How To Get Faster At Cycling (Easy Tips)

For some, the idea of pulling out their road bike and hitting the open road is a no-brainer. They’re in love with cycling, and they’re always looking for ways to get faster. 

However, if you’re new to cycling or just trying to improve your speed on the road (or on trails), it can be overwhelming at first. 

Where do you start? What’s the best way to make yourself faster? And what does “fast” even mean? We asked some experts from coaches and pro riders to physiologists—what tips they have for getting faster at cycling. 

Here are their top tips for improving your performance off-the-bike:

8 Ways to Cycle Faster

Sure, here is a single column takeaway table based on the TITLE:

Key Takeaways
Cycling performance can be improved through proper training, technique, equipment, and lifestyle habits.
Glute activation is an important factor in improving cycling power and efficiency.
Lactic acid buildup can be mitigated through proper breathing, hydration, and gradual intensity buildup.
Leg pain after cycling can be alleviated through stretching, massages, and recovery exercises.
Cycling can be a great way to lose weight, but it’s important to also adjust your diet and mindset.

Practice Your Kicks

This is a big one. If you want to be able to kick fast, you need to practice it. 

The best way I’ve found is with a stationary bike or trainer set at an incline so that you can actually stand up and sprint for 10 seconds at a time without falling off the back of your bike (of course, if you are on a road bike this won’t work). 

After every few intervals, do some jumping jacks or something along those lines so that your full body gets used as opposed to just your legs…

Practice kicking with a cyclops or trainer: These trainers simulate hills by making it harder for the rear wheel of the bike to rotate while in use – this makes pedaling easier but prevents forward motion until it’s released after which point nothing stops you from flying down whatever hill lies ahead! 

You can also try setting up these trainers so they only have one gear which simulates going up steep grades because now instead of having several gears at different speeds available while riding outdoors, all gears are essentially set equal since there’s no difference between them anymore since each gear corresponds directly with another one (i.e., first gear = second gear etc.).

Instead of just relying on brute force and pedaling harder, check out this article for tips on how to improve your cycling performance by optimizing your posture, technique, and gear.

Lift Weights

Lifting weights can help you get faster at cycling. It will increase your strength, power, and core stability. This will make it easier to ride uphill fast and hard.

Lifting weights will also help with your overall health. When you lift weights for a few weeks or months, you build muscle mass in the affected area(s). 

The more muscle mass you have in an area of your body, the higher its metabolism will be (i.e., it’ll burn more calories even when resting).

Do Intervals

Intervals are short, hard efforts that are repeated over time. They’re a fantastic way to improve your fitness and get faster on the bike. 

Intervals help you get stronger, burn more fat and improve your anaerobic threshold (the point at which you become out of breath).

If you want to be a faster cyclist then intervals are something that should be added into your training plan.

How To Do Interval Training:

  • There are different types of interval training but we’ll look at 3 common ones for the purposes of this article:
  • Tabata Training – 10 seconds hard followed by 20 seconds rest repeated 8 times = 4 minutes total workout time.
  • Superset – 2 exercises back to back with no rest between them e.g deadlift + squats = 1 superset exercise completed every minute for 6 minutes total workout time…

If you’re looking to use cycling as a way to lose weight, this guide can help you make the most of your workouts by providing tips on how to adjust your diet, training routine, and mindset.

Jumping Rope

Jumping rope is another great way to build leg strength. You should be able to jump rope for at least 15 minutes without stopping. Jumping rope is also a great cardio workout, which can help you improve your cycling speed.

Use A Cyclops Or Trainer

There are two main ways to use the Cyclops or Trainer. The first is by using it in a stationary position and pedaling at a high rate of speed, usually around 70 RPMs per second. 

This will allow you to build your aerobic capacity and improve your cardio system over time. You can also use it in an accelerated position where you quickly pedal fast enough so that when you stop pedaling, there is still momentum in which the bicycle keeps moving forward without any help from you.

Experiencing leg pain after cycling can be frustrating, but there are ways to alleviate the discomfort. Read this article to learn about some stretches, massages, and recovery exercises that can help soothe sore legs.

Take Spin Class

While spin class may not be the most obvious way to improve your cycling speed, it’s actually a great option if you want to be more efficient when riding. 

Taking a spin class regularly will help you learn better technique, build strength and power, and improve your cadence all of which can lead to faster cycling.

Spin classes are intense. A typical class is 45 minutes long and includes intervals of short bursts of high intensity exercise followed by recovery periods that allow time for you to catch your breath before jumping back into another burst of intense activity. 

This means that in one hour you’ll get an excellent cardiovascular workout while also building up muscle strength and endurance.

Spin classes are an opportunity for practice. Although some people take lessons from instructors before attending their first spin class (which is always recommended), many others simply show up without knowing what they’re doing at all and this can be an advantage! 

It’s often easier for beginners to learn new skills through trial and error than it is by trying them out under the watchful eye of someone else in advance; however, there are still some basic guidelines that instructors tend to follow which can make learning easier:

Try High Cadence Spinning

If you’re going to be doing a lot of high intensity cycling, you might as well do it in a way that will be as beneficial for your body as possible. High cadence spinning is one way to do that. It’s also one of the best ways to get faster at cycling!

