Setting The Right Bike Seat Height – A Guide For Beginners

Setting The Right Bike Seat Height - A Guide For Beginners

Setting the right bike height seat is imperative, whether is a mountain bike or racing bike. The matter is more important than it seems because a right bike seat height determines your position in the saddle. Specialists determine the right height through biomechanical analysis.

Yet, if you?re not an expert but just a beginner who wants to achieve a correct posture on the bike, this guide is for you.

Right Bike Seat Height ? The Basics

If you?re an enthusiast approaching mountain or road biking for the first time, you probably don?t want to spend a fortune in biomechanical measurements and on a custom bike. But achieving a correct posture on your vehicle can help you avoid back pain, stiff neck, and muscle soreness.

The basics of getting the right saddle height start with getting the right size of the bike. In fact, the bike should fit your height but also your gender. Due to anatomical differences between men and women, getting the right frame can make or break your cycling experience.

Today, almost all bike manufacturers produce standardized vehicles that go from S or XS to XL. The measures correspond to specific frame sizes, and we already explained how to pick the right bike size in a previous article.

Once you?ve chosen the right frame, it?s time to adjust the height of the components of the bike to fit your body frame. This includes handlebar, pedals, and the saddle.

How To Adjust The Bike Seat Height

The adjustment of the seat height should be done in accordance with the other components that influence your posture, including the handlebars and pedals. Regarding the saddle, this is adjustable in height, inclination, and advancement.

The handlebar is also adjustable in height, while both the seat and the handlebar should be adjusted based on the position of the pedals.

Adjusting the height of the seat is easy, by loosening the screw that fixes the sleeve to the frame. To establish the exact position though, you?ll have to carry out a simple test.

Wear your regular cycling shoes and hop on the saddle. Place your heel on the pedal and, with the support of a friend, pedal backward until you reach the point where the pedal crank is positioned downwards and parallel with the vertical tube of the frame.

With the pedal in this position, your leg has to be stretched without you feeling any muscular tension. In other words, if your leg is not stretched, you should position the seat higher. If there is muscular tension, lower the seat.

Regarding the inclination, the saddle should typically be adjusted in a horizontal position that is parallel with the ground. However, to increase comfort when riding uphill, you can tilt the saddle slightly forward. Keep in mind though that this position will make you feel uncomfortable while riding downhill.

Once you?ve done the necessary adjustments, hop on the saddle and go for a ride. See how you feel and whether you should further adjust the bike seat height.

What Is Cyclocross? A Beginner’s Guide To CX

What Is Cyclocross? A Beginner's Guide To CX

Wondering what is cyclocross? Cyclocross shortened to CX is a fun sport loved by seasoned athletes and novice cyclists. It can be practiced in all weathers and offers countless benefits.

Yes, cyclocross is a hard discipline. It can be intimidating at first. Training for CX is often confusing, and so is attending competitions.

But don?t let these drawbacks discourage you. CX is one of the most rewarding sports. This guide will show you what this sport is about, what kind of bike you need for it and what the competitions consist of. Don?t forget to check why cyclocross is good for you. Maybe knowing its benefits will determine you to give it a try.

I promise that once you?ve tried it, you won?t be able to give up to the fun that cyclocross brings with it!

What Is Cyclocross?

Cyclocross is a discipline born and developed in Europe in the early 1900s. It emerged as a system to help road racers to stay fit during fall and winter, but in a short time, it became an independent specialty with its own competition calendar.

The first international cyclocross race dates back to 1920 and since then, the discipline attracted hundreds of athletes and countless followers mainly in Switzerland, Italy, and Belgium.

In the last decades, CX has gained a lot of popularity in the US too and today, this discipline is practiced by enthusiasts but also by many road racers and off-road pros who want to keep fit in the low activity seasons.

In broad terms, cyclocross involves riding along circuit trails with a variable distance that ranges from two to four or five kilometers (roughly 1.25 to 2.50 miles) on a mixture of paved and off-road surfaces. Elite competitions last for about an hour but what makes CX unique is the fact that the routes contain obstacles that force riders to get off the bike and run or walk while carrying their vehicles on their shoulders. If you thought that it ends here, you?re wrong. The route also includes manmade barriers that force athletes to climb walls while carrying their bikes or jump over obstacles while riding.

With this in mind, it?s easy to understand why cyclocross is technically and physically demanding, but also why enthusiasts consider CX one of the most fun sports to practice.

The effort and skills needed to compete in CX events lead to a great improvement of the overall strength and makes you fitter. This leads to a performance improvement regardless of what your discipline is. Among the many benefits of cyclocross, we can mention the improved riding skills, higher power and invigorated cardiovascular system.

What Bike Do I Need?

Now, you know what is cyclocross. If all the activities included in the competitions excite you, it?s time to find out what bike you need.

Neither a road bike nor a mountain bike is suitable for this sport. Essentially, a CX bike is more similar to a road bike than to an MTB but some changes on the frame make it suitable to ride on dirt tracks. Like all performing road bikes, a CX bike is usually equipped with drop bar handlebars and traditional road bike wheels.

However, like a mountain bike, a CX bike has disc brakes for a better braking power on slippery surfaces. Despite the traditional road bike wheels, a CX bike is usually equipped with rugged tires that provide a better grip on mud.

The bottom bracket is positioned at a higher level than the bracket of a road bike while the rear tube and front fork are wider, to prevent the mud from blocking the wheels. The bike is also equipped with quick-release mountain bike pedals that allow cyclists to react instantly if the balance is lost.

Another important aspect is the weight of the bike. You?ll have to run and climb while carrying the vehicle, so it?s essential that it is lightweight. A great shifting system is also essential, so you can change gears quickly and reach your top speed in all circumstances.

Wondering where to find such a hybrid? High-end gravel bikes feature the best of both worlds and are ideal for cyclocross.

When Can I Practice Cyclocross?

Born as a discipline to help road cyclists keep fit throughout the cold season, cyclocross is typically a winter sport. The season normally runs from September to February in the northern hemisphere and the World Cyclocross Championship takes place at the end of January.

Yet, like with any other cycling discipline, you can break the rules and practice it whenever you want. As an enthusiast, I guarantee that the most fun is during the winter months when the challenges of the weather add up to the challenges of the trail.

What Do Cyclocross Competitions Consist Of?

https://youtu.be/gWY7rRxIs8s

As mentioned above, cyclocross competitions consist of circuits that go from road to off-road and to the road again. These circuits are very short and rarely exceed three miles in length, but the circuit is repeated for several times. The overall time of the race depends of the category; as a general rule, all CX competitions include riding on grass, dirt, and among obstacles.

For beginners, the overall time of a competition is 25 minutes, which goes up to 30 minutes for the more ?experienced? beginners. Juniors get to enjoy 40-minute competitions and regardless of their level of expertise, those under 23 can?t join competitions that last longer than an hour. Elite competitions last either for one hour or one hour and ten minutes.

