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Friday, July 7, 2023

How to Increase Overall Bicycle Efficiency

Below is a list of ways, apart from chain efficiency and wheel efficiency (which are covered in separate posts), that can help increase the overall efficiency of a bicycle:

  1. Bike Fit: Ensuring your bike is properly fitted to your body can significantly improve efficiency. Adjusting saddle height, handlebar reach, and stem length can optimize your riding position and reduce unnecessary strain or discomfort.

  2. Aerodynamics: Minimizing wind resistance can enhance efficiency, especially at higher speeds. Consider adopting an aerodynamic riding position, using aero handlebars, and wearing form-fitting clothing to reduce drag.

  3. Weight Reduction: Reducing the weight of your bike and gear can improve efficiency, especially during climbs and accelerations. Look for lighter components like frame, fork, handlebars, and saddle, and consider carrying only essential items during rides.

  4. Tire Selection: Choosing tires with low rolling resistance and the appropriate width for your riding conditions can make a noticeable difference in efficiency. Look for tires designed for speed and consider using a higher tire pressure, within the recommended range, for reduced rolling resistance.

  5. Smooth Pedaling Technique: Focus on maintaining a smooth and circular pedal stroke. Applying force consistently throughout the entire pedal revolution can optimize power transfer and reduce energy waste.

  6. Proper Gearing: Using the appropriate gear ratio for the terrain and your pedaling cadence can improve efficiency. Shift to easier gears for climbs and heavier gears for flats or descents, aiming for a comfortable cadence that allows you to maintain a smooth pedaling rhythm.

  7. Braking Efficiency: Minimize unnecessary braking to maintain momentum and reduce energy loss. Anticipate stops and decelerate gradually instead of abrupt braking. Ensure your brake pads are properly aligned and not rubbing against the rim or disc when not engaged.

  8. Regular Maintenance: Keeping your bicycle well-maintained is essential for optimal efficiency. Regularly clean and lubricate moving parts, check tire pressure, inspect and adjust brakes and gears, and address any mechanical issues promptly.

  9. Body Positioning: Pay attention to your body posture while riding. Maintain a relaxed upper body, engage your core muscles, and distribute your weight appropriately to maintain balance and stability, improving overall efficiency.

  10. Training and Fitness: Regular training and improving your physical fitness can enhance your overall cycling efficiency. Focus on building cardiovascular endurance, leg strength, and flexibility through a well-rounded training program.

Remember, efficiency improvements may vary depending on individual factors such as riding style, fitness level, terrain, and weather conditions. Experiment with different techniques and adjustments to find what works best for you and your specific cycling goals.

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About the Author

Charles Moffat is equal parts bicycle mechanic, cyclist, painter, sculptor, fantasy writer, poet, website designer and pun maker. For more details see



Do you own a bike shop and are looking to hire a bicycle mechanic in North America? Just email me with the job posting details and I will post it for you. (Also, please let me know when the job has been filled so I can update the posting.)


If your bicycle is basically junk and you don't know what to do with it then SELL IT TO ME. I will use it for parts. I will give you a fair price ($20 to $30) for your old clunker just so I can rip it apart for parts.

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