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Top 5 Cycling Tips for Beginners

Maybe you just bought a bike as part of your 2021’s resolution to stay fit or simply wanted a new way to spend more time outdoors after being cooped up in your home for the past couple of months. Whatever your motivation is, we want to share some tips and tricks every cycling beginner should know about to make the ride a comfortable and safe one.

1. Buckle up - always wear your helmet when cycling

Hand reaching out for the SCOTT Stego Plus helmet

Protect your noggin and reduce risks of head and neck injuries with an approved helmet that is correctly sized and well-fitted. It is crucial to have a helmet that fits snugly and squarely on your head with about two finger-widths above your eyebrows. The side straps must be tightened and formed a “V” under your earlobes. The helmet must remain buckled during the ride and the chin strap should have about a one finger width of gap beneath your chin. If you notice any cracks in your helmet, replace it immediately as the helmet is designed to absorb a single impact.

2. Know your brakes

Man riding his road bike in the morning

It’s paramount to know the difference between your two brakes before you take that first ride. The left lever is for braking the rear wheel and the right lever is for braking the front wheel. To safely come to a stop, we recommend squeezing both levers evenly and gently and staying in a neutral riding position where you have a slight bend in the elbows and knees. To get going again, release the right lever of the front wheel first, followed by the left lever.

3. Light up your ride

A group of cyclists at the traffic lights with rear bike lights on

Bike lights are one of the most important investments as a new rider to improve road safety and stay seen. Whether you are cycling during the day or night, your front and rear lights should be on to illuminate the road and be seen by the drivers. From headlights , rear lights to wearable lights , there are bound to be products that fit your needs. Be sure to check your lights before long rides and carry a small back-up light in your bag as you don’t want the battery to run out mid-ride!

4. Comfort is key

A road cyclist looking out to the ocean

Your first few rides might be challenging, so why not kit yourself out with a comfy bike saddle , padded gloves and cycling shorts to make your riding experience a more pleasant one. We recommend new cyclists get a good quality pair of gloves and cycling shorts to help you remain comfortable and pain-free. For longer rides, the gel-padded palm area of the gloves not only prevent slipping but also provide extra comfort for your hands, while the shorts prevent uncomfortable episodes of saddle sores and chafing.

5. Perfect the art of looking ahead

Mountain bike cyclist looking ahead

While this may come across as an obvious thing to experienced riders, not enough beginner cyclists practise it and find themselves running into rocks, potholes or trees. The rule of thumb is to look 2-3 seconds ahead of where you are and look at where you want to go. This will allow you enough time to spot and avoid the obstacles as well as save yourself from injuries or a flat tyre. Over time, you will be able to fill in your visual gaps faster while riding and respond more proactively to upcoming turns and obstacles.

A group of My Ride cyclists with their Avanti mountain bikes

We understand that your first few rides can be a little scary and overwhelming with many things to keep in mind, but fear not! My Ride has been helping locals hit the road (and trail!) with confidence for years now and we have everything you’d need to kick off your two-wheeled adventures. Find all bike accessories and gears to make your ride the best one yet on our website or pop into any of our My Ride stores for friendly assistance and cycling advice.

The facade of My Ride store