The length of the circuit is not fixed and is dependent on the landscape while the duration is determined by the jury based on the time needed to complete the first two laps and considering the level of expertise of the participants.

The diversity of the circuit that includes asphalted stretched interrupted by off-road sections that go through grass, mud, and sand, the existence of short steep climbs and many bends are the distinctive features of CX.

On some stretches, the rider may have to jump off the bike and carry the vehicle on the shoulders or in their hands.

The various sections of the route are short and each stage lasts for only a few seconds. For example, short and steep climbs replace long slopes. Straight sections are interrupted by tight bends. The asphalted road is interrupted by grass or dirt trails, and so on.

This forces the competitors to continuously change speed and effort. And the fun part is that the obstacles can be placed anywhere on the route. 

Now, if all this excites you but you?re not sure if you?re up to it, here?s how CX boosts your strength, metabolism, and stamina.

Why Is Cyclocross Good For You?

Besides being an extremely fun and competitive discipline, CX makes for an excellent training discipline if you want to lose weight, get back in shape, or just become fitter.

If you?ve ever practiced any sport, you know that it only takes a short time of training to boost your energy and serotonin levels. If you?ve ever tried training to improve your cycling performance, perhaps you know already how interval training can make you become the leader of your group.

Training makes racing more fun because it increases your strength, and riding faster on all terrains is just exciting.

To understand the benefits of CX racing, you have to first understand how energy is produced by our bodies. The human body has three energy systems that act at the same time to provide you with all the energy needed for your daily actions.

The ATP system is involved in providing quick energy boosters that last for 10 seconds or less. Our glycolytic system has a moderate power and lasts up to 90 seconds while the oxidative system is the slowest and lasts for 90 seconds or longer.

The oxidative system is involved, therefore, in activities that last for more than 90 seconds. If you?ve ever trained before, know that the sore muscles you have to deal with after the workout are the result of a weak oxidative system that reaches the anaerobic or lactate threshold too fast.

Since a cyclocross session often lasts for more than 40 minutes, it?s easy to understand how this sport improves your lactate threshold. But CX doesn?t involve only your oxidative system.

In fact, CX puts a heavy load on all three energy systems, allowing you to activate and use the other two systems when they are most needed. This gets your body fitter and helps you improve your overall riding skills.

Apart from this, cyclocross also has an important impact on your health. Intense physical activity accelerates your heart rate which means a faster flow of blood through your veins. And this means a better oxygenation of your cells and tissues.

A higher blood flow stimulates your brain and gives you more energy. Enjoying more oxygen, your brain is also able to concentrate better which improves your overall performance even in areas that have nothing to do with sports and training, such as at school or at work.

Your serotonin level is also boosted, and this makes you happier. In other words, cyclocross is ideal to help you fight depression or anxiety.

Apart from all these health benefits, CX also improves your social life. By helping you stay fitter, this sport helps you boost confidence and make new friends. You?ll also be able to connect with other enthusiasts and enlarge your social circles. With all these benefits, I can only recommend you give cyclocross a try.

How To Train For Cyclocross?

Since this discipline is so complex, the best way to train for a CX competition is by combining power training with interval training, sessions at the gym to boost your muscle strength and rides on all types of terrains. More often than not, hopping on the saddle and riding on all terrains and in all weathers is the secret to building endurance.

Bottom Line

What is cyclocross, then? In my opinion, a challenging yet exciting discipline that promotes quality outdoor time with your friends. This discipline comes with countless benefits and satisfactions. Is it hard to practice? Definitely! Is it worth the effort? Yes!  Yes! Yes!

Regardless of the bike you own at the moment, just hop on the saddle and give this amazing discipline a chance. You?ll probably fall in love with it instantly!

Bicycle Sizing Guide: How To Choose The Right Bike?

Bicycle Sizing Guide: How To Choose The Right Bike?

Bicycle sizing is a delicate matter. Manufacturers make frames of different sizes, and choosing a bike is more or less as choosing a pair of cycling shorts. Your height and gender matter, as well as your body type and a series of other factors.

But how to choose the right bike for you? There are multiple methods but we decided to focus on the two most popular. Here they are.

Calculate The Bike Size Based On Your Height

The traditional method of choosing the right bike size is by calculating the size you need based on your height. Also known as the leg inseam method, this bike sizing technique involves a bit of math, as you?ll have to transform all measures from inches to centimeters and back to inches.

Apart from this, the method is straightforward. Just take off your shoes and stand with your legs at about 6-8 inches apart. Measure your leg inseam, which is the height from the ground to the crotch. Now, grab a calculator or use your math skills to calculate the frame size.

The formula uses different numbers for different bike frames. Below, the formulas to calculate the size of the most popular types of bikes on the market.

Mountain Bike Sizing

Leg inseam height in centimeters x 0.66 = ideal frame size. For example, if your leg inseam is 76cm you?ll have to calculate 76×0.66=50,16cm. Round this figure to 50cm, which translated into inches means you?ll need a 20-inch bike.

Road Bike Sizing

In this case, the formula changes from leg inseam height in centimeters x 0.66 to the leg inseam height in centimeters x 0.70. Following on the example above, this means you?ll need a 21-inch road bike.

Urban Bike

If you?re a commuter, just multiply your leg inseam height in cm by 0.685 to get the right biking size. Alternatively, you can use a size chart that indicates the right size in inches or in international sizing according to your overall height.

Bike Sizing Chart

The easiest way to determine bicycle sizing is by consulting a sizing chart. Since different styles of bikes have different ideal sizes, here are the bike charts for the most common types of bikes.

Mountain And Urban Bikes

These two models of bikes follow the same sizing rules. In the international system, their size varies from XS to XXL, although these figures can have different meanings for different manufacturers. That?s why it?s always indicated to choose the frame size based on your height.

The corresponding measures are as follows:

  • 4?10? to 5?1? tall riders: 14-inch bike frame or XS
  • 5?2? to 5?5? tall riders: 15-inch bike frame or S
  • 5?6? to 5?9? tall riders: 16-inch bike frame or M
  • 5?9? to 6?0? tall riders: 17-inch bike frame or L
  • 6?0? to 6?3? tall riders: 18-inch bike frame or XL
  • 6?3? to 6?6? tall riders: 19-inch bike frame or XXL

Road Bikes

Road bikes are slightly larger than mountain and urban bikes, that?s why they have a different sizing system. Search the right frame size in the table below.

  • 4?10? to 5?1? tall riders: 18-inch bike frame or XS
  • 5?2? to 5?5? tall riders: 19 to 20-inch bike frame or S
  • 5?6? to 5?9? tall riders: 21-inch bike frame or M
  • 5?9? to 6?0? tall riders: 22-inch bike frame or L
  • 6?0? to 6?3? tall riders: 23-inch bike frame or XL
  • 6?3? to 6?6? tall riders: 24-inch bike frame or XXL

Bottom Line

Bicycle sizing could be tricky, but I hope these methods can help you find the right bike for you. Our only suggestion is to always measure the size of the frame and match it with your height. Or to use the leg inseam method above.

