Experienced bikers prefer to bike through the off-road tracks, like rugged mountainous areas. Any other rough, uneven terrain can also be beaten by riding on robust mountain bikes. So, how to make a mountain bike faster?
Mountain bikes have been designed and constructed to withstand the wear and tear, and still, stand strong against all adversities. As you ride, mountain bikes provide you more clearance so that you can climb gorges and ruts.
They can fly through cragged and dented paths and still provide the rider the comfort he is looking for with fewer chances of punctures or injury.
Some adventurous riders aim to ride even faster on these bikes and seek for tips and tricks on how to increase the velocity of these 2-wheelers. How do you make them go faster? Let’s dive right into that, shall we?
Step-By-Step Tips on How To Make A Mountain Bike Faster
1. Change The Tires
Most mountain bikes come equipped with bumpy tires because manufacturers assume that the riders are going to steer through trails only, which is absolutely not the case.
Experienced and adventurous riders take the extra mile to climb on mountains, wheelie riding, grass fields, rocky surfaces, and even across ravines because that’s just the way to roll for some bikers.
If you are one of them, then it is time for you to change those bumpy tires into the slick ones. Slick tires will give more velocity to your tires, at the same time maintaining that traction and ease of movement. Also, make sure the sizes of the tires are perfect for your mountain bike.
2. Ensure The Tires Are Inflated And Ready To Roll
Bikes that have overinflated or underinflated tires can not only have an adverse effect on the rider’s speed but also cause harm. Over-inflated tires are so firm that they resist smooth rotation, the result being an extreme discomfort while riding.
Under-inflated tires would refuse to turn smoothly too, and would appear lumpy and wobbly—they would make you climb off the bike and move on foot instead!
Therefore the second most important step that you should consider before starting your journey is to make sure that your bike tires are properly inflated.
Properly dilated tires will give that velocity that you, being a daredevil rider, have been looking for, for such a long time.
3. Get Rid Of Any Brake Problems
When you are about to go on a ride, and your bike is hanging onto a clamp ready to be mounted, check first things first. Turn the wheels around with your hand to check if they revolve fast and without obstruction.
If they fail to turn smoothly, then your bike may have a ‘brake rub’ issue, where the brake calipers catch or hit the wheel disks even when they are not engaged. This causes friction, and friction is notorious for slowing riders down. Can you take care of this with your MacGyver skills at home?
The good news is, yes you can, with a simple screwdriver. Use this tool to release the tension from your brake calipers. Also, align the calipers properly so that their pads do not rub against the wheel disks. This alignment between the brakes and the wheels is absolutely essential to boost the velocity of your mountain bike.
4. Keep Your Bike Clean
Cleaning gadgets is paramount, though overlooked. For months, your bike has been serving you loyally, but you refuse to even acknowledge the layer of dust accumulating on its body.
A dirty bike, or an ill-maintained bike, will wear down soon. Remember, as you use your bike to ride down muddy and uneven terrains, there is a high chance for grime and other debris to deposit inside the drivetrains. In the long run, this can significantly reduce the speed at which you normally like to ride.
So, how will you clean your bike? Spraying water on the bike with a water hose could be an easy option, but make sure the water pressure is optimal, not excessive. High water pressure will actually do more harm than good, much in the contrary to your expectation. It will slide and push dirt and grime into the bearings.
Do not spray on the engines, the bottom brackets, or any other part with a bearing seal. Products like WD-40 or Simple Green sprayed onto a brush to clean the chain and the pulleys, work wonders. As for the brush, any toilet cleaning brush brought from a dollar store would be just fine.
The rest of the bike can be cleaned with a rag and dish soap. Just leave the bike to dry for some time or wipe it off with a dry towel. You don’t need to spend too much on the cleaning equipment, but do make sure you spend a significant amount of time cleaning that bike, or else it will cost you high in the future,
5. Just Relax While Riding
When you are holding on too tight or feeling tensed, this stresses the muscles of your body and you seem to weigh more on your bike. What you need to do is chill while you are riding.
