Cycling is a great way to keep fit, to explore Telford with its great bike paths and even the Shropshire countryside beyond. Yet cycling on a poorly set up bike or in the wrong clothing can make things a bit uncomfortable and not enjoyable.
We've been speaking to Plush Hill Cycles about essential cycling tips and advice that every body – from bike enthusiast to novice riders - should know to stay comfortable and get the best out of cycling.
Cycling shorts are the single most important piece of cycling clothing. Purchasing a good pair of shorts will give you a much more comfortable ride. The pad on the inside of the short, known as a chamois, might not look like it will do much, but it makes a world of difference. Experienced cyclists will advise you to go commando beneath your cycling shorts. The chamois is a technical piece of equipment, and it needs to be against your skin to do its job properly. Plus, underwear can cause chafing, and that will make you walk like a cowboy. The only people who look good walking like a cowboy, are, you've guessed it – cowboys.
There is such a thing as a comfortable saddle, but it can be tricky to find the right one for you without expert assistance. These days, many manufacturers make saddles that are different widths, the staff at Plush Hill Cycles can help determine what you need.
Men and woman have different builds and require different bike frames to help avoid neck or shoulder pain from cycling. Having a qualified bike fitter assess your position on a bike will help you eliminate discomfort when riding. Make a bike fit a gift you give to yourself, and cycling will become a lot more comfortable.
Trainers are not the best shoes to wear while riding a bike. They allow your foot to flex too much while riding which causes leg and hip issues. Cycling shoes have a rigid sole, which provides a stable platform for your foot.
There are two types of riders in the world: those who have had a flat, and those who haven’t had a flat yet. There really is no such thing as a flat-proof tyre, so it's inevitable that at some point in your cycling life you will have a puncture. A good piece of advice for beginner cyclists, as a matter of personal safety, is that everyone should know how to fix their own flats. Plush Hill Cycles have the tools you need for the job and they can talk you through what you need to do. Once you've practiced a few times, it will be second nature.
At the very least, have all of the necessary equipment you need to fix a flat on your bike. Someone might be able to help, but their bike might not be the same kind as yours. Having a seat pack with the right tube for your tyres, some tyre levers, and possibly a gas-canister inflation device is essential.
We’re not talking about dance trends of the ’80s, we’re talking about making sure your brakes are easy to use, so that you are in better control of your bike. The distance between the handlebar and your brake levers is known as ‘reach’. On most modern brake setups, the reach is adjustable, so you don’t have to stretch to your fingers to reach the levers. Adjusting the position of your brake levers will make for a smoother ride and better brake technique. Ask your local bike shop to help you either shim your road bike levers, or dial in the levers on other types of bikes.
For expert advice and assistance when it come to cycling, head to Plush Hill Cycles based in Lawley (just around the cormer from Morrisons), Telford.
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