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  • Writer's pictureSwimBikeRun Fun

8 Easy Cycling Tips To Improve Your Speed & Strength

Updated: Aug 7, 2023

Getting faster in cycling - that's like the #1 goal of most cyclists and triathletes we know. That usually entails increasing average mph speeds, charging up hills without sucking wind, and keeping up with the pace line in a road bike group ride.

Black Female Cyclist in Pace Line Cycling Group Ride
Credit: Tamika Jackson, MTCC San Antonio

What you ride and where you ride matters as well.


This includes your bike. A road bike with drop handlebars and skinny wheels will typically go faster than a flat-bar hybrid bike with chunky rubber tires or an off-road mountain bike.


Where you ride also matters because hillier terrain, as well as riding into a headwind or in wet or tricky urban conditions, will always reduce your average speed compared to riding on smooth, paved roads and trails.


Looking to up your bike game or want to become a better cyclist? Read on...


8 Easy Cycling Tips To Get You Riding Faster & Stronger In All Conditions


8 Simple Cycling Training Strategies to Make You a Faster & Stronger Rider


1 - Cycling in Wind & Rain

  • Be careful in gusty winds and in rain. Avoid deep dish wheels and adjust tire pressure accordingly.

  • Deep section rims in windy conditions increases falling and control loss

  • Rainy conditions - lower your tire pressure by 10-15psi ( think 80-85 psi for safety)

  • Wind Direction - If the wind is strong and you have a choice, have the ride start heading into the wind for as far as you can go. Then turn around and relax on the trip home.

2 - Cycling with Headwind

  • Lower your chest when going into the wind and take advantage of the drops to lower your chest even further.

  • Increase your cadence/pedal stroke to decrease getting stuck/hit with gusts

  • Treat it like it's a hill and use targets to keep you motivated and pedaling

3 - Cycling with Tailwind

  • Ride more upright on your road bike when the wind is at your back, making your body into a sail to get free speed.

  • Remember to hydrate - since you will be going further faster naturally you can overheat cycling very quickly.

  • Have fun in the big chain ring and enjoy your free wind speed allowing you to clock increased miles per hour easily.


4 - Kits & Jerseys

  • Check what your clothing is doing. If it is billowing like a parachute, then it is causing a drag, slowing you down. Wear fitted clothing.

  • Loose bottoms can slow your pedaling down and cause chaffing. Wear fitted cycling bottoms.

  • FYI - Cool fits give you instant speeds and dope pics. Check Rebecca June out ⤵️

Female Triathlete Cyclist in Aero on Road Bike
Credit: Triathlete Rebecca June

5 - Cycling Footwear

  • Clip-ins (shoes that have cleats that connect to pedal) give you a physical advantage once you get used to them. The help with cycling efficiency.

  • If you were tennis shoes, use trail shoes or shoes with lugs under them that will help with keeping connected to pedal and avoid easy slips off (Nike shoes generally are too smooth).

6 - Riding Buddy

  • Find yourself a friend to ride with who is about your cycling level or a bit above. This will keep you pushing yourself, and rather not getting you discouraged that you begin to wonder why you are out here. Learn how to communicate with hand signals.

7 - Riding Schedule

  • Ride with that person on a regular schedule, make it a weekly commitment. This will make you less likely to skip a ride. And it’s more fun.

  • Riding frequently gives you instant speed boosts. Try to ride 1-2x per week at minimum.

8 - Gear Shifting

  • Read our blog on Cycling Tips for Riding Hills

  • Poor gear selection can also reduce speed. If you find yourself spinning before changing gears, or grinding a low gear as you approach a climb, you'll be exerting more effort than if your gear is appropriate for the terrain.

  • Learning to use your bike's gears, read the road ahead, and prepare for what's ahead can all help you ride faster.


 

Swim Bike Run Fun Club's blog is designed for riders of all levels and aims to educate women on how to become better cyclists, duathletes, triathletes, enjoy multisport events, endurance riding and racing.


Our small #Ladygang here in Austin likes to point out that our most memorable times have been when we were doing something together or with other female cyclists/triathletes.

Find yourself another female cyclist or triathlete, a friend that will go on adventures and sometimes do something stupid with you. This will be your forever cycling buddy.

Fun creates enthusiasm and energy and is a direct producer of accomplishments. The euphoric feeling you get from training and completing an endurance feat like a triathlon bleeds into other areas of your life.


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