For all those beginners looking to kick-start their cycling journey, we’ve got you covered. We’ve taken our favorite beginner cycling tips and broken them out into a quick guide, so you can get suggestions before you start cycling, establish your routine, and keep your motivation up.
What are the top beginner cycling tips?
While biking isn’t exactly complicated, there are some beginner cycling tips to consider before you start. These will help you determine why you’re biking in the first place and keep you safe when you do hop on the bike.
1. Get a bike that fits
One of the most important things to do when you’re starting out cycling is to make sure you have a bike that fits. A bike that’s too big or too small will be difficult to ride and can be dangerous. You should be able to sit on the bike with your feet flat on the ground and reach the handlebars comfortably.
If you’re not sure what size bike you need, go to a local bike shop and have them help you out.
2. Invest in basic bike gear
We know that bike gear (and bike shorts in particular) get a bad rap, but here is the thing: as much as you may want to resist, there is a reason so many cyclists wear them and other gear. The materials are made for cycling, and sitting on that bike seat is much more comfortable for longer periods of time. This will help with your routine to keep you comfortable and motivate you to keep riding.
Another important piece of gear for cyclists is a good helmet. A helmet can protect your head in the event of a fall or collision, and it’s definitely worth investing in one that’s comfortable and well-fitting.
3. Set goals
When you are first starting, it’s easy to come up with a lot of goals, only to realize you’re way over your head. Setting some achievable goals, in the beginning, is a good thing. As a beginner cyclist, we recommend setting a distance goal or incorporating cycling into your workout routine instead of focusing on speed. For example, maybe your beginner cycling goal is to:
- bike 4 hours a week
- bike 30 miles a week
- bike 3 times a week
For beginner cyclists, we recommend that beginner cycling goals associated with routine can help establish healthy habits and set you up for future biking success!
4. Create habits and routine
So there is some good news and some bad news about health habits. The good news is that healthy habits contribute to a healthier life. Even more, you can change your habits for the better. The bad news is that it takes longer and is harder than most think. Habits, on average, take around 66 days to form, while for some people, it might be quicker, and for others, it might be even longer.1
So, remember to stay motivated as you start a new, healthy habit as our tip for beginner cyclists! Keep getting on the bike, and know that just because you have a period where you take a break, you can always come back to it.
5. Learn the basics
Our favorite beginner cycling tip is to know the nitty-gritty of biking to make your experience better and safer. Regardless of whether you are on an indoor bike or an outdoor bike, you’ll want to understand how you can change gears’ resistance levels. Play with the different gears and resistance levels, experimenting with turning your gear up or down. With time, this will make your ride smoother and more enjoyable. If you aren’t sure about gears, check out YouTube videos, or ask your community.
And before you hit the road, it’s a good idea to learn things like how to change a flat tire and how to signal when you’re turning are important to know. This way, if something goes wrong with your bike, you’ll be able to fix it yourself instead of having to take it to a bike shop every time.
6. Start slowly and build up gradually
When you first start cycling, it’s important to start slow and build up gradually. If you try to do too much too soon, you’ll likely end up getting injured or burning out quickly. Start by riding a few times per week for 30 minutes at a time and then slowly increase the frequency and duration of your rides as you get more comfortable on the bike.
7. Try indoor and outdoor rides
When you are first starting out, our beginner cycling tip is to try both indoor and outdoor cycling. While you may be initially more interested in one than the other, both have benefits and downsides for beginners—trying each can give you the best of both worlds!
For example, we love indoor rides for beginners because they remove the safety element and allow you to access the bike whenever and wherever. But, at the same time, outdoor rides can be incredibly fun and refreshing and may help you stay motivated.
8. Join a group ride or bike with friends
One of the best ways to get into cycling is to join a group ride. There are often group rides available through local bike shops or online communities. This is a great way to meet other cyclists and learn from more experienced riders.
Riding with others can make the experience more enjoyable and it can also help motivate you to keep cycling even when you don’t feel like it
How long should I bike indoors each day?
As you establish an outdoor or indoor cycling routine for yourself, you might be wondering, “Can I do indoor cycling every day?” The simple answer is yes! You can absolutely bike indoors every day if you want to. However, a beginner’s cycling tip is that you should consider your current physical condition before you try to tackle an intense daily biking routine like that.
For instance, if you were primarily sedentary before you started biking indoors, it might be best to take things slow and start biking two or three times a week before you gradually work your way up to daily cycling. That way, you’re less likely to injure yourself. Plus, if you overdo it right away, you run the risk of getting burned out before you have a chance to see any progress.
If you are indoors, this doesn’t mean you can’t explore. In fact, with Vingo, you have the opportunity to explore different terrains while you bike, so each ride can still be a new and exciting experience.
Key takeaways:Biking is great because it’s so versatile and can be so many things for different people. To find out what will work for you and what you enjoy about biking, and keep doing it.
Setting yourself up for success on the bike starts with simply establishing why, creating a routine, and then coming back to it. .
- Hathaway, L., & Gregg, M. (2020). Making health a habit. ACSM’s Health & Fitness Journal, 24(4), 43-45.
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