5 More Hacks To Make Your Bike Even Faster

5 More Hacks To Make Your Bike Even Faster


– Back again to help you
go faster on your bike. Recently I gave you five hacks to make your bike just
that little bit faster. And well, as ever, you lot
got stuck into the comments and gave me some suggestions of your own. So here’s five more ways in which you can really
increase your speed. I feel the need, the need for speed. (upbeat music) (logo whooshes) Yep, a controversial one to start with but lowering your stem is a sure fire way to get a little bit of extra speed. And if you go really extreme
you could end up looking like a downhill skier. But what’s the purpose behind it then? Well, it’s actually to capture
less air with your upper body and according to some tests out there, if you were to lower your
stem by 20 millimeters, you could in fact reduce
your aerodynamic drag by up to 10 watts which
is pretty big numbers, I’m sure you’ll agree actually,
in this marginal game game. Now, James Lowsley-Williams’ bike here, he’s already lowered it quite a bit but he’s got about five
millimeters there to play with. So, he too could even save
himself a little bit of time if he’s doing a time trial for instance. However, it’s not all plain sailing because you have to be
able to hold that position once you’ve slammed your stem. Because you are going to
be using different muscles and also engaging your
core more, certainly so it’s something worth bearing in mind. If you are gonna go ahead
and slam or reduce the height of your stem, make sure you
do it in gradual increments. I would suggest no more than
five millimeters at a time and over a period of time too, just to actually get used to that position and see if you can hold it. (upbeat music) So you’ve slammed your stem,
or at least maybe you have. Now, we’re gonna go a little bit narrower at the front end too. So, we’re gonna go for
some narrower handlebars. So, traditionally, riders
used to choose handlebar width loosely based on the
width of their shoulders. So, you go into a bike shop and quite simply hold
up a pair of handlebars and hope that they match
in with your shoulders. However, that trend has
been bucked in recent years. So, let’s say over the
last five years or so, riders have actually been
dropping down a couple of centimeters here or there to get a little bit narrower of course, therefore reducing you
frontal area enabling you to just get through that
wind a little bit easier. However, some riders have
quite simply taken it to the extreme, for instance, Dutch rider
Jan-Willem van Schip. He’s actually gone down to a pair of 32 centimeter
wide handlebars, that’s the measurement at the hoods. The drops of the bars do
actually flare out a little bit so they’re not strictly 32s
but, if you ask me, they are because you spend most of your time riding on the hoods there. That’s pretty extreme. However, someone who’s
gone even more extreme than that is Matthew Glaetzer, a member of the Australian track cycling team. Check out these bars, they are super narrow,
I’m sure you’ll agree. Now, I’ve dropped him a line asking him just how wide they were
because I had a look at them in Adelaide this year
at the Tour Down Under when the bike was on display there. Sadly I didn’t have my
tape measure with me but those are probably
the narrowest handlebars I have ever seen. (air whooshing) So what about those savings then? Well, providing that your
elbows are nice and in line and they’re not flaring out at all, you could be looking at
the same kind of savings that you get from slamming your stem. So, 20 millimeter narrower wide handlebars could save you up to 10 watts. So just imagine how many watts Jan-Willem
van Schip is saving. Possibly up to 50. That’s incredible isn’t it? 50 watts. (upbeat music) Of course for this one if you’re using already a one-by setup, there’s no gains to be made but if you’re using a
good old reliable, tried and tested two-by set up, you
can save yourself a little bit of energy to go a little bit faster. How though? Well, first up you’re gonna
remove that front derailleur. It kind of fills me with
a bit of sadness really, to take off a Dura Ace Di2 one and also take off those chain rings and replace them with an
aerodynamic filled in one that’s gonna cut through
that wind ever so fast. Of course, it is gonna leave you without your full offering of gears, so it’s not really advised
for a road racing cyclist, I don’t think. It’s more reserved for time trialists or possibly, dare I say it, triathletes. What about the savings then? Well, at 30 miles per hour, you’re looking at round
