Cycling for Beginners: Everything You Need to Know
Cycling for Beginners: Everything You Need to Know
Have you ever wondered how
to ride a bike or electric bike? Knowing how to get started can be confusing
(and intimidating), however the good news is that it’s an easy sport to pick
up. In this guide, we’ll share everything you need to know about cycling for
beginners, including the best bike or electric bikes for beginners, the gear
you’ll need, where to ride, and more. Accordingly, the article will give you note about cycling for beginners.
Is there another question not answered here? Leave a comment and I’ll try to help you! If you already have a bike, you can skip this step. But if you don’t already have a bike, that’s the first thing you need to do. Consider what kind of bike you are interested in. Do you want to try road cycling? Mountain biking? Or maybe you’re just looking for a bike to cruise around town?
From left to right: road bike, mountain bike, hybrid
Depending on the type of bike you want to ride, you need a specific type of bike. If you want to ride a road bike, you need a good entry-level beginner road bike. If you want to ride a mountain bike, you need a mountain bike. If you want to ride bike paths and rail trails, you need a hybrid bike.
There are many other types of bikes, including beach cruisers, gravel bikes, and commuter bikes (to name a few). For more information on all types of bikes and which is best for you, read this guide:
19 Different Types of Bikes and How to Choose the Best Bike for You
You also need to make sure you buy the right size bike. Having a bike that is too big or too small can reduce your enjoyment of cycling.
3 Easy Steps to Know Your Women’s Bike Sizing
Get a helmet and cycling gloves
If you think this bike is really for you, you’ll be building up a lot over the next few weeks and months. You don’t need a lot to get started. But there are two things you don’t want to wait for: a good helmet and cycling gloves. These are critical safety items.
For helmets, you can choose from different types of helmets, depending on what kind of riding you want to do. Road helmets are lightweight, breathable and aerodynamic. Mountain bike helmets offer more skull coverage and usually have a visor to protect your face and eyes. Urban and recreational helmets are focused on being a little more stylish and (usually) more affordable, but also tend to be less breathable.
From left to right: MTB helmets, road bike helmets, recreational urban helmets
Cycling gloves, while not as important as helmets, can also be an important safety item. In the event of a collision, the gloves prevent the skin on the palms from being scraped off. Gloves can be half-fingered or full-fingered. Which one you use is largely a matter of personal preference, although full-finger gloves provide more protection for off-road riding.
Find a safe place to ride
Now that you have your bike, helmet and gloves, it’s time to ride! But where?
First, look for under-traffic areas like bike paths and railroad trails, or low-traffic areas like neighborhood streets and designated bike lanes. The best place to start is usually your city. Most towns have official bike maps showing these paths and routes.
There are also apps and websites that can help you. We’ve put together these for you:
7 Tools to Find Bike Paths Near You
Figure out how to carry water
There are a few things you should carry with you (more on that later), but the most important of them is water. Staying hydrated while riding is critical to your performance (and well-being) on the bike.
The easiest way to carry water is to add a bottle cage* to your bike and put a bike bottle in it*. This solution is relatively cheap, simple, and lightens your load.
Using a bottle cage and water bottle (left) or hydration pack or waist (right)
Another option is to buy a hydration pack (looks like a backpack) or a cycling fanny pack to hold water. This is more popular with mountain bikers than road cyclists, but can be used by anyone. The benefit of a backpack is that you can carry more water (and gear) and it’s easier to drink than a bottle while riding.
For more help on how to carry water (and how much you should drink), check out this guide:
Everything you need to know about cycling hydration
What to bring when riding a horse
In addition to water, you should also bring some essentials to keep you safe and ready to go home no matter what. I recommend bringing a fully charged cell phone, credit card, energy bar and repair kit.
Your repair kit should include (at least) a multi-tool, a spare inner tube, tire lever, and a micropump or CO2 cartridge/pump. I’ll share more information on how to learn to use these. How to carry all this stuff? You can put them in a sweatshirt pocket (if you have one) or a seat bag. You can also keep them in a hydration pack (if you choose to carry one).
Invest in a pair of cycling shorts
While it’s perfectly fine to start riding in a pair of gym shorts, sooner or later you’ll find that you want a pair of cycling shorts. Bike shorts have padding to make sitting on the bike saddle more pleasant.
You have several options. You can just buy a padded cycling underwear to ride under your existing shorts, you can buy a pair of bike-specific lycra cycling shorts, or you can buy loose-fitting mountain bike shorts. There are even cycling skirts if that’s more your style. Finding a group of other women to ride with can be life-changing. In my experience, women in the sport are very good at helping each other cheer up. Cycling isn’t as scary if you have other people around.
To help you find these women, we’ve created a list of women’s group rides and clubs, along with some tips for first-time group rides.
The Ultimate List of Women’s Cycling Clubs and Cycling (Road and Mountain Bikes)
5 Tips for Your First Group Ride
If there are no groups in your area, or you prefer to ride alone, that’s fine! Personally, I ride alone most of the time. If that’s your route of choice, here’s a clip of a podcast I recorded on solo cycling tips.
Choose pedals and shoes
Mountain Bike Shoes vs Road Bike Shoes
Your bike may have plastic platform pedals, in which case put on your tennis shoes and start riding. However, many bikes are sold without pedals and you need to add them. A good place to start is with cheap platform pedals.
At some point, you’ll decide to feel confident in your bike and be ready to invest in clipless pedals and real cycling shoes. There are many types of clipless pedals, but I personally think the most beginner-friendly ones are the simple SPD pedals*.
You can also choose your reasons for continuing to ride with flat pedals. If you’re just cycling around town, it’s easier to wear regular shoes and use platform pedals. Plus, if you’re a mountain biker, flat pedals and a good pair of mountain bike shoes will be safer and more fun than clipless pedals.
Cyclists don’t have many “rules” – so don’t panic! However, there are a few things you should know to make sure you are safe and that you are a good cyclist. When riding on the road, please obey the traffic rules. This means riding on the right side of the road, stopping at stop signs and lights, and generally doing the same thing as in a car.
Of course, you don’t have turn signals, so use hand/arm signals to indicate when you’re turning or stopping. (These are the same signals you should learn in driver education). If riding on the trails, be polite to other trail users. When riding downhill, be sure to let pedestrians and horse riders as well as uphill riders.
Learn some basic bike maintenance tips
You should learn something right away. These include inflating bicycle tires, cleaning and lubricating chains, replacing flat tires, and tightening the bolts on the bicycle. You also need to do “ABCs” before each ride. Check the air in the tires. Pull the brakes to make sure they work properly. And clean and lubricate your C-chain. This may all sound scary, but I promise it isn’t. Practice in the comfort of your home or garage and be patient with 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.