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All about cycling : A Beginners guide for cycling

All about cycling : A Beginners guide for cycling

During the COVID 19 Pandemic cyclists have been increased in big numbers. Cycling is a sport in which you don't need any company you can ride solo and explore beautiful places. This increased interest in cycling has increased demand in huge numbers many people are asking me different questions about cycling and that's why I am writing this blog to make it little easier. 

I will be addressing most common and frequently asked questions by a new cyclist.

Hope you get all needed information :)

  1. How to choose a correct type of bike?

Below mentioned are the different types of bikes on the market and the sort of cycling they deliver:

Mountain bikes: Choosing a mountain bike will come down to the type of terrain you want to ride. Suspension is a common theme on mountain bikes, with more suspension provided as the terrain becomes more difficult. The suspension commonly dictates the name of the mountain bike too. Mountain bikes with no suspension are referred to as 'rigid'. Mountain bikes with front suspension are called 'hardtails' as the rear is rigid. And bikes with suspension at both the front and rear wheels are called either full suspension or dual suspension bikes.

 

Road bikes: Designed for use on sealed roads, road bikes are one of the most efficient bicycles. Road bikes can be spotted by the skinny tyres and 'drop' handlebar that curls back toward the rider at the bottom. There are multiple types of road bikes, but they will typically fit into one of two categories: aero or endurance. Aero bikes are built with speed in mind. They typically feature harder gears, stiffer frames and a more aggressive position to keep you out of the wind. Endurance bikes can come in many forms but typically feature slightly more upright riding positions, easier gearing and a smoother ride. They're best picked for more social and fitness-based road cycling. Most brands will sell more endurance road bikes than aero models.

 

Hybrid bikes: Not as fast as road bikes, and not as rugged as mountain bikes, but good for commuting. Also commonly known as a “comfort” or “fitness” bike, hybrids typically offer one of the most upright riding positions available. Hybrids originally got their name for being somewhere between a road and mountain bike, but modern-day hybrids are perhaps best classified as recreational fitness bikes. If you want to leisurely and comfortably ride on sealed or well-kept gravel surfaces without any speed or performance pursuits, then a hybrid may be right for you. 

While many hybrids don't offer suspension, some will offer suspension at both the front wheel and below the saddle. These types of bikes are perfect for those looking to take up cycling who suffer from chronic neck or back pain.

  1. Does cycling help in burning calories? What are the health benefits of cycling?

The number of calories you burn in either exercise depends on the intensity and the length of time you do it. Cycling is gentler on the body and you may be able to do it longer or faster than you can perform any other activity. Your age, weight, gender, and other factors determine your own chart of calorie burning.

Building Muscle: - Cycling can help you build muscle in your lower half. Pushing pedals while biking is resistance training that builds leg muscles. The top half of your body is also involved, but those muscles aren’t nearly as engaged as the bottom half.

The health benefits of regular cycling include:

  • increased cardiovascular fitness
  • increased muscle strength and flexibility
  • improved joint mobility
  • decreased stress levels
  • improved posture and coordination
  • strengthened bones
  • decreased body fat levels
  • prevention or management of disease
  • reduced anxiety and depression.


 

  1. What accessories do I need?
  • Helmet( No Helmet, No BIKE)
  • Light (Front and Back,Be seen or to see with,For early morning/night)
  • Bell (to make sure you are heard)
  • Bottle Cages (Recommend 2) (To carry water)
  • Saddle Bag (To carry tools and repair kit)
  • Hand pump (To Refill air)
  • Sunglasses (Protect eyes from road debris + to look cool)
  • Hand Gloves (For better grip on the handlebar of the bike)
  • Side Stand
  • Cycling Jersey
  • Cycling shorts

 

 

  1. How to clean my bike at home?

1. Rinse the frame down

Start by giving the frame a basic wipe. Put a sponge to use and a bucket full of water. Spray the bike with a bike cleaning product, and leave it for a couple of minutes. Then, cleaner water, use a soft bristled brush to give the bike a scrub. Don’t substitute the bike cleaning product and soft brush with washing up liquid and a kitchen sponge – this can result in a scratched or even cooler faded frame. 

2. Clean the rims and brake pads

Give the rims on your wheels a good wash and wipe, and (if you’re using rim, not disc, brakes) wipe the pads to make sure there’s no crud on there that could erode the braking surface.

3. Use de greaser on the derailleurs and chain-wheel

Next, spray the derailleurs and chain wheel with a degreasing agent and give them a good (but gentle) scrub. It may be easier to take the chain off the chainring to do this.

4. Use de greaser on the cassette and chain

Spray more de greaser over the chain and cassette – and give them a scrub. Using a gear brush really helps you to get into the cassette cogs. If the chain still looks grimy, use a chain cleaner – simply fill the unit with a de greaser, snap it on and rotate the pedal backwards to feed the chain through. Dispose of the de greaser safely when you’re done.

5. Rinse the frame, dry and lube the chain

Rinse the soap suds off the bike, dry the chain with an old rag and apply chain lube to the chain and the pivot points on the derailleurs.

 

  1. How to be ready for my first long ride? (Long ride = 50 KM)
  • First, check your bike the previous day just to be sure that you don’t have any issue
  • On the day of the ride you need to following things:

       1. Hydration (Min 2 bottles 550-750ml) (Water + Electrolyte)

       2. Food (Sandwich, Energy bar, Dry fruits)

       3. Saddle bag (Extra Tube, Puncture Kit, Allen Key set)

       4. Hand Pump

       5. Head and Tail lights

  • Decide the route beforehand, so that you don't get lost. Also inform a family member about the route your taking, just as a precaution
  • Keep your phone charged in case you need to use it if you get stuck somewhere
  • Keep some cash handy, just in case for repairs, extra food etc.

 

  1. How much should I ride daily?

It is better to ride short distances for 4-5 days a week than to ride long distances for 1-2 days a week. Short and standard rides will work superior to long far-separated rides, keeping your muscles engaged consistently. 

For example, you can start riding 15-20km on a daily basis to build up the stamina and on weekends go for a longer ride say 40-60km. You can choose any distance you want. Building up for a longer rides is key. 

  1. What points should I check before purchasing my first bike?

Frame: Test ride the bike, the frame is the heart of the ride. Its warranty is an indication of its manufacturer’s belief in their product.

Suspension: On mountain bikes, suspension almost goes hand in hand with the frame.

Wheels: Reliability and rotating mass are important.

Contact Points: Tyres, saddle and handlebars. These can make a huge difference to your ride.

The rest: Brakes, shifters and front chainwheel sets are high on the list.

If you have any questions apart from covered topics please write us at info@gambol.in.

 

 

About Author :- Ashley Moras (National level cyclist)

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