If you’re thinking of either dusting your bike off and starting to cycle or perhaps progressing your cycling fitness, then look no further. Our top 10 cycling training tips for the beginner will help you get started and progress safely so that you can get the most out of your cycling training. Our cycling tips include bike advice on:
Set up your bike correctly
Trying to ride a bicycle that is not set up correctly is like walking two steps forward and one step back. Everyone is different with respect to leg, arm and torso length, so visiting a specialist bike shop — where you can have your saddle, stem and handlebar positions adjusted so that the bike is effectively tailored to your body — is an extremely worthwhile exercise.
Lighten the load on your cycle
For a commute, shopping trip or any form of cycle tour, you will need the capability to carry ample loads. The easy way to carry any sort of load on a bike is … on the bike, rather than on you! A small rucksack is fine if you’re carrying something extremely light, but otherwise it would be wise to invest in some panniers, a handlebar bag or seat-pack. There are some excellent bike-specific carrying systems on the market which will make your journey much easier.
Correct cycling kit makes a difference
A small investment in a few items of specialist bike kit will be extremely useful for you to get the most out of your training. The minimum items are:
An absolute must. Modern cycling helmets are lightweight and well ventilated, and can literally save your life in an accident. The likelihood is that a cyclist will sustain an injury in any kind of spill — so protecting your head should be your top priority.
Seamless and chafe-free, proper cycling shorts won’t necessarily add to the enjoyment of your ride, but will prevent soreness from repeated rubbing and should be a key item in your cycling wardrobe.
Basic bike tools
A set of Allen keys, a puncture repair kit, tyre levers, a spare inner tube and a pump or inflator will keep you on the road. All you need to know is how to change a tyre and mend a puncture and you’re set up.
Not for posing! Sunglasses are actually very useful for cyclists; they will keep dirt, dust and flies out of your eyes, and if you choose a pair with interchangeable lenses then they can sharpen your vision in low light conditions, as well as cutting out glare and reflections.
Bike toe-clips or spuds
SPDs — or ‘spuds’, as they are affectionately known — is the brand name for cycling shoes which ‘lock in’ to your pedal. They make a big difference to your pedalling efficiency because they enable you to pull up as well as push down. If you’ve not tried them before, start with toe-clips, which are easier to get used to. After a while you’ll wonder how you ever managed without them!