International sizing is inaccurate. Companies use the XS to XXL measures in a way similar to clothing and the bikes may not come at standard sizes.

Metabolic Recumbent Bike Workout For Weight Loss

Metabolic Recumbent Bike Workout For Weight Loss

Wondering how to lose weight at the gym? Recumbent bike workout could be a great solution. This aerobic activity boosts your metabolism and promotes weight loss. The device is more comfortable to use than a traditional stationary bike, and like any indoor bike activity, the workout comes with numerous side benefits.

In fact, you?ll not only lose weight. Recumbent bike workout improves your heart rate and keeps your blood pressure under control, it increases your lung capacity and builds muscular strength.

In addition, this aerobic workout speeds out your metabolism. Combined with a balanced diet, it?s an awesome way to lose weight and get in shape before summer.

But what?s the best type of workout? How many calories can you expect to burn in a session? If you?re looking for the answers to these questions, this guide is for you!

Recumbent Bike Workout: Facts

Just like any cycling activity, exercising on a recumbent bike is useful mostly for your lower body. Unlike an assault bike that trains your upper body too, this device helps you build leg muscles and models your abdomen and buttocks.

To achieve satisfactory results, however, it takes a lot of hard work and dedication. That?s why it?s crucial to keep yourself motivated. You can?t expect to see the first results within a week but sticking to a good routine will pay off in the long run. Yet, if you?re not consistent in the choices you make, the recumbent bike might not be for you.

An hour of recumbent bike exercise burns up to 300 calories, depending on the length of the training session, intensity, and your body weight. Fortunately, most recumbent bikes come with board computers that allow you to monitor your parameters and indicate an approximate calorie consumption per session.

The most sophisticated bikes even have ergometers that allow you to adjust your effort to achieve maximum calorie consumption. These models even display an accurate index that shows the user?s training power in watts, the distance, length of the session, calories burnt, heart rate, and more.

Recumbent Bike Workout Training Session

To lose weight, either with the recumbent bike or with any other aerobic exercise, as a matter of fact, the intensity of your training must reach the aerobic threshold. Divide your routine into 1-hour sessions three times a week, and combine your recumbent bike workout with exercises that work on your upper body. In broad lines, your training session should look like this:

  • Heat up phase ? 10 minutes of slow to moderate pedaling;
  • Primary phase ? 20 minutes of fast pedaling; this allows you to achieve an aerobic exercise;
  • Intensive phase ? 20 minutes of fast and intense pedaling that helps you burn fatty tissue;
  • Cool down phase ? 10 minutes of moderate to slow pedaling.

Repeat the routine three times a week in alternate days and work out your upper body in the other days. If you didn?t practice any sport in the last years, it is recommended to start with 20-minutes sessions of HIIT training and increase by 5 minutes each week until you reach 1 hour.

Once you?ve reached your aerobic threshold, it?s important to continue your session without breaks. However, you can take 5-minute breaks at the beginning, to let your body get used to the new workout regime.

It?s also important to maintain a correct posture on the bike. Otherwise, you could end up with low back pain, muscular pain, and other conditions that can demotivate you. Talking about the pain, you will fill it at first ? but this will happen regardless of what sport you practice. As the time passes by, you?ll build muscular strength, your aerobic threshold will increase, and you?ll feel more energetic and motivated.

Also, don?t train for more than an hour in an attempt to burn more fat. You could achieve an opposite effect and your body could start burning your muscles instead of the fatty tissue. It?s also recommended to start and end each training session with 5 minutes of stretching.

Aerobic Threshold And Maximum Heart Rate ? How To Lose Weight?

To lose weight, you should know what?s your aerobic threshold by calculating your maximum heart rate. Then, just use a heart rate monitor during exercise to avoid exceeding this value.

There are many ways to calculate your maximum heart rate, but the easiest way is to use Cooper?s formula. This is an approximate method, therefore you should stay under this value at all times during your training session.

According to Cooper?s method, your max heart rate is 220 minus your age. For example, if you?re 30 years old, your max heart rate is 220-30=190.

To lose weight, not only you have to keep your heart rate under this value, but in accordance with the best cardio exercise practices, you should aim to keep your heartbeat in a range between 65 and 75% of the maximum heart rate. On the example above, this means you should keep your heartbeat between 123 and 142 beats per minute.

Now, you might be wondering what happens if you don?t meet or exceed these thresholds. Well, if your heart rate during exercise is below 65% of your max heart rate, you?ll burn fat at a very slow rate and will have to increase your training sessions to achieve a satisfactory result.

To burn fat, you have to work out in the aerobic range and the first 20 minutes of intense training are only preparatory, thus the 40-minutes intense workout sessions. In the preparatory phase, your body draws its energy from the sugars in the bloodstream and you?ll only start to fuel your movements by burning fat when these sugars are gone. What this means is that you won?t burn any fat in the first 20 minutes, although you are going to build muscular strength.

On the contrary, if you exceed the 75% threshold, you risk burning muscles instead of fat. At a too high heart rate, your body starts using proteins from the muscles which are easier to process than fat. Muscle burn is also associated with a hypo-caloric diet as well as exaggerated and prolonged physical effort. The heart is subject to excessive stress and lactic acid will also start building up in your muscles, causing cramps.

Obviously, the only way to know if you?re performing an efficient exercise is by controlling your heart rate during the training session. The most advanced recumbent bikes will do this for you, or you can use an app or a heart rate monitor.

Recumbent Bike Workout Tips

Listen To Your Favorite Music

Cycling on a recumbent bike can easily become monotonous. Avoid this by listening to your favorite music. Choose some alert songs that inspire and motivate you. This simple trick will boost your energy and will improve your mood, keeping you going for longer.

Train In The Morning

The best time to work out is between 7 and 10am, before breakfast. Not only you have more energy at this time, but your metabolic rate is higher, helping you burn more calories. The benefits of morning workout extend throughout the day, burning fat even when you?re not training.

If you don?t have the time for morning training sessions, only work out on an empty stomach.

Set A Short-Term Goal

Long-term goals are great, but they won?t keep you motivated for too long. Instead of planning to lose 50 pounds in 6 months, set your goal to losing 10lbs in one month. Short-term goals are easier to achieve than long-term ones, and they motivate you for the future.

Stay Hydrated

Drinking plenty of water is essential if you want to lose weight. Keep a sports water bottle at hand at all times and during the HIIT sessions drink mineral water that compensates for the loss of minerals and salts.

Eat

One of the most frequent mistakes overweight people make when trying to lose weight is cutting down on eating. But you shouldn?t starve yourself to death. Losing weight should be achieved through sport and you should only cut down on junk foods.

