Learning how to cycle better will come with time and trial and error but who wants to go through all of that. These 10 tips will improve your riding whether you just climbed on a bike or have been riding for years. If you’re an expert at them all, then go teach them to someone new to riding. I’m sure you learned some of these things from someone like yourself.
1 – Practice Your Skills:
In an empty parking lot or grassy field set up a course that has you making tight turns as well as turns at speed. In a parking lot, use the lines to set the inside and outside of the turn so if you miss-judge the turn you can simply ride over the lines. Feel your tires grip the ground and how you’re leaning to the inside. Remember to keep your inside pedal up so it doesn’t hit the ground. Also, practice braking. Pick a point, such as a parking line, and approach it with speed and see how quickly you can stop in front of it.
2 – Improve Your Bike Fit
Whether you’re cruising around town or out on a long weekend ride, having a good fit on the bike will make a huge difference in how you ride. You won’t be avoiding a ride on your bike or causing yourself an injury from say, a miss-aligned saddle. Make sure the big things are right such as your saddle and handlebar height along with the little things like how your feet are positioned on the pedals.
3 – Get More Comfortable
Having a sore butt riding is a very common thing when first starting to ride or coming back from some time off even if you have a good fitting saddle. After a few rides however getting your butt gets used to the seat, you should no longer have any discomfort. If you are still, make sure you have the right size saddle for yourself as well as style. Also, make sure your hands and feet are also comfortable while riding. Nothing should be uncomfortable as if it is, riding won’t be as enjoyable.
4 – Ride Up Hills
Many riders avoid hills at all costs. Don’t be one of them. Riding up hills gives you, your legs, as well as cardiovascular system a good stress. It will make you a stronger rider not only on the hills but the flat also. Also, if you’re pressed for time, riding uphill gives you more bang for your buck for a workout.
5 – Upgrade To Clipless Pedals
Riding around town the grocery store or to work a short distance away on platforms pedals won’t give you much of an issue. However, if you’re riding more than this, upgrading to clipless pedals will give you greater efficiency as well as ease of riding along with ensuring that your foot is always properly positioned on the pedal. Hills will also become much easier because you can fully engage the pedal all the way around.
6 – Achieve Your Optimal Cadence
Newer riders often tend to pedal at low cadences. This is inefficient as well as hard on your joints and muscles. Pedal at a higher cadence of around 90 rpms to place less load per pedal stroke on your legs. You will also be able to ride longer with ease.
7 – Shift With Grace
Poor shifting is the result of two things; misaligned components or a rider with a lack of know-how. If it’s the former, you might be able to fix it yourself or if not, take it in to your local bike shop. With the latter, it’s an easy fix, just practice. You will want to shift one gear at a time and when you do shift, take a little bit of pressure off the pedals so the chain moves smoothly. Also shift before you need to. If you’re going into a steep hill, shift before you’re on it otherwise it’s going to be difficult to do so. Also remember not to cross chain; when you’re in a small gear up front and a small gear in the back or a big gear up front and a big gear in the back. Try and keep the chain running in a straight line by using the big gears closet to the rear wheel when in a smaller ring in the front and when going faster and using a larger gear in the front, use the smaller cogs in the back.
8 – Improve Your Level Of Comfort In Traffic
Bike riding often involves riding on roads for many which involves traffic. It can be nervous-some and stressful if you don’t know what to do. Find a friend if you can who is an adept bike rider and learn how to do it properly. Also, always be aware of what’s going on around you and ride like you’re invisible.
9 – Properly Hydrating and Fueling
Cycling takes a lot of energy and if you don’t eat and drink properly before and during a ride you’re going to pay for it. Plan ahead and eat before you’re hungry and drink before your thirsty.
10 – Ride More!
The single best tip to getting better at cycling is simply to ride more. The more you ride the more you will learn and adapt. You will get better at handling your bike, your fitness will improve, hills will become easier, and you’ll simply be more comfortable on the bike.
Knowing How To Cycle Better Will Improve Your Enjoyment On A Bike
If you can improve in these ten areas, your riding will be significantly more enjoyable. You won’t have the pains-in-the-butt (pun intended) hassles that can encompass riding, or at least as many of them. Riding in any regard still has its hurdles but that’s part of the draw.
By Adam Farabaugh at ilovebicycling.com