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8 Tips To Ride Your Bike Faster by Francis Cade

8 Tips To Ride Your Bike Faster by Francis Cade

You've been cycling regularly for a while and you've just chosen a big event to tackle in a few months. It's time to crank up your training, right? Well, not exactly. While increasing your training volume is important, making large, unsustainable changes can actually hinder your progress. Here are eight practical tips to help you get faster without burning out.

1. Add Little by Little

Consistency is key in training. Instead of making drastic changes, gradually increase your training volume. If you’re riding a couple of times a week, try adding an extra 10 minutes to each session. This could mean an extra loop on your commute or getting up 10 minutes earlier for your turbo session. Small, sustainable changes will have a significant impact over time.

2. Regular, Short Rides Over Long, Sporadic Sessions

Doing five individual 30-minute rides during the week is often more beneficial than one 2.5-hour ride. The human body responds well to regular exercise, and frequent shorter sessions help maintain a state of recovery and readiness. This approach also fits better into a busy lifestyle and helps build lasting habits.

3. Fuel Properly

Cycling sessions, especially longer ones, require proper fueling. Always bring food if your ride exceeds an hour. This can be simple items like a banana, a jam sandwich, or even some candy. Aim for 60 to 100 grams of carbohydrates per hour to keep your energy levels up and avoid hitting the wall, also known as "bonking."

4. Optimize Your Bike Position

A good aerodynamic position on the bike can make a huge difference. Consider experimenting with a lower torso angle and a smaller frontal area. You can achieve this by adjusting your stem, reducing spacers, or even trying narrower handlebars. While comfort might be slightly compromised, the speed gains can be significant.

5. Leverage Equipment for Aero Gains

Investing in aerodynamic equipment can offer substantial benefits. Tighter fitting clothing, aero socks, shoe covers, and aero helmets are some of the options. While these can be expensive, they are effective. However, always focus on optimizing your bike position first, as it offers the best return on investment.

6. Master Drafting

Drafting, or riding close behind another cyclist, can save a significant amount of energy—between 27% to 50%. This is a skill that can be developed with practice. Start with a larger gap and gradually decrease it as you become more comfortable. Drafting is especially beneficial at higher speeds but can also help at moderate paces.

7. Set Clear Goals

Without a goal, it’s easy to lose focus. Setting clear, achievable goals keeps you motivated and on track. Your goals could range from completing your first 100 km ride, hitting a specific power target, or cycling every day for a month. Regularly achieving these goals not only boosts your fitness but also builds confidence.

8. Create a Sustainable Training Routine

Your training routine should be manageable and sustainable. Overloading yourself can lead to burnout and injuries. By incorporating small, regular training sessions and allowing adequate recovery time, you’ll maintain consistency and steadily improve your fitness levels.


Getting faster at cycling doesn’t require massive, immediate changes. By making small, consistent adjustments to your training routine, fueling properly, optimizing your bike setup, and setting clear goals, you can improve your performance without burning out. Remember, the key is to ride regularly and enjoy the process.

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