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  1. #1
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    Ways To Increase Speed

    I own an 08 Giant Anthem 2 FS bike and I like it but im looking for ways to make it faster. I was curious as to what the best direction is. I was thinking of looking into upgrading the rims and hubs as a possibility. Are there any suggestions out there? Is that the right way to go? I figured with the hubs being the major friction point it was a direction to go and good rims can take a lot of weight off.

  2. #2
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    Ride more, get stronger.
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  3. #3
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    Yep. It's just like making a car go faster. Work on the motor... that's YOU.


    Plus riding more is cheaper than upgrading.

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    Low rolling resistance tires, narrower/slick-style tires...

  5. #5
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    I agree, that's easily the best way to add power, with you! After that, I would probably look into technique more than parts, think about parts of your trails where you feel like you ride too slow (climbing, downhills, technical, etc.) and then find some videos on line about how to master those sections.

    Practice > Parts
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  6. #6
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    Make the bike as light as you can afford. Riding a lighter bike will compel you to push it even faster...only because they are so instantly responsive, and stay fast with minimal effort - once you get up to speed.
    "This is a male-dominated forum... there will be lots of Testosterone sword-shaming here" ~ Kenfucius

  7. #7
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    get ripped/ tires like small block 8's or larsen tt's. but mostly get ripped.

  8. #8
    master blaster
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    lighter wheels/tires.
    Quote Originally Posted by ISuckAtRiding View Post
    The dude is like 120lbs, tops lol he can run any tires he wants without issues, i'm sure.

  9. #9
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    Ride down hills
    Pedal faster
    Get an electric bike

    Or ....

    Work on your strength. You are the motor.

  10. #10
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    The increase streangth is a no brainer. Some thing that really added speed and gave good bang for the buck if you want to go the faster biking through spending route is a set of clipless pedals and spend a few weeks learning to actually use them.

    Find a big hill if you have them where you live or a long straight stretch of road. Ride up it or across it as fast as you can! Measure this time and then a day or two later do it again. After 6 months of this you are faster.

    Cycling is just like any other sport 90% of the improvement comes from the rider not the machine. You could buy Lance Armstongs bike out from under him after a race and still not get a big increase in speed.

  11. #11
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    Take your hand of your brake levers, you will go a lot faster. Not being sarcastic. Still use brakes, but try to use less.
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  12. #12
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    interval training.....start them only a couple times a week and for short duration.....then start ramping up frequency and length while decreasing recovery times.....be smart about it....it's pretty easy to over train and frag yourself (check established baseline resting HR for increase after hard days)...

    also...improve your diet...

    if you really are serious about getting faster that is.....

    edit...or if you're lazy, lighter wheels and rubber make the biggest difference....don't forget pedals...hell....anything that rotates...but results will be insignificant compared to actually training...
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  13. #13
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    Do what the pros do. Dope up!

  14. #14
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    Like Chum said , intervals and diet .

  15. #15
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    In general, I agree with everyone who's saying to work on the engine. I'm a fan of road bikes if you're considering structured workouts and planned, structured training. (Riding more works too, though, and it's more fun. ) Do you race? That's good for making the engine and the driver faster, and it's tons of fun.

    However, there are some places where spending a little money can make a lot of difference - really anywhere you contact the bike or the bike contacts the ground. Faster tires and finding the right pressure are huge. What tires are you using? Getting the fit right is huge. Clipless pedals and racing-style shoes make a big difference. What are you using there?

    Eliminating suspension bob makes a big difference. Next time you're riding a road or fire road with a friend, have them watch you and see if you're bobbing your suspension. Also you should have them watch you climb a road or fire road in and out of the saddle. Climbing out of the saddle with poor form will bob even the best suspension, IMHO.

    Unless your hubs are worn out or adjusted wrong, changing them won't make much difference. Take the wheels off and turn the axle with your fingers. If it moves freely and doesn't feel like a pepper grinder, there's not much you can do to improve. If there's a little seal drag, that's not going to make much difference when you're riding. Giant describes yours as sealed bearing, so there's probably no preload adjustment to get wrong. You should make sure there's no lateral play at the rim when the wheel is on the bike with the quick release properly secured. If the hubs are screwed up, your LBS should be able to order you replacement bearings. You also might be able to find them online - a lot of sealed bearings on bikes are standard industrial parts.

    Your rims are already pretty light. You can save up to 100g each with weight weenie parts, but if you actually ride this bike and ever air it off of things, that probably won't make you happy.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  16. #16
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    Start with the standard parts - the chip, intake, exhaust. Cheapos would go straight for the bottle, but I think the Anthem 2 responds particularly well to turbocharging. Really depends on what your end goals are...


