Just bought a flashy new bike? Or still making your mind up?
When it comes to cycling for beginners, there are a lot of things to consider.
To help get you ready for this wheelie good hobby, here are a few handy cycling tips on equipment and techniques.
Cycling for beginners requires the right equipment, so stock up! Here’s our essential kit list:
- Padded shorts – ignore at your peril! Without padded shorts, you could find sitting down a little tricky for the following few days. Invest and not only will your ride be more comfortable, but your backside will thank you too.
- Helmet – don’t be a helmet – once you start clocking up speeds, you need to protect yourself in case you fall off. It might just save your life.
- Toe and clip straps – secure yourself some toe and clip straps and see the rewards. Greater security for your feet will allow you to mount a better pedal efficiency. However, you will need to learn how to stop without putting your feet down – read on to find out how to do this.
- GPS/cycling tracking system – make sure every mile you clock is recorded so you can monitor success and find ways to improve your performance.
Learn the basics of bike maintenance
Our next cycling tip is all about maintenance. Don’t fear, you won’t need to learn the complexities of a bike. However, carrying out a few basic maintenance procedures will most definitely get you out of a few sticky (or flat) situations.
Before you set off, check your tyre pressure using a quality floor or hand pump. You’ll find the recommended level on the sidewall of both your tyres.
If you have a puncture, it’s worth learning how to fix them using our video guide. This should get you out of a situation or two on the road as well. Don’t forget to stock up on a bike puncture repair kit before you leave.
It’s also worth cleaning and oiling your chain regularly to avoid annoying creaky noises from setting in and stop your chainring from wearing out so quickly – which isn’t cheap to replace. You can find a selection of bike lubes and oils here.
Nutrition is everything
Our next cycling tip involves food – yay! Long bike rides burn a lot of calories, with our bodies only carrying around 90 minutes worth of glycogen for intense cycling. So it’s important to make sure you’re fuelling your body every 30 minutes with a banana, energy gel or cereal bar.
Show great tekkers
When it comes to cycling for beginners, technique is key to staying safe on the road, avoiding injuries and maximising performance. Make sure your bike is positioned right for your height and shape so you are comfortable when you’re in full flow.
Sadly you won’t be able to cycle forever, so learning to stop your bike while using pedal clips might be a good idea. As mentioned before, using clips and straps to secure your feet in the pedals removes any slipping and allows you to increase pedal efficiency. The only problem is stopping!
Practice on a soft piece of grass down the park, slowly applying the breaks until you feel comfortable to drop your heel and twist away from the bike. Just bear in mind, your foot should be parallel to the crank before you twist.