Cycling - Knowledge

How to Make Your Bike Faster: Learn Tips For Quick Speed Fix

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Some of the most professional cyclists still face the problem of not being able to go as fast as they know they can. Most will try to fix this with various common cycling tricks like wearing lycra, inverting their handlebars, and drafting off of other cyclists in front of them. These tricks usually do not take a cyclist too far ahead of the game and leave them frustrated and in search of better ways to become faster. If only they knew better tips and tricks to help them increase road bike speed. If you are one of these fed up cyclists in need of a speed fix, then stay on because you shall learn how to make your bike faster with these simple tips.

Purple bike for pro riders
How to Make Your Bike Faster (source)

The bottom line is, besides increasing bike cadence and speed there are other important factors that come into play when cycling long distances. You need to be able to utilize your energy over a long period of time instead of exhausting it all at once. Conserving energy throughout a race helps you reach the finish line and boost your cycle into attaining a winning place.

And with that useful tip, let’s begin to know how to make your bike faster.

How to Make Your Bike Faster

No matter what you might have heard, you do not necessarily need to waste any cash on your bike to have it move faster. Here are some compiled tips for you to know how to make a bike faster without investing much. You shall get tips for making changes to your bike and changes to the way you cycle in order to maximise efficiency.

#1. What You Can Do

Daily bike commuter
Add Your Effort in Maintaining Good Condition of Your Bike (source)

How fast can you ride a bike? Well, that depends on not only your bike but you too! These are a few tips for changing your cycling habits in order to improve your pace.

#2. Well Seated

You should aim to maintain a well-balanced posture on your bicycle. When you sit on the saddle you need to ensure that your height is just right, the seat is not too far front or back, and that you are most comfortable. Keep a good position on your saddle and if you are not sure about whether you are sitting correctly then you can always get advice from a nearby bicycle store or even cycle repair shops.

Use these tips to fight saddle sores

#3. Find Your Pace

While riding take your time to count the number of cranks or turns of the chain per minute. You should maintain a cadence of around 80 to 100 rotations per minute. This will help you reserve energy in your muscles for longer, instead of pedaling too fast and using up everything too quickly. Also, remember to switch to an easier gear when going up a slope or incline.

#4. Reserve Strength

The second you get on a bicycle and begin pedalling, you may be swayed to make a fast start. However, if you do this you will only be drained halfway through the entire ride. In order to last on your bicycle longer, you need to conserve energy and to do this you need to maintain a steady pace all throughout. That will help you to manage a faster time and not suffer during the final leg of your journey to the finish line.

#5. Work Your Legs

Another important aspect to focus on when understanding how to make your bike faster is holding your upper body very still as you ride. The more movement you make on the bike, the more energy is being lost. To improve speed, try to maintain and use the energy you have for pedalling instead of using it for any other action. Also, try doing some strength training especially for cyclists.

#6. Fuel Yourself

To move faster and keep going for hours you need to fuel your body. The trick is to stay hydrated with some good old water or some energy drinks like Gatorade or Glucon-D. Try to drink at least one bottle of water per hour.

Learn all about the best supplements for cyclists

#7. Look Ahead

When you are coming down a slope like a hill you need to relax and guide your bike easily to where you want it to move. Keep your upper body relaxed and still while staying focused on what comes ahead of you.

#8. Ride with Friends

If you were wondering how fast do bikes go, the answer is- they usually move 9 miles an hour, but can do a whole lot faster with company. If you do not find much motivation to ride long distances by yourself, how will you ever be able to work on your speed? Cycling in groups can really make exercising or training more fun and a whole lot easier. You can make conversation, keep track of each other's speed and stats, draft, and much more which you couldn’t do alone. So, pick out a good group of around 5 to ten riders and get ready to roll.

What You Can Change About Your Bike

Bikes on standby
Keep Your Bikes Junk-free for Swifter Rides (source)

From customizing your bike to the subtle changes that you can make to your bike in case you don’t know how to make your bike faster and smoother. Do not worry about the price of buying new parts, most of the tips we provided are inexpensive!

