Why am I so slow on flat terrain

bigpapamack

Member
Hi
A newbie, looking for some advice, just completed the Etape Caledonia and have really caught the Sportive bug.
My big issue is not climbing, which I adore but on the flat.
I found myself being overtaken by folk, then we get to the climbs and I was passing them, but when it flattened out they were zooming past me again.
Does anybody have any advice - other than pedal faster.
Is it my gears, the tyres or more likely just me.
Thanks for reading and hopefully you can help
 

mjr

Comfy armchair to one person & a plank to the next
Dunno. What are you riding? It sounds like you might be "mashing" too high a gear on the flat or might have some aerodynamic or tyre problem.

This guy goes fast: https://fitrecovery.wordpress.com/the-noobs-guide-to-cycling/ - I don't think it's worth it or much fun, but he seems pretty accurate on the few bits I've tested.
 

ayceejay

Guru
Location
Rural Quebec
You don't give enough details for a comprehensive answer but could it be that the other riders pace themselves better than you do? If you put too much effort into the hills (or the flats for that matter) rather than pacing over the whole course this could happen. In short you lack experience which fortunately is not terminal.
Before any sensible suggestions about equipment can be made we need to know what you are riding now just be aware that buying stuff in the hope that it will make you faster is part of the disease.:smile:
 

Citius

Guest
Typically, someone with those symptoms would be relatively light in weight, but relatively unfit aerobically. In other words, on hills, where weight really matters, you find yourself out-pacing others. While on the flat, where fitness really matters, you find yourself struggling.

If that sounds like you, then work on your aerobic fitness.
 
OP
bigpapamack

bigpapamack

Member
Thanks for all the replies
I use a bottom of the range Cannondale CAAD, no upgrades as of yet, I am just over 12 stone, so no sure that I can be classed as light
 

Citius

Guest
Thanks for all the replies
I use a bottom of the range Cannondale CAAD, no upgrades as of yet, I am just over 12 stone, so no sure that I can be classed as light
Depends. If you are 5ft, then 12st is heavy. If you are 6ft 9", then 12st is light.
 
Location
Bucks
What kind of regular riding do you do? You mentioned adoring hills but it might be worth doing more flat training rides, if this is the terrain you're looking to improve on.
 

Hip Priest

Veteran
My friend is like this. When we go for a ride, he has to slow for me on climbs, and I have to slow for him on the flats. I've no idea why, except that I'm overweight!
 

ayceejay

Guru
Location
Rural Quebec
I think your bike is ideal for the stage you are atbut at some future point after you have lost some weight and become fitter you could look at a different bike rather than upgrade this one. Having said that make sure your CAAD is properly maintained and set up (fit's you) have the correct tyre pressures, oiled chain etc.
 

jack smith

Über Member
Location
Durham
Play around with your gears, try pedalling faster and slower and see which one you prefer, you can also check your tyres are the correct pressure, check your tyres arent rubbing on the frame or brakes. Also check your saddle height... It can KILL your speed on the flats im not sure why but i noticed i was deadly slow on the flats all of a sudden over the last few weeks and it was such hard work and i upped my saddle by 3cm and it was LOADS easier not sure how i had it that low cause i know how the saddle height should be.
 

iamRayRay

Quads of Steel
Location
Hertfordshire
Play around with your gears, try pedalling faster and slower and see which one you prefer, you can also check your tyres are the correct pressure, check your tyres arent rubbing on the frame or brakes. Also check your saddle height... It can KILL your speed on the flats im not sure why but i noticed i was deadly slow on the flats all of a sudden over the last few weeks and it was such hard work and i upped my saddle by 3cm and it was LOADS easier not sure how i had it that low cause i know how the saddle height should be.
+1 on the above

I changed my seat height and was so much more efficient in my stroke and evidently sped up.
 
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