We all lust over new bikes, perhaps those exotic carbon wheels that the pros are riding will supercharge your performance and smash your STRAVA KOM’s. But what about your current bike, is there any way you can make it faster? Here are 5 tips from the ENDURO team to make your bike faster!

What tyre pressure should I run in my MTB?

When was the last time you checked your tyre pressures? Nothing impacts the feel of your bike more than the pressure in the tyres, too low and it will squirm under hard corners, too high and your bike will skip and lose traction everywhere. The perfect tyre pressure depends on lots of factors, the trails you ride, your rims and tyres and how aggressive you are, so sadly there is no magic number, but with a little work it can be found. If you are tubeless (and you should be) try starting with 1.8 Bar (26 psi) front and 2.0 Bar (29 psi) rear, perhaps 2 psi more if you are heavy or still run tubes.

Each time you ride adjust the pressures up and down 2 psi at a time until you find the perfect pressure that gives you massive grip without squirming or burping in the corners. Write the pressures down and make notes about how the bike feels on the trail, over roots and through hard berms. After trying a number of pressures you will start to learn how they affect the feel of the bike and know quickly how to optimise pressures for different trails. Very soon you will have the perfect setup with massive grip and blistering speed.

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Get your tyre pressures dialled for maximum performance.

How should I set my MTB’s rebound?

Does your bike feel slow and sluggish, yet harsh over fast hits? Yes? Then it may be worth checking the rebound speed. As you start to ride faster you will be hitting rocks and roots faster, making your suspension work harder. If your rebound is set too slow, (more damping) the suspension will not be able to recover fast enough between hits and will start to ‘pack down’ running out of travel and getting rowdy over rock gardens. After checking that you are running the correct sag, on your next ride find a rocky passage that you can repeat easily and before you start note down your current rebound speed.

Ride the section the remove 2 clicks of rebound damping (make it faster) and see how the bike feels, remove two more and repeat again, remove 2 more and try again. Try and get a feel for how the bike is responding to the changes. Try the opposite direction too. Look for that point where the bike starts to feel like it’s starting to push back at you as it recovers too quickly. When you get to this point add one or two clicks of rebound (make it slower) and you should have a setup that is fast enough to take the hits, without being too fast to upset the balance of the bike. Repeat for both the fork and rear shock and aim for a balanced setup. Make sure you write it down.

For more information on setting up your suspension, check out our How To on Adjusting Front Suspension.

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Be sure that your suspension is performing to its optimum.

How high should I run my stem?

If you are still running the same stem spacers that the bike shop fitted for you it may be worth checking if they are properly set for you. If you feel that the front wheel is hard to weight in corners and is running away from you, especially if you ride a slack long travel bike, try removing some of the spacers below the stem. A lower front end will put more weight on the front wheel, helping you maintain control in hard turns and allowing you to really rail through berms. Alternatively if the stem is too low the bike can become hard to manual and unweight. Experimentation is key to finding what works for you, so try a few different combinations to see how the handling of the bike changes.

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If you are having trouble in the corners, check your stem height.

Avoid that brake rub

Lift your bike up and spin the wheels, are they silky smooth or do they spin like an arthritic hamster in its wheel. If they only spin for a few revolutions then perhaps your brake pads are rubbing on the disks. If your brakes are not set up correctly you are simply burning energy and wasting speed. To get the best out of your bike, make sure that your wheels spin freely by checking that the brake caliper is aligned properly and that the pads are not dragging on the discs.

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Don’t waste energy, check that your brakes are not rubbing.

A quiet bike is a fast bike

Everyone knows that a quiet bike is a fast bike, treat your bike to half an hour of attention. Check all the bolts are tight and that there is no play in the headset, bottom bracket or suspension bushing. Make sure the cables are not rattling and ensure it’s properly lubricated. After a quick once over your bike will be quieter and you will be inspired to ride it faster.

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Keep it quiet, don’t let noisy distractions put you off.

Once your bike is all dialled in, you will be amazed how much faster it feels! Now go shred!

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