Are you looking for tips for beginner cyclists because you want to learn cycling?
Or maybe you are like me, trying to find a healthier form of exercise that is low-impact and great for your joints?
Are you tired of other forms of exercise and trying to find something new that you can do socially and in large groups as an adventure?
Well, cycling is the exercise for you!
Not only is cycling great for folks of all ages and easy on the knees, but you can also easily make lots of new friends by cycling in groups and joining cycling sessions with like-minded folks!
Just like you, I was once a beginner cyclist, with bad balance and low stamina.
Then, I slowly adopted all the tips here and kept improving. I may not be an expert yet, but cycling is one of my great passions.
In fact, I just went on a 6-day coastal bike tour with my family! We were cycling from one home to another and enjoyed breathtaking views.
I look forward to going on more cycling tours in more parts of the world!
So sit back and be ready to learn tips for bicycle riding.
As a quick summary, here is what this article will cover:
1) 61 Best Tips For Beginner Cyclists
2) Common Mistakes To Avoid As A Beginner Cyclist
3) Best Cycles For A Beginner Cyclist
4) How Long Should A Beginner Cyclist Ride?
5) How Should A Beginner Cycle?
6) How Often Should You Cycle As A Beginner
7) How Many Miles A Day Should A Beginner Bike?
Some of the links on here are affiliate links and I may earn if you click on them, AT NO EXTRA cost to you. Hope you find the information here useful! Thanks.
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61 Best Tips For Beginner Cyclists
In no order of priority, here are 61 tips for cycling beginners that you can easily incorporate.
1) Good Cycling Posture
You are going to spend a lot of time placing your back in a structured position.
You cannot slouch while riding. Your back must be straight.
Whether you lean forward, sit up straight, or recline backward, depending on the type of bike you use, please ensure you are not unnecessarily curving your back or slouching.
2) Do Not Stress Your Shoulders
Whether you are cycling for leisure or cycling as a form of racing, there is no need to stress or strain your shoulders.
You will start to hurt your shoulders and will not be able to ride long.
Here is a video that shows you how to avoid sore shoulders whilst cycling.
3) Protect Your Spine
This is linked to the two points above. You should not pressure your back or spine. Instead, work on your core muscles.
That way, your stomach can get a good workout too.
You can do this by tightening your stomach while you ride. By doing this, you automatically maintain a good position for your spine.
4) Your Elbows And Fingers Must Be Connected In A Straight Line
Please do not let your fingers or hands sink while you ride. Keep it straight and firm.
But do not tense your hands.
If this is not possible with your current bike, please contact your seller or go to your local repair man to help you align the handlebar to your body size.
5) Let Your Elbows Relax By Bending It A Bit
The point above spoke about the straight line from your fingers to your elbows. However, for your elbows to your shoulder, you can let the elbow bend a bit.
This will give your arm a relaxing position, and helps to make it easier for your hands to control the bike.
6) Ride A Bike That Is Suited To Your Body
Please do not try to learn to cycle on a bicycle that is used by someone whose body is very much different from yours.
You will feel discouraged and frustrated. You also risk hurting yourself in the process.
Please test the bikes with your seller and seek their advice on customizations that are required for your size.
7) Align Your Hands And Wrists Properly
Cycling is meant to be fun! If you feel tired from cycling, it is because you did it as a form of exercise and got your heart rate shooting.
Which is fine! But if you felt like your hands and joints were hurting, or you kept getting injured or felt aches, then something is wrong.
Tips for beginner cyclists, your hand and wrist are supposed to be straight with the handlebar and not bent too much.
8) Eat Proper Food
If you are serious about wanting to cycle regularly, then what you eat matters.
This does not mean that you should starve yourself. But you need to watch your nutrition. Carb-heavy food will make you feel bloated and struggle to cycle. Check out this food guide for cyclists.
9) Drink Lots Of Water
Cycling is a heavy cardio activity. You will need to drink a lot of water.
Your bicycle will usually be able to install a bottle rack below your seat.
If you feel that may not be enough, you can carry a hydration pack on your back which can carry about 2 or 3 liters of water and comes with a straw that is attached to your helmet.
This is important to remember as a biking tip for beginners.
10) Pack The Right Snacks And Supplements
This does not mean drugs or performance enhancers.
