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Tips and tricks on how to cycle faster

Updated on March 18, 2013

How to cycle faster without having to lose weight

So you want to know how to cycle faster without having to lose weight or increasing your fitness and stamina? Surely this is too good to be true, right? Wrong. Believe it or not, there are some things you can do to help you cycle faster without having to embark on a boring diet and lose weight, however shedding a few pounds will ultimately help you cycle faster as well.

Knowing how to cycle faster involves knowing what to wear and what not to wear (yep, what you wear does make a difference to your cycling speed), cycling and pedalling technique and how to prepare your road bike to get the most speed out of it.

If you want to know what my tips and tricks are on how to cycle faster without having to diet and lose some excess pounds please check out this article since it contains some useful information to let you know how to cycle faster.

How to cycle faster - Purchase a light weight wheelset

First on my list of how to cycle faster is to replace your wheel set. The wheels supplied with most road bikes are heavy, cumbersome and don't have top quality bearings. If you want to cycle faster you need to ditch the standard wheels and buy a strong and lightweight wheel set. These wheel sets aren't only lightweight they also look really cool too.

Changing the wheel set is the first thing most people do to their road bikes and I highly recommend this being the first thing you do.

Aeromax Alloy Wheelset

If you want a budget set of road bike wheels take a look at these. The Aeromax alloy wheelset are and excellent set of wheels for any road bike. With 24 spoke rims these wheels are bomb proof and can take a lot of punishment and weight and not buckle or break, which is surprising given the overall weight of just over 2kg (873g front/1158g rear).

These wheels will fit any road bike with a Shimano 7,8,9 or 10 speed group set, so if you run Shimano gearing these wheels will fit your road bike.

The Aeromax Alloy wheelset are finished in matt black and will enhance the way your road bike looks. So, with this wheelset your road bike will be faster and also look uber cool too.

One of the best things about the Aeromax wheelset is the price and with Amazon offering such a great deal on these wheels you get a lot of bang for your buck, so get on over to Amazon and check them out. Who knows how long they are going to be available for at this price?

How to cycle faster - Change your tires

Next on the how to cycle faster to do list is to change your tires. The less rubber in contact with the road the faster you will be as there is less rolling resistance. There is a trade off though as the less rubber on the road the harsher the ride will be. The secret is to find the narrowest tires you can that give you the level of comfort you want.

Michelin Krylion tires

I have used several different brands and models of racing tires over the years but my favourite, and the ones I am using today, are the Michelin Krylion. These awesome tires have a low rolling resistance, are quiet on the road and are fast. Boy, are these tires fast. The Michelin Krylion tires have a rim of carbon inside which helps against punctures. I ride on some pretty rubbish roads and I can honestly say that punctures are seldom a problem with Michelin Krylion tires.

How to cycle faster - Add some carbon fibre components

As I am sure you are aware weight is a big factor in speed, therefore the next tip in how to cycle faster without having to lose weight is to shed some excess pounds. "But surely this involves dieting right?" Wrong. Rather than you shedding the weight you need to make your road bike shed the weight.

Steel is very strong however it is also heavy and cumbersome, and your road bike is full of steel components. Carbon fibre is a material that is just as strong as steel but it is lightweight and there are loads of carbon fibre components available. One of the easiest ways of getting some weight off your road bike is to swap some of the steel components for carbon fibre components.

It is possible to buy a full carbon fibre frame, which is ultra lightweight and strong but also very expensive. If you have the funds available the carbon fibre frame is the way to go but if you don’t have that sort of money laying around there are other carbon fibre components you can buy.

Nashbar Carbon Road Bike Fork
Nashbar Carbon Road Bike Fork

One of the most popular carbon fibre components is the front forks and they don't come much better than these Nashbar forks, that are lightweight, strong and also affordable.

 
JRFOTO Bicycle Bike Full Carbon Fiber Road Handlebar 31.8mm X 440mm By JRFOTO HBC02
JRFOTO Bicycle Bike Full Carbon Fiber Road Handlebar 31.8mm X 440mm By JRFOTO HBC02

How about some carbon fibre drop handle bars for the ultimate weight saving? These also look uber cool too and are well worth investing in.

 

How to cycle faster - Change to clipless pedals

Next on the how to cycle faster to do list is to change the pedals to clipless ones. To cycle fast you need to improve your pedalling efficiency, and the most efficient way to pedal is to push down with one foot whilst pulling up with the other foot, and the only way of doing this is to lock your feet in to your pedals using clipless pedals.

Clipless pedals also weigh less than standard pedals therefore clipless pedals offer a weight saving too, which is all good.

