What we hear from a lot of beginners is that they feel uncomfortable cycling on a road bike. You’re placed at an awkward angle and you feel a little out of control. This is a common feeling when first experiencing road cycling and it’s totally understandable.

 

When you first start, it’s a good idea to cycle in areas with little traffic and a lot of room. This lets you practice in a more relaxed environment. Eventually, you’ll get used to your position on the bike and it’ll feel as natural as any other cycling position. There are plenty of amazing resources on the specifics of road bike positioning, but the key is to remain calm, relaxed and ease yourself into it!

 

As well as your position on the bike, many beginners struggle with riding smoothly around corners. Most of the time, you won’t even need to turn the handlebars. By leaning and shifting your weight, you can make it round most corners with ease. The only time you’ll really need to turn the handlebars is when you’re going really slowly! Don’t worry, though, this will take practice. Don’t expect to get it right on your first ride, just relax and take your time.

 

Road hazards and adverse conditions are a bigger problem when riding a road bike. A road bike has a higher centre of gravity than an ordinary bike. This means that it’s easier to lose your balance, especially when you’re just starting out.

 

Make sure that you keep your eyes peeled for any hazards on the road. This could include:

  • Pedestrians or other cyclists may be on the same route as you. Be prepared to verbally let them know you’re passing them and the side you’re passing them on. You can also use your bike bell to signal your approach.
  • Road damage or debris such as potholes, large pieces of rubbish, or broken glass. Moving out of the way earlier will allow you to avoid slowing down and affecting your ride.
  • Dangerous weather conditions such as heavy rain, ice, or snow. We all know that we can’t tailor our training around the unpredictable British weather. If you’re going out for a ride in these conditions, keep your speed lower than normal and remember that your braking distance will be longer!
  • Cars or other vehicles will affect your road cycling. As with driving, always be mindful of cars pulling out or entering turns/junctions. Our advice is to always err on the side of caution with vehicles. Always give them as much space as possible and be vigilant around them.

 

This list isn’t exhaustive. The key thing to take from it is that you have to be alert when you’re cycling on the road. Be careful and never take any unnecessary risks!

 

Avoiding all of these hazards is crucial but you need to be visible to everyone else as well. Always make yourself as noticeable as possible by wearing bright or reflective clothing and having the legally-required reflectors on your bike. A bike light is also a must if you’re planning on cycling in the evening.

 

There’s so much more to talk about when it comes to road cycling. It’s an amazing way to keep fit, lose weight, and have a great time while you’re at it! We’ll cover more tips in a later blog but we hope this has helped you get started.

 

If you want some help on buying your first road bike, check out our recent blog. Remember to take a look at our great range of road bikes too, for beginners and veterans alike.

 

Happy cycling!