23 Tips for First Time Cycling Women
23 Tips for First Time Cycling Women
Now that the Tour de France is in full swing, more and more people are starting to wonder about getting on a road bike. While cycling used to be almost exclusively a men’s sport, more and more brands and initiatives are also geared towards women. Makes sense, since cycling is just as important for women to exercise and have fun in the countryside.
I started riding road bikes about 6 months ago. First, there are a lot of things to consider: which bike is right for my needs, what gear do I need, and what should I look out for?
Luckily, surrounded by colleagues and friends who love cycling, I got all the advice I could ask for. Especially for female road cyclists, I’ve listed the 23 most helpful tips I’ve found!
1. The Right Size Road Bike
Maybe you borrowed a bike the first time you rode, or you bought one outright. In either case, don’t just choose the bike with the best color, but pay special attention to frame size.
Getting the right frame size is critical to your comfort on your bike.
Proper road bike frame size is critical to your comfort on the bike.
Men and women are different, so there are also different specific men’s and women’s road bikes. Not every woman necessarily needs a women’s road bike, so getting it right is worth it. You can even determine the right frame size yourself.
2. Set up your road bike correctly
Find the right size (and nice color) road bike? Then set it up correctly! Make sure your saddle and handlebars are the right height.
Getting the right setup for your first ride is just as important as having the right frame size
In addition to choosing the right frame size, you also need to set up your road bike before the first ride.
This is at least as important as buying the right size bike. With the right bike, you can avoid a lot of unnecessary injury and discomfort.
3. Practice with clipless pedals!
Clipless pedals look intimidating, but not bad! You will quickly get used to them. Flat pedals are certainly an option, but keep in mind that clipless pedals allow you to ride faster!
There’s no shame in practicing with clipless pedals on quiet roads.
Practice clipless pedals on quiet roads.
Before you actually ride your bike for the first time, practice a few ins and outs at your local venue. That way, you’ll get used to the action of engaging and releasing the pedals before you actually hit the road.
4. Get some decent cycling bibs!
An important advantage of cycling for many women is: good-looking cycling clothes! There are now many brands that offer stylish cycling clothing for women. Yes, we women often seem to find good-looking cycling clothes more important than men, so why not? !
You probably won’t buy all your riding gear in one sitting. You can easily borrow a bike bib for the first few rides. Cycling to shine and want to have your own jersey?
The right padded cycling shorts make your bike ride more enjoyable.
It all starts with a proper pair of bibs. Preferably one with a female-specific padding. It might feel a little weird at first, but it will make you more comfortable on the bike.
Just to be clear: you don’t wear underwear under your bike bib shorts (as this will just cause skin irritation and chafing).
5. Plan your route
Before you start your first cycling trip, think of a good route. Preferably on easy, quiet roads with few junctions or intersections. This way you can focus on the bike instead of the route.
If the scenery is this good, the pain of cycling is a little less.
After all, you don’t want to stop every 500 meters to check a map.
6. Spare tubes, bicycle tools, etc.
Going for a bike ride alone? Then bring at least the tools to fix a flat tire. If you do get pierced, then at least you won’t come home empty-handed.
In order to replace a flat tube, you need: a spare tube, a tire lever to remove the tire from the rim, and a pump to inflate the new tube.
A set of arm and leg warmers is a welcome addition to your regular spare tube and bike tools, especially in the spring and fall
Aside from your regular spare tube and bike tools, a set of arm and leg warmers is a welcome addition, especially in the spring and fall.
Variable conditions? Bring a set of arm and leg warmers if you are prone to colds.
7. Learn to change the inner tube (or learn to ask for help sincerely)
You have an apartment…now what? Make sure you know how to change inner tubes before you go! It might be a good idea to practice at home once or twice, or bring a cyclist who can show you how to do it.
If you’re not too managed, you can always ask for help from any cyclist passing by. Most cyclists are more than willing to help novice riders fix small mechanics or flat tires.
8. Check your tire pressure
Setting the correct tire pressure can be a bit technical, but it’s worth checking before you go. Depending on the type of tire, you need to set a certain minimum tire pressure (in bar or psi).
For most road bike tires, the rule of thumb is that you inflate them to 10% of your body weight (so if you weigh 60kg, inflate them to 6 bar). Note that some tires have a maximum pressure, usually marked on the sidewall. Of course, you can always ask us when we get some new tires.
Simply put, your tires need to feel stiff enough that you can barely compress them. They shouldn’t deform too much as you ride the bike and go over bumps. Want to know your tire pressure more accurately? Then getting yourself a pump with a pressure gauge is the way to go!
To make things easier: tires are getting wider these days, reducing the required tire pressure accordingly. Some road bikes even come with tires as wide as 32mm, with a recommended tire pressure of just 5.5 bar.
So if you’re not sure about your tire pressure, don’t hesitate to seek advice from someone more experienced. Alternatively, you can always look up more information on the tire manufacturer’s website.
9. Always wear a cycling helmet!
Riding a bike with the right cycling helmet sounds simple, but we still see riders hitting the road every now and then.
Cycling helmets come in all shapes and sizes, there’s always one that’s right for you. So: tie up your hair, safety first: wear a helmet!
