Mountain Bike Maintenance

EASY WAYS TO GET MORE SPEED OUT OF YOUR MOUNTAIN BIKE

Getting more speed out of your mountain bike doesn’t have to be an expensive feat. There are plenty of small adjustments you can make yourself to really squeeze every last morsel of speed out of the bike. Here are some easy ways you can make your bike the fastest it can possibly be.

TYRE PRESSURE

Nothing slows your bike down like consistently riding with the wrong tyre pressure. Most people have their tyre pressure too high, giving them less traction and slowing them down. Depending on the trails you ride and your riding style, your ideal tyre pressure will vary. If you are unsure, set your front to 26psi and your rear to 29psi. If you use inner tubes or are a particularly heavy rider, add a couple of psi to these figures.

CLEAN EVERYTHING FROM TOP TO BOTTOM

You would be surprised how beneficial a good clean can be for your bike. It isn’t just psychological either, a clean drivetrain can make a sizeable difference when it comes to performance. It will also help keep your parts well maintained and save you money on replacements in the long run.

CHECK THE REBOUND SPEED

When riding your bike to its limit over rocks, roots and logs, your suspension is constantly working. If your suspension rebound speed isn’t fast enough, it cannot fully recover between obstacles. The right rebound speed shouldn’t be so fast that you can feel your bike push back, but similarly, it should be fast enough to recover between obstacles and not pack down and give you instability over tightly packed obstacle sections.

KEEP YOUR CHAIN WELL-LUBRICATED

A well-lubricated chain means you can harness every ounce of force you put into the pedals and convert it into raw speed. It will also make it easier to keep clean, as a well-lubed chain resists dirt in wet conditions.

CHECK THE BRAKE PADS FOR RUBBING

The easiest way to do this is by turning the bike upside down and spinning the wheels. If you don’t get a long, fluid spin it might be because the brake pads are rubbing against the disks on the bike. To avoid any inefficiency caused by this, realign the brake calliper to reduce drag.

CHECK YOUR SADDLE HEIGHT

You want your saddle to give you the optimum position to exert the full force of your legs onto the pedals with every stroke. To get the right saddle height, you will need to know your inseam measurement. As a general rule, your saddle to bottom bracket measurement should be 10cm less than your inseam measurement. If your inseam measurement is 70cm, the distance between your bottom bracket and saddle should be 60cm.

TIGHTEN EVERYTHING

If your bike makes a lot of noise, chances are some energy is being lost through rattling bolts and parts. Check everything is tight, well lubricated and there is no give in parts which are not designed to move. This will make everything more streamlined and efficient.

Once you have made all of these amendments, you should find that your bike is performing a little better and that you are more efficient in your pedalling. This will translate into a faster bike, all without spending a single penny.

 


Do you have any other ideas to get more speed out of your bike? Share your thoughts through the comments below.

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Peter Williams
peterwilliams@dinga.com.au

Peter loves bikes of all kinds. He has a passion for mountain biking right through to cycling long distance. He is sharing his experience here OnDECK.