How to Bike Quickly!

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Introduction: How to Bike Quickly!

Hello and welcome to my first instructable! This is a brief instructable that I created to help others bike quickly. You don't need a fancy bike, spandex (ew), or anything besides your normal every day clothes to bike quickly!

Step 1: Preparing Your Bike...

Some people may find biking in jeans difficult, and if you seriously can't, then don't. I just wear a regular t-shirt with shorts. You don't even need to bike every day!

Alwayts make sure to get a tune-up every once in a while. Lie your bike down on its side. Spin both wheels, and make sure there is no scraping sound. This means your brakes are too tight, which may slow you down significantly. Also oil your bike occasionally, you don't need to do it that much. DO NOT USE WD-40 ON YOUR BIKE CHAIN!!! THAT WILL DAMAGE IT!!! Just buy a small bottle of bike oil from a local shop.

Ok, now that's over with.

Step 2: Clothes to Wear!

If you feel comfortable biking in it, wear it while biking! Make sure you wear good shoes!

Step 3: Biking!

The key to biking quickly is...

PEDAL!!!

Do not coast. Pedal! Even when you are going down hills, PEDAL!

Ok, I hope that was emphasized enough.

Also, bike at least a few days a week. If you don't have a gear bike (I hope you do), get one. If you are pedaling and your speed is not increasing, get a bike with more gears. I recommend a 21 speed bike, if not more. Use the highest gear whenever possible, even when going up hills. This is difficult to achieve, but with practice, biking quickly up steep hills becomes much easier. Also, bike using a route that gives you time to pick up speed before going up hills. But when biking fast, remember to brake! I know when speeding down a hill at 35 mph, you don't want to stop at the stop sign or traffic light ahead. But you could get seriously injured if a car is coming, or lose serious cash if a cop is near. Also, always bike on the right side of the road (in the U.S.) to best avoid collisions. To increase speed before going up a hill, stand up on your bike at your highest speed. This allows you to bike easily up steep hills. Also, I've done some tests with some of my friends. We noted that the higher the seat, the faster you bike (well, as long as you can still touch the ground). A good height is to have your feet just touching the ground. This is crucial when you are stopped at a red light or at a stop sign. It is good to pedal with the balls of your feet, also. Don't pedal with your heels. I know it seems difficult to ride up hills on high gears, but with practice, it increases the speed greatly.

The image below is of my bike. Well, that's not my bike, but it is the same type and all. A good bike at not a bad price, the cost was under $300.

Step 4: Thank You!

Thank you! I hope you enjoyed my first instructable! Remember to practice! If you follow these steps, you will achieve!

Please vote for this in the bike contest!

Images courtesy of Google.

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    57 Discussions

    Tyres are important. Put on narrower tyres, the narrower the better. Unless you're doing some rough off-road, super fat tyres just cause excess drag. Narrower tyres need to be pumped up to a higher pressure and have much less rolling resistance but are also less comfortable as they give a slightly harder ride. For normal road use, go with the narrowest tyres your rims will take.

    Also, on cheap bikes which are designed for easy cycling, the top gear isn't fast enough which means either putting on a larger front chainwheel or a smaller rear socket or buying a bike with bigger wheels.

    Also, don't buy a bike with suspension if you don't need it. It only adds weight and saps away energy if all you're doing is riding roads. Buy a bike that is appropriate to your riding, not one that's cheap, chainstore heavy or fashionable and get it set-up properly for you.

    Actually, seat height relative to "your feet touching the ground" is irrelevant. seat height in relation to bottom bracket height is more informative. Mountain bikes (esp suspension bikes) and true track bikes, will have high bottom brackets to permit cornering at speed and prevent obstacle collisions.

    2 replies

    yo dude just like to point out that the nicer the bike the lower the bb will be, for example my knona operator supreme, i have a super low bottom bracket because the center of gravity is lower throu corners. its like the same idea as a "athletic stance" when you play other sports like volley ball for example a lower centre of gravity is more stable. how ever in some bike (dirt jumpers) ar slightly higher bb's and not nearly as long of a chainstay, this allows more pop off lips as well as manuals easier and more reactive. also you will see rise bars like bmx bars and dirt jumpers that nimbles up the front end more dh riders are starting up high bars now also.

    also with my dirt jump bike i have 1 gear but can outbike most people, except road bikers becayse their animals, also my 9,000$ bike has verry little gears you dont need a big selection just how to use a small selection properly. cheers eh broh

    You have a lot to learn about biking. Here is a link to a pedaling tehnique:

    http://www.beginnertriathlete.com/cms/article-detail.asp?articleid=1030

    The highest gear is not always the best. For example, you start off in a car in first gear because you have more power (at a highh RPM). You don't start off in 3dr or 5th gear because you can't get enough power at such a low speed. I'v passed a cyclist many a time only because I was "spinning" and the other one was "pounding a big gear". It's also more efficient energy-wise. Also, getting out of the saddle increases your heart rate by about 8%, which means you get tired faster.

