Cycling can be confusing to newbies, especially since there are numerous factors at play.
To get ahead of the pack, you need to become equipped with the need-to-knows early on. Otherwise, it can cause some expensive, humiliating, and even dangerous mistakes.
While there is certainly no right or wrong answer when you’re just starting out, it pays to learn from those who have more experience than you. They come with experiences that you may never even read about online. So, start going on group bike rides or asking a professional cyclist — the key is to take in as much information as you can quickly. This way, you can form your own decisions and use the best of your judgment to get on the right track.
As for this article, we aim to save you some time by scouring the web for insights from some of the most experienced cyclists. So, without further ado, here are FIVE beginner cycling tips from seasoned cyclists.
Tip #1: “Always start slow and build from there.”
Going too far or too fast too soon can burn you out prematurely. It also takes the fun out of your rides.
When you’re just starting out, build up your progress slowly and steadily. If you push too hard too soon, you are often left with too much on your plate and not enough room in your belly.
Once you feel more confident and comfortable, that’s when you start pushing your limits and getting out of your comfort zone. At this moment, you’ll regret not challenging yourself.
The key is to pace yourself as you slowly start going further and faster. Set goals, plan out multiple ways on how you can achieve them, and stay motivated.
Before you realize it, you’ll be doing things you never thought you would ever do.
Tip #2: “Invest in good cycling gear you can afford.”
Quality cycling shorts, gloves, shoes, saddles, bar tape, and pedals are probably the best investment any beginner can make, so it pays to get them right.
However, don’t think that expensive is better.
Look for mid-range brands that balance quality and comfort. The last thing you want is to be uncomfortable throughout your rides.
Tip #3: “Look after your bike well.”
Between you and the road, your bicycle is the one that will take you to where you want to go. A well-maintained bike will last you thousands of miles.
Respect it. Cherish it. Clean and oil it every week. Pay attention to how it sounds during every ride’s last mile.
Your bike shouldn’t make any noises. Learn how you can maintain or fix it yourself — from removing your wheels to fixing perforations to installing a new innertube. And most importantly, take your repair kit with you on the road just in case.
Another thing to watch out for is your chains. Get a chain cleaner and degreasing fluid so you can save yourself from frequently replacing chainrings, chains, and cassettes in the long term.
Once you do this, you’ll notice that your shifting is smoother, quieter, and more effortless overall.
Tip #4: “Don’t take nutrition for granted.”
Whether it’s what you eat on a daily basis or what you take with you on the road, good nutrition must take center stage for optimal performance.
While going on rides that take less than an hour, stick to water. If you plan on riding for up to three hours, carbs are your best bet. For rides beyond three hours, on the other hand, a combination of proteins and carbs can keep your body fueled until the finish.
It’s important to remember that nutrition is highly subjective. So, take into account your needs and what generally works best for you.
Tip #5: “Get a professional bike fit.”
When buying your bike, it’s always a good idea to invest in one that’s the right size.
Most beginners make a ton of buying decisions that are simply a waste of time and money. Some even end up riding the wrong sized bike for years before realizing what the problem is. If possible, check your fit after every season. You’d be surprised just how many problems are made worse by ill-fitting bicycles.
A great tip is to find a local bike shop that best suits your needs. Find one you can trust to have your best interests at heart. Consult social media and Google reviews. People are quick to praise the good ones and pinpoint the bad ones.
And there you have it — FIVE crucial tips from the experts!
When it comes to all things, it’s easy to get lost in all the noise. We hope that these insights were able to help you focus on the important aspects of your cycling journey and make it an even better experience in the process.
So, take these things to heart, and happy riding!