Many will learn the rights and wrongs of cycling the hard way. We don't want that to happen to you--so we've listed some of the most common mistakes biking enthusiasts are making, and how you can avoid them once and for all. Yes, you're welcome!
Not adjusting your bike according to your size
You have aches and pains after an awesome ride--and not in a good way. Or perhaps you have general discomfort while riding. Do you know why this could be happening? It's most likely because you haven't adjusted your bike well enough to fit your body type. To avoid beating your body up after you hop off the saddle, make sure that your bike's seat is adjusted to the right height, which as a starting point should be the same as the top of your hip bones when you're standing upright. The saddle should also be facing straight ahead, not tilted up or down. The handlebars should also be one or two centimeters lower than the saddle height. You can adjust this further lower as you get used to the position. Or depending on the type of riding you do you may even go higher rather than lower than seat height! We suggest getting a professional fitting that is optimized for you and your style of riding. Many specialty bike shops offer this.
Not using the suited gears
If you're a newbie, bike gears can be pretty confusing. Don't worry, we've all been there, given that most bikes have 11 or more gears, all designed for different terrains. If you're simply riding on a flat surface, try to maintain a cadence of 70 to 90 pedal revolutions per minute (rpm). You can shift down to the easier gears as you tackle more challenging climbs.
If you have a single front chain ring (the one where your crank arms are) then life is already easier for you as you only have the back gears to work on. If you have 2 or 3 front chainrings, then just work to keep the back gears in the middle-ish range and not a heavy cross-chain position.
Shifting under load is a common problem when you’re new to riding. When you foresee a hill climb, downshift a gear or 2 before you get to it so the pressure isn’t loaded up on the shift. Soft pedal pressure is key when shifting.
Not bringing enough water and nutrition backup
It goes without saying that cycling takes a lot of your energy, and so if you don't fuel enough while riding, you're bound to crash. Ever heard of the "bonk"? It's an unpleasant condition when your body starts experiencing symptoms like dizziness, irritability, confusion, and nausea. This is why you must eat small amounts of healthy snacks or liquid calories every 20 minutes, plus drink about 17 to 24 ounces of water per hour. If you're wondering about the kind of snacks should you bring, you can go with either a powder based liquid calorie, or something simple like a banana, peanut butter, toast, an energy bar, energy chews, oatmeal, and sports drink!
I like the simplicity of bullet points for success. These are just the basics, but be sure to practice a tire change and repairing a twisted/broken chain. Many bike shops offer free guidance with this, and youtube can be your best friend as well!
- Hydration Pack with fluids
- Multi tool, chain break tool, tire lever, spare tube, pump
Do these items seem like a lot to bring on your next cycling adventure? Well you can pack all these (and more!) in one compact, lightweight pack, like the ones from Orange Mud! Our Endurance Pack and Adventure Pack are both a sweet choice for riding! Don’t want to carry a pack? Grab a frame bag, seat bag, or top tube bag to carry your essentials on the bike, then just add a bottle or two to your frame!
Which of these common biker mistakes can you most relate with? How were they able to help you?