Good bike handling is key to confidence and success on the bike, whether that is in a sportive, a triathlon or just on your commute to work. So here’s 4 bike handling tips to set you on your way to success
1. Use Your Gears
Plenty of beginners fight them and try to stay in the hardest gears possible. Don’t, gears are there to help you on the bike.
Shifting into an easier gear when you’re going up a hill means you’ll lose less speed and use less energy in the long run. And the opposite goes for on the flats. You’ll know if you’re in the wrong gear when you’re spinning incredibly fast but still not moving, or just grinding along up a hill.
2. Practice Corners
Cornering is a skill that can make or break your cycling potential, getting it right and you’ll seamlessly glide round corners with no effort at all, getting it wrong however, and you’ll end up awkwardly turning and losing all of you momentum, or even worse, you’ll end up on the floor.
To corner effectively you’ll want to have slowed down to an appropriate speed before entering the corner, then keep your inside knee up and apply pressure to the outside pedal to maintain balance.
Don’t worry about going fast in the beginning, you just want to gain confidence and practice, and when you’re ready you can up your speed.
3. Look Ahead
Make sure you’re always scanning the road ahead of you, this is not only for your safety but also the safety of other road users. It is easy to just look down at your stem when you are doing a particularly hard effort and miss potentially dangerous hazards.
4. Look After Your Bike
Keeping your bike in its best working condition not only ensures you won’t have any unexpected breakdowns in the middle of nowhere, but it’ll also make you a better cyclist. All it takes is a wash every week or two, depending on how much you ride your bike, and some observant listening during the last few miles of your ride to check for any sounds that shouldn’t be there.