Here are some universal tips that will help you have a better time on your bike!
- Hydration is crucial and your demands increase in hot weather by as much as 8x. Have frequent small drinks.
- You should consume 500ml/hr so a hydration pack is ideal for longer or hot rides. Freeze the liner the night before for hot days.
- Carry water and an electrolyte replacement [sports drink, diluted fruit juice, etc.] for longer rides.
- It is vital to be hydrated before you ride, dehydration will cause: premature fatigue, reduce your blood volume, decrease sweat (heat control), cramping, increase heart strain, & risk heat stroke.
- Weigh yourself before a ride and then after. If you have lost more than 2% of your body weight you need to drink more while exercising.
- Shoes are important! Your feet are one of the three main contact points so treat them with care. Tight fitting shoes can restrict blood flow thus cause numbness. When buying new shoes, shop in the afternoon as your feet tend to be slightly swollen. Wear the socks that you will wear riding when trying the shoes. Wear sweat wicking socks and well ventilated shoes to keep feeling comfortable.
- Saddle soreness occurs through poor positioning, wrong fits, lack of hygiene and incorrect clothing.
- Glasses keep insects and dirt out of your eyes and prevent them from watering while riding fast.
- Gloves provide better grip for sweaty and wet hands and offer protection if you do fall, as they generally are the first point of contact. Damage to the palm can be long lasting and painful.
- Cycling Shorts are essential for longer rides as they have a padded insert for comfort. There are women specific ones which do make a difference.
- Helmets should always be worn and a sweat band or ear warmers can be added for hot or cool rides.
- Arm and leg warmers are a small addition which can make riding in chilly conditions more comfortable. Forgot the sunscreen? Arm warmers are good for preventing sun burn as well!
Bikes and Accessories
- New bikes take time to adapt to; you are incredibly lucky if your new set-up is great immediately, give it time.
- Look after your bike! Keep tires inflated, keep it clean and notice wear and tear as you clean it, keep it lubricated to prolong lifespan of parts. Take your ride in to your friendly Smack Cycles service tech to keep it in tip-top shape…
- Tools, pumps/CO2, spare tubes/patches are important if you do get a flat or you missed a loose part on your pre-ride check.