The open road beckons.
The fresh air calls your name.
It’s time to discover the joy of cycling!
But where to begin when you’ve never pedaled further than around the block? Don't worry - we’ll be your trusty guides on this journey.
Cycling may look easy enough when you spy that peloton whizzing by in their sleek outfits. But there’s some essential knowledge to absorb before you conquer the countryside on two wheels. Professional bike fit, smart gear choices, basic skills, nutrition, and hydration - it’s all crucial. With the right insight and preparation, you’ll be cruising along happily in no time.
Follow these beginner cycling tips for the best experience.
Tip #1: Finding a Comfortable Riding Position
Getting properly fitted for your bike is one of the best things you can do as a beginner. Visit a local bike shop and ask for a basic fitting session. The staff can assess your flexibility, observe your pedaling stroke, and make adjustments to important contact points like saddle height, handlebar reach, and cleat position.
As a starting point, the height should allow almost full leg extension at the bottom of each pedal stroke, with a slight bend in the knee during normal pedaling. The wrong saddle height can leave you feeling uncomfortable and awkward. Handlebars should be positioned to avoid overstretching your back while also not crowding you. Make small tweaks over multiple rides, focusing on comfort and efficiency.
Consider investing in a decent bike fitting later on to optimize your position fully. The goal is to find your ideal position through some trial and error so you can prevent injury and enjoy many miles of happy cycling.
Tip #2: Adjusting the Saddle Height
Use the heel method initially to gauge saddle height. When pedaling normally, aim for a 25-35 degree knee bend. Make very small adjustments at a time and assess over several bike rides before changing again. Avoid excessive hip rocking or toe-only ground contact when seated, which indicates the height needs adjusting.
While you can start on your own, consider getting a professional bike fitting to precisely set your optimal saddle height based on your body proportions and flexibility. Finding your perfect height may take some patience and minor tweaks, but it's worth it for power, comfort, and efficiency on every ride.
Tip #3: Choosing Between Road and Hybrid Bikes
For new cyclists, deciding between a road bike and a hybrid can be tricky. Road bikes are made for speed and distance on pavement with their aerodynamic geometry. Hybrids blend the qualities of a road and mountain bike for more versatile riding. Hybrids generally allow a more upright, comfortable posture for beginners, and their wider gears make climbing easier.
If you know you want to focus on faster road riding, a road bike may better serve those goals long term. Comfort should be the priority as a cycling novice.
Tip #4: The Importance of a Helmet
Wearing a proper helmet is essential for safe cycling. Helmets can reduce the risk of serious head injury by 50% or more in the event of an accident. Make sure yours fits snugly with straps secured. Replace any helmet after a major impact.
It's not just cars you need to worry about - debris, road hazards, and falls can all lead to injury.
Set an example and wear your helmet on every single ride. Modern helmets are lightweight, ventilated, and affordable. Don't risk permanent injury - a helmet could save your life as well as your enjoyment of cycling.
Tip #5: Investing in Cycling Shorts
Quality padded cycling shorts are worth the investment for comfort on longer rides. Look for a decent pair of shorts with multi-density foam chamois that prevents chafing and absorbs road vibration. The pad should feel firm and supportive when pressed, not soft or squishy.
Go for bib shorts over waistband shorts - they stay put better and reduce pressure points. Pay more for premium shorts with ideal leg length, breathable fabrics, and excellent fit. The right shorts can make the difference between numbness and all-day riding bliss.
Tip #6: Essential Cycling Accessories
Beyond your bike and helmet, carrying certain key bike accessories can make your rides safer, easier, and more comfortable. Essential items include LED bike lights, tire levers, a spare tube and patch kit, a mini pump, a multi-tool, cycling gloves, sunglasses or riding glasses, a hydration pack or bottles, and a jersey with rear pockets. Keep in mind that many local bike shops will actually show you how to change a flat tire.
A saddle bag can carry repair items, or smaller things can go in jersey pockets. Investing in quality accessories means you'll be prepared to handle common road issues and enjoy improved comfort mile after mile.
Gear Up and Get Rolling with Our Road Cycling Collection
New riders looking to gear up for road riding should cruise over to our expansive road cycling collection. We've got all the essential apparel and accessories to help you hit the pavement prepared and in style.
Browse our wide selection of road-ready jerseys featuring moisture-wicking fabrics, cooling mesh panels, and zippered pockets to carry ride essentials. Our shorts and bibs are designed for all-day comfort with multi-density chamois, silicone leg grippers, and supportive compression fabrics. Don't forget outerwear and layers for changing weather, plus cycling gloves, socks, caps, and more.
We offer road biking gear for men and women with options for every budget. Our experts carefully select fabrics and features so you can ride with confidence and joy. Classic solids, eye-catching graphics, and premium Italian materials - whatever matches your style.
Ready to upgrade your road riding experience? Come check out our road cycling collection. We can't wait to outfit you and send you on your way - the open road awaits!
Biking Tips - Your Questions Answered
Is cycling hard at first?
Cycling can feel challenging and tiring when you first start riding. As you regularly ride and build strength, it will start to become much easier. Stick to short, flat rides early on. Use easy gears and smooth pedaling until your body adapts. Be patient through the initial adjustment phase. Your fitness will improve with consistency. Always make sure to apply regular bike maintenance best practices so you can keep riding without any long pauses.
How many miles should a beginner cyclist ride?
First, aim for short rides of 3-5 miles, 2-3 days per week. Ride at an easy, conversational pace. Gradually increase distance by 1-2 miles per week as you adapt. Build up to 10-15 mile rides over several weeks. Listen to your body, and don't increase mileage too quickly.
What cycling gear does Canari recommend for beginners?
As cycling apparel experts, we recommend starting with these high-quality basics to make riding more comfortable: a properly fitted helmet, cycling shorts with a multi-density chamois, and a jersey with rear pockets. Add layers like arm and leg warmers for cold weather. A packable cycling jacket blocks wind, while gloves reduce vibration and protect hands.
Don't forget lights if riding at dawn, dusk, or night. Hydration is key too - use water bottles or a hydration pack. Ask bike shop staff for recommendations on quality gear to suit your needs and conditions. Investing in the right apparel and accessories makes a bike ride much more fun.