We all made mistakes when we first started cycling.
It’s now time to reflect on our experience as newbie cyclists and share what we have learned from all the mistakes.
1. A carbon bike is not necessary
On entry-level road bikes, metal can be more efficient than carbon
Carbon-framed road bikes are now affordable at PS1,000. It might be tempting to just start. Make sure your first road bike is made from the same material that the pros use in the Tour de France. Aluminum might be a better choice if you have a budget of less than one grand.
Although it might not be as glamorous, the ride will likely be just as enjoyable at this price. Plus, your budget will allow you to buy better components that can give you sharper shifting and possibly even additional gear. You should ensure that your bike has a carbon fiber seat post and fork, as this will improve comfort.
2. Clipless pedals are worth it
Clipless pedals should not be feared
Cycle World although they might seem unimportant and scary at first, the transition to clipless pedals is essential for anyone who wants to become a cyclist. Although there are many different systems to choose from, they all do the same thing.
Clipless pedals can make a huge difference in your riding. They improve your contact with the pedals and allow you to push down as well as pull up while pedaling. You’ll find them to be very easy to use once you get the hang of them.
3. Get some comfortable, padded shorts
Cycling will be so much fun if you have a pair of comfortable shorts.
A cyclist’s most important garment is his or her shorts. Therefore, finding the right pair of shorts is essential to becoming a professional cyclist. It is not possible to find the perfect pair for everyone so it may take some trial and error. However, companies such as Endura offer a fitting system.
You might not be able to choose from a wide range of cheaper shorts but you can find a pair that suits your riding style. You might prefer to ride high and take in the views, so look for shorters that have more padding. However, if you are looking to ride at 20mph, you may find less bulky pads more comfortable.
4. A comfortable saddle does not come with a padded saddle
New cyclists often make the mistake of looking for comfort in super-padded saddles. This is probably because they are comfortable in wide saddles with gel padding and springs underneath. You don’t actually sit in your saddle. Instead, you learn more. This is why pro riders can ride hundreds of kilometers on carbon-fiber saddles that have no padding.
If you want extra comfort, your shorts should be your first choice. A slimmer saddle will allow you to pedal with your legs straight and not rub against the saddle. You can also find saddles with cutouts to help relieve pressure on your perineum.
5. Protect your feet and hands
If you’re looking to keep warm while riding in winter, it might be tempting to buy a jacket and tights. However, these will not only keep your core warm but also your extremities.
It is very unpleasant to ride without feeling your fingers and toes. You should immediately return home and purchase a pair of winter gloves and overshoes. You can add thermal socks to your winter gloves and woolen gloves under them for extra protection in colder conditions.
6. A triple chainset is unnecessary
A compact chainset should have all you need in gear
A triple chainset may increase the number of gears on your bicycle by 50%, but the majority of these gears will overlap and you won’t get a significantly greater range of gears than a compact set.
A triple chianset rider will have to constantly search for the right gear. You’ll also find yourself constantly shifting the front derailleur. This is not always the easiest process with entry-level groupsets.
7. Layer up
It is simple to store a thin outer layer in your back pocket.
Layering is a great idea for cycling. This is especially true if you are new to cycling and find it difficult to determine which garments to wear based on the weather forecast.
This is especially important if you are riding in showers or when the temperature changes throughout the day. You can keep your body from getting too hot by having an outer layer you can pull off and stash in your back pocket for when it stops raining or warms up.
8. Layer up with a base layer
Baselayers are essential for all weather conditions
A base layer is the one layer you should always have on, no matter what the weather. A merino baselayer is recommended for cold weather. While a lighter mesh layer will add insulation, a light layer of cool air will keep you from becoming too hot.
Baselayers can also help improve comfort, especially if your jersey is too thin.
9. Be self-sufficient
You will need to know how to do basic maintenance unless you have a willing partner who is able to pick you up when you get punctured. You should invest in basic tools that you can keep in your saddlebag.
There is no need to be a genius, you just need a basic multi-tool and mini pump. A few inner tubes, a couple of tyre levers, and maybe a chain tool will suffice to handle most maintenance situations you might encounter on the road.
10. Check your tyre pressure
In wet conditions, it is a good idea to let some air out of your tires
Do not mistakenly believe that maximum tire pressure is the target. It doesn’t mean that you have to ride at 110psi every time. If the roads are muddy, it might be worth letting some air out to give you better grip and a more comfortable ride.
You don’t want your tyre pressure to drop too much, so it’s worth changing your tyres once a week. This will help keep your bike in good condition. It will help prevent pinch punctures, which can lead to serious problems if the tyre pressure drops too low.