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Bike faster


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


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    MGMG Posts: 470
    Hi Grant.smith,

    If you have a turbo trainer a good warm up before a cycle event is to do a 10 or so minutes steady (low resistance) work. You'll see the pros do that before races to get the blood flowing and the muscles warmed up. Failing that a gentle ride with a couple of short high cadence 100+rpm spins should do the trick.

    Getting faster is more an area for a coach but structured bike sessions, i.e hill work, mini time trials, endurance work, and if you havnt already got one a dreaded turbo trainer...... I swear by these cos you can totally max yourself out without the risk of being run over or interupted by traffic etc.. I also do spinervals which are dvds, you follow instructions from the coach on screen (using your turbo trainer) I've been using these for a couple of months (I recommend 'no mercy') and I've never felt quicker on my bike!! Cant wait for my first race!!!![:D][:D][:D][:D]

    Good luck!!!
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    legalbeaglelegalbeagle Posts: 208
    Hi there,

    we did some time trials last year and got into the routine of a 10 - 15 min warm up with some easy cycling and a few stretches.

    I'm not a great cyclist but have definately improved a bit from some turbo and spinning sessions. Somehow I am more inclined to push it really hard in a session thatn I am when I am out on the road. Probably because I know that I can stop and there isn't the issue of not being able to get home if I overdo it!

    If you have a turbo, or can get on a spin bike - try this

    warm up for 10-15 mins etc

    1min fast

    3mins easy

    2mins fast

    2mins easy

    3mins fast

    1min easy

    repeat x 3

    it does wonders for your stamina and pace
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    gaterz1981gaterz1981 Posts: 233
    You will go quicker next time anyhows as your more expeirienced on what will happen.

    My first 10tt was done in 29.02, i blew up after in first few miles as i went off way to fast 27mph+

    Second was done in 26.53. I made a point of staying below 25 at beginning. First couple of miles always hurt as you need time to find your natural rhythm and speed. I am sure with training i could get my times down but i cant make it to the trials as i dont own a car now.

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    TommiTriTommiTri Posts: 879
    Ok, Im going to look at this from a scientific perspective.

    In particular i'm interested in your cadence, it has been shown by millions of studies that the cadence for optimum efficiency is 90rpm. If you push bigger gears, your muscles will get tired quicker, and if you push really big gears it you will be utilizing your anaerobic system a bit too much, so lactic acid will build up and you will get tired legs!

    But, there is some conflicting evidence that found that cyclists were at their most efficient when they were cycling at a cadence that they found comfortable with. But this was on studies of hill climbing, which is why there was variation in cadence, some people like to push bigger gears up hill i.e. cadel evans. and some like to push smaller gears at super fast speed i.e. lance Armstong.

    But, if you are racing on a flat time trial course, studies have stongly supported that most riders will ride at 90rpm.

    So, i think it would be a good idea to start working on increasing your rpm. The way I did this was on a turbo, cycle at 90 rpm, on a lowish gear, then gradually keep shifting up, every few minutes till you cant maintain 90rpm. Then stick at that gear and at rpm for the duration of your workout. Keep doing this when you train on the bike, hopefully you should see an increase in the gear you stop on.

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    treefrogtreefrog Posts: 1,242
    I would say your cadence is a bit on the low side, but that is a guess as I don't know what your gearing is.

    Anyway there a few things you can do...

    1. Do a weekly turbo session of 30 - 60 km per week at a fast rate, record your average and try and beat it every week. Don't whinge just do it, no pain no gain and all that. If you're not prepared to train then you don't REALLY want to improve

    2. Try a slightly lighter gear and spin it a bit more until your into your groove

    3. Get more aero' it does help and you will have to pay a bit for better kit

    4. warm up on a turbo as the others say

    5. reccy the course - know exactly what you will do and where you will do it, look for landmarks with 1km to go etc

    Basiclly get out and train for it

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