It can be really exciting to get your first real bike and you’re obviously keen to get out for a spin. The roads, bike paths and trails are waiting. If you’ve just bought your bike and are excited to get out and explore, WAIT! You need to read our top 10 tips for new bike riders. These tips and guidelines will ensure you have a fun and safe experience on your brand new bike.
1. Wear a comfortable helmet
It may not look as cool as your new haircut, but wearing a well fitted helmet is vital to protecting your head when on the bike, despite not being law in every country. Make sure the helmet doesn’t move around, but sits firmly on your head (look for a Dial-Fit feature to help here). Keep the straps tight so it stays in place in the event of a mishap and keep the front rim sitting two finger widths above your eyebrows. We’ve all seen the pictures of post-crash helmets, so don’t make the mistake of that being your head, we like you and want to keep you around!
2. Stay pumped
Nothing so obviously affects your ride like tyre inflation – if they’re flat, you will be too. Before each ride make sure your tyres are pumped to the correct pressure (written on the tyre’s side wall) and enjoy an easier ride with less likelihood of getting a puncture. In regards to our FatBikes you may want to check online, depending on the terrain you’re going out on, for instance, Sand requires a lot lower PSI than road. Never run out of air again with our range of bike pumps.
3. Brake pads
We use them all the time so always make sure they are working properly. Have the pads worn down? Does each pad contact the tyre at the same time? Is the full pad contacting the rim? If not, then best to take it to your local Independent Bike Store, most will have a workshop in the bike. Check out your nearest REID retailer, via that little orange side tab on your right!
4. Loose parts
Bikes have a lot of moving parts and can get knocked around in bike racks. Regularly check all your bike’s bits, including baskets or racks, to make sure everything is safely secured and don’t let a rattle spoil your ride.
5. Saddle position and height (AKA bike seat)
Saddles can be tilted, raised and lowered, and whilst it is best to be level or slightly lower at the front, it needs to be comfortable for you. When you next sit on your bike, adjust the saddle height to make sure your heel rests on the lowered pedal with your leg straight. This can avoid discomfort, improve pedal efficiency and all-in-all make for a smoother ride.
6. Lock it up – even at home
Unfortunately, most bikes that are stolen are done so from the home. So, keep them locked up – even in the garage. We recommend a U-lock (AKA D-lock) as they are typically much harder to cut through with bolt cutters. Also, make sure to Register Your Bike with us, not only does this make it easier to claim on your warranty if needed, but it also allows us to securely store all identifying information on your bike, including your serial number. If you’re in the market for a lock that’s not black and boring, but still keeps you protected, check out our Satin D Lock!
7. Light up
Legally, when riding at night, you need a white light on the front and a red light and red reflector on the back (yes, you can be fined). Use the flashing LED kind to really stand out in low-light conditions for extra safety points. These lights aren’t really there to help you see the road like a headlight, but they will ensure others on the road see you. To be sure, always carry a spare backup set. Don’t have a spare? Check out our range of lights.
8. Get hydrated
Regardless of the length of the ride, take water and stay hydrated. For every hour of exercise, you should drink 1 litre of water to replenish lost fluids. Snacks are particularly good for longer adventures. Make the most of our frame mounting options, to customise your bike and gain all the storage you need to keep hydrated and energised.
9. Dress appropriately
There are reasons why people go full lycra, but you don’t always need to go that far to be comfortable on the bike. Top tips would be wear layers that you can shed as you warm up, apply sunscreen on high UV days and carry a rain jacket if there are clouds about. If in doubt, check the weather before your ride so that you know what you are in for. The more variations for you the better, so don’t be shy to pack a few options, you won’t regret the extra clothing when the heavens open up.
10. Know the road rules and your rights
Each countries rules on cycling differs, so make sure to get up to date with your countries rules and all those you travel to. We want to keep all of you riding REID for as long as we can, so make sure to brush up on the rules and abide them, save the rule breaking for the destination! So get out there, be safe and enjoy exploring on your brand new bike!