Bike faster :?:

grant.smith Posts: 42
edited April 2008 in Road beginners

This feels like a stupid question but I'm going to ask anyway. How do I bike faster!

I did my first ever time trial last night, it was a 8 mile event and I put in an official time of 27:49, being 25th out of 27. I think I can immediately gain some time and maybe places by warming up properly, I was freezing at the start and did not feel comfortable until about 3 / 4 mile in, by that time the damage was done, being past by a few people, including some 12 year old! Whom I started to catch towards the end!

I managed a avg pace of 17 mph and a avg cadence of 79. I tend to bike in the big ring at the front and a lower at the back, mainly because this is what feels more comfortable.

I'm looking for advise on speeding up in general and also what should I be doing in terms of warm up before such a event?

Thanks for the advise


  • Infamous
    Infamous Posts: 1,130
    edited April 2008
    High intensity training will make you faster/stronger.

    You can do intervals such as:
    x mins flat out, rest, x mins flat out, rest, etc
    where x can be anything from 15 seconds to an hour (2 x 20 is a good one, search for it)

    or if you want to train for TTs do some of your own TTs, pick a course that takes 45mins to an hour to complete at your fastest pace and time yourself, keep doing it and try to beat your best times.

    do these twice a week and you will notice a difference very quickly.
  • hi....just i wonder i been rider 26mile for 1hr 35min. it is good enough for join club? i don't want :oops: . ha
  • Hi Grant,
    You definitely don't want to be freezing at the start! I used to ride to the local TT's for a warm-up, but obviously, if this isn't practical then you need to get there early and go for a quick spin. You obviously don't want to be burning out in the warm-up and not having anything for the race, but at the same time, you do really need to get that HR up to something close to what it would be during the race. Just cycle around for a bit and stick in a few hard bursts to get the blood really flowing and your legs warmed up! To show the importance of the warm-up, i did my fastest ever rides when i was running late for the start and had to ride pretty hard to get there on time; literally going straight to the start and off.

    A faster cadence might help, although if that is where you feel comfortable you could stick to it; I would aim for more like 100, but that's where i'm comfy!! It's supposed to be more efficient or something with a faster cadence, but i guess if you're not used to it, it would feel more tiring. I THINK that a faster cadence would hit your lungs a bit more so you'll feel more tired, but in fact you'll be saving your legs.

    Something you haven't mentioned is what position you're using. If you're using a normal road bike then you really need to be on the drops and as tucked up as you can get for the whole race, but you'll be surprised the difference some clip-on aero bars will make!

    Hope this helps.
    "Bite off more than you can chew, and chew like hell!!"
  • Funny you say that Nickodemus, for the last part of the race I went down on the drops because I had someone within sight but just wasn't catching them. Once I went down on the drops I court them straight away and then drove away.

    So it seems the only thing I did wrong is was not warm up, which I knew.

    As for speeding up, I guess that will come with time, especially if I keep time trailing and my long weekend ride.
  • Bronzie
    Bronzie Posts: 4,927
    xwolfgangx wrote:
    hi....just i wonder i been rider 26mile for 1hr 35min. it is good enough for join club? i don't want :oops: . ha
    That's 16.5 mph average - certainly won't embarass yourself on a slow / medium club run. Maybe you will struggle with the pace on a fast club run (if your local club offers the option).

    Contact a club local to you and ask if they cater for new riders or whether they'll just burn off and leave you behind :roll:
  • Bronzie
    Bronzie Posts: 4,927
    I warm up for at least 40 mins before a hard effort like a time-trial - start off spinning small gears and gradually work up to race pace. Starting a hard effort with cold muscles will give you injuries. The older you get, the longer you need to warmup before the event.

    The 2 x 20 min intervals are superb for TT training. Can do on your turbo (if you have the mental stamina :wink: ) or out on the road.
    - 10-15min warm-up
    - 20 mins constant effort (simple on turbo, less so on road) at 1 hour TT pace - typically this is 85-90% of your max heart rate (if you use a heart monitor) - if you don't have one, you'll just have to experiment.
    - 5 mins easy spin
    - 20 mins at same steady effort
    - 10 mins cool down and relaaaaax

    The 2nd 20 mins should feel pretty tough and you'll be longing for it to be over. If not, you are going too easy.

    Note that if you use an HRM, your heart rate will drift upwards during the session, so start at 85% and keep the SPEED the same, don't worry about your heart rate unless you can't finish the session, in which case ride at slightly lower pace next time.

    Enjoy :?