Cycling Tips for Beginners in India: 101 Tips That Will Get You off to a Great Start!

So without any further adieu, let’s go through the 101 cycling tips for beginners:-

Buying a bicycle:

Cycling tips are vital, even when it comes to buying a bicycle. In India, we really don’t give this importance at all. So, start right from the moment you are planning to buy a new bicycle.

  1. Budget- First things first. You are free to dream about the bicycle you saw your favourite Tour de France rider ride over a steep hill and win KOM. But let’s leave it there, in our dreams. It won’t break, cost a fortune or won’t require maintenance. You will only win classics and grand tours. On the other hand, a budget will help you decide the type of bicycle you can afford to buy. It will also let you filter down to the type of bicycle.
  2. Purpose: Everyone has a purpose to buy a bicycle. Either fitness, commute, racing or long distance. Figure out the purpose and stick to it no matter what temptations.
  3. Type of bike: Now that you have already decided your budget and purpose, you will be in a much better position to shortlist a bicycle. Go ahead and figure out whether your budget lets you buy a road, hybrid or an MTB.
  4. Test Ride- While many of you might consider buying a bicycle online. However, before you get one consider going for a test ride. So head to the local bicycle store and try it out yourself before buying.

5. Frame Size:

Figured out your budget, purpose and the type of bike, now choose the right frame size. Consider the type of bike you are willing to buy and then consider your height and body shape. Keep in mind, you’re looking at comfort. If you are buying a bicycle online, this is very imported as you won’t be able to try the product.

6. Bike fit:

Now that you have chosen the right frame, get a proper bike fit done for yourself. While some of us have long legs, short torso or small hands, we usually struggle. Some of us pedal a little differently, some find it hard to reach the brake leavers and much more. Failing to get a bike fit can also lead to a series of injuries.

  • Prevent injuries
  • Improve overall performance on the bike
  • Enhance overall comfort of the rider
  • Reducing rider fatigue by enhancing efficiency

7. Cycling Jersey:

Wearing the right clothing will not only make you feel comfortable but it will also make you look serious. Consider investing in a good cycling jersey. These jerseys come with pockets that let you store your money, nutrition and other valuable safely. Besides, the material used in cycling clothing comes with moisture wicking property that keeps you dry.

8. Padded shorts:

Source www.velocrushindia.com/v2

9. Helmet:

There are a variety of helmets available in the market. Take a look at some of the popular types of helmets here. A good helmet will provide protection to your brain, head and face in times of a fall or accidents.

10. Cycling glasses:

safety gear

11. Cycling gloves:

When you fall, before your head hits the ground, your hands are likely to come in the way. This is when there are higher chances of you getting them scrapped against the floor. Invest in a good pair of cycling gloves. Go for those that come with a small towel that let you rub the sweat below your nose and offer a good grip.

12. Allen Key:

Get yourself a good Allen key set. Most of the keys will help you get most of the job done. Saddle height, brake tightening, gear tweaking can all be done with the help of a good Allen key set. Go for those that come in an L-shaped, they offer more room and get the job done.

13. Good lubricant(oil):

Let’s accept, you are going to be on your bike for long hours and the constant pedalling is going to cause your chain to wear and tear. Using a good lubricant will not only make your ride smooth but also reduce the wear and tear, and increase the life span of your chain.

14. Tyre pressure:

This is one of the most important things that needs to be checked regularly and maintained as well. Tyre pressure for every type of bike will be indicated not he sidewall. So ensure to invest in a good floor pump, they will make your life easy. Go for those that come with a pressure gauge.

Cycling tips for beginners: How to get the right tyre pressure?

More cycling tips for beginners: 5 easy tyre pressure hacks

15. Clean your bike:

Just like you, your bike needs a bath too!

16. Puncture kit:

With a puncture kit (tyre levers, patches or new inner tube, and pump) should always be on you. Whether a short or long ride, punctures come without a warning and take you by surprise when you least expect them.

