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Long Haul Road Cycling – How To Conserve Your Energy

The most successful road cyclists are incredibly skilled when it comes to conserving their energy. Whether it’s riding mastering a riding position or wearing the correct clothing, they know that every calorie counts. When it comes to cycling, it’s all about burning slowly and efficiently using your energy throughout the ride so that you can use your extra energy when it’s needed. Below are a few tips we have for getting the most out of your energy when road-cycling long distance.

Spokesman Clothing Limited1. Riding posture

It may sound simple but sitting on your bike correctly conserves energy. If you’re sat too far forward or you’re too high up, it can lead to poor energy transfer and sometimes can result in injury.

Protection cycling shorts are always a good way of making yourself comfortable.

The padding is designed to support your body and fit you right when you’re in a cycling position. Our shorts have been designed with this in mind. Click here 

Perfect posture is always important for cycling; let your legs do the work. Try to keep your upper body as still as possible, relax your shoulders and keep looking at where you’re going. The more you move around, the more energy you lose. Focus on loosening up and pushing all your energy into your pedals.

2. Cut Cadence on Climbs

Data from seven pro cyclists during the 1999 season covering the Tour, Giro and Vuelta showed that cadence usually dropped on climbs to 60-80rpm [Lucia, A. et al, 2001]. In flat peloton-based stages and individual time trials, cadence averaged 80-99rpm. Spin when riding against the clock or in a group but lower the revs when you climb for longer periods.

This goes against the 100rpm climbing method, so one size does not fit all. Try varying cadences to see what works for you. At the very least it will stimulate your muscles and nervous system differently, most likely causing some positive changes in cycling efficiency.

3. Change your technique

You can potentially improve your bike performance by changing the way you pedal, but we’re only talking about marginal gains. So if you’re a beginner, you’re better off concentrating on training consistently, improving your equipment and maybe getting some coaching at a local club. Pedalling technique should be a long way down your list of worries.

But if you’re an experienced rider looking to make small improvements, you could certainly shave off a few seconds by thinking about the way you pedal. For now, it seems that the two best ways to do this, are optimising your cadence and trying out ovalised chainrings. We aren’t saying that you’ll become the next Chis Froome, but you certainly could improve your PB.

4. Wear the right gearSpokesman Clothing Limited

It may sound obvious but lots of people forget that what you wear can seriously alter how successful you are on your ride. If you wear a jersey, you have plenty of storage space for your water, snacks and anything else you need to bring along the way. Your helmet, gloves and glasses are important as they lower the risk of any injuries. If you are to come off your bike at any point, your cycling gear can protect you and help you to jump back in the saddle quickly. Here at Spokesman, we have designed our range to take our riders’ safety and comfort into consideration. We have a range of riding accessories here click here 

5. Drafting

Drafting is by far and away the number 1 way for you to conserve energy during a race.  Unbelievably, in a peloton ( a group of cyclists), riders can save up to 40% (1) of their energy by riding behind others or to the side opposite where the wind is coming from.  This means that if the rider pulling the pack is laying down 400 watts, the riders behind him only need to put out ~240 watts to keep up.  The further down the line you are, the greater the energy conserved, so if you find yourself coming to the front of a peloton or paceline in a race, slow up a little bit so you stay in the slipstream and make the other riders work.  This will conserve your energy, but may not make you many friends!

These tips are just guidelines and suggestions that can help you to improve your cycling technique.  For more daily tips and techniques, don’t forget to follow us on  Instagram, Facebook and Twitter!