How To: Ten common cycling mistakes and how to avoid them

How To Video

Being Unable to Unclip

Learn to unclip lest you end up horizontal on the side of the road like this guy.

New to the sport of cycling and still learning your way around the two-wheeled wonderland? You’ll quickly find out that there are a host of do’s — and do not’s — that can make the difference between blissful spinning and mass frustration. Here then are ten things you definitely don’t want to do.

1. Going out without spare tubes or cash: Don’t let your bike ride turn into a hike home. Carry essential gear so you can deal with minor mishaps such as a tire puncture.

2. Going out without food or water: Cycling takes fuel. Fail to keep the tank topped up and you’ll end up limping home or worse.

3. Grabbing the brakes too hard: Fastest way to do a Greg Louganis over the bars? Squeeze too much front brake. Instead, take a more measured approach.

4. Not having your saddle at the correct height: Fastest path to a knee injury? Ride extended periods with your saddle too high or too low. Follow the instruction in the video below to properly set saddle height.

5. Putting your rain cape in the drier: Really this applies to all cycling clothes. Let them air dry, lest you shrink them from your size to child size.

6. Not being able to unclip from your pedals: Everyone topples over once in a while when first learning to use clipless pedals. Try getting through the learning curve away from busy streets. Practicing on a grassy field is a good way to cushion the landing.

7. Braking in the corner: Whether you’re driving a car or riding a bike, this adage applies. Do your braking on the way to the corner not midway through. Late braking is a surefire way to lock up your wheels and end up on the deck.

8. Putting too much lube on your chain: The key here is to clean your chain first then lube it. Don’t just glob on a fresh coat of lube before every ride.

9. Using the wrong gear or cadence: Cadence is a highly individual thing, but in most cases maintaining a cadence around 90 rpm is a good rule of thumb. You definitely don’t want to mash at 40rpm or be whirling away at 140rpm.

10. Wearing underwear under your bibshorts: Don’t do it, just don’t do it.

For more details check out this video from our friends at the Global Cycling Network.

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How To: Ten common cycling mistakes and how to avoid them Gallery
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Do's and Dont's

Saddle height should be not too low, not too high, but just right.
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Do's and Dont's

Bring the essentials. Hitchhiking with a bike is no fun.
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Do's and Dont's

Lube your chain with discretion, not reckless abandon.
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Do's and Dont's

Cycling takes fuel. Keep your tank topped.
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Do's and Dont's

Learn how to unclip somewhere that has a soft landing.
how-to-ten-common-cycling-mistakes-and-how-to-avoid-them

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