How to Design Your Own Speed Bike

by Kyra Sheahan
Design a speed bike that fits your size.

Design a speed bike that fits your size.

Polka Dot Images/Polka Dot/Getty Images

Whether you are gearing up to cycle in a tour, marathon or race, your speed bike is the apparatus that will send you soaring past the other contestants. Designing your own speed bike gives you creative control over what the bike looks like and how it rides. If you have a particular vision in mind for your bike, and haven't found an already-made bike from a retailer that appeals to you, you can design your bike the way you want it.

Items you will need

  • Measuring tape
  • Drawing paper
  • Drawing utensil
Step 1

Use a measuring tape to measure your inseam. This allows you to determine your frame size, which you will need to draw to scale when designing a road bike. The frame size is crucial for comfort and to avoid injury on your ride. Measure your inseam by placing a measuring tape up to your crotch and taking it down to the floor. Subtract a couple of inches from your final number to consider that a saddle will take up some of that measurement on the bike.

Step 2

Draw the frame of your bike based on your measurements. Include your saddle and handlebars. Design the saddle to be taller than the handlebars. Since your bike is for speed, you want your torso to dip in a downward slope towards the front to be more aerodynamic. The higher your torso is on the handlebars, the more drag you get when you ride.

Step 3

Design your gear system. Choose from a fixed-gear or gear-driven bicycle. In a fixed gear bike, you gain speed quickly, but you are locked into one gear for the duration of the ride. When you have a 10- or 11-gear bike, you can change the gears to adapt to the incline of the road and your speed. A fixed-gear bike weighs a little less than bikes with gears and chains, which can help your speed.

Step 4

Draw your handlebars. If you are participating in a cycling event, you should research the rules for the handlebars to see which ones are acceptable. For instance, aerobars can disqualify you in certain tours, but are appropriate for triathlons. The handlebars also affect your performance. If you are doing more speed cycling than climbing, you may not need aerobars, which assist with resistance.

Step 5

Identify the materials you want to make your bike frame out of. Speed cyclists go for lightweight frames, such as carbon fiber, as they produce little drag and can move faster with less effort. An aluminum frame is a little heavier.

Step 6

Decide what types of clips and tires to use on your bike. Thin tires are the best for speed purposes, and metal clips that your cycling shoes latch into will help you propel the bike faster.

Step 7

Embellish your bike's design. If you are participating in a special event, you might want to get a custom paint job with your sponsors' names on the bike frame. Pick out the color you want your bike to be.

Photo Credits

  • Polka Dot Images/Polka Dot/Getty Images