Avoid sugars and fast food, eat healthy meals at regular intervals and, above all, eat the right quantity for your body type, height, and age.

Bottom Line

Recumbent bike workout is one of the easiest ways to lose weight at the gym. Follow the tips above and work in close relationship with a personal trainer who can help you set and achieve your goals. The #1 rule to losing weight is not giving up.

While it could take a while to see the first results, your patience and determination will certainly pay off in the long run!

13 Killer Tips To Cycling For Weight Loss

13 Killer Tips To Cycling For Weight Loss

Cycling is an amazing sport. It comes with a sense of freedom and countless benefits. And cycling for weight loss is always a great idea.

In fact, physical activity, associated with a balanced diet, is the only way to lose weight. But riding a bike comes with collateral benefits. First, it has a milder effect on your joints than other aerobic activities. And it burns fat at a rate similar to running.

Yet, riding a bike might not be enough to burn calories and boost your metabolism. If you have specific objectives, here are 13 tips that will show you when, how, and for how long to cycle for weight loss.

1. Choose The Right Bike

Bikes are like dresses, and the size matters. The vehicle must have an appropriate height for your body and the frame should also be adequate for your body type. Gender also matters and a men?s bike is not suitable for a woman and vice versa.

Before buying a bike, it?s also recommended to evaluate the frequency of your training. If your goal is to cycle only during weekends, it might be useless to invest in a performing model. But if you want to ride as often as possible, a touring or racing bike might be more appropriate. These bikes ensure an aerodynamic position, helping you improve your performance in time.

2. Wear Cycling Shorts

At first, it might seem fine to wear your old pair of jeans or regular gym shorts. But it?s not. If you?re aiming to cycle for weight loss, staying comfortable in the saddle is essential.

Cycling shorts are designed specifically to protect your privates and come with anatomic padding in the crotch area. Again, it matters what model you wear. Due to an evident difference between male and female anatomy, it?s essential to wear gender-specific garments. And in case you were wondering, cycling shorts have to be worn without underwear.

Talking about garments, we can also mention cycling shirts or jerseys, which also improve your cycling experience. Gloves are essential when pedaling off-road, and you could also need a helmet and cycling shoes.

3. Drink Water

Whether you?re cycling to the neighbor down the street or to the next state, having water at hand at all times is crucial. Water and weight loss go hand in hand, and on the saddle, you?ll need a lot of vital liquid. Wondering how to carry water on the bike? There are dozens of sports water bottles or backpacks to choose from.

How much water you need during the training session is difficult to assess. It depends on the training intensity and environmental conditions. However, remember that muscular fatigue is often associated with the lack of water and mineral salts.

In other words, drinking plenty of water during your workout reduces fatigue, boosts your energy, and speeds up your metabolism.

4. Do Regular Bike Check-Ups

If you?ve committed to an intense cycling workout, a thing to consider is the regular check-up of your vehicle. Before hopping on the saddle check the brake system, the tires, and the valves. Besides avoiding nasty surprises during training, this simple check-up can even save your life.

5. Adjust Saddle Height

A mistake many beginners make is to adjust the saddle at a wrong height. This reduces mobility, it makes you sit in an awkward position, and it can even be dangerous, as it reduces your balance.

To stay safe and comfortable, check the height of the saddle while pedaling. With the pedal in the lower position, your foot should form an angle of about 170?. You should also be able to touch the ground with either foot if needed.

And as a side safety measure, avoid riding without holding the handlebar properly, especially if you?re overweight, because it?s easy to lose balance and fall.

6. Find The Rhythm

After getting confident on the bike, the first thought is to engage in a lively ride. But stop! When cycling for weight loss, it?s important to take things one step at a time. Start with a mild pace and adapt your rhythm to cycling.

The length of the cycling session also matters. Start with 20 minutes rides and increase the time by 10 minutes each time, up to one and a half hours.

After the first 20 minutes ride expect to experience muscular pain and fatigue, but these feelings will slowly vanish and energy will replace tiredness.

7. Take Daily Trips

One of the simplest ways to lose weight cycling is by using a bike daily, even when you don?t intend to work out. Commuting by bike makes you healthier and helps you lose weight. Moreover, riding a bike regularly makes you happier.

According to several studies, riding a bike to work has several health benefits which include losing up to 10lbs a year when no other habits are changed, including food intake.

8. Cycle Before Breakfast

In general, terms, training early in the morning immediately after waking up is the best way to cut off hunger and lose weight. This doesn?t mean you should skip breakfast, which is one of the most important meals in a day. But think that even the pros train for at least 20 minutes first thing in the morning before sitting at the table.

And there is a reason why you should do it. According to a research published in the Journal of Applied Physiology, activity on an empty stomach burns more fat than activity performed after eating. If you?re working a full-time job and commute by bike, try having breakfast right after you got to work instead of at home.

9. Push Yourself Further

Once you?ve got used to cycling, forget about a moderate pace and push yourself to the maximum speed. Studies have shown that a prolonged activity at low intensity burns lesser calories than short activity at high intensity and regular intervals.

In other words, it?s more efficient to cycle at maximum speed for 10 minutes than enjoying a relaxed ride of an hour. Even if both riding styles burn the same amount of calories, what?s different is the way your body continues to burn calories after training.

10. Practice Off-Road Cycling

Can?t decide between road or mountain biking? Choose the latter. This is the logical consequence of the point above. A varied intensity workout is more effective than a monotonous ride on an even terrain, at least as far as weight loss is concerned.

Of course, road riding is ideal if you live in a hilly area. Otherwise, ditch the road for the dirt trails. This type of cycling is an excellent substitute for cardio and interval training. Besides, it helps you develop muscle strength while burning calories.

11. Eat While Cycling

Now, this may seem a sort of contradiction. But before wondering if I lost my mind, you should know that I?m not talking about eating during a 10 minutes ride from home to the grocery store. If you love bike touring or engaged in a long weekend trip, eating while cycling can help you feel less hungry when you finally reach the destination.

After all, eating many small portions a day is more indicated than eating one large meal right before bedtime.

12. Mind Your Upper Body

Cycling is primarily a leg sport. In fact, while cycling, your upper body doesn?t benefit from any kind of activity. This results in a muscular mass growth in your lower body but it can lead to muscular loss in your upper body, and this means less burnt calories.

There are many ways to increase your upper body muscular mass. From hitting the gym once or twice per week to training on an assault bike in the comfort of your home, it takes as little as an hour a week to build up arm and chest muscle strength.

13. Engage In An Overall Workout

While cycling mainly trains your legs and buttocks, the whole body can benefit from this sport. Trying different riding styles, such as riding without sitting in the saddle, involves you abdominal and lumbar muscles too. But the benefits don?t end here.

Cycling for weight loss is also good for your heart. Riding a bike increases your blood flow and cellular oxygenation, making your arteries more elastic. This, together with the burnt calories, will certainly boost your health and motivation!

