6 Need-to-Know Cycling Tips for Beginners

Being a bike enthusiast certainly has its challenges.

For me, countless biking experiences have taught me to be careful and enjoy myself while out with my bicycle.

But, as a beginner, there were certain problems that I faced due to my lack of information on biking etiquette.

If your hobbies include cycling, but you are just a beginner, you might have several queries.

With experience, anyone can learn about the tiny details that would make your biking experience easier.

Biking in the outdoors (Image Source: Flickr)

But, proper knowledge on such topics can enhance your interest in bicycles.

To help you with that, I have compiled a list of the must-know cycling tips for beginners cyclists.

Moreover, if you practice these habits regularly, it might be beneficial if you plan to bike for a few hours every week.

So, let’s get right into the must-know cycling tips.

1. Safety and Visibility

It would be best if you ride your bike safely. This might be the most obvious statement you’ll hear if you ask anyone.

Multiple minor things might cause an unwanted incident while on the road.

For instance-

  • Nowadays, many people tend to use their smartphones while on their vehicles. According to National Safety Council, 1.6 million crashes occur each year caused by texting while driving. Riding in a biking lane would minimize the chances of a car hitting you.
  • You do not need a license to ride a bike. But, that does not mean that you do not need follow traffic rules. Even so, you need to respect other people in the road.
  • You should always be confident while on a road with your bike. Clumsiness can lead to slip-usps and falls. Similarly, confident cornering would build up your biking skills as well.
  • I’ve fallen from my bike in muddy path several times. In similar case, getting off the bike and walking through slippery paths would be suggestable.
  • Avoid riding in bad lights or during night time.
  • When riding through a crowd of people, slow down as much as you can. Also, getting off the bike is also a good option.
  • Do not use headphones or earphones when on a bike.

Furthermore, it would be best to use the following gears for a safer ride despite the suggestions mentioned earlier.

Helmets:

When you are out with your friends or while on a simple 10-minute bike ride, you might feel as if there’ll be no danger.

Thoughts such as, What could happen? I’m just going to ride through a few blocks, and it might come to your mind.

Bicycle Helmet (Image Source: Wikimedia Commons)

But, those unthinkable moments might be the cause of an unfortunate incident.

In such a case, having a reliable helmet on your head would always be helpful.

Additionally, make sure that you have a well-fitting helmet.

Reflective Jacket or Stickers:

Once, when I was returning from a party at a friend’s house, it was dark outside. Furthermore, I was on my bicycle.

So, I was almost hit by a moving car near my own house. Since then, I started using reflective tape while on a bike ride.

The reflective tape in my bicycle lets people in other vehicles know about my presence during late hours.

Similarly, I also bought a reflective jacket that serves a similar purpose. I usually wear a jacket when I know that I’ll be riding in the dark.

2. Biking Accessories

Bike helmets are the most crucial gear that all bikers should use.

But, countless other accessories would assist beginner riders significantly.

From about hundreds of different gears compatible for beginner bikers, some are must-get ones and some that are okay.

Some of them that I use regularly are mentioned below.

Biking Gloves:

As a beginner, biking gloves were the least of my concern while going on a bike ride.

But, my carelessness was a source of many problems during extreme summer days or extreme winter days.

When you bike with an empty hand regularly, the cold weather can cause blisters on the outer part of your hand.

Furthermore, even in the warm days of summer, the combination of heat and dust can cause rashes.

White leather fingerless gloves
(Image Source: Wikimedia Commons)

A padded pair of biking gloves prevents palm blisters.

As a beginner, if you start using gloves, you will be thankful in the future.

You might be interested to learn more about Bike Gloves for Kids.

Phone Holder:

If you ever had your phone in your pocket when on a bike, you’d know about how the phone keeps slipping shown from your pocket.

This is why I always have a phone holder attached to the handlebars of my bike.

Phone holders might seem unnecessary, but they can come in handy at times.

