9 beginner mistakes and how to avoid them | Cycling Weekly


Whether you are cycling newbie or
seasoned pro we all make mistakes and while we learn best from the errors we make, at the time it never quite feels like that
So to save you the time, hassle and embarrassment of making silly cycling mistakes we’ve gone
to the effort of making them for you Here’s our top cycling mistakes to avoid We’ll forgive you for this one because it’s
an easy and common mistake to make Positioning your saddle too high or too
low could lead to a loss of power as well as injury While bike fit is unique to
each rider there are some guides to follow when it comes down to saddle
height. As a guide ride along with your heel on the pedal and when your leg is at
the very bottom of the pedal stroke it should be almost fully extended but not
quite… if this doesn’t feel quite right feel free to change it slightly until
you are comfortable Hitting the wall or “bonking”, as it’s
commonly referred to among cyclists, is when the body quite simply runs out of
fuel. In most cases you come to an almost grinding halt and things will only get
worse until you refuel. It’s an error everybody has made but it can easily be
avoided – before each ride make sure you are sufficiently fueled. In other words,
have something to eat – porridge and bananas or toast with honey are great to help fuel the body over a few hours Out on your ride take more than enough food A few gels or bars and a couple of
bottles – heck, even a sandwich will all provide energy and keep your tank topped
up. Trust us – you’d much rather have too much food in your jersey pocket then
not enough There’s no mechanic van coming and for
most of us mere mortals we’ve got to be self-sufficient because not everyone’s
gonna stop and help… clearly So to get yourself up and running back on the road quickly after a puncture or a double puncture you’ll need at least two spare
inner tubes, a mini pump or gas canisters and to make your life easier pack a
couple of tyre levers and a multi-tool into your saddle pack In colder conditions
it’s always better to slightly overdress than underdress and
remember you can always take the layers off But even in warmer climes never
leave the house without a rain cape or a gillet because it could really cause
your body temperature to plummet if there’s a sudden downpour If you’re heading out up hilly terrain remember – the higher you go the colder it will become Wearing a windproof cape will prevent wind chill and keep in body heat Get into the habit of regularly checking
and keeping your bike well-maintained Not only will this make it perform
better but it will be nicer, easier, and safer to ride too. Pay special attention
to the brakes, gears and tires, and make sure that you’re regularly moving and
cleaning your chain to prolong the life of that too. Now, if you’re not confident
doing all this by yourself at home then most bike shops do offer servicing now
so make sure you’re taking it in every now and again We’ve all done it – the adrenaline is coursing throughout our veins and we just can’t help ourselves
from firing out the gates Cycling is a tough sport at the best of times and while there’s nothing wrong in wanting to go faster than ever or beating a PB,
it’s important that you know your limits and ride within them. Going too hard too
soon could ruin your ride, not to mention your morale It’s common for those of
you who are new to cycling to rely on your brakes too much. When needing to slow
down it can be tempting to grab the brakes hard but braking must be done in a controlled manner Braking extremely hard could lead to a loss of control and stability and in extreme cases could see you flying directly over the handlebars –
not to mention it doesn’t do any favours to your mates behind. Instead keep your
eyes on the road ahead, anticipate, and brake gradually using a combination of
front and rear Your gears are there for a reason: to
allow you to ride comfortably over a range of terrains. They’re there to make
your life on the bike easier and more enjoyable There’s no need to grind a
hard gear at 40rpm – all you’re likely to do is injure your knees. Likewise there’s
very little point spinning 140rpm in easy gears all the time – you’ll just make
yourself dizzy Lastly make sure you know which part the lever moves the gear in the directions you want There’s nothing worse than grinding up a steep hill only to make matters worse by shifting into a harder gear No one likes a visible panty
line not least cyclists The chamois in your cycling shorts is designed to be worn directly against your skin and it will make things much comfier too