5 Easy Ways To Make Your Mountain Bike Faster
Articles Blog

5 Easy Ways To Make Your Mountain Bike Faster

October 13, 2019

– We all want to be faster, right? It’s one of those things about nearly everyone who
slings a leg over a bike. But did you know there are
some really simple things that we can all do today, that are going to make you
faster on your next ride? So how can you eke out all
that speed from your bike? We’re going to dive right in
and see if we can find you a few extra seconds for that next ride. (logo slams) (slow hip-hop beat) While setting up your bike,
there are a few things that make a huge difference to how your bike’s going to feel and ride. Now, one of those biggest
factors is tire pressure. Simply put, if you have too little, your tires are going to
roll from side to side, and would generally feel quite slow. There’s also a much bigger
risk of your tire puncturing or burping, if you have a tubeless setup. Now, if you have a greater tire pressure, the tires are going to feel really nice when you roll on hard, smooth terrain, but as soon as you get to anything rough, they’re going to bounce around and they won’t be
conforming to the terrain, which actually gives you
comfort and traction. They’re actually going to roll slower too, which you might not realize, but the effect of the tire
bouncing off the terrain will have the effect
of you rolling slower. Now, harder tires can also
bring down your confidence, because you don’t have the traction, or at least the belief of traction, that you need to hoon
it into those corners. The right tire pressure will
keep your tires on the rim, and avoid excess rolling
from side to side. Punctures, on the most
part, can be avoided too. And your tires are going
to conform to the bumps and undulations of rough terrain, without bottoming out on the rim. (birds chirping) (relaxing music) Now let’s go to the next big setup tip, which of course is the cockpit. Now, a lot of your comfort on the bike comes to personal preference. Being comfortable on your bike
is going to give you more chance to focus on the trail ahead, as opposed to the bike
moving around underneath you. The more comfortable you are, the better the bike is
feeling underneath you, the more you’re going to
focus on what you’re doing, and what you’re actually riding. You got to think about it like the bike is an extension of you, rather than a mechanical
object that you’re maneuvering. Now, this can be simple
things like putting your gears and brakes inboard on the
bars the correct amount, or running your brake
levers higher or lower. Now, some riders like
Aaron Brady swear by having almost horizontal brake levers. But you don’t often see
actual riders with levers pointed all the way down. It really does depend
on your riding style, but it’s a really good idea
to find what’s comfortable and what works for you. And whilst you’re doing
that, you want to consider testing out handle bar
roll, and that means pitching your bars backwards
and forwards in the stem which makes a massive
difference to how it feels, and how it feels on your
wrists which does really affect the fatigue you
get on rough trails. (relaxing music) Now, let’s talk about weight. Firstly, we want to talk
about removing weight from your bike. Now removing weight from
your bike is obviously going to make your bike
lighter, and therefore, your bike is going to climb faster. It’s going to feel lighter to ride. You’re going to be able
to maneuver it nicely as well because of that. Now, a set of lighter wheels or tires will make the biggest
initial difference to that, because it’s the rotational weight. This is what you have to
turn around constantly, and doing this makes a
huge difference in the way your bike accelerates and brakes. Don’t forget things like
cassettes too, ’cause really, that’s a whole lump of metal
and someone who’s budget has 12 speed cassettes may
be amazing at what they can offer you as a range of gears,
but can also be quite hefty. And again, that’s additional weight. Another point about lighter wheels is that they will improve the
action of your suspension. Heavy wheels can choke the
performance of suspension at both ends of the bike. Other places of a bike that can benefit from a trim, are going to be the saddle, seat post, and bars. Can save a chunk of
weight here fairly easily. If you’re really keen
on cutting grams down, you might want to look at titanium bolts, they’re a great bragging point too. (relaxing music) Now you don’t always want
to just remove weight, sometimes adding weight
can be to your benefit. Contrary to what you might think, adding weight can help you gain speed. Putting some extra heft in
the right spot on your bike can add stability by
increasing the sprung mass, which effectively reduces the ratio of your sprung to unsprung. This is why the suspension
on e-bikes feels so good and why they feel so stable in speed and through the rough stuff. Basically, the frame