Elbow and Leg Pads:

Both the elbow pads and leg guards are an excellent addition to any biking gear.

But, they are not must-use gears like a helmet. Despite that, I tend to use them at every chance I get.

Anyhow, the accessories mentioned above are the ones that I use on regularly.

Likewise, they might come in useful use for you as well.

However, some of the more useful gears that might turn out to be useful for you are mentioned below.

  • Bike Bells or siren and horn extension
  • Fitness trackers
  • Bike Basket
  • Headlight
  • Water bottle holder

3. Bike Security and Locks

A month ago, a cousin of mine rode his bike to a library.

Owing to his good biking habits, he locked his bike at the bicycle parking station.

After about an hour, when he returned to his bike, cops were investigating a bike theft nearby.

Now, with all the security cameras available throughout cities and towns, it is unlikely that you’ll lose your bike to a thief.

However, this does not mean that you should lack any possible security for your possessions.

Therefore, even if there is a tiny possibility of having your bike stolen by someone, you should take care of it.

For that, here are a few ideas that you can adopt to prevent the loss of your bicycle.

Bike Locks:

The most obvious way to protect your bike is to carry a bicycle lock with you wherever you go.

Nowadays, highly secure and reliable locks are available everywhere. So, there is no reason not to get some for yourself.

Essentially, there are three types of bike locks. They are:

  • Cable Lock
  • Chain Lock
  • D-lock

Furthermore, it would be best to always lock your bike to sturdy and immovable objects such as poles or steel railings.

If you want to figure out the most secure way of locking your bike in public, you should read this article on How to Lock Your Bicycle in Public?

Now, if you’re unsure about good locks for your bike, you can choose from the table below.

Bike Locks Features or SpecificationsPrice RangeType and Brand
Sigtuna Bike LocksMade from alloy steel
Weighs 3.62 pounds
High-security Disc-style Cylinder with double deadbolt locking mechanism
$33.95 to $37.99D-lock from Sigtuna
Kryptonite Keeper 785 Integrated Bike Chain LockMade from alloy steel
Weather-resistant with nylon steel
Hardened deadbolt design
$38.99 to $39.99Chain Lock from Kryptonite
Foldylock Compact Folding Bike LockMade with hardened steel with nylon 6
With heavy-duty anti-theft technology
$82.99 to $85.99Rivets folding lock from Seatylock
Titanker U Lock Bike LockMade from zinc, Polycarbonate
Weights about 2 pounds
$20.99 to $22. 99D-lock from Titanker
Different types of bike locks

Smart Parking:

Sometimes, when you travel by your bike, you might forget to bring along the bike lock.

Otherwise, a burglar might even cut your locks and take the bike with them.

In such a case, you need to get smart with your parking. In such case, you should:

  • Park your bike where foot traffic is a lot. In addition, you’d have random people walking along the parking spot as your personal security.
  • If you’re visiting a mall or a library, park your bike near the ssecurity guard’s cabin or security station.

4. Fluids and Skin Protection

Biking for about an hour can drain your energy and body fluids massively.

If you are healthy enough, you might feel as if you can ride for hours tirelessly.

However, you should always ride in limitations and take care of your body.

If you plan to ride your bike for a long time, you need to be prepared accordingly.

In such a case, you need to use the following things.

Hydration Pack:

Many casual bikers might not know what a hydration pack is.

Usually, hydration packs are small backpacks that contain a reservoir for hydration fluid.

Additionally, they might also contain extra pockets for mobile phones or snacks.

Hydration packs are not so useful for casual riders.

However, if you plan to go on multiple long biking trips with your friends in the future, these packs would come in extremely handy.

Similarly, to know more about these packs, you should read this article on 8 Best Kids’ Hydration Packs for Bikers.

Water Bottles:

Initially, when you purchase a bicycle, be sure to get one with a water bottle holder.

Anyways, if your bike does not have one preinstalled; you can do it yourself.

Bicycles Water Bottle (Image Source: Flickr)

Having enough drinking water or energy drinks is necessary.

