If you want to improve all aspects of your cycling, one of the best things you can do is just ride. Every time you get out on your bike you will naturally improve a little, but of course there are additional things you can do to really make a difference to your cycling. Here are our Top Ten Cycling Tips to enhance your cycling.
1. Stay Relaxed
To avoid muscle soreness and fatigue, it’s vital you stay as relaxed as possible on the bike. Tilt your head every few minutes to prevent tight neck muscles, and don’t hunch over the bars. Frequent rest stops can also help, and having the correct size bike and fit is essential.
2. Make Small Adjustments to Your Position on the Saddle
By sliding forwards or backwards slightly on the saddle, you can target different muscle groups. This is especially useful on longer climbs as a way to give different muscles a rest while others carry most of the work. Moving forward focusses on the quads, while moving back targets the hamstrings and glutes.
4. Don’t move your upper body too much.
Let your back serve as a pivot point, with your bike swaying from side to side beneath it.
5. Pull the handlebar with a rowing type motion to counter-act the power from your legs.
This helps to transfer more of your energy into the pedals, rather than into wasted movement.
6. Relax your grip.
On smooth road with no traffic, practice draping your hands over the handlebar. This will not only help to relieve muscle tension, but it will also help to reduce the amount of vibration from teh road that is transmitted through to your body.
7. Periodically change hand position.
This follows on from tip number 6. Grasp the drops for descents or higher speed riding and the brake-lever hoods for more relaxed style riding. On longer climbs you can also hold the top of the bar to sit in a more upright position and being less compact also helps with easier breathing. When standing up on the pedals, grab the hoods lightly and gently rock the bike from side to side in synchronisation with your pedal strokes. But always keep each thumb and a finger closed around the hood or bar to prevent yourself from losing control if you hit an unexpected pothole or bump in the road.
8.Make Sure Your Handlebars are the Correct Width.
Your handlebar width should equal your shoulder width. A wider bar helps open your chest for easier breathing, while a narrower bar is usually more aerodynamic. Pick the handlebar that suits your riding style. Position the angle of the bar so that the bottom flat portion is completely parallel to the ground, or alternatively, points just slightly down toward the rear hub.
9. Keep your Elbows In.
Keep your arms in line with your body and don’t point you elbows outwards. This is a simple way to make yourself more aerodynamic and go faster for no extra energy. It may take some practice to break bad habits and maintain this position without having to think about it.
10. Try Interval Sprints
Break up long rides with a 15-30 second sprint at regular intervals e.g every 15 minutes. Adding this interval training to your ride introduces variety and is actually more effective training. It can also help relieve saddle pressure, and stretches and relaxes your body. Don’t forget this sort of training is perfect on a spinning bike or stationary exercise bike as well as turbo trainers.
We hope you liked our top ten tips for cycling and we’ll be bringing more tips in this series very soon. If you enjoyed this article, make sure you share it with your friends!