In the course of growing from a beginner into a professional cyclist, there is plenty to learn in-between. Trust me; it’s nearly impossible to soak up all the tips, tricks are rules all at once.
You have the right to start by patting yourself on the back for choosing to start cycling. Even though biking can feel overwhelming and somewhat intimidating at first, focus on what’s important — having fun!
We want to get you rolling with as minimal stress as possible. That is why we created this short list of 5 road bike tips that will provide simple fixes to ensure your safety and comfort.
Top 5 Road Bike Tips for Beginners
1. Get the Right Road Bike
Finding the right road bike is all about getting the perfect fit. This remains one of the most vital aspects of biking. If the fit is uncomfortable or even painful, you are less likely to spend as much time as you would want on your saddle.
Two crucial elements must be considered for you to get the right fit. They include the reach and seat height.
A bike that fits you will provide a proper reach. Generally speaking, your torso and arms should make a 40° angle over your bike.
When the reach is too long, your back will feel sore as you attempt to keep your hands on the handlebars. In case the reach is too short, then you will have to bear with the discomfort of pedaling with your knees too close to your arms.
When seated, you ought to be high enough to bend your knee only slightly when your foot is at the bottom of a pedal stroke. Then again, there should be a few centimeters of space between your inner leg and the top tube when you stand over your bike.
Related Guide: Road Bike Pedals buying guide
2. Mind Your Safety
Now that you have a bike that fits you perfectly, the next thing is to hit the road. Before you do so, you need to ensure your safety. This is vital, especially if you intend to act as a speed maniac once you get on the tarmac.
The most vital safety tips that all cyclists must abide by include;
3. Pay Attention to Your Bicycling Comfort
The saddle can have a significant impact on your cycling comfort. You are yet to live through your worst nightmare until you ride for hours on the wrong setup.
Here are essential tips to help you avoid aching bottoms and agonizing saddle sores.
Get the Right Saddle
Saddles are created differently. Some are ideal for on-road riding, while others are excellent for off-road cycling escapades. Then again, bike seats differ in their width and size.
The right saddle fit will highly depend on the width of your sit bones. Ideally, a proper sit will not put too much pressure on the soft tissues around the bony ends of your pelvis.
It’s quite common for riders to want to switch their saddles and enhance their riding comfort. This does not always imply that their OEM was faulty.
Sometimes, it only makes better sense to switch to a gender-specific saddle with a central cut-out or groove to accommodate the soft tissue.
Invest in a Pair of Padded Bike Shorts
Cycling shorts have a padded area that creates an impact-absorbing and protective barrier between your nether regions and the saddle. Check the quality and width of the chamois pad and make sure it corresponds with your saddle width.
The position of the cushioning must also suit your riding discipline. When road biking, for instance, the chamois pad should be located further forward because you are likely to adopt a downward rotated position when pedaling.
4. Let Your Body Recover
A common mistake beginners make is to overlook the need to take rest days. This can lead to injury caused by muscle overuse.
Long-distance rides and high-intensity biking workouts should always be followed by 1-2 days of rest or easy cycling. Additionally, don’t be tempted to increase the mileage you cover weekly by more than 10%.
Another crucial thing you should do is refuel after each hour. While some riders prefer not to eat when cycling, it is vital to drink water to remain well hydrated.
It is imperative to have a snack when going on long rides. You can avoid bonking by eating small amounts at intervals of 15-20 minutes. Forgetting to refuel can throw your body into a hypoglycemic state that causes symptoms like confusion, dizziness, nausea, and extreme fatigue.
5. Spruce Up Your Shifting Skills
Here’s the deal, you are yet to enjoy the ultimate road biking experience until you master how to shift at the right time. This will help you maintain a steady momentum and also improve your average riding speed.
Here are 3 basic shifting tips:
In a Wrap
There are many written and unwritten rules cyclists should endorse to enhance their road biking experience. Even though we only mentioned 5 road bike tips, there are various other rules you should follow.
For instance, engage in strength training focused on your arms, legs, and back. The idea is to build your cycling endurance and help ensure safer, better, and more enjoyable rides.