Like any new workout, being a beginner can seem daunting! Cycling is one of the easiest workouts for people to introduce themselves to. There’s a reason they say things are “like riding a bike” - because once you know how, you know forever! 

Trying a new sport or workout can be intimidating, so here are the questions we know beginner cyclists are asking themselves!  



What are the risks when cycling?

Cycling is relatively low-risk when you follow the rules of the road! Areas where cycling is more common has lower rates of accidents. According to CAA, an average of 74 Canadians die in cycling collisions each year, with 73% involving a collision with a vehicle. 

Remember that nothing is ever truly free of risk - ride assertively but not aggressively! 

Are all of the gears really that important?

Just like your car has different gears for different terrain, so does your bike! Whether riding uphill, downhill, on smooth roads or on rocky mountains, it’s important to know which gear to use.

Practice your gear shifting in a parking lot to get confident before heading out on longer rides. 

What are the differences between the pedals?

There are three pedal types, although only two are widely used. 

  1. Flat pedals are found on most bikes and are made for soft-sole shoes like runners. These are ok for beginners and people going on shorter rides since they lack support. 
  2. Clip-and-strap pedals have a cage at the front for your toe to hug into and a strap around the back to keep your shoe in place. 
  3. Clipless pedals have largely replaced clip-and-straps. Contrary to their name, your clip in cleated cycling shoes into the pedals, and simply twist your foot to unclip! Performance cycling shoes can be more rigid and difficult to walk in, so most riders will use mountain biking clipless pedals. 

How important is a suspension system?

A suspension system isn’t necessary if you’re riding on smooth roads. If you plan to go off-roading or mountain biking, a suspension system can provide extra comfort and shock absorption to not wreck your bike frame

Why is the saddle so uncomfortable?

One thing about cycling that can be tough to get used to is the saddle! It’s narrow and rigid so you can pedal comfortably. Work your way up to riding by riding a day, taking two days off, then riding again, and repeat. Gradually build up the frequency and length of your rides, and wear padded shorts to reduce discomfort. 

Is cycling a good workout to get fit?

Cycling is an excellent way to get fit while building toned leg muscles. Experts recommend 20 minutes of aerobic exercise 3 times a week for overall health! 

If you have knee or back issues, talk to your doctor first. Start with 20 minute rides and work your way up gradually.



Does cycling for hours get boring?

Biking can be a form of meditation for many people! Unlike other workouts, you shouldn’t wear headphones so you can be aware of your surroundings. We recommend finding a local cycling group and trying new routes to spice up your ride. 

Do I need to wear special clothing?

While you don’t HAVE to wear a full cycling outfit, lycra can help wick sweat while improving aerodynamics. There are even cycling socks that are thin to fit into your shoes while keeping your feet warm in different elements!

Don’t underestimate the power of a cycling cap either - they protect your eyes from harmful UV rays and prevent sweat from blocking your vision.

Won’t I get sweaty if I commute to work by cycling?

Unless you’re pushing yourself to the limit or are cycling on a super-hot day, you shouldnt need to worry about arriving to work sweaty and smelly. If you’re worried, we recommend bringing a change of clothes or a microfiber towel!




Why is cycling so expensive?

There’s no denying that cycling can be more expensive than other workouts - at least at first! When you think of the cost of gym memberships overtime (that you may never even use), it can work out to be cheaper! 

Many people invest in their passions, so take it slow to make sure you love cycling before investing a ton of money. Whether you have a less expensive bike or a pricey one, you need it to fit your body to get the most out of your ride!

What do I need to bring on a bike ride?

It’s important to prepare for your ride so you don’t get stuck! We recommend installing a holder for a reusable water bottle, and a saddle bag to hold the important items:

  • A mini pump or CO2 bottle 
  • A multi-tool
  • Tyre patches 
  • Snack bar
  • Money/credit card
  • Phone

Should I wear a helmet?

YES! Gone are the days of worrying you won’t look cool - helmets are sleek and come in cool colours. Even if they aren’t mandatory where you live, it’s highly recommended to wear a helmet to protect your head and brain from serious injury! 

Is it important to eat before or after a bike ride?

You wouldn’t operate a car on an empty take, so why would you work out on an empty stomach? How much you should eat before your ride is determined by the length of your ride. 

Under an hour? A quick snack should be enough. Over an hour? Load up on carbs before to give your body maximum energy. 

It’s really important to eat after your ride because your body burns a lot of calories and electrolytes, so it’s important to replenish. Check out our blog post on the best foods to fuel your ride! 

Hopefully, that answered some of your questions so you can feel confident beginning your cycling journey. Check out our other blog posts for more information on the benefits of cycling, and the best Canadian trails to ride!