By Azhar Rahim
When you begin cycling, you probably don’t think about purchasing the most expensive road bike. Instead, you first master the art of riding a standard bicycle before upgrading to something speedier. Then one day, you take it out for a spin and are amazed at how much faster it feels than your former ride. It’s time to upgrade again!
These 12 easy upgrades will make your current road bike feel like new or even boost its performance beyond expectations. While some may be more costly than others – like switching wheels – all are cheaper than replacing what you already have with an entirely new model.
How To Make Your Road Bike Go Faster
If you’ve ever considered using clipless pedals but don’t want to spend hundreds of dollars on them, consider this upgrade. If you already have a pair of clipless pedals, replace the cleats with ones that are compatible with your shoes. For example, if you have Shimano SPD-SL pedals, purchase Keo Cleats for an easy interchangeable option that still offers high performance.
Oil Your Chain
Over time – or after riding through mud or puddles – components on your bike can begin to rust and wear out faster than they should. Keeping them lubricated prolongs their life and staves off costly repairs down the road. With spray oil, lube your chain daily before each ride to keep it moving smoothly without requiring frequent replacement.
Pump Up the Tires
A quick way to improve both cornering and rolling speed is to go with a wider tire. Instead of your standard 23mm width, upgrade to 25mm or even 28mm for better traction and stability through turns. This works best if you’re already using clipless pedals since they also offer improved grip on the road.
Replacing Broken Parts
If your bike is broken, but it’s too costly to repair, consider upgrading its key components instead of buying an entirely new model. For example, after ten years on my 10-speed road bike, I finally had to replace both wheels when one shattered while going over a pothole during a ride in the city.
Reflective stickers help keep riders visible at night, so splurge on high-quality lighting equipment rather than purchasing cheaper alternatives.
Looking to Downgrade?
If you’re the type who likes the adrenaline rush of speed, but safety comes first – or you can’t afford an expensive upgrade – consider buying gear that’s reflective to alert drivers when they are approaching quickly from behind. This may make riding at night much safer since it helps keep both riders and motorists visible.Reflective tape is easy to attach anywhere on your bike frame, wheel spokes, top tube, handlebars, or even wheel rims. Bicycle wheel reflectors work well for this purpose, too, since they emit a bright light that alerts motorists when they are close by while still allowing riders visibility because they turn with the wheel.
Change Your Handlebars
Handlebars come in many different styles for different riding experiences. If you’re not fond of the handlebars on your bike, consider switching them out for something that works better with your personal preferences.
For example, risers allow greater comfort by raising the handlebars to suit a rider’s height, while sweepback bars are perfect for reducing neck and shoulder strain that can occur after long periods on two wheels.
Swap Out Rims
When it comes to replacing bicycle rims, there are several factors you’ll need to take into consideration. While they range widely in price depending on their material and width, aluminum tends to offer the smoothest ride while carbon fiber is lighter than others, so if weight is an issue – or you want more speed – this option is best.
10 Speed? Try 20!
Depending on your budget and desired speed, upgrading to a 10-speed may be out of the question, but you can still up your gear count in other ways: for example, by adding one more cog in the front and another at the rear. This upgrade will allow you to go faster while requiring less effort to do so simultaneously. For even greater improvements, consider switching out the derailleur cables, too, since they are largely responsible for how fast your bike goes.
Clean Up Those Chains
A simple way to get everything moving quickly again is cleaning up all that dirt that has built up over time on both chains using a degreaser spray can or brush followed by thoroughly rinsing with water.
Use a Bicycle Chain Cleaner
After cleaning your bike’s chain, you’ll want to keep it working in good condition so consider investing in a bicycle chain cleaner and lubricant spray can to deal with excess grease and grime that builds up over time. These tools are simple to use and help maintain the drivetrain, so your components remain smooth and fast for many years to come.
Give Your Bike Some TLC
Keeping an eye on basic wear and tear such as loose grips, worn-out tires, or broken cables means there won’t be any unpleasant surprises during a ride when it fails at the wrong moment without warning. When problems do arise, take your bike into a shop for repairs as soon as possible. The longer you wait, the worse the problem will become – and the more it may cost.
10 Isn’t Good Enough
When it comes to gears, 10-speeds simply don’t cut it anymore: if you want to keep riding quickly and efficiently ten years down the road, upgrade your bike now to a gear system with 20 speeds or more since this increases efficiency and can reduce physical strain so you’ll be less tired after a ride. Check out your local bike store for options that fit your budget and riding style.
I hope you’ve found these tips helpful. Now that you know how to make your road bike go faster, it’s time for some action! It may take a little bit of experimentation with various aspects before the perfect combination is discovered – but don’t give up too soon!
One day, you might take it out for a spin and be amazed at how much faster it feels. At this point in time, all that needs to be done is get used to it on the roads. Have fun riding your new ride!
Featured Image: Unsplash/ Yomex Owo
Azhar Rahim is the author of BikeCue.com. Bike Cue is a blog that strives to provide the best information for those looking to buy their first bike. It’s their goal at Bike Cue to be your go-to resource for all things biking.