Whether we want to beat traffic or other cyclists, we all want to cycle faster at some point. So, we always get worried when our bikes are slower. But since you are here, I’ll show you how to make bikes faster.
Depending on what works for you, below is a summary of how you can make your bike faster.
How To Make Bikes Faster.
1. Keep the bike clean
2. Go tubeless
3. Check tire pressure
4. Oil up the chain
5. Invest in slicker tires
6. Adjust the seat
7. Adjust the derailleur
8. Switch to drop bars
9. Become light and aerodynamic
10. An aero bike helmet can help too
As you’ll realize, most of these strategies don’t require you to spend any money if you are handy. Even better, you get a safer, comfortable to ride and a high-performer bike.
Let’s get into it.
How Can I Increase My Bike Speed? (How To Make Bikes Faster)
Below are ten smart ways you can improve your bike’s speed:
1. Keep The Bike Clean
Mud, dirt, grime, and even snow are not your bike’s friend. They interfere with the performance of the drivetrain, the chain, and tires.
In the end, that slows you down. Even worse, they can damage essential bike components.
To avoid it all, learn to clean your bike after every use. Wipe it clean, especially around the drivetrain, tires, and chain.
It’ll take you 5 minutes or less to do it.
2. Go Tubeless
You probably know that tubeless tires are more puncture-proof and enjoy more traction. What you probably don’t know is that these tires move faster.
Since they are tubeless, they are lighter to make your bike lighter too. Plus, they have minimal rolling resistance, which means they move faster and smoother.
You can improve your bike’s speed with the MAXXIS EXO Dual Compound Tubeless Tire (View on Amazon). The folding tubeless tire comes in an all-rubber construction with EXO-protected sidewalls to resist abrasion and puncture.
Here’s a guide on how to install tubeless tires on a road bike.
3. Check Tire Pressure
We cannot talk about how to make your bike go faster without mentioning the tire pressure.
If the tires are too soft, they’ll have a higher rolling resistance. That means you’ll put more effort into pedaling the bike, and that slows you down.
Likewise, exceeding the tire pressure to over 120Psi won’t help you speed up either. On the contrary, it’ll only make the tire bounce on the road, reducing its traction.
So, consider working with a tire pressure of about 90-120Psi. The pressure level will give you better traction and comfort, necessary for speeding up.
4. Oil Up The Chain
You can only ride faster if the drivetrain runs smoothly. That largely depends on the bike’s chain.
You need to properly lubricate the chain to reduce friction and have the drive chain run smoothly. When the drivetrain runs smoothly, it saves you energy.
In return, you enjoy more pedaling force to speed the bike up. So, ensure you oil up the drive chain regularly.
5. Invest In Slicker Tires
Slicker tires achieve the following:
- They improve your acceleration, steering, and braking
- They reduce friction while boosting traction to offer you a smoother ride
If you were wondering how to make bike faster, upgrading to slicker tires is a great idea.
One excellent slicker tire that you should consider is the Kenda K838 Slick Wire Bead Bicycle Tire (View on Amazon).
The slick tire is best for mountain bikes, road bikes, and hybrid bikes. It features wire beads to boost its durability and black wall sides to give it a lightweight profile.
6. Adjust The Seat
The saddle height determines the cycling comfort, and when you get it right, you could boost your cycling speed.
But if the saddle height is wrong, it’ll not only hurt you but will also reduce your biking efficiency.
So, what should you do?
Well, the rule of thumb dictates that the distance between the saddle top and the bottom bracket should be 10 cm less your inseam length.
In that case, if your inseam length is 70cm, the saddle top to bottom bracket distance should be 60cm.
7. Adjust The Derailleur
Poorly adjusted derailleurs are never a good thing. They don’t just take away the fun of cycling but also slows you down.
Remember, if the derailleur is working efficiently, you’ll have more power to conquer steeper gradients. That’ll help you make bicycle faster in the long run.
In particular, take time to adjust your bike’s front derailleur. Use this guide on how to adjust the front derailleur on a mountain bike.
8. Switch To Drop Bars
Drop bars are aerodynamic. So, you can count on them to resist wind drag and to enable you to ride faster.
With a drop bar, you take a lower riding position, allowing you to pedal much quicker. And when it comes to the slopes, you enjoy more balance with a drop bar, regardless of the wind conditions.
So, if your bike has a flat handlebar, it’s time you make it more aerodynamic with a drop bar. You can try out the UPANBIKE Road Bike Drop Bar.
This drop bar not only works on road bikes but also BMX and cruisers. It comes in a lightweight and durable aluminum construction.
9. Become Light And Aerodynamic
Let’s start with becoming lighter;
Let’s face it; you cannot ride faster when you are overweight or carry heavy loads. In that case, one way to become lighter on a bike is to lose weight, and the other is to drop the unnecessary weight off your bike.
Try not to carry heavy stuff on the bike when you need speed, unless necessary.
Unto the second part;
Becoming aerodynamic improves your resistance against wind drag, and that allows you to cycle much faster.
