One of the most important numbers for a cyclist is their average speed. It serves as a benchmark they can use to determine their performance while riding.
But, there are numerous variables that can affect your average speed. In a race, it’s mostly about how efficiently you can use your energy and unleash it when needed.
Here are some expert tips you should follow to ride faster and more efficiently.
Save Your Energy
Although it’s tempting to push the pace during a fresh start, it’s much smarter to ride halfway through the event while saving your energy for the second half. This will help you avoid the usually insufferable last few hours of a long race.
Riding wise and conservatively will improve your overall finish time as well. Ideally, keep your upper body as still as you can, so you can focus your entire energy on your pedal strokes.
Know When to Pedal
Professional cyclists pedal a lot more than amateurs, and that’s a fact. Of course, it also comes down to their fitness and technique. Being confident on your bike and reading the path ahead should help you pedal faster.
Clipless pedals that let you lock into your pedal using a cleat attached to your shoe, make a huge difference in pedaling efficiency. If you’re serious about going professional, then learning through a cycling coaching plan is the best way.
Don’t Use Brakes Too Often
It’s an obvious one, but having a faster descent going downhill gives you more momentum to keep going for a while and helps you cross part-way up the next hill. Starting a climb at a low speed will be much harder and time-consuming.
Knowing when you don’t need to use brakes comes with experience and the ability to accurately read the road ahead. Learning how to take corners faster, without too much of a drop in speed helps too.
Ride With Proper Cadence
Pedaling faster can help you ride faster than simply pedaling more can. Once you’re trained to pedal more quickly, you’ll get less strain on your muscles.
Cadence, the number of times you turn the pedals per minute, is crucial because mastering it could help your legs last longer. Ideally, you should be putting in 80-100 cranks per minute. Pushing a slow 65-70 will cause your muscles to tire out quicker, especially on climbs.
Travel With a Group
Riding with a group of cyclists is a great way to improve your technique and average speed. The sense of competition from being with other riders will help you keep going even when you’re tired and is one of the main advantages of cycling in a group.
The other crucial benefit is the drafting effect. If you’re unfamiliar, drafting is what occurs when you ride behind another cyclist, reducing the energy resistance you face.
Lighten the Load
For a long commute or a cycling tour, you’ll need the capability to carry a large load of stuff, including basic tools and a big water bottle. In order to efficiently carry a load while cycling is to let the bike carry it, not you.
Putting stuff in your pockets or wearing a backpack can slow you down significantly. Instead of doing that, it’s best to invest in panniers, a handlebar bag, or something like a seat-pack.