We asked you to send us the best cycling advice that you have been given, and here we collect together the best 25 tips

You can always rely on other cyclists to provide you with advice. Get any group of riders together, and you can guarantee that sooner or later someone will be telling someone else that they’re doing it all wrong.

How do you tell the good advice from the bad? That’s a tricky one. What works for one, may not work for another.

We recently asked Cycling Weekly readers for the best piece of cycling advice they’ve ever been given, and who gave it to them. Here are the best 25 answers from the many responses we received.

Warning: article contains an image that some may find disturbing.

When cornering, look at where you want to go and the bike will follow. Sound advice from a neighbour after I had broken my collarbone overcooking a bend on a fast descent.
Luke Alexander-Dent

Ride your own race. Do not compete with anyone other than yourself. My old cycling buddy Baz.
Justin McCrann

When a co-worker – an experienced cyclist – heard I was starting to take a real interest in road cycling he told me to “stay vertical and have fun” and I’ve been doing it ever since.
Mark Lassler

Ted King after a crash in the 2015 Ghent-Wevelgem

Try and stay upright

Try not to crash – my mum, 1975.
Simon Steele

Not to have too high a cadence going up hills. A club member saw me spinning like mad and running out of breath, advised me to up to a higher gear and suddenly I could breath!
Thurstan Johnston

I was told by an Epic Cycles bike fitter, when pedalling I was lazy from 6pm to 9pm in my pedal action. I was told: imagine you’re scraping dog mess off your shoe to improve my pedalling action. It worked for me.
Steven Fortey

Geraint Thomas came to Cardiff Flyers (his first club as a schoolboy) recently to meet and talk to the youngsters, including my daughter. He was asked how many races he had won. He replied that he didn’t know but that he had lost far, far more than he had won. I thought that was a brilliant answer, which avoided giving the kids a figure to which they might (negatively) compare their own records, as well as being an entirely appropriate message about expectation management.
Gideon Brough

Geraint Thomas looks relaxed before Stage 12 of the 2015 Vuelta Espana

Geraint Thomas: purveyor of sound advice

Concentrate, be aware, train, eat well and go get ’em Tiger. Beryl Burton to me after having thrashed me totally in a 25 time trial.
Alan Jones

On getting over my fear of riding on the road/crashes… There are two kinds of rider: ones that have been down and those that are going down. Learning to accept the inevitability actually made me a better rider.
Juliet McGraw

A good friend David Thorley who rode semi-pro in his teens but is sadly no longer with us: “Pedal hard and just keep clicking a gear until your legs slow!” It’s in my head to this day during time trial events.
Daniel Bates

When hill climbing, and your legs are burning say to yourself “Shut up legs, I tell you what to do!”. Originally said by Jens Voigt. My eight-year-old daughter said this aloud on a 12 per cent climb yesterday and I loved the determination this quote gave to keep going to the top.
David Moran

“You only have to be on the front for a yard to win the race, lad” Keith Boardman (Chris’s dad)
Barry Jones

“Don’t ride in flipflops” – by me.
Matt Limacher

Never, ever cycle in flip-flops

Never, ever ride in flip-flops

Willy Thompson advised me about how much food to take on the North East Divisional Road Race years ago, 110 miles of brutal hills. He said: “Don’t do what I did once in the 24, son. I took a whole roast chicken but it kept bouncing up and down so I had to eat it after six miles”. Legend.
George Stainsby

“While the minimum number of bikes one should own is three, the correct number is n+1 , where n is the number of bikes currently owned. This equation may also be re-written as s-1 , where s is the number of bikes owned that would result in separation from your partner.” An oldy but a goody.
Jonny Harvey

Wherever you travel for business or pleasure, take your bike and ride.
Colin Sherrard

Don’t cross your chain – use big and small rings to save your legs, and your groupset.
Mark Sherrard

If your legs hurt most you’re in too high a gear. If your chest hurts most you’re in too low a gear. If they both hurt, you’ve got it spot on.
Mark Dodds

Cycling

Take your bike, wherever you go – and enjoy it

If you can’t go fast, go long.
Darryl Collins

Work to Eat, Eat to Live, Live to Bike, Bike to Work – The Bicycle Place motto.
Michael Butchko


Watch: Five minute warm-up before you ride


Buy decent clothing for all weathers so you can enjoy your bike more.
Rob Blackler

If you’re thirsty it’s too late… keep hydrated.
Jonathan Pugh

You can rest at the top… not before.
Mike Grice

Enjoy it, or it’s a waste of time.
Paul Murphy

Take most advice with a pinch of salt as everyone is different.
Nick Manning

  • Crydda

    What’s all this “cool” or “uncool” crap? If you need to carry equipment for work, uni or school, or even if you’re out for a weekend ride with the family and you want to carry sandwiches and chocolate bars for the kids, a decent backpack is fine and comfotable.
    We’re not all aerodynamically obsessed, boy racers, training for the TDF, or whatever. Cycling is versatile, in that it’s useful and efficient for plenty of different needs and activities and nobody should give a toss about looking “cool” – it’s a rather sad and pathetic attitude.

  • Adam Beevers

    Panniers suck, especially on a mountain bike – so I’ll stick to my cycling rucksack. Plus it means I can take whatever bike I want to work with me. And for weight distribution, a good rider can easily compensate 🙂

  • Stevo

    And who gives a toss? I agree about the weight distribution though. Having any extra mass on your back affects your balance and control.

  • Stevie

    I don’t mind being judged I always thought I looked like a tool with panniers. As for weight distribution this only becomes a factor when your riding a measurable distance or a hilly route. If I only need them for two journeys a week I’ll settle for carrying it on my back and having the benefit of riding a bike which more than compensates for the style points I lose carrying a bag.

    after I pass a certain age I’ll opt for panniers on a regular basis, for now I’ll stick to the cross frame and sunday best with a back pack whilst the weather holds.

  • J1

    Ride as if Carlton Kirby was calling your ride.

  • Stevie

    Most cycling specific rucksacks are actually very comfortable. I use one on a monday to work and friday home from work with all my work gear for the week. never had a twinge or any back pain to date, although it does limit how comfortable it is to climb out of the saddle but for the 20 mile trip either way its no less hampering than panniers performance wise.

    If I was touring sure I would use panniers but I tend to commute on one of my cross bikes which are not compatible. I think my bag cost me around 30 pounds and it allows me to commute on any of my bikes depending on the weather or how I feel. There is nothing more demoralising than using that old beat up winter bike when the suns out :D.

  • Bob

    seeing people with rucksacks like the photo above always makes me cringe – back in the day we’d carry a ‘bonk bag’ at most for the sandwiches – having a huge bag like some mountaineer cant be comfortable or do your back any good – get a saddlebag or panniers if you need to carry a load of gear.

  • Nic Lowe

    Best piece of advice I ever heard was ‘Take all advice with a pinch of salt’.