11 Tips for Riding Faster on a Road Bike

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If you’re trying to get faster on your road bike, we’ve compiled a list of our top eleven tips and tricks to help you along the way. 

There are many things that can impact your speed and performance on the roads, but it can be difficult to know where to start if you’re looking to improve your riding quality and pace. From gear changes to special techniques, Dolan is on hand to help you become a more efficient cyclist.

Get the right gear

One of the most important things you can do to improve your speed on a road bike is to have the best frame for your body and riding style. Our road bikes and frames all come with a measurement guide so that you can pick the perfect bike that matches your body. Dolan offers a professional bike fit service for you to get this just right.

Improve your cycling posture

Did you know that one of the easiest ways to improve your speed is to make sure that your posture is correct? A light grip with your elbows slightly bent and a straight back is a surefire way to improve your wind resistance and keep your speed up on the road. Practice your posture whilst riding each and every time you venture out to ensure that you’re riding in the best possible position. Over time, your speed will improve.  

Lighten the load

Choosing a bike frame that’s made from lightweight materials such as carbon is crucial if speed is your main priority.

Train regularly

You know what they say: practice makes perfect. This is also true when it comes to speed training. Your speed can always be improved by increasing your fitness levels. Whether you’re riding on the roads or in the gym, make sure you’re strength training regularly. If your goal is to ride faster for longer you can start by doing faster intervals with a short rest in between. Reducing the time you rest between intervals will eventually improve your durability at faster speeds. 

Perfect your riding technique 

Although strength training and endurance are big factors when it comes to riding faster on your road bike, the truth is that good technique can also influence your top speed. One of our top tips is to focus on smooth and efficient pedalling. A consistent cadence as well as seamless gear changes can also help. If you practice these things, you’ll up your speed in no time. 

Focus on nutrition and hydration

Maintaining a healthy diet and staying hydrated can do wonders for improving endurance and speed on a road bike. A light meal with a healthy source of protein is recommended before riding. While cycling you can focus more on carbohydrates.

Optimise with a power metre 

Used by athletes to determine the amount of power put behind your pedalling, power metres are great at keeping you informed about your riding power. By using a metre, you can track your progress, monitor your performance and identify any issues you may need to correct whilst trying to improve your speed. At their core, power metres can assist you with training and take your riding to the next level. 

Make sure you’re warming up properly

Warming up is just as important as training, especially if you’re riding every day. Not only can it help you prepare your body for a hard ride, but it can also help prepare you mentally. Warming up techniques we suggest trying out include light cardio, stretching your key muscles and breath work. These three techniques are key to preventing injuries, strains, and pulls.  

Use the right wheels 

Just as the right frame is important for your riding, wheels can also influence the way in which you ride. Whether you’re a city cyclist or an avid racer, choosing the right wheels can help you improve your speed. Dolan offers a range of wheels for different bike types, so you can rest assured that we have you covered if you’re looking to go faster! 

Maintain your bike 

Regular cleaning and maintenance of your bike can help keep your performance at a peak and is essential when it comes to riding faster on a road bike. Regular maintenance tasks can include cleaning, lubrication of the bike chain, tyre checks, tightening any loose bolts or screws, and cleaning any mud from your mudguards to ensure a smooth and efficient ride each and every time. 

Work on your cadence 

Your cadence is the speed at which you pedal. Cadence is one of the major factors that influence how fast you ride, so it’s important to train and improve your cadence if your main goal is speed. As a general rule, a higher cadence will help you cover more distance in less time and can reduce the strain on your legs as your ride. To improve your cadence, it’s best to practice riding at higher revolutions per minute (RPM).