Whether you are a novice or a seasoned biker, you have probably wondered how to go faster on your bike. While riding, it is normal to ponder topics like average and maximum speed. Many people believe that more speed = more pleasure, however even if you are not an adrenaline addict, quicker speeds imply longer distances or getting to your destination faster.
Every biker yearns for a bit more speed. Whether you are a seasoned cyclist or a novice, the desire to enhance your riding speed is universal. Riding a bike at a good pace not only boosts your confidence but also improves your health. While it is true that speed is gained via practice and patience, several things can assist you in riding your bike quicker.
We have put up a list of ideas to help you cycle quicker in the tutorial below. Some are simple to use, while others are more complicated, and some are free while others are not. The most expensive does not always give the most benefits, and the factor that will make the largest impact will eventually be determined by your existing circumstances. Are you well-trained, but your gear is failing you? Is your equipment in tip-top shape, but your fitness is lacking? Or are you hoping to make a small profit on both sides of the coin?
How to Identify A Good Average Speed
Let us start with a common question among bikers. What is an acceptable average speed? As always, many factors come into play.
This includes the bicycle you are on. A road bike with drop handlebars and narrow tires will generally move quicker than a flat-bar hybrid bike with heavy tires or a mountain bike built for off-road riding.
It is also important where you ride, because hillier terrain will reduce your average speed. Even the road's smoothness may make a difference.
Your fitness level, though, is crucial. On a road bike, a beginner may find it difficult to maintain a 10mph/16kph average speed for more than an hour. If you ride regularly and grow in shape, you should be able to sustain a mileage per hour in the mid-teens (about 15.5mph/25kph) for several hours.
You'll almost certainly have had to put in a lot of time and effort to reach a top speed of 20mph/32km/h. At 20 miles per hour, it takes eight times as much work to overcome air resistance as it does at 10 miles per hour, resulting in a significant increase in power output.
Factors Affecting Cycling Speed
To learn how to cycle faster, we must first figure out what is preventing us from doing so.
The more force you can put through the pedals, the faster you'll travel when cycling. However, many variables such as air resistance, inertia, gravitational forces, drivetrain friction, and others work against you.
- Power is measured in watts, and a power meter may be used to measure it in real-time.
- CdA stands for Coefficient of Drag x Area and is a measure of how readily a cyclist can slice through the wind.
- The friction between the bike's tires and the road is represented by rolling resistance, which is measured in Crr (Coefficient of rolling resistance). The lower the resistance, the better.
- We have all heard of gravity; it is most important while riding uphill, and it is here that a rider's power to weight ratio counts the most.
- Finally, an inefficient drivetrain will waste part of the force you are exerting through the pedals before it reaches the back wheel.
Tips to Improve Your Cycling Speed
We can tackle each element separately and ultimately help you ride faster now that we have a fundamental understanding of the components that impact your cycling performance.
Keep your bike clean and well-maintained.
To begin, make sure your bike is clean and well-maintained.
Cleaning and lubricating your drivetrain will enhance its efficiency, allowing you to go faster. Any dust, grime, or rust left on your drivetrain can create an increase in friction, which means less of the force you put through the pedals will be translated into momentum if kept dirty.
Similarly, if you do not maintain your bike with scheduled service intervals, bearings may seize, resulting in lower efficiency.
Furthermore, maintaining optimum tire pressure reduces rolling resistance and optimizes the degree of friction between your tires and the road.
This is simple enough to understand. It is true, however, that more experienced bikers cycle for longer periods than beginners. It is partially due to fitness, but it is also due to being able to read the road ahead and riding with confidence.
It is also crucial to know when to pedal. There is no use in speeding up to a red traffic light, stopping, putting your foot down, and then restarting when a better-timed approach will allow you to get through with less effort.
Another one that ought to be easy to understand. Again, it comes down to prior experience and the ability to interpret the road ahead. With skill and confidence, you will be able to ride faster downhill. We have got some tips on how to ride a road bike safely downhill.
A rapid descent on an uneven route will also offer you more momentum to bring you halfway up the following uphill. If you time it just right, you might be able to make it to the top of the next rise without having to switch to your tiny chainring and without losing too much speed. It will be harder and slower to begin a climb at a low pace.