10. Bring the essentials
The great thing about jerseys is that they often have pockets in the back. They’re great for carrying a variety of items around without getting in your way. Except for the bicycle tools described in the tip number.
First, your phone. Second, bring your ID, insurance card, bank card or some cash. If you’re hungry halfway through, or get lost, you’re ready for the situation!
11. Find a cyclist
Even though you can ride a bike alone, cycling is inherently a social sport. In addition to exercising outdoors, mid-way coffee is a popular pastime for many cyclists :-).
So find yourself a biker friend! Not only is cycling together fun, but it’s also a great way to share tips and experiences while riding.
12. Make sure you eat and drink well during the ride
Be careful to eat well, especially during the first few rides. Cycling burns more calories than you might think, so bring enough food, such as bananas, energy bars, or small snacks.
Make sure to eat something regularly and keep drinking water. Once you start feeling hungry, you’re actually too late. Because what often happens is the dreaded “pop”: it feels like your body, especially your legs, has used up any force to the point where you can barely keep the pedals spinning. It feels as unpleasant as it sounds, so better prevent it from happening!
13. Be aware of your position on the bike
Although cycling is a relatively harmless sport, you can still experience serious discomfort or problems if you are not positioned correctly on the bike. The first few times can be very exciting or a little scary, which can make you feel a little nervous while riding the bike.
Try to relax your shoulders, don’t grab your bar too tightly, and don’t lock your arms. After the first few rides, you may feel your core muscles because cycling is a great exercise too!
14. Remember to cut it off in time when parking!
After following Tip 3 exactly, you’ve practiced pedaling and pedaling a few times. Now is the time to put it into practice on your first ride. So don’t forget to cut when you need to stop!
15. Shift gears in time
When you do need to park, remember to swap out a few gears for lighter gears. This makes it easier to ride with lights.
When the road slopes up, remember to move down to prevent shame. Lighter gears make it easier to get back up to speed from a stop, quickly starting where you left off.
16. Look forward
You might be able to cruise around at a leisurely pace on an old city bike, but a road bike will probably go a lot faster than you’ve been used to so far. So teach yourself to look ahead. Pay attention to what other road users are doing and keep an eye out for road obstacles as things are getting closer to you much faster than you think.
17. Create a Strava account and log your bike rides
Tracking your rides and progress can be fun if you get the hang of it! Strava has a great reputation in the cycling world and is the perfect tool for the job.
This mobile app lets you view previously completed rides, chart your own route, and track other riders and their progress. You can even compare your results with other (female) cyclists.
18. Play sports
Sports events are organized throughout the country throughout the year. These are organized events with signed routes and some rest stops along the way.
Sports are fun, but it usually means getting up early. So bring your arms and legs warm for the first hour or so.
Getting into sports also means you can check out some new places on your bike! It’s also a big boost to keep cycling, as the 120km you’ll be doing in a few weeks from now does require some training.
19. Practice your turning skills
Cutting corners quickly and neatly is difficult at first, and can even be a little intimidating. Don’t worry, a little practice will get you through them in no time. The most important thing is to remember where your feet are when turning.
Turning isn’t as hard as it was at first…
Cornering isn’t as hard as you might initially be…
Always keep your foot in the top position on the inside of the turn (so if you’re turning left, keep your left foot up). This prevents you from hitting the road with the pedals, which could cause you to lose your balance.
20. Don’t grind gears that big
Many novice cyclists tend to shift into a fairly large gear at first. Seemingly simple, the pedals have to be turned less frequently in order to maintain the same speed. As a new rider, you won’t be able to keep it that way for long. Most women don’t have that much strength in their legs when they first start cycling.
So try to maintain a fairly high tempo, or cadence (pretty high, 1.5 to 2 revolutions per second). This makes cycling less difficult and reduces the power required to turn the pedals. You can also ride longer this way, especially as a first-time cyclist.
21. Do some regular basic maintenance on your road bike
Your bike can be a pretty expensive purchase, and if you start to really enjoy cycling, you’ll probably want to keep it that way for a long time. A little maintenance from time to time will not only prolong the life of your bike, but it will also prevent any additional costs in the future.
It doesn’t have to be overly complicated. Just wash your bike and lubricate your chain every now and then, preferably before you hear it start to creak. Of course, we have plenty of bike maintenance tips for you too. It’s also worth having a professional service your bike every 6 months or so.
22. Recovery after the first ride
Get used to cycling gradually. Instead of trying to run 60 kilometers or more every day on the first day, take a few days off after your first ride. As with any other exercise, it’s important to increase your effort appropriately.
Start with a 20 or 30km ride and add a few more kilometers with each ride after that. Soon you will find that you have made great progress in a very short period of time!
23. Share your riding adventures!
Really getting the hang of it, are you totally in love with cycling? Then your newfound hobby might open up a whole new world for you! Share your adventures on social media, join your local (women’s) cycling club, and set some goals for yourself.
If you are looking for a new way of commuting or want a healthier lifestyle, we are here to help you. Visit our website to learn more about electric bikes and electric scooter or please leave information to us.