    Now for seriousses. Define "faster." Faster climbing? Faster descending? Faster on the road? There's really no such thing as a "slow" mountain bike because just about all of a bike's speed comes from the rider. We can provide some advice on how to improve your riding but we need more information on what type of trails you generally ride.

  17. #17
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    If you're going downhill...get fatter.
    If you're going uphill...get thinner.

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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hopping_Rocks
    Ride more, get stronger.
    I do, 5 times a week. Thats the obvious.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by AndrwSwitch
    In general, I agree with everyone who's saying to work on the engine. I'm a fan of road bikes if you're considering structured workouts and planned, structured training. (Riding more works too, though, and it's more fun. ) Do you race? That's good for making the engine and the driver faster, and it's tons of fun.

    However, there are some places where spending a little money can make a lot of difference - really anywhere you contact the bike or the bike contacts the ground. Faster tires and finding the right pressure are huge. What tires are you using? Getting the fit right is huge. Clipless pedals and racing-style shoes make a big difference. What are you using there?

    Eliminating suspension bob makes a big difference. Next time you're riding a road or fire road with a friend, have them watch you and see if you're bobbing your suspension. Also you should have them watch you climb a road or fire road in and out of the saddle. Climbing out of the saddle with poor form will bob even the best suspension, IMHO.

    Unless your hubs are worn out or adjusted wrong, changing them won't make much difference. Take the wheels off and turn the axle with your fingers. If it moves freely and doesn't feel like a pepper grinder, there's not much you can do to improve. If there's a little seal drag, that's not going to make much difference when you're riding. Giant describes yours as sealed bearing, so there's probably no preload adjustment to get wrong. You should make sure there's no lateral play at the rim when the wheel is on the bike with the quick release properly secured. If the hubs are screwed up, your LBS should be able to order you replacement bearings. You also might be able to find them online - a lot of sealed bearings on bikes are standard industrial parts.

    Your rims are already pretty light. You can save up to 100g each with weight weenie parts, but if you actually ride this bike and ever air it off of things, that probably won't make you happy.

    Thank you for your detailed response. To those of you who's advise was to "work on the rider", I believe that is a given. I ride quite a bit and yes, watch my diet and so on. This was a technical question regarding mountain bike merchanics. I am trying to learn about what parts are advantagous and what isnt.

  21. #21
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    I noticed a big difference almost immediately when I switched my rear tire from a Nevegal to a Small Block Eight. I still keep a Nevegal on the front for traction and control, but the Small Block is perfect for the fast dusty trails around my area.

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    Hire Adam Craig to ride your bike...

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by StarXed
    I noticed a big difference almost immediately when I switched my rear tire from a Nevegal to a Small Block Eight. I still keep a Nevegal on the front for traction and control, but the Small Block is perfect for the fast dusty trails around my area.
    +1 on the SB8's ....when racing i run them front and rear....just gotta get used to a lil' drift in the front.....

    but, if you want stoopid fast XC racing tires throw on a set of Schwalbe Furious Fred's....not the sturdiest tire....traction is almost nil.....and they feel like riding on tissue paper.....but man-O-man are they FAST tires....

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  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stylishxone767
    Thank you for your detailed response. To those of you who's advise was to "work on the rider", I believe that is a given. I ride quite a bit and yes, watch my diet and so on. This was a technical question regarding mountain bike merchanics. I am trying to learn about what parts are advantagous and what isnt.
    please note that 'riding more' and 'training' are actually different.

    if you are racing and want to be competitive you'll need to 'train'

    if you are sick and tired of being the last up the hill on group rides then 'riding more' will suffice.

    sooo...ride with faster people, watch the rolling resistance and weight of rotating mass on your rig....you'll get faster....
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  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by CHUM
    please note that 'riding more' and 'training' are actually different.

    if you are racing and want to be competitive you'll need to 'train'
    +1

    Aside from tires, there's really very little you can do to improve that bike, but unless you're already on a structured training plan, there's still a ton of room to improve the rider, even over your fitness level from riding five or six days a week. Ironically, sometimes it requires riding a little less.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  26. #26
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    After training...

    Then riding technique

    Then well maintained and adjusted bike

    Then comes tire selection.

    Then comes a fast pair of light wheels.

    Then comes lighter bike trim.

    Then comes new lighter bike.

    Then your back to training hard.

  27. #27
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    [insert witty/sarcastic/inane comment here]


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    Honestly... ahh I give up

  28. #28
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    When my bike gets really slow, I turn around and ride the other direction.... usually speeds things up quite a bit
    You better just go ahead and drop that seatpost down to the reflector... the trail gets pretty rough down there.