Cycle chain care, lube, cleaner and more: Read

17. Learn how to fix a puncture:

You know how to ride a bike but ever wondered what will happen if you get a flat in the middle of no where?

Bicycle road safety cycling tips for beginners in India:

18. Be safe:

When you are riding, ensure to stick to the left of the road and follow traffic rules. Also, never ever forget to head out without a helmet.

19. Be Seen:

Another important cycling tips for beginners is to be seen. While riding at night or early mornings, light can be an issue. Get a reflective vest that will let you be seen by others.

Tail light and headlight:

Get this clear, there are two types of lights that are available

  1. That lets you see
  2. Others that let you be seen

20. Headlight:

A good headlight is another important cycling tips for beginners that you would want to invest once you find yourself riding on dark patches. They will help you spot any danger ahead and keep you prepared.

21. Hand gestures: Cycling tips for beginners

Source: Bicycles Stack Exchange

Food and nutrition: cycling tips for beginners in India

Now that we’ve taken care of getting you the right bike, maintenance and road safety tips, let’s move on to keep your nutrition level at optimum. While you surely can go and invest in some expensive nutrition products, eating simple food is a great way to start.

22. Sleep:

To perform good, you not only need to eat well but also get quality sleep. Getting good sleep will help your body to recover and perform well the next days.

23. Eat a Good breakfast:

Before you hit the road, consider having the “breakfast of champions”.

24. Bonking:

A common mistake made beginner cyclist is failing to eat on the bike. As a result, they run out of fuel and eventually Bonk. One you get there, there is no way you are getting back!

25. Hydration:

Just like eating on the go, hydration is equally important. So don’t forget to hydrate too! Carry one bottle with water and another one with electoral. Sip when you are thirsty and sip some electoral to avoid the cramping.

26. Cramping:

One of the common problems cyclists face is cramping. When you ride harder and longer than you are used to and don’t hydrate well, you’re likely to cramp.

Safety Cycling Tips for beginners in India-

27. If you’re going cycling alone, ensure to keep your loved ones informed. Let them know the route and what time you will be expected back home.

29. Cornering:

While cornering, make sure your outside pedal is at its lowest position. Apply pressure on the pedal, this will help you get a grip, especially in wet conditions.

30. Be cautious on the gravel:

Be careful when you ride over gravel. You will find patches scattered across everywhere. This gravel could be a big problem if you are on a road bike. If you are going to corner or brake, the loose gravel will slide over the road and could be a problem. In such cases, slow down beforehand and use both your brakes to maintain equilibrium.

31. Learn the art of riding in a group:

When you look at a pack of cyclists riding together closely, it looks really easy, doesn’t it?

Some cycling tips techniques for beginners-

32. Cross -chaining gears:

Cross-chaining is when you’re in the largest chain ring in the front (crank) and smallest chainring, smallest cog (rear). This will cause your chain to come in an angle which your bike doesn’t like.

33. Cadence is the key:

Often, beginners always ride on higher ratios assuming they will ride at a higher speed. However, riding on higher gears is tough and they get tired soon. In such cases, painting a regular cadence, around 70–90 revolutions per minute will be helpful.

34. Braking:

When it comes to braking, always remember, the front brake is far more effective than the rear brake. So try to use both the brakes together and maintain an equilibrium (60/40 or 70/30 ratio). However, don’t go too hard as modern bikes come with powerful brakes.

35. Switch to clip in pedals:

For starters, it might seem pretty daunting but trust us, you won’t regret it. With the clip in pedals, you will be surprised at the improvement you will see. Whether cycling on flats or uphill, you will be way better than before.

36. Join a local WhatsApp group:

With apps like Whatsapp, you can join cycling groups that post rides regularly and head out together to ride. Ride with them and make new friends. This will help you stay motivated and get fit. There are also plenty of Facebook groups that you can consider joining.

37. Download a cycling app:

Consider recording your rides and learn from them. Download an app like Strava, MapMyRide or Endomondo. With these apps, you can record your ride, train and improve your game on the bike. Here are our favourites.

