Beginners Guide To Cycling For Fitness, Part One.

29/12/2013   |   Posted by jeremy

Beginners guide to cycling for fitness, part one.

It’s coming up to the New Year and many people are making new resolutions to get fit.  Some of you may be looking to start cycling as a way of getting in shape.

If you are then this basic guide may help you in some way to reaching your goal. I won’t baffle you with science and will do it in several parts so that it’s easy to take in. Also if you have any questions we are here to answer any queries you may have. This is not by any means a definitive guide but a basic no nonsense approach to cycling for fitness.

To begin with you need to make sure that you are able to cycle in the first place, by that I don’t mean that you can actually ride a bike ( we should take that as a given) but more that you are physically able to ride a bike for a short distance without incurring any injury. Assuming you can do this we can start looking at what you want in terms of cycling.

Some people want to go off road and some people want to ride on road. Some may want to do a bit of both.  Let’s assume that you want to take up road riding for the purpose of this blog.

You need to pick the right kind of bike for you. If your plan is to get fit by road riding you will want to find a bike that will be comfortable to ride over long distances. Frame size is very important, probably the most in fact because if you get the wrong size you will be uncomfortable and will start to get aches and pains around your body because you will be under unnecessary stress physically.

The best way to find the right size is to look at a chart like the one below, this will give you a good indicator to the size that you need. Once you have done that you may also want to stick to a budget. If I were starting out on a new road bike and hadn’t done it before I would budget around £500-£600. This will buy you a bike that will be good enough to last a year or two when you may want to upgrade to something a little more bespoke to your needs.

For the money you will be able to buy a good quality aluminium frame bike with carbon forks and a reasonable group set (gears, brakes).

Go to your local bike shop, sit on a few and if you get the chance try some out. Trust your instinct too, if it feels right it probably is. Please don’t get talked into spending more than you want to, remember these guys are sales people; they are not your friends offering help for free. They are after a sale.

When you have got your bike you will need to set it up so that it fits you correctly. If you are lucky your bike shop will help you do this for free but if not take it home and I will tell you how to do it in the next part along with what to wear for safety and comfort.