  • Tip 1: A Clean Bike is a Happy Bike

Clean your bikes
A Clean Bike is A Happy Bike (source)

One of the first rules about cycling is to maintain the condition of your bike. This definitely means keeping it clean at all costs. A well-oiled and shiny bike can do more than just look pretty, it will run great too. You will find that the chain moves smoother without any dirt or grime stuck in the links, the drivetrain and cables function more quickly without anything obstructing them and you will feel more motivated to get on your bike now that it’s in pristine condition.

When you keep your bike in a good condition you also save upon having to replace these parts later on. To clean it once may seem fine to do, but doing it every few weeks can seem like a hassle. That is why you will need to get into the habit of cleaning your bicycle and practice it. After every ride, you should keep five minutes to wiping the chain, cables, and spokes, while on the weekends you can give your bike a thorough washing. The longer you wait until you clean it the harder it may be to get all the dirt off later on. Start taking care of your ride now!

  • Tip 2: Oiling Parts

Post a good bike wash you will have something to admire. But what about the way the bike sounds? An old chain, no matter how clean could still creak and squeak when the bike is being ridden. This calls for your trusted oil or lube to ensure your chain moves smoothly and stays quiet, bringing you a peaceful ride.

If you oil your chain, drivetrain, and cables well, then you are also saving a lot of energy that would be wasted on trying to make the bike move faster. If you improve the efficiency of your bicycle parts then your bike will require less effort to make it move inch by inch. To lube a chain, take the nozzle of the oil bottle and dab small amounts onto the chain as you rotate the cranks. Ensure that you oil every link and crook. Do not completely cover it in oil, remember to always wipe off any excess.

Oiling the bike parts
Lube Your Bike Parts Regularly (source)
  • Tip 3: Lower the Front

If you are interested in learning how to bike faster, then we suggest you give this technique a go. Most cyclists believe in improving the aerodynamics of their bike to make it move faster. Instead of spending a lot of money on a new bike that has all the features best suited to aerodynamics, you can tweak a few parts of your bike to suit the requirements. The best way to do this is to lower your front end of the bike and sit in a bottom raised position. After you make a change to your seating position, take some time to get used to the difference before you begin riding. Ensure you are comfortable with it and if not then it is best you slowly reduce the height and lowering the front increment by increment instead of all at once.

  • Tip 4: Saddle Height

You could be a professional cyclist with years of experience and still be riding with the seat in a bad position either too high or too low. You can ride with a lot of discomfort and even some underlying injuries if you do not change your seat height and adjust it according to a position that is more comfortable for you. It can also make you move slower and make the pedaling a lot less efficient tiring you out a lot sooner.

So, to make the most of your ride, adjust your saddle. The best way to do this is to measure the distance between your bottom bracket and top of the saddle. This is your inseam measurement and now minus 10 cm to adjust your saddle to this height.

Saddle height
Saddle Height Adjustment is Important for An Easy Ride (source)
  • Tip 5: Check Tyre Pressure

A bike without fully pumped tires will most likely not run as well as it can. If you want a fast bike to move to its full potential then all of its parts need to be in good working condition. This means that your tires need to be pumped and checked for air every time you go out for a ride. The air pressure in the tires also notifies you whether they are ready for being rode on. Tire pressure should be maintained at 100 to 120 psi and any pressure less than that can harm your tires and your ride. For those of you that use tubulars, your air pressure can be set up to around 200 psi due to the design of the tire. If you ride on low air pressure then you will have to struggle to keep up your pace and pedal harder leaving you drained of energy. Any other tire or tubing that is too heavy should be switched immediately for a lighter alternative.

Understand your bike's anatomy for a better ride.

  • Tip 6: Adjust Gears

Gears that are not working properly can disturb your riding rhythm and cause you to use more energy in order to go faster. If you maintain good working gears then this also improves the drivetrain efficiency allowing you good control over the bicycle especially over steep slopes. Either learn to tighten and fix gears on your own with a few simple tools, or get them fixed by a bike mechanic for a small fee.

