Author Topic: I want my bike to be faster  (Read 4647 times)

agent_black

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I want my bike to be faster
« on: September 07, 2013, 08:33:07 AM »


Basically I need to re-gear my bike....  How?

Background story:   In 2010 when I worked four miles from home I looked on Craigslist for a bike, there was nothing but beachcruisers, fixies and 3500 dollar race bikes.  I checked out the bike stores and they were just as bad.  I ended up buying the Tour De France Polka Dot Jersey seen in the picture above, online.  Its manufactured by cycle force group and when not broken is quite enjoyable. 

The point:   The bike is made for hill climbing and is very good at that, however with all my might pedaling downhill I could not exceed 31mph.  For lack of a better expression I was redlining my legs, I could not pedal any faster.

My job is farther away and so is everything really, from where I live now, but I feel like I would use the bike more if I could get an extra 15mph out of it.  Am I asking to much?  If not, how can I change my ratios in a way that wouldn't justify buying a new bike?

Runge

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Re: I want my bike to be faster
« Reply #1 on: September 07, 2013, 08:53:06 AM »
Couple of questions first.

Do you know what size gears you have? Front and back.
Will you still have to go up decent sized hills? (You might not want to get a set of ratios meant for flats and still ride hills)
Are you interested in putting a jet engine on it? (No I'm not serious)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bKHz7wOjb9w

agent_black

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Re: I want my bike to be faster
« Reply #2 on: September 07, 2013, 09:07:50 AM »
In town there aren't really many hills.  There's a slight climb headed out to where I am but its less if not on the freeway where a bike can't go anyway.  I won't eve take it on the mountain.  That's what the motorcycle is for. :)

I saw that video before and literally said to my gf someday I will build one.  She told me to wear my motorcycle gear.  Best girlfriend ever!!!!!


Also I don't know gear size.  How do you find out?

prodarwin

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Re: I want my bike to be faster
« Reply #3 on: September 07, 2013, 09:18:34 AM »
Something seems wrong here.  That bike has a 48t gear up front.  You are getting spun out really early if you are only hitting 31mph.  What are your rear gears like?

I regularly hit 35mph going down hill on my old steel frame MTB, which only has 26" tires and a 44t big ring.

To find the gear size just count the # of teeth.  Count the biggest one up front and the smallest one in the rear. 

Russ

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Re: I want my bike to be faster
« Reply #4 on: September 07, 2013, 10:21:36 AM »
If you want to be faster, ride more. If you can't break 31, there's nothing you can buy except an engine that will get you to 46.

Don't spend any money on that bike. Save it for now and find something nicer on CL. It will come up, just be patient. Read Bakari's guide before buying.

Mike

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Re: I want my bike to be faster
« Reply #5 on: September 08, 2013, 04:46:54 AM »
Maxing out at 46mph going down a hill is probably asking a bit much unless it's a steep and or long descent.  I've logged around 5000 miles in the last couple years (so yes, I'm in decent shape), and the fastest I have ever gone is ~42mph.

Gearing issues aside, a couple other things to consider are your tire pressure (mine is 115-120psi) and your positioning (be down in the drops and lower your wind resistance).   

Peanut Butter

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Re: I want my bike to be faster
« Reply #6 on: September 08, 2013, 05:59:00 AM »
The best way to make your bicycle go faster is to spend more time off of it doing squats, lunges, deadlifts, and step ups. Low reps/high weight.

GuitarStv

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Re: I want my bike to be faster
« Reply #7 on: September 08, 2013, 08:15:34 AM »
I think your initial premise is wrong.  Why would you get significantly more out of the bike by being able to go slightly faster while speeding downhill?  Most of your riding is going to be done at under 25 mph anyway . . .

grantmeaname

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Re: I want my bike to be faster
« Reply #8 on: September 08, 2013, 08:25:24 AM »
The best way to make your bicycle go faster is to spend more time off of it doing squats, lunges, deadlifts, and step ups. Low reps/high weight.
That's the second best way. The best way is to ride more.

Peanut Butter

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Re: I want my bike to be faster
« Reply #9 on: September 08, 2013, 10:28:24 AM »
The best way to make your bicycle go faster is to spend more time off of it doing squats, lunges, deadlifts, and step ups. Low reps/high weight.
That's the second best way. The best way is to ride more.

Personally, I didn't start making significant improvements in speed/acceleration/climbing until I started lifting. I did long rides, sprint workouts and hill repeats for 2 years before with no real gains in speed made. My endurance was great, though. YMMV - I am not a personal trainer, I just play one on the internet.

Jamesqf

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Re: I want my bike to be faster
« Reply #10 on: September 08, 2013, 11:55:57 AM »
...however with all my might pedaling downhill I could not exceed 31mph.  For lack of a better expression I was redlining my legs, I could not pedal any faster.

I think that is fairly normal gearing for a road bike: at least it's about as fast as I can pedal on a slight downhill. 

I think maybe you're looking at the problem wrong.  Instead of trying to pedal faster on the downhills (where a lot of your input energy is wasted overcoming air resistance), I think you'd do better resting on the downhills in order to be able to put more effort into flats & climbs.

GuitarStv

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Re: I want my bike to be faster
« Reply #11 on: September 08, 2013, 02:25:46 PM »
The best way to make your bicycle go faster is to spend more time off of it doing squats, lunges, deadlifts, and step ups. Low reps/high weight.
That's the second best way. The best way is to ride more.

Personally, I didn't start making significant improvements in speed/acceleration/climbing until I started lifting. I did long rides, sprint workouts and hill repeats for 2 years before with no real gains in speed made. My endurance was great, though. YMMV - I am not a personal trainer, I just play one on the internet.

FWIW - when I started lifting regularly I put on 20 lbs.  On the bike I got much faster at sprinting, and worse climbing long hills.  20-30k rides seem about the same.

agent_black

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Re: I want my bike to be faster
« Reply #12 on: September 08, 2013, 07:18:56 PM »
I think your initial premise is wrong.  Why would you get significantly more out of the bike by being able to go slightly faster while speeding downhill?  Most of your riding is going to be done at under 25 mph anyway . . .

Not from where I live. Henceforth the not using the bike. 

It looks like I'll have to keep using the motorcycle, at least until I'm done with school.  Work/house/campus are all too far apart and scheduled too closely to make it where I need to be going 25mph.

grantmeaname

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Re: I want my bike to be faster
« Reply #13 on: September 08, 2013, 07:54:02 PM »
There's no way you'll average 25mph even with the best gearing you can imagine. That's like 8-10 miles faster than you could reasonably expect - 18mph is a pretty fast pace to maintain on flat ground. If you've got that kind of time constraint, you're probably right about the motorcycle.

Mike

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Re: I want my bike to be faster
« Reply #14 on: September 09, 2013, 02:08:04 AM »
The only people averaging 25mph on a bike over any distance >10 miles are professional cyclists/elite athletes.

prodarwin

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Re: I want my bike to be faster
« Reply #15 on: September 09, 2013, 06:10:34 AM »
Damn, I'm lucky to average 25mph in my car.  My bike I average a bit over 15 going to work.  One day I'll get a real road bike and potentially increase that number by a few mph.