Please remember this as a crucial road cycling tip for beginners.
11) Pay Attention To Traffic
Please do not start riding on the road as a beginner. Try to avoid it as much as possible, until you become really experienced and perhaps riding in a group.
It is advisable to ride on cycling lanes or parks as a beginner where you have more space and do not have to worry about collisions coming at you.
A cyclist has no chance against an incoming motor vehicle.
Furthermore, some places do not allow cyclists to ride on pedestrian paths, because those casualties are quite severe too.
There have been many instances of people being knocked down by cyclists and losing their lives. This is an important tip for cycling.
One important way to protect yourself is to wear a strong cycling helmet.
12) Never Ride Against The Flow Of Any Traffic
This seems like a no-brainer. But, it is still important to take note of as a bike riding tip for beginners. Do not ride against oncoming traffic, just because you think you can see the vehicle in front of you.
It is illegal. Imagine if a motorbike started coming at you while you are riding a car. Seems horrible doesn’t it?
13) Be Predictable And Consistent In Your Movements
Please do not move from left to right or stop suddenly.
Try to always stay in one line as you cycle if there are lots of pedestrians or other forms of traffic nearby.
It is just like driving. You will use your light signal before turning left.
Here is a handy guide on how to use your hand signals when cycling. It is one of the best cycling tips for beginners.
14) Always Be Alert To Your Surroundings
While you sit on public transport, you can just zone away.
You cannot do this when you are cycling. Even if it appears there is no action happening, and you start to think you need not pay attention, that is not true.
Suddenly an animal can cross your path, or someone may just run in front of you. Never lose sight of your surroundings. This is one of the important tips for beginner cyclists.
15) Do Not Take Your Brakes For Granted
If your brakes felt a little loose and were not providing the much-needed stopping power, please do not try to be funny and use your feet as a stopping mechanism.
This was something kids did when they were younger, but it is just plain wrong!
Get your brakes tested, repaired, or replaced immediately.
You would not drive with faulty brakes in your car right? Neither should you cycle with one.
There is also the issue of insurance claims to look out for. If you were found to have neglected a fault in your bicycle, you may not be able to claim for your injuries.
16) Always Hold Your Handle Bars
Everyone has seen experienced cyclists ride freely and swing their arms up in the air. Please do not do this as a beginner. Always hold onto your handlebars.
There are times you will need to adjust your helmet while you are riding. Just make sure that one hand is always holding the bar.
If you can avoid it, even as an experienced rider, please do.
Anything can happen, and cause your bike to overturn suddenly. A rock in your path, a loose animal, a person, a vehicle, a puddle of water.
17) Ride Defensively
Another tips for beginner cyclists, always have a defensive position. Meaning that something can just crop up in your path.
Always try to protect yourself but do not harm others too by riding recklessly.
18) Wear Proper Clothing That Is Not Bulky Or Loose
Cyclists usually wear fitting outfits to help with the wind resistance. It also does not get caught in the chains. If you wear loose pants, they can get caught in your chain, cause a tear in your pants, and make your chains get loose.
Here are appropriate outfits you can wear as a cyclist.
19) Slow Down When Approaching Bumps Or Turns
Do not ride in a cruising position when you are reaching a bump or about to turn.
You must slow down considerably. If you turn too fast, you risk falling off your bike and suffering serious injury.
20) Do Not Be Under The Influence Of Any Drugs Or Alcohol
The same responsibility that applies to cars and motorbikes applies to cycles. It is illegal to ride when you are under the influence and the penalties can be severe if you are caught.
21) Spend The First Few Trials In Your Neighbourhood
Do not go far as a beginner when you are just learning. Especially if you are trying to learn to balance your bike and get a few pedals in without falling.
This saves you some time and allows you to practice in a comfortable place.
22) Try To Find A Cycling Buddy To Learn With
It is just like exercise or finding a gym buddy. Try to find someone to learn cycling with.
If you do not know anyone who is a beginner, then try to tap on your experienced network.
Please remember, nobody laughs at someone for wanting to learn to cycle or learn anything new! It is always comfortable to have a partner, who can motivate you and push you to achieve your goals.
Here are some applications you can download if you want tips for beginner cyclists:
- City Mapper: To help you navigate your cycling route
- Fill That Hole: An app to report potholes
- Find Bike Riders: An app to help you find bike riders in specific locations.
