Are you a beginner in the sports of cycling? Do you get puzzled by materials of your bike? Don’t you know how to change gears? Are you daunted by riding in public? In case you have any of these – or other questions, rest assured as we have the answers to some of the most common questions answered by beginner cyclists.
Is it safe?
In addition to the preceding questions, one of the queries which most cyclists have regarding cycling is its safety. In simple words, they want to know whether it’s safe or not.
Well, as you might guess, no sport is 100% safe. Hence, biking is no different. However, this is not to say that cycling could equate with the likes of rock climbing and rugby in terms of fatalities. Yes, fatalities do occur in cycling, but they are rare and depend on whether you’ve worn the safety equipment or not.
That is, if you want to remain safe, make sure to wear a helmet every time you go out on a ride. While helmets might not save you from being hit by a vehicle, they greatly reduce the risk level.
Also, if/when you’re driving in traffic, make sure to behave like it. Firstly, never go against the direction of traffic. Secondly, follow the traffic rules and lane systems. Thirdly, never turn without looking behind. Finally, always pass the parked vehicles with utmost care.
Thus, if you follow these four simple rules, the chances of you getting injured midway through your journey in the traffic would be greatly reduced.
How often your bike gets punctured?
One of the biggest concerns beginners have regarding cycling is punctures. Needless to say, they are a nuisance and very annoying. However, just like preceding paragraphs regarding your safety, the frequency of your tire getting punctured depends on YOU.
First of all, if you don’t want your tire to puncture frequently, go for dry rubber. Secondly, if you cannot afford dry rubber, always try to circumvent patches of broken glass. Also, avoid riding over sharp edged potholes.
What is the utility of having gears on bikes?
Firstly, there is no restriction on you to have a gear in your bike. In fact, if all you do is to ride your bike through city traffic, having a one-gear bike is plausible.
However, if you live in an area where there are sharp ascents and descents, going for gears is compulsory. For, when you’re riding uphill, the effective use of gears would enable your bike to cover the distance with ease. On the contrary, when you’re going downhill, the higher gear would impart more speed to your bike.
Why are there different types of brake?
Talking about brakes, they do what the name suggests: stopping the bike. However, the different types differ on the way they stop the bike aka the braking mechanism. For, there are some brakes which stop by acting on the rim of the wheel. In others, there’s a braking disc located near the hub.
Talking about their effectiveness, although they are simpler, rim brakes are more prone to getting damaged by water. As for the disc brakes, despite being more complex, they provide better consistency in extreme conditions.
What should be the height of the saddle?
If you have searched the internet, you should have got some easy ways to set the saddle height. In case you aren’t satisfied with these methods, there’s a simple one. Try to seat yourself at the saddle and extend your legs to the bottom position of the pedal.
Now, when the legs are fully extended, at least a portion of your toes should touch the ground. In case the entire feet touches the ground, your bike is under-sized for you. Thus, make sure that “only a quarter of your feet, at most” should touch the ground.