Cycling is an enjoyable physical activity when you do it right. If you are a biking beginner, there is a lot you should know about comfort while cycling. Even for the pros, it does not hurt to learn something new that enriches your biking skills.
Problems associated with cycling include back and neck pain, and sore spots. However, it is possible to evade such conditions with a few bike riding tips.
Before delving into tips for more comfortable bike riding, it is important to note mastering the art of cycling is all about the different bicycle parts. How you operate them determines how comfortable they will be for you when in use.
A bike’s basic parts are handlebars, a frame, a saddle or seat, wheels, tires, pedals, a chain, and suspension forks. Once you understand the role each component plays, it becomes easier maneuvering around them for your comfort.
Here are the 10 ways to make your bike riding more comfortable.
1. Start with the saddle
The saddle is where you sit when riding your bike. It puts pressure on your bottom. You have to be careful about how you rest on it to avoid some areas. The first thing to do is check the saddle height. Make sure it is at a level that does not strain your back and legs.
It is advisable that you sit at the center of the saddle, not the nose part. It is the easiest way to prevent much pressure when sitting. Besides, the nose section does not feel great to sit on when cycling.
2. Avoid low saddles and high handlebars combo
When your saddle is too low, it means your feet touch the ground when you stop, which is not comfortable. Instead, adjust the seat to a level that lets you place one foot down and the other stays on the pedal during stops. This way, you do not have to mount off your bike at every stop.
On the other hand, high handlebars put pressure on your back. Therefore, be keen to adjust the seat and handlebars height to an appropriate height.
3. Maintain an upright posture
Even when sitting on a chair, you should always sit upright to prevent back problems. It is the same case when riding a bike. Make cycling more comfortable with an upright posture. This has to do with the saddle and the handlebars.
Adjust the bars backward so they are easy to reach. Doing so also reduces the distance between the handlebars and the seat for easier biking. About the saddle, set it at a height that encourages sitting up the right way when cycling.
4. Watch the weights you carry
Perhaps you are cycling to work with a laptop bag or heading to the beach with supplies for a picnic. Use the basket at the front or the pannier at the rear of the bike. If you have to carry luggage on your body, a backpack is the right choice. It is because it balances the weight on your back.
You will not lean towards any direction. For example, a bag with straps running across your chest may affect your balance making it difficult to achieve comfortable riding.
5. What are you wearing?
If you are biking to work or a casual event, you have no choice but to wear the appropriate dress code. However, when you are cycling for exercise, you should have the right gear.
A helmet increase comfort by protecting you from the hot sun or wind. It also protects your head in case you fall.
You need bike shorts as well. They are padded at the bottom to guard against soreness. These shorts are seamless and breathable; thus keeping you dry even when you sweat.
6. Install thick grips and a mudguard
You can always boost your comfortable bike riding by installing thick, soft grips. They are easy to hold and do not slip in your hands. Thin grips exert pressure on your palms leaving you with sores. Such cause a huge discomfort that it becomes difficult biking the next day.
With a mudguard, you are able to prevent water, mud, and particles from reaching your feet. This keeps you clean when cycling making you confident even when you are in a busy place.
7. Size of tires
Tires are crucial on your bike. Some are thicker than others. Whichever type you choose depends on the terrain you are riding on. If you will be biking on hiking trails and other rough surfaces such as gravel pathways, you need a bike with thick tires.
This way, you save yourself from falls and the like. When all you do is cycle around your neighborhood, you do not need as thick tires as is the case with hard terrains. Remember to inflate your tires before you start riding.
8. Cycle the correct bike
The market offers different types of bicycles including road bike, city bike, mountain bike, and comfort bike. Choose a bike that suits your needs. A comfort bike is for casual and recreational use while road bikes are what they sound like. They are for riding on the streets and pavements.
You can have different bikes for different uses as long as you can afford them. It is not prudent to use a comfort bicycle on a trail. You will only be ruining it.
Each Bike type has features that suit its function. For instance, a city bike has a lower, wide saddle while a road bike leans forward, has a fast speed, and covers more miles.
9. Always adjust the gears
When you are tired of flat or sloppy terrains, it is time to try out more challenge biking surfaces such as hilly areas. The gears you use on a flat road are not similar to the ones you will need on inclined areas.
For comfort reasons, make sure that you are using the right gear. To ride faster on a hill, you need speed. Therefore, ensure you have a bike that gives you that. When shopping for bikes, check how adjustable the gear.
10. Check your brakes and pedals
It is essential to have properly functioning brakes for comfort while riding a bike. The worst thing that can happen is applying the brakes are realized they are not working as efficiently as they should.
If you find they are not in proper shape, visit a bike shop and let professionals fix them for you. Pedals enable you to steer your way through miles. They should be spacious and easy to use. You can always replace them if they are causing you trouble.
Bikes are amazing means of transport. They are also usable for sport, exercise, and recreation. In order to get the most out of cycling, you need to be comfortable. This way, you are in a better position to enjoy the ride without hurting yourself or causing accidents.
To prevent pain around your bottom, ensure your bike has a soft, spacious saddle. Pay attention to the handlebars- seat distance. Always bike in an upright position.
Go for bicycles with great gears that increase flexibility when on the road. With the above tips regarding comfort while cycling, you are in a better position to keep yourself and others safe on the road.