What is high cadence spinning? It’s when you pedal at around 90 RPM or higher with your arms fully extended, making sure that each pedal stroke gets completed before starting another one (so there’s no overlap). 

This increases the amount of work being done by each leg per minute and allows for more power output than regular pedaling does. This can help increase both speed AND endurance while doing intervals or otherwise practicing sprinting.

As any experienced cyclist knows, engaging your glutes during cycling is crucial for improving power output and efficiency. Find out how to activate your glutes while cycling with these expert tips and exercises.

Train With Power

Power training is a great way to improve your cycling speed and strength.

Power training can also help you improve your aerobic base, so it’s a perfect complement to more traditional base building workouts like tempo rides, threshold efforts, and longer intervals.

There are many different types of power-based workouts that you can use in training—from short efforts focusing on explosiveness (such as short sprints) to longer intervals at a harder pace (such as VO2 max intervals). Here are some examples:

Get Comfortable Being Uncomfortable In The Suck Zone

The Suck Zone is a place where you need to spend time if you want to get faster. It’s the area where your body feels exhausted, uncomfortable, and just plain bad. 

If you can learn how to be comfortable in this state then you will be able to push harder than ever before and make massive improvements in your cycling performance.

The first step is recognizing when you are in the suck zone. The easiest way to do this is by paying attention to your breathing:

  • If it’s shallow or labored
  • If it takes longer than 60 seconds for each breath (a normal breath rate for an athlete should be between 12-20 breaths per minute)
  • If there are gaps between inhale/exhale

Lactic acid buildup is one of the main causes of muscle fatigue and performance decline during cycling. Learn how to mitigate lactic acid with these easy tips, such as avoiding dehydration, proper breathing, and gradual buildup of intensity.

Do More Tempo Training

Tempo training, also known as lactate threshold training, is a type of interval training that improves your aerobic base. 

It can be done on a bike or treadmill and will help you improve your cycling speed significantly over time.

Tempo Training Table

Type of Interval TrainingBenefits
Tempo TrainingImproves aerobic base and lactate threshold
High-Intensity Interval TrainingIncreases speed, power, and VO2 max
Endurance TrainingBuilds endurance, reduces fatigue, and improves recovery
Fartlek TrainingEnhances mental toughness and flexibility, and simulates race conditions
Hill Repeats TrainingBuilds strength, power, and speed, and improves technique on inclines

To Improve Your Cycling Speed, Improve Your Aerobic Base

If you want to improve your cycling speed, improving your aerobic base is the first place to start.

If you look at any of the top cyclists in the world, they all have a very high VO2 max (the maximum amount of oxygen they can utilize during exercise). The higher their VO2 max is, the faster they can ride.

Improvements in lactate threshold and anaerobic capacity will also help you improve your cycling speed. 

You’ll be able to do hard efforts for longer periods of time before getting tired (improved anaerobic capacity) and recover faster between those hard efforts (improved lactate threshold). 

Improving economy will allow you to pedal more efficiently as well which will help save energy while riding so that it doesn’t take as much effort on any given ride.

Improving Your Aerobic Base Table

Ways to Improve Your Aerobic Base in CyclingDescription
Tempo TrainingIncreases lactate threshold and improves endurance
Long Steady RidesBuilds aerobic fitness and helps burn fat
Intervals TrainingStimulates fast-twitch muscle fibers and VO2 max
Cross-TrainingImproves overall fitness, targets different muscle groups, and reduces boredom
Recovery StrategiesPrioritizing sleep, hydration, nutrition, and injury prevention to maximize recovery and performance


Congratulations, you know the basics of how to get faster. Now it’s time to put in some hard work and make it happen!

Further Reading

If you’re interested in improving your cycling performance, here are some additional resources to check out:

BikeRadar’s article on average speed in cycling, including tips for increasing your speed and tracking your progress.

TrainingPeaks’ blog post on how to get faster on the bike, with advice on training, technique, and equipment.

Bicycling’s article providing three different cycling workouts to help you get faster and build endurance.


What are some common ways to improve cycling performance?

Some common ways to improve cycling performance include proper training and conditioning, optimizing technique and form, using appropriate gear and equipment, and maintaining a healthy diet and lifestyle.

Is there a specific type of bike that is best for improving cycling speed?

While there isn’t a single “best” type of bike for improving speed, road and time trial bikes are commonly used for their aerodynamic design and lightweight frame. However, the ideal choice depends on factors such as your body type, fitness level, and preferred riding style.

Should I do weight training to improve my cycling performance?

Weight training can be beneficial for building strength and resistance, which can improve cycling speed and endurance. However, it’s important to balance weight training with cycling-specific workouts and recovery techniques to avoid injury and overstrain.

How can I measure my cycling performance and progress?

Cycling performance can be measured in various ways, such as average speed, distance, time, heart rate, power output, and cadence. Using bike computers, GPS tracking devices, heart rate monitors, power meters, or mobile apps can give you valuable insights into your cycling stats and progress.

What role does recovery play in improving cycling performance?

Recovery is a crucial part of cycling performance as it allows your muscles to repair and strengthen after intense workouts. Adequate sleep, hydration, nutrition, stretching, and rest days are all important for maximizing recovery and preventing burnout or injury.