How to Cycle Faster?

How to cycle faster?

Follow these 20 easy tips to cycle faster than ever!

Cycling has to be one of the most fun activities a person can do. If you cycle long and fast, you can even burn hundreds of calories in a single cycling session. 

While distance is something you can easily map out, how to cycle faster?

In this article, we provide the top tips that can help you cycle fast and strong, without feeling fatigued too soon. 

But before that, let’s just understand what a “good” speed looks like.

How fast should you cycle?

How fast you should cycle depends on a number of factors, such as:

- How many years you’ve been cycling

- Type of terrains you typically cycle on – ascents & descents, technical difficulty

- Time of riding – morning vs evening vs night

- Total distance you are going

- The weather and wind speed on the day of cycling

- Your age, gender and menstruation cycle (if applicable)

- Any illnesses or other medical condition

- Type of cycle – pedal vs electric, with or without gear, number of gears, etc.

- Type of nutrition and hydration you consume en route

Depending on these factors, a “good speed” can be as follows:

- Beginners – 8mph - 12mph (13km/h - 19km/h)

- Intermediate - 13mph -16mph (20km/h - 26km/h)

- Expert - 17mph -24mph (27km/h - 39km/h)

- Professional – Anything above 24mph or 40km/h

Now let’s look at the tips on how to cycle faster than these times for your unique performance level.

How to Cycle Faster?

20 Tips to follow to cycle faster

Make a mental note of these the next time you head out for a ride!

How to Cycle Faster?

1. Use a city bike and a trail bike to train on

 While a trail bike is great for endurance training, a city bike is built for speed. 

Practicing on both can help you experiment with different speed levels, getting faster over time.

How to Cycle Faster?

2. Don’t go solo – go with others

When you cycle in a group, you have external motivation to keep up with the faster members of your group. 

You won’t slow down unconsciously because someone is always keeping you on track.

3. Use a mobile app or a smartwatch to keep track of your speed

Mobile apps like Strava and Bike Tracker or your smart watch can help you keep track of your speed splits across kilometres/miles, thereby helping you maintain your speed, speed-up, or pull-back as needed.

4. Keep pedaling 

Constantly pedaling will give you the consistent speed you need to keep increasing speed in increments.

5. Use the descent speed to propel you on the ascent

The speed you naturally pick up while on a descent, can be used to propel you further both on an ascent and on a flat road. 

Use the descent to your advantage by picking up speed.

6. Try to increase your cadence 

The cadence refers to how many pedal revolutions you make per minute. 

Most advanced smartwatches such as Garmin, have the technology to calculate your approximate cadence. 

You can use this information to increase your cadence to gain speed.

How to Cycle Faster?

7. Take advantage of the cycle’s gears 

Your cycle’s gears are there to make your life easier. So, why not use them to make your ride faster? 

As you practice on different terrains, experiment with the gears to see which ones make you faster, and then use the gears regularly.

How to Cycle Faster?

8. Plan your pre-cycling meals with care

Eat meals that don’t cause gas or discomfort to you during the ride. It is this gas that can make you sluggish. 

Best practice dictates that you avoid alcohol a few days before the ride and eat healthy, nutrient-rich meals that sit well with your body.

How to Cycle Faster?

9. Get the correct nutrition every 45 minutes

Experts say that when you’re doing a long-distance workout, it's important to get nutrition every 45 minutes. This could include half a power bar or a packet of power gel. 

It could also include a bunch of almonds or anything that is high in protein. 

Keep a bottle or two of energy drink as well and keep taking a large sip every 10-15 minutes. 

This will give you the energy to keep riding fast consistently.

10. Hydrate before, during and after

Water is essential to healing faster after workouts and it's integral to your performance too. 

Experts say that you need on average 0.14mL–0.27 mL of water per minute, per kilogram of body weight on any rides that go long or are very fast. 

Tour de France athletes have been observed drinking as many as 10 large bottles of water during their race. 

Use that as a measure to determine how much you should drink.

How to Cycle Faster?

11. Do strength training regularly 

Strength training increases your endurance, allowing you to not only maintain your speed but to pick it up easily without feeling fatigued. 

At least 2-3 strength workouts of 20-30 minutes are a must each week.

How to Cycle Faster?

12.  Do yoga and swimming for flexibility and core strength 

When your core is strong and your muscles and joints are flexible, there are fewer chances of on-ride injury. 

You’ll experience fewer sprains and will be able to maintain a strong posture that allows you to cycle faster.

13. Include fartlek and interval training in your cycling plans

Both fartlek and interval training are speed workouts. 

You should include both types of workouts in your cycling schedule. 

The more you experiment with different speeds and the sooner you learn how to rest without slowing down, the easier it is to pick up more speed.

How to Cycle Faster?

14. Train your micro-muscles through trail cycling and trail running 

Your micro muscles can tear when you work out. 

This isn’t a bad thing most times, since these microtears actually stimulate healing in the body. Your body releases vital nutrients and vitamins, which improve your musculature. 

This can make your muscles stronger, allowing you to push yourself to become faster. 

Trail riding and trail running are two ways to build micro-muscle strength.

15. Get your bike serviced every few weeks 

A cycle that is in good working condition can automatically reduce half the challenges that slow you down. 

Change the tires, check the air, fix the brakes, and oil your cycle regularly.

How to Cycle Faster?

16. Wear the right type of clothes

Clothes that are made of spandex or elastane, polyester and nylon, are lightweight and reduce drag when cycling. 

This can automatically make you faster. 

Plus, choose clothes that have anti-sweat technology (such as the Dri-Fit). 

If your clothes dry faster, they won’t bog you down when you sweat during the ride.

17. Get into the right mindset before and during the ride

Cycling – just like any endurance sport – is often a question of mind over matter. 

So, it's important to get yourself mentally ready to ride at your fastest. 

Practice meditation before the ride and say positive affirmations to yourself during the ride to hype yourself up.

How to Cycle Faster?

18. Spend time stretching

When you stretch properly, you avoid injuries when cycling and get your muscles and joints ready for the speed and distance. 

Make sure to stretch properly for 15-20 minutes before and after the ride each.

19. Choose the right shoes

The shoes you choose will help you maintain good posture while cycling. 

You can avoid pronation, supination, and knee injuries by wearing the right shoes. 

Get a tread test done at your local sports shoes shop to find the perfect shoe for you.

20. Rest when needed

Finally, remember that rest is your friend. You don’t have to be “on” all the time. 

Sometimes, the best way to pick up speed is to stop, take a rest, and start again.

We hope you found these tips useful!

Try them out and let us know if they have helped you in improving your cycling indeed ;)

All the best!

How to Cycle Faster?

Written by: jason tan

Cycling digital sports leader, decathlon singapore

Onwards and upwards!

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