Our 20+ Most Popular Bike Articles Ever

By Cassandra Johnson | May 02, 2017, 11:46 a.m. (ET)
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We've compiled 21 top training, racing, gear and injury prevention tips and tricks to take your cycling to the next level.

TRAINING AND RACING

Make sure you maintain a proper cadence during training and racing. Riding in too big of a gear can really fatigue your leg muscles and hamper your run. Also practice drills that focus on body position, body motion and pedal technique. Find tips from top elite triathletes.
 
Know when to shift gears and how to shift in a smooth and efficient manner. Choppy shifting leads to dropped chains, damaged gears and lost momentum. Follow these guidelines.
 
Do interval workouts, head for the hills, get specific in long rides and bricks and do good power training in the weight room. If you come from a running background and notice people are often passing you on the bike, you may need to up your power. Become a stronger cyclist with these six remedies. 
 
Smooth out your pedal stroke and get more power. To add in some variety to a long ride, a warm-up before a solid threshold set or to just break up an easy ride, think about high RPM spinning. Here’s how.
 
Get your lower extremities conditioned to running on fatigued muscles with brick workouts. You’ll also help your cardiovascular system adapt to the different metabolic demands of the aerobar position and upright running. Add these workouts to your routine.
 
Master balance on the bike. Practice drills to improve your comfort, performance and safety. Try these four balance drills now.
 
Try this two-minute interval to develop your on-bike strength. This hill interval is perfect for both on-road and off-road triathletes of any distance. Repeat three to five times or until the quality of your effort fades. Improve your strength threshold.
 
Make group rides part of your training. You can increase your motivation and improve your cycling skills. Follow these group ride tips to get started.
 
Take your training indoors. Spending some time in the saddle on the trainer will boost fitness and keep you focused. Train with these tailor-made workouts for each triathlon distance. 
 
Don’t overdo it. As racing season approaches and you up your mileage, allow for recovery to avoid injury and fatigue. Remember, less is often more.

GEAR

First, let’s clear something up. There is no such thing as a fast bike. Bikes are neither fast nor slow. Bikes are shiny or expensive. Bikes have a lot of mass or a little. Without a rider, they are stationary. Of all the equipment on your bike, your legs are the most critical component. Learn about bike weight and the myth of fast bikes.
 
Find a bike saddle that isn’t a pain in the rear. The main components of a saddle that determine comfort are the shape, rail, cutouts and padding. Find the best fit for you.
 
Getting proper gear doesn’t have to be expensive. The key bike equipment needs include your bike, helmet, bike shoes and sunglasses. Here's what to look for and how to cut costs. 
 
Get a good bike fit. Your position on the bike is more important than the bike itself. Here’s why, plus the basics of a perfect fit. 
 
Keep up with daily, weekly, semi-annual and annual care of your bike. If your bike doesn’t run well, you’re not going to be able to race or train well or safely. Regular maintenance also prolongs the life of the bike. Here's your guide to bike maintenance. 
 
Train with a power meter. It’ll help take the guesswork out of how hard or how much you’re doing on the bike. Discover your functional threshold power and develop your training plan.
 
Going off road? Select a mountain bike that works for you. Suspension, tire selection, wheel size, gears and weight all play a role. Keep these equipment tips in mind.

SAFETY, INJURY PREVENTION & STRETCHING

Your No. 1 job on the road is to maintain situational awareness. From being aware of what’s going on around you to wearing bright clothing to avoiding rush hour and times of low visibility, you can limit your risk on the road. Cycle safer with these tips. 
 
Do you have optimal posture on the bike? We all want to use the least amount of energy to move the bike forward toward the finish line, and your core and posture play a key role in that. Take this self-assessment and follow the recommended exercises and tips. 
 
Increase your flexibility for a more aggressive riding position on the bike. Targeting your hips, glutes and hamstrings can help athletes improve flexibility and range of motion. Add these stretches to your routine.
 
Prevent injuries that result from cycling’s repetitive motion. Patellar tendinitis, chondromalacia, iliotibial band impingement syndrome and piriformis syndrome are four common lower extremity cycling injuries. Learn how to prevent and treat these injuries.
 
The views expressed in this article are the opinion of the author and not necessarily the practices of USA Triathlon. Before starting any new diet or exercise program, you should check with your physician and/or coach.