Once you learn how to ride a bike, you’ll never forget it, but there are still several things you should know before taking up cycling. Whether you’ve decided to become a pro cyclist, or you see cycling just as a form of recreation, you need to cover all the bases before hitting the road. Not only will this enable you to ride better and faster, but it will also ensure your maximum safety.
A perfect bike and a proper fit
First and foremost, you need to find a bike that will meet your needs, and have it set up to fit your body. If you’ll be cycling just for fun, you probably don’t need to buy the most expensive bike in the store, but you also shouldn’t neglect the quality. Once you’ve had it set up, riding it will be much easier and more pleasant. Otherwise, you might get sore and uncomfortable both during and after the ride.
The importance of the right saddle
Your bike saddle will have a huge impact on the overall comfort while riding. Typically, the best type of saddle is longer with a cut-out, and not the one with the thickest padding, as you might think. An appropriate saddle height is also important, and here’s how you can find which one is the right for you. Lean against the wall and sit on the saddle, and then let your feet hang down. If your heel grazes the pedal at the bottom of the stroke, then the height is appropriately adjusted. However, if you experience pain in the front of your knees after several rides, then the saddle is too low. On the other hand, if the pain is in the back of your knees, then it’s too high and you need to lower it a bit.
If you’re not in shape, you should consider getting some additional exercise to strengthen your muscles and work on endurance. All you need is high-quality gym wear to be comfortable while working out, and an hour twice a week to go to the gym. Of course, if you’re not on a tight schedule, you can work out even more, but make sure to find a balance because you shouldn’t strain yourself too much. After all, your primary goal is cycling.
If you’re planning to spend a longer period cycling, it’s of the utmost importance to move your body and switch positions while riding the bike. If you don’t, you’ll quickly get numb, and you won’t be able to go on. So, make sure to move your behind on the saddle, and your hands around on the handles.
Mastering the flat-changing skills
Don’t wait until you get a flat tire in order to learn how to change it. Otherwise, you might end up in the middle of nowhere with no one around to teach you. You need to get all the necessary tools for changing a tire, and then practice it at home until your master the flat-changing skills. Additionally, make sure to have your tools when you’re going for a longer ride.
Protecting your head while cycling is of the utmost importance – approximately 60 percent of cycling deaths are caused by head injuries. While some countries have laws prescribing the use of a helmet while riding a bike, others don’t, but that’s not a reason not to wear it.