Your Top 10 Road biking Questions Answered
We’ve Answered All Your Beginner’s Top 10 Road biking Questions
Road cycling can be a confusing sport for beginners. Between the complexities of equipment, clothing, and language, there’s a lot to learn (and buy) to finally feel like you fit. Unless you have a more experienced friend, it’s hard to find someone you can trust to answer your questions without making you feel childish.
But road biking don’t need to be complicated, expensive or factional, we want to make it easier for you to feel like you’re part of a (chain) gang. Below, we answer 10 common beginner questions to help you get out there and enjoy the ride. (Our Road biking Skills Book will help you along the way, too.)
What is the difference between a mountain bike and a road biking?
Essentially, the difference is simple: Mountain bikes are designed to ride slower, with more varied terrain, and with a greater emphasis on speed control. Road bikings ride on flatter and less varied terrain and tend to prioritize speed over control. In practice, this means that mountain bikes typically have larger tires, suspension, wider gears and lower top gears (since you don’t go as fast on dirt), flat and wide handlebars, As well as the geometry for rider comfort in a more upright position. Road biking typically have tighter gear ranges, curved and narrow handlebars, rigid frames and forks, and narrow tires. Each is designed to do a specific job, but their functionality may vary.
How long should I ride at the gym?
What is your goal? If you’re trying to lose weight, we recommend plugging in a few short intervals (high-intensity periods) during your free time. Say you warm up for five minutes, then complete 10 one-minute efforts, rest for two minutes in between, and cool down for five minutes. Before lunch is over, you will have time to change and get back to work. However, if you are trying to train for an enduro, we recommend increasing your training volume. Try to ride at a pace you can still talk (but not in long sentences) and increase your time by no more than 10% per week.
How should you sit on the bike?
Comfortable! Don’t let anyone tell you that riding a bike shouldn’t be comfortable. Sure, your legs and lungs might hurt, but your back and hips shouldn’t. A good starting point is to set the saddle height so that your knees are straight and locked when your heels are on the pedals. That way, when you pedal, your knees will bend a few degrees, as you should, with the balls of your feet resting on the pedal shaft. You should sit at the widest part of the saddle and be able to reach the bars without feeling stretched.
Can I ride a mountain bike on the road?
Of course! Mountain bikes are more about comfort and stability than speed, so they can feel a little sluggish compared to road bikings. However, that doesn’t mean they’re not road-ready machines. We recommend installing a pair of smooth tires (without tread) on your mountain bike and trying a few road rides. If you like it, you can splurge on a road biking. If not, you’re only paying $50 for tires instead of the hundreds or thousands of dollars for a new bike. Upgrading to a road biking will provide better gears, a variety of comfortable hand positions, and a more efficient transfer of energy to speed, but you’ll only get faster if you ride more. So, run the bike you have until you can get the bike you want!
What size road biking should I ride?
A product that allows you to comfortably reach your pedals, brakes and bottle cage. If the seatpost is barely showing and you feel stretched, the bike is too big. If you need to extend the seatpost to near or beyond its minimum insertion (marked on the stem) or think you need a stem longer than 110mm, you may go even bigger. We always recommend that you try out a bike before buying it, or go to a bike shop for a professional fitting.
Should I ride with clipless pedals? Why are they called “clampless” when they clip in?
Clipless pedals get their name from the lack of toe clips, which was common before French company Look introduced a ski-bound design in the 1980s. They offer more control and efficiency, but take a little getting used to. Once you’ve done a few rides on the flats and feel like you’re ready, we recommend you go to the park and practice cutting in and out of grass with minimal release tension. Remember to cut before you stop. Remember, everyone—from national champions to rookies—falls at least once when they first learn to snip!
What’s up with all these gears?
Road biking gear can be confusing! Thankfully, companies like SRAM are making things more intuitive these days, but many beginners still find the gearing difficult to master. We recommend avoiding triple chainrings (three rings in front) and using a 2×11 setup (two rings in front). From there, try to avoid “big-big” and “small-small” combinations by changing the front to avoid “cross-chaining” (running the chain at a diagonal spacing, which reduces efficiency and increases wear). In general, when you shift the front to a harder gear, you should shift to an easier gear twice in the rear to compensate. The reverse is also true. You’ll get the hang of it over time.
What should I eat before cycling?
I have some bad news for you: the days of “spaghetti parties” are over. Unless you’re riding for more than a few hours, you can stick to a normal diet the day before. You also don’t want to overeat before heading out. A good breakfast option should have a decent amount of carbohydrates and not be too high in fat. We love eggs on toast, nut butter or PB&J stirred into oatmeal.
What should I eat while riding?
If your drive is less than 90 minutes, you can drink some water or use Nuun energy tablets to rehydrate. For long rides, it’s best to eat snacks that are low in fat and high in carbohydrates. You can buy energy bars at the store, but you can also use a banana, a few Newtons of figs, or some raisins. Eat about 200 calories per hour on rides lasting more than 90 minutes, and make sure these foods are high in carbs and low in fat.
Do I have to wear spandex?
Not at all! Many of our best rides wear baggy clothing. You should wear whatever makes you feel good and makes you want to ride more. Spandex does have its advantages in terms of movement, breathability and suede padding. If you don’t feel comfortable in tights, companies like Elevenpine make some great crossover gear. Plus, padded spandex shorts can always be paired with less-fitting shorts. Sweatshirts with pockets make carrying snacks easier and come in a variety of cool designs. If you prefer something less revealing, you can always keep treats in a top tube bag or small backpack.
9 Tips for Beginners
There are millions of Americans who ride bicycles, and those numbers keep increasing. As more riders hit the trails and roads, these riding tips for beginners will help you ride better and safer.
1. Protect your head. Head injuries are the cause of 60% of cycling deaths in the United States each year. Many of these deaths could have been avoided if everyone wore a helmet while riding. Always wear a helmet while riding and make sure your child does the same. Many states have bicycle helmet laws, but even if you don’t have one, you should always wear one.
2. Don’t press the high gear for a long time. You want to try to keep your cadence between 70 and 90 rpm. It puts extra stress on your knees when you’re pedaling high.
3. Use your gear. When climbing a hill, shift into a gear that keeps your rhythm in the correct rev range so you can go up the hill without putting too much pressure on your knees.
4. Choose the right bike. Setting the bike to fit your body will make riding easier, more efficient, and reduce pain and soreness during and after the ride.
5. Select the appropriate saddle. When riding, getting the right saddle can make a huge difference. Don’t assume that the thickest padding will give you the most comfortable ride. Longer seats with cutouts are usually the best type of saddle. Read reviews online and see what others like, then test ride some.
6. Change your position while riding. Move your hands on the handlebars and your rear end on the saddle. This will keep your hands, arms and back from being numb from being in a given position for long periods of time.
7. Do not ride with headphones on. This can be very dangerous if you don’t hear an emergency vehicle or other commotion behind or beside you. If you must listen to music, buy a small clip-on radio with speakers that you can attach to your jersey.
8. Know the rules. Ride with traffic and obey all road signs. Look closely at all the cars in front of you so you can try to predict what they’re going to do.
9. Lift your head up. Look forward far enough so you can react to any obstacles in the road or on the shoulders in front of you. Things like storm drain grilles are very bad for slender road biking tires.
If you follow these tips, you’ll have a better, safer, and more enjoyable ride.
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.