How To Plan Your Bike Trip Like A Bicycle Touring Pro

How To Plan Your Bike Trip Like A Bicycle Touring Pro

Bicycle touring is one of the most rewarding forms of travel. But planning a bike trip isn?t the easiest thing to do. You have to choose a bike friendly destination and design an itinerary. If this is the first time you?re planning such a tour, things can easily become overwhelming.

But there is good news. Both in the USA and in Europe, there are dozens of cycling routes developed specifically for bicycle touring. And for the most famous and beaten tracks, it is easy to find route information and travel reports that give you a sort of in-depth view on what to expect.

Yet, if you?re thinking to start with an alternative route, you?ll have to study the maps and come up with an itinerary of your own. Here?s how to plan your bicycle touring trip.

1. Choose A Destination

The first thing to do when planning a bike tour is to choose a destination. While the final stop of your journey should be a place that attracts you, before deciding to go there, take into account the route and your level of preparation.

Are you used to staying in the saddle for long periods, tackle gradients and ride on dirt roads while carrying a 25lbs burden on the bike? If your answer is yes to all these questions, plan a trip to the end of the world if you want to.

But if you?ve answered no to any of these questions, start with a shorter trip to a nearby place.

2. Plan The Itinerary

You?ve got a destination, but now you have to plan how to get there. Just grab a map (yes, Google Maps works just fine), and see what villages or cities stand between point A and point B. Then, accounting that the average speed of a trained cyclist is about 10mph, just see where you need to stop on the route.

When planning the milestones of your journey, also consider that bike touring is about enjoying the places; you?ll want to stop and admire the landscape or stroll through the cities, so make sure you?re planning for that.

In broad terms, milestones of 75-80 miles require about 8 hours of cycling, but the characteristics of the trail will also have an impact on your speed and performance.

3. Book Accommodations

Even if you?re a camping lover, I wouldn?t recommend sleeping in a tent during your bike tour. Not because it?s unsafe or uncomfortable, but because a tent and all related accessories represent extra-weight you have to carry on the bike. Moreover, you?ll also save assembling and dismantle time.

When it comes to accommodation, there are endless options to choose from. If you?re on a tight budget, a hostel could be your best bet. There are all sorts of them, from beautiful to ugly, from cheap to expensive, with shared dorms or private rooms.

If you?re traveling alone, a hostel is also a fun option, as you?ll get the chance to meet all sorts of people and make new friends.

Some hostels and hotels even offer specific accommodation to bikers and riders, and these places are packed with other touring cyclists, motorcyclists, and people with similar passions with whom you can share stories and maybe even a few miles of road the next day.

If you?re more reserved and hostels are not your thing, there are many B&Bs or cheap hotels to consider.

4. Consider Transportation

If your journey from A to B involves traits traveled by plane, bus or train, make sure you can take the bike with you. Airlines usually ask you to disassemble the bike and more often than not, it?s more convenient to rent a bike at your destination than transporting your own.

This solution is popular if, for example, you?re planning a bicycle touring trip through Europe or at the opposite end of the United States.

Bus lines could also require you to disassemble the bike, while trains may be equipped with bike racks.

If you?d still like to transport your bike regardless of where you go, make sure you have all necessary tools to put the vehicle together and dismantle it as needed. 

Also, make sure all buses, shuttles, trains, or ferries are able to accommodate your bike aboard, to avoid unpleasant surprises.

5. Analyze The Route

Before embarking on the journey, you?ll need to know everything about the route. This includes effective mileage, altitude, type of road, the location of accommodation facilities, and more. At this stage, if you?ve decided to follow a famous route, it?s easy to find all data online.

Online or offline maps of famous trails also include indications of campsites, hostels, places of interest, and other useful tips about the route.

If you decided to opt for an off-the-beaten-track route, you?ll have to build the map yourself. Google Maps could be insufficient for this purpose because it doesn?t give information such as trail altitude and details of the cycling route. Yet, there are many apps and dedicated online tools to use. Some online sites dedicated to bicycle touring even give users the possibility to register their own trips for further inspiration, in addition to offering reliable tour-building tools.

An awesome thing about some dedicated websites, such as Strava, is that you can save the maps on your own page and download the whole tour in GPX format. Then, just upload the itinerary to your device to avoid getting lost when roaming through new places.

6. On The Trail

Once you?ve hopped on the saddle and started your journey, make sure you follow all good practice rules to avoid nasty surprises. Here?s how to make sure you don?t get lost.

Signs

Most famous cycling routes and beaten paths are marked with signals positioned at predetermined distances and that are easy to see on the side of the road or trail. These signs can be either road signs showing the name of a municipality or the distance to a city, but also hiking and cycling signs applied on poles that only let you know that you?re on the right track.

My advice is to follow these signs but not to rely solely on them, because it can happen to miss them and get off the track.

Maps

You?ve probably built a customized map when designing the route. Before embarking on the journey, make sure you print it in at least one copy and have it in your backpack or luggage at all times. Yes, we all rely on technology nowadays, but a battery can drain or there could be no coverage in the area.

Sometimes, it?s just better to rely on the old-fashioned printed paper.

GPS Track

A bike computer with GPS can help you a lot, but if you don?t want to invest in such a device, just use your smartphone. Most apps just let you set the start and end points, then will calculate your itinerary. If you want to follow the determined route, just create a GPS map with an online tool, then load it in a compatible app.

A GPS app will let you know exactly where you are at a given moment, and that?s especially useful in case you get injured and need to call for help.

The best thing about using a GPS track app is that most of them work even in airplane mode or when there is no coverage, as long as the Position feature of your cell is on.

Check Operator Compatibility

If you?re not going to leave the country, there is nothing to worry about. But if you want to tour a different country, make sure you can use the Roaming service of your operator while you?re abroad. Also beware of bandwidths between different parts of the world, as you might not be able to use a USA cell phone in Europe or vice versa.

However, since 2017, most countries ? including the USA, Canada, and almost all countries in Europe ? can remain connected and use the same data traffic as provided by their operator in the home country.

Safety

Another thing to consider is safety. Make sure you check the local cycling regulations on public roads in the state or country you?re visiting. Also, wear protective equipment at all times, and make sure you have a first aid kit in your backpack.

If possible, take more than one device with you. In case the battery drains on one device and you need to call for help, at least you?ll have an alternative.

Avoid leaving your bike unattended in places you don?t know unless there is a way to secure it. Most cities have bike parking or similar facilities or leave the bike at the accommodation. Also, pay attention to the information you share with people you don?t know. While most strangers are just friendly and helpful, it always pays off being careful about not sharing too much of your private life.

All in all, just hop on the saddle and have fun. Bicycle touring is a rewarding experience that will certainly take you out of your comfort zone. You?ll get a chance to meet new people, make new friends, and broaden your horizons.

