Most cycling advice is good, but some of it is wrong, dangerous or just plain laughable
Fellow cyclists are always keen on imparting advice to other riders. The majority of it is rock-solid biking wisdom passed on from rider to rider, from generation to generation.
But for all of the great advice that can improve your riding, there is some advice that is just plain dodgy.
We recently asked Cycling Weekly readers to nominate the worst piece of cycling advice they have been given. Here are a selection of answers, brought to you in association with Decathlon.
What is the worst piece of cycling advice that you have ever been give? Tell us in the comments section below
The little ring is for wimps.
I think the worst ever advice I have been given was just after being clipped by a car at a set of traffic lights. “Are you trying to get yourself killed?” the delightful lady behind the wheel growled at me. “Wear something you can be seen in”, she advised me, without hint of irony, completely failing to notice my orange dayglo Euskaltel jersey specifically chosen as a winter jersey for it’s bright-orangeness.
Change up gears when standing up going up a hill! What’s all that about, as I am normally in the bottom ring panting out of my backside and want to stand up for a rest, not to go harder!
The training plan, given to me the year I packed up racing by the club coach. I think everyone got the same plan. Juniors, seniors, elites, and 50+ vets like me. Finished me off for sure. The turbo sessions also left me unable to listen to dance music.
Keep your cadence at 100 to 120. Lucky if I can maintain 50rpm for more than 10 minutes at a time. Fact is, I am old and very, very slow.
“Down-tube shifters are okay for a starter bike”. The down tube shifters are the biggest reason I ended up upgrading. It’s impossible to let go of the handlebars while struggling up a hill to shift down when you’re an unsteady newbie.
Tonya Newbrey Ohrel
“Once you get going, your hands should warm up.”
I once went into a bike shop after breaking the replaceable hanger on my derailleur. I was told it was something you don’t usually get on bikes anymore and aren’t available. She then asked if I knew anyone in the steelworks who could make one for me! I slowly backed away and went to a proper bike shop.
I was advised to ‘set my sights on something more achievable’ when I asked a work college for tips on how to train for a century ride. Advice duly ignored, and completed my first century in September.
Get the miles in. We did this as young racers. Come race days we went out the back of bunch, not enough speed rides, wrong advice! Towing the people round on club runs who were suppose to coach us.
A friend said when I started cycling it would be hard but keep going and it will get easier. I’ve been pedalling a lot of years now, waiting for the easy bit to come along.
“Once you have a bike, it won’t cost much”. How much is club kit as well as summer gear, then winter, then another bike?
“You should do Lands End to John O’Groats on your penny farthing.”
“Ride a hill climb.”