If you’ve just recently gotten into cycling, you might feel like a fish out of water when you compare your grace and style to those of cyclists who’ve been riding for years. But although you may be starting to feel more natural on your road bike, what you wear and how you act while on your bike can make a big difference in how you’re treated by other, more experienced cyclists.
While safety is still the most important thing—no one wants to get hit by a car or wipe out while on their bike—looking the part can often help you feel like you belong out there on the streets with everyone else. So to help you get to this point, here are three ways to look like a professional cyclist while biking.
Avoid Wearing Cotton
For leisurely rides, you can get away with wearing almost anything while on your bike. But if you’re wanting people to take you seriously as a cyclist, and if you want to be as comfortable as possible, you should avoid wearing cotton.
According to Patrick Brady, a contributor to Active.com, wearing wool or synthetic materials is going to be much better for you than sporting anything cotton while cycling. When cotton gets wet, either from your sweat or from weather, it will just stay wet. This can be very comfortable, but it can also say to other cyclists that you don’t know what the best attire is for cycling yet. So to skip this learning curve, just avoid wearing cotton altogether.
Be Smart With Saddle Bags
While you might think that having saddle bags strapped to your bike would be something to steer clear of, Mark Bailey and David Millar, contributors to The Telegraph, say that as long as you’re being smart with your saddle bags, having them on your bike is perfectly fine.
To make the best use of them, make sure you’re only taking what you might need for the length of ride you’re going on. And as for the size of the bag, you want your items to fill the bag completely so it’s not slapping around as you ride.
Don’t Clip Out Too Soon
Once you get more comfortable on your road bike, upgrading to clipless pedals can take your riding to the next level. Be careful, however, that you don’t clip out too soon when coming to a stop.
According to Cycling Today, nothing says “novice” more than someone who clips out of their pedals before actually coming to a stop. If you need to practice this on your own before actually doing so in public, make sure you find a safe spot to work out the kinks.
To help you feel like part of a cycling team in your area, or just impress the other cyclists you see on the road, consider using the tips mentioned above to look a bit more professional on your bike.