Looking for ways to make your bike faster? Are you in budget? You do not always need to spend a lot of money on an upgrade or switch to a lighter frame design to go faster.
For some, being a cyclist is all about speed. Be it they want to be the fastest cyclist around town, or they just like the feeling of the wind in their face.
This begs the question, of course, how do you keep the speed of your bicycle constant, and how would you make it faster? In actuality, making your bike fast isn’t a difficult challenge in the slightest and quite easy!
This is why we’re sharing with you the seven best tips to not only make your bicycle faster but ensure it remains a speed machine for years to come!
Table of Contents
1. Gear Ratio Make Your Bike Faster
Now, if you’re picking out a bike and want one that’s above all just the fastest, you’ll want to keep in mind the gear ratio. What is the gear ratio? Well, it’s the chains and chain housing seen on the front-end and back-end of your tires. The idea behind the gear ratio is simple enough.
Each gear will control how far the bike will go with each peddles stroke. On higher gear, the bicycle will go further while the opposite will happen on low gear.
The gears don’t extend the length of the bike or wheels but instead changes how far the wheels will rotate in regard to a single peddle turn.
A bike in high-gear will be faster than one in low-gear as the wheels are spinning much faster. The trade-off, as you might imagine, is faster bicycles will be harder to control on sharp turns or even a change in terrain.
So, when deciding on a bicycle and aiming for a fast one, it’s a good idea to look into the gears to see if the model you picked will provide you with the speed you crave.
2. Adjust Tire Pressure
For anyone with a bicycle, the most important adjustment they should make to improve the speed is to monitor and adjust the tire pressure.
If you feel that your bike is running sluggish, check the tire pressure gauge before investing in new and expensive tires or taking it to the shop for repairs.
Tires with low pressure create more rolling resistance, which cuts back on speed.
If this is the case, why not just pump your tires with as much air as possible? Wouldn’t that keep it fast all the time? Although true, too much air in your tires can lead to a bike that can swerve out of control.
Softer tires might create more resistance, but they also grip the road. So a compromise should be made, and a psi of around 100 to 120 will be more than enough.
Making sure your tire pressure is correct is the simplest step to ensuring your bike is fast. It’s also one of the easiest and cheapest, as all you really need is a pressure gauge and an air pump.
Some cyclists go the extra mile and adjust the pressure into both tires to give them that extra advantage and while this is certainly a tactic you can try, 100 to 120 psi should be good enough for most cyclists.
Recomended: Topeak Joe Blow Sport III High Pressure Floor Bike Pump ( Check price on Amazon )
3. Losing Weight Make Your Bike Faster
Every accessory or extra bolt attached to your bike increase the weight of your frame. Thus you can save your energy or go faster by simply giving up on unnecessary accessories.
Remove anything less important like mudguard, lights, pannier, pumps, case mounts and water bottles. Ditch some of the unnecessary bar tapes and use a lighter tape where necessary.
Then there are the wheels, saddle, seat post and tire where you can save almost a kilo. They alone can makes your bike go 2-3 mph faster than before; all without changing your frame.
Just in case you have some money to invest buy an lightweight frame to replace. Try to go for the carbon frame, handlebar, seat post, stem and saddle for maximum weight reduction.
There is also the option to buy a lighter bike all together in budget. I have already put forward 10 lightest bicycles with their inidividual weight in this article.
The least you can do is to clean your bike to to speed your bike. Dirt or grim if get into the drive train can affects its performance further reducing the speed.
4. Keep It Clean
It’s been said in the biking community; a clean bike is always the fastest bike. This is not something that gives you some psychological advantage but rather is based on science.
Your bicycle is a machine, which means it needs to be taken care of. So cleaning is an absolute necessity.
Dirt can add extra weight, and clog the gears and drivetrain making a very distracting noise on top of slowing you down. Further, it just not look nice on any professional bike.
This being said, if you research cleaning methods it seems everyone has their own sure-fire ways to clean a bike. Some suggest you’ll need to clean up after every single ride and use only the most expensive brushes and oils and clean out every single nook and cranny.
Others will suggest a simple hosing of your bicycle will suffice. In truth, both methods should be combined when cleaning, but with an understanding that there is such a thing as too clean.
Our recommended cleaning regime starts with hosing down your bike to remove large chunks of dirt and other debris. Next, apply a specially formulated wash and aim to get into the nooks and crannies.
A rather bothersome process, yes, but very important if you want your bike to remain fast. Once the body has been cleaned and allowed to dry, it’s time to focus on the chain and drivetrain.
This is simple enough, as you’ll just use a degreaser to remove excess grease from the chain and drivetrain, touching upon the gears as well.
5. Not Just Clean But Also Lubricate
Once they’re clean, it’s time to lubricate and you don’t need much lubricant either. Apply a small amount to the inside of the chain while rotating the crank and then wipe off any excess.
Good as new! Add a bit of lubricant to the gear and drivetrain, but once again only a small amount. To keep maintenance time down, it might be a good idea to take the extra time after every ride to clean.
A well lubed chain and drive train makes things more efficient. This means none of your effort go wasted. Slowly add lube on chain while rotating the crank and wipe off any excess oil thereafter.
Wiping down the gears, saddle, handlebar, and wheels will go a long way in not only keeping your bike nice and clean but saving you from hours of work attempting to remove built-up grease and dirt.
6. Adjusting the Handlebar
Next on our list is adjusting the handlebar, and you can achieve this by raising or lowering the handlebar. You would think that having the handlebar as low as possible and adjusting your body to be aerodynamic is vital to to riding fast and while this isn’t far from the truth other cyclist claim that keeping the handlebar raised will improve speed just as much.
You’ll need to figure out if a raised or lowered handlebar will improve your speed or if it creates too much traction. To adjust your handlebar, remove the fork and take out a spacer before adding the stem back with the removed spacer now on top.
This is if you’re lowering the handlebar. To raise the handlebar, the process is to put more spacers below the handlebar and not above it.
You’ll need the right tools for the job, of course. A multi-part tool, Allen keys, and possibly a torque wrench if you’re working with light parts or parts made of carbon fiber.
Making the adjustment is quite simple, but maybe tricky for first-timers so always watch some YouTube videos on the topic beforehand to get the right idea of what you need to do.
Test out how fast you ride with the handlebar either raised or lowered, and go from there. Never make drastic changes to the height, as this will leave you uncomfortable and sore. Instead, gradual adjustments until you find the height that works for you.
7. Aerodynamic Tires Make Your Bike Faster
Upgrading your wheel with a more aerodynamic design can give you a extra jump in terms of speed. After all it is your wheel and tires that actually makes contact with the ground.
When looking for speed you should pick wheel with flexible sidewalls and reasonably thin tread. I personally use the Super team U Shape Bike Wheel Clincher 700C Carbon Wheel-set for my road bike.
It’s lightweight by construction, aerodynamic by design and feels like quality when riding. The best part it isn’t costly at all and feels exactly the same as some expensive Aero wheels. Get it on Amazon!
You’ll deﬁnitely feel an improvement in your bike performance on paved roads once replaced. If you choose well you can save as much as 500 grams on just wheels.
Even for the most common tires available you will save at least 148g. Constructed of light rubber these high-quality tires will roll faster on roads and trails.