about four watts, let’s say. So, not the biggest savings in the world, but a saving none the less. You’re just not gonna have
your full gear offerings. So, I’m not gonna do this to James’s bike because, well, he’d probably beat me up. (upbeat music) Cross chaining, not only
does it look really bad and unlikely to get you a
Super Nice in the Bike Vault, it’s also inefficient, the reason being the
chain isn’t able to go in a really straight line
from the front to the back and instead is going at an angle. So, for example, in this bike here, we’ve got it in the big chain ring and we’ve got it in the
big sprocket at the rear. Chain is going at that horrible angle. Likewise, if you’re in
the small chain ring and that little small
little sprocket there at the rear is going
at the opposite angle. The best angle to be at is none at all, so it’s going nice and
smooth from front to back. However, on the flip side,
it’s actually more efficient to be in a big chain
ring and a big sprocket because the chain is actually
working at less of an angle around the sprocket at the rear, therefore able to transform your power a lot more efficiently because
it’s not got that tight bend. But, how are we gonna get there then? Well, for a start you’re gonna
have to get a big chain ring at the front, possibly
a 60 tooth chain ring. This is certainly what many
time trialists have been doing in recent years. And in turn, instead of having
to use the little sprocket here at the rear when they
were using a normally 53 or a 54 tooth chain ring,
which was inefficient, instead they’re finding
themselves riding more in the middle of the cassette paired up with that big old 60 tooth chain ring because not only is that giving a nice smooth transmission feeling, because you don’t have the tight bend, you’ve also got a really
straight chain line, which is great for efficiency. (air whooshing) Oh, the savings, well it’s
very hard to quantify this one because it does depend on
the size of the chain ring and the size of the sprocket at the rear but it’s likely you are gonna
be saving one or two watts. A perfect example actually
of where this has been used to real success is in the team pursuit and pursuit on the track where riders are using
massive old dinner plates here on the chainset and then a
bigger sprocket at the rear just to get that increased efficiency. Go ahead and try it. (upbeat music) Now this one’s something
to be a little bit wary of because it’s not UCI legal, so, don’t blame me if you get caught but adding trip strips onto a bike. This is something which bike
brand Ridley did I think back in about 2011 or 2012, something like that and since then it’s not
actually been allowed, as far as I’m aware. What does it do then? Well it actually reduces turbulence around the tubing of a frame by placing some strategically
placed trip strips on it. And now the way it works is, similarly to the way in
which the dimples work on a golf ball, and well we’ve seen that
sort of technology used on bikes so far. The savings, they’ve been said to possibly reduce your
aerodynamic drag by up to 4% which is pretty big,
I’m sure you’ll agree. Let’s have a look then
at how they would look if I were to, well, try this at home. (upbeat music) So areas where you
could in fact place them on the bike include the
head tube, the seat tube, the seat post and such like. And I mean, Wridley did do it and it was, I do believe,
banned by the UCI so there must be a reason
behind that, going faster. But I’m sure though that the engineers at TREK have actually explored
various different options on how to make a bike faster
rather than using bits of sticky backed tape and,
well, some string underneath it. But however, I’m sure
James Lowsley-Williams, he’s gonna be absolutely smashing PBs and going at lease 4% faster with my little
modifications onto his bike. (air whooshing) So there we are, five more
ways which you can go faster on your bike. Let me know though if
you’ve got any suggestions or solutions for that because I’m keen as ever to read exactly what you’ve been doing to
go a little bit faster. Also, you may well be wondering
what this is all about, this glittery t-shirt. Well, in fact, this is a very limited and only for a couple of weeks
leading up to Black Friday. So you gotta be fast to
get it at a special price. So head on over to
shop.globalcyclingnetwork.com where we’ve got even more
special edition goodies for Black Friday. Don’t forget too to like and share this video with your friends. Give it a big old thumbs
up, tell someone about it who needs to go just
that little bit faster. And now, for another great video, how about clicking just down here?