Everyone has been a Cycling Noob at one point or another. Luckily, we have now learnt from our mistakes, and are ready to pass on the lessons we learnt the hard way. Cycling Noob mistakes are easy enough to avoid, as long as you know what you’re doing!
Pants + Chamois = not fun
The ultimate of beginners mistakes, you should never wear underwear underneath your cycling kit! Not only is it uncomfortable as fuck, but if those riding behind you can see your VPL, it’s also a bit embarrassing.
A poorly maintained bike
A noisy, rusty bike is never fun to ride, but can also be extremely dangerous. The amount of rides I or someone I know has been on a ride and someone has turned up with no brake pads, a chain so dirty it snaps, or a bike the creaks the entire way is ridiculous.
It’s no fun for you, or those that ride with you.
All you have to learn is some really simple bike maintenance. Changing brake pads and cleaning your chain are essential. A quick YouTube search and you should be fine!
A badly set up bike
Not only is a badly set up bike extremely uncomfortable, it also makes you look like an utter noob. Cycling Noob mistakes don’t come more often than this. Common mistakes are saddles too low/high, and handle bars tilted too high or too low.
Your leg shouldn’t be completely straight when extended, nor too bent. This picture shows you the perfect saddle height.
Your handlebars should also remain relatively flat. I’ve seen a lot of riders with their handlebars tilted ridiculously far down, and I honestly don’t know why. It’s uncomfortable, and effects your handling of the bike.
Riding near other riders
Once you start riding on the roads or in a club, there’s no way to avoid other riders. How to overtake/ride next to/act in traffic with these riders is something that comes with practice. However, there are some pretty simple ways to make it easier.
For example, don’t overtake someone who you don’t think you can stay in front of. For some reason lot’s of men put a lot of energy into overtaking women (lol) only to have them smash past them a few minutes later. It’s really irritating having someone push themselves in front of you who is clearly slower than you.
Also, if you do overtake, do it in a safe place. Make sure it’s a suitable road and there isn’t lots of traffic trying to get by at the same time. Make it clear to them that you’re coming up behind them, and leave lots of space before getting back in front of them.
In regards to traffic, just don’t be a knob. If you see cyclist waiting at lights who are clearly faster than you, don’t put effort into squeezing past them or cutting them up. As soon as you take off, they will overtake you. It’s never polite to cut in/push past people, so don’t do it in traffic either.
Cycling Noob mistakes are bound to happen, but it’s easy to learn from them!