30 tips for cyclists: beginners and not only

30 tips for cyclists: beginners and not only

Is cycling the most challenging sport in the world?
Definitely not. However, there are quite a lot of variables in this difficult task, and even more unenlightened novice cyclists. Well, let’s seek certainty and eliminate illiteracy in the cycling community… together.
Yes, we also may not know everything or do not take into account something, and with your help, the knowledge base for beginners can be replenished with useful information. So, we are waiting for you in the comments in our Facebook group.
We managed to collect a number of tips that we are in a hurry to share with you, beginners, or just curious.

1. Don’t get hung up on one frame size.

Manufacturers try to take into account the parameters of the average person when building the next frame. However, these parameters may vary from brand to brand. The size of 51 cm, for example, in Bianchi will correspond to 48 cm in Specialized. The figures are taken from the directory of “Spatola”, so don’t give them much importance.
In other words, if you’ve been riding a bike with a 19-frame for a while, it doesn’t mean that the same size will appeal to you from another brand.
i happened to come across the 19th rostovka at the budget brand, it more or less suited me. But when I switched to the same size Specialized, I just lay on the bike, so much longer it was. Only 3 centimeters, it seems that this is a trifle… but believe me, even 5 mm play a significant role in the fit, handling and speed of the bike. Yes, you can compensate for a long frame with a short extension, but not everything comes at once, you need experience.

2. Cadence is important.

There are studies in which it turned out that the smaller cadence is the natural father of power. However, these studies did not consider the health of the knees. Studies on the knees show that the increased frequency of rotation of the pedals spares them.
The ideal cadence is 90 rpm. However, everyone has their own indicator, but it keeps approximately within these limits for the vast majority.
In general, we strongly recommend that you read our article on these very cadence studies with a scientific approach.

3. Buy yourself a bike computer.

No, however, it is quite inexpensive and allows you to track changes in the value of the average speed. And what could be better than knowing that you have become faster?

4. Try to ride in a good bike form.

You can buy expensive helmets, flashlights, wheels, saddles, and grips for comfort… but all this pales in comparison with the sensations that a really good and thoughtful bicycle form gives. Namely, the shorts. High-quality diapers in cycling shorts will increase your comfort many times over. Words are even difficult to describe how cool they are to drive. Having tried after such clothes ordinary, you will understand life ? The world will never be the same again.

5. Don’t be afraid of driving on public roads.

if you follow the basic rules of the road, then driving on public roads becomes much calmer. that is, you should not fly to the intersection first, without making sure that there are no other vehicles completing the movement, you should not skip on the flashing traffic lights, let pedestrians pass, make eye contact with the driver in whose maneuvers you are not sure, communicate with the flow, indicate your maneuvers and you will be happy.

6. do not try at first to break all the world records for speed and distance of races

it won’t work out right away anyway. it is better to relax and just have fun, progress will not take long to wait. if you drive all the time with your teeth clenched, you won’t get far. even experienced cyclists have the concept of”rolling in”. They don’t start the season with a record.

7. Allocate the maximum amount of money for the purchase of a bicycle.

Later, when you learn a little more about bicycles, you will thank yourself many times. After all, buying the cheapest device you risk depriving yourself of the joy of a high-quality upgrade due to design features. And the desire to upgrade comes sooner or later.

8. Always use bicycle lights.

Even during the day. Even when the sun is at its zenith! Bicycle light makes you much more visible in the general flow.
By the way, we have an article where we explain the need to use a bicycle light.

9. if you started your cycling journey with a road bike, then try touring or gravel driving.

the latter is now gaining wide popularity, and for a reason.
these bikes are much more convenient for long-distance road trips, if you do not have endurance, of course. and even if it is, then a little lost in speed, on the gravel road you will gain a lot of comfort. it is provided by rather fat tires from 36 mm and wider, and a special geometry. the geometry allows you to sit down less aggressively and increases the softness of the course. in addition, carbon versions of gravels contain various kinds of structural solutions, which are in use well “flex”. well, or bend, as it is more convenient for anyone. regardless of the word used, flexible frame elements are aimed at… that’s right, comfort! and, yes, the line between touring and gravel is quite blurred for many manufacturers, keep this in mind.
By the way, we made a selection of available gravel, highway and MTB bikes.

10. Read the weather forecast carefully

take into account its variability and take action. It is likely that it will be advisable to bring a raincoat or a little more water than usual, if the weather promises to be hot.

11. Get out of the comfort zone, throw yourself a challenge is always interesting.

friends call you to go where you would never have been yourself? agree. Are you afraid that the bike is not prepared enough for such a route? You just try it. any adventures, almost, will only fill you. in any case, get an unforgettable adventure and a cool story in the piggy bank.

12. Watch your bike.

He will thank you for this by working properly in any conditions and at any distances. A running bike will always create a lot of problems and take away extra strength to fight them.
Maintenance of an MTB bike with a good fork is especially important, it does not tolerate disrespect. I didn’t follow up a little and the precious covering of my legs was destroyed. It is impossible to restore it, the expensive element will start to work poorly and will require replacement. It is much cheaper to serve it on time.

13. Just go for a drive.

Always, everywhere, with friends, in proud solitude, in the forest, in the mountains, on the beach, in the country, to work… just ride, any trip does not go for nothing. You will always learn something new about the bike and about yourself.