stays still and the wheels can chop around on the
suspension nice and easy because you’ve got that firm, basis there with all that weight on it. There’s also been a few
brands that have experimented with this in the past,
including Orange with that prototype 329 downhill bike, that had lead weights on the
bottom of the downtube there, I saw that at Eurobike last year. Along with weight, comes durability. Now, on lighter bikes, sometimes it can be a little unnerving, if you’re doubting how
strong, for example, some of your lighter components might be. Now, if you know that you’re in no danger of breaking anything on your bike when you hit a section fast, you’re definitely going
to benefit from the extra confidence to ride fast,
over demanding, rough, and dangerous terrain. Look at the top pro enduro race bikes, they’re often heavier than their downhill race bike counterparts, and it’s because enduro
bikes got to withstand much longer races so accordingly the races will over-spec them to last the duration. Downhill race bikes just need to last to the bottom of the mountain. You got to think about it, the way sacrifices doesn’t
really make any difference in a race that is won
by tenths of a second so they really want a bikes
to be as light as possible. (relaxing music) Give your bike some TLC. As good as your mountain
bike and components might be, if you don’t keep it clean,
greased, and running smoothly, it’s certainly not going to
be much good out on the trail. Get it clean. So what is it about a clean
bike that makes it fast? Well, for one, if it’s covered in mud it’s going to be heavier for starters, and not in the right places either. More importantly, your bike
is full of moving parts, bearings and bushings
need to be clean and free from any grime or muck
that’s going to stop them moving freely. Making sure your bike is nice and clean, keeps it running fresh and
avoids any nasty buildup and nastiness around
your bearings, bushings, or even behind the seals in your shocks. Got to think about it,
the clean suspension is going to work more effectively too, so it’s going to make you
faster at the end of the day if your bike is that bit cleaner. And once your bike is nice and clean, and all that trail and debris is removed, the next step really is
to get out the grease. Grease and lubricants
are there to make sure that any moving part
that is supposed to move moves very smoothly, without friction. If it doesn’t, that friction translates to slowing you down. This includes all bearings, bushings, and of course your chain. Make sure your chain
doesn’t get rusty and noisy, that will certainly slow
you down on the trail. Lastly, with the TLC, is of course servicing your beloved bike. Wear and tear is a nature of the sport, it’s going to happen with the
conditions of your riding. So keeping up with your bike’s needs will keep it riding at it’s best and avoid unnecessary breakages out on the trail. There’s nothing slower
and more frustrating than having to walk back down
the trails with your bike. (relaxing music) Dial in your suspension. So, last but not least,
getting your suspension dialed in correctly is certainly going to increase your speed out on the trail. The shocks on a bike
are highly sophisticated pieces of engineering,
but they’re not faultless, and they need to be tuned into
both riding style and weight, in order to perform to their best. This includes setting sag,
rebound, and compression settings as well as volume spacers if
your shock or faults take them. It can sometimes seem
like a bit of a minefield, but the important ones
are sag and rebound. Now generally, sag is going
to be around 20 or 30 percent of your available travel out
back and 15 to 30 up front. Rebound’s a little more
down to preference though, it’s got to be slow enough to control that suspension movement, but fast enough that it
doesn’t get bogged down. Alright, well there you go, hopefully you’ve picked up on a few tips on how to make your bike faster in a way that won’t cost you any money whatsoever. Essentially, look after your bike, keep it in good condition, and to follow along with that, I’m going to throw you to
a couple of helpful videos. Firstly, click down here
for how to clean your bike if you live in an apartment. There’s no excuse for not
keeping your bike clean no matter where you live. Henry takes you through the
process of that right there. And I’ve got a video on
how to set your suspension up in ten minutes right down here. Anyone can do this, in ten minutes, you can do it on your own, all you need is a shock
pump and a bicycle. Don’t forget, as always,
to give us a huge thumbs up here at GMBN, and if you click subscribe, make sure you click that
little bill up there and you’ll get a notification every time we have a new video go live so you don’t miss any action, and give us a thumbs up. Cheers, guys.

