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Getting started in cycling: 7 mistakes not to make

Posted by Jean Baptiste on

Getting started in cycling: 7 mistakes not to make

“Beginner’s mistake” .

The expression is so aptly named... When you start cycling, these errors can be numerous and particularly detrimental to your progress.

The #TEAMSTIMIUM experts have listed for you 7 mistakes to absolutely avoid if you are new to cycling.

Beginner cyclist: mistakes to avoid

Improperly adjust your saddle height

When you start cycling, it is natural to fear possible falls above all else. The temptation is therefore great to reassure yourself by positioning your saddle a little too low, so that you can place both feet better on the ground.

The problem is that, in this way, you cause underextension during your pedal stroke, thus losing efficiency.

Of course, raising the saddle is just as detrimental. The adjustment must therefore be as precise as possible.

Measure the distance between your bottom pedal and the top of your saddle: this is your seat height. This should correspond to 90% of the height of your crotch. In this way, your leg should be almost straight (very slightly bent) when you reach the bottom of your pedal turn, while still allowing you the opportunity to touch the ground with the tips of your feet when you are stationary. Each rider will obviously have their own habits but let's say that it is a good basis to start with the positioning of the saddle.

Do not bring a repair kit

We are not all lucky enough to be constantly followed by a Mavic car like the Tour de France riders. In the event of a puncture - and this happens more often than you think when you're starting out, it's better to have a repair kit, so you don't have to call a friend for help or, worse, walk home...

So always have, in your saddle bag:

  • 1 inner tube minimum (ideally 2)
  • Bicycle tire levers
  • Patches
  • A mini pump
  • A multi-function tool

Forgetting your supplies

Regardless of the length of your outing, never leave without taking a container of water. In the event of a long outing, check that you come across a place where you can refill it or slip a second one into a pocket. For outings less than 2 hours, we recommend Stimium Boost Powder exercise drink for a complete recharge of the body in the bottle with carbohydrates and vitamins while for outings longer than 2 hours, Stimium® Rgn3 Reload or Stimium® Rgn3 Clean-Up for Replenishing yourself with vitamins and minerals during and after exercise will be even more effective!

Don't neglect your glycemic intake either: bring enough snacks or snacks to avoid cravings! Obviously, our Stimium® Boost and Stimium® Pro-Nrj Gums for the immediate energy they provide and the ease of consumption will probably be part of your package in your pockets.

Wanting to do too much, too quickly

As in any sport, learn to know your level and your limits before embarking on excessive efforts.

This is particularly important when you are new to cycling: finding yourself exhausted several dozen kilometers from home because you have overestimated your level can very quickly put you off the discipline. Moreover, for recovery, Stimium® Mc3 or Stimium® Mc3 powder are widely used by many cyclists in the peloton, for example after a day of climbing Ventoux!

During your first workouts, do short loops, even if it means doing them several times per outing, to limit the return distance in the event of a problem or failure. As always, you must use the principle of progressiveness, and therefore lengthen the sessions regularly to avoid injuries, develop a body and a regular rhythm, and not burn out by immediately attempting the climb of Alpe d'Huez!

Neglecting bike maintenance

Make it a habit to maintain your bike regularly, before and after your rides. This will guarantee optimal performance and extend the life of your precious frame.

Practical aspect, before going out, always check your tire pressure. If manufacturers always indicate an ideal pressure on the sidewall of the tire, this remains theoretical. Experiment with different pressure levels to find out which is best suited to your style and the surfaces you're used to riding on.

Do not neglect cleaning and lubricating the mechanical parts: chain, brakes, bearings, derailleur.

Always ride alone

Riding in a group (with friends or with members of a club) creates competition and allows you to benefit from the advice of more seasoned cyclists. Above all, it allows you to prepare for the race in a peloton.

“Group” cycling has its codes and protocols which help reduce the risk of collisions and therefore falls. If you are new to cycling, there is a risk that your riding will be unpredictable, causing accidents.

During your first group outings, stay at the back to observe the behavior of your fellow travelers. Don't hesitate to ask for help: there are no stupid questions! And you will quickly see that riding with others provides even more pleasure.

Using your gears incorrectly

Your speeds are your most precious allies, whether it's to help you overcome a hill or to gain speed on a long stretch of flat ground.

Learn to use it wisely to limit unnecessary pedal turns or, conversely, put strain on your muscles and joints.

Throughout the outings, during your preparation, preferably detect your rhythm (revolutions per minute), based on your breathing and your feelings on the bike. At each change in terrain, look for the speed that allows you to maintain this pace, without putting yourself “in the red”.

This will seem a little tedious at first but will quickly become a natural reflex. In any case, taking up cycling, as with all endurance sports in particular (trail, running, triathlon, marathon, etc.) is excellent for your health!

Do you have other tips to help those just starting out in cycling? Share them with us on our social networks: Stimium on Facebook | Stimium on Instagram

Each athlete builds their own training plan according to their objectives, their abilities, their feelings, and their requirements outside of their sporting activity. To progress, gain speed, flexibility, trajectory analysis, and quite simply experience, there are no secrets, you have to ride, and not just on your home trainer, you have to ride in a group, with several people. , listen, correct a position, become a wind expert and finally find your place in the big family of bike fans!

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