Tips for cycling uphill for beginners

39. Cycle uphill

When you start cycling uphill, don’t go too hard early on. Ensure you continue to pedal over to the top of the climb. Make it a point to break the climb into parts and then tame it one at a time. Use your gears smartly, breathe and pedal.

40. Cash:

No matter how much you trust your bike, you simply can’t trust the circumstances. Hence, always carry enough cash to get you home in case you have a major mechanical problem.

41. Switch to a lower gear:

Your first reaction when you are about to climb is to shift into a smaller gear and maintain your RPM. The idea here is to try and hold a steady pace and then gradually increase your effort level.

42. Breathe and pedal:

Accept one fact, you are not going to beat two things while cycling

43. Stay focused:

A common mistake made by beginner cyclist is that they tend to lose focus while climbing. This usually happens because they can’t see the hilltop. As a result, they forget to breathe and eventually their cadence drops. So stay focussed throughout, breathe and maintain your cadence.

44. Fight the tendency to shift gears:

As the climb steepens, beginner cyclist have a tendency to shift gears. This will reduce your speed to a crawl and leave you behind.

45. Climb it in your head:

Climbing is not just won physically, it is won mentally as well. While they might certainly look intimidating, it’s often tempting to just get off and not try them at all.

46. Is there a right gear?

Honestly, the answer is a flat no. The only way to ace it is with experience.

47. Stand or sit?

If you are new to cycling, we advise you drop to an easy gear, stay seated and pedal up the hill.

Cycling tips for beginners lose weight:

Maybe you find the gym boring or find running hard.

48. Start with your diet:

If you want to boost your performance on a bike, cut down the junk food.

49. Ride regularly, Ride more:

The idea here is to spend more time on the bike rather than sitting at home in front of your TV and munching of unhealthy, oily snacks.

50. Eat carbs and lose fat:

Consider eating more amount of carbs. The Indian diet is already rich in carbs. What you need to do is add some protein to it. Follow the 4:3 ratio of carbs to protein. This will help you lose weight.

51. Cross train in the gym:

Cross training is another good way to get fit and lose some weight. You don’t need to go everyday. Thrice a week is good enough. The idea here is to burn fat and not lose muscle. Muscle is what will help you burn more calories.

52. Weekly long and easy rides:

Another cycling tip to lose weight is to ride long distance at an easy pace. Long rides more than 5 hours burn more calories and build endurance.

53. Recover like a pro:

Not eat is starving. It won’t help you lose weight. Once you’re back from your ride, consume more of protein and carbs. This will help your muscles to recover.

Cycling tips techniques for beginners in India:

55. Keep your upper body relaxed:

Looking where you are going is pretty obvious. Isn’t this taught to you from the moment you start to learn how to ride a bike?

56. Focus on push phase:

A good way to increase your power is to start pushing the pedal forward before it reaches the top of 12 o’clock.

57. Riding with one hand:

There will be times when you might want to remove something from your back pocket or just remove the bottle from the cage to drink up. In such cases, you will be riding with one hand.

Monsoon cycling tips for beginners:

57. Invest in a good wet lube:

Monsoon is the time of the year and everything is going to be wet. This includes the terrain, you and the bike. While you can’t do anything about the terrain, you can certainly wear something to protect yourself and the bike.

58. Reduce tyre pressure:

While there is certainly going to be less friction between the tyre and the road, reducing the pressure by 10- 20 psi will make all the difference.

59. Get good mudguards:

To avoid the splatter of dirt and muck on your back consider getting a pair of decent mud-guards. They will definitely help you reduce the amount of dirt being thrown on your face from the front wheel and back from the rear wheel.

60. Check the weather:

Before you head out in the rain, check the weather. If the weather is going to get ugly, consider staying indoors or wait till it settles. Do a few sessions on a home trainer instead.

61.Brake before you break:

During monsoon, bicycle brakes function 30% less effectively due to wet rims and brake pads. If you want to stop, consider using them way before. Also, a good idea is to use them together (60–40 or 70–30 ratio). This will maintain equilibrium and aid in stopping.

