Pedal power! Cycling for beginners made easy

Published 6 March, 2017

Harness your pedal power with our quick guide to getting your two wheels in motion     

Find your wheels
Whether you’re thinking of commuting to work or heading off on a weekend adventure, there are lots of different ways to cycle – and each has different bike needs. Choose the bicycle that’s best for you and your needs with these tips.

For shopping… If you want to swap driving for cycling to the shops, pick a practical, comfortable model that has a roomy basket or rear rack to hold your groceries.

For commuting… Full-time cyclists will want a fast, light frame with reliable brakes for tricky city routes.

For general exercise… If a good overall workout is your aim, all-weather brakes will help off-road while an upright riding position will reduce neck and back strain.

Get kitted out
Whatever fitness gear you have already is enough to get started, but a few key pieces could help make cycling more comfortable, as well as keeping you safe. 

A helmet… To ensure you’re buying a helmet with the best fit that’s also been safety checked, visit a bike shop offering a wide range of options as well as a fitting service. Your helmet should sit square on top of your head, and shouldn’t tilt backwards or forwards.

Sunglasses… In summer, dark lenses will keep harmful rays out of your eyes as well as road grit and dirt. But in the colder months, clear lens sunglasses are enough to protect eyes from the elements, including wind and rain.

Waterproof layers… A light waterproof jacket will keep you dry and warm on rainy or windy days, while sweat-wicking base layers will help you stay comfortable as you cycle.

Stay safe
It’s important to be aware of all road safety laws and regulations when riding on the road. Check the Highway Code for the latest rules and regulations, and consider taking a cycle safety course with Bikeability. Some general rules to keep in mind include:

Stay visible… If it’s dark out, use bike lights and indicators so motorists are aware of you and where you’re going. It’s also a good idea to wear light-reflecting or light-coloured clothing.

Use your signals… If you’re riding on the road, use hand signals to indicate to drivers where you’re going and what you plan to do.

Plan your route… Before you hop on the saddle, take time to plan your journey, so you’re aware of how long it will take (reducing the risk of tiredness along the way) and are aware of any diversions or road closures. 

Chat with our online Coaches – here to help whenever you need it.