If you’re a person who has recently been inspired to give road racing a go – or a novice who wants to determine whether this sport is the right fit for you, we’ve got you covered. By covering your basic queries regarding the sport, we have tried to answer them in such a manner as would prove prolific to all cycling enthusiasts.
Let’s take a look at whether you can benefit from our tips or not.
Your Bike should be the right fit
Although we are talking about road racing, this tip covers all riders – including the recreational ones. Unless your bike isn’t properly sized, it would undermine your technique, comfort, and enthusiasm for the sport. While a bad technique might stop you from winning, a poor comfort is more deadly. Since you are uncomfortable, you will be less likely to hop on a bike for training purposes. Hence, even if you take that bike to the circuit, lack of training would rule you out from the race even before it gets started.
Looking at the telltale signs of whether a bike is properly sized or not, watching out for the saddle height is recommended. Too high a saddle, it might jeopardize your safety. Too low, and it might result in knee pain. Hence, if you don’t know what your optimum size is, take your bike to a specialist to get it fit.
You should get in the right gear
Ask people who maintain that they are intensifying unnecessary effort in their bike – and the major problem is likely to be with their gear. Gears, unlike the size of the bike, do not depend on your discretion. Rather, they depend on what’s coming ahead of you.
For example, if the road is going uphill, try to reduce the number of gears as it would help in easily covering the height. If the road is going down, increase the number of gears as it would increase your speed.
There is a popular belief among riders that when you’re climbing a hill, it’s better to stand on your feet. The idea goes that when you stand on your feet, you would be putting more energy on your feet. Subsequently, this would help you in climbing the hill better.
For, when you’re not in the saddle, your feet are supporting the whole body weight. As you might guess, this is more energy consuming than you sitting on the saddle.
While this behavior might be appropriate when you need a sudden burst, it is detrimental when you do it on a steady ride. In simple words, while it is beneficial on a recreational trip, doing it on the long trips isn’t recommended.
Looking at the purposes of cycling shorts: they are to offer to the pad and to reduce/prevent chaffing. However, all of it is lost when you wear an underwear beneath your shorts. Since you’re adding an extra layer of fabric beneath your shorts, it might rub and chafe. Hence, better go bare.
Talking about shoes and cycling, the former need to have a stiff sole to complement the latter. When you’ve worn a stiff sole, it would make it easier to transmit force through the pedal. So, NEVER go for trainers.
How to take a corner
For even the most competent of cyclists, they tend to come out of a corner slower than what they anticipated. Why? They look “at” the corner, and not “through” it. Hence, unless you don’t want to repeat this mistake, always look “through” the corners.