Drivetrain
Fix Your Gears to Improve Drivetrain Efficiency (source)

Also, find out how to shift gears for all terrains

  • Tip 7: Adjust Brakes

Braking would not logically seem to help you pick up speed, but it can definitely help you maintain a higher average speed throughout your ride. Having brakes in a good condition is not only beneficial to your safety but can also help you stay balanced when turning corners or going down slopes. Instead of braking hard at one point and bringing your momentum to a halt, you can make small brakes to control speed and keep you going forward throughout the ride until you finish.
Make sure to tighten your brakes ever so often and check for visible signs of wearing out. Check to see if the brake pads are a good distance from the rims of your tires, and adjust them if they are too far apart or too close. It is important for you to check the brake cables very often as well for any signs of stretching or cuts. Taking these measures will definitely improve your braking and overall speed in the process.

  • Tip 8: Clipless Pedals

These pedals come as a two-part system to making your cycling more efficient. The first part includes you having to lock in these pedals into your bike after removing your old ones. The second part has a cleat that can be attached to your shoes or special biking shoes depending on the type of clipless pedal you are using. The special biking shoes that attach to the pedals provide for a strong and firm connection between you and your bike. This can add so much more efficiency to your ride, a lot less slipping and decrease the distance between your legs and the cycle making the whole bike more aerodynamic in the process.

Learn How to cycle with clipless pedals

  • Tip 9: Carry Less Weight

Every item you carry on your bicycle, however necessary, can add weight to the cycle and make it more difficult for you to ride on. It is more sensible to limit the things you carry on your bicycle and that means only carrying the utmost essentials. To go faster you will have to shed all the extra weight and remove any unnecessary ornaments on your bike. You can start by removing mudguards, lights, and reflectors.

If you are cycling on shorter distances, less than 10 miles, then you could remove your water bottle holder and ditch the bottle altogether depending on the weather of the day, distance, and your own ability to tolerate heat. For longer distances, the water bottle is very much essential and will be worth carrying along when you are tired and in need if fuel.

Riders riding with less weight
Carry Minimum Weight When Riding (source)
  • Tip 10: Streamline

In order to improve overall speed, the best solution is to make your bike and yourself more aerodynamic to cut through the air and get you better personal records. Try to streamline your bike at any chance you get. You can start with your shoes and clothes. Water resistant or thinner shoes made of lycra are good alternatives to heavy large cycling shoes. Wearing aero helmets, lycra clothing, and one-piece suits are great for streamlining.

If you have money to spend on optimising your cycle further, then invest in some good aerodynamic wheels. These tires have a lesser number of spokes in them than the average tire and are designed to help you cut through the air and reducing wind resistance.

  • Tip 11: Take Care of Loose Ends

The last tip for learning how to make your bike faster involves tidying up your bike’s appearance. This means that you need to inspect your bicycle for any loose ends or parts falling off. If you find any fraying ends or loose bits then tape them. Use some electrical tape to wrap up the handlebars, lock cables in place with zip ties, and tighten any wobbly joints. Recheck your brakes and gears to see what the correct measurements are and adjust them as needed. If your clipless pedals are irritating the way you are seated then it means you will need to adjust your saddle.

Professional bike
Your Bike Appearance Tells About Your Rider Personality (source)

How Fast Can a Bike Go?

A normal cycle will usually average around 9 miles an hour if being ridden on by the average cyclist. But how fast does a bike go if it is ridden by a professional athlete? The answer is that a fit cyclist can average around 25 miles an hour on a race day! Now there are no limits to how fast can a bike go. The fastest speed that a bike can do is debated around 81 miles an hour, however, the best times increase every year.

how fast can a bike go
How Fast Can a Bike Go? (source)

Summing up

We urge you to make some time to keep your bike’s maintenance before gearing up to work on your cycling speed. Follow the tips mentioned if you wish to move along faster in races, personal times, and overall speed training. Share these tips with fellow cyclists and friends to help them. They will be thankful and you will be glad you learned how to make your bike faster.

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