The average cyclist wants to know how fast he/she can go on a bike. Armed with a bike computer, it should be possible to figure out your current, average, and maximum biking speed. Once you have this information, you will probably want to know how you compare to other cyclists and how you can increase your speed.
Average biking speed is an ideal indicator of your development and fitness. Hence, you do not have to be competitive for you to want to know how to bike faster. In this detailed guide, we will show you how to get faster on a bike. Armed with the tips below, your average speed should increase within 1 week.
Top Tips on How to Bike Faster
1. Watch Your Aerodynamics
Baggy biking wear could be one of the reasons you are struggling to build up speed on your road bike. Since air has density, anything moving through it will experience resistance – or drag – and eventually loose speed. Trading your baggy cycling wear for tighter and fitting clothes and replacing your standard helmet with an aerodynamic helmet will help you increase your overall biking speed.
Your body position on your bike can also help you make a big difference in your riding speed. Instead of biking with the hands on the hoods or tops of your road bike handlebars, you can expose yourself to less wind – and hence less drag – by doing the following:
- Lowering your head.
- Tucking the elbows so that they fall directly in front of the knees.
- Bending the elbows to lower the torso and to keep your back flat.
- Riding in the drops of your handlebars
When compared to riding a bike in a more upright position, riding in an aerodynamic position will save you more than 15% of your power output. Even better, you won’t need a lot of time to master riding in an aero position.
2. Join a Training Group
If this is the first time you are learning how to get faster on a bike, chances are, you are wondering how riding in a group can help. Compared to riding while exposed to the wind, riding behind another biker allows you to save approximately 40% in energy expenditure.
Cycling with a training partner who is better than you a couple of times every week should help you increase your speed considerably. A good partner will push you to ride your mountain bike faster and farther than you normally would while cycling alone. The more often you step outside the comfort zone, the faster you will get on your bike.
3. Work on Your Bike Handling Skills
Most cyclists wondering how to bike faster often have below-average bike handling skills. If you are constantly hitting your MTB brakes to slow down, going faster will be impossible. By improving your bicycle handling skills, you will be able to descend faster and even take on sharp turns at higher speeds. Laying off the brakes means maximum average speed when riding your hardtail mountain bike.
When riding in a group, better bicycle handling skills will make it possible for you to ride closer to other cyclists to shield yourself from the wind drag, without the fear of crashing. Below, we have outlined some of the things you can do to improve your bike handling skills:
- Ride track stands – These are ideal for improving coordination and balance.
- Join group rides – These will teach you how to not overreact to obstacles. They will help you to avoid reaching for the brakes when you don’t need to.
- Try riding with hands off your handlebars – This will show you how to control the bike with the hips instead of steering with your hands. This is extremely helpful when it comes to handling corners at higher speeds.
4. Increase Your Lactate Threshold
Simply defined, the lactate threshold refers to the highest wattage you can maintain in 1 hour. If you are wondering how to get faster on a bike by improving the lactate threshold, you should know you are not alone – this is a question that a lot of beginning riders ask.
Improving the lactate threshold allows a rider to generate a higher power output without increasing the heart rate. This means that you will be able to rider faster for an extended period.
Before focusing on workouts, you will need to put your focus on determining your lactate threshold. You can determine the lactate threshold by taking the highest power you can sustain for twenty minutes and then multiplying this value with 0.95. When doing your intervals, pace your efforts to match the number.
A classic workout could begin with 2 x 20 minutes at the lactate threshold, with 5 minutes of recovery in between your efforts. As these get easier, try 3 x 15 minutes intervals with 5 minutes of recovery. Continue working your way to 3 x 20 minutes intervals with lesser minutes of recovery.
5. Pump Up the Tires
If your tires are inflated correctly, they will roll much faster. Lower tire pressure leads to a bigger contact patch – this increases your rolling resistance, making you work much harder to achieve the same speed. Thus, for a similar effort, a bike featuring well-inflated tires will go much faster compared to a bike with under-inflated tires.
You should check the tire pressure before every biking trip. Changes in temperature and slight air seepage can make your tires go soft without them having a puncture. To know the ideal pressure for your bike’s tire, check the side-wall. Invest in a track pump so that you can pump up your bike whenever you need to.
6. Lose Some Weight
While losing weight can take more than a week, it is one of the best tips on how to bike faster. Cycling – especially when riding uphill – is all about the rider’s power-to-weight ratio or the number of watts that you can generate per pound of your body weight. If your bike, fitness, and power remain the same, your average biking speed will increase with each pound you lose.
To increase the rate at which you lose weight, you will need a combination of a good diet and regular exercise. Consume meals consisting of vegetables and lean meats instead of going for a pizza and a beer. Eating a balanced diet and avoiding indulgences will make a significant difference in your riding speed.
When it comes to exercise, you can use cycling to lose weight. However, if you are young and do not have any joint problems, going for a run every morning might increase the rate at which you lose weight.
Globo Surf Overview
The best cyclists are generally miserly with their energy. They find ways – including wearing tight and fitting clothing, riding on their handlebars in a dropped position, and even drafting off each other – to make every muscle fiber twitched and every calorie consumed count. In the case of a race, using energy efficiently over a long haul allows the rider to call on extra stores when it is time for the race-winning attack.
If you have been wondering how to get faster on a bike, this guide should help you. Our tips on how to bike faster will be handy for both experienced and beginning cyclists.