February 25, 2020 4 min read

10 Ways To Be Faster On  Your Bike Without Training More


  1. Clean Your Bike

You already know that dirt and grit will gum up and wear down your chain so you are familiar with the concept at least of keeping your drive train clean in the summer ride season. But all those hourse you’re spending on your bike indoors take their toll on your bike too. You’ve noticed the sweat soaking your clothes and dripping onto the floor underneath you but not all your sweat made it to the floor.  And dried sweat turns to fine salt which can be abrasive to everything it touches.  It’s been a solid 5 months of indoor riding now and countless sweat-soaked jerseys.   It’s time to show your bike a little love after all those hours of sweat.

  1. Lube the chain

You know that a well-oiled machine runs better and your bike is no different.  Together with a clean drive train, a properly lubed chain will run more efficiently. You’ll lose fewer of those preciously watts of power to mechanical inefficiency.

3. Get a tune up

A lot of our customers bring a bike in for a tune up when they hear a sound or a noise that you don’t think your bike should be making.  An unusual noise can indicates friction somewhere, meaning something is scrubbing off speed, causing loss of power.  In addition to a thorough detailing of your bike, we’ll work to identify the problem and fix.

4.  Get a bike fit

As simple as it sounds, you will ride faster and longer if you are more comfortable on your bike.  And the most aero position in the world won’t make you faster if you can’t hold it. A bike fit at Element involves you as the rider in the process. Our goal is to work with you to find the best position for you to maintain and maximize power while being able to also maintain that position.  And we also know that bike fit is not a static thing – it changes as your training and fitness level changes.  We include a few follow ups and touch ups through a season in order to help you adjust to the fit.

  1. Make your bike more aero.

Anything you can do to reduce the aerodynamic drag of your bike will translate into more efficient conversion of your pedalling power into making your bike go faster for you.   Probably the least cost way to make your bike more aero is to drop the front end – you can swap out a stem for not much cost or effort. Whether you can hold that more aero position is another matter.  Other ways to get more aero:

  • Add aerobars
  • Add aero wheels
  1. Make yourself more aero

Simply adding an aero helmet and more aero clothing will help you ride faster. Aero helmet and clothing reduce aerodynamic drag as you push your bike down the road.  Less drag means fewer watts of power are lost.  There are a few different styles of aero helmets and some work better on different people than others.  We can help you assess how different aero helmets work with your aero profile to help you reap the potential benefits.  As for aero clothing, a tighter, next-to-skin fit is the first and easy thing to do.  When you hear your clothes flapping in your wake, that is a sure sign that your clothes are literally holding you back.  There are lots of garments with aerodynamic features that make them slippery to the air but they will cost you extra, for sure.  At any price, aero clothing needs to be properly fitted in order to do its job.  

  1. Properly fuel yourself when you ride

This one’s 100% on you: fuelling yourself properly will give your more energy and better energy distribution through your ride.  Fuel your ride in order to keep riding strong. 

  1. Use Proper Tire pressure

Proper tire pressure is not a constant as the optimum tire pressure is based on many factors, some of them more subjective than others.

  • Too high tire pressure can cause the tires to lose contact or have a smaller contact point with the road.
  • Lower tire pressure results in a larger contact patch with the road, result in more momentum, better grip and more secure cornering.
  • Rougher roads, and I’m sure Edmonton it not alone in this, suggest a lower tire pressure will be more forgiving, both in terms of comfort and security.
  • Rider weight is another factor: a lighter rider can ride with lower tire pressure.
  • Tires have changed and there are more options. Different rubber compounds and different tire and rim profiles perform better at lower tire pressure than the technology 20 years ago.
  1. Make your bike more efficient

Optimal gearing, better quality components, even chain and cables can make a difference.  Like anything else, bike components aren’t all created equal. Efficient chain and cable lines can also improve the mechanical efficiency of your bike.

  1. Lose weight

We are not at all fat shaming here – this is about your bike!  Generally speaking, a lighter bike will be faster than a heavy one.  The hillier your cycling route, the more benefit you’ll get on a lighter bike. 

Elise Gaudet
Elise Gaudet

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