    Another important thing is nutrition and hydration. On rides longer than an hour it's good to consome about half a quart to a quart of liquid and about 300 to 350 Kcal/hour, because through pedaling constantly you glycogen stores run out (in about an hour) and then you can start to feel light headded, dizzy, can't focus well etc. This is called the "bonk" in cycling. It can be even worse, depending on your output.

    Here' a link to a professionally studied way to fit a road bike to one's body.

    http://www.coachcarl.com/training_articles/bike_fit.htm

    Knowing things like these have done me tons of good in my cycling technique.

    One the bike I use clipless pedals (Shimano SPD sh 50-52) and Shimano SPD shoes rigid soles sre best for hardcore riding (no walking. They're worse than high heels). I would not go back to ordinary pedals for anything now! I love these.

    You might find it helpfull, also, to google heart rate (HR) zones.

    Have a great ride,
    John

    1 reply

    http://www.active.com/cycling/Articles/Pacing_strategy__Flat_out_or_even-steven_.htm

    Eh okish 'ible, then again I hurtle around like a lunatic... I have a giant aswell... Not bad bikes... It could be worth mentioning more in to pedalling technique and using foresight, by looking ahead and seeing that the lights are red but have been for a bit you can slow down and by the time you get there they've changed and you have more momentum to bring you on...

    9 replies

    Right. When approaching a stop light, never come to a complete stop until it's absolutely necessary. Just slow enough that at the last minute you can come to a complete stop if the light doesn't change to green in time. If you time it right, you'll always beat cars off a red light, and be able to cycle ahead of the traffic, way safer and less stressful.

    I HATE it when people roll through stop signs in cars. You do not know how many times I have almost gotten seriously injured because somebody is in so much of a hurry that they can't take the extra five seconds to completely stop and make sure there isn't anybody, who actually has the right of way over them, that would get hit. So the morale of the story is, do what the stop sign says "Stop". It doesn't say "Roll through the stop sign and ignore that cyclist".

    I don't roll through stop signs, i hate that too. It's illegal. That's not what shooby said, "When approaching a stop light, never come to a complete stop until it's absolutely necessary. Just slow enough that at the last minute you can come to a complete stop if the light doesn't change to green in time." it only says not to stop at green lights. Just coast up to red lights and stop if you didn't time it right and it's still red when you get there.

    Indubitably... It amkes all the difference, for both energy and for time keeping... Also it's fun to pass the cars on an amber light and have the warm fuzzy feeling of victory...

    I’m curious about this conspiricy against WD40. I am in total agreement that it is not the best thing to put on your bike chain. However if USED WELL it is far better than a specific chain lube USED BADLY, and will certainly not damage your chain!

    3 replies

    WD40 is primarily sold as a solvent and a degreaser.

    Basically, if you DON'T want something to be greasy you can spray some WD40 on it.  It will dissolve the grease, and the WD40 itself will come off easily. (A lot of it will evaporate!)

    Because WD40 is itself an oil, it's also handy for things you need to be temporarily oiled up. (A stuck bolt, for example.)

    It's absolutely not to be used on things that are supposed to *stay greasy* like a bike chain. 

    So, To sum up :  it won't dirrectly damage the chain, but it will remove any existing grease and dry up far too fast.

    Yes, and the further issue is that it is impossible to get grease into the pins and between the plates of a chain. The last thing one wants to do is drive grease out of those locations. One thing that motorcycles taught us was that a chain that runs in a leak proof enclosure that keeps dirt out and an oil bath on the chain at all times makes for a chain that lasts seemingly forever.

    WD-40 is not suitable for bike chains, it'll mainly degrease it and if that is your purpose, there are better cleaners out there. Although it works as a light lube on things like hinges, there is a reason that bike lube companies exist. Google for White Lightning, Tri-Flow or Finish Line (among others). Not really sure how one could use a chain lube badly, you apply it lightly while cycling the drivetrain and then forget about it...