These beginner road cycling tips will have you riding with confidence!

These beginner road cycling tips will have you riding with confidence!

To start cycling, you don’t need special clothes or shoes, or even an expensive new bike (although it sure is fun to own one!) . To become a cyclist, all you need is a bike that fits you, a helmet and some knowledge of the rules of the road.

To help you build your confidence on a two-wheeled ebike, we’ve gathered the best beginner road cycling tips so you can start riding today.

1. Choose the right bike
Of course, you can’t get started without a good set of wheels. While we’re big fans of all types of bikes, we’re specifically talking about bikes that are roadworthy. The most common and accessible ride for beginners, these bikes are designed to help you navigate paved bike paths and city streets.

Just like picking out the perfect pair of running shoes, you’ll first need to size up your bike. Stand over the top tube and shoot with about an inch of clearance between your body and the frame. Or, when sitting on the seat, bend your knees slightly at the bottom of the pedal stroke. However, we highly recommend visiting your local bike shop as you can try out different styles and sizes.

road cycling tips

Over the last few years, road bikes have moved to electric, so if you want to rely on power outside of your own body, check out the latest fleet of electric bikes.

Of course, you’ll also want to choose a bike that suits your budget and riding style. Do you plan to log leisure miles on the weekends? Do you plan to commute to work? Road bike frames have specific styles and components tailored to each goal, and there’s something for every price point.

So think about how you plan to use the bike now and how you want to grow with it. For example, maybe you can only ride 20 miles right now, but your goal is to ride 100 miles. This information needs to be told to the experts when you visit your local bike shop so they can help you make the best purchase.

2. Choosing a helmet
You should always wear a helmet when riding, but don’t just grab the one in the garage. Helmets have a shelf life and new helmets must meet US safety standards. Try on a few, then choose one that is comfortable and you like. If you like it, you’ll wear it.

3. Stay safe
Wearing a helmet is important, but keeping safe on a bike is more than just protecting your head.

When riding alone, make sure you carry a basic multi-tool, identification, cash (dollar notes can also be used as tyre boots) and a mobile phone in case of an emergency. As much as we hate to admit it, not all rides go according to plan and you don’t want to find yourself stranded on the side of the road without being able to get help.

Obey local traffic laws, including coming to a complete stop at red lights and stop signs (even if you’re riding in a group), and use appropriate hand signals when changing lanes or making turns.

Above all, never assume that the motorists around you know how to drive around road bikes. The more aware you are of your surroundings, the better you’ll be able to anticipate any situations or road hazards that drivers aren’t paying attention to.

By the way, never wear headphones or earbuds while riding outdoors. If you need music to motivate you during your ride, choose a small Bluetooth speaker and store it in your pocket or water bottle holder.

4. Get in the habit
Your first few rides may be tough – your body is adjusting to the stress of a brand new activity. But like all things in life, real progress can only be made over time.

The first step in developing a road cycling habit is to set some realistic goals. Don’t expect yourself to magically become an early riser or plan to ride 100 miles too early just because you have a new bike. Start small and grow from there.

Whenever you choose to ride, prepare your gear, fill your bottles and pump up your tyres ahead of time. Preparing and deciding to ride your bike can sometimes be the hardest part of cycling, so some preparation before you ride can prevent excuses from getting in the way.

Setting long-term goals is also a great way to stay engaged and track your progress. You can set a goal to ride a certain number of days per week, or find a local charity ride, gran foldo, or set your own long-term mileage goal.

5. Try a group ride

road cycling tips
You’ll soon discover that cycling is a social and supportive sport. Many bike shops host drop-free (meaning they won’t leave you behind) group rides designed to teach road cycling novices group etiquette and showcase local routes. Another great reason to visit your local shop!

Weekly group rides allow you to take responsibility and give you that extra push to keep your legs in the saddle when you’re lacking motivation. Many of the people on these organised rides have advice from years of experience and are more than willing to share – watch, learn and ask questions.

You can certainly ride alone and achieve your goals, but riding with a group of people can make riding easier, both physically (you can gravitate towards each other to minimise wind resistance) and mentally (your new friends will motivate you).

6. Determine your riding style
As you sit in the saddle, you’ll learn more about your personal riding style and preferences. Perhaps you enjoy riding alone or decide to ride non-competitively with a group. Maybe you aspire to compete or just want to ride to work every day. There are countless ways to ride and enjoy riding – it just takes a little trial and error to find the right style of road riding for you.

Eventually, you may also find that your body type and talent lends itself to specific types of riding. If you find yourself going uphill faster than your friends, rock climbing may be your favourite. If you can pull away in a group ride, then sprinting may be your forte. Being a well-rounded cyclist is always the goal, but developing your strengths (or your favourite things) is a surefire way to keep riding fun. Plus, it’s part of the sport – professional cyclists usually specialise in one style, whether it’s sprinting, climbing or time trials.

7. Get the rest of the gear
Not ready to look like a Tour de France bike racer? No problem. There are plenty of brands that create cool cycling apparel for the casual rider.

If you do have a desire to look like a pro, we’ve got you covered there too. Cycling gear (a jersey, matching padded back shorts or cycling shorts and socks) is more aerodynamic and comfortable on the bike than other sportswear. The material wicks away sweat and helps regulate body temperature, the fit reduces abrasions and the padded seat (chamois) protects sensitive areas from road vibrations. The jersey is available in race or relaxed fit and in a wide range of colours and patterns.

While we recommend starting your ride with standard flat pedals and trainers, you may eventually want to transition to road cycling shoes and clipless pedals. This shoe-pedal combination secures your feet in place, which improves pedalling efficiency and bike handling. Loosening the clips can be tricky at times, so be sure to practice in the field until you get the hang of it.

Other important items include bike tools (tyre pry bar, mini pump, spare inner tube and multi-tool) and a bike computer to easily track mileage and navigate routes.

To stay hydrated while riding, you should also have a water bottle and a water bottle holder.

Have any questions? Contact us! Let our well-designed Cargo Electric Bike and quality outdoor accessories take you on a journey to explore nature and unleash your passion for unlimited adventure!

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