How far can you bike in an hour?


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Let’s talk about speed.

Bradley Wiggin’s set a new UCI hour speed record on the weekend. Indoors, on a fast smooth track. No wind. No drafting. No hills. His record 54.526 kph (33.88 mph).

I can do 50 kph on the road but need help, a lot of help, and certainly cannot maintain it for an hour.

Maybe I bought the wrong helmet 🙂


26 thoughts on “How far can you bike in an hour?

    • For me it certainly isn’t about speed. I’m not fast. Never have been. Must have those slow-twitch muscles. In fact, I’m not fast about anything. My Bible, the book called “In Praise of Slowness”. Have you read it?

      • I know of the book but have not read it (yet). If it is the one I am thinking about, it is about Japanese aesthetics. In Praise of Slowness is an analysis of the “Cult of Speed”, suggesting ways to slow down, enjoy life more, and appreciate where you are now.

  1. Well, you can’t put the blame entirely on the helmet. Speed is actually determined by the hue of your kit. See Bradley Wiggins? His brightly colored clothing translates into epic speed.
    Maybe you need to trade in your black and white attire for neon pink! That will shock your legs into moving at speeds previously unrecorded by man.

  2. I can hit 50 km/h, on the flats, with a crosswind even, but I can only hold that for maybe, MAYBE, a half-mile. I’m going to have to hit a velodrome this winter, just to see how fast I can go. Nice post man.

    • Last year, 3 of us did 50 kph for ~ 5 km, each taking a short turn pulling. I think we a had a small tailwind but it was an all out effort, especially for my son who did most of the work. I descend the mountains at that speed for crying-out-loud 🙂

      • Oh, now a group effort changes everything! We ramp it up to 45-50 km/h on a regular basis, for miles at a time (but geez man, I think I’ve got 20 years on you), you’re right though – that’s just so fast…

      • Yes, you have a few years on me 🙂 and, as much as I hate to admit it, it does make a difference. If I only knew what I know today when I first began cycling seriously.

        On the weekend I was climbing one of the local hills. I was on the road and to my immediate right was a sidewalk often used by inexperienced cyclists. Half way I up to a young woman on a new road bike. As I passed I said to her “You should be out her. It’s smoother.”. She replied, “I’m a noobie. I’m fine here.”. I told her about your blog and suggested she take a look. You are providing a public service. In my day, there was no internet and many fewer cyclists.

    • Well, there is nothing wrong with that. Those rides are the most memorable. I like nothing better than hoping on my bike to explore new routes and places. Years ago, I was cycling in the Cyclades. I remember climbing a little hill and unexpectedly discovering a ruin at the top. I felt like I discovered it. I didn’t know it was there. It wasn’t in my guide book. I sat there for an hour taking photos and looking out over the Aegean. Those are the rides I like the best 🙂

  3. There’s talk of Bradley maintaining around 460 watts FOR AN HOUR to hold that speed in the velodrome. Non stop, on the gas, every second for an hour, no micro-breaks like you get on the road.

    I can hold 460 watts … for roughly 45 seconds!

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