Don't listen to everyone
Fellow cyclists love to give advice almost as much as fellow cyclists love cycling. However, this advice is not always trustworthy or helpful. We've assembled the top ten worst cycling advice we've received to help you avoid the worst of the worst. If you hear any of the following, run away faster than you would from four storm troopers balanced on a bike.
#10 Find a tire pressure and stick to it
Tire pressure is an art - this is why one of the buzz topics before a race is what pressure you're running. Wet vs. dry roads, mountain vs. road, dirt vs. gravel, hot vs. cold - all of these factors are going to change the optimal pressure. Finding the right pressure can be the difference between an incident-free ride and washing out on that next bend. Take the time to learn the right pressure for various scenarios.
#9 You don't need to air up your tires every ride
Similar to the last piece of bad advice, this one is from the lazy cyclist. "Ride yesterday? Pressure just fine? Just head back on out!" Wrong. This is an easy recipe for a flat at the most inconvenient time. Always give your tire a quick pump to your preferred PSI before heading out.
#8 "Don't worry - it's a nice easy ride!"
One person's hill is another person's mountain. Unless you know the person describing the ride is at the same exact fitness and cycling skill level as you, take their review of a ride with a grain of salt.
#7 One water bottle is sufficient
The look of one 16oz water bottle on your framer may be minimalist and cool, but it's definitely not smart. In this situation, never choose looks over health. When it comes to riding, especially in warmer weather, you will want to bring at least two 21 oz bottles along with you.
#6 Cheap tools are fine
Price is directly correlated with performance. If you've invested your hard earned cash on a nice bike, then you want nice tools to take care of it. Don't want to invest in a full line of tools? Then find an excellent repair department (we happen to have one) that can take care of your bike.
#5 You don't need to wear a helmet
Chalk this one up to just the plain stupid category. Your brain is one of your most valuable assets and it deserves protecting. Even if you're out riding on a deserted road away from vehicles and other riders, there is still human err and the unexpected crash that can leave you with a concussion. Invest in a good helmet - and always replace it when recommended (every five or so years).
#4 It's fine to ride when the roads are icy
This is an important piece of advice to ignore in the wintertime. Cars, which have much wider tires, struggle with the roads when they're icy. Imagine what your skinny bike tire is going to do. On icy days, opt for the indoor trainer and Zwift.
#3 Go ahead through the red light if no one is coming
Yet another piece of advice for the stupid category. Always adhere to the rules of the road, even if you think you see no one coming and are burning to keep the ride going. We've heard of too many "I didn't see it coming" moments that lead to a broken collarbone. Eight seconds of waiting at the red light is better than eight weeks out of the saddle.
#2 You don't need to clip in
It's simple science. If your feet are attached to the pedals, you are not just pushing down, but pulling up as well. This results in a steadier cadence and much more efficient riding. Don't get us wrong, learning how to clip in is a process and takes time to learn. But it's well worth the effort.
#1 Don't do it
Ok, so this piece of advice is more likely to come from non-cyclists than cyclists. People will tell you of the danger of cars, of crashes, of the expensive equipment. Like most hobbies, cycling has its dangers and its expenses. However, when one does a cost benefit analysis, we happen to believe the positives FAR outweigh the negatives. So above all, do not listen to this one. Cycling is an activity for all ages contributing to mental, emotional and physical health. Get out there today.