How To Cycle Even Faster | GCN’s Tips For Fast Riding

How To Cycle Even Faster | GCN’s Tips For Fast Riding

February 21, 2020 100 By Kailee Schamberger


Manon: Do you want to ride faster than ever?
James: In this video we are going to give you tips and tricks to get you smashing them
PBs and flying. [music]
Manon: The obvious one is working on reducing your aerodynamic drag or spending a load of
money on new biking kit, but there are some subtle things you can do to get you going
faster than ever. Use the terrain to your advantage. Accelerate into the base of the
climb and use the momentum to propel yourself up the climb. Obviously, this works better
on shorter, punchier climbs. James: Yes, luckily here in the UK we’ve got
plenty of short, punchy climbs. One thing I would say, though, is make sure it’s safe
to do so when letting go of the brakes and carrying that little bit more speed into the
base of the climb. Look out for gravel in a rough road surface basically. If you do
get to use that momentum it really will help you when you get onto the climb. You ready?
Manon: I’m ready. James: We need to go a bit faster now.
[music] Manon: We’re of course talking about through
and off. Sharing the workload on the front to increase the overall speed of your ride.
James: Yes. What we mean is spending less time on the front. Now you can do this with
two riders but the more the better. That means you can share the workload and ultimately
spend less time on the front meaning more recovery.
Manon: The important factor to remember is to not smash it on the front. You’ll need
to read the roads and the environmental conditions around you to get the most out of your through
and off. James: Yes. What we mean is if you’re riding
into a headwind you can spend less time on the front meaning more recovery. If you are
riding into a tailwind that way you can press on that a little bit longer, but do remember
when you get onto the back of the paceline to save a little bit more energy because it’ll
be harder to get on the back. Manon: A smooth paceline is a fast paceline,
so dose your effort out when you’re on the front and don’t accelerate too hard with the
rides behind you. A good tip is when you finish your turn, ease off for a second or two and
allow the next rider to come through. James: Yes. You can also help from behind.
With the rider on their recovery phase you can shout, “Last wheel,” that way they know
exactly where you are, meaning they can slot in without leaving a big gap and wasting a
whole load of energy. Manon: Corners at times is when you need to
take a little bit more consideration. Don’t accelerate full gas out of a corner, because
the riders behind you will have to work twice as hard to stay on your wheel.
James: Yes. Same goes for hills really. It’s that elastic band effect. You can spend that
little bit more time on the front when it comes to climbing but when you crash the climb
carry on with your effort on the front until the whole group’s on your wheel meaning then
you can swing off and get back on the back of the group. Don’t do it too early because
otherwise you’ll spend a whole load of energy trying to get on when you’re completely in
the red. No one needs that. How are you doing, Manon?
Manon: Yes, good. [music]
James: If you’re in a country that you drive on the left-hand side of the road then do
a ride with only left turns. If you’re in a country that drives on the right-hand side,
then do a ride with only right turns meaning you’re going to spend less time at junctions
just like Manon Lloyd did there. Now this does take a bit of planning and preparation
but plan a loop that doesn’t taking any congested areas or traffic lights, meaning no dead time
meaning you can keep on your way and keep that average speed nice and high.
[music] James: The wind, it can be an absolute force
to be reckoned with and a cyclist’s nightmare, or it could be the best thing that’s ever
happened to you. You do though need to get the forecast right so what I’m saying is,
do a little planning and preparation before your ride. Check the forecast and make sure
a good part of your ride is with a tailwind. A good trick is if you’re heading out on a
loop to go out with a headwind and on the way back have your tailwind, when you haven’t
got so much energy in your legs. On that note I’m going to check the weather. Yes, not much
wind today. Manon: If you’ve got a headwind choose some
sheltered roads to ride on. If you’ve got a tailwind choose big open roads and make
the most of the wind on your back. You could even sit upright and create a sail effect
with your back. Your average speed will quickly be increasing before you know it.
[Music] ?Speaker 3: There are a lot of products out
there that will claim to make you faster on a bike. Some of them have dubious science
behind them but there are a few out there that are genuinely performance-enhancing.
Caffeine, beta-alanine and carbs. Of course you will get carbs from normal foods but there
is absolutely no doubt supplementing your ride with energy bars, drinks and gels will
allow you to ride faster for longer. [music]
James: Now the pros are spending more and more time investigating drive chain efficiency.
CeramicSpeed have even invented a whole new way to do the drive chain, but until that
comes publicly available, we’re going to stick to the traditional chainring, chain, and sprockets.
Manon: There is a lot to think about with them. Having the chain stretch one way or
the other in the big ring and the big sprocket or vice versa is not only bad for the chain,
it can also be a waste of watts. James: Even the world’s best time trialists
are putting big dinner plates on the front. They’re using 60 or 58 tooth chainrings on
the front. Now that’s not because they’re spinning out their biggest gear. That is because
they want to get the straightest chain line possible to make it more efficient, saving
watts, and we like saving watts. [music]
Manon: At the end of the day, the thing that’s going to increase your speed the most is by
increasing your power. As long as you don’t put any weight on the front.
James: Talking of weight. Anyway, it’s still going to really matter much if you’re riding
on flat roads because, to be honest, power to weight doesn’t really come into it, but
there’s no shortcuts to getting power. It takes training and it takes pushing yourself.
Then again, if you’ve got a good training program, you get good adequate rest, then
you will see your speed go up. We decided to get a bit geeky on this one and head over
to a website called bikecalculator.com. A 70-kilogram rider on a nine-kilogram bike
puts out 200 watts on a flat road with no wind near sea level, it should do around 31.76
kilometers per hour. Increase that by 10% to 220 watts and that same rider in those
same conditions will do 32.93 kilometers per hour. Unfortunately though, that’s only 3.7%
improvement in speed for your 10% increase in power, but nevertheless, you’re going faster.
Manon: There’s a reason the pros are better than us.
James: Why is that? Manon: They’ve got more power than everyone
else? James: Not than me.
Manon: Definitely more than you. James: [laughs] Yes, true.
[music] [laughs] Manon: Thanks for watching. Hope this video
helps you go faster than ever. James: To be fair, I could deploy some of
those tricks on our ride back home just to keep up with you. Anyway, if you’ve enjoyed
this video then make sure as always, you give it a big thumbs up and I know you’re hungry
for another video, so why don’t you click on the screen now. You ready to get home?
Manon: Ready. Race you. James: What, race me already?
[00:07:42] [END OF AUDIO]