Are you wanting to hit the open road and speed around town on a road bike? Maybe it isn’t the speed that drives your desire, but the thought of being more active. Whatever the reason for your interest in road riding, here are some tips for beginners.
Choose the RIGHT bike – determine exactly what you want to accomplish. If riding your bike to work is your only goal, try a commuter style bike. If you want to eventually work your fitness level up to Ride the Rockies, you’ll need a sleeker and lighter bike to grow in to. Road bikes are like all bikes – they have different features, weights, and price points depending on your preferences. Be honest with yourself (and your budget) to make sure you get the right one for you! Our team of experts loves finding the best bike for you, come discuss your goals.
Sizing and Fit – this is so important on a road bike because you’re spending a lot of time in the saddle. CBB can help you get the correct size bike, and fit it to your dimensions. This means little adjustments to the seat height/angle, bars, and stem, and set of your grips. Saddle fitment is also super important to ensure you are comfortable. All of these things can be adjusted, so make sure it is set up perfectly for your body.
Riding Gear – this can be one of the most intimidating aspects of biking. What are the basics needed for a comfortable ride? You’ll see most road riders donning spandex outfits, and that is because it is the most aerodynamic. When just starting, you don’t need to get into spandex right away – but you’ll probably get there eventually. The most important items needed when starting are a helmet (they have a shelf life, so if yours is over five years old, spend the money on a new one), chamois (seriously, you’re sitting the entire time), and a shirt that wicks away moisture (sweaty climbs, and breezy descents).
Apparel – let’s get into the specifics of apparel. Clothing for road riding varies. You have certainly seen riders on the road in spandex, but if you’re not comfortable with that, you can always opt for baggies, to begin with. The reason you see so many road riders in spandex shorts is that they have a high tech and comfortable chamois which minimizes saddle sores and adds comfort. There are a ton of additional accessories for riding road; shoe covers, vests, jackets, knee warmers, tights, rain shells, and lots more. These all depend on the weather conditions when you ride. Come see us find the best options for your ride plans.
Pedals – lots of road riders opt for clipless pedals (the ones where your feet are connected to the bike via a ‘cleat’). If you’re new to riding this might cause some injury if you forget to unclip when you stop. Don’t worry, we’ve all been there at one time or another. If you’re not sure you want to dive that deep, you can rock flat pedals. Make sure your shoes grip the pedals enough that you aren’t moving along and end up with a pedal to the shin. We’ve all been there too.
Tools – just like all biking, you want to pack the basics in case you’re on a ride and get a flat. Some tools that are a necessity include tire levers, a mini pump or air canister system, spare tubes, and a multi-tool. While water bottles aren’t considered tools, you want to make sure that you bring water. A couple of bottles in the water bottle cages can usually get you to the next water station.
CBB offers a Saturday morning road ride for all levels of riders. The route is pretty much the same for everyone, pedal out to Highline and back to the shop. Some variations are depending on if you want to put in extra miles or not. So, if you’re looking to try something new, come to CBB, rent a bike, and head out with the road group! Once you fall in love, we can get you set up with your road bike!