What Makes One Road Bike Faster Than Another? Tips For Speed Promotion
Have you ever considered “what makes one road bike faster than another“? Let’s browse my article to find out its typical specifications.
The road bike is one of the most popular items in the existing bicycle line. Since it was born to operate on even flat urban roads, this transportation gathers several improvements to ensure maximum comfortability.
But what makes this type faster than others?. I will analyze the determining factors and reveal some methods to improve your cycling efficiency, so please keep surfing until the end of the article.
What Makes One Road Bike Faster Than Another?
Road bike offers modern improvements that satisfy your speed passion.
Most road bike frames are made from materials like aluminum or carbon fiber. These two metals/alloys exhibit amazing lightness, firmness, and durability. They are not only remarkably resistant to force and high temperature but also against chemicals from the external environment.
Carbon frames are lighter in weight than those made from aluminum or other alloys. It will reduce the total bike’s weight, allowing you to focus your energy on better acceleration and speed up.
They also play a role as the bicycle’s shape keeper. Riding your bike across the city corner year by year, you are no longer worried about its appearance and endurance.
Aerodynamics (Aero) is a feature expressing the speed optimization of a road bike. It is measured by your cycling posture, frame, expertise, helmets, and wheels.
You can recognize that an aero bike converges different features such as aerodynamic wings, rib cable, and the high rim. Designs based on aerodynamics principles will minimize friction and help your race vehicle glide smoothly through drag like the wind and the athlete’s own body.
With an aero bike, you can conquer the roads at the desired speed, saving your moving time as much as possible.
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The tires of road bikes will be narrower than that of ordinary bikes. This adjustment will help the wheels limit the friction’s effect generated when contacting the road surface. Quality standard tire size is in the gap of 70cc capacity and 18-25mm width.
In addition, some manufacturers equip tubeless tires for this vehicle. Tubeless tires are more favored as they can reduce the overall weight of the whole wheel. These models are also capable of holding the air inside and sinking thermal energy.
When cyclists accidentally hit a sharp object like nails on highways, the tire does not immediately deflate or explode like a tube-type type. It ensures safety even when you pedal at high speed.
The rear cassette of the gears is also narrowed to facilitate quick gears change. Gear and chain are also lubricated for smooth and gentle movement without any friction impact. Thus, you can effortlessly enhance your velocity.
This lubrication also helps eliminate corrosion on the surface. As a result, it can better resist environmental influences, such as temperature and air.
Road bike’s weight is always pressed down to strengthen lightness and speed. Thanks to improvements in frame shell and aerodynamic design, a road bike never seems to exceed 22 lbs in weight.
And with the lighter bikes, cyclists can easily increase cycling speed and maintain it for a long time without energy loss.
What Determines The Speed Of A Road Bike?
Rolling resistance is friction or a loss of energy that creates and prevents the wheel from rolling on the road surface. So when does it occur?
The tires undergo a constant circulation of shape change while rotating, deformed by the road surface’s force and recovering by the force they exert on the ground in return. In case the energy of recovery is less than the energy of deformation, rolling resistance will appear.
The greater the rolling resistance, the more energy cyclists spend to maneuver the vehicle, contributing to the decrease in speed.
Air resistance is considered to be the main factor affecting cycling speed.
You are always exposed to natural wind resistance and the wind generated when you put physical force on the pedals. Not only that, you’re creating your own air resistance through your body weight.
This drag will increase exponentially with velocity. Cycling at full speed means you also use your energy to resist the force more than operating the bicycle.
A drivetrain system includes parts making up the bike’s main movement. The front disc, rear cassette, rear chain, and derailleur play a key role.
Made mostly of metal, especially iron, these devices will be on the verge of rusting, getting trapped, or corroding by air.
It leads to slowness and difficulty in rotating operations. Sometimes a rusty drivetrain even neutralizes your bike.
That’s why you should focus on lubricating them with oil to escape from the speed limit.
I also suggest that you sometimes replace equipment like chains or rear cassettes to ensure smooth and durable operation later on.
What Upgrades Make A Bike Faster?
Apart from basic parameters, improvements in other bike parts also promote your speed performance.
Wheel: Material, Spoke, And Rim
Wheels should be made of carbon material combined with higher and wider rims to optimize weight and more durably withstand aerodynamics.
It is believed that more spokes bring about a bicycle’s firmness and durability. However, a moderate amount of race bike spokes will be installed to reduce weight without affecting its capacity.
Bladed spokes (or aero spoke) should be taken into consideration since they can minimize the effect of drag on cycling.
The tubeless tire is ideal if you expect your bicycle to glide at a desirable speed. Firstly, tubeless tires have a weight advantage as they are usually 1.1-1.5lb lighter than the inner tube ones.
This way, the entire bicycle’s weight can be reduced, and you can focus your energy on accelerating.
Secondly is durability. In addition to the air-keeping ability, tubeless tires are formulated with thicker rubber. This expression enhances the vehicle shockproof when you go through rough roads at high velocity.
Current road bikes are gradually updated from rim brakes to disc brakes with more advantages. For the usual rim brake, you will notice the brake pads activated on the vehicle’s rim.
Meanwhile, the disc brake is only a metal disc directly installed on the wheel, contributing to the decrease in the overall bicycle’s weight.
In addition, disc brakes also provide you with more effective braking ability. It creates friction and stops the bike immediately, even when cycling at high speed.
It is a noticeable innovation for cycling enthusiasts. Clipless pedals have pins that attach to your shoe, creating a seamless connection between the foot and the pedal throughout the ride.
Owing to this connection, you will be more relaxed when using clipless ones. You can pause and put force onto the pedals at any time. In these cases, the pedal can still maintain rotation and move the car forward.
Your foot will not be kicked out of the pedals, especially at high velocity. You will avoid the pedal hitting your shins or knees, causing painful bruises.
Mud is not simply a stain but also an agent that negatively affects the wheels. Once the mud accumulates into the clump, the tires weigh more and also spin slower.
It is when a mudguard has its moment. Sewage or mud will not be able to splash on clothes or other parts, ensuring hygiene and aesthetics during the ride. Thanks to the smooth surface, you can also save time washing the fenders and cleaning the vehicle.
How Can You Improve Your Cycling Speed?
Ride On The Drops
On-the-drop position will reduce the wind resistance up to 20%, thereby lowering aerodynamics. This way, you can descend and corner with ease and confidence.
Apply Interval Practice
You can try to speed up to a point that’s above your average record, and then slow down. Such short bursts make you familiarize yourself with the “new” pace while allowing you to recover and getting ready to go fast again.
If you lose excess fat and reinforce your muscles, you can go faster with the same effort. I recommend that you focus on building muscle in the thighs, calves, and biceps to put the bike under your preferred control.
The pose is the next crucial factor. Athletes are usually advised to stay low, straighten their backs, and keep their arms slightly curved at the elbows while squeezing the handlebar.
Finally, don’t forget to dress in a specialized outfit for cycling. These fabric suits express a reliable elasticity and sweat absorption. In addition, the costume is equipped with inner pads for sensitive body areas.
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I answered the “what makes one road bike faster than another” in detail and then supplemented useful information for the road bike’s upgrade.
Based on the vehicle’s core components and other extra parts, you can decide to buy a road bike fitting your preferences and purposes. In addition, you can apply 3 fitness training methods to raise the effectiveness while cycling.
To sum up, as long as you use the bike and adjust your body in a wise way, you will quickly achieve a perfect cycling performance.