6 Road Cycling Skills You Must Learn
Apr. 14 2023
To help you ride easily and confidently, we came up with a list of six crucial road cycling skills you should master.
Top Road Cycling Skills for a Smoother Ride
Controlling Your Bike
Controlling your bike means enjoying a safe and enjoyable ride.
First, you must learn to steer, brake, and shift gears effectively. With practice, you'll find balance and navigate different terrains more comfortably.
Maintain a firm grip on your bars, look ahead, and observe the road for potential hazards. Remember to use bike lights in poorly lit places to signal other users of your presence. Check out these bike lights from Magicshine if you want to invest in durable and reliable lights. If you want to know how to choose the right bike lights, check the guide we made.
You should also learn to control your bike at different speeds and weather conditions.
Efficient pedaling conserves energy and lets you keep a consistent pace during your rides.
To start, apply even pressure when you pedal and keep a steady pace. Beginners should aim for 80 to 90 revolutions per minute. Doing so helps avoid muscle fatigue and improves your cycling experience.
As you do it more, experiment with different paces until you find the most comfortable and efficient pedaling rhythm. Remember, smooth and efficient pedaling makes your rides better and helps you easily ride longer distances.
Climbing is another crucial part of road and mountain biking.
First, shift to easier gear before climbing. Then, maintain a steady cadence. As the incline increases, put your body weight forward and relax your upper body. Doing so keeps your traction and conserves your energy.
Breathe deeply and pace yourself to prevent heating too quickly. Eventually, you'll get the strength and endurance needed to overcome more challenging climbs.
Another road cycling skill you must work on is descending.
To do this, shift your weight back on the saddle first. Then, keep your arms and legs slightly bent, absorbing bumps or uneven terrain.
Then, use the brakes to control your speed. Avoid locking the wheels and maintain a smooth, controlled descent. Look ahead at all times to anticipate obstacles and changes in terrain.
Manage your energy and prevent dehydration by eating balanced meals and constantly drinking water during your rides. Pack energy bars, gels, or electrolyte drinks to replenish lost nutrients during long rides.
You can also adjust your intake based on the weather and the ride's duration. Pre-ride and post-ride meals also play a huge role in fueling your body for maximum performance and recovery.
Maintenance and Repair
Routinely check your bike for wear and tear. Check the tires, brakes, and gears.
Cleaning your bike and lubricating the chain also help prolong its lifespan and enhance its performance. Learning maintenance and repair skills (e.g., fixing a flat tire or adjusting your brakes) will also save you money in the long run.