How to get into cycling

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

Updated

Fact checked
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.

Cannondale CAAD Optimo Claris 2019 Road Bike
Cannondale CAAD Optimo Claris 2019 Road Bike

Evans Cycles

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.

Specialized Torch 1.0 Women's Road Shoe
Specialized Torch 1.0 Women's Road Shoe

Evans Cycles

Frequently asked questions

Le Coq Sportif Tour De France 2019 Replica Yellow Jersey
Le Coq Sportif Tour De France 2019 Replica Yellow Jersey

Evans Cycles

Le Coq Sportif Tour De France 2019 Replica King Of The Mountain Jersey
Le Coq Sportif Tour De France 2019 Replica King Of The Mountain Jersey

Evans Cycles

Le Coq Sportif Tour De France 2019 Replica Points Jersey
Le Coq Sportif Tour De France 2019 Replica Points Jersey

Evans Cycles

Browse our top cycling deals and discounts

Wiggle Wiggle
Top offer!

£10 off for new customers

New to Wiggle? Welcome! Use this voucher code to score £10 off your first order of £50 or more. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Top offer!
Rutland Cycling Rutland Cycling

Win a £100 voucher when you sign up to the newsletter

Sign up to Rutland Cycling's newsletter for a chance to win a £100 voucher to use on your next order. Also, get notified about all the exclusive offers. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Argos Argos
Stay active

Exercise bikes from £79.99

Stay active in the comfort of your own home with home gym equipment from just £79.99 at Argos! T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Get deal
Stay active

Deal ends

Ribble Ribble

Up to 36% off outlet bike sale

Get up to 36% off in bike outlet sale at Ribble. Pick up a sweet deal today. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Deal ends

Ribble Ribble
Electric bikes

Shop electric bikes at Ribble now!

Check out Ribble's new electric bike range and get a little help up those big hills. Shop now! T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Electric bikes
Sports Direct Sports Direct
Popular

20% off full price + free delivery over £100

Shop now at Sports Direct and get 20% off your order plus free delivery if you use this discount code! T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Popular
Tredz Tredz

Extra 10% off discounted clothing

Cycling clothing offers a great on-the-bike fit to keep you comfortable as you ride. Shop now! T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Rutland Cycling Rutland Cycling

Up to 50% off bikes on sale

Shop Rutland Cycle's sale now and get up to 50% off bikes! T&Cs apply.

Last verified

adidas adidas
NHS!

NHS discount: 20% off full-price items + an extra 20% off outlet

If it's sportswear you're looking for, keep fit thanks to 20% off full-price items at adidas, as well as a further 20% off outlet prices. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Get deal
NHS!

Deal ends

Best Gym Equipment Best Gym Equipment

Shop now, pay later with Klarna

Short on cash? Don't worry about it! At Best Gym Equipment you can pay later in 3 equal payments. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Popular Sport & Fitness discount codes

Last checked Code description Code
28 May 2020 £10 off for new customers NEW****
26 May 2020 Shop electric bikes at Ribble now! no ****
8 May 2020 Extra 10% off discounted clothing NEW****
22 Apr 2020 Free express delivery! Cre****
30 Mar 2020 £10 off £50 for new customers NCV****

Popular Reads

Ask an Expert

You are about to post a question on finder.com:

  • Do not enter personal information (eg. surname, phone number, bank details) as your question will be made public
  • finder.com is a financial comparison and information service, not a bank or product provider
  • We cannot provide you with personal advice or recommendations
  • Your answer might already be waiting – check previous questions below to see if yours has already been asked

Finder.com provides guides and information on a range of products and services. Because our content is not financial advice, we suggest talking with a professional before you make any decision.

By submitting your comment or question, you agree to our Privacy and Cookies Policy and Terms of Use.

Questions and responses on finder.com are not provided, paid for or otherwise endorsed by any bank or brand. These banks and brands are not responsible for ensuring that comments are answered or accurate.
Go to site