Cycling Advice and Articles

Pedalling technique and suggestions

Pedalling is the easy part of cycling, yes? We might all get tired legs as we struggle up hills, be too slow going downhill, or be out of shape and overweight - but at least we all know how to pedal. But do we really?

Read more ...

A lazy cyclist guide to going faster

Most cyclists aim to increase their average speed over the course of time, and even those who don't particularly care about such things (yes, there are people who cycle solely for pleasure!) usually get satisfaction from knowing they have completed their route a bit faster than usual.

Read more ...

Five tips to quickly improve cycling techniques

All of us have things that we think we are good at on the bike, and others where we know there is room for improvement! Here we offer some suggestions for five areas that often stop a cyclists performance and ability from being as efficient as they could be, and tips for quick improvement.

Read more ...

Cycling motivation

A key aspect of cycling is learning how to stay motivated, and to recognise the signs when you are becoming demotivated - even cyclists who love cycling all the time can have periods when they feel that they can't be bothered to get the bike out. Sometimes this demotivation will also involve minor illnesses, or aches and pains that just don't seem to go away.

Read more ...

Cycle Racing - the challenges and requirements

There are many different types of race available for the enthusiast - not including the secret challenge we all have of winning the last sprint in a local 'friendly' group ride!

Read more ...

Cycling pace

One of the hardest aspects of cycling, especially when you are new to the sport or on unfamiliar routes, is finding a pace that you can maintain over the distance. Set off too fast or over-exert yourself on the first hills and you will be too exhausted to sustain your performance (or keep up with the other riders in a group) for the later part of the ride.

Read more ...

Cycling Power

Most of us don't want to spend large amounts of money on a Cycling Power Meter for our bikes, and unless we are training very hard and with particular goals it is more of a luxury than a necessity.

But it is still useful and interesting to know how much power we can generate when we cycle and an understanding of cycling power also makes it clear why we can all increase our speed quite quickly when we start, but it becomes progressively harder to make small improvements as we get faster!

Read more ...

Your first few rides

OK I'm going to assume that you actually know how to ride a bike, or at least did at some point in your life, and are looking to restart the hobby...preferably without stabilisers!

It is often said that cycling doesn't get easier with time - you go faster but still suffer just as much. This is especially true of hills. But every rule has an exception.

Read more ...

Cycling food

The food we eat before, during and after a cycle ride, especially a ride that is particularly long or arduous, can make a significant different to the result and to the pleasure we get from the ride. I'm not a nutritional expert and the article is based more on my own experiences than expert nutritional knowledge, but if you follow the guidelines below you should be on the right track towards success.

Read more ...

Informal Interval Training

It is generally accepted that interval training is a better way to increase your average cycling speed and effectiveness than always simply just going as hard as you can for as long as you can, but there are two problems with interval training:

Read more ...

Cycling training programs

I guess a lot of us (all of us?) have dreamed about having a personal cycling trainer - preferably a professional cyclist or ex-professional - at least for a week or two, to give us some hints and tips about how to improve our cycling.

Read more ...

Pedal circles

Pedalling circles is a simple sounding technique to ensure that you are making the most of each part of the pedal stroke, rather than just pushing down when your foot is in the 2 o'clock to 5 o'clock positions and ignoring the rest of the pedal stroke.

Read more ...

Techniques for cycling downhill

Some people have a natural confidence when cycling downhill, or at least a way of ignoring their natural fears, while others are much more cautious. This nervousness about going downhill is an important weakness to tackle since:

Read more ...

Ride less, cycle faster

Training books will all tell you that it is the rest days between cycling that are just important as the training rides themselves. This is because 'your body needs time to recover', they tell you, or 'your muscles develop when they are resting'.

Read more ...

Winter cycling

A few years ago common thinking was that winter cycling was something to be avoided, especially by riders of road bikes. Many leisure cyclists simply stopped cycling for a few months during winter, while others prefered to continue indoors on a training bike, or perhaps using gym exercises instead.

Read more ...

Five tips for faster cycling

OK, so this is partly an exercise in stating the obvious - but it's a good place to start! Then you can browse through some of the many other more specific articles on the site for more information about these and many other aspects of road bike cycling...

Read more ...

Cycling for pleasure

There are two possible approaches to take when cycling ‘training’:

1) See it as a route towards pleasure: forget about ‘proper’ training, ignore planning schedules and interval training, and simply cycle often and regularly in order to gain overall fitness (and enjoy the countryside...)

Read more ...

Early season cycling training

'Modern' thinking is that cyclists should take very little break from the sport during the winter, and should focus on getting out on the bike each week if possible. A fine idea, and if you are able to get in a couple of decent length rides each week it will certainly make the new season much easier.

Read more ...

Benefits of spinning

This subject is related to Cycling cadence. It relates to the benefits of cycling, the benefits of pedalling fast (hence avoiding muscular stress to the knees), but it also relates to an activty that is often practiced in the gym rather than on the open road.

Read more ...

How to ride a bike in a group

Group riding - also known as drafting or paceline cycling - refers to several cyclists riding together, one behind the other.