In addition to using an aerodynamic helmet and drop bras, you can become aerodynamic using these tips:
- Lower your bike’s handlebar
- Bend your elbows and forearm
- Lower the bike’s front end
- Improve your core strength through workouts
- Ditch the bottle cage or mount it on the seat tube
- Zip up your cycling jacket and avoid loose clothes when cycling
10. An Aero Bike Helmet Can Help Too
You can also become more aerodynamic with a good aero cycling helmet. Aero helmets cut through strong wind resistances without compromising your wearing comfort.
These helmets come lightweight, breathable, crash-proof, and adjustable to guarantee both comfort and safety.
One such cycling helmet is the GIRO Aerohead MIPS Road Cycling Helmet. It’s the most aerodynamic helmet around!
FAQs Related to How To Make Bikes Faster
1. Why Is My Bike Slow?
Your bike could be slow because of different reasons. It could be that the tire pressure is low for starters, making it hard for the tires to move smoothly.
In that case, you’ll need to improve the tire pressure to about 80-120Psi.
It could also be that the drivetrain is inadequately lubricated or dirty or both or that the gears are out of position. Also, it could be that the bike is heavier or that the saddle height is incorrect.
Last but not least, you could be overweight and inflexible to ride the bike faster.
2. What Is A Slow Speed Bike?
On average, most commuter bikes run at a speed of 10-15mph. However, more experienced cyclists tend to ride faster – as fast as 20mph.
Generally, if a commuter bike or road bike runs below 10Mph, then such a cycle is slow.
Remember, however, that things like high traffic, road signs, poor roads, and stormy weather can slow you down, but that doesn’t mean the bike is slow.
3. Is A Lighter Bike Faster?
It’s generally easier to pedal a light-framed bike than a heavy-duty one. That’s more important when riding on a steep slope.
You should note, however, that a lightweight frame alone can’t make you ride faster. It’s a combination of different things such as a smoothly-working drivetrain, aerodynamic wheels, right saddle height, to name a few.
4. How Quickly Can You Improve Cycling?
Generally, you can improve your cycling efficiency using these tips:
- Get an excellent high-speed bike
- Ride as often as possible
- Improve the bike’s seat and handlebar comfort
- Get an aerodynamic handlebar, cycling helmet, and wheels
- Cycle in bigger gears
- Take advantage of the tailwind power
- Shed weight to become fitter and lighter
5. Will A Better Bike Make Me Faster?
There’s always excitement when riding a new bike, and that often translates to riding faster. Besides, since everything ranging from the drivetrain to the tires is new, the cycle tends to ride smoothly and quickly.
It, however, doesn’t mean that new bikes will always be faster than old ones. That’s unless it’s better in specs than the older.
Also Read: Funny Bike Names
Now you have ten ideas on how to make bikes faster. If you want to get anywhere quickly or want to beat another cyclist, employ the above tips.
They should be able to help you have more fun cycling.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I make my bike go faster?
To make your bike go faster, there are several aspects you can consider; the tires, the gears, and even your own cycling technique. Correctly inflated, high-quality tires can significantly reduce friction and allow you to ride faster. Similarly, using the correct gears at the right time can help you maintain a higher average speed without exhausting yourself. Bike maintenance is also crucial. A well-oiled and tuned bike will always outperform a neglected one. I remember when I first swapped my old knobby mountain bike tires for a pair of slick road tires – the difference in speed was like night and day! Lastly, improving your own fitness and cycling technique through regular exercise and training can also contribute significantly to your bike speed.
What makes a bike a 10 speed?
A bike is referred to as a ’10-speed’ because of its combination of gears. It has two chainwheels and five freewheel sprockets which can be combined in 10 different ways to adjust the resistance and speed of the bike. I remember my first 10-speed. It was a metallic blue road bike I got from my sister. It opened up a whole new world of cycling for me, the various gear combinations allowing me to tackle steep hills and long distances with great ease. It’s these combinations which give you a broader range of gears you can use in different terrains and conditions.
What parts make a bike faster?
Multiple parts contribute to the speed of your bike. First, the tires play a significant role – thinner, lighter, and high-pressure tires often provide less resistance and increase speed. Second, the gears – a bike with more gears allows for a more adaptable cycling experience, helping you maintain an optimal cadence in various terrains. Third, the bike’s weight also has a direct impact on speed – a lighter bike requires less energy to move. Finally, aerodynamic components (like an aero frame, handlebars, or helmet) can lessen wind resistance, enabling you to ride faster. From my years of biking, investing in these parts is always a good decision – not only will you go faster, but your bike will also feel smoother and more responsive.
Why is my bike so slow?
You may find your bike moving slower than expected due to reasons like insufficient tire pressure, poor maintenance, or incorrect gear use. Ensuring your tires are correctly inflated according to the manufacturer’s recommendations can significantly improve your speed. Regular maintenance checks – such as brake alignment, chain lubrication, and gear adjustment – are critical for optimal running. Using the wrong gears can also slow you down – make sure you switch up and down as necessary to keep up with the terrain and your exertion levels. I once had a particularly slow ride where it felt like I was pedaling through mud, turns out my brake pads were rubbing on the wheels. A quick adjustment and I was back to speed in no time! Regular bike check-ups and practice with gearing can make a vast difference.