And if you?re not sure about touring a state or country on your own, just join a bicycle touring club where you can share your passion and trips with other cyclists!

9 Benefits of Cycling Vs Running

9 Benefits of Cycling Vs Running

Cycling and running are two of the most popular sports. Practiced for both leisure and performance, each sport has its adepts and supporters. But rumors say cycling is better! Now, you might claim we?re just saying so because we?re into cycling. That?s why we thought to make a cycling vs running comparison.

And here we are! Check out these 9 benefits or cycling vs running, then get ready to invest in a bike.

1. Stamina Booster

The main reason why people practice sports is that they want to improve their stamina. And cycling does it better.

Cycling is a low impact exercise, that stimulates muscle growth and builds up energy. The longer you pedal the more energetic you feel. Day by day, your strength will increase. And so will your resistance. But cycling doesn?t only give you energy during exercise. It actually improves your overall mood and boosts your stamina even when you?re not cycling.

Running, on the other hand, leads to muscle damage. The soreness associated with running won?t keep you going for too long. And after a jog, it?s very unlikely to feel powerful and motivated. Or maybe you?ll feel motivated enough to rest on the couch for the rest of the week.

2. Muscle Builder

If you want to build muscles outside of the gym, cycling is the way to do it. When cycling, your propelling force comes from the hamstrings, glutes, and quads. To build that awesome, harmonious body, all you need is a bit of upper body training. And you can easily achieve this with an assault bike.

If you want to take muscle building to the next level, it?s usually enough to start riding uphill. Yet, running uphill won?t do you any good.

Like mentioned above, running destroys muscles. You can run on any type of terrain, muscles just won?t build up. In fact, it?s enough to compare a cyclist with a runner to understand the differences. While cyclists will have well-defined legs and tights, runners are just? skinny.

3. Calorie Burner

And now, let?s assume you want to get into sports to get in shape. How does cycling vs running compare in this case? Which workout burns more calories?

We wouldn?t want to spoil it for you, but yeah? it?s cycling. The two sports burn calories in the same way. How fast you burn calories depends on pace, body weight, and duration. The longer and faster you go, the more calories you burn. And it?s crystal clear for everyone that you can go further and faster on a bike.

By comparison, half an hour of cycling burns between 240 and 335 calories at a pace between 12 and 14mph. Increase the pace to 16mph, and you?ll burn about 444 calories. But achieving these numbers while running is harder. It takes a vigorous pace of 10 minutes per mile to burn up to 444 calories.

While with a bit of practice it?s easy to achieve good results with both sports, cycling just keeps you more motivated to keep going.

4. Commuting

Cycling is a clear winner of this one. Because, how many people did you hear of running to work? Instead, commuting by bike is a pleasure. You?ll just have to learn the street regulations in your area, and that?s it.

Then, commuting to work has a wealth of collateral benefits. It?s good for your health. It keeps you fit. It?s good for the environment, and the list could go on and on.

5. Competitions

When it comes to competitions, cyclists just do it better. The longest running marathon only lasts for a day. But the most iconic cycling competitions, including Tour de France, last for up to 23 days. Now, if you?re a sports enthusiast, gluing your eyes to the TV for all this time is more than exciting.

Not to mention the beauty of cycling tours. You?re not going to see just a bunch of sweaty athletes. You?re going to see landscapes, famous wine regions, iconic landmarks, and more.

6. Mechanical Skills

Cycling is a fine way to improving your mechanical skills. Because yes, bikes brake from time to time and yes, it?s less costly to repair them yourself.

We can look at this from the other point of view too. Cycling is an expensive sport. Don?t get fooled by thinking an average bike is enough. You?ll need a helmet, cycling gear, a repair toolkit, a bike mirror if you?re commuting, a basket to hold your belongings, and we could really go on forever with this list.

Running, on the other hand, is simpler. All you really need is a pair of good running shoes. And jogging lovers can now just say they win on this. True! But all you running lovers will never get the mechanical skills we, bike lovers, have.

7. Group Rides

Ah, the beauty of winning again! When it comes to group riding, or running, as a matter of fact, cycling is better.

Socializing while running is often daunting because running is a more challenging sport. Instead, while you cycle you?re still seated in a saddle, propelling your bike through the force of your legs. Extreme fatigue is not part of the picture, and more often than not, you?ll actually enjoy a chit-chat with the others cyclists in the group.

8. Downhill Skills

Again, when it comes to comparing downhill cycling vs running, cycling is a clear winner. Nothing compares to enjoying the landscape while making a challenging descent. But we can?t say the same about running downhill.

In fact, running on slopes is more of a pain rather than enjoyment. In the true sense of the word. Because running damages muscles, the extra effort needed to keep your balance while running down a slope translates to muscle-damaging contractions which will make you lay on the couch for the rest of the week.

9. Schedule Fitting

If you live a busy life, fitting one sport or another into your schedule could be a challenge. But once again, cycling is easier to fit into your routine.

That?s because it?s easy to commute by bike and exercise on your way to work. And you can even go shopping by bike. Now honestly, do you see yourself running with the groceries bags in your hands? We don?t.

Without a doubt, when it comes to choosing cycling vs running, we?re choosing cycling all the way. Jokes apart, both sports are wonderful. But when it comes to benefits, it just seems that cycling has more advantages in the long run.

12 Reasons To Try Downhill Mountain Biking

12 Reasons To Try Downhill Mountain Biking

Downhill mountain biking is one of the most rewarding sports to practice as a beginner. Although cross-country is less challenging and more accessible to a wide range of enthusiasts, downhill brings mountain biking to a whole new level.

Challenging trails will determine you to learn about balance and bike handling faster. Armoring equipment and a specialty downhill bike will make you feel like a badass among family and friends.

Not convinced yet? Here are 12 reasons to give downhill mountain biking a try.

1. Downhill Mountain Biking Is Badass Workout

Downhill mountain biking works your body out unlike any other type of biking. Not to mention the blunt workout you can get on a stationary bike at the gym.

Downhill mountain biking engages every part of your body. From legs to arms, back muscles, and every other fiber of your body, including your brain, will get a badass of a workout. Yes, downhill is a tiring sport. At first, it will get you to push all your limits and will be painful until you get used to it.

But trust me, it?s worth it. Just make sure to bring some snacks and a sports water bottle or hydration backpack with you.

2. Downhill Mountain Biking Gets You In Contact With Nature

All types of mountain biking will get you in contact with nature, but downhill takes this to the next level. The search of the right downhill trail will take you further and further. From uphill, you?ll be able to admire mesmerizing landscapes while descending.

But staying away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life also helps you relieve stress. This will make you lead a happier and more energetic life.

3. Downhill Mountain Biking Is Therapeutic

Downhill mountain biking is therapeutic not only because it gets you in contact with nature, but because it makes you focus on something else instead of your daily worries.

