How often have you heard this unhelpful cycling advice?
There are a lot of people out there who love to offer advice - and cyclists are no different. When confronted with a newbie in our midst, many of us kick into mentor mode and start spewing out unsolicited “wisdom” like a broken fire hydrant. Unfortunately, much of the advice floating around isn’t always helpful - and isn’t even always correct.
Take, for example, road tyre width. For years, it was thought that narrower is faster. It made sense: The less contact you have with the ground, the lower your rolling resistance, right? Except that real world tests tend to show that slightly wider tyres (around 25mm) actually tend to be faster than their 22 or 23mm cousins. Still, I get advice from some seasoned cyclists that I should be running narrower tyres maxed out at 120psi.
Looking back to when we ourselves were fledgling cyclists (and more recently, too), we’ve rounded up some of the least helpful tips for the road and the trail, along with why that advice isn’t so great.
“You Need to Lose Weight to Climb Faster”
One look at a Tour de France cyclist versus your average weekend warrior and you can’t help but notice: Gosh darn, if those pros aren’t skinny. Read almost any article on how to climb faster, and the most common piece of advice is to shed any unnecessary pounds to increase your power-to-weight ratio.
However, that wisdom isn’t helpful, or even safe, for all of us. “A lot of people told me I would do a lot better if I lost weight,” says Giana Roberge, cycling coach and former professional cyclist with the Timex Women’s Team. “The times I got skinny, I got very sick—like mono, couldn’t-race-sick. Your heart and determination can overcome a couple of 'extra' kilos (whoever’s ideal that is).”
If you do want to lose weight, be sure to consult your physician first to formulate a diet and training plan that works for you.