So, even if you are in a hurry, do not forget to carry a bottle with you. You’d be absolutely delighted in the time of dire thrust that you did so.

Though having to hydrate your body is a necessary factor, there are more things to look after.

Riding in the outdoors can cause skin problems to people with sensitive skin.

Moreover, carelessness about your skin can also be a negative of bike riding.

Even if you are a beginner and if you plan to ride your bike regularly, you should:

  • Constant heat can cause sunburn. Therefore, be sure to use sun block when riding in a sunny day.
  • Similarly, if you ride during cold days, be sure to use moisturizers and skin lotions. Cold weather can cause dry and damaged skins, that can be prevented with the use of moisturizers.

5. Bike and Tire Maintanence

About four years ago, I was just a beginner in terms of bike riding.

After the biking fever that I got back then, I purchased a brand new bike. But, to my surprise, that particular bike lasted only seven months.

Furthermore, after that, I got another bike. But, it broke down constantly, just as the first one did.

In addition, that particular bike started to look old in about six months, but I used it for a whole year. And, after a year, I had to sell it for one-sixth of the price that I got it.

As I changed two bikes in less than two years, I learned about the importance of constant bike maintenance.

As a result, the third bike that I bought for two years has lasted this long without any problems.

Additionally, even after two years of use, my current bicycle looks like I bought it a week ago.

If you want to keep your bikes as well maintained, you should follow the following rules-

  • Always keep your bike well lubricated. In addition, keep your gears as well as the brakes lubricated regularly to prevent their breakdowns.
  • Always acknowledge speed breakers. Similarly, be careful on bumpy roads. The mini damages in such roads gather up to harm the bike’s frame in due time.
  • Check the tire’s air pressure regularly; weekly if possible.
  • Take the bike to a maintanence or service centre once a month. This way, you’ll be able to access the changes your bike has endured throughout the month.
  • Tighten the brakes and check the gears if you fill a bit off while riding.
  • After a long ride, wash or clean up your bike if possible.
  • Keep tire patches with you in terms of punctures or glass cut on the tires. Riding with less air may damage the wheel’s rims.

6. Gear Use and Comfort

Bicycles are excellent objects for exercising. It provides countless physical benefits.

It increases cardiovascular fitness, increases muscle strength and flexibility, strengthens bones, and reduces body fat.

Despite the benefits mentioned above, if you go all out with your riding, it can be harmful in a few ways.

Gear Use:

Though gears are there to ease your riding experience, you must use them wisely.

It would help if you learned to keep a steady rhythm while pedaling.

70 to 90 revolutions of the pedals per minute would be ideal.

Additionally, it would help if you changed the gears according to the road’s steepness to maintain the pedal speed.

However, if you try pedaling without proper gear adjustment, it can cause muscle pain in your legs.

Seat Comfort:

The bike seat or the saddle is a crucial part of the bike for the rider.

Initially, you’d want a comfortable seat if you plan to ride regularly.

Furthermore, after riding a bike for multiple hours, you’ll realize that improper seat height can cause many back problems.

According to the rider’s height, if you figure the proper height for the saddle, you’ll be doing massive favor to your spine.

All six of the tips mentioned above are some you need to know as a beginner.

Furthermore, they can be highly advantageous for new bikers if taken into action properly.

Despite this, there still are more habits that you can adopt as a bike rider that might aid you in the future.

Such ideas are mentioned below:

  • Always carry cash, tools or spares with you as an emergency.
  • Wearing padded shorts and comfortable clothes is suggestable.
  • Purchase some biking sunglases which will protect your eyes while riding through a dudty path.
  • Stretch before riding to avoid cramps.

Finally, all the tips mentioned above are for beginner bike riders.

Despite this, they can be equally helpful for regular or expert bikers.

Furthermore, an important suggestion for new riders is to consult various cycling forums.

For any cycling questions you might have, you’ll find a solution in such forums.

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