When you’re taking up cycling as a sport, it can seem like there are tons of things to learn and not enough time to soak it all in. You want to get riding after all. Who has the patience to sit around and study a riding guide when there are 2-wheeled adventures out there waiting?
Good thing for you, sixthreezero is dedicated to being your riding buddy. Your friend who’s going to help you through a crash course in biking and giving you the best tips in a handy cheat sheet.
So you can get out and get cycling ASAP, read this guide to everything biking for newbies including bicycle safety tips and learn what overall riding range means, and tons of advice from why you should keep an upright riding position to the benefits of riding a beach cruiser.
- Focus on correct riding position. You’ll be more comfortable and happier all around if you sit upright when you ride, which means you need the right size bike for you.
- Get some padded shorts. If you think you’re going to be riding a lot, padded shorts in addition to a padded saddle is essential to keep your backside from hurting.
- Wear your helmet. You bought a helmet, right? It’s imperative that you wear it even in places where it isn’t mandatory. A bike helmet can save your life.
- Keep your body protected. When you’re starting out, think about wearing gloves and knee pads for protection in the case of an unexpected crash.
- Consider your pedals. Customize your bike’s pedals for the way you ride. You might want to use pedals with clips that secure to your cleats but that are easily releasable.
- Invest in sports glasses. You don’t have to spend a fortune or give great thought to fashion, just get some glasses that will protect your eyes from bugs, the weather and road debris.
- Maintain your chain. Make sure you regularly clean and oil your chain, particularly if you ride in poor weather. Maintaining your chain means your chainrings won’t wear out that quickly.
- Check your tire pressure. Before each ride, check your bike’s tire pressure with a floor pump. A tire’s recommended pressure is usually located on the sidewall.
- Use mudguards in wet weather. The people riding behind you will be grateful and you won’t need to go immediately to your washing machine when you get home.
- Learn how to fix a punctured tire. On top of that, keep a mini repair kit with you whenever you ride.
- Keep your bike clean. It doesn’t take much effort to wash down your bike with soapy hot water and a sponge once a week. Also, use a degreaser on the drivetrain. A clean bike is a happy bike.
- Stay hydrated to stay fueled. Your ride is only as good as the energy you put into it. Whenever you ride, have a water bottle with you so you have your necessary fluids on hand.
- Stash snacks. No one wants their ride interrupted because their stomach is constantly growling or they’re feeling week. Store snacks in a basket, backpack, fanny pack or bike rack.
- Watch your pace. If you go too fast for your physical condition, you’re likely to get cramps or worse. Have some emergency electrolyte fluids or sports cream on hand just in case your body tells you that you pushed it too hard.
- Eat and drink to recover. After a long ride, drink a huge glass of water or 2 and have a meal or snack. You need to hydrate and refuel with proteins within about 30 minutes after a challenging ride.
- Consider the coffee shop habit. Many riders make a mid-journey coffee stop to rest a bit and let the benefits of caffeine improve their endurance.
- Tell someone where you’re going. Check in with someone before any ride to let them know you’re gone and give an estimated return time to keep you safe.
- Learn basic traffic/riding skills. City riders especially need to cram the basics of riding in traffic into their brains. Look up the difference between riding in primary and secondary position.
- Your front brake is more effective. Try to achieve a power distribution of 60/40 or at least 70/30 between the front and rear brakes.
- Set your outside pedal at the lowest position when cornering. This gives you greater grip, in wet weather in particular.
- Riding in a group is beneficial. A pack of riders can mean that each cyclist uses less energy and it usually makes for a friendly support system.
- Don’t cross-chain your gears. In the simplest terms, this means don’t run the largest cassette cog in the largest chainring (or the smallest cog in the smallest chainring). You’ll stretch your chain.
- Maintain a regular, high cadence. Try for about 70 to 90 revolutions each minute if possible.
- Join a riding club. Riding clubs often have regular outings, which will keep you on a schedule even on weeks when you’re tempted to slack off.
- Buy a beach cruiser! The benefits of riding a beach cruiser can’t be understated. These bikes are fun, comfortable and smooth. Sixthreezero has the best bike for city riding and cruising!
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