Perhaps, you could get a lighter bike frame, speedier wheels or even get a new bike with a faster design. However, that is not what this article is all about.
This article is all focused on how you can increase your speed, with the same effort and at this very moment. You don’t have to buy anything. We are just maximizing what you have right now. So, let’s start with the first one.
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Pump Your Tires
Most cyclists love riding with “softer tires”. The result: more friction with the road, and more energy is lost during the rebound of your band. A hard tire ‘sticks’ less on the road and bounces less; thus loses less energy. Of course, the next question is – how much pressure should be in each tire?
The narrower the tire, the harder you will have to inflate them. Generally, the right value should be on the side of the wheel. Buy a decent (preferably foot) bicycle tire pump with pressure gauge and pump your tires every four weeks.
However, don’t pump hard too (again, look at the value on the side of the wheel), because a very hard tire decreases comfort; which causes you to start cycling slower, and you can also increase the risk a blowout.
Lubricate The Chain
Friction is present in all moving parts of your bike, such as the chain, trap and wheel axle. When there is friction, you are losing energy. However, the area in which this factor has the biggest impact is at the bicycle chain.
You can reduce this energy loss by regularly lubricate all moving parts. On a chain use a bicycle chain oil (like White Lightning), in the ball bearings (axes) preferably with grease. Keep in mind that, regular oil is often washed too quickly.
The chain must also be brushed regularly; preferably once a month. For other parts such as the axel, trap and wheel, you can get away with once a year cleaning (if you are using your bike for regular riding).
Put Your Seat Higher
Oftentimes, cyclists set the seat too low. Thus, they will unnecessarily consume more energy. You may be thinking, is really a big deal? Bluntly speaking, yes it’s a big deal. In fact, even a 10 centimeter difference from the right saddle height could drastically reduce your performance by as much as 80%.
The right seat height – take your bike, and place it between your legs up against a wall (or ask someone to hold your bike). Then sit on the saddle and place your feet flat on the pedal. At the lowest position of the pedal, your legs should just not be stretched (should have small bend in the knee).
This means that you can keep increasing the height of the bike seat just as long as your legs should not be fully stretched when the feet hits the lowest position of the pedal.
Most people would like to purchase a new “advanced” gear or get a faster bike so they can ride faster. Of course, not everyone has money to spend. However, it does not mean that you can’t gain more speed without spending money.
You can actually increase your speed, with the same effort by simply optimizing your bicycle right now. Start with your tires, lubricating the parts and set the right seat height.