14. Go to the contact shoes and pedals

At first, it will seem that it is scary. The key word here is ” seem”. In fact, riding in contacts is very convenient and safe. From the very first meters, you will feel how much more effective the contact pedaling scheme is than the usual one on conventional pedals. Before the transition, try to practice a little, during stops, rehearse the quilting of the support leg.
To me, the transition to contacts was given very easily and without a single fall, I always had time to quilt. There was once that I was confused at the traffic light and did not have time to quilt, there was a bus nearby, and I rested my hand on it) It’s simple) There were cases when he was close to falling, but at the last moment he managed to pull out his leg instead of quilting it. Especially for this case, I adjusted the pedals so that the foot leaves the engagement a little easier.

15. On the rise, do not rush to give everything to the fullest

Make sure that your fuse will last until the end of the slide. It is better to start the uphill slowly and steadily, and you can give everything at the very end, when the top becomes visible. We have devoted an entire article to the uphill movement, and we recommend that you read it.

16. Drink water, eat carbohydrates

Replenish your supplies regularly. It is important to keep yourself in shape, and the impressions of the trip will be much more pleasant. Slides, by the way, will also be submitted more willingly to a well-fed and unburdened with thirst cyclist.

17. on a wet road, try to avoid sharp turns.

The grip of the tires becomes worse and this factor must be taken into account when performing maneuvers. It is better to straighten your trajectories as much as possible, and reduce your speed. And the brakes. In wet weather, be careful and take into account the increased braking distance, as well as the increasing possibility of locking the wheels.

18. do not tear your muscles, use the transmission

It is cheaper to change the switch or manette than the knees! Seriously, before the climbs, after them, on flat terrain… always use the gears to keep the cadence in a convenient mode. if you bounce on the saddle because the pedals are turning too fast, slow down. if you swing your whole body on the rise to turn the pedals-pick up another gear, where the cadence will be more. So the legs will be easier, and they will remain healthier. and don’t think that the harder you pedal, the stronger your legs will become. they won’t get stronger or bigger. And they can be sick. You need to swing your legs in the gym, there are completely different conditions for this.

19. Just relax and have fun

And again. The sites in Strava are beautiful, but you will not be enough for all the records. The bike is not only sports achievements, but also exciting adventures. Explore the area around your home. Then explore your city, then its surroundings. There are so many places you’ve never been.

20. Don’t avoid climbing

They’re not going anywhere. You can always handle them. Just give yourself a chance, relax, pick up a normal gear and … pedal.

21. Buy the best tires you can afford

On the road, when one puncture follows another at a distance of 5 kilometers, there will be few good impressions from the trip. Anti-puncture tires will save you from these unwanted adventures, although they will not save you 100%. However, in urban conditions, people drive without punctures for years, provided that they have allowed themselves at least a Schwalbe Marathon.

21. Buy the best tires you can afford

On the road, when one puncture follows another at a distance of 5 kilometers, there will be few good impressions from the trip. Anti-puncture tires will save you from these unwanted adventures, although they will not save you 100%. However, in urban conditions, people drive without punctures for years, provided that they have allowed themselves at least a Schwalbe Marathon.

22. Use YouTube for your education in the service area of the bike

So you will save a lot of money on the service in the workshops. Well, or, at least, you will become more competent to operate the equipment, which will also save a lot of money.
Experience in the workshop shows that competent full technical maintenance of the bike sometimes exceeds half of its cost. In some cases, IT costs as much as the whole bike. So, learn, be enlightened, ask “stupid questions” and appreciate the technique, then it will become a source of joy, and not a constant cost.

23. Take an inviolable supply of money with you

It will allow you to get home with a bicycle, for example, from the other end of the city. There can be many reasons for this… both banal fatigue and technical problems.

24. Get a bicycle technical first aid kit and a spare camera

The first-aid kit includes a set of lats, glue, sandpaper, mountings and, as a rule, is sold in any bike shop. Of course, you need it if you know how to deal with punctures. In this case, go back to YouTube and study this process. The spare camera will be about the size of a first-aid kit. Its presence will greatly speed up the process of re-sorting the wheel on the way. By the way, do not forget to detect the source of the puncture and fix it on the inside of the tire.
If you also carry a medical kit with you, then you are just a bicycle God and it is not clear why you read these tips at all;)

25. buy a bike according to your real needs

if you intend to drive around the city in a relaxed mode, then you do not need a two-suspension trailer. You will simply carry an extra 5-7 kg of iron with you. Gravels are gaining popularity now, as they have incredible versatility, but are quite expensive. The most popular are still budget mountain bikes with toothy tires. But are they so suitable for urban conditions…? Why carry extra weight with you and pay money for servicing an expensive fork, if it does not work even at 10% of its capabilities? There are many such questions.
In general, before buying a bike, evaluate your needs and choose the appropriate equipment. So you will definitely be satisfied in the long run.

26. Don’t buy the first thing you see

DO NOT be tempted to buy a “cool and beautiful” bike in a supermarket with a price tag twice as low as that in a bike shop. He’s so low for a reason. Low-cost bikes from the supermarket can be just as dangerous to your health.

27. A saddle similar to a sofa only seems comfortable

A thin and narrow saddle that may seem uncomfortable to you is actually very comfortable. they are designed for long trips. However, on some models in ordinary clothes can be uncomfortable. Then try the bike shorts with diapers, which we have already mentioned here. This solution will be much more comfortable than just a wide and thick saddle.

28. Helmet!

Buy yourself a helmet!

29. BAF

And buff, it’s much more comfortable and pleasant to wear a helmet with it. Even in hot summer weather.

30. Stop reading, go for a ride)

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