To improve cycling efficiency is a desire of every professional and recreational cyclist. Cycling is a tiring activity and demands high energy levels. On the other hand, it is a fact that “it is not always the strongest bike-rider that wins”.
This makes us realize that cycling is not merely about having a strong body but numerous other factors that help us improve our cycling efficiency. Here is a list of major factors that will help you improve your efficiency: -
Comfort Directly Relates to Cycling Efficiency
This may seem a very generic factor to you, but trust me, you do not want to compromise on your comfort while you are looking to improve your cycling efficiency. You will get the maximum output from your body and muscles if you keep them in a comfortable position.
The following factors will help you to be more comfortable while riding a bicycle:
Choose the Most Comfortable Bike Seat
Choose a bike seat that you consider the most comfortable for you. Make sure your bike seat has sufficient padding. It should be wide enough to protect your perineum and narrow enough to prevent chafing. Here is a comprehensive guide about how to choose a bike seat.
Make sure you are comfortable with what you are wearing. Consider wearing a cycling jersey, shorts, and underwear the next time you ride around. Most cycling shorts and underwear are gel-padded to absorb the vibrations (protect perineum) and prevent chafing.
Consider investing in good bike gloves. Cycling gloves are designed to prevent hand numbness and keep hands pain-free. If it is cold outside wear winter cycling gloves to keep your hands warm.
If you are not happy with your bike's performance and are looking to buy a new one. Read our comprehensive bike buying guide.
The Perfect Body Posture
A perfect body posture would help you avoid extra stress on your back, arms, and hands. Relax your upper body, and do not let the tension to be developed in your muscles. For this, you must learn how to stay loose on the bike and adjust accordingly.
You must try not to hold the handlebars too tightly as it would make your upper body rigid. Keep your hands loose enough, bend your elbows, and keep your shoulder relaxed. Changing your hands' positions periodically will also help to serve this purpose.
If there is added stress to your upper body, you will get tired quickly and will eventually slow down.
Work on Your Paddling Technique
The paddling technique is one of the best ways to improve cycling efficiency. It will help you achieve greater speed and cover longer distances by utilizing lesser energy. You would like to make sure that while you are paddling there is no dead spot (where power is not being produced).
Learn more about the pedaling technique here.
Master the Art of Shifting Gears
Learning when to shift gears can be tricky for beginners. Being proactive while shifting gears can help you save a lot of energy. This means that you should shift to an easier gear before the slope starts elevating instead of shifting when it has already started to elevate. This will give your cycling efficiency a much-needed boost.
Improve Your Aerodynamics
When we are cycling, we are fighting against the resistive force of the wind. If we have equipment that reduces this air drag and helps us slice through the wind more effortlessly, it would be helpful.
For this purpose, you should smartly select: -
A stylish aero bike helmet
Wearing tight outfits (a bicycling short and a jersey would be perfect).
Improve Your Overall Fitness and Stamina
The stronger your lower-body muscles are, the more power you would be able to generate. For this purpose, you can consider doing various exercises. Even increasing the amount of time, you spend on a bike will also help build these essential muscles.
If you have good stamina, you would be able to exert longer with much more ease and comfort. Thereby increasing your cycling efficiency.
Learn more about building stamina here.