62. Carry spare tubes and not puncture kits:

When it’s raining, there is no way you will have the time or patience to spot and fix a puncture. To make the process faster, consider carrying a spare tube. All you have to do now is remove the existing tube, check the tyre for any wear and tear or sharp object stuck and then simply replace.

63: Stuff newspaper in your shoes:

Done with a long dirty ride in the rain?

64. Wash your bike:

While your body cools down, give your bike a little wash. As you’ve just returned back from a ride, your bike is likely to be covered in grime, muck and what not. Splash it with some water and wipe it dry before you store in the house.

65. Calves:

1. Stand with your feet pointed straight ahead

66. Quadriceps

  1. Stand straight and reach back with your right hand and grab your right foot at the top of the ankle
  2. Pull it upwards
  3. Hold for 10–15 seconds
  4. Repeat with right leg

67. IT band:

IT band is an important muscle when it comes to cycling, running and other sports. It runs down the side of your legs and helps in balancing and control.

68. Hamstring:

Pedalling motion will develop your hamstrings a lot. However, we cyclists are prone to tightness in our muscles. Hence, it is important to stretch.

69. Glutes:

1.Another important muscle which is often overlooked by many

70. Neck and Shoulder:

You will find yourself looking behind for your mates and the traffic. That’s when your muscles come into play. Or even left and right.

Road bike riding Tips — cycling tips for beginners

71. Hand position:

74. Don’t ride with headphones on:

Listening to music can be fun but not when you are riding a bicycle on the road. It can be extremely dangerous if you don’t hear any vehicle or other commotions behind you or off the side. We advise to keep your headphones at home and follow the traffic rules.

75. Keep your head up:

It’s important to keep your head up so you can look far enough to spot any obstacles and take necessary precautions. Things like storm drain grates, pothole,the sudden car taking a U-Turn, changing lanes, car door opening are some of the things you need to watch out.

76. Change position while riding:

Sitting for a prolonged period of time on a bike with the same hand posting can cause them to go numb. Same applies to your rear end on the saddle. Move your hands on the bar and your rear as well. This will let blood circulate effectively and prevent your body parts from going numb.

77. Don’t pedal in high gear for extended periods of time:

Try and maintain a cadence between 70 to 90 rpm’s. Find the right gear that will let you pedal comfortably and maintain the above ratio. Avoid pedalling in a high gear as it’s likely to put added strain on you knees.

78. Use your gears:

Compared to flats, climbing hills a different ball game. When climbing, shift a gear that will keep your cadence in the ideal range. This will let you make the best of your energy and let climb easily uphill without any stress on the knees.

79. Left foot down:

There’s a reason why riders prefer the left foot down. Not because they start with the right foot, it’s because they want to avoid the greasy chain tattoo on their right calf.

Cycling tips for beginners in India: Saddles sores

Saddles sores are an uninvited guest. They usually occur due to the rubbing of lycra in the area where you are in contact with the saddle. They are mostly caused by chafing and sweating.

80. Get a better saddle:

As you are going to spend long hours on the bike, a comfortable saddle is what you will need. So try a few saddles and choose the ones that’s comfortable. Forget the fancy, minimalist design and lightweight saddles.

81. Bike positioning:

When you do a bike fit, ensure to check your seat height. It’ll make a real difference and minimise side-to-side movement on the saddle.

82. Go to the doctor:

An experienced opinion is always a good idea when it comes to saddle sores. If your saddle sores last for more than a week, go to a doctor.

83. Try Chamois cream:

Those who take cycling seriously will know the significance of chamois cream. Ask the pro cyclist if you know any.

Keep reading more cycling tips for beginners below!

You will thank us later.

84. Tea tree oil:

Looking for an Ayurvedic way to treat your saddle sores? Consider using tea tree oil. It is antiseptic, antibacterial and anti-fungal in nature.