Keep your arms and legs slightly bent without extending them completely straight. Also, make sure that you are not imposing too much pressure on the brakes with your full hand grip—that is completely unnecessary. Placing just one finger around the contemporary hydraulic brakes would be sufficient.
This allows you to maneuver the grip like an expert, keeping your focus on the road. Also, shift your weight backward—hunching or leaning forward too much might cause your bike to topple, and you to fall flat on your face.
At the same time, ensure you are not leaning too far back, as doing so will render your brakes inefficient. Therefore keeping chill and leaning in the correct angle will let you ride faster!
6. Trust Your Bike
Once you have relaxed on your bike, now it is time to trust your instincts and let the bike ride you along for a change. A biker, normally slows down when he reaches the bumpier and more dented parts of the track—but what if you do not slow down, instead feel the bumps a little bit more?
Your bike’s tires and other mechanisms are designed in such a way that it will guide you forward for some time on its own, as if it’s on an “auto-pilot” mode.
Therefore maintain your momentum, do not slow down on the rougher segments. In this way, your speed won’t be hampered and you would be able to gain more momentum when you arrive at the smoother parts of the track.
7. Decrease The Tire Pressure
Tire pressure should not exceed 25 lbs at the front tires. It could be slightly higher at the back wheels. Higher tire pressure means the tires are too firm, therefore the rotation of the wheels will not be smooth.
You can consider going for tubeless tires. These bikes do not have air-filled tubes inside the tires, therefore, the issue of air pressure does not exist.
8. Rule The Corners
When you are about to turn a sharp corner, a centrifugal force is created. This force tries its best to throw you off the bike and into the bushes, but don’t let this evil force succeed!
When you turn, remember to lean. But the problem lies in the fact that the radius of the turn and the speed of your bike are rarely ever in a harmony, therefore you must remember to keep your bike and body leaning at different angles.
It basically means while you are turning your bike around the corner, keep your body straighter. So your bike is leaning but you are not!
How To Make A Mountain Bike Faster On The Road
Certain bikers, who own mountain bikes, like to ride the same bike on the roads as well, to commute to school or work. Riding a mountain bike on the road may sound a bit out of place at first, but it is only practical when you think about it.
Mountain bikes are sturdier and safer. So what do you need to do to go faster on the road using a mountain bike? You need to make some changes to these four things—suspension, gearing, tires, and positioning.
Suspension: If you have a lockout, use it to adjust the suspensions to ride easily on the roads. If you do not possess a lockout, simply increase the air pressure in the suspension to make it stiffer to roll on the road. This will reduce bobbing while you pedal on even ground, like a road.
Tires: Pump up your mountain bike tires to 40-50 pounds per square inch (PSI). You can also carry some slick spare tires with yourself while you go for long road riding sessions, so that, if you change your mind and want to ride on the mountainous areas instead, you can replace with the spare tires.
Gearing: If you are using a different set of wheels for mountain biking and road riding, then you can get a new set of cassette or rear gears too. The cassettes for road rides have more gears for gradual increase in your cadence for a faster ride.
You may also consider swapping chain-rings to get that desired speed while riding on smooth, even grounds.
Position changes: Use lower handle-bars for the superior aerodynamic experience. This, however, increases the pressure imposed on your hands, so make sure your body will be able to adapt to this change. You may also add a drop-handlebar instead.
Mountain bikes can be ridden not only on mountainous and rocky surfaces but can be customized to go on even terrains as well. They are a great mode of transportation for kids and adults alike.
Tires and air pressure have a big role to play. Get tires with lower air pressure, like the tubeless tires. Tires with less air pressure tend to roll faster and more smoothly, letting you glide along uneven surfaces. If you want to use your mountain bike on the road, you can customize it easily by adding little tweaks here and there.
Don’t wait any longer! Get a mountain bike and elevate your mountain biking experience!