#1 – A CLEAN DRIVETRAIN PROPELS A FAST BICYCLE. The drivetrain of your bicycle translates leg power into forward motion. By keeping the entire drivetrain of your bicycle clean and well lubricated you are reducing unnecessary friction, which helps to eliminate power loss. Clean it AFTER your ride, let it completely dry, and then lube it well before your next planned ride.

Steps on how to clean your chain and drivetrain – http://bicyclethailand.com/july-chain-cleaning/

#2 – RUBBING BRAKES CREATE UNWANTED FRICTION. The ability to slow or stop is integral to the proper handling and maneuvering of any bicycle during its quest for speed. Accurate brake application and snappy caliper release places less strain on the bicycle’s ‘engine’ as it strains to produce forward propulsion. Any malfunctioning of a brake caliper or sticky brake cable that allows dragging, rubbing, or friction to slow the speed of the wheel is detrimental and must be corrected immediately.

Check to make sure your hydraulic disc brakes are functioning properly – http://bicyclethailand.com/bicycle-hydraulic-disc-brake-maintenance/

#3 – SMOOTH SHIFTING = FAST SHIFTING. The rider has three points of contact with the bicycle: the saddle, the pedals, and the handlebar. This last point of contact is often referred to as the dashboard of the bicycle; it is here that the rider spends most of his or her time manipulating the gear and brake controls that directly influence how the rider’s leg power (applied at the pedals) is utilized by the bicycle. Smooth and crisp gear shifting correlates to less power loss.

Guidelines for replacement of brake and gear cables – http://bicyclethailand.com/for-gods-sake-replace-your-cables/

#4 – TIRE PRESSURE. Get it right, get it set, and then reap the rewards that a properly pumped up set of hoops can add to any ride.

Pressure guidelines for Road Bikes – http://bicyclethailand.com/road-bike-tire-pressure/

Pressure guidelines for Mountain Bikes – http://bicyclethailand.com/mountain-bike-tire-pressure/

#5 – WHEEL BEARINGS. Regardless whether your bicycle has sealed, cage, or loose ball bearing hubs a full servicing or replacement will have you coasting down the pavement or floating through the trail with a new found ease. Have your bearings serviced or replaced at your local bike shop.

TIP 1 – Do a coasting test of your bike before having it serviced. Find a familiar hill in you neighborhood or along one of your favorite riding paths. From a marked point coast your bicycle downhill without pedaling or braking and note the distance your bicycle completed before coming to a stop on its own. If you have a cycle computer installed on your bicycle you may also note MAX speed. Have your wheel bearings serviced or replaced and repeat this test to see the difference.

TIP 2 – Ask your local bike shop to give you the old bearings/parts when you have your wheels serviced. Not only will you be able to see the wear and tear present on your old set of wheel bearings but you will also have a great resource in hand when searching for replacement bearings/parts for your wheels in the future.