- Komoot: Another app with ready-built routes
Here are some cycling groups you can consider joining:
23) Do Not Ride In Dark Or Wet Weather For Now
While there are cycling lights to help you in low visibility conditions, please do not attempt this as a beginner.
Please learn to cycle in dry and bright conditions first. It is safer and easier for you.
24) Be Consistent With Your Practice
Do not start, pause for a few weeks, and then resume again. Just keep at it. Even if it is just for 15 minutes per day, you are slowly getting used to the muscles and how the bike works.
But if you stop, your body and mind will forget how it feels.
25) Do Not Get Angry With Your Bike Or Yourself
While it is normal to be frustrated when you find yourself struggling as a beginner, please do not get overly mad when you are learning to cycle.
It is easy to just slam your bike and damage it. This will cost you money later on.
Just take a breath when you are getting mad and wait a bit before resuming.
26) Watch Youtube Videos To Learn about Cycling
While cycling is a physical sport, this does not mean that you cannot watch someone and try to learn from them first. It is just like learning the theory before doing the practicals right. Here is a helpful tips for beginner cyclists YouTube video you can check out.
27) Do Not Be Frightened By A Bit Of Steep Climbing
Your bike will not roll over backward on a hill. You always have your brake to stop yourself.
Just attempt the hill by adjusting your gear and slowing down.
28) Do Not Go Crazy With Expensive Accessories
While you may think that you need to spend on so and so items to look good, the truth is nobody cares or will be impressed if you spent a lot of money on these.
You do not even need to buy a fancy water bottle. Your regular bottle works just fine now.
30) Do Not Ignore Any Aches Or Pains You Feel
Just because you are a beginner, you should not think that you deserve to suffer if your body is hurting. It is possible your alignment or positioning may be wrong. And you may not know why exactly.
Tips for beginner cyclists, speak to an experienced bike person so they can get a feel of what is wrong, or better yet, go to your seller.
31) Never Leave Home Without Cash
If your bike suddenly gets stolen, you need cash to transport yourself and your bike back home or to your repair shop.
32) Use Lights During The Day
Cycle lights are great for daytime use too. It helps to keep you visible and safe. Lights are not just for the dark for cycling.
33) Wear Bright Clothes
If you notice on the highways, there are bright luminescent reflectors to let you know when there are road turns.
This works great for cyclists too. Your dull-colored outfits may not be so visible, even if you switch on the light. These reflective outfits will make you more visible.
34) Buy Proper Quality Equipment And Accessories
Even though you were told above to not go crazy on accessories, at the same time, you are advised to buy the essentials properly and not get second-grade duplicates that will not help you.
The key is not to own these accessories, it is to benefit by using them for their intended purpose.
Here is a list of cycling essentials:
35) Always Check Your Tire Air And Pressure
If you are riding your bike regularly, more air can be released earlier. The tire can lose pressure easily with heavy and regular use.
By pumping your tire regularly, you will guarantee yourself a smoother ride.
Tires without sufficient air will give you a bumpy and unpleasant ride. It is also much slower and likely to lose balance. Here is a good pump you can buy.
36) Create A Cycling Plan
If you have started cycling and have gotten used to a certain amount of mileage or terrain, do not be afraid to step it up a bit.
It is just like going to the gym. Once your body is used to a certain amount of weights or reps, you push yourself a bit more.
This can help you continue to get the exercise benefit you need and become more fit. Creating a plan like this will help you achieve your fitness goals faster.
37) Join Cycling Groups
If you are alone when cycling, do consider joining cycling groups in your neighborhood or city.
These are a fun way to meet new like-minded folks. Who knows, some of them may be beginners too, and you can forge some friendships and become better cyclists together. You can also find tips for beginner cyclists there.
Here are some cycling groups you can consider joining:
38) Become Friendly With Your Local Bike Shop
Please slowly build a nice relationship with your local bike repair shop. If you own a bike, chances are you will see them here and there. And you want to be on good terms with them and get great value with something as precious as your bike!
39) Prioritize Skill And Endurance Over Speed
Do not attempt to rush and race as a beginner cyclist. Focus on getting the basics right and being able to handle the pressures of cycling.
40) Do Not Forget To Lock Your Bike
While you may think that you can trust your neighbors, thieves are everywhere. Even if you are entering a shop for just a moment, please lock your bike.