Nothing is more rewarding after a rough week at work to hop on your saddle and hit the trail. Surrounding tranquility and a mind engaged in maintaining balance and dealing with the trail?s challenges will make you forget about problems, diminishing stress and anxiety.

Exercising will also boost the level of endorphin, a neurotransmitter responsible for triggering sentiments of joy and euphoria. By making you feel happier, downhill mountain biking actually helps you prevent exhaustion and depression.

4. Downhill Mountain Biking Boosts Your Confidence

No matter how confident you?re in life, downhill biking will boost that confidence. To practice downhill, you have to get on top first. And sometimes, this means making up monster climbs. No to mention all the balancing across narrow trails and carving your way down a technical descent.

All downhill trails come with obstacles and challenges, no matter how fit or skilled you are.

Since determination is key to successful downhill mountain biking, getting your way through all these challenges will certainly boost up your confidence. That?s why this sport is more than indicated if you?re shy or unmotivated.

5. Downhill Mountain Biking Gets You To Discover New Trails

Be honest, how many times did you explore the surroundings of your hometown? Do you know all off-road trails there are? Before I got into this sport, I had no idea there were even trails on the hills around my city. But even if know there are, downhill will make you discover new ones.

After a challenging descent, you?ll want to push yourself to a new challenge. And this will determine you to climb higher or cycle further.

You?ll get to know a territory you didn?t even know it existed and more often than not, this opens up new perspectives on life.

6. Downhill Mountain Biking Boosts Your Social Life

Cycling is a social sport. And just like any other discipline, downhill has its disciples. You?ll get to know people with your same interests. You?ll get to be part of an established community of bikers with whom you?ll be able to connect either locally or in online communities.

Either way, you?ll make new friends and will boost up your social life. This also leads to a happier lifestyle, less stress, and less probability to get depressed.

7. Downhill Mountain Biking Teaches Self-Sufficiency

Even if you go cycling with your group of friends, downhill is a sport in which everyone has to take care of themselves. Your mates won?t be able to stop you falling. They won?t be able to keep you balanced, nor tell you when and how to use your brakes.

You?ll have to do this for yourself. Of course, you?ll make mistakes. You will fall and get hurt. But you?ll get up and learn from your experience.

Downhill is challenging, and you?ll have to learn how to create a symbiosis between you and the bike. you?ll have to learn how to make that descent on your own because no one can help you. What better way to learn how to become self-sufficient?

8. Downhill Mountain Biking Pushes Your Limits

If you?re like me and have been a couch potato before getting into mountain biking, downhill will certainly teach you how to push your limits. This is one of the most challenging sports, and it requires resistance and determination.

The first climb will be quite of a challenge but don?t imagine that descending on a trail is better. But you?ll learn how to push your limits and achieve the result. And this will motivate you to push the limits in all your activities, making you more productive and competitive.

9. Downhill Mountain Biking Teaches You Differences Between Bikes

For most mountain biking disciplines, an entry-level or cross-country mountain bike is sufficient. But not for downhill. To be safe, you?ll have to learn what?s the difference between a downhill bike and all the others, to know how to choose the best.

To give you some hints, downhill mountain bikes have a different geometry than cross-country. They are heavier, have deeper suspensions, better brakes, and fatter tires.

These are not the only differences, and I promise that downhill will really teach you the difference between a generic and a specialty bike.

10. Downhill Mountain Biking Teaches You About Bike Safety

Before downhill, I know safety equipment existed. I just wasn?t too tempted to use it. At least until I fell off while making a descent.

If you?re like me and nothing convinces you to wear a helmet, knee pads, and mountain biking gloves, downhill sure will.

11. Downhill Mountain Biking Keeps You Active

As a former couch potato, I can admit downhill mountain biking keeps me active. By pushing my limits and by finding new challenges each time I practice it, downhill stimulates me to work out. New friends interested in the same sport also determine me to stay active by organizing races and competitions.

Since an active lifestyle is a key to staying physically and mentally healthy, we can only admit that?s a big plus.

12. Downhill Mountain Biking Is Fun

If the above reasons weren?t enough to convince you to try downhill mountain biking, well? you should try it just because it?s fun.

You don?t have to be a professional athlete to ride downhill. Not all descents are challenging. Finding the perfect trail is easy, even for beginners. Just hop on the bike and give it a try. I promise you won?t be disappointed.

7 Workout Tips To Build The Perfect Cyclist Body

7 Workout Tips To Build The Perfect Cyclist Body

While building the perfect cyclist body requires a lot of commitment and dedication, these 7 workout tips from the experts can keep you motivated in the long run.

After all, nobody was born with a cyclist body. And the Tour de France pros confess they do a lot of workout on a daily basis to keep up the good work. So, read these tips to get inspired.

1. Be Creative

We?ve got it! You just approached cycling and your physical condition is less than perfect. Maybe you struggle with a few extra pounds. But don?t let a moral breakdown keep you from achieving your dream. If you aim to become a cycling pro ? and want that perfect cyclist body ? get creative and use your environment to exercise.

If you live on a higher floor, skip the elevator and take the stairs. Do the same at the office and if the distance allows it, walk or cycle to work. Use anything suitable in your house to do weightlifting. Surprisingly, a bottle full of water, a chair, or your significant other convert in perfect weights in case of necessity.

Invest in a stationary bike and don?t skip cycling just because of the weather. If you already have master cycling skills, a good indoor trainer might be a better option.

2. Squats And Leg Pressing

Cycling requires a high leg force, that?s why your gym workout should be geared towards building lower body strength. Squats and leg pressing are the best exercises to perform but don?t exaggerate. Your whole body needs strength, and a good personal trainer can advise you on what?s a good workout routine for your constitution.

If you need to lose weight too, focus first on that and start building strength when you?ve reached your ideal body mass.

3. Avoid Supplements

Everybody seems to rely on supplements nowadays, but a balanced diet can give you all the nutrients you need. Work out a good diet plan with your trainer or nutritionist, and stick to it. It might be hard in the beginning, but once you get used to the diet it will all become a routine.

4. Keep Muscle Growth Under Control

The perfect cyclist body has a low body mass, which is needed to gain speed during sprints or when riding uphill. The problem is that gym workout usually builds up muscles, and muscles are heavy. That?s one of the reasons why you might not notice a true ?weight loss? even though you look thinner and fitter after a workout.

To reduce body mass, it?s essential to keep muscle growth under control. And according to Nathan Haas, the best thing to do this is by cycling for at least one hour after each gym training session.

Cycling requires extra-energy and your body will keep muscle growth under control. But since this is exhausting, it?s essential to learn how to deal with pain.

5. Learn How To Manage Pain

Cycling is one of the most demanding sports if you?re aiming for performance. And pain is part of the picture. Intense workouts and cycling sessions translate into sore muscles and tiredness. Pain is your greatest enemy because it can easily demotivate you.

