20 July 2019

Sportsister’s top ten cycling tips for Cycletta

August 19, 2011
Cycletta ten tips

It’s summer (no really, it is!) so what better time than now to do like Victoria Pendleton (pictured) and hop on your bike?

vpCycling is a great way to stay fit whilst making the most of the great outdoors – but whether you’re new to to the saddle or a seasoned pro it’s important to take on board the basics to make the most of your rides.

Check out our top ten tips below and you’ll be riding safely, and smartly, in no time (plus, you might even avoid the dreaded saddle sore!)

1. No matter how much you love music don’t ride your bike with your headphones in. Riding on roads alongside traffic means you need all your wits about you, so leave the iPod at home.

2. So many women don’t cycle in helmets because they don’t like the look or the feel of them. But it really can be the difference between life and death if you have a serious accident. There are loads of great styles around now and even products to fix your hair to avoid the dreaded helmet hair look!

3. If you are planning to ride regularly for over half an hour at a time you will really feel the benefit of padded cycle shorts. If a lycra pair is a step too far for you, you can buy padded briefs to wear under your regular clothes. Think about your cycling outfit before you head out – nothing ruins a ride out more than being too cold or too wet so check the weather forecast before you leave and dress accordingly.

4. If you are going out for a training ride try and go early in the morning. This is when the roads are quietest and you can enjoy your ride without worrying about traffic flying past you. Make sure to plan your route in advance always carry a mobile phone.

5. If you are a beginner don’t be intimidated by bike shops. Once you are in you’ll find most staff are really happy to help you and give advice. If you are looking for a bike to buy they’ll talk you through the best options and let you test ride some to find the perfect wheels for you. And remember if you don’t like the service just leave, there are lots of stores to choose from.

6. Take your bike for a regular service, this means at least once a year. If you ride regularly you will want to increase this to twice a year. It’s also worth learning a few basics about maintenance so you can check your bike is performing well and fix any small niggles, British Cycling is running a series of beginner’s courses this summer.

7. When buying a bike make sure it is the right size for you as this is crucial to your comfort on the bike. Saddles are adjustable and the right position may be higher than you first think. The easiest way to check it is to sit on your bike and put your foot on the peddle at its lowest point – your knee should be slightly bent. Head to a store for a professional bike fit in order to prevent injury and maximise efficiency on the bike.

8. Make best friends with your gears. They are there to make your cycling easier! When climbing hills make sure you drop down your gears before you start to struggle as this will make the gear change much smoother and your ride much easier. It will also place less stress on your bike’s components, keeping it running better for longer.

9. To be a more efficient rider (i.e more speed, less effort) keep your cadence (the rate at which your pedals/wheels turn) high. It might take a while to get used to the faster pace of leg turning but it will make you a stronger rider.

10. Think about your riding position. Make sure you relax your shoulders – holding tension in your upper shoulders is a waste of valuable energy so keep it loose! But don’t forget your core – this is much neglected by cyclists but hugely important. You are far more efficient if your core is solid. Be conscious of how activated your core is when cycling and soon it will become habit!

Louise Hudson, Sportsister
The Women’s Sports Magazine

One Comment

  1. Pingback: Cycletta tips – ready for race day? - Sportsister - The Women's Sports Magazine | Sportsister

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