Cycling Tips for Beginner Cyclists: Cycling Made Easier

By Tim Fox | Bike

May 11
Cycling Tips for Beginner Cyclists, Cycling Made Easier

Beginner cycling is always a scary thing, more so during the first few days. In this guide, we will give you some cycling tips that will take you through everything you need to know when starting out. We are going to cover everything that a beginner needs to know before hitting the road.

Pedaling Your Bike

Pedaling the bike is the very first thing you need to learn. Cycling is all about pedaling. So why would you not want to be an efficient cyclist in this one area? Many beginners tend to mash their bike pedals. Mashing means applying too much force when applying down strokes.

As ridiculous as it sounds, you ought to learn to pedal in a cycle, which will require you to apply pressure in all your strokes. It is a task that can easily be accomplished by pushing down, lifting up, pulling back, and then pushing the pedals forwards. This makes for one complete stroke.

Stopping the Bike

Another important thing that you will need to learn will be how to stop the bike. The most common technique involves squeezing the brakes and waiting for your bike to come to a halt. However, different approaches can be applied to achieve this fete.

  • Do you need to stop slowly or slow down? – all you will need to do is sit upright, place both hands on the hoods, and proceed to squeeze the brakes very gently.
  • Need to make a quick and safe stop? Place both hands on the drops. This is where you will get better leverage, and it will be easier to press the brakes harder if need be. Additionally, it also helps in lowering the center of gravity making it easier to come to a quick stop.
  • Do you have to stop immediately? When it comes to an emergency stop, we recommend that you spend a quality amount of time practicing. You have to place both hands in the drop squeeze, while simultaneously raising your bum from the back area of the seat. Lower your bum towards the back tire as safely as you can. This is normally the fastest way for you to stop the bike.

Riding Positions on Your Bike

Traditionally, there are three different riding positions. They include:

  • Neutral: We consider this to be the most popular riding position. It is a position which involves sitting on your bike seat with both hands being placed on the hood to cover the bike brakes. If your bike is a perfect fit, then both arms should be placed at a ninety degree angle relative to the torso. During the initial days, this will make it appear as though you are leaning too much, but as you become acquainted with cycling for beginners tips, you will soon start to cycle like a professional. It does not take long for you to adapt to this sitting position.
  • Drops:The drops position refers to when both hands have been placed in the C-shaped part of your bike handlebars. You will normally need to take this position when attempting to descend at a faster speed. It is recommended that you be in the drops position when descending to have better access to the brakes. In this position, it will be easier for you to press the brakes harder. It also lowers your center of gravity making it easier to make an immediate stop.
  • Standing: It is a position mainly used when doing a climb. In this position, you will need to add a little more energy as you have to support additional body weight using your legs and arms. For you to stand, you need to start in the neutral position, then slowly slide the body’s weight forward while attempting to stand. Ensure you are pedaling even as you are standing. To make it easier, we recommend slowly rocking the bike from one side to the other with both arms in unison to your pedal strokes.

How to Take Corners on the Bike

Many novices assume that they have to turn their handlebars for them to take a corner. Although this is normally the case when you are at a slow speed, it does not apply for fast speeds. Here, you will need to lean on your bike frame. Lean towards the direction you would like to take and then adjust your body weight accordingly.

It is important to ensure you are properly relaxed when you are riding. When taking corners, make sure you are composed, and that your body weight is properly adjusted. Here is a few cycling for beginners tips for when taking corners:

  • Check the direction you want to go: the body will always follow the eyes. You must, therefore, check where you would like to go, and not where you do not want to. Many beginners make the mistake of checking where they do not intend to go, and the result is always a collision with the object they were avoiding
  • Brake before taking a corner: make sure that you are going at the same speed that you will be using to take the corner when making your turn. If you brake in a turn, your bike will end up standing, in an attempt to straighten itself.
  • Attempt to locate the line: it is best to try and approach a corner from a wide angle, then proceed to cut through its apex before finishing wide again. We call this a straight line which will enable you to maintain your speed while reducing the angle turn. It makes it easier to reduce the scariness of a turn.

Shifting Gears 

Gear shifting will normally require experience. If you want to lose momentum, you should shift back to an easier gear. Shifting too late means that you may not be able to make the shift. As soon as you have shifted to an easier gear, more strain will be placed on your bike chain, which may make it harder to shift if there happens to be too much pressure on it.

Do you know what makes for the best cycling training for novices? The ability to get out there and cycle. Try and find ways to make the experience fun for you. You could join riding groups or even use strava to track your riding. Do whatever it takes to get you started.

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