6 Essential Cycling Skills and Techniques All Riders Should Know

Essential Cycling Skills and Techniques

Whether you’re new to commuting by bicycle or not, there are some cycling skills and techniques you should know. Keep reading to see which bicycle skills you’ve mastered, and which you need to work on.


First: All About Cycling


Cycling is a fun and convenient way to get around and is good for you and the environment. Once you start, it’s hard to stop, and you will quickly be wondering how to improve cycling skills. Before you get carried away, make sure you master the essential riding skills.


Let’s Start with the Most Important Question: What Are the Essential Riding Skills I Need to Have as a Cyclist?

cycling skills to learn

Some essential riding skills are building blocks for more advanced bicycle skills. If you’re wondering how to learn cycling fast, start by mastering these cycling skills and techniques:


  • Know how to brake safely

To cycle safely, you need to be able to stop. Know which lever controls your front brake, which controls the rear, and how to use them together and separately. Anyone who has gone over their handlebars after slamming on the front brake too hard will never forget!


  • Understand when and how to shift gears

Knowing when to move your chain into a larger easier gear (hint: when climbing a hill) versus when to move it into a smaller gear will make your rides a lot easier. Always remember to shift while pedalling for a smooth change.


  • Practice your balance

Commuting by cycle means you never know what might cross your path. Having good balance means you’re less likely to lose it if a car unexpectedly cuts you off or you go over a pothole. You also need to be able to look over your shoulder to check for traffic.


  • Learn cornering skills

If you’re looking for how to improve cycling skills, take stock of your cornering skills.  This essential riding skill is especially important when going downhill at high speed but comes in handy anytime you need to make a tight turn. Remember- look where you want to go!


  • Perfect your pedalling 

Different types of pedals (ex. Flat versus clip in) call for different ways of pedalling. It’s not just about pushing the pedals straight down- think about making a smooth circular motion with your feet to maximize power. How you position your feet on the pedals also matters.


  • Know and follow traffic rules

This is one of the most important cycling skills for beginners, since being in the flow of traffic on a bike is quite different than other forms of transport you may be used to! 


If You Are a Beginner, You Need to Ask What Are the Cycling Skills for Beginners?


Now that we’ve seen the basic cycling skills and techniques all bikers should master, there are a few cycling skills for beginners that you should work on to ensure your safety.

Essential cycling skills for beginners

The Bicycle Skills Training You Need to Apply


In addition to the essential riding skills above, you need to familiarize yourself with basic safety gear, maintenance, and equipment checks. You don’t need to be a bike mechanic, but you should be able to tell whether everything is in good working order.

Keep your chain clean and oiled and make sure there is enough air in your tires. If you’re all about cycling, you’ll need to learn how to patch up and change a tube so that you can be self-sufficient when you get a flat.


How to Learn Cycling Fast


Before you hit the road, master one of the most important cycling skills for beginners: how to signal when riding in traffic. Wearing a properly fitted helmet and gear that keeps you visible is a must. We’ve got you covered with everything you need to know about bike safety.


If You Are a Cyclist Through and Through Ask: How Do I Improve My Cycling Skills?


Once you start, cycling can be addictive (in the best possible way!) and you will likely be looking for how to improve cycling skills. When your priority is all about cycling and you have mastered the basic cycling skills and techniques, you can find new ways to challenge yourself.


How to Up My Bicycle Skills


A great way to improve your cycling skills is to ride with people who are faster than you. Find bicycle skills training in your local area. Some shops offer group rides, which is a great way to meet other cycling enthusiasts and improve cycling skills for beginners.


Don’t Forget Your Bikers Essentials


Bicycle skills training is great, but you also need to have bikers essentials to have the best possible riding experience! One type of excellent gear that can improve your bicycle commute is the perfect pannier bag. You can store a change of clothes, tools, safety gear, and anything else you need and it easily converts into a duffel or backpack that’s easy to carry.

Having the right gear, combined with your cycling skills and techniques, will make your time in the saddle safer and more fun.

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