There are many ways to manage pain, but we?re not going to talk about painkillers here. Instead of relying on external help, start practicing meditation. During your gym workout, visualize your next race, using your goals as motivation.

While cycling, don?t think about pain but about your destination. Push your limits by having a clear goal in front of you.

6. Integrate Workout With A Good Diet

We?ve mentioned a good diet above. And you should integrate it with your workout. Carbs and proteins are your best friends, but avoid eating complex sugars. A pre-race diet should be super rich in simple carbs, proteins, and amino acids.

During a race, your perfect cyclist body still needs protein and carbs to keep up with the rhythm. When the race is over, indulge yourself a piece of cake and some goodies, then switch back to your carbs and protein diet to get ready for the next event.

Don?t forget vitamins, taken from a diet rich in fresh fruit and vegetables.

7. Take A Nap Right After Workout

It might sound odd, but taking a nap after workout works wonders. According to the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, a half-an-hour nap resets your neuroendocrine and immune system, boosts your brain power and improves your mood.

With the hard workout, you?re doing to achieve that perfect cyclist body then, that 30-minutes nap should be more than welcomed.

Bottom Line

A too hard too soon workout is one of the main reason aspiring cyclists give up on their dream. To achieve your goals, focus on what?s important at the moment and take it one step at a time. You?re not going to build strength in a day. Nor win Tour de France after a few months of sporadic cycling.

If your dream really is to achieve the perfect cyclist body, our advice is to establish realistic short-term goals ? and fulfill them. Set your mind on the goal, learn how to follow a strict routine and work your way to success. After all, the best things are worth fighting for.

Top 9 Road Biking Mistakes To Avoid As A Beginner

Top 9 Road Biking Mistakes To Avoid As A Beginner

Road biking is amazing. And many new cyclists embrace this sport for the first time. Why? Because road biking is accessible, because at the beginning, a hybrid or commuter?s bike is more than perfect for this sport, and because many people consider it easier than mountain biking.

But many enthusiasts commit mistake after mistake after hopping on the saddle, simply because they believe that riding on a road is a piece of cake. If you?re considering approaching this sport for the first time, here are the top 9 road biking mistakes to avoid as a beginner.

1. Breaking Road Rules

I?ve got it! You learned how to ride a bike on asphalt, maybe on the lane in front of your garage, or on an alley in a park. And that?s awesome. But just because a road is made of the same material, it doesn?t mean that riding on a public road is the same thing as riding on a private driveway.

Public roads come with traffic rules, and the first thing to do as a road biker is to learn them. Read the traffic regulations in your area, learn about obligations and restrictions, and if possible, always use a designated lane when riding in the city.

Riding on a two-wheel vehicle doesn?t entitle you to ignore traffic lights or road signs, and that?s another thing to consider. You?ll have to respect both pedestrians and drivers, paying attention to not break any road rules.

If you do, get ready to pay a hefty fine and to assume all responsibilities for your mistakes.

2. Wearing Inappropriate Clothes

Road cycling isn?t commuting. And practicing this sport requires appropriate clothing. Cotton garments are never a good choice, even if they might seem so, because cotton retains moisture and it becomes cold if it rains.

Maybe you don?t have to invest in the best road cycling equipment on the market, but wearing neoprene equipment makes a difference. This material is specially designed to keep you dry and warm even when the weather isn?t the best.

Another thing to consider is the shoes. Wear sports shoes and preferably road cycling shoes for an improved experience.

3. Wrong Saddle Height

A saddle that is not properly adjusted has a negative influence on your performance and not only. In terms of performance, a saddle adjusted at an inappropriate height lowers your leg force, resulting in a weaker pedaling. This means more effort to make it to your destination which results in a lower overall performance.

But the wrong saddle height also has an impact on your health. Sitting too high or too low makes you adopt an awkward position, which translates into back pain, muscular pain, and other related health issues.

To determine the right saddle position for you, sit in the saddle and pedal. When the pedal reaches its lowest stroke your leg should be almost straight. You should also be able to touch the ground with your toes on both sides while sitting in the saddle.

It might take some trying and adjustment to find the right saddle height, but it?s well worth the effort.

4. Not Using The Gears

Road bikes have gears, and they are there for a reason. The problem is that many newbies are afraid to use them. And this limits the performance, especially when riding uphill, cutting off your average cycling speed.

Most bikes have an average of 20 gears, so there is plenty of choices. And if they are there, learn how to use them effectively. You should switch to easier gears when cycling uphill, and to harder gears when riding downhill or on flat stretches.

Learning how to use the gears and finding the best ones for you might take some time, but again, it?s well worth the effort.

5. Wearing Undies Under Cycling Shorts

If you?ve decided to look like a pro and wear cycling shorts, never, ever wear undies under them. That?s because cycling shorts are designed specifically to adhere to your most intimate parts and move with your body, protecting you from chafing.

Underwear interferes with this process and might even feel uncomfortable. That?s why specialists recommend going naked under the cycling shorts.

6. Setting Too High Goals

Just because you?ve hit the road for the first time with all your fancy cycling gear, it doesn?t mean you?re Lance Armstrong on his way to winning Tour de France. Too high expectations and too soon can result in a huge disappointment because it?s unlikely to be fit enough to keep up with your goals.

If your dream is to reach the average biking speed of the pros, set realistic goals and work your way to success one step at a time.

If you aim for performance, cycle regularly and establish a good workout routine that will help you increase muscular strength and improve your physical condition. With the time, you?ll be able to cycle further and faster, achieving your milestones and ultimately reaching your goal.

7. Buying Expensive Gear

If you?ve never owned a bike before, approaching road biking with the best possible gear might not be the best idea. In the beginning, you?ll make mistakes that could potentially damage your bike. And if this might not be a problem on an average-priced vehicle, it might cost you an arm and a leg to repair an expensive, professional bike.

And just to keep it in mind, owning the best cycling gear won?t make you a better rider. In fact, you?ll probably not even use a pro bike to its potentialities.

8. Forgetting The Bike Repair Kit

That?s one of the most frequent mistakes newbies make. But you should never hit the road without it. Punctures and flat tires happen, or you might have to adjust the chain or repair a brake cable. Whatever the issue, a bike repair kit can help you deal with the issues immediately, without having to ask for the intervention of friends or specialized bike repair centers.

9. Not Fueling Yourself Enough

Road biking makes you lose weight, but not eating enough won?t help the process. On the other hand, eating too much right before riding is also detrimental.

Your body needs fuel to keep going, and cycling is a demanding sport. The best way to get enough energy is by eating little and often. What you eat it?s up to you, and you can choose from a wide range of energy bars or shakes, or simply opt for a traditional meal rich in carbs and proteins.

Bottom Line?

Road biking is an awesome sport, but becoming a pro requires hard work and commitment. We all make mistakes at the beginning, and at the end of the day, what matters it to learn the lesson and keep going. Now, hop in the saddle and start working to achieve your dreams.