It's true: you never forget how to ride a bike. But bikes have changed a lot in the last 20 years, and improving your technique will make cycling more comfortable and safe. Follow these basic guidelines to get you going.
If you are new to cycling, you may be surprised to see so many gears on your bike. And then you'll be surprised to learn that you use most of them. The concept is simple: lower gears for uphills, middle gears for flats, and higher gears for downhills.
The best way to learn how your gears work is to practice. Find a flattish, low traffic area (business parks after hours are great) to get a feel for the way the shifters work- which gears make it easier to pedal, and which make it harder. Once you're comfortable shifting on the flats, you can start practicing on hills.
Chainrings in the front: The bigger the ring, the greater the resistance.
Chainrings in the back: The bigger the ring, the smaller the resistance.
Riding on the road
- Find the gear that allows you to pedal easily while still generating enough power to move you forward.
- If you are bouncing on the seat, your feet are spinning too quickly. Shift up.
- If you are forcing your pedals hard, it's not efficient, and you could strain your knees. Shift down.
- A good cadence (foot revolution per minute) is between 70 and 100 rpm. (Some odometers can measure cadence.)
- Anticipate the terrain ahead, and shift before you get to a hill. Shifting is more difficult when you are forcing hard on the pedals, and you also run the risk of derailing.
- Downshift as you approach stop signs and red lights.
Check this link out. Note the part on being predictable.
Eventually they happen, so it's good to learn how to change it.
Many riders' hands get tingly or numb after a few hours of pedaling. Check out how to add tennis balls to your handle bars to ease numbness and soreness.