In part 2 on our Make your bike faster series, Alex Heaney takes us through some of the most cost effective purchases you can make for your bike to get that bit more speed out of it.  There are so many different ways you could spend your money in cycling, but here’s Heaney’s top five tips for speed on a budget.

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Make your bike faster#1: Free speed

It gets to a stage in cycling where, as with just about every sport, further improvements will start to cost.  Once you get through your free speed options it can be a little overwhelming to try and wrap your head around where to spend the hard earned dollars; and most of us can’t really approach tech gains with a ‘money’s no object’ approach.  Here, Alex Heaney gives his top tips on what the most cost effective options are to give you and your machine a bit more of an edge.

Bike Fit- Having a proper bike fit can be one of the best purchases you can make. Whether it is getting as aero as possible in your TT position to reduce drag or getting into a position on your road bike where you are working mechanically efficient. By changing small things to your setup can make sure your body is working in its full range and motion and working to its full potential. Things like saddle height, saddle fore and aft, handlebar position and even cleat position all affect efficiency and comfort. Get in contact if you would like to talk more about our Velogicfit 3D System or book a bike fit session.

Rule28 Aero Socks- Who would have thought that something as simple as socks could make a difference to how fast you go, but they do. There are many aero socks on the market now and you would struggle to go to an event and not see any but we think that Rule 28 Aero Socks are one of the best. Their testing has found that it is faster to wear no socks than your standard sock in fact, but then by wearing their aero sock you can save up to 5watts at 40kmhr and up to 10 watts at 50kmhr over a standard sock. That’s pretty big saving for a small price, pop in-store or get in touch and we can hook you up with some. 

Fitting Clothing or Skinsuit- You, as a person, account for 80% of wind resistance when riding a bike therefore what you wear has a big effect on that. You can imagine how you look during winter with all your winter jackets on vs in the middle of summer in your bibs and jersey or even at a Time Trial with a skin suit on, big difference in attire. A few tests have shown that clothing can, in fact, make more difference than wheels on certain occasions. A lot of pro cyclists now are wearing skinsuits during road races for this very reason as well as wearing the Castelli Perfetto/Gabba during colder races as it is a lot more slim fitting than your standard winter jackets.

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Waxed Chain- Using a waxed chain has become bigger and bigger after Wiggins used one for his hour record and there are many different brands doing them and believing in them now. A waxed chain is the most efficient and cleanest way to lube your chain. Wax reduces friction between all the links in a chain and allows it to move a lot more freely. It also keeps your chain clean as it doesn’t attract and stick any unwanted grime to it which keeps it like new all the time. However they do not last forever and most brands say around the 3-500k, but you can then re-wax and good to go again. We can do this in store if you are ever wanting a few extra seconds over your mate so get in touch. 

Aero Helmet- Helmets are also one of the things that you don’t expect to make a big difference but they do, especially Time Trialling. Wearing an aero helmet can be up to 50sec over a 40k TT. There are also different types of helmets that suit different positions such as long tail or short tail versions. Also having a semi-aero road helmet for road racing can make a difference, they tend to be a little heavier and not as ventilated as your standard road helmet but their aero gains make up for that being up to 40sec.

Find out more about Spoken Cycles here. Catch up with Blair Taylor or Alex Heaney to get coaching through Spoken Coaching and take your cycling to the next level.


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