It’s a sport that offers many benefits, but it can also be plagued by discomfort. With these bike hacks, you’ll learn to correct common complaints and get the most out of your time on the bike.
The first step to a better bike ride is fixing the most common complaints. The next step is making sure you’re getting the best out of your time on your bicycle. This blog post will teach some cycling hacks for both of those things and others, as well, so that you can start enjoying cycling more than ever before.
Fixing Common Complaints
You may be experiencing saddle soreness or other discomforts due to not having the right equipment for your body, and it’s important not to ignore these issues because they could lead to health problems if left unaddressed. One way to avoid this problem is by adjusting handlebars and saddles according to anatomy- there are many different types available. Still, some people find success with models that have been tested for endurance.
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Fix Your Seat Post
If your seat is too high, you’ll have to lean forward, putting strain on the neck and back. If it’s too low, you’ll tire out faster because overcompensating for the lack of support will make your legs tire out more quickly. As a result, you might also feel more discomfort in the knees since they aren’t aligned properly with the feet.
Change Speeds & Gears
Upshifting gears make pedaling easier while downshifting gears give you a boost of speed when heading up inclines. Beyond comfortability and energy usage, knowing how to change speeds is important because it allows you to adjust based on the terrain.
Perform Smooth Stops
Avoid skidding and instead, use your feet to slow down gradually until you’re stopped completely when coming to a stop. This not only reduces wear on your bike but also makes it easier for you to get started again if needed. Just make sure to wear the proper cycling shoes.
Keep it Clean
While it might seem like common sense to keep your bike clean, it’s easy to keep cycling with the assumption that you’ll clean up after yourself later.
However, it’s important to at least wipe down your bike every time you’re finished riding so dirt doesn’t permanently chip away at your components.
If you’re getting saddle soreness, it can be corrected by moving the seat and seat post slightly to see if that alleviates the problem. Try adding more padded shorts or other bike clothing as a second option.
The proper bike setup is not only about body anatomy- another way to fix discomforts is through accessories like bicycle pumps and cycling computers. If you’re having trouble with the distance of your ride, a bike computer is an inexpensive purchase that can give you distance and speed information.
As for getting more out of your time on the bike through accessories, remember that a bicycle pump helps maintain tire pressure during rides so that there’s less strain on the body. Even if you aren’t having issues with pressure, it’s a good idea to add an accessory because all the riding you’re doing is only great if your tires are in good shape.
The final way to get more from cycling is by improving components- this involves two steps:
- Check the bike for wear and tear before every ride so that you can fix anything before it gets worse.
- Upgrade parts when you feel that they have become too sluggish or are causing pain in your body.
The best way to prevent wear is by scheduling regular tune-ups for your bicycle so that you’re not worried about it when you’re riding. If something happens on the road or in a park, know how to fix it yourself before getting stranded.
Getting Off the Beaten Path
One way to enjoy cycling is by getting off the beaten path. This changes your surroundings completely and gives you a chance to see new areas. A good way to do this is by cycling with others, like through an organized group ride or even on your own. If you don’t want company but prefer the open road, make sure your route is safe enough for cycling alone (and that you’re wearing proper safety equipment).
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Another benefit of riding is gaining valuable time alone. When you’re riding on your own, it gives you some time to reflect and plan for the future since cycling is good for lowering stress levels. As another benefit, cycling can also help improve self-esteem because you’re doing something healthy with your body.
Cycling isn’t only about the physical act of traveling somewhere on two wheels; hills are a great way to work on your overall fitness so you can see more gains in the gym.
Finally, cycling has mental benefits because it stimulates blood circulation and oxygen flow to the brain. Whether you cycle for the exercise or prefer the challenge of scaling a hill, getting your heart rate up is a motivating way to give yourself an energy boost.
Cycling can be difficult to measure and gauge impact, but that doesn’t mean it’s not working. Knowing your average speed will give you information about how fast you’re going when cycling.
