Cycle For Longer

Words by Kathryn Dickinson

on 05/04/2019 10:10:42


If you're wanting to increase your distance on the bike then we have put together our many years of cycling experience here at Rutland Cycling to bring you a guide to get you riding further and for longer this year. Read on to find out our top tips and tricks and we'll have you out riding your first 100 miler in no time!


Quick Links

Getting started Make it comfortable Go electric Join a group Fuel your body Update the wardrobe Learn the basics

Getting started

It can seem a daunting task taking the first steps to get back into cycling again after a long break, the worry that you won't be as fit as you once were. Too many times we see people heading off on their first ride, trying to go too far and too fast, its a sure fire way to make you never want to ride a bike again. For the first few weeks, plan some smaller rides (with a caf� stop included!) and don't put any pressure on yourself to ride fast. If you're not confident riding around traffic then look for off-road tracks or canal tow paths where there will be fewer people and less pressure.


If you have a few friends who are looking to get back into cycling, ride together, it can be encouraging with others who are in a similar situation and is the perfect opportunity to catch up with friends you haven't seen for a while.

Make it comfortable

Probably the number one cause of beginner riders never cycling again, an uncomfortable bike is a real pain in the ... well, you know. Most people don't put enough time into making their bike comfortable but it is one of the best investments for your bike. Here at Rutland Cycling, we offer bike fits in selected stores with our expert bike fitters.


But what is a bike fit you ask?

Our bike fits are performed by our qualified fitters using Ret�l Bike Fit Technology. This process involves sitting on a specially designed stationary bike that can be adjusted to fit your body shape. Angle measurements are taken from different parts of your body (knee and hip angle for example) and the fitter will then alter the geometry of the bike to best fit you, these are compiled to give you the correct measurements for your own bike.


If you aren't in need of a full bike fit but would just like to improve some aspects of your bike then why not demo a new saddle? If you've been riding on the most uncomfortable saddle know to the human race then it's time to change! Most of our shops will offer demo saddles that you can try out for a small fee (this is redeemed against the price if you choose to buy one), this gives you the opportunity to find the most comfortable saddle for you.


My Bike Fit Experience Top Ten Reasons to get a Bike Fit

Go electric

For those who need a bit more assistance to get back into cycling, an E-Bike might be the best choice for you. E-Bikes are pedal-assisted meaning that you still need to pedal the bike in order to engage the battery and motor, E-Bikes look slightly different from other bikes due to the size of the battery and motor located at the bottom of the bike, E-Bikes are growing in popularity as more people realise the opportunities that riding with electric can bring.


E-Bikes come in many different shapes and sizes, from full-suspension mountain bikes to step-through town bikes, you can choose the bike most suited to you by considering what type of riding you will be doing. If you are planning some off-road adventures then a Hybrid or Mountain bike will be the best choice, for riding around town then a Folding bike may be the best option, and if you want to get more road rides in then why not go for a Road bike?

E-Bike guides and help

Shop all E-Bikes >

Join a group

As mentioned previously, riding with other people will do wonders for your motivation (and speed) meaning you're more likely to keep up the cycling. It can be difficult finding others to ride with, the next worry is will they be too fast for you? At selected stores, we offer led rides for all different abilities; from rides for mum's and tots to beginner road rides for any riders. Joining our store rides is a fantastic way to meet likeminded people who love bikes just as much as you do.


Join one of our rides >>

Fuel your body

Nutrition is key for exercise, just like putting petrol or diesel in your car, if you don't eat the correct things before, during and after a ride you may suffer with the dreaded bonk. If you're only going out for a few miles then you don't need to worry about eating loads of carbohydrate beforehand or during the ride. It is only once you get about 45 minutes to an hour that you need to consider taking food with you on the bike.


You don't need to get too technical with what you take on the bike but do try to avoid highly processed, sugary foods and gels as these will only see you through a short period of time before you crash (not literally). Take low GI foods with you such as a banana or oat bar, these will release carbohydrate slowly into your body and mean you will be able to ride for longer. Hydration is also key, make sure to always ride with more water than you think you'll need, there's nothing worse than being caught out a long way from home and no water.

Cycling nutrition guide

Update the wardrobe

With different disciplines in cycling come different wardrobe norms, MTB is baggy and loose fitting, road is tight and aerodynamic. Of course you don't have to wear either of these and you can choose your own outfit, but if you're wanting to cycle for longer there are a few things you should consider.


  • Padded shorts- alongside a comfortable saddle, you're going to need shorts with a chamois pad in them. If you don't want to spend much at first, then there are plenty of cheaper options but if you are looking to do some longer rides, spending a bit more will pay off.
  • Waterproof/windproof jacket- if you're caught out in the wind and rain, a small, packable jacket is an absolute lifesaver.
  • Helmet- a must for riding on the road with traffic. We cannot recommend enough using a helmet, again you can choose between road, MTB and casual helmets to suit your style.

Cycling clothing guide

Learn the basics

You're out on your bike, the sun is shining and your on unknown roads, then suddenly you hear the unmistakable hiss of your tyre puncturing. Possibly the most frustrating thing when out on your bike is having a mechanical issue, and even worse if you don't know how to fix it. Most mechanicals that occur on the road can easily be fixed with a little bit of knowledge. You can spend hours watching YouTube videos but this doesn't always help, we offer evening maintenance classes at a selection of our stores which give you a hands on lesson in the basics of bike maintenance.


Book onto a maintenance class >>

All guides and advice >

Find your nearest Rutland Cycling store

You can speak to our expert staff and view our extensive range of bikes, gear and accessories. Why not view more of our blogs here.