Here are some types of locks for your consideration:
41) Join A Cycling Class
You can consider signing up for cycling classes to learn about cycling and getting tips for beginner cyclists. This is if you are feeling less confident about engaging in this alone.
42) Understand The Different Type Of Bikes
The world of cycling is massive. Did you know that people tour the world using their cycles? There are so many types of bikes for different purposes.
Before you buy a bike, take note of what kind of bike you are looking for.
Do you want to go on rough terrains as you become more experienced? Are you interested in going backpacking on your bike? Do you want to travel for work and want something more compact?
There is something for everyone…
Folding Bike – Zizzo Campo
Recumbent Bike – PINO from Hase Bikes
Mountain Bike – Mongoose Status
Electric Bike – EPIKGO
Electric Folding Bike – Swagtron
43) Do Not Cycle After A Heavy Meal
Just like running, if you went and cycled after a heavy meal, you will likely get a tummy ache and will have to stop very quickly. Have light snacks before you cycle and load up on water.
44) Push The Bike When You Have To
If you are tired or struggling to navigate, do not hesitate to get off your bike and push it instead. There is no shame in this, and nobody will be staring or pointing fingers at you. Pushing a bike is not a sign of weakness.
45) Cycling Term – Bibs
46) Cycling Term – Bonk
When you hit a bonk, it means that you are extremely exhausted or need replenishment.
47) Do Not Listen To Music On Headphones
As a beginner, please avoid listening to music. You want to be fully focused on your surroundings. It is easy to get lost in the music, so please avoid it.
48) Do Not Use High Gear For Long Periods
When you are cruising on flat surfaces, there is no need to be in high gear. Just be on the normal gear that is suitable for flat surfaces. High gear is just for steep hills.
49) Make Sure You Can Press The Brakes Instantly
Your brakes should not be far away from your hands. You should be able to brake instantly, at a moment’s notice. This is more important when you are riding in a group. Cycling crashes in a group are extremely fatal.
50) Avoid Carrying Lots Of Cargo
It is easy to think that you need to pack a lot of things when you cycle because you are not sure what you need.
Truthfully, if you are just cycling nearby, you do not need to pack heavily. You just have to have the right snacks, drinks, cash, and phone.
51) Breathe Regularly
This is not swimming where you need to hold your breaths at specific periods. Please breathe properly, take deep breaths, and do not kill yourself while riding.
52) Understand The Difference Between Front And Rear Brake
For slowing down and gradual stopping, please press your front brake. Your rear brake is the more powerful one.
If it is pressed too suddenly, you can jerk yourself forward and fall off.
53) Move Your Hands A Bit
Remember it was shared that you must have at least one hand holding the bar. You should learn to relax your hands a bit during this time. Just shake it a bit to get the blood flowing in different directions and feel a bit more relaxed.
54) Never Underestimate The Helmet Even For A Minute
Accidents can happen at any time. Your head is so precious. Please do not neglect your helmet even if you are riding very near.
Here are some different types of helmets for your consideration:
55) Pay Attention To The Movement Of Vehicles At Traffic
Always look for slight movement, and signals for turning before you make your move.
In fact, at the traffic stop, never wait at the corner. Wait in the middle of your lane so that you cannot be hit by accident by anyone.
56) Wipe Your Bike After Wet Or Dirty Rides
Please do not rush into your home after riding in wet or muddy conditions. Please wash your bike, and wipe it down. If you let the dirt and water dry from your bike on their own, it will spoil the frame materials.
Always keep your bike dry!
57) Use Water Bottles With Squeeze Function
Use a water bottle where you can suck the top with your mouth and squeeze water into your mouth. It is safer, especially if you drink while riding. Also, it is more hygienic.
Using your hands to open the bottle risks transferring germs to your water. This is an important cycling technique for beginners.
Here are some hydration packs you can use:
58) Respect The Wind
If it is too windy, adjust your gears accordingly. It is akin to riding up a steep hill. Do not force yourself to ride on normal gear.
59) Ensure Your Seats Or Shorts Are Padded
Please do not wear shorts that do not cushion your groin area.
This will help in preventing saddle soreness which is an ache in your private groin area that makes it more sensitive and painful.
This is such an important cycling tip for men.
