We love bikes, don’t we? Not only are they an environmentally-friendly form of transport, but they also offer a host of health benefits. Whether you choose to go mountain biking, ride specialized road bikes or enjoy a bit of time on the BMX, you will always want to go that little bit faster. Here, we look at the best ways to do so:
Keep it clean
While this might sound obvious, there’s no doubting that your bike will go faster if it’s clean. By ensuring you keep your drivetrain and cables clear of mud and grime, your bike will be more efficient. What’s even better is the fact you’ll save money on parts in the long run!
To do this, you should try to get into a regular routine of cleaning your apparatus. Take a few minutes after each ride to wipe down your frame and mechanics and it’ll save you valuable time and effort when it comes to a big clean after the longer rides. However, make sure you go easy on the lube and use the correct one for your bike and your riding conditions. It’s important to let the oil soak in when you are lubing your chain and then wipe off any excess. Doing this will stop the onset of rust.
Just as is the case in your car, the tyre pressure of your bike is extremely important to how efficiently it performs, and it is one of the easiest ways to up your speed. It’s recommended that you pump your tyres up once a week, although sometimes a mini pump will suffice.
If your tyres have smaller diameters, they’ll require a higher pressure, so it’s crucial to know what pressure your wheels are supposed to be. It can also differ depending on your own body weight so be sure to acknowledge these factors and you’ll be amazed at the difference you feel.
Adjust your brakes
Okay, so this may not seem to be an obvious way to help you go faster but believe it or not it is very important. If you are able to brake later going into corners and carry some of that speed out of the other side, then you’ll quickly see an increase in your average speed.
Have the right saddle height
It’s surprising how many cyclists don’t ride with their saddle at the correct height. Not only can this cause discomfort and potential injuries, but it will slow you down as your pedal stroke won’t be as efficient as it could be.
Generally, you should try to have the distance between your bottom bracket and the saddle’s top your inseam measurement minus 10cm. However, make sure you make allowances for your pedal system, as this may vary it slightly.
However, don’t be phased if you are heading on a bike ride and don’t know your measurements. If you remember when you turn the pedals that you shouldn’t be overstretching, pointing your toe or rocking your hips, then you will be well on the way to having the seat in the right position.
Now, this point won’t apply to everyone. However, for those of us who may be carrying an extra bit of weight, shedding a few of those unwanted pounds may help you go faster. Of course, if you are of a healthy weight, you can focus on reducing your bike’s weight instead of your own.
For a shorter circuit, you may find removing your bottle and cage will help if they’re not needed. You can also look into removing all other unnecessary bits, such as mudguards and saddle bags. It may not seem like much, but as every bit of extra weight must be relaunched after you turn, or carried up hills, every little really does help.
So, that’s that. Five steps that will help you increase your speed on your bike.