Talking bikes - tips on cycling

Ultimate Outdoors2 min readCycling

Ben Is Back With Tips On Cycling

What were the first pieces of clothing/equipment you bought and do you have any advice?

In terms of first things you should buy, apart from obviously a good mountain bike helmet, the right shoes and pedals make a huge difference which will tie into some advice, stand up and keep your weight balanced on the bike. With shoes you need something that has a tacky sole and will grip whatever pedals you’re on, (if you don’t yet have your own bike, you don’t need to buy pedals) this will give you much more confidence when riding trails, because your foot is much more secure on the pedals. Especially when you’re descending and you need to shift your weight around more and faster, you need a good platform to do this, check out the Shimano AM7. Gloves are a good option as well, some riders choose not to ride with them but if it’s wet you have a better grip on the bars and if it’s rough it’s comfier on your hands and forearms.

What advice do you have for people looking to start out cycling?

For someone just starting out in any cycling discipline, come into the store and have a chat, we don’t charge for advice! We all want nothing more than to talk bikes. That is what we’re here for. I don’t want anyone to get some bad advice, waste money, get hurt, or worse, hate cycling because of it! Pop into your nearest Ultimate Outdoors, were all friendly and experienced and ready to help you find some new trails, social media pages, events or even the best café’s to stop at, whatever!

Top maintenance tips?

My top maintenance tip is as simple as keep your bike clean. Go out riding, get muddy, go home and clean your bike! By cleaning your bike you spot damage earlier and stay on top of wear and tear much better. Spray your bike with bike cleaner (I use Muc-Off) use a light hose pipe spray (avoid jet wash at all costs) on the main parts of the frame and drivetrain (avoid headsets, bottom brackets and suspension, use a sponge for these areas) dry off with a clean rag or towel and lubricate your drive train and suspension. Doing this, you will prolong the life of your bike and components and your bike looks new and is ready for next time you go for a ride.

Do you track your progress or use and apps?

Tracking my progress is kind of 50/50 when I’m riding. It helps a lot for racing; tracking on my Garmin to see if I have improved generally or on specific climbs or descents. It’s also cool to see where I am relative to others riders on the app, Strava, but I ride to have fun more than anything and I’m not at race pace all the time taking the quickest lines. I want to ride the most fun lines, stop and chat to mates, session a section of trail, mess around and just have fun.

Find out more about Ben here.

Thanks to Ben Stokes, Ultimate Outdoors, Preston


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