Get your tyre pressure right
Don’t just blindly inflate your tyres until they feel hard, use a track pump with a pressure gauge. Put the right pressure in relative to your weight and the road conditions. An under-inflated tyre will increase rolling resistance, be more prone to pinch flats, will handle badly. It can even come off the rim. Conversely, an over-inflated tyre will give you a harsh ride, less traction and is more prone to damage from sharp rocks and similar road hazards.
It is also important to remember that your front tyre will typically need 10% less pressure than the rear. The maximum inflation figure found on tyres will have been established by the manufacturer and will have a considerable tolerance built in. This doesn’t mean however that you should just pump and pump regardless. Experiment to find what tyre pressure suits you, the tyres you are running, your riding style and the conditions.
Most road bike tyres typically require 80-130psi (pounds per square inch). To find your ideal pressure, start in the middle of these ranges, then factor in your body weight. The more you weigh, the higher your pressure needs to be. For example, if a 70kg rider uses 100psi on his road bike, a 90kg rider should run closer to 120psi, and a 60kg rider could get away with 80psi.
Keep your bike clean and well-maintained
Advanced aero profiling is not much good if your frame’s covered in grime. Muck also adds unnecessary weight. It can easily negate the grammes you shaved off with those titanium skewers. Pay particular attention to your drive chain as energy lost. Ensure sound or friction is energy that isn’t getting to your rear wheel. Double-checking your bike set up before a big event is really important. Check that your brake blocks aren’t rubbing especially when you get out of the saddle.
Daniel Amby is a professional cyclist who has been active in sports and coaching for the past 20 years in Thailand. Daniel is well-known across the country for all the victories in national level motocross competitions such as reaching 1st place in Nationals for Super Cross Series, 1st place in FMSCT Thailand Super Cross Championship and Southern Thailand Championships.