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5 Essential Tips You Need for a Successful Cycling Season

It’s National Bike Riding Month! Time to hop on your bike and get your wheels dirty! But before you do that, here are 5 essential tips you need to know to make this the best cycling season yet.

1. Have Your Bike Fitted
Skip the risk of unnecessary aches and pains when you hit the pavement by taking your bike in to your local bike store to get it fitted to just the right size for your frame. These experts will adjust your seat height, handlebar width and height, and make sure your pedals are in proper orientation to ensure a more comfortable ride. Do this early in the season (right now!) so all of your bike rides can be smooth and enjoyable. It will be worth it for all of you beginners, competitive cyclists or those who can’t seem to get comfy no matter what.

2.  Get the right helmet
Make sure you have the right helmet, for YOU. This means not only having the right size helmet, but also the right type. Cycling helmets come in 3 styles: sport or multi-use, mountain, and road. Make sure you match your helmet to the biking you plan on doing.Next step: Fit. A helmet is useless if it isn’t properly fitted to your head. When purchasing a new one, measure the circumference of your head just an inch above your eyebrows before you go to the store. Use these general measurements to help you determine what size helmet you need:
     -Small:20″-21.75″ (51cm-55cm)
     -Medium:75″-23.25″ (55cm-59cm)
     -Large:25″-24.75″ (59cm-63cm)
     -Extra-small, extra-large:Below 20″ (51cm), above 24.75 (63cm)
     -One size fits all (men):25″-24″ (54cm-61cm)
     -One size fits all (women):75″-22.5″ (50cm-57cm

After you find the right size, make sure you adjust the chin straps properly so the helmet fits snug—not too loose or too tight. Do this before every ride.

3. Bring a pump
Not only should you have a full-sized bike pump stored somewhere at home, but you should carry one on the road as well. The last thing you need is to be stranded 10 miles from home with a flat tire. Don’t want to carry it in a backpack? You’re in luck, there are plenty of convenient, small pumps to carry with you that snap onto your bike frame like the Topeak Road Master Blaster for under $30. Just make sure you have the correct pump for your bike tire’s tube valve pipe.

4. Learn how to change a tire
Changing your own tire will save you time and money so you don’t have to miss out on any opportunity to ride (or leave you stranded on the road!). You can learn how to change a tire at most local bike stores as well as REI’s nationwide. Check out if an REI near you is offering classes to change a tire this summer.

5. Pack tire changing tools
Now that you have learned how to change a tire, invest in some inexpensive tools. To change a tire you will need tire levers, spare tubes, and a pump.
-Tire lever: helps you get the tire off the rim
-Spare tubes: necessary if the old tube is punctured or damaged
-Pump: to add air to the tires

You can expect to find all of these tools at your local bike store, or even online at biking sites like Performance Bicycle. Make sure to look around to get the best deal.

 

Feel like you can take on the biking world now that you’re an expert? Be adventurous—get out there and sub your regular riding route for a new scenic biking trail in honor of National Bike Riding Month. You won’t be disappointed.

 


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