Every cyclist aspires to ride at an exhilarating speed, regardless of whether they are a beginner or an ardent enthusiast. The desire to make your bike faster is a shared pursuit among all riders.
While your personal power, riding skills, and endurance play a significant role in determining your bike’s speed, implementing a few strategic modifications can lead to substantial gains in both velocity and overall performance.
By making specific adjustments to your bike, you can not only enhance its speed but also elevate your riding experience. These modifications can significantly impact how your bike feels and how swiftly you can navigate through various terrains.
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How to Make Your Bike Faster
If your goal is to improve your bike performance, you don’t need to replace your current ride.
Instead, there are a few upgrades you can do to make a huge difference to your bike’s comfort, weight, and aerodynamics.
Wheels are the most significant upgrade you can give your bike to increase your speed. Upgrading to tubeless tires will make your bike feel different. Weight is related to rolling resistance, gravity, and acceleration on the climbs. Eliminating all these resisting forces will make your bike faster and a feeling of responsiveness.
Tubeless tires can promise consistent performance on different pressures, especially on low settings. Therefore, a tubeless setup will help you run on low pressures for more comfort without sacrificing performance. Additionally, tubeless tires generate less rolling resistance, and thus the bike will go faster.
Pump up the wheels all the way
Under-inflated tires will force you to move more slowly. Always inflate your bike tires to the recommended pressure level before hitting the road to improve their rolling speed. Thinner tires are also the best for less rolling resistance.
If your bike tires are frequently flattening while riding, stop and inflate them until they are firm enough to hit the road. Ensure you have a small, portable pump on all your rides.
Brake only when necessary
Most riders, especially beginners, brake when they feel over-speeding, especially when going down hills. Allow your bike to go as fast as you can and use brakes, when necessary, in order to keep it in control or stay safe. Every time you slow down or brake, you need to pedal harder to speed up again. This reduces your overall speed and causes you to use more energy.
The best way to increase your cycling speed is to train at speeds above your average speed. Obviously, you can’t just hit high speeds in a single run; you will start to run out of energy and hurt. Cycling coaches recommend interval training that allows you to cycle for short bursts at speeds above your average pace and then slow down and recover before speeding again. Ensure that the road is safe and keep your head up to spot any hazards.
Reduce bike, equipment, and luggage weight
Invest in a lighter bike or replace the heavy components of your bike with lighter ones to reduce its weight. Reduce the amount of equipment you carry and put on the lightest clothes possible. This will reduce the force of gravity acting on you and your bike.
For instance, if you have a backpack, leave anything you don’t need behind. You can also change a carbon fiber bike or change parts like the forks and handlebars for lighter versions to reduce your bike’s weight.
Work on aerodynamics
If you really want to go all out to make your bike fast, you need to work on your aerodynamics. Aero-profile spokes, aerodynamic tubing on bikes, and deep-section rims help minimize your drag, allowing you to increase your speed. However, your body causes about 70% of the total drag, so you need to improve your riding position to get the best out of your bike.
If possible, ride with the wind behind you
Although this isn’t practical, if you have to follow a certain route, you can use the wind to increase your speed if you can modify your route according to the wind direction. Ensure you cycle in the direction that goes with the wind, so it will push you instead of creating resistance.
Keep the bike clean
A clean bike will guarantee you a happy and safe ride and increase your speed. As you cycle, your bike collects every bit of grit, grime, and dirt, which reduces your speed and waste watts. A clean bike will help you ride faster, both mentally and physically. Nothing beats the feeling of pedaling a sparkling clean bike while donning a new pair of shoes and a fresh kit. To clean your bike properly, ensure you scrub the drivetrain and its components.
Always keep your bike in perfect condition to prevent untimely mechanicals and wearing out components for improved performance. Gunk on your cassette and chain will add friction while reducing shifting, leaving you struggling to find the right gear. Keeping your ride in top shape will also eliminate any unnecessary weight in the form of girt on your wheels and downtube. If you want to keep your drivetrain smooth, invest in fancy lube and remember to clean everything before reapplying it.
Ultimately, your endurance, power, and riding skill will determine how fast you go. If you want to take your riding skills to the next level, this article will help you perfect your cycling skills. Make the necessary upgrades on your bike to help you ride faster and further.