There’s no question that a touring bike is a great choice for extended cycling trips. But what if you want to make your touring bike faster?
There are a lot of different ways that you can make your touring bike faster. Some are more expensive than others, but they will help you cycle faster and enjoy your ride more.
In this post, we’ll look at some of the best ways to make your decent touring bike faster so that you can get out on the open road and experience everything a touring bike offers.
What Is a Good Average Speed of a Touring Cyclist?
One of the first things to consider when trying to make your touring bike faster is the average speed for a cyclist. Average speed can vary greatly depending on many factors, including the terrain and conditions you are riding in, your fitness level, and your cycling style.
Some sources suggest that an average speed for a touring cyclist might be around 20-25 miles per hour, though this can vary significantly depending on the conditions and other factors.
Regardless of your speed, there are some strategies you can use to make your touring bike faster, from choosing the right gear to making tweaks to your riding technique. So before we get into that, let’s focus on what makes touring bikes slow.
Why are Touring Bikes Slow?
Several factors can make your distance road touring bikes feel slow or sluggish.
One of the main reasons is that touring bikes tend to be heavier than other types of bicycles due to their oversized wheels and rugged construction. This extra weight means it takes more effort to get up to speed and makes it harder to maintain that speed over the long haul.
In addition, touring bikes tend to have fewer gears than regular or heavier bikes with too many gears, which can also impact your overall speed and performance.
Furthermore, touring bikes are not designed for high-performance riding or racing, leading to sluggishness when you want to cycle faster.
Despite these challenges, there are still ways to make your touring bike faster and enjoy your cycling experience even more. We will look at some of the best strategies for doing so.
How to make a touring bicycle faster than average speed?
Get more ‘aero’ by adjusting your position:
One of the best ways to make your touring bike faster is to get more ‘aero’ by adjusting your position on the bike. It means lowering yourself closer to the handlebars and pedals, making yourself as streamlined as possible. You can also invest in aerodynamic cycling clothing or equipment that will help reduce drag and increase efficiency.
Lower the bike’s front end:
Another way to make your touring bike faster is to lower the position of the front end. It may require modifying or adjusting your handlebars and stem, but it can help to improve aerodynamics and reduce wind resistance when cycling.
Improve your flexibility and core strength:
You can ride your touring bike faster if you focus on your fitness level, improving flexibility and core strength. So that you can maintain better form, use bike handling skills while cycling, and stay energized during long rides. Consequently, you’ll be able to cycle at a higher speed for extended periods.
Drop the flapping clothing:
One of the easiest ways to make your touring bike faster is also one of the simplest. It involves dropping any clothing or accessories that flaps in the wind, as it can add unnecessary resistance and make you feel slower overall.
Switch the handlebars:
Switching out to a bike with drop handlebars can help optimize your body position according to your touring bike geometry design for increased aerodynamics and reduced wind resistance, aiding your bike, in turn, to be lighter and faster.
You can keep your momentum by braking less and staying focused on riding at a higher average speed over longer distances. It may require some practice and discipline at first, but it will help you improve your overall cycling performance in the long run.
Ride in a group:
Another fun way to make a touring bicycle faster is to ride in a group. Cycling in a group can encourage you to push yourself further and increase your average speed, as you will be more motivated by those around you.
Work on your cadence:
You can improve your touring bike’s speed by working on your cadence. It will help you maintain a steady effort level and use less energy to cycle over the long haul, leading to better performance and faster speeds.
Use your bike’s gears more efficiently:
Selecting the right gear and keeping a good pace is key to making your bike faster. You want to be in low gear when pedalling uphill and high gear when going downhill or with the wind. Staying at a consistent speed or cadence will also help you go further without tiring as quickly.
Clean and lube your chain:
A clean bike is as important as getting lightweight gear for your touring bike. Regularly cleaning and lubing your chain can also help you maintain better performance and increase the speed of your touring bike. It will involve inspecting your chain regularly and lubricating it to keep dirt, grime, and rust from building up on the gears.
Adjust your tyre pressure:
Adjust your tyre pressure to reduce rolling resistance, making it easier to cycle at a higher speed with less effort. The amount of tyre pressure you use depends on your weight, the weather, and the type of tyre. Heavier riders require more pressure than lighter ones, and you should also lower your pressure in wet conditions, so the tyres have better grip and contact with the road, which reduces how often you crash.
Use Cycling Shoes:
If you want to ride your bike faster, consider using specialized cycling shoes with no clip pedals. These will allow you to maintain pedal stroke more efficiently and maintain a consistently high speed over distance.
Remove excess weight:
It may be challenging, but an efficient way to make the bike faster. Removing excess weight to make it lighter and faster involves:
- Removing racks or other accessories.
- Using a lighter frame or wheels.
- Going for a lighter type of cycling clothing or gear.
Check brake adjustment:
If your calliper brakes are rubbing, it’s easy to see as they make contact with the rim. You can also hear a faint metal grinding noise; every instance of rubbing causes you to lose speed.
Your brake pads need to be adjusted properly for maximum effectiveness, which can help reduce overall bike weight. It also allows you to apply more power with each pedal stroke as you cycle, making it easier to maintain a higher speed for longer distances.
Riding your bike off-road can also help you improve speed and performance overall. With the touring frame, you can comfortably sit in a more upright position. The centre of gravity will also be lower on a touring bike than on a regular one, so it’s easier to carry heavier loads.
Change to better tires:
Switching to better tires can also help you pick up the pace. Good tires will have a thinner tread, offer increased responsiveness and stability, and reduce rolling resistance for higher speeds.
Use a Saddlebag Instead of panniers:
If you want to reduce the weight of your bike, a great option is to use saddlebags instead of panniers. These are smaller and lighter than standard luggage racks, and the bike can become faster with the right saddle position.
There are many ways to make your touring bike faster and more efficient for both year-round or couple-day trips, from reducing weight to riding in a group or working on cadence.
To improve your performance, focus on maintaining a consistent effort level and selecting the right gear for different terrain and conditions. With these tips, you can enjoy faster cycling and better overall performance!
Brad is co-founder of Green Speed, and he is the hand and mind behind the site’s compelling content. Brad is an avid cyclist passionate about environmental and pollution management and promotes cycling for a healthy and sustainable livelihood. He loves to try and review new gears and cycling accessories. He will most likely be in the gym or cleaning up the beach with this beach group when he is not working.