  29. #29
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    Well, obviously riding more.

    But ride with faster riders. See where they are faster and why. Technique can balance out lack of strength in all areas except for smooth climbs.

    If you are looking at upgrading your bike, think of where you ride.

    Lighter wheels with faster rolling tires can actually make you slower on the trails I ride. The added inertia of heavier wheels act like a flywheel to carry you over technical obstacles. The lighter setup is better for faster acceleration and climbing. But again, if you keep your momentum, you'll be faster through the rough stuff.

    Faster rolling is great. But so is traction. Make sure the tires are appropriate for your terrain.

    The two items that does it for me:

    1) Good Fork. Provides front end accuracy and confidence to push things through the corner and technical sections.

    2) Good brakes. You'll go as fast as you can stop/slow down. Again, goes towards confidence to push through a section.

    But I'm not familiar with the Anthem but thought it was already a quick bike.

    So then it's back to technique.

    Work on cornering speed. How many corners are there on your favorite section. If you are a 1/10th of a second faster in a corner than the other rider, then multiply that by how many corners per section. If you lack technique, you have to push with strength thereby reducing your gas mileage. We all have finite gas, so the rider that can be more efficient has more in the tank for pounding up a hill.

    Work on getting powering technical sections. Rather than slowing down or coasting, choose a higher gear and mash the pedals through it. Basically keep your foot on the gas. You'll pull ahead of other riders that tend to coast over obstacles. Get a feel for the terrain and how the bike wants to move and let it move under you. But you need to keep the cranks spinning under power. It helps you get passed the section and also maintain your speed through it.
    Just get out and ride!

  30. #30
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    Race!
    If you have not done it before. It's hard to describe, well no it's pretty easy, at the sound of the gun 20 second later you just red line your heart rate and stay there for about 1.5-2 hrs. May be I've not race enough to get bored but it's the most fun you can do while punishing your body. After my first race, I was about 4-5 mins avg faster on my local loop without changing a single thing on the bike.

    BTW, on your first race, bring good spirit, and competitiveness, but leave your ego at home. You'll be passed by really old guy, lots of chicks and big guys, and some would be on singlespeed

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by mimi1885
    Race!
    If you have not done it before. It's hard to describe, well no it's pretty easy, at the sound of the gun 20 second later you just red line your heart rate and stay there for about 1.5-2 hrs. May be I've not race enough to get bored but it's the most fun you can do while punishing your body. After my first race, I was about 4-5 mins avg faster on my local loop without changing a single thing on the bike.

    BTW, on your first race, bring good spirit, and competitiveness, but leave your ego at home. You'll be passed by really old guy, lots of chicks and big guys, and some would be on singlespeed

    LOL....yeah I have had that happen already. I have improved quite a bit and was passing a lot of people. So I started to feel like I was the fastest guy out there until one day while climbing a steep hill, some guy came from behind and passed me on the left while going through thick sand and tall grass, like I was standing. He shot ahead of me at warp speed and I never saw him again. I was brought back down to earth.

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by mimi1885
    ...
    BTW, on your first race, bring good spirit, and competitiveness, but leave your ego at home. You'll be passed by really old guy, lots of chicks and big guys, and most would be on singlespeed
    fixed

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  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stylishxone767
    LOL....yeah I have had that happen already. I have improved quite a bit and was passing a lot of people. So I started to feel like I was the fastest guy out there until one day while climbing a steep hill, some guy came from behind and passed me on the left while going through thick sand and tall grass, like I was standing. He shot ahead of me at warp speed and I never saw him again. I was brought back down to earth.
    lol....just when you think you are the bomb - there is ALWAYS somebody else faster!
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  34. #34
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    My first race I was full of spirits, I was not aggressive off the line. Just follow the crowd, got held up by the first bottle neck, you know the drill. Then the first big climb kinda sort out rank and file. By 2nd climb I started to see older male and female rider as well as a few big guy just cranked up pass me they are all very nice and some just cheered on.

    I was just happy that I was there racing. I was in a world of pain and strange satisfaction. I was amazed that some of the people who passed me WOW. Strange thing happen after my first race, I corner better faster, and definitely push myself harder on every climb, as I imagine this 70 year old lady behind me and about to say to your left sonny!

  35. #35
    Hi.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stylishxone767
    I own an 08 Giant Anthem 2 FS bike and I like it but im looking for ways to make it faster. I was curious as to what the best direction is. I was thinking of looking into upgrading the rims and hubs as a possibility. Are there any suggestions out there? Is that the right way to go? I figured with the hubs being the major friction point it was a direction to go and good rims can take a lot of weight off.
    Lighter wheels and tires will make your bike go faster - don't worry about hubs.

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