Shimano PD-5700 105 road bike pedals

There are many different types of clipless pedals available, however my clipless pedals of choice are the Shimano 105 pedals. These pedals are small, lightweight and very tough, which means they are built to last. The clipping in mechanism is smooth and slick and the tensioner works exceptionally well. Out of all the clipless pedals I have owned over the years, and I have owned many, the Shimano 105 pedals are by far the best, and they are also affordable too.

How to cycle faster - Invest in some decent cycling shoes

If you use clipless pedals you are going to need some cycling specific shoes to go with them, so next on the how to cycle faster to do list is to invest in a good pair of cycling specific shoes.

Cycling specific shoes are stiff (which helps with pedalling efficiency), fully breathable (which will keep your feet nice and cool), narrow enough to accept shoe covers (so your feet will be warm in winter) and comfortable (which means you can wear them all day long with no problems) so they are better to cycle in than any other type of footwear.

Shimano SH-R077 cycling shoes

Shimano are well known for making top quality cycling accessories and the Shimano SH-R077 cycling shoes are no different. Having tried many types of cycling shoe over the years I can honestly say these are my cycling shoes of choice and I am not going to buy anything else.

The Shimano SH- R077 cycling shoes are tough, durable and very well made. They are also fully breathable and very comfortable to wear all day long. It is difficult to walk in these shoes off the bike, but this is the same with all road bike shoes so this is not a reason to mark the Shimano SH-R077 shoes down.

These Shimano cycle shoes are very well priced. These cycle shoes aren't the cheapest cycle shoes available but they are worth every cent and the quality of these shoes is better than that of more expensive cycling shoes, so you don't get a lot for your money with these.

If you are looking for a pair of cycling shoes I highly recommend the Shimano SH-R077 cycle shoes and would not be without mine.


Just remember in order to use the Shimano SH-R077 cycling shoes you are going to need some cleats.

How to cycle faster - Wear the right clothing

Next on my list of how to cycle faster to do list is to wear the right clothing. That's right, what you wear whilst out on a ride will affect your speed, and if you wear the wrong type of clothing your speed will be affected. Big, baggy clothing acts as a sail, which is fine if you have a tail wind, but if you are riding head to wind, or there is no wind at all big and baggy clothing will slow you down.

Cycle clothing should be nice and tight so it doesn't catch the wind. Cycle clothing also needs to be comfortable as the more comfortable you are, the better you will feel and the faster you will ride. Cycling specific clothing, which has a high percentage of lycra is by far the best clothing for cycling fast but if you don't feel comfortable in lycra any tight clothing will suffice, provided it is padded in the right areas.

As well as being tight cycling clothing needs to be padded to prevent saddle soreness and numb limbs.

Pearl iZUMi Men's Escape Quest Shorts, Black, Large
Pearl iZUMi Men's Escape Quest Shorts, Black, Large

If you suffer from saddle soreness you will be uncomfortable, which means you won't cycle fast. A padded pair of cycling shorts prevents saddle soreness, which means you will be comfortable, which means you will cycle faster. The Pear iZumi Quest cycling shorts are a top selling pair of padded cycle shorts and it is easy to see why. These shorts are simply awesome.

 
Pearl Izumi Men's Quest Jersey, Black/White, Large
Pearl Izumi Men's Quest Jersey, Black/White, Large

A cycling specific jersey is tight fitting and will not catch the wind, hence you can cycle faster in one. The Pearl iZumi Quest jersey is a top rated cycle jersey (available in many different colours) and is a great match for the Pearl iZumi padded cycling shorts.

 
Pearl iZUMi Men's Select Glove, Black, Large
Pearl iZUMi Men's Select Glove, Black, Large

A good quality pair of cycling gloves will prevent numb hands, which means you will be comfortable, which means you will cycle faster. The Pearl iZumi cycling gloves are a popular and top rated pair of cycling gloves that are comfortable and affordable.

 
Pearl iZUMi Attack Sock 3-Pack,Black,Medium
Pearl iZUMi Attack Sock 3-Pack,Black,Medium

Cycling specific socks will wick away sweat and keep your feet feeling cool and fresh. The Pearl iZumi cycle socks are awesome and not too expensive either.

 

If you have any comments, thoughts, opinions, rants or raves please feel free to note them in my guestbook. Similarly, if you have any other "How to cycle faster" yips and tricks please do share the here.

I welcome your comments

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    • Erin Mellor profile image

      Erin Mellor 

      5 years ago from Europe

      Get out and ride more often is the best tip for faster cycling, along with doing some core strength work off the bike. I like to challenge myself to do a bit better before I get my next cycling 'treat' like slicker tyres, or lighter components. It helps keep me motivated.

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