Two easy and most overlooked ways to improve your bike's performance: Inflate the tires before every ride, and keep the chain lubed.
But, here are 14 more tips that you may not have thought of!
2. To avoid muscle soreness and fatigue, don't hunch your shoulders. Tilt your head every few minutes to stave off tight neck muscles. Better yet: stop to admire the scenery
4. Relax your grip. On smooth, traffic-free pavement, practice draping your hands over the handlebar. This not only will help alleviate muscle tension, but also will reduce the amount of road vibration transmitted to your body.
5. Periodically change hand position. Grasp the drops for descents or high-speed riding and the brake lever hoods for relaxed cruising. On long climbs, hold the top of the bar to sit upright and open your chest for easier breathing. When standing, grasp the hoods lightly and gently rock the bike from side to side in sync with your pedal strokes. But always keep each thumb and a finger closed around the hood or bar to prevent yourself from losing control if you hit an unexpected bump.
6. As your effort becomes harder, increase the force of your breaths rather than the frequency.
7. Stay far enough in the traffic lane to avoid being struck if doors on parked cars suddenly open. You'll likely hear some honks from motorists who don't understand why you won't pull to the right to let them pass— a honk in your ear hurts less than a door in your face.
8. On descents, your bike is much more stable when you're pedaling than when you're coasting.
9. Always ride with your elbows bent and your arms and shoulders relaxed. This prevents fatigue caused by muscle tension. It also allows your arms to absorb shock instead of transmitting it to your body.
10. When riding one-handed for any reason, grip the bar on top, next to the stem. If your hand is farther out - such as on the brake-lever hood - the bike is more likely to veer dangerously should the front wheel hit a rock, bump, or pothole
11. Get more life from your tires by switching them from one wheel to another. The rear wears more than twice as fast as the front, so swapping every 500 miles or so significantly extends their longevity.
12. Break up long rides with a 15-second sprint every 30 minutes or so- adding variety to a monotonous pace is better training, relieves saddle pressure, and stretches and relaxes your body.
13. After you grab your water bottle, don't tilt your head to drink. Tilt the bottle and squeeze the water in. You'll have more control.
15. For optimal handling with 20 pounds or more of cargo, put approximately 60 percent of the weight in the rear panniers or on a rack, 35 percent on the front rack or panniers, and 5 percent in a handlebar bag.