Learning how to accelerate around bends will improve your overall speed. Again, practice is essential, as is taking efforts to enhance your technique, like steering around the bend and using the drops to lower your center of gravity.
Join a group ride.
Riding with a group can help you increase your average speed.
When you are riding with other people, there is motivation to stay up, so even if you are starting to tire, you will keep going. Similarly, if you are feeling energetic, you may set the pace and encourage your other riders to go faster.
Clubs are a fantastic opportunity to meet new people and ride with them. Most will organize group rides at various speeds, allowing you to choose the one you can keep up with and then go to a faster group as your speed and experience improve.
Improve your cadence.
It is not only about pedaling more; pedaling quicker may also assist you in riding faster. There is less tension on your muscles, and pedaling faster should be less exhausting if you get the hang of it. If you are unfamiliar with cadence, it is just the amount of times you turn the pedals each minute.
Fit for a bike
A comfy rider will invariably be able to ride for longer, so if you are slowing down due to pain, a simple bike fit should help you get into a better posture so you can ride harder for longer. An aero-optimized bike fit - generally performed in a wind tunnel - will also evaluate your power output and aerodynamics to create a configuration that balances the two for top speed.
Bend your elbows
The most common difficulty for every beginner cyclist is dealing with wind resistance. Your speed can be slowed by the direction of the wind. Lowering your body posture on the bike is a simple method to combat this. If you know that the wind is slowing you down, instead of sitting up straight, lower your body posture on the bike somewhat. By bending and tucking your elbows, you may keep your body closer to the bars. You will notice the change right away.
Keep an eye on things.
Keep track of your training statistics with a bike computer. On a longer ride, it is easy to slow down, and if you have just climbed a hill, it is tempting to take it easy until you're feeling better. A cycle computer can help you keep track of your present and average speeds to determine if they are dropping. Simply seeing the number encourages you to pick up the pace.
Many individuals struggle on hills, which can significantly reduce your average speed. Climbing hill repeats is good for improving your climbing skills. Choose a slope that should take you a few minutes to climb and attempt to keep you as seated as possible while doing so. If necessary, take a rest at the top, ride to the bottom, and repeat for a few more turns until you have got your fill.
If you keep practicing, your hill-climbing strength and speed will improve, and you will require less recuperation time once you have reached the top of an uphill section.
Invest in new tires.
We have mostly focused on free (or low-cost) ways to enhance your average speed, although small adjustments to your equipment can have a big impact.
Faster tires are both faster and cost-effective; the best road bike tires will ride far faster than cheaper options.
Tubeless-ready wheels and tires will be standard on many of the newest bikes. Due to the removal of friction between the inner tube and the tire casing, running tubeless is more efficient than running with tubes. If you can not go tubeless, latex tubes are more efficient than regular butyl tubes.
Tyre pressure is also crucial, so make sure your tires are filled properly.
Get your food in order.
When biking, it is critical to stay well-fed and hydrated. In the worst-case scenario, you may experience the infamous bonk, in which you run out of energy and slow to a crawl. However, even a 2% loss of body water has impaired efficiency, thus staying hydrated is critical.
To maintain your energy and hydration levels, the guideline is to eat and drink frequently. On a lengthy ride, stopping for a break at a café or shop, or filling your bottles at a tap, may be more beneficial than continuing while your energy and hydration levels dwindle.
Put on some good music.
Music has a powerful influence on your mood and is known to raise your spirits. This method also works if you want to enhance your riding speed. Cycling while listening to fast-paced music decreases your effort levels, according to several studies. However, if you are cycling with your headphones on, pay attention to your cycling posture and other safety precautions.
Ride at regular intervals.
This is one of the most efficient methods for increasing your riding speed. Interval training allows you to bike faster for a brief period, then slow down to recuperate before going fast again.
Wear well-fitted clothing.
The clothing you wear when riding a bike is also important. As a result, it is critical to wear form-fitting riding clothing. The fabric was made to keep you cool and dry. Second, bulky or ill-fitting clothing adds a lot of drag, slowing you down.
Diet and Exercise
Cycling is still a sport. Maintaining the correct diet and exercise recommendations will keep you fit and on the bike for longer and faster rides.
It is also very important that you learn how to shift your gears effectively. You can read more about that on our blog. If you follow these tips, you will be leaving your old self in the dust. Happy Cycling!