the old days to twiddle config files and batch commands.  By golly, it's still there. 

    I will take your advice for sure....thanks, I appreciate it.

    73 Hal
  • steveandbelinda, I'm not trying to be sarcastic or judgmental.  I'm introducing a different perspective.  I genuinely enjoy riding my trike and I look forward to each and every ride.  I bought my TT Rambler GT in mid-Aug and now have 712 miles on it.  My longest ride has been 36 miles. I was new to triking and every day I learn something new.  This forum system is a gold mine of information and others have challenged me.  I welcome it.  We are all here to help each other.
    73 Hal
  • jamesr, trikes rule!  :-bd
  • Jamesr., you touched on a subject most do not consider, weight!  I believe the more you weigh, the slower speeds you will achieve due to the increased friction while using the same gears.  Girth also contributes to more wind resistance.  

    However, the longer you ride, the more weight you will lose and the faster you will go.  I have worked up from 5 mph to 7 mph in a few short weeks and the improvement makes me want to ride more.  Now if I can get the scale to start moving, I'll be thrilled!
  • My big surprise with the trike was the level of comfort and the great view along the route.
  • Yup, weight is a factor....believe me I know.  I've lost some weight since I started riding, but I'm still 250.  The more I ride the better it gets, but I'm never going to get skinny.  As I posted earlier I don't mind the slower pace.  Trikes are "butt friendly."  I especially enjoy the view along the route too (except for maybe that rattlesnake).  It brought me back down to reality after spending the last thirteen years in a classroom building ten hours a day never seeing the sunshine.

    I'm thankful that my blood pressure is normal, my resting heart rate is good and my doctor has taken me off of several blood pressure meds.  I'm also four and a half years out of bypass surgery.  When I get on that trike and start pedaling it keeps me in the present moment (and watching out for traffic!).
  • There are not many views where I live so I spend a lot of my time off in "La-la land" when riding. Not in traffic though.
  • looking at strava its about 10mph with spikes in the low 20s.
    <div>Rover 8 speed internal. 26inch back rim. 3 ring crank in front. Bent front boom to clear ground after wheel upgrade. </div>
  • the tires im running are 100psi, made a huge differance in reducing the rolling  resistance, as for speed with my disabilities speed isnt as important, but i make up for in distance rode
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