Cycling tips for beginners
So, you want to take up cycling. That’s great. Now you’ll need some cycling tips. Cycling has so many health benefits like improving mental health, it builds muscle, boosts brainpower and promotes better sleep. Cycling should also be fun. We’ve compiled some useful cycling tips for beginners to make cycling safer and more enjoyable.
Set your seat height right
Of all the cycling tips out there, this one is pretty important. Experiencing pain in the front of your knee? Your seat might be too low, causing you to under-extend during your pedal stroke. A common mistake amongst beginners as most people feel more comfortable and confident if their feet can touch the ground. Having the wrong seat height can put you at risk for injury.
Solution: bump up your saddle. At the right seat height, your knee should be slightly bent at the bottom of your pedal stroke, without rocking your pelvis. Your local bike shop should be able to set you up with the correct seat height.
Don’t stress about the gear
You don’t need fancy clothes, clipped-in shoes or an expensive bike to become a cyclist. The important thing is that you just get out and ride, and worry about the gear upgrades later. You’ll certainly need a few essentials to get started, obviously a bike and helmet, but don’t stress about spending a lot of money on expensive gear.
Get a bike fit
One of the most important aspects of cycling is how your bike fits you. If the fit is painful, you’re not going to spend too much time in the saddle. To get the right fit, two elements are key: seat height and reach. The seat height should be high enough to give you a very slight bend in your knee when your foot is at the bottom of the pedal stroke, as mentioned above. Proper reach means your arms and torso make a 45-degree angle over the bike. Too long, and your back will be sore reaching for the handlebars; too short, and your knees will be too close to your arms.
Keep your bike maintained
Take care of the basics with routine maintenance. The chain needs regular lube. Not only will this save you a lot at the bike shop, but it will prolong the life of your bike and components. Keep the recommended amount of air in your tires makes your rides a lot easier and prolongs the life of your tires.
Avoid doing too much too soon
One of the biggest sources of injury comes from trying to take on too much mileage before you’re ready. Build up slowly, ease in, and give your body time to adjust to new distances.
Carry a tube or patch kit
Take a few minutes to check out online guides to changing a tube or patching one. You will feel so much more independent armed with the proper tools and knowing how to get yourself back on the road in 15 minutes. All you’ll need is a spare, a patch kit, tire levers and a mini pump.
Use your gears
Gears are your best friends on a climb and your greatest source of speed on a long stretch of road. It does take a little practice to get the hang of when and how to shift into your most efficient gear.
Learn how to ride in a group
Group rides have their own protocol and etiquette for a reason – it’s easy to cause an accident if your riding is unpredictable. If it’s your first time riding with a new group, hang out in the back, observe, and ask for help if you need it. No question is a dumb question when your own safety and the safety of the group is at stake.
Remember to refuel
If you’re only riding for an hour, you should have water but don’t really need to eat on the bike. If you’re planning to ride for two hours or more, bring a snack and start eating 45 minutes to an hour into your ride. Continue eating small amounts every 15 to 20 minutes or so. Forgetting to refuel can put your body into a deficit and cause you to go into a hypoglycaemic state. Tiredness, irritability, dizziness, nausea, confusion – it’s not a strong way to finish a ride.
Hopefully, you can put these cycling tips into action. Be comfortable, prepared and have fun.
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Our chiropractors at Chiro & Sports Med are committed to providing chiropractic solutions to address your unique needs, whether you are experiencing an irritated nerve, bulging disc, back pain, neck pain, knee pain, headaches, or even muscular tightness and tension. You may be searching for pain relief after an accident or experiencing an injury. Our mission is to help reduce or eliminate pain and to prevent future problems and injury. Above all, we are here to improve your quality of life, well-being, and your ability to live an active healthy lifestyle.