Tips and Resources

Getting started

Top 10 tips for new bike riders

Are you keen to start enjoying your life on two wheels? It’s a lot easier than you think. Here’s a guide to get you started on your cycling journey.

Getting started on a bike

Wearing a helmet not only looks great – it prevents head injuries – so having a well fitted one is vital for any bike rider. Helmets should sit two finger widths from your eyebrows and should fit firmly enough on your head that it won’t move around.

We’re not talking about bragging – although you’re welcome to talk yourself up because you’re riding a bike! We’re talking about tyre inflation. Fully inflated tyres make for an easier ride and are also more resistant to getting punctures. Before any ride, check your tyres are pumped to the correct pressure (written on the side wall of the tyre).

Stopping on your bike is always needed so check that your brakes are working before you head off on your bike. Particularly if you live at the top of a hill! Are the pads worn down? Are both pads contacting at the same time? If not, get your local bike shop to fix them.

Check for any loose bits on your bike. This includes the rack and/or basket if you have these on your bike. You don’t want them falling off while you’re on the road or bike path – it could get ugly!

If it’s the wrong height or position, your seat can be adjusted. The seat can tilt up and down or shift forward and back – just like that adjustable chair at work or school (well sort of) – it’s usually best basically level or slightly lower at the front. See what feels comfortable for you.

Most bikes that are stolen are taken from homes (it’s terrible but true), so it’s a good idea to lock them up even when they’re in your garage. A D-lock is the best choice because it’s much harder to cut through with bolt cutters.

Road rules state you need a white front light and a rear red light showing anytime you ride in low light. The essential lights for bikes are flashing LED units that show others you are there. Note: They are not to help you see like headlights. Lights come with a bracket to attach to your handlebars, seat post or bike frame.

Take a bottle of water and make sure you stay well hydrated during your ride. If you’re going for a long ride take extra water and some snacks along to give you energy for your journey! 

Make sure you apply sunscreen when the UV is high because a red face is not cool! Always take wet weather gear if there’s a chance it might rain. Check the weather before you set off, because being prepared is the best way to enjoy your ride.

One of the many benefits of being a Bicycle Network member is having peace of mind every time you ride. Feel confident you and your family will be well looked after with personal injury and third party liability insurance. You’ll also receive exclusive content, great benefits, and help us improve riding conditions in your local community.

Other tips & resources

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A list of maps and cycling resources to help you find the best places to ride in your local area.

Bike maintenance

From puncture repairs to cleaning your bike, we've gathered some great resources to keep your wheels spinning smoothly.

Know how

Here's some tips and advice to get the most out of your time on two wheels.