Tips and Resources

Getting started

Top 10 tips for new bike riders

Are you keen to start enjoying your life on two wheels? Here’s a guide to get you started on your cycling journey.

Getting started on a bike
1. Wear a well fitted helmet

Wearing a helmet not only looks great – it prevents head injuries – so having a well fitted one is vital for any bike rider. Helmets should sit two finger widths from your eyebrows and should fit firmly enough on your head that it won’t move around.

2. Pump up your tyres

We’re not talking about bragging – although you’re welcome to talk yourself up because you’re riding a bike! We’re talking about tyre inflation. Fully inflated tyres make for an easier ride and are also more resistant to getting punctures. Before any ride, check your tyres are pumped to the correct pressure (written on the side wall of the tyre).

3. Check the brakes

Stopping on your bike is always needed so check that your brakes are working before you head off on your bike. Particularly if you live at the top of a hill! Are the pads worn down? Are both pads contacting at the same time? If not, get your local bike shop to fix them.

4. Check no bolts or parts are loose

Check for any loose bits on your bike. This includes the rack and/or basket if you have these on your bike. You don’t want them falling off while you’re on the road or bike path – it could get ugly!

5. Adjust your seat

If it’s the wrong height or position, your seat can be adjusted. The seat can tilt up and down or shift forward and back – just like that adjustable chair at work or school (well sort of) – it’s usually best basically level or slightly lower at the front. See what feels comfortable for you.

6. Lock up even if you’re at home

Most bikes that are stolen are taken from homes (it’s terrible but true), so it’s a good idea to lock them up even when they’re in your garage. A D-lock is the best choice because it’s much harder to cut through with bolt cutters.

7. Light up at night

Road rules state you need a white front light and a rear red light showing anytime you ride in low light. The essential lights for bikes are flashing LED units that show others you are there. Note: They are not to help you see like headlights. Lights come with a bracket to attach to your handlebars, seat post or bike frame.

8. Ensure you’re well hydrated

Take a bottle of water and make sure you stay well hydrated during your ride. If you’re going for a long ride take extra water and some snacks along to give you energy for your journey! 

9. Before you head off

Make sure you apply sunscreen when the UV is high because a red face is not cool! Always take wet weather gear if there’s a chance it might rain. Check the weather before you set off, because being prepared is the best way to enjoy your ride.

10. Get insured

One of the many benefits of being a Bicycle Network member is having peace of mind every time you ride. Feel confident you and your family will be well looked after with personal injury and third party liability insurance. You’ll also receive exclusive content, great benefits, and help us improve riding conditions in your local community.

Start riding

Start Riding is the essential resource for anyone who wants to start enjoying life on two wheels. Register now for a free start riding pack.

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