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How To Increase Cycling Speed

Updated on August 6, 2012
CyclingFitness profile image

Liam Hallam is a sports science graduate. A keen cyclist, runner, and obstacle racer, he ran his first ultra-marathon in 2016.

A few changes and you could become a faster cyclist whatever your fitness level
A few changes and you could become a faster cyclist whatever your fitness level | Source

Tip to build cycling speed

We would all like to be able to cycle faster on our bicycle and there is an amazing buzz that comes with faster cycling whether you're riding a competitive time trial or simply riding on a local group ride. We want to be faster to beat our personal best times, be able to win a bike race like Mark Cavendish or simply be able to keep up with our friends.

We all want to be a faster bike rider. Here's how to increase your cycling speed.


Stop staring at your heart rate monitor to go quicker on your bicycle

Faster cycling tip 1- Ignore the heart rate monitor

We all know someone that's obsessed by the numbers on their heart rate monitor. Sadly forcing yourself to a set maximum heart rate can really hold you back.

As well as frustrating the people you're riding with (as you can get left behind if the pace rises) it stops your body adjusting and compensating to increased intensity efforts while you're cycling.

Unless your doctor has advised you for medical terms not to allow your heart rate to rise beyond a certain point- don't worry excessively over your heart rate when riding with others. If you're out training on your own and doing a specific training session you can concentrate on training for heart rate while cycling.

Ride with stronger riders to be a faster cyclist

Faster riding tip 2- Cycle with stronger riders

It's great to get out and simply ride your bike however just riding along will not simply make you a faster cyclist

Look at getting out and riding with riders who are stronger than yourself. It will push you to work harder at times just hanging on to a riders' wheel. Whether it's on a local group, chain-gang ride or even a road race. Training and racing with stronger riders will help to make you a become a faster cyclist.

Stick on a stronger riders' wheel to get faster on your bike

Increase your cycling speed to be able to stay ahead of the bunch like this Landale rider. Consider road racing to help you become a faster cyclist
Increase your cycling speed to be able to stay ahead of the bunch like this Landale rider. Consider road racing to help you become a faster cyclist | Source

Test your cycling speed and fitness- Try a time trial event

Increasing speed tip 3- Race your way to faster bicycling

A great way to test how fast you can you ride a bike is to ride a local time trial event. Some people love the competitive element of fastening a number to your jersey and riding as hard as you can for 10 miles (or whatever your local event distance is). Time Trials are a fantastic introduction to to competitive side of cycling while being open to almost all.

Once you've done one time trial you'll be hooked and want to try another. Or you could use them as a stepping stone to triathlon type events- why limit yourself with just trying to be a faster cyclist!

Getting involved in riding time trial events will help you learn how to increase your cycling speed while meeting new friends who are involved in the sport. Local time trial events attract a wealth of local riders who will be able to provide knowledge, assistance and the opportunity to expand your cycling horizons.

You might even want to consider some specific time trial training to help you ride a faster time trial cycling event.

Try a time trial to see how fast you can ride

Time trial cycling events are a great test of your cycling speed and a great way to meet other local cyclists
Time trial cycling events are a great test of your cycling speed and a great way to meet other local cyclists | Source

Lose some weight to help increase your cycling speed (especially uphill)

Faster cycling tip 4- Lighter equals faster

Weight can be a restrictive element in increasing your velocity. If you're looking to go faster on a bike you could go out and speed an obscene amount of money on the lightest possible bike that's been raced in the Tour De France. While cyclists love a new bike it's not always financially efficient to lower your collective cycling mass by spending $10,000 on a new bike which is maybe 5 pounds lighter than your current steed when with a little extra effort with your diet you could quite easily lose just as much weight- if not significantly more.

You'll notice any weight loss more in terms of your speed when you cycle uphill as gravity can pull less of your bodyweight downwards.

Try something new to improve as a cyclist

Mountain biking is a great alternative to help you stay on track with your training or simply if you want to try something different
Mountain biking is a great alternative to help you stay on track with your training or simply if you want to try something different | Source

Get out of that routine to become a better cyclist

Faster (less boring) cycling tip 5- Mix it up!

We all thrive on routine, however the body gets used to a routine too quickly so it's vital to keep your body guessing and keep things fresh to maximise your cycling potential. Sometimes we get a little bored when things are the same each ride you do.

Strong riders on the flat tend to like riding on the flatlands. Good climbers head for the hills. That's great but the climber could potentially limiting their ability on the flat roads.

There are always options you can take to mix it up. Why not consider some cyclocross racing over the winter or even some mountain biking. Both are significantly different to road cycling but teach you great bike handling skill development to be able to corner faster and be able to handle rugged surfaces.

Comments

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    • CyclingFitness profile imageAUTHOR

      Liam Hallam 

      6 years ago from Nottingham UK

      Thanks introducecroatia. Falling off is definitely not a way of increasing cycling speed! CF

    • IntroduceCroatia profile image

      Ante Rajic 

      6 years ago from Croatia

      Nice tips, been reading a bike since I was 6, I still remember the times when I fall .

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