First – let’s set the stage with an unscientific example “me”. I prefer to use the “comfort zone” as a honest measurement of speed the rider can hold comfortably all day. I have found this to be a more than satisfactory method of performance evaluation. Why ? A rider can be a having a soft day once in awhile and still ride with in a comfort zone there fore adding sufficient data to baseline results. If the rider was racing on a off day – his bench mark would be significantly off because of his motor – not the machine.
Why is the comfort zone more reliable? – The rider is on the bike with more regularity compared to occasional race meets. The seat of the pants performance with Heart Monitor is 2nd best only to the more dead on accuracy of a Power Meter. But lets get real – regular riding returns plenty of feedback under more consistent weather conditions. For instance the figures below is a result of long term familiarization of the many bike platforms noted. Anyone that rides regularly knows what their expected average speed is under normal conditions on what ever bike they are riding. One doesn’t have to pull out a slide rule to know his own performance level in given terrain “if“ they are in their comfort zone.
It is interesting to see the average speeds move up the mph scale significantly when aerodynamics is applied.
MTB bike – – 14 mph
Upright Cannondale bike – – 15 mph
Un-faired Tour Easy “TE” – – 16 mph
Bacchetta Corsa – – 17 mph
Front faired TE – – 18 mph
Body Socked TE – – 20 mph
Body Socked Gold Rush – – 21 mph (stiffer BB)
Body Socked ti-Rush – – The ti- Rush responds quicker than the GRR. With it’s livelier performance, it is easier to hold a cruising speed @ 22 mph
Rotator w/aero package – – 19 mph
ZOX clone FWD lowracer – – 18 mph
ZOX inside Varna Fairing – – 35 mph
Zephyr lowracer – – 19 mph
Zephyr inside Varna fairing – – 38 mph
Angletech Quadraped trike – – 15 mph (sits high)
Terra Trike Tour – – 16 mph (lowracer height)
Cat Trike ROAD – – 17 mph results later in season
ICE Sprint X 26″ – – 18 mph
Milan SL – – Known expectations is it will cruise an estimated (26/28 (mph) with canopy open and 30/32 mph with canopy closed. Mph estimate based upon observation and talking with the Euro riders who ride both upright bikes as well as their Velomobiles while working support for Roll Over America “ROAM”.
Note: – – I have changed my mind – I will not be using the Terra Trike as a chassis for a Varna shell Velomobile build. I will instead build it as a sport trike configured somewhere between a ICE Vortex/CAT Expedition. Nine days on ROAM gave me perspective of velomobile design. I made the decision to order a Milan SL. Why? I no longer want to endure the longer custom build process. I would much rather prefer the accelerated Milan build and get on enjoying it quicker.
Once again – keep in mind – these examples are “Comfort Zone” speeds for me – not racing speeds.