4 Basic Skills For Beginner Cyclists

4 Basic Skills For Beginner Cyclists


– If you’re wanting to
get going on your bike, and there’s a few really basic skills that you’re going to want to cover. – Today we’re going to
stick to just the basics, so if you are starting out in
cycling for the first time, then this is the video for you. (upbeat music) Let’s start right at the beginning. Setting off the very first time. We’re going to assume your
bike is set up to your size and everything is in good working order. What you want to do then
is stand your bike simply, 30 centimeters away from the curb. Set your cranks reasonably level. The three o’clock position
for your favored leg is what we recommend. Just like this. Then whilst holding the bars and saddle, lean the bike towards you,
remove your hand from the saddle, and swing your leg over. Now, grabbing both brakes,
steady your weight over the bike, place your best foot on the forward pedal, shift your backside onto the saddle, look over your shoulder
to check for traffic. You’re now ready to set off. So push down on your forward leg and maintain a relaxed
balance over the bike. (upbeat music) – Now that we’re off and riding, it’s probably a good time to start thinking about how to stop. Now this is a really important
skill to get dialed in, especially how to stop with control. This could also be advanced
to timing and modulation. Braking force is transmitted
mostly through the front wheel. You could test this by
walking next to your bike and putting the back brake on full. Look what happens to the rear wheel. (upbeat music) Now repeat this by fully
pulling on the front brake. What happens? The rear of the bike starts
to lift off the ground, meaning you no longer have the ability to apply braking force to the rear wheel. Okay, that’s an extreme. But the same principles apply. If you want to slow down, then mastering your front
brake is absolutely key. Now, practice makes perfect with this one. But being at one with the time and distance it takes to stop, is absolutely crucial to fun,
fast, and enjoyable cycling. (bike wheels clicking) Practice on as many different gradients and different road surfaces as possible so you know just how much
grip each service allows you. – And that leads us nicely on to something that you might
want to use your brakes for. Cornering. (upbeat music) Cornering is one of my favorite techniques to master on the bike, but it is essential that you get it right. Start by keeping your
weight over the tires as this will afford you the most grip available from the road. To do this you want to
put your outside leg down, and put the weight through
your outside arm as well. And this will help you to turn. Ideally, you would practice
this away from traffic like in a large car park
and then you could do a figure-of-eight like
I’m about to show you. (upbeat music) And what you want to do then, when you’re accelerating
out of corner at the time, you want to stand up for
maximum acceleration. (upbeat music) – [James] To do this, as your
leading leg is on the way down through the two to three o’clock position, simply slide forward on the saddle, take a firm but relaxed grip on the bars as you go to stand up. – The bike will move beneath
you so don’t try and fight it. This technique is best used when accelerating up a short climb or maintaining momentum
on a really steep climb. Standing on the pedals allows
us to apply disproportionately more force to the pedals
than when staying seated. This is mostly due to gravity. Standing could even be a
great way to soften the impact of bumpy roads and make your ride that little bit more comfortable. And at certain times, it could
even offer you more control. (upbeat music) As with any skill that you’re
trying for the first time, we recommend finding somewhere quiet and away from the traffic. – These are really good
basic skills to get you going and they are also good to master them. – If you enjoyed this
video and found it useful do give us a big thumbs up
and for more skills videos, click down there.