10 Tips To Improve Bike Riding Speed
Cycling tours can be hectic! Here are a few tips by Joy Mali to make them easier….
Once you reach a new high speed, it may seem impossible to increase this speed again. However, with these ten tips, we will show how easy it is to continuously lower your average times.
The most effective way to increase your average speed is to train at speeds much higher than it. Interval training is a way to do this, considering that you cannot simply go out and ride your normal route at a quicker speed than usual without hurting yourself. By interval training, you can cycle for short bursts of time at speeds much higher than your usual pace, then slow down and give yourself time to recover. You can try techniques such as pedaling as hard as you can from one intersection to the other, then recovering for the next two intersections. For mountain bike riders, the same can be done with more exact measurements.
#2 Bend Elbows
Wind resistance is one of the main factors slowing cyclists down, and you can cut down on this by simply bending and tucking your elbows and lowering your body closer to the handlebars when riding your bike.
#3 Lose Some Weight
To go faster, you should also consider dropping weight. By doing so, you can go faster for the same amount of effort you have already been putting in. Losing weight will help you move uphill, and reduce the drag you experience when cycling on a flat road. Luckily, losing weight shouldn’t be that hard. Burning fat is one of the many health benefits of cycling, and riding an extra 30 minutes a day can help you lose up to 11 extra pounds in a month.
#4 Build Muscle
Building your cycling muscles will help you become a better overall cyclist, in addition to helping you easily increase your speed. There are certain techniques to take into account, such as fast pedaling (which has stronger effects on your cardiovascular system and cycling efficiency than slow pedaling). This is preferable to riding high gears at low speeds, which many people may be tempted to do.
Getting faster is about a commitment to training, and a sense of discipline. Though it’s cliché to say that it is “all in your mind,” it’s a fact that you will struggle to get faster if you do not have the right attitude throughout your training. You can always get faster.
#6 Brake Less Often
Many people brake needlessly or start breaking too early, slowing their speed for unnecessary reasons. Though you have probably gotten used to “comfort braking,” or braking when you begin to go down a hill and are reaching a speed faster than what you are used to, you should no longer brake for this reason. Braking, in addition to slowing you, also makes you pedal harder once you decide to increase your speed again, making biking more tiring than it has to be.
#7 Use the Headwinds and Tailwinds
Though these mostly provide confidence boosts when you are out on a ride, using the wind correctly can help you reach new speeds and feel comfortable traveling at your desired pace.
#8 Tighter Clothing
Tight-fitting cycling clothes are typically dry-fit, keeping you cool and dry even though you may be sweating bullets. This makes riding less tiring. In addition, baggy clothing results in excess drag, which will only slow you down. However, though tight-fitting clothing is a good idea, you should also choose comfortable bike clothing, that allows for a wide range of movement and flexibility when on the bike.
#9 Bike Gear
Higher speeds can also be bought. Someone who has done all of the above steps and who is still looking for a speed boost can consider buying bike gears like aerodynamic tubing for their bike, which will help reduce drag. The bike itself and its wheels typically account for about 30% of drag, so you will be able to reduce this number by purchasing the tubing or aerodynamic wheels. Heart monitors are also a smart buy if you are seriously trying to increase speed.
#10 A Bike That Fits
In addition to fitting clothing and gear, the bike itself also needs to be tailored to your needs. If your goal is to increase your average speed, it may be difficult to do so with a low-quality bike, a bike that has gotten older, or a bike that is hard or uncomfortable to ride because of the seat placement.
Different techniques will work for different cyclists, but most find success in accordance with the gear they buy and the training they partake in. What have you done to increase your speed?
About The Author
Joy Mali is an active traveler with the passion of riding across the world and loves to share her experiences in her travel blogs. She talks a lot about safe bike riding and recommends POC bike gear products to everyone for complete protection while riding bike. Follow her on Google Plus.