Cycling Skills Every Bike Rider Needs

Cycling Skills Every Bike Rider Needs

Learning to ride a bicycle is certainly one of the most memorable experiences of anyone’s life.

Regardless of whether you learned to ride a bike as a child or an adult, there is nothing quite like that feeling you get when you finally get the balance just right.

However, there is a lot more to riding a bike besides being able to balance yourself and ride forwards.

Over the course of this article, we will present several essential skills which any bike rider can make use of. It is important to ride your bike properly.

Gear Shifting

Shifting gears is one of the more intimidating aspects of riding a bike for beginners. Once you understand the terminology and exactly what your gear shifts accomplish, you will realize that it is not complicated at all.

The front part of your chain is mounted on chainrings; there are usually three chainrings on most bikes. On the back of your chain assembly, there are several gears; the number will vary depending on your bike.

What you will want to remember is that it is easier to pedal when you are using the larger rear gears and the smaller front chainring. If you are using lower gears and the larger chainring, your pedaling effort will be harder, but you will accomplish more with one pedal revolution.

You will want to set your gears for easier pedaling if you are going up a hill. If you are on flat terrain, you will typically want to make the pedaling effort moderately more challenging. If you are going downhill, you will want to make pedaling harder.


It is also critical to understand how to brake. The front brake on your bike will typically be the more powerful one, but it also runs the risk of sending you flying over the handlebars if you squeeze it too hard at too high of speed.

If you only use your rear brake, you run the risk of breaking the traction of your rear wheel and sending yourself into a spin.

To brake effectively, you must ensure that you do not pull on the braking levers too hard, as this will cause your wheels to lock up.

It is also important to use both of the brakes at the same time as opposed to using them individually.

This will ensure that your braking forces are balanced across your bike. More balanced braking makes for safer cycling.


We hope that we have helped you learn some of the intricacies of essential biking skills. If you know how to shift and how to brake, you are well on your way to mastering more advanced cycling techniques. Cycling is a skill which is easy to learn but difficult to master.

This post was last updated on June 4th, 2018 at 12:50 pm

About the Author Max Shumpert

Over the last few years, I’ve taken my love of the outdoors, hiking, skiing, trekking and exploring to the next level by starting this site. I started a bike shop in Denver, CO, and have seen amazing growth over the last few years. Getting paid to do what I love has been a dream come true for me. That’s also what led me to start In my shop, I spend a large amount of time helping people find the perfect bike for them and the style of biking they’re going to be doing. It only made sense that I expanded my reach and got online, making it possible for me to help people all over the world. If biking and staying fit is your priority, too, you’ve come to the right place.

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