When it comes to cycling, your speed is mostly determined by two things: how well you manage the bike and how willing you are to work hard to get where you want to go. With that being said, there are several ways to improve your cycling speed without necessarily investing in expensive gear or training programs.
This article will talk about some easy ways to increase your riding speed while also improving your ride quality. So stay tuned and read on!
Decrease pedal friction
Increase pedal efficiency
Improve muscle-pedal coordination
The easiest way to increase your cycling speed is to decrease the amount of drag in the bicycle. This can be done through reducing weight and increasing air flow, which both result in faster rides.
Reducing weight by choosing thinner tires and lighter components will have this effect. For example, if you’re looking to go fast, then choosing heavier handlebars may not make sense. Thicker seats can also reduce your overall weight, so look for alternatives like leather instead of plastic.
Airflow is important because more air means less resistance when moving through the air. Bicycles are designed with certain shapes and openings that help create as much airflow as possible, but checking out your own bike is a good start!
Next, check out our list of tips for better muscles control while bicycling.
Practice riding at different speeds
One of the most important things you can do as a cyclist is learn how to ride your bike at different cycling speeds. You will find that some types of cyclists have a preferred speed they are comfortable with, while others need to go faster or slower to feel relaxed and conscious.
There are many ways to practice this. You can take short rides around your neighborhood, or you can try racing other people for time on closed roads or courses.
For more advanced riders, taking your bicycle out onto the highway is an excellent way to work on your cruising speed. If you’re very nervous about doing so, start off in less busy areas and work up from there!
The best way to improve your own cruise speed is by studying those who pedal fast and consistently and figuring out what makes them tick.
Experiment with changing your gear
Changing your gearing is one of the most fundamental ways to improve your cycling speed. You can experiment with different gears by yourself or you can take it one step further and learn how to measure, fit, and use your current gear set.
There are several resources available to help anyone determine what size sprocket goes in which chain ring! Most departments that teach bicycle mechanics have an introductory lesson about using spacers and bolts to properly adjust your cassette. Or you can visit your local bike shop and ask them for some tips (or if they do not know, show up during work hours when people come across as more knowledgeable).
Cycling forward with heavier feet will increase pedal cadence and force you pedals to move faster! If you feel like you are moving too quickly, try dropping down a tooth off your large front wheel sprocket to make it spin slightly slower.
Practice riding in different conditions
This will be your new favorite way to improve your cycling speed. Depending on what type of racing you want to do, there are many ways to achieve your goal. You can train with other cyclists at race courses or local roads or trails, use computer software to simulate races or training rides, or just get out and ride!
Any of these strategies work well because they remove the need for having live competition. When you practice outside of a race setting, you increase your motivation to exercise by doing something active that requires effort instead of only waiting for the time when you feel motivated to exercise.
Practice also removes fear of making a mistake. Since you’re not under pressure, you’ll lose less focus if you make a bad call, overshoot a turn, etc.
There is an additional benefit to practicing in various types of terrain as well. By riding on mostly flat ground one week and then miles of hills the next, your body gets used to climbing up steep inclines and descending down gentle ones. This helps prevent muscle cramping due to heavy legs being used in still or increasingly longer periods of time.
Know your limits
Even if you are very fit, there is always room for improvement when it comes to cycling speed. This can be due to mechanical limitations (ability to push through hard efforts) or physical ones (capacity to sustain high intensity exercise).
There is no magic way to improve your cycling speed beyond practicing smart strategies and exercises that will help you maximize your potential.
Running before cycling is not going to make you go faster! Racing against someone who is much better than yourself will only waste your time and energy. You want to challenge yourself, but you need to know how much effort you can bear at any given moment.
Having enough sleep and food prior to a workout helps ensure you do not get too tired or depleted of essential nutrients and hormones. That would negatively impact your performance.
When you are cycling, make sure your body is well-hydrated. This helps you feel more confident on the bike as you will have enough energy to keep riding for longer.
Most people are not drinking enough water during exercise. Most need at least 2–3 litres (0.5 – 0.75 gallons) per day depending on their activity level.
For beginners, we recommend 1 litre (0.25 gallon) of water per hour to ensure adequate fluid intake. As you become fitter, you can increase this slightly.
Drinking enough water ensures that your muscles function properly and do not waste any calories by helping them work efficiently. This also contributes to good health overall.
Many people start to lose water weight around the face when they begin exercising so it is important to be careful with how much alcohol or salty foods you eat before the workout to avoid wasting too much water already.
Eat before you ride
Now that we have addressed how to improve your cadence, let’s look at something much more important than the first! Eating enough is one of the most fundamental things you can do to improve your cycling speed.
If you are riding for an hour or longer, then it is very easy to lose momentum due to dehydration. This can be seriously detrimental to your performance since drinking enough water is essential for health and keeping you awake (which is bad if you are trying to sleep after your workout).
Furthermore, even if you are not particularly thirsty, staying hydrated will help keep your body feeling fuller which can prevent you from consuming too many calories in food. Both of these effects can negatively impact your exercise intensity and/or motivation.
Drinking two cups (~500 ml) of liquid per person every 30-60 minutes during exercise is an adequate amount for active individuals. More advanced strategies include using special bottles with higher intake levels or ingesting salty liquids that you would normally avoid because they make you thirstier.
However, even if you don’t drink as much as this, just making sure you are wellhydrated is still extremely important since your muscles use large amounts of glucose for energy. If you are running out of sugar, your muscles will slow down their activity, which will eventually cause them to shut off completely!
This could potentially mean stopping to enjoy a snack or dessert or maybe even quitting the race altogether.
Practice riding at different times of the day
One of the biggest factors in how quickly you can get out and ride is your schedule. You will want to know when most people are cycling so that you can avoid these areas or take advantage of less busy hours.
Most people begin biking for fitness around 6-months before they really start moving fast. By being aware of this, you can make sure you’re not wasting this time!
There are many ways to learn how to bike faster during off hours. Some may be more practical than others depending on your situation.
Either way, don’t hesitate to try new things as long as you’re willing to invest some time into learning them. There are plenty of sites online with tips and tricks to improve your biking speed.
Ride with a friend
It is very common for people to begin riding bicycles when they are young. Some even continue onto more advanced cycling levels. One of the biggest reasons that most cyclists start racing or traveling longer distances is because there is someone around them who is already doing it!
Getting into biking is easy, but knowing how to ride correctly can be tricky at first. You do not need to be professional level rider to improve your bike handling, and being surrounded by riders helps you learn the basics of bikes and cycling.
Having a friends that enjoy riding bikes is an excellent way to get started. Many cities have organized rides for new bikers, so why not join in?
Not only will this help you learn the basic rules of the game, but it will also give you some motivation to take your riding up a gear!
Making friends while you are out together on your bicycle is not difficult and does not require too much money. All you really need is an open-minded individual willing to teach you the tricks of the trade.