Cycling – A Guide for Newbies – The Necessities

Every sport requires you to start somewhere and some sports don’t really ease you in. Downhill cycling is a dangerous sport, which you should never attempt without prior cycling experience, on tarmac, and then on light cross-country roads, then maybe in forests and then attempt downhill. In other words, getting into anything new can be trying without guidance. For cycling, it could mean the difference between safety and death. Here is what you need to start cycling.

A Bicycle

Depending on the type of cycling you want to do, your choice of bicycle will vary.

Mountain biking requires a specific bicycle, and depending on the type of biking, you need to choose between front suspension only bikes, full suspension or downhill bikes. 

Cycling on tarmac only can be done with a lightweight road bike. Going off road, but only on trails, as well as asphalt, and you can choose a gravel bike.

For commuting, city bikes, trekking and electric bikes work well. These are the main choices you can make, with multiple adjustments to your own style of riding.

Safety Gear

Cycling can be dangerous, mostly due to the traffic, and then the terrain and your own skill.

A helmet should be obligatory, even though it is not in some countries. It could make the difference between the helmet splitting in two, and your head. Signal lights are necessary, front and back. Extra padding and full face helmets are obligatory if you want to go downhill biking. 


It is worth noting that while you don’t really need accessories, they could very well be worth your time.

A pair of sunglasses always help, especially when riding at night if they have photosensitive lenses. You primarily want to keep the bugs out of your eyes, but keeping your eyes safe from the sun is also important.

A water bottle and a bottle mount is also important, because riding through summer and warm days can quickly leave you dehydrated.

Jerseys help, but aren’t really necessary.

A strong lamp is advised if you ride at night (this is different from signal lights). 

Riding in General

The best thing you can do is ride your bicycle if you want to get better at it. Riding in traffic should be done, but you should always familiarize yourself with the traffic rules, especially regarding cyclists. Improving takes effort, so do sprint runs or long runs, or simply ride up a slope if you want to improve both your VO2Max, as well as your endurance in general. 

Remember that cycling should be fun, no matter what kind of cycling you do. With these simple guidelines, you should be able to be safer and still enjoy the world of cycling.