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Planning Your First Road Bike Ride: Everything You Need To Know

August 25, 2022

Road bikes are fast and designed to take you far and fast on paved surfaces. They are easier to pedal than mountain bikes and have thinner tires. Of course, knowing how to ride a road bike and knowing how to ride a bike on the road are two different things.

What Do I Need To Start Riding a Road Bike?

There are three essentials when it comes to starting out on a road bike, though there is a lot of gear you can add along the way. Physically, you need only a bike and a helmet. Mentally, you need to have an understanding and respect for sharing the road with bigger, faster vehicles. Space is at a premium and it's very much up to the rider to be wary of drivers and aware of their spacial presence.

Road Bike Rules & Etiquette

You are sharing the roads and whether they are busy or slow, you must honor the methodology that has been established to maintain safety. Always ride with traffic, not against it. You should be riding as close to the edge of the pavement as is safe to do so. When riding with others, avoid riding abreast of one another. When there is traffic, cyclists should only be riding single-file.

When you're turning, communicate your intentions with the appropriate signals. If you're turning left, you have the right to occupy the entire lane to get where you need to. Never try to accomplish this with quick, sudden movements. Always be deliberate with your actions while engaging with traffic.

How Long Should a Beginner Cyclist Ride?

Time and distance are considerations for beginners. Experts say that if you're moderately active, you should aim for a 90-minute ride that covers a distance of about 15 miles. You should ride until you're ready to stop.

What Should You Not Do on a Road Bike?

Road bikes are not for daredevils so ride as though there is a risk. Many drivers are accommodating but you never know who's paying attention. Don't churn the chain in high gears or spin it in low ones. Don't cross the chain.

What To Wear on Your First Road Bike Ride?

When it comes to road bike wardrobe questions, there are some options. A helmet should always be worn. You might also invest in cycling shorts and jerseys, glasses and gloves. Waterproof jackets and pants can come in handy during inclement weather. If you're commuting, you can keep your work clothes bundled up while you wear the light, breathable cycling gear.

How to Switch Your Road Bike Gears Properly

When switching gears, you want to do so as fluidly as possible. The left hand controls the front derailleur. Pushing the whole left gear lever inward will allow you to shift to a harder gear that you use when you're achieving speed. Pushing the small inner lever inward will allow you to shift to an easier gear, which you use for climbing or going slower.

Best Road Bikes for Beginners

When looking for a road bike, don't be afraid to seek advice from experts. Let them know your intentions and motivations and they'll help you choose the bike that's right for you. You might be best served with a single gear or several. You might want clip-in pedals if you're going to be racing or covering distance at a consistent speed. You can always start with flat pedals and switch down the road. EVRYJourney and Around the Block city bikes are both designed for riding on pavement.

Getting out on a road bike is super fun and good for fitness, commuting or just finding peace of mind. Learn the basics and then start racking up the miles. The more experience you gain, the more your comfort level will increase. Visit an online bicycle shop today to see what options are out there for road bikes and accessories.


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