Many women are taking up cycling as a sport. Some are seen on MTBs and hybrids while others are seen on a road bike. And if you are one of those who just gifted yourself a brand new road machine, here are a few tips that will develop your skillset and boost your confidence on corners, climbs and flats.
Buy the right size road bike:
Road bikes are an expensive affair. And you don’t want to land up buying the wrong one. Instead of prioritising the colour, look for the right frame size. There are women-specific road bikes that come with women-specific components. While not every woman might require a women-specific road bike, make sure you get the right frame size.
Set up your road bike:
Before you head out for a ride, ensure you set up the saddle and handlebar at the right height. This is equally important as much as buying the right frame size. Doing so will ensure you keep injuries and discomfort at bay.
Get a good pair of cycling bib shorts:
Bib shorts will not only make you look good but offer super comfort on your rides. There are tons of brands selling some of the best cycling bib shorts for women.
Learn to swap an inner tube:
Before setting off, learn the art of swapping a bicycle tube. It saves time and gets you back on the bicycle in no time. Later, you can get the punctured tube repaired by a mechanic and carry it as a replacement tube in case the current one goes flat again or whenever.
Learn to use the gears correctly:
Using the right gear at the right time is the key to enjoying road cycling. Get used to maintaining a high cadence. Sync your breathing and pedalling, this makes riding long-distance a bit easier. Avoid grinding the large gears it’s a common mistake beginner cyclists usually commit that leads to knee pain or tire out too soon.
Shift into an easier gear in time:
While cycling, there might be a need to come to a stop. Whether at
a red light or just a stop to refill your bottles. Ensure to shift a few gears down before completely stopping. This way, getting back on the saddle to resume your ride gets much easier and faster.
Pay attention to your position:
When you set out riding, ensure to learn to relax and ride. You don’t want to be holding the handle too tight, you also don’t want to sit in your saddle while you go over a pothole. The idea is to relax and learn to understand your bicycle and how he/she behaves on corners, gravel, wet roads, flat roads, inclines and declines.
Always wear a helmet:
Whether you are going on short or long rides, it doesn’t matter. Always, wear a helmet. Besides, keeping you safe, it makes you look professional and serious about your sport.
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For starters, cycling with normal shoes with a flat sole is fine. However, later when you get the hang of it, make it a point to move on to cleats. You will surely love it. And if you do get them, ensure to spend some time practising cleating and uncleating in a safe space.
You don’t want it to be a disaster.
Find a cycling friend/ Cycling Group:
Cycling is more fun if you are riding with a friend or a group. This gives you a chance to explore new routes, learn tips and hacks from each other and grow as a cyclist. Besides, it feels a lot safer when you have a wingman.
It’s always a good idea to keep track of your rides. So download Strava and log in your miles. Join challenges and elevate your love for cycling.
If you want to fall in love with this sport, ease into cycling. Start by doing short distances and then gradually increase the distance and duration. After every ride, learn to understand what your body demands. Ensure to get good rest between your rides. This way your muscles will fully recover allowing you to enjoy your next ride.