The cyclists each take it in turns to lead, than after leading the group for a while the leader drops away and joins the end of the line. This has great benefits because it is much less strenuous cycling close behind another cyclist than it is cycling alone - because of protection from wind and reduced air resistance.

Read more ...

Long distance cycling

The definition of 'long distance' for you or for me or for someone else will always be completely different.

If you talk to a non-cyclist, 20 miles sounds like a long ride, but for an enthusiastic club member 100 miles might be a long ride.There are cyclists who regularly cycle much greater distances than this (Tour de France stages are often 140 miles or more).

Read more ...

Different types of cycling

The more years and more miles I put on a bicycle, the more diversity I see and enjoy regarding bicycling. By this I mean there are so many different types of bicycles and bicycling events available to take pleasure from. There will always be your purists who snub their nose at anyone who doesn’t own a campy equipped DeRosa road bike or some other such nonsense.

Read more ...

Cycling weight loss

There are two sides to the discussion about losing weight by cycling:

(1) The first concerns people who want to lose weight and take up cycling as a way of achieving that goal, and

(2) The second concerns regular cyclists, who find they are losing weight whether they want to or not!

Read more ...

Cycling up hills and mountains

Cycling up hills (or mountains) is the hardest part of cycling when you are just starting out. Ignoring problems of speed, most new cyclists can manage to go along a flat road for a reasonable distance without any terrible difficulties.

Read more ...

Cycling uphill

This page offers some general comments on cycling uphill. Please see cycling up hills and mountains for more specific and detailed training advice and techniques.

The people I cycle with are always saying that cycling ability depends more on your state of mind and your positive attitude than on sheer strength. It requires the mental strength to keep pushing yourself when things get tough - usually because the ride is longer, faster or steeper than you are used to.

Read more ...

Cycling training for beginners

When you first start cycling, you will probably read about the speeds and distances travelled by other cyclists, and find that you fall a long way short. Many experienced cyclists will cover 60 miles at 20-25 miles per hour a couple of times a week, enthusiasts much more, and faster.

Read more ...

Cycling position and technique

Note: see separate article for bike sizing (also includes saddle height) which also has a significant impact on your position.

A couple of good reasons to spend some time thinking about the best riding position when you go out for a ride:

- Sitting in an aerodynamic position on your bike is a more efficient and cheaper way to improve your performance than spending thousands of pounds on lighter road bikes each year.

Read more ...

Cycling safety

I know that safety issues can sometimes be dry reading. Still it is an important issue of road bicycling, or any type of activity. Obviously good riding policies can help to reduce your exposure to injury or possibly death. I don’t want to be negative here, but severe injury or death is a real possibility even if we don’t want to think about it. First and foremost you must take at least a minimum number of actions to reduce your exposure to risk.

These are the minimum points to consider regarding bicycle safety:

Read more ...

Overtraining when you start cycling

I can talk about this with some authority, because I did this myself in my first year cycling. Four or five times a week, out cycling as far as possible, and always with my eye on the average speed. Several times I would get home so exhausted that I would have to it down for a while, my legs unable to support me.

Read more ...

Cycling for fitness

There are dozens of ways to get into good physical condition including aerobics, running and yoga, yet I believe cycling is one of the best and most enjoyable.

If you’ve struggled to get into shape, it is quite obvious you’re not alone. It isn’t so hard to get started, but it is difficult to keep it up. Keeping up the fitness program that you’ve started over the long run is one of the major issues. Excuses seem to pile up, muscles aches, joints hurt, no time today, it isn’t working well with your schedule; then pretty soon you’ve talked yourselves out of it.

Read more ...

Cycling cadence - target pedalling speeds

Cadence in cycling is the speed at which your legs turn. It is measured in revs per minute / pedal rotations per minute.

Much the easiest way to measure cadence is with an attachment to your bike computer, but it is also easy to calculate as you are cycling along - keeping an eye on the clock of your bike computer, count how many pedal turns you make in 30 seconds (and double it for a one minute result).

Read more ...

Problems with dogs when cycling

There is nothing more guaranteed to spoil your day out cycling than a dog jumping out at you unexpectedly or, perhaps worse, standing snarling in the middle of the road ahead of you. Followed by the heart-stopping ten seconds when you have passed the dog, and don't know if you can outsprint it. This is when your maximum speed of the day will be recorded!

So what can be done to help reduce the problem? Every cyclist has their own method for dealing with a dog, and there are some basic guidelines that will help you stay safe on the road.

Read more ...

Cycle faster - interval training on a road bike

Cycling faster and better on your road bike! Most beginner cyclists approach to going faster is to go out quite often and make a lot of effort. Sounds good, and certainly works to a point. But sooner or later you will reach a threshold.

Read more ...

Average cycling speed for new and experienced cyclists

One of the most common questions among new cyclists - and one of the hardest to give a sensible answer to - is the average speed of a cyclist.

There are lots of reasons why average speed can't be used as a reliable measure of comparison, which mostly come down to the following:

Read more ...