In addition to finding your average speed, track the time it takes for certain distances so you know what speeds this equates to. For example, an average speed of 12 miles per hour means taking around seven and a half minutes to go one mile.
If you’re looking to gain power output, consider investing in a training meter. These tools are designed to help you measure speed and intensity, which lets you customize your sessions accordingly. You can mix up your schedule by alternating between short bursts of speed, moderate pace, and a steady pace.
Using a Trainer
One way to get more out of your cycling workout is by using a stationary bike trainer. This lets you do something productive while watching TV, listening to music, or just talking with friends in the same room. When purchasing one, keep in mind that trainers come in different price ranges and levels of quality, so start by setting realistic expectations before making any big purchases.
Incorporating hills is one way to get more out of your indoor training session. These are excellent for building power output because you must work harder against gravity to climb the grade.
If you don’t have access to a trainer, set up your bike on a stationary stand and do some pushups before going for a ride. It’ll be easier, but it will also strengthen the muscles you use when cycling to properly prepare your body for the task.
The key to getting the most out of your workouts is setting goals so you can track progress. You may want to create a spreadsheet that helps estimate future workout structure and frequency performance.
Check out How Many Calories You Can Burn Cycling
Get More Out of Your Rides
Utilize hills when cycling because it’s an excellent way to build strength in upper and lower bodies—looking for a longer ride? Try picking out a route that combines both flat and hilly terrain.
Some people hold onto their water bottles while cycling, but it’s better to try not using them. In this case, you’re just wasting energy by carrying the weight of the water bottle since it does nothing to help your pedaling efforts.
Another habit you should stop mashing down on the gears while cycling; it’ll break up your cadence and make you less efficient overall.
If you’re trying to get into cycling, invest in a road bike with drop bars. You can find them at most department stores or sporting goods retailers, and they offer the best quality for the price. Disregard any bells and whistles because those will slow you down and make it more difficult to navigate the narrow roads.
If you’re looking for a cheaper alternative, purchase a new tire for your bike. It is a lot cheaper to upgrade, so you’ll see an instant improvement in comfort instead of having it fixed over and over. Keep in mind that different tires are made for specific weather conditions or surfaces, so you might need multiple types of options depending on where you go.
Fix a Flat and Replace Old Inner Tube
If you find yourself with a flat tire, one option is to use a tire lever to get the wheel off. You should take the tire, especially if it is an old inner tube, and inspect it for any punctures or abrasions because this can be a sign that your tires are worn down.
In some cases, you may need to add more air into the tire to get the right ride. An onboard pump or mini pump can be used to do this on both road or mountain bikes, so it may be best to have one at your disposal.
Fixing a flat isn’t as hard as many think because it comes down to being prepared for the worst-case scenario. Before going on any rides, readjust your rear tire and front tire, so you have enough air pressure to avoid punctures. Always place the plastic valve cap after adjusting the air and before riding your bicycle.
You can continue riding on a flat tire in many cases because it doesn’t affect the bike’s stability or performance. However, this isn’t a good idea if you notice a large tear in the tube because it can cause more problems down the road.
If you do have to replace old inner tubes, be sure to install the new one with the tire’s air valve facing down. Don’t forget to place the valve cap to avoid air from coming out the tire – for both the rear tire and the front tire.
One way to avoid flats in the future is by reducing the amount of debris you pick up when cycling. Be sure to ride in a clean area and wait until you have a clear path before going at full speeds. It’s also important to check your tires for small stones or protruding nails.
If you aren’t adequately equipped with a tire pump or a portable compressor, a useful little hack is trying to use a spare tire as an inner tube in the event of a flat. Cut off the excess material with wire cutters if it’s too big.
If you’re looking for a new way to enjoy cycling, these cycling hacks and some emergency fixes are just what the doctor ordered. They’ll help you get more out of your time on two wheels and fix common complaints that come up as well.
Remember: Cycling isn’t just about getting from point A to point B; it’s about pushing your physical limits for physical strength and also to start burning fat.