Want to get into biking but not sure where to begin? Here are 10 easy steps on the basics of biking:
- Choose the right bike
Choosing the right bike is the most important step in getting into biking. Your bike is your best friend, it goes with you everywhere, so it’s important you choose the right one for you.
There are 3 things you need to think about when choosing the right bike:
Sizing up your bike is essential. As discussed in our previous post “Why Should You Take Up Biking In 2020” biking is a low-impact physical activity. Therefore, it is important you are seated comfortably and can easily push the pedals and move your legs. The easiest way to measure your bike is to stand over the top tube and look for an inch of clearance between your body and the frame. For a professional opinion, take a trip to your local Pedego store. Our highly experienced team are filled with bike know-how and are more than happy to help you find your perfect Pedego. Click here to find your nearest Pedego store.
When choosing the right bike, there’s no need to break the bank. Owner of Pedego Europe, Francesco Mazzella says, “try before you buy”. You can rent a bike from Pedego from one hour up to one year! And if you fall in love with your Pedego (which you will) we will deduct the price of rental from the retail price. Click here to find out more about Pedego Rentals.
Before you choose a bike, think about how you will use it. Will you be commuting to work? Dropping the children off at school? Are you biking for exercise or for leisure? Pedego’s wide range of e-bikes covers all of these intentions. Click here to discover our latest range.
- Understanding bike specifications
Bike specifications can appear very technical and difficult to understand, but it’s actually pretty simple. With electric bikes there are 3 features to consider:
- Throttle and pedal assists
- Hub motors vs mid-drive motors
- Battery placement
Throttles are especially helpful for getting started from a standstill or a quick burst of power to climb a hill. Pedal assist systems sense your pedaling and aid automatically. Pedal assist is popular for riders who desire a “natural” riding experience. Pedal assist can be turned on or off by the rider. Every Pedego has 5 levels of pedal assist; you can start at level 1 for a gentle push or go up to level 5 for an extra boost on a steep hill. With Pedego you don’t need to choose between a throttle or pedal assist, you can have both!
Hub motors are in the hub of the bike’s wheel. Hub motors are popular for their seamless delivery of power, without any extra gear shifting or wear on the drivetrain. Mid-drive motors are in the centre of the bike and transfer power to the wheel via the chain. These are often used for off-road bikes such as the Pedego Elevate – our latest full-suspension mountain bike. Its weight is lower and more centred, and the gears of the bike can be leveraged to navigate off-road terrain.
For everyday riding, the best place for the battery is the rear rack. Some avid cyclists prefer to have the weight of the battery more evenly distributed on the bike with a lower centre of gravity – especially for off-roading. Pedego offers both options and the difference is barely noticeable!
- Check your local laws
The UK legislation for electric bikes was introduced in April 2015. According to the legislation, an electric bike is classified as such if it has:
- Pedals that propel the bike
- Max speed of 15.5 mph
- A motor with power up to 250 watts
All of Pedego Europe’s e-bikes are in accordance with this legislation, however if you purchased a bike before April 2015, you may have to change its specs. If your bike is not in accordance with the above regulations, it is considered to be a motor vehicle. This means it will require registration, insurance, and vehicle tax as well as a driving license. For more legal information on electric bikes click here.
Now that you’ve done all the hard work, its time to ride! But first a few things to keep in mind:
- Ensure your bike is comfortable and efficient to ride
Ensuring comfort and efficiency is key to a smooth and enjoyable ride.
Make sure your tyres are pumped to the right pressure, this is written on the sidewall of your tyres. TIP: you can adjust your tyre pressure according to certain weather conditions. For example, if it’s been raining and the land is damp, don’t pump your tyres too hard as this will prevent the tyres from gripping onto the surface and can cause you to slip.
As mentioned before, biking is a low-impact physical activity. If you find yourself developing backaches or other ailments, this is due to poor riding posture. When you’re in the riding posture, you want the handlebar obscuring your view of the front wheel.
If your saddle is too low this makes it difficult to use your full pedaling range and leg power, too high and this will cause you to strain and possibly lead to injury. You want the saddle height set so there is a slight kink at your knee when your foot is at the bottom of the pedal. Why not go the full hog and treat yourself with Pedego’s Memory Foam Saddle? Browse more of Pedego’s own range of bike accessories here.
- Dress to impress
There’s no such thing as the right weather to ride a bike, just the right clothes. Wear comfy, fitted clothes that are comfortable to move around in and won’t catch on the chain or wheel.
- Carry the essentials
The essentials are as follows: food and water, lock, lights, emergency cash, and phone.
Bananas, flapjacks, and sugary sweets are good for quick re-fueling. If you’re riding for a long time or for exercise, we recommend electrolyte drinks and protein bars to prevent cramp.
When riding, you never know where you end up or how long you’ll be out for – even if you just plan a quick trip to the shops. Make sure to have working lights fitted on to your bike – this could save a life. And always carry a bike lock, spare cash, and phone in case of an emergency.
- Start small
When getting into biking, its best to start small then gradually build distance. We recommend first-rides on a traffic-free trail or park. Try covering 5 miles at first then build up distance as you develop confidence and skill.
You don’t want your legs to strain or to spin like crazy. Ideally you want to pedal at a speed of 70-90 rpm. This exercises your cardiovascular and aerobic system, which improves endurance and all-round health. To find out more about how biking can improve your health, click here.
- Confidence on the road
Most riders think the safest position on the road is next to the side, near the curb – this is incorrect. This is actually very dangerous because other road users might not see you or will try to squeeze past. Assert a confidence position on the road at least 1m away from the kerb.
As you gain more confidence on the road, you’ll find your own riding style and discover tricks to make riding more efficient and fun! TIP: when you take a corner, lift the inside pedal so its at the top of your pedal stroke. Then, when you lean into the corner the pedal won’t hit the ground. BONUS TIP: never hang your helmet on the handlebar. This is also very dangerous because the straps can get caught in your front wheel.
- Clean your bike
Caring for your bike is essential and cleaning it is the best way to do so, especially if you’ve been riding on a muddy track. Another bit of maintenance worth practicing, is how to fix a tyre puncture. This is the most common puncture riders will experience several times, and its best to practice in comfort first before having to do it for real on the road.
If you’d like to learn more about how to care for your bike, sign up to Pedego’s Bike Workshops. These workshops are a great chance to test ride our e-bikes, pick up some top tips from the Pedego team, and meet fellow bike enthusiasts. Follow our social media handles below to find out more.
- Be proud of what you have achieved
As you now know, there’s more to biking than meets the eye and it can feel very daunting, but once you’re on your bike and your riding through the wind, the sensation you feel is like no other. And when you ride with Pedego, you get to become part of the Pedego Owners Group and receive a Limited Edition Pedego Mile Marker!
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