A beginner's guide to cycling

Bespoke recommendations for new riders

Top 4 tips for new riders

Looking to speed up your morning commute? We’ve got some tips to help you join the other 2.2 Million Victorians who ride a bike.

Bicycle with yellow background

1. Choose the right bike for you

Getting the right bike to suit you makes all the difference in enjoying a ride. If you’re planning to commute into work or are spending most of your time on the road or bike path, either a hybrid or a road bike is going to be your best bet. With skinny tyres and a light weight getting you around quickly. If you’re looking to spend more time off road and make the most of Victoria’s great rail trails a mountain bike will be your best option. When purchasing your bike it’s important to make sure you get the right size. Head to your local bike shop to make sure you get a bike that fits you and your needs.

 

Two men chat and ride bikes in a park

2. Get the right gear

Now that you’ve got the perfect bike you’re going to want to make sure you’ve got a sturdy lock to make sure it remains yours. A decent set of lights will make sure that you can be seen & see when you’re out and about. Gloves are also a smart purchase to help you maintain a safe grip on your handlebars and keep your hands warm on cooler days.

 

 

Illustration of a cyclist behind a car on the road

3. Safety first

We like to think about safety by remembering the three H’s – helmet, headphones and hand signals.

  • Helmet

Wearing a helmet can be the difference between life and death, and in Victoria, it’s mandatory. Find one you like the look of so wearing it isn’t such a chore, and make sure it’s been certified and fits correctly.

  • Headphones

A toot of a horn, the skid of a tyre, the sound of a siren in the distance – all of these are important to hear when you’re cycling on the road. It’s a contentious point, but if you must listen to music, make sure it doesn’t completely mask the sounds of your surroundings.

  • Hand signals

Cars use indicators, cyclists use their hands. Be sure to acquaint yourself with Victorian road rules and all the common signals to avoid confusion and collision.

 

Girl rides a bike in the city on a sunny day

4. Carry a spare tube and patch kit

What’s a tube you ask? Well, the inner tube is the inflatable rubber or latex doughnut that sits inside your tyre. It’s important to know this because if you end up with a flat tyre on the road, this is what you’ll need to replace. A spare one can be easily stored in a backpack, along with a couple of other tools to help you replace it. This might include a multi tool, a couple of small levers and a mini bike pump. If you can’t remember everything you learned about fixing a punctured tyre from the helpful lady in the bike shop or the nice man from YouTube, RACV’s Bike Assist service can get you moving again. Our Patrols will even provide you with a new tube at no additional cost!

 

Is your bicycle experiencing issues?

Tear, wear and accidents happen. In those times, you can rely on RACV Bike Assist to get you back on the road again.