85. Keep it clean:

Last but not the least, ensure to keep your private area clean and dry. Keep it clean and let your body do the rest.

86. Clean shorts:

You might start off your ride by wearing a clean pair of shorts, however, at the end, they will be sweaty with colonizing microorganism and bacteria built up. The best way to get rid of this issue is by quickly changing and taking a clean shower.

Cycling tips for beginners to treat road rash:

At times you might be able to get caught in a crash. They just happen and there is no way you can avoid them. In those cases, road rash are inevitable and the way you treat your wound indicates how quick and safe recovery will be.

87. Wash the wound properly:

Before you get into bandaging or applying any antibiotic, the first thin you need to do is clean your wound with water.

88. Dress your wound:

Once you clean your wound throughly, consider applying an antibiotic ointment like Betadine. Then, secure the dressing with a gauge and ensure to change it daily until healed.

Summer cycling tips for beginners in India:

Summers are the best time to go cycling. But don’t be mistaken. You failing to dress up correctly for the occasion can leave you in trouble. Following these few cycling tips for beginners will make all the difference in going that extra mile and keep the fun between your legs.

89. Go early:

With the sun rays being stronger during this time of the year, it is always better to head out early. This way you can head out early and enjoy your ride and get back before it starts getting too hot. While it might be a tedious task for you to get out of bed earlier, we assure that it will be worth it. Also, you can even consider leaving your lights at home.

90. Use a sunscreen:

Cyclist treasure their tan lines. They are like medals of honour. However, this might not be applicable to each one of you out there. If so, consider getting yourself a good sunscreen that offers high SPF protection.

91. Hydrate with a plan:

Keep in mind to keep yourself hydrated before, during and after the ride. Consider consuming a sports drink that contains sodium and potassium. This will help you retain fluids you consume and keep you hydrated.

92. Wear light colours clothes:

More of common sense, wear light-coloured clothes when you head out. Light coloured clothes reflect light and has moisture wicking capabilities.

93. Take it easy:

Don’t assume that you will ride in hot weather and get back home early. Riding hard and fast with the sun will go hard on your body. Best way to deal with this is by keeping the pace steady. Take it slow, don’t go all out. Take a break or two if you need.

94. Remember to eat:

It’ every likely you might forget to eat on a hot day. Often, your appetite will also be suppressed. Consume carbohydrate snacks like bananas, energy bars, nuts and so on. Along with this, keep yourself hydrated.

95. Think about your route:

If your regular cycling route gets hotter during your ride, choose an alternative one. Riding under direct sunlight will make you feel hotter and hydration more difficult. Also, don’t forget the sunburns.

Recovery cycling tips for beginners:

96. Cool down before ending your session:

When you are on the bike, your blood vessels in the legs expand. Sudden stopping can leave the blood to stay in place. This leads to lightheadedness and minimizes your body’s ability to get fresh blood in and metabolic waste out.

97. Keep hydrating:

Dehydration can increase your recovery time. Hence, it’s best you always consider consuming water and some electrolyte.

Cycling tips for beginners: 7 ways to stay hydrated without drinking water!

98. Power up recovery period:

Protein is vital for recovery. Hence, right after your ride or race, have a high protein snack. Foods like chicken, eggs, fish or a protein shake will help promote muscle repair and recovery.

99. Get a massage:

Getting a good massage is equally important as consuming protein and keeping yourself hydrated. A good massage will boost circulation and allow fresh blood to flow in more easily to help muscle repair.

100. Rest with plenty of rest:

Get complete rest. Doing so will help your body to heal. Try sleeping for a good 7 hours at least. It will help promote recovery, reduce stress causing hormone, cortisol and boost performance. Plus, it will get you prepared for the next day.

101. Compression socks:

Last but not the least, compression socks are a good way to recovery. These socks are known to support your leg muscles and tendons. Also, keeping them on after a ride will help reduce muscle soreness, fluid retention and swelling.

--

--

Indian Cycling Under One Roof

Love podcasts or audiobooks? Learn on the go with our new app.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store