Bicycling’s favourite tips.
MEGAN FAY / MTBER
Make every mountain-bike ride better: pack a cooler box with a few Weiss’s, and stash it in the car to share a cold one with your friends afterwards. ——F
A.C. SHILTON / WRITER
I have one simple tip for avoiding injuries during the holiday season: take your bike with you to Grandma’s, and sneak off to ride when you can. I find the likelihood of me injuring an in-law decreases exponentially with every minute I spend out on my bicycle.
ANTHONY SIRACUS / BIKE ADVOCATE
Learn to DIY! Start with the Park Tools Big Blue Book of
Bike Repair, read up, slowly invest in a stand and tools, and learn basic repairs as you go along. It’s deeply empowering to learn to fix your own bike. But be careful: your friends may end up asking you for help with their bikes!
BRENT TONGCO / CASCADE BICYCLE CLUB SENIOR DIRECTOR OF COMMUNICATIONS & MARKETING
When I’m commuting by bike, I always try to ride as predictably as possible by signalling, to communicate my actions to others so they can anticipate what I’m going to do.
BRETT LIDER / RIDER, AND DESIGNER AT GOOGLE
Wider tyres at lower pressure are the real deal for comfort, especially on the less-thanperfect urban roads that are likely on many commutes. If your road bike has room for 28mm or 30mm tyres, go for it. COLIN M cSHERRY / DESIGNER
When buying tubes, I choose the one with the longest valve available. They may look too long on some low-profile rims, but they’ll never come up short when you replace a tube on deep wheels. I also carry a valve extender, in case I go through my spare tubes and someone in the group only has one with a shorter valve.
DONALREY NIEVA / C YCLIST
If you bring your bike in to a shop, ask the mechanics if you can watch them work, and learn from the process. A good bike shop should be able to teach you how to do basic bike maintenance, like fixing a flat tyre or cleaning your drivetrain.
JEN SHERRY / ASSOCIATE TEST DIRECTOR, BICYCLING US
If for some reason you’ve taken a break from your bike – you needed a change, you got burnt out, life simply got in the way – all it takes is one ride to remind you why you love cycling. One ride, and you’ll be hooked again.
JENNIFER DILL / PHD, PROFESSOR
For commuting, I like to have an extra-large basket on the front of my bike to hold whatever size bag I happen to use that day, along with my lunch, my coffee mug, etc.
JONATHAN MEHRING / PHOTOGRAPHER
Don’t photograph cycling from a moving car with the door open unless you want to get pulled over by the cops. Instead, try riding a skateboard. It’s a good way to keep your hands free to operate the camera while photographing cyclists on the road.
KYLE WAGENSHUTZ / DIRECTOR OF LOCAL INNOVATION FOR THE ‘PEOPLE FOR BIKES’ ORGANISATION IN THE US
I love mobile bike-repair services (anyone else feel like starting a business in SA? – Ed). Nothing better than texting my mechanic in the morning, and having a fixed bike waiting for me at my house when I get home.
MATT PHILLIPS / SENIOR TEST EDITOR
Before every ride, you should check to be sure your tyres are inflated to the proper pressure – whatever that is for your tyres, conditions, personal preferences, etc.
PATRICK BRADY / WRITER
On a gravel climb, it’s okay to stand up and pedal; just make sure you keep your weight back, to keep the rear wheel from spinning out.
PHILLIP SHAW / SANDWICH DELIVERY MESSENGER GUY
If you’re riding with a speaker, mount it on your stem and point it at your head, so you can actually hear your music or podcast. Attaching it to your bag lets everyone hear it except you.
RILEY MISSEL / WRITER
When you’re learning to do a wheelie, to get the front wheel up, lean back further than you think you need to. And practise on flat pedals.
SELENE YEAGER / WRITER
Drop your heels as you climb in the saddle. You’ll get more power on each pedal stroke.
SCOTT CROSBY / RIDER
Stop coasting on group rides! It’s bad form. There are only two times to freewheel: when approaching a red light or stop sign, and on a long descent.
STEFF GUTOVSKA / PHOTOGRAPHER
Getting a handlebar bag changed my riding. I really don’t like having anything in my jersey pockets, which leads to loads of problems on the road – I’m the worst at carrying tools, a repair kit or food with me. But since I got my handlebar bag, I carry everything I need.
TOM FUCOLORO / AUTHOR OF SEATTLE BIKE BLOG
Invest in a U-lock. The medium or small sizes are more secure. A good lock gives you the confidence to bike anywhere at any time, without worrying about your ride getting stolen.
TOM HOOD / CYCLIST
On long rides, eat before you’re hungry and drink before you get thirsty, to keep your performance from taking a dive.