Biking is an exhilarating experience for people who love it, and with great speed and endurance, it is even better.
Most of the time, riders try to get better road bikes to improve their speed and comfort while riding.
So, does the quality of the bike a rider uses reduce or increase their speed and agility, making their riding experience more enjoyable or less so?
With a good road bike, you may notice slight differences in comfort and handling. However, a better, or even more expensive bike will not increase your speed. Your overall speed depends on your fitness and your strength; it is also a product of practice and not the quality of the bike.
You should know that the person riding the bike is more important than the bike itself.
Thus there is very little difference between the performance of one high-quality bike and another one of lesser quality.
So, you could spend a lot of money on a more expensive road bike that is supposed to be of better quality, but that will not make much of a difference in your speed, except if you’re a professional or competitive biker. Even then, the difference is minimal.
First of all, many things determine the quality of a road bike; and the cost of a bike doesn’t mean it is much better suited for your needs.
Some of the things that you should look at when purchasing a bike include:
#1. The Bike Frame
The bicycle frame is its heart and soul. With a reasonable frame, cycling is easier and more enjoyable.
But, of course, frames are different. Some are light and are best suited for mountain climbing.
You can find a stiff frame recommended for excellent acceleration, while others are just compliant and easy to ride, suited for everyday riding.
Four things are central to making a reasonable frame.
- The Materials
- The Design
Many people have confessed that it is easy to tell the difference between a cheap frame and one made with quality materials; inexpensive bicycle frames are made with cheaper materials.
Although they agreed that the excellent quality frames felt different, they also said it didn’t make much difference in their speed or endurance.
They couldn’t ride for longer, weren’t faster, and didn’t expend less energy.
While the frames are essential, you should also pay attention to the bike’s other components. Such as:
All these determine the quality of a bike, but they don’t make much of a difference.
The things that make a difference when cycling are the cyclist’s speed, endurance, and skill;
If you have a new, expensive, and “quality” bike but you’re not a fit cyclist, you will still not be able to make the most of it.
Getting a better road bike will not make you ride faster. Fast-riding has more to do with endurance and the speed of your legs.
It has minimal if anything to do with the bike you have. Even with the best road bike, a slow rider will still be slow.
If you want to improve your speed and become a better rider, you can spend more time training and cycling with a team to get your speed and endurance up.
It may seem that better bikes are faster because most people don’t usually start off riding with expensive bikes that use superior materials.
So, most bikers that spend a lot of money on bikes are either competitive bikers or people who’ve been biking for a while. What that means is that they’re both fit and experienced.
It’s not impossible to improve your speed, but the way to do that is not by investing six months’ rent on an overpriced carbon fiber frame.
Also, I should say that aluminum carbon fiber parts are good if you can go for them. But that’s not what will make you go faster.
If you want a faster bike, there are some things you can do to improve the capacity of the one you already have.
Although a good or expensive bike does not make you faster, a bad one can slow down. So, what can you do to make your bike faster?
#1. Clean Your Bike
Unsurprisingly, road bikes collect a lot of grime and dust. And as the dirt accumulates, you begin to lose speed and watts.
Experts have said that if your bike “chain” is dirty, it could slow you down by 1-2kph at race speed. Mabe it’s not that important but to a racer every second counts.
You should also pay attention to your bike’s chain; clean and lube the chain adequately. You can do it once every few rides, although it is recommended that you lube yourself before every ride.
#2. Adjust Your Tire Pressure Adequately
The ideal tire pressure for you majorly depends on your weight and whether you’re using tubes or not. However, these do not guarantee that you’ll get the tire pressure right.
Offhandedly, the tire pressure for someone who weighs 70kg should be 80psi.
If you’re using a narrow 23mm tire, 90-100psi is good. For a 28mm tire, you can try 60-70psi.
In addition to the above, you should also do the following.
- Check your bike’s brake adjustment
- Remove weight
Not a lot. Like everything else, some road bikes are more expensive than others. The price difference could be vast, but that does not make a big difference in performance and speed.
Sometimes, the more expensive bike may not be as comfy and as fast as the less expensive bike, so investing in an expensive bike may not make a difference as it may not increase the rider’s speed.
In some cases, though, the opposite may be true. For instance, a cheaper carbon fiber bike may be less comfortable and slower than a more expensive aluminum bike, especially in the hands of an experienced cyclist.
An amateur biker would still lose to a pro even if he was on an expensive aluminum bike and the pro was on a cheap carbon fiber bike.
Additionally, many cyclists prefer road bikes to mountain bikes because road bikes are faster.
They are faster by about 10-30%, and when you’re going on a smooth, even surface, you can get an additional 15% speed with the same amount of effort.
Road bikes are lighter than mountain bikes, and it is easier to get speed out of them with minimal effort, especially if you’re a pro and you’re also fit.
Some of the reasons why the road bike can outperform mountain bikes include
- Riding posture
- Frame geometry
- Rolling resistance
In the end, the most significant determinant of a bike’s speed is the biker.
Even with the less impressive or cheaper bike, a pro can outperform a less experienced cyclist who has a much better bike.
A good road bike can make a difference in the rider’s comfort. It can also give the rider morale and confidence, which is essential for cycling.
However, the quality of a bike makes very little difference in the speed or endurance of the rider.