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Being a beginner cyclist, you have so much to learn. Although you will need time to soak all this information up, there are certain things you need to know before you head out on the trail. Whether it is safety or the type of perfect gear to have, these tips are quite important for newbie cyclists. Read on to learn more.
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Set Your Seat Height Right
That knee pain you feel on the front part of your knee could be because you have set the seat too low. This might cause you to under extend when you perform your pedal stroke. Most beginners make this mistake since they feel that they will have more comfort when their feet reach the ground. However, seating the wrong saddle height increases your injury risks.
Make sure the seat height is set right. One of the ways to know that you have the right seat height is when your knees slightly bend at the bottom of the pedal stroke. It shouldn’t rock your pelvis. To determine your seat height measure the distance between the top part of the seat and your bottom bracket.
If you require some help adjusting your seat to the perfect height, don’t hesitate to visit your nearest bike shop. They will be more than happy to help.
Get a Bike Fit
One of the most important things when it comes to riding your bike enjoyably is to ensure your bike fits you. You won’t take long on your bike saddle if the fit appears painful. There are two elements that are very important if you want to get the perfect fit. These are the reach and seat height. You should ensure that the seat height is sufficiently high as this enables you to have an extremely slight bend in the knee when your foot rests at the bottom of each pedal stroke.
To have a proper reach, your torso and arms need to make an angle of 45 degrees over the bike. If the reach is too long, you will suffer from a back sore when you try to reach the handlebars. On the other hand, when it’s too short, your knees are going to be a lot closer to your arms. When shopping for a bike, always ensure you test ride it to see if it is the right size for you.
Pump the Tires to the Right Pressure
A simple but very important aspect of bike maintenance is to ensure that your tires have the right amount of pressure. So what’s the right amount of pressure?
For the answer to this question, you just need to check your tire’s sidewall. Tire manufacturers usually recommend a range as opposed to an absolute figure. This allows you to adjust the pressure of the tire based on your specific conditions.
If your excursion takes you to a place that might be slippery and damp, avoid pumping the tires too hard. But do not hesitate to pump it to the fullest if it’s dry and you want to ride as fast as possible.
Dress for the Conditions
An old saying in the cycling parlance states that there is no such thing as wrong weather, just the wrong clothes. Many times, this is the absolute truth. Weather changes too fast at times.
One minute it could be warm and shining and the next, you could be in the middle of a downpour. To avoid being caught unawares, consider layering your clothes to enable you to warm up or cool down quickly. Learn the right clothes to wear when it’s too cold and when it’s hot.
Take Food and Water
You don’t want to feel depleted of your energy, and you don’t want to feel dehydrated when you are on the ride. This is why taking a couple of ride rations and some fluids can work a treat. Carry some snacks like jelly babies, flapjack, or bananas to give you a quick burst of sugar and refuel.
If your ride takes you far, you want to carry some products like protein bars and electrolyte drinks to help you give cramps and other mid-ride problems a wide berth. As they help to magnify the benefits of the efforts you have put in.
Newbie cyclists wrong think that they require huge padded saddles for the purpose of protecting their posterior but nothing can be farther from the truth. All you need is to grab a nice pair of extra padded shorts. These will give you sufficient comfort that enables you to survive the first rides.
You can then build up distance and time tolerance as time permits. Better yet, you don’t have to be concerned too much with wearing underwear beneath the padded shorts because these will give you saddle sores as they rub.
Have a Saddleback containing spares, tools, and cash
A couple of choice tools and an inner tube carried in your saddlebag are enough to solve most of the common problems that come up in the course of your ride. Also, packing in a multi-tool that contains different bits is enough to allow you to adjust the majority of the mechanical components.
Carry a chain tool to help in putting back a broken chain and you will also make do with some tire levers. Other things to carry include spare inner tube, puncture repair kits, and mini-pump among other things. Also, you may want to have your card and emergency cash. You just never know.
Team up with some ride friends
There is no denying how great cycling is. It enables you to enjoy some great time alone, take in the breathtaking beauty of the universe without distraction, and clears your head. However, the experience of riding alongside other people is simply unmatched.
Not only is it great fun but cycling in the company of your friends will help your cycling to develop a lot faster. Contact your local cycling team to check if they have rides for beginners. Another place to check is your nearest community-cycling club.
As a first-time rider, you may find that riding involves too much. There is so much that you need to learn with so little time. On top of this, there are dozens of things you should carry. But the best approach to take is often and little.
As they say, practice makes perfect, and nowhere is this phrase truer than when it comes to bike riding. These tips have just scratched the surface. There are so many other tips for beginner cyclists like learning how to change gears, being confident while on the road, and how to corner properly.