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What Are Some Things Cyclists Do To Reduce Friction?

You are out biking and are now wondering how to reduce the friction that you are experiencing. The first is to understand what friction is and then the causes of friction to cyclists. This in turn will reduce friction when out biking.

Simply, friction is the resistance that holds back the movement of an object in this case the cyclists. For cyclists, there are 3 main causes of friction which are aerodynamics, wheels, tires, and drivetrain. You can not completely remove friction but you can reduce its effect.

In this post, we will go through what are some things cyclists do to reduce friction. Let’s get started!

Read more on common questions asked

What Types Of Friction Do Cyclists Should Know?

From the point of view of the cyclists, there are 3 kinds of friction on a bike. These are as follows and there are in no particular order.

  • Aerodynamic friction.
  • Drivetrain friction.
  • Tires and wheel bearings.
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Aerodynamic Friction

Aerodynamic friction simply is the friction between air and the bicycle and cyclists. This deals with the movement of air and other gaseous, with forces acting on the cyclists in motion relative to such air and gaseous

For example, going biking at a speed of 15 km/h takes 25 watts. If we increase our speed to 25 km/h it takes 75 watts. The reason for the more energy required to go faster is the resistance caused by the aerodynamics.

Drivetrain Friction

The drivetrain friction mainly comes from the tensioning of a mech that will cause the pulley wheels they rub on the cassette sprockets and chainrings. This can cause a high degree of friction.

The friction is also contributed to by the bearings inside the bottom bracket and derailleur pulleys.

Tire And Wheel Bearings

Tire and wheel bearing friction occur the faster you go, the more friction there will be even increments.

Problems With Friction When Biking

There are a number of problems with friction and these are as follows.

  • There will always be friction but friction always resists the motion, so extra energy is needed to get through it.
  • Friction can cause wear and tear on parts on the bike.
  • Al well as the extra well and tear will decrease the life expectancy of the parts on your bike.

What Are Some Things Cyclists Do To Reduce Friction?

If you go out biking on a windless day, you will still feel the wind in your face as you ride this is because you are pushing air out of your way as you move through it. The reality is that you can not completely stop friction when out biking.

There are ways to reduce the effects of friction when out biking. These are as follows.

  • Starting off you need to make sure you have cleaned your bike properly and have it well lubricated. You should pay particular attention to the drivetrain area which includes the chains, gears, and derailleur.
  • You can use narrower tires at a higher pressure, this will reduce rolling resistance. There can be issues with narrow tires on tricky or poor terrain.
  • The weight you carry when your biking has a major effect as the more weight you carry the more rolling resistance created. The lighter your bike is and the less you carry the better.
  • Avoid over-changing the gears too often. The straighter the chain run and is parallel to the frame, simply will cause less friction.
  • If on the road you can simply use pedals faster to run the cycle fast to reduce the frictional force produced on the road.
  • The frame of the bike can have an effect. If you have an aluminum frame it will be stiffer so more energy would be used, whereas if it’s still there will use less energy.

Products That Can Help With Friction

There are a number of products that can help with the effects of friction such as lubricating and cleaning your bike. Here are some good ones worth looking at.

Finish Line Bike Care Pack

This kit comes with three products which are a multi-bike degreaser, dry lube, and superbike wash. It helps with the lubrication of your bike as a clean bike runs smoother and lasts longer.

The Multi Bike Degreaser is a biodegradable soy-based cleaner that degreases your bike without the addition of water. This speeds up cleaning the drivetrain and means that you’ll keep excess water away from hubs and other sealed components.

To clean the frame, Super Bike Wash is the product of choice. It dissolves road grime and residues with little to no scrubbing. It is non-toxic and biodegradable, and it is safe for carbon fiber, aluminum, steel, and even your seat and handlebar tape.

Finally, you’ll want to lubricate the drivetrain with Finish Line’s Dry Lube. This formula goes on wet and then sets into a waxy film–in dusty climates, your chain will repel abrasive compounds.

WD-40 Bike, All Conditions Lube, Bike Cleaner, Degreaser, Dry Lube, Wet Lube

WD-40 Bike Use this on your bike chain for high-performing lubrication for dry, wet, or varying condition Prevents friction damage, and helps extend chain life for your bike.

The no-wax formula will not build up inside chain links and drivetrain. Ride with chains you can trust in both dry and wet conditions.

WD-40 Specialist Roller Chain Lubricant Spray

WD-40 Specialist Non-Fling Roller Chain Lubricant sprays on thin to penetrate and then thickens to provide long-lasting lubrication, even with chains operating at high RPMs.

By penetrating deep into crevices, this formula helps protect the chain from rust and breakage.

Wrapping Up

Finally, there is no way to completely stop friction but you can reduce the effects of friction when out biking. You can do this by making sure everything is well lubricated and your tires are at the right pressure. And carrying as light as possible helps with the effects of the friction.

And that’s it for now! I’d love it if this post on what are some things cyclists do to reduce friction was helpful to you. Let me know if you have any questions and let me know if there is more to add.

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Things Cyclists Do To Reduce Friction