Many people will be thinking about ways to get fit in 2011 - and one of the fastest growing activities is cycling. It could be road cycling, off-road cycling on a hybrid or mountain biking. Whatever you choose you can be sure that cycling will improve you cardiovascular fitness and help to strengthen and tone muscles, especially in the legs.
But before you set out for your first ride, there are a few top tips that we would recommend. These tips are specific to comfort! Anyone who has just jumped on their bike and headed out for a couple of hours will know to their cost what happens if you do not think about your comfort first!
Glentrek's top tips for comfort on your bike:
Buy his OR her padded shorts: Padded shorts for women are made to fit women, while padded shorts for men are made to fit men. We have different physiques and requirements in our undercarriage area so it's always a good idea to buy the one that is made to suit your gender. You do need to buy tight-fitting Lycra shorts as there are other looser-fit shorts on the market, too.
Pay more for more: Padded shorts come in a variety of thicknesses so you might want to pay a bit more for a pair that has thicker padding. This isn't a rule but it is often the case.
Nice and snug: Bike shorts should fit well. If the padded area is loose they will move around and rub. So go for a snug fit.
Softer saddle: You can buy saddles boosted with gel for a softer ride. Or saddles with a wider shape. Some people suit these saddles and some people prefer a harder product. It's a question of taste but well worth considering. Try out a few saddles in a shop for comfort.
Add some cream: For men, the product to go for is chamois cream or Crotch Guard. Women can also use Crotch Guard but better still is Hoo Ha Ride Glide. These creams and oils go on to your nether regions and help to soothe and protect your precious bits from chafing.
Gloves: Protect your hands from rubs that come from sweating or wet weather. Choose fingerless or full finger gloves to suit the climate.
Other clothing: Comfort depends on personal taste but most people prefer to choose neat fitting clothing that wicks away sweat. Layers are a good idea as you can peel these off the warmer you become. A wind and water-proof outer is essential almost year-round in Scotland.
Leg and arm warmers: If you start chilly but have a tendency to get hot quickly then choose leg and arm warmers as a layer. These handy accessories cover the areas from the arms of your t-shirt to your wrists and from the bottom of your shorts to your ankles. When you take them off they roll up into a small package and tuck inside a pocket.
Helmet: Not everyone finds a helmet that comfortable but you'll feel a lot less comfortable if you fall off and hit your head without some kind of robust head cover. There are lots of helmets to choose from so try a few on and find one that fits neatly.
Bike fit: Bikes come in a wide range of sizes, shapes and geometry. It's important for body comfort to have one the right size so go along to a local shop and take advice.You'll be able to try a range of styles and sizes, too.
Now you just need to find a fantastic place to cycling. Why not call Glentrek for some advice?