The Beginner’s Guide to Cycling

November 1, 2011 | By | Comments (0)

After enjoying my fair share of spin classes over the years, I finally decided to start exercising on a bike of my own a couple of months ago. So far, biking on the open roads hasn’t disappointed me—in fact, it’s simplified my life. It satisfies my need for cardio, and it happens to be a great mode of transportation—not to mention an economical and environmentally friendly one, too.

That said, I feel like it’s my duty to spread the cycling love, especially since there are plenty of novel products out there to make your ride even more fun (especially if you’re a beginner). Here are four key things you’ll need to get your adventure started.

1) A Versatile Bike

A bike that’s made for both commuting and fitness gives you more bang for your buck, and it’ll ease you into the cycling lifestyle. A model that I (along with countless other experts in the industry) highly recommend is the Vita Elite by Specialized.

Vita Elite

Where to buy: for stores.

This practical, lightweight style is designed to take you everywhere, from work to a fast-paced workout. Ergonomic contact points, including ones at the handlebars and seat, provide extra comfort and stability, while women’s-specific components mean the bike is custom-tailored to your build. Another plus? The alloy frame contains shock-absorbing materials, so you’re guaranteed a super-smooth ride every time.

2) A (Cute) Pair of Padded Tights

bike shorts

Where to buy:

The ones here, by Sweaty Betty, have an overskirt that disguises the unsightly padding—in a word: genius. I also like that they’re full-length, perfect for this time of year.

3) Headgear

C Wonder helmet

Where to buy: for stores.

A C Wonder candy-colored helmet is a great way to stay protected and be seen at the same time. It’s also available in bright pink and navy blue.

4) The Right Shoes

When I first began spinning, I made the rookie mistake of not using clip-in shoes. I’m now here to tell you that using bike-specific shoes, especially in a spin class, makes a world of difference. You’ll have such a better workout because of it.

Specialized Torch

Where to buy:

The above, known as the “Torch Road Shoe” by Specialized, is an affordable style you can use in and out of class. (You can also find other decent options by brands like Sidi and Shimano.) While I don’t recommend these shoes if you’re new to outdoor biking, I do recommend that you get used to wearing them at the gym so that eventually you’ll be able to take them out on the road.

So, whether you want to own a bike or just try out a spin class, consider one or more of these innovative products to jump start your routine.