Home Chat General Chat

Inprove bike speed

md6md6 Posts: 969
So after pouring over the results from the tri I did I realised that at the moment the bike leg is my weak point. If I had completed it in the time I had expected (hoped) then i would have been ~200places higher...

So my question is - apart from hill reps (which is the order of the weekend), and spending more time in the saddle, what's the best way to improve my bike speed/stamina?


  • Options
    gavinrigg06gavinrigg06 Posts: 176
    I would say train, train, train - just get out on the open road and put the hours in.
  • Options
    treefrogtreefrog Posts: 1,242
    Outside of getting some personal coaching and custom made training programmes the best ways of improving your bike speed are...

    1. Join a cycle club and go out on their cycles. The competitive atmosphere with the helpful atmosphere will get you faster without thinking about it. You become stronger by doing your time at the front, you improve endurance by riding with the bunch and if it is a good group they will keep you going if you wilt (we all wilt from time to time). In addition to this you also get free advice, make new friends and improve your bike handling.

    2. Lose weight : lighter = faster

    3. Upgrade your bike. Regardless of what anyone tells you better kit makes you faster, particularly if you are a novice. - before all the whingers start, Ian Cammish won TT's 20 yearsago and he's doing the same times now despite less training and being older, because he upgrades his kit, it gives him the edge
  • Options
    md6md6 Posts: 969
    Thanks guys, I'll have to look to get out with the local tri club on their weekly rides, i guess i had better join up then. Not sure i can convince the gat officer to let me spend more on a bike, and i love my current one. I may see if ican upgrade wheels etc over the summer months. Any recommendation on a good set of tires (gotta start somewhere)?
  • Options
    shadowone1shadowone1 Posts: 1,408

    3. Upgrade your bike. Regardless of what anyone tells you better kit makes you faster, particularly if you are a novice. - before all the whingers start, Ian Cammish won TT's 20 yearsago and he's doing the same times now despite less training and being older, because he upgrades his kit, it gives him the edge


    Treefrog right back on form
  • Options
    garyrobertsgaryroberts Posts: 869
    got up to 65kph today.......

    .....i have the key to riding fast.......

    ......ride downhill!
  • Options
    treefrogtreefrog Posts: 1,242
    re money and upgrading; I was fast on a Principia frame with Record gruppo and Corima aeros, I'm even faster on a P3C with the exact same kit.

    It just happens that as long as you are training properly better kit allows you to go faster, another fact is that it costs abit extra and if a guy can afford it and buys it then don't knock it

    Some people train train train but don't get the improvement that they've earned because kit is holding them back, and some great guys on half decent kit do the business because they have a huge VO2 max

  • Options
    Jack HughesJack Hughes Posts: 1,262
    Unfortunately, you have to make compromises. It would be great to be able to spend what you want to get the dream machine. But, even if you have the money, there are other things to buy - like getting the walls on the house repointed, a new back door etc.

    I made a conscious decision to really limit the spending on the bike - I set a budget of £700 (spent £650 in the end). This is a bike that I think suits my current level of fitness. But, if the plan works out, next year it will be the training bike, and the year after, the hack bike. At the moment I'm more interested in the engine. Spending another £500 might have bought me a minute off a 10.

    Yesterday, I went out for the first ride since my "Strengthening" exercise on Saturday. This was my 10mile course. And I went for speed. Trying to get RPM over 90. Trying to push the biggest gear I could. Trying not to get mangled by the traffic on the downhills though! I made a note of the gearing I used on the hills on the last ride, and this time made sure I attacked them in a higher gear than last.

    On the final hill before home, I think I may have set a new HR Max... I thought the heart was going to explode, started to throw up too... and to slow a bit.

    But. I had knocked 5 minutes off the last time I did that route two months ago.

    Not as fast as I want. But certainly faster...

    .. You have to work hard to go fast. Harder, because there are more variables, than when running. Bigger gears, higher cadence makes you go faster. Doing the same route, noting down your cadence and gearing, especially on hills, then trying to improve on those, is a good way of practising..

    Of course, there's all the prep to go in to build those muscles up, as well as technique, kit etc. (Off to the gym tonight to do some quad/glute + core exercises). If there's any time, I'll have a go at some intervals on the Ergo/Turbo.

    I've also set a target for the first 10TT - on 16 June (depends on work though). But I'm way off where I want to be at the moment. But the target is there - and the fear of failure is quite motivating! (I'm no treefrog - I'll just be trying to beat 30 mins to start with).

  • Options
    md6md6 Posts: 969
    Thanks, I have decided that the hill reps will become a staple in my training diet, and there are a few for me to try and attack - at the moment i am only just making it up them in the lowest gear available - i will have that changed to the next gear within 6 weeks (i will have another tri in the middle or i would have said 4 weeks). I think my main problem is that my legs aren't strong enough - my HR never gets too high but my quads burn then they seem to go all weak and i have to slow right down.

    I think the kit can wait until I am a better cyclist - i'd kjust look silly on a more expensive bike when some guy on a folding thing over takes me on a hill.
  • Options
    clarkey30clarkey30 Posts: 270
    MD just spent a week with a former member of the Elite squad doing various rides and training. His philosophy was basically lots of miles at a comfortable speed to build stamina and base endurance, then introduce intervals with high intensity sets.

    If in a group of three or more the 3 and off is good basically you constantly rotate the line so you hit the front and are instantly being taken by the following rider, you do 3 or 4 sets of 15 minute efforts with 5 minute rest in between.

    The 15 minutes breaks down to 8 minutes steady pace, 4 minutes race pace and 3 minutes all out. Spin for five to recover.

    If alone you can do drills where you incorperate intervals into your set. Maintain your average pace and cadence for the ride then do 5 minutes and 10 rpm higher, 5 miuntes rest, five minutes a further 10 higher 5 minutes rest then 5 minutes at ten rpm lower than average 5 rest and then a further 5 minutes at again another 10 rpm lower. You have to remain at the same speed throught the drills though.

    For hill drills.

    You cycle the hill, which ideally will be around 4km in length, gently as a warm up then go up it twice under gearing aiming for 120 - 130 cadence, then twice over gearing at the 60 - 70 mark then a fifth time all out as fast as you can, (it helps when there are others as you can race).

    Its basically about being able to hold a steady pace but building up your capability to push hard for longer sustainable periods.
  • Options
    RockmonkeyRockmonkey Posts: 14

    I've found that several mountain biking sessions improved my speed and pedaling efficiency particularly uphill.

    Think it helps on hills as you generally sit down and push the gear around as it's tricky to stand on your pedals whilst trying to keep your weight on the back wheel for traction. Not to mention the naturally harder surfaces.

    Good luck [:)]
  • Options
    LeezarLeezar Posts: 36
    MD6 from what you say it seems if you are not hitting you max heart rate then you have not got enough base endurance and I would recommend some long gentle rides between 1 and 1 and a half hours this will also help your overall leg strength.

    I would keep the interval stuff for later, mountain biking would help your skill on the bike and also help with early gear selection as this can be a simple skill that can save you lots of time and effort by making sure you are always in the correct gear to allow you to keep the cadence high as all times.
  • Options
    md6md6 Posts: 969
    cheers all, i'm going to start my new biking regime today (if the weather holds) or tomorrow if not. Hopefully this will help change the fast to slow twich and help my base and strength improve.
Sign In or Register to comment.