Only registered users can comment.

  1. I want to be more like a freerider but a enduro bike how can i make a enduro bike feel like dh bike or like a freeride kinda thing

  2. Dialing in the derailour, bike don't go real fast with the chain jammed in between the cassette and the dork disk/spokes

  3. My top tip: Don't crash it. Since the bike doesn't tend to move all that much when you are told not to ride for 3 months by the doctors :p

  4. is it just me or is this a coincidence that i commented there on last video about asking about how i can go faster on my crap hardtail

  5. the biggest factor is you yourself. I have a great bike but I've only been riding for about 5 months now. I have so much to learn

  6. Also don't forget to lubricate your bike, for example, you can spray a bit of silicone grease on your rotors, then you'll be much faster in the downhill.

  7. well, my excuse for not keeping my bike clean is that the bike i don't keep clean is the one i rarely to never use and i only own it to ride down to town so i don't risk getting my nice expensive bike stolen.

    my two nice bikes are kept clean, lubed up and ready to go at all times and the only time i ever didn't clean my bike was cause i was not able to do so cause i had another riding day the day after and i slept in a tent between two swedish mountains that night

  8. Setting up tyre pressure in is all about how much you weigh if you are under 60kgs 20 psi. If you weigh over 60kgs 30-35pis

  9. Why haven’t pinion gearboxes thrived as much the weight is in the right place and they are much less vulnerable to mechanicals than the convensional system, the benefits far outway the negatives in my opinion

  10. Old school here…see if these are on the list…
    Increase tire pressure.
    Center wheels.
    Center, straighten rotors.
    Clean drivetrain.
    Last but not least…have lots of great sex.
    Your welcome.

  11. #ASKGMBN Hi guys! I seem to have destroyed my backwheel axel. At the local bikeshop they change it but I still sense an odd feel riding it. Can you point me to what my choices are in dealing with this? My bike is an XC 29"

  12. Hey Doddy, I’m a morbidly obese male. I weigh 245lbs and I’m 6ft. If anything I want to be slower and safer. Falling hurts like hell.

  13. #askgmbntech What is your opinion on bikes like the Giant Trance 29er that have 130mm and 115mm of travel front and rear. Do you see a need for a bike that falls in between XC and Enduro?

  14. Has anyone else been recently struggling with the chain reaction cycles app getting stuck on the loading screen and not loading or allowing you to look at anything?

  15. Speed can be gained by running tires that have the optimum tread pattern and rubber compound for the terrain you’re riding. The tire’s thread count and sidewall construction can also be a factor in the bike’s rolling speed and cornering capabilities – choose the one that suits your riding style and preferred terrain.

  16. #askgmbntech hey Doddy! I ride a hard tail salsa timberjack Deore 27.5+. I am 6 foot tall weighing in at 245 beer guzzling pounds. I currently have a tubeless tire on my rear and the original tubed tire in the front. Obviously tubed and tubeless offer different pressures. Can you advise on that would be a good suggestion for my rear tubeless and front with tubes being such a hefty guy? Cheers

  17. One tip that seems to be missed by most Bicycle riders / (ex) spurts is fresh tyres , tyres with sharp edges give the best traction , if your knob edges or worn are rounded the grip will be sub standard .

  18. Doddy you're a blond headed bike genie. I really wish you were my friend in real life, we carry the same values and personality honestly. Any time you're in Ventura California hit me up brotha.

  19. I love mountain biking and I am doing it from 11 months and I go to school and my age is 13, so due to my school and tution studies I had left mountain biking for some time and the games like free fire make us mad about them and I had also started cancelling my 10km rides in morning. GMBN I am coming back to mountain biking because of you! VERY VERY BIG THANKS!!!!!

  20. I my case, after I've changed my handlebars, I started to feel a pain in my wrists. With a tiny amount of rotation of the handlebar, changing the angle of attack of my wrists, the problem was solved. The effects of a good (or bad) handlebar angle (~rotation) is massive, to bike fit and to confidence.

  21. Funny- adding weight. I’ve got a Pinion fun sus enduro bike. I’ve had some guys meet on the trails and say “all that extra weight must slow you down!” For one it’s not that much more. Two, it’s not on the rear wheel- which makes the rear sus much better. Three; as you mentioned- it’s weight is in the bottom centre of the bike. And you just suggested it makes it faster having the weight there.

    Love my Pinion bike. Most people find it fascinating. Those other guys are just jealous lol.

    Thanks for a great video

  22. Looking at upgrading my forks on my hard tail scout to gain a little speed and comfort! Leaning towards rock shox pike but can’t choose between dual air or solo model? Any tips or preferences??

  23. Hi GMBN ,i have a question, my height 72.2 . Does the GT avalanche model fit frame size 16, tire size 27.5 fit for me? I want buy mountain bike.

  24. Hi guys just wondering if u know if any websites that can help me DILE in my suspension when I set it up my self I can never feel the bike when I ride it’s Ether to soft or to stiff . If you get back to me can you put a link to a site plz . Thanks ?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *