You don’t have to break the bank for an aerodynamic frame or an expensive set of wheels to enjoy a faster ride. Having your bike in top shape is one of the many ways of making your bike go as fast as possible. Some of the things you can do to have your bike in its best-performing state are clean it, lubricate it, lower its front end, set its saddle height correctly, adjust its pedal tension, and check the tire pressure, among others.
Some of the methods will require you to use tools, while others like cleaning may not require much other than cleaning agents. This article delves into the processes of increasing bike speed by types and how to make a bike easier to pedal. Read on to learn how to make your bike faster.
Tools to Use
You will need:
- A floor pump with gauge
- Allen keys
- Spray lube and oil
- Electrical tape
- Lockring tool
- Chain whip
How to Make a Bike Easier to Pedal
Here are simple and inexpensive ways of getting a faster ride on your bike:
A well-lubricated chain guarantees an efficient drivetrain, and you would never have to waste your effort on mechanical inefficiency. It also reduces the amount of grime the chain picks during a ride, especially in wet weather.
Proper chain lubrication does not mean dousing the chain with excess lubricant. Add the lube to the chain slowly while rotating the links, then wipe off the excess when you are done.
The Finish Line e-bike chain lube is one of the most popular chain lubes among bike owners. It is specially formulated to clean and lubricate electric drivetrains that are subject to intense torque.
Clip-on bars can give your bike a dramatic speed improvement. You don’t have to splurge on high-end models; even a beginner model will give you incredible aerodynamic advantage by minimizing your frontal area when it closes down your chest and arms.
Fit the clip-on bars properly so that your normal saddle position is not compromised. Ensure all the screws and bolts you are using are greased, and you can use carbon assembly paste to prevent slippage or over-tightening.
If you are in the market for clip-on bars, consider Profile designs clip-on bars. They are the most acclaimed clip-ons because they are super-easy to install and are incredibly affordable.
Correct tire pressure is crucial to having an easier ride. An underinflated tire means increased rolling resistance, forcing you to pedal harder for a fast riding speed. If you have been riding on 85psi, try 100 or 120 psi. You will see a dramatic improvement but keep in mind that as much as you will get higher speed on smooth roads with higher tire pressure, you will have harsher rides and reduced grip around corners.
Be sure to match the tire pressure with your type of ride. Higher tire pressure is best suited for road bikes used on smooth roads for a short time. For longer rides with a lot of descending and climbing on a mountain bike, go with a lower tire pressure.
Pedal tension impacts your pedal efficiency significantly. Bikes come with different pedal systems with spring tension that can be adjusted in different ways. Clipless pedal systems have a spring that hold your shoe’s cleat in place. If you adjust this spring to allow your cleat to hold your shoe firmly with a little float, you will pedal smoothly. You have to experiment to get the best tension that works for you.
Your bike will be slower on long rides if its cables are shifting and the brake is flappy because it creates more aerodynamic drag. Adjusting the fit on your cables is pretty simple if your bike doesn’t have them hidden in the handlebars and frame like most newer models. If your cable is exposed, you can cut it to shorten it and reduce its exposure to the wind. Just ensure it is long enough to allow your handlebars to turn properly.
Your bikes position also impacts your aerodynamic which in turn affects your cycling speed. Lowering your handlebar height will help you adapt a more aerodynamic body position. Jus ensure that the new position is comfortable and doesn’t cause discomfort on your lower back and neck.
Here is an unpopular opinion; a clean bike is a fast bike. A bike without mud or grime on its cables and drivetrain is highly efficient. You have to keep your bike clean, especially in the winter months. Create a cleaning regimen and stick to it, this way your bike won’t get too dirty and you wouldn’t have to spend too much time cleaning it.
Every tiny bit of extra weight on your bike has to be re-launched every time you make a turn, ascend a hill or bump along a course. You will pedal easier with less weight on the bike. Remove all the unnecessary bike parts like mudguard, reflectors, saddle bags, and lights to reduce its weight. You can polish the marks left behind to restore its beauty.
A saddle set too high or too low can give you great discomfort and even cause injuries. What’s more, it decreases the efficiency of your pedal stroke which in turn lowers your cycling speed. Industry experts recommend having a saddle height that is 10 cm less than the inseam measurement of your bike. The inseam measurement is the distance between the top of the saddle and the bottom bracket.
A consistent braking performance will tremendously increase your cycling speed. Check your brake cable for signs of stretching or wearing out, then tighten the brakes to keep them the same distance from rims.
How to Increase Bike Speed by Type
All the methods discussed above work for different kinds of bikes but Trusted SourceThe benefits of cycling There are many reasons to cycle as a form of transport. Whether it’s to boost your fitness, save money or as an environmental choice, getting on a bike will have many benefits. www.nidirect.gov.uk . Here is how to get the most speed out of different bike types:
To increase the speed of your mountain bike, you have to optimize its tire pressure. Get a mini or floor pump to have your tires inflated correctly for different rides. For longer rides with a lot of climbing ad descending, the recommended pressure is 90 to 120psi. If your bike has flat pedals, replace them with clipless ones for a more powerful and consistent stroke. Also, ensure your drivetrain is clean and lubricated.
To improve your dirt bike’s horsepower and performance, Trusted SourceSummary of Off-Highway Vehicle Safety Laws The following abstract summarizes some important Massachusetts recreation vehicle laws. www.mass.gov a consistent maintenance regimen, use better fuel, invest in the best quality air filter to help it breathe, then upgrade your factory clutch for better engine performance. Also, depending on the type of engine your bike is using, you can change its compression to boost the power on your acceleration.
Similar to a mountain bike, you have to clean and oil or lubricate your road bike for top performance. Get the correct tire pressure, saddle height, and pedal tension. For a faster speed, go with a higher tire pressure, especially if you intend to go on a road race. Remember, a higher tire pressure has consequences like decreased grip around corners and a harsher ride.
You can increase the speed of your BMX by keeping it clean and well-lubricated all the time, aligning the tire pressure, pedal tension, and saddle height well. Adjusting the brakes and gears will also increase your average cycling speed on your BMX.
Using a battery with a higher voltage or replacing your motor with a new model that has higher KV rating is the best way of increasing your electric bike speed. Also, adjust your LCD settings as most E-bikes come with speed limiters that restrict the maximum speed of your bike. Adjust the settings of the limiter to go faster by reducing your wheel size. A smaller wheel size will give the limiter the impression that you are going at the slowest speed. Alternatively, you can get rid of the speed limiter.
You can cycle at top speed with any type of bike with a few adjustments; you just need to learn some tricks on how to make your bike faster. We have provided simple and affordable methods that anyone can hack. Many cyclists rush to splurge on new bike parts to improve their bike’s performance yet they can simply increase their speed by adjusting their saddle height and keeping the drivetrain clean and lubricated.
The methods discussed in the article can be used to enhance the performance of most bikes but not all. For instance, changing the motor and using new batteries to can only apply to electric bikes. Some manufacturers also suggest ways of increasing cycling speed. Check your bike’s manufacturer’s website for any suggestions.