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How to start cycling training in the new year

A beginner's guide to the fundamentals

Well, 2021 is almost over, and we can only hope that 2022 is going to be better. After a wild 365 days when life got back to almost normal, only to turn right around and spit in our face, we can only hope next year will rock.

One of the positive things about the pandemic is the massive uptick in cycling. Whether it means better infrastructure for longtime riders, or all those people that decided to jump on a bike for the first time ever, or in years, 2021 was a good year.

If you’ve caught the bug (not that one, the two-wheeled kind!) and are hungry for more next year, here’s a roundup of some of our beginner’s guides to riding. Getting more confident on the road or dirt should be a fun and exciting process, but the more you know, the better you’ll fare.

The beginner’s guide to every type of road bike

Bikes have come a long way since the days when a 10-speed was the only kind of road bike. If you’re looking for a bike, and you navigate over to a brand website, then click on ‘Road’ and suddenly you’re presented with a list of options. Vague words like ‘Performance,’ ‘Sport’ and ‘Endurance’ don’t do much to describe what kind of bike you’re looking at. These categories may mean slightly different things for different brands. Without getting too lost in the semantics, let’s break down the general characteristics of each of these road bike types to help you figure out which is best for your needs.

The beginner’s guide to every type of road bike

The beginner’s guide to every type of mountain bike

Maybe you want to try riding some of your local trails. So you’re in the market for a new mountain bike. Where do you start? Normally much of the preliminary research can be done online. You can browse what various brands have to offer and get an idea of what kind of money you’ll be looking to spend.

Beginner’s guide to every type of mountain bike

Tips for a cyclist just starting out

Now you’ve got yourself a bike. Great! Riding a bicycle can quickly become very addictive. One bike ride a week turns into two and then three. As things progress, you’ll find you have more things to figure out.

Whether you are commuting by bicycle nearly every day, signed up for a sportif or charity ride, or you are thinking you’d like to pin on race numbers in the near future, there are certain things you should start thinking about. The learning curve for cycling can feel steep so throughout the process of discovering the intricacies of the sport, it’s no surprise you’ll encounter obstacles and have questions. While cyclists of all levels come across hurdles in their riding, here are some tips from which all people new to cycling can benefit.

Tips for a cyclist just starting out

Learning how to corner better

Are you thinking of trying some races in 2022? Maybe you didn’t get a chance to compete much these past few years, so your cornering might be rusty. If you’ve been sticking to Zwifting, or riding alone outside, it might be time to practice carving some corners at full speed again.

There’s two aspects to focus on when you’re cornering. First, there’s the set-up as you approach, and then the actual execution as you enter the corner.

A beginner’s guide to cornering

Mastering shifting gears

Learning when to shift gears can be a challenge when you’re new to cycling. Along with learning how to use your brakes properly, and master cornering, shifting gears is an important skill to learn when you’re getting more and more into cycling.

Many novice riders can be intimidated by shifting gears, and find themselves in either too big (hard) or small (easy) gears. Not only will this affect your speed and enjoyability of cycling, but it can also result in knee pain and general discomfort.

A beginner’s guide to shifting gears

A quick guide to cleaning your bike

Part of being a cyclist means proper maintenance on your cherished steed. It’s going to get dirty with all those miles you’re putting in, and you’ll want to keep it clean and in good condition.

Not everyone has access to a full workshop at home, though, or a closet full of specialized bike cleaning products. Don’t let that stop you from getting your bike minty fresh. Here’s the super-simple home cleaning method.

A very simple guide to cleaning your bike at home