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Beginner Cycling

How can I best increase my cycling speed?

asked about 4 years ago | Report

I haven't been doing this for very long, but I feel like I'm going incredibly slow. Is there any sort of exercises I can do that'll help me increase my speed or upgrades I can do for my bike (other than clips)? I'm not a competitive cyclists, but I want to avoid getting hit by an impatient driver.

7 answers

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  • Can I ask a couple of questions to better help you

    What kind of bike do you have?

    Do you have a bike trainer?

    What speed are you riding at now?

    Is there a local bike club in your town?

    answered about 4 years ago |Report

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  • It's okay to feel slow when you are a beginner, so don't worry so much about getting faster.
    In my opinion, after checking your profile, your main limiting factor at the moment is base fitness. The best way to improve your fitness is just doing more of the given activity. So basically, just ride more! Keep it simple and just work on riding more.

    answered about 4 years ago |edited about 4 years ago |Report

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  • The best way to get faster on a bicycle is to keep riding your bicycle. If you are nervous about traffic, you might want to find a walking/bicycle path to ride on. In terms of the bicycle, there is no single part you can replace that will make much difference. The big thing is having the right bike for the right kind of riding. If you have a mountain bike with fat knobby tires, you can replace the tires, which will help some, but you will always be slow on roads compared to how fast you would be going on a road bike. If you have a cruiser, it will never be a speed demon either. I don’t think going faster will help you much with traffic though.
    If the speed limit is 30 mph, the only time even a well trained cyclist on a good road bike will be able to keep up with traffic, is on the down-hills. Otherwise, whether you are doing 23 mph on a flat road with a road bike, or 13 mph with a mountain bike, the motorists will still have to go around you. Even if you are going the speed limit, motorists still seem to feel an overwhelming urge to pass a bicycle when they see one on the road. I’ve been cruising down hills at 40 mph where the speed limit is 35, so I move into the vehicle lane because there is too much trash on the shoulders to try to dodge when going that fast. Despite the fact that I’m already speeding, I’ve still had drivers pull into the oncoming lane to pass and angrily shout profanities at me as they go by.

    answered about 4 years ago |Report

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  • well whats your averge pace? i try to averge between 16 - 18 mph, which is very slow compared to some riders on here, but then some people think its fast.... the only thing thats gonna make you faster is training, the more you ride the stronger you get and it will make you faster. no bike upgrade will help ( unless you have an old junk bike where all your bearings are shot and everything is rusty, then upgrades would help LOL)

    and no matter how fast you go, people in cars are gonna fly by you, even if your going over the speed limit.

    answered about 4 years ago |Report

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  • ok i looked at your profile, and your pace is between about 7mph-9mph. which is not bad, but what kind of bike you have is a huge factor, if its a commuter bike thats a single speed ( i say that cause i noticed your from MN like me, and the minneapolis scene like to ride single speed bikes LOL) if your riding that its much harder to go fast. or if its a mtb, your speed is not gonna be as high as on a road bike. but honestly whatever you ride, you just have to push your self and keep riding, if you keep riding a few miles a few times a week, you will notice your going faster in a few months......keeping track of your pace and time on this site, will really help to motivate you. just try to beat your last workout.

    answered about 4 years ago |Report

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  • Ride lots of long slow distances at a high cadence (90-95rpm, 15 revolutions every 10s or so), and a couple days a week do some hard hill intervals or sprinting on flat ground in a bigger gear. It will take some time but eventually you'll feel more power in the legs. Run skinny tires at as high a pressure as you can safely run as well, this will help to reduce rolling resistance.

    answered about 4 years ago |Report

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  • Go to the gym and do leg presses/squats and calf lifts. Also log some miles on a stationary bike. Hopefully your gym will have the kind with user selectable ride profiles so you get a good workout, not just a smooth ride.

    Get a proper fit on the bike. Good cycling shops offer a fitting service to be sure your bike is setup for your personal geometry. Small changes in setup equate to better speed and/or more comfort.

    Wear proper shoes. A change from "tennis" shoes to riding shoes will give you better speed. Riding shoes are stiffer and do a better job of transferring your pedaling energy. Also, your feet will hurt less. I bought a pair of Shimano MTB shoes and my speed went up about 1-1.5mph and my feet haven't hurt since. You can install the clips later if you decide to go that way.

    As for as avoiding impatient drivers...that's a tough one. Currently there is a war going on between cyclists and drivers. Drivers believe they OWN the road and cyclists are a nuisance. The fact is, our government recently officially declared the roads are NOT owned by drivers!

    Routing can make a big difference in your riding experience. If you're cycling somewhere, take the road less traveled. Also be visible, be VERY visible! Wear bright colors and a bright helmet. Also carry a small, handheld boating airhorn. It can really wake people up!

    answered about 4 years ago |Report

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