How to get into cycling

Get all geared up for your first cycle ride with our need-to-know tips.

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Man cycling next to river

Get all geared up for your first cycle ride with our need-to-know tips.

Cycling is a sport that anyone can enjoy. Rides can range from epic endurance rides, mountainous climbs and headlong sprints to leisurely rolls along countryside paths.

And with the UK hosting some of the most spectacular, challenging and pleasurable cycling routes in the world, such as the coastal roads in the highlands of Scotland and the flats of the Norfolk Broads – there is a ride to suit everyone.

But the benefits of the sport are not only limited to improved fitness, you’re also more likely to lead a healthier lifestyle, reduce emissions and even save a few pennies along the way.

So whether you fancy trying your hand at racing, want to test your endurance with friendly rides at your local club, hope to raise some money on a charity ride or simply want to enjoy a peddle with your family, the possibilities are endless.

But what do you need to get started?

Where to buy cycling equipment and clothing

A bike

What bike you are looking for will depend on your reason for cycling in the first place.

If you want a road bike, you will need a model that can help you get up to good speeds, so the frame needs to be ultra-lightweight with drop handlebars and multiple gears.

Time trialers will need a different bike, with heavier frames and time trial bars, which will make you more aerodynamic.

But if you just want an average bike to get you from A to B, you’ll need something halfway between a road bike and a mountain bike – in other words, a hybrid.

These bikes often use more powerful disc brakes, offering a more consistent performance in wet weather. They’re also equipped with plenty of handy mounts that allow you to carry luggage.

Muddyfox Raider Sports Leisure Synthetic Material Mountain Bikes Black
Muddyfox Raider Sports Leisure Synthetic Material Mountain Bikes Black

Amazon

A lock

It’s no good spending your hard-earned cash on a lovely new bike only to have it stolen.

So make sure you have a brand new lock to partner your new set of wheels. Any of the below options should help to prevent bike theft.

Kryptonite Keeper 785 Integrated Chain
Kryptonite Keeper 785 Integrated Chain

Chain Reaction Cycles

A helmet

Helmets are just as important as any other piece of equipment, if not more so.

If you’re cycling on the road, a helmet is mandatory in the case of nasty accidents and bad falls.

Like most things, comfort is key, so it’s a good idea to try on a few options before you commit.

One of these should do the trick.

Shorts

The clothing you cycle in will also depend on the type of ride you’ll be doing, but most keen cyclists like to own a pair of cycling shorts to keep them cool and comfy.

We’re not talking about the trendy fashionable items you see online though.

Cycling shorts are made for exercise, with the right compression and sweat-free fabrics. Choose from all-in-one bib shorts to flatlock seams and long designs.

Tops

Living in the UK means you will probably end up riding in the blistering cold at some point.

Be prepared with base layers, jerseys, gilets, vests and fleeces so that you can focus on the quality of your cycling, not the nasty weather.

Craft Cool Mesh Superlight Short Sleeve Base Layer
Craft Cool Mesh Superlight Short Sleeve Base Layer

Wiggle

Shoes

Last but not least, a good pair of cycling shoes makes a world of difference to your ride, no matter how you use your bike.

Choose from road bike shoes to padded trainers and flat footwear for a comfortable peddle.

Frequently asked questions

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