How many pedal strokes per mile?

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Anonymous's picture

in a medium gear on level terrain? Also under these circumstances does 1 pedal stroke=1 wheel rotation?

Please keep in mind that I am technically disadvantaged.

Thanks for any help.

Anonymous's picture
Heath (not verified)
Oh Boy!

As for the first question. If you are pedaling at an average of 80 (rpm) revolutions per minute, then multiply that by the time (in minutes) it takes you to travel one mile.

As to the second question, here is a little scientific experiment you can try.

Mark a spot on the tire on your front wheel. Put that spot closest to the floor. Mark the floor where the spot is located. Roll the bike forward so that the wheel travels one rotation. Mark the floor again. This will be our control group.

Now go back to your first mark. Match the front tire to the first mark again. Put your pedals with the one up and one down. Using the pedals, move the bike forward one revolution of your pedals. Where did the bicycle end up? Try this in different gears to see what happens.

This either helped a little or completely confused you.

Anonymous's picture
<a href="">Peter O'Reilly</a> (not verified)
Development and Gear inches

"Regarding 1 pedal stroke=1 wheel rotation..

The bigger the bicycle gear, the further you will travel with one pedal stroke. See this Sheldon Brown web page.

Anonymous's picture
Christian (not verified)

"On level terrain, you're likely to be in a gear where your chainring and cog combination is roughly 39x12 or 53x16.
These combinations correspond to a measurement of ""gear-inches"" of 85.7 and 87.4.

""Gear-inches"" is a method of displaying the ratio of the chainring to the cog times the wheel diameter. (Wheel diameter is an anachronism from the days of ordinaries.)

When in such a gear, you'll go approximately 270 (86 x pi) inches per pedal revolution. Knowing there are 63360 inches in a mile will tell us that you'll pedal about 234 rotations in a statute mile.

One pedal stroke equals one wheel rotation when the chainring and cog are the same size (eg 24x24). This only happens when climbing extremely steep hills. In this case, each pedal rotation will propel you approximately 84 inches forward.

- Christian"

Anonymous's picture
Paul (not verified)

86 is over 23 mph, no?

Anonymous's picture
Evan Marks (not verified)
mph = rpm x (gear inches/336)


Anonymous's picture
Christian (not verified)

"At 85 rpm, it's about 20mph. Apparently, when I'm tired, I grind a big gear. Call me ""Diesel.""

- Christian"

Anonymous's picture
Jay (not verified)
do we really have to get involved with time for these computatio

As I said assume level terrain and a mid gear!!

Christian: Can we assume that if I rode 100,000 miles in the past 20 years I did 23,400,000 pedal strokes. I assume u are Ivy's husb. If so, pls e mail me

Anonymous's picture
Christian (not verified)

"In fairness, I think the average gear when touring is more like 72"" than 86"", as 86"" is about the cruising speed of a A19/B18.

But you've probably completed 20,000,000 pedal rotations at least.

You've got mail!
- Christian


Anonymous's picture
af (not verified)
more strokes with lower gear

"Yes, and with a 72"" gear one would do more pedal strokes for the same average speed.

Actually an easier way to estimate number of pedal strokes in general is to count your normal cadence (say 70) and apply it to your time to do an average mile (e.g., 4 min. for 15mph) = 280 strokes per mile.

That would yield 28,000,000 for 100,000 miles. However, that of course is obviously high for normal riding including hills when your cadence drops considerably. 20,000,000 total isn't an unreasonable estimate."

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