60) Wear Sunglasses
Wearing sunglasses is not just for the hot weather. But it is to protect your eyes from flying objects or dust. Do not wear your fancy glasses for this. Just exercise glasses like these will do.
61) Do Not Ride On A Flat Tire
If your tire got punctured, please do not continue riding thinking your frame and wheel will support you. It will ruin the inner tube and cause more damage to your bike. It is easy to forget this when you are a beginner cycling for the first time.
Common Mistakes To Avoid As A Beginner Cyclist
Cycling survival – 13 beginner mistakes to avoid:
- Having the wrong saddle height. This will affect your back and make it hurt.
- Not using the right gears. This will either make you cycle too fast with little resistance or risk hurting your legs.
- Having too many fancy gears. This will confuse you and you may use the wrong gears for the wrong purpose.
- Ignoring the guarantees that come with your bike and not testing them properly during the guarantee period.
- Not having a good relationship with your local bike shop. When it is an emergency, they would treat you like a stranger who will pay them, rather than going out of their way to help you because you supported them.
- Wearing loose or wrong clothing. As mentioned above, you must wear cycling attire for a smooth journey.
- Not pacing out your energy on the hill by going all out at the first climb and realizing there are a lot more steep slopes left. By then, your energy is depleted and you may have to push your bike.
- Eating a heavy carb diet before a ride. You will struggle to get any motion and have a bad tummy ache.
- Not planning your route. You may end up lost and unsure of where to cycle.
- Not using enough sun cream. You can get badly burnt and suffer from ultraviolet damage to your skin.
- Not packing enough spares. You may go out with the bare minimum and not have enough water or snacks.
- Hogging the road. Wherever you ride, you must be socially responsible and take note of the other users of the road.
- Not wearing a helmet for short distances. Thinking that the nearby shop is super near and nothing will happen. This is wrong. You must always wear your helmet as long as you are on a bike.
Best Bicycles For Beginner Cyclists
1) Folding Bike – Zizzo Campo
The Zizzo Campo is a good folding bike. As a beginner bicycle riding enthusiast, who is planning to commute to work, then you can consider this! Some of the customers have purchased it again for their family members. It has a 7-speed cassette for optimal gear shifting.
The seat is also wide which provides good comfort.
2) Recumbent Bike – PINO from Hase Bikes
If you like the idea of having a recumbent bike, then you can consider a PINO from Hase Bikes. It is helpful and versatile. You can bring cargo on it or your child too.
Having said that, do consider bringing additional cardo or people after becoming a bit more experienced.
3) 3-Wheeler Bike – Mobo Tritan
How Long Should A Beginner Cyclist Ride?
The cycling advice for beginners is to ride 15 to 20 minutes for your first two allocated cycle days. Slowly increase it by 10 minutes every 3 days. This will help you slowly get used to the cycling pace, but at the same time, push yourself to improve to help your fitness as well.
How Often Should You Cycle As A Beginner?
The next tips for beginner cyclists that I found very helpful is cycling 30 minutes a day or every second day. Once you get better, you can slowly start to cycle every day for the same length of time.
After a while, especially when you get more experienced, you will find that it is easy to hit 2 or 3 hours during one session.
Do not rush to reach this length during your beginner cycle sessions.
How Many Miles A Day Should A Beginner Bike?
As with any exercise, it is slow and steady. But 10 miles per day is perfectly fine, as a beginner cyclist. Having said that, if you find that it is too much for you, or your fitness levels are not up to par yet, it is always okay to reduce it.
It is not an exam that you must pass or some badge of honor where you share how many miles you have rode per day. This is an important tip for beginner road cyclists.
Well, there you have it, folks! These are all the relevant tips for beginner cyclists that you can use.
I hope the guide has been helpful and has shown you that being a beginner cyclist is not rocket science.
There is no need for you to feel overwhelmed as if you are going to Law School. Anyone can start cycling. There is no prerequisite and there are bikes that are suitable for everyone!
One thing you can consider is to tick on the cycling tips for beginners that are most relevant to you and take special note of them. Especially if you are prone to forgetting them. That will help you remember them more.
With that, I would like to wish you all the best as you embark on the wonderful and breathtaking adventure of cycling as a beginner! Thank you for reading these tips for beginner cyclists and stay safe.
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