Cycling FAQs

As you get ready for your event, we've pulled together the answers to some of the most common questions our cyclists have to help you prepare for the start line.

Can I use a mountain bike on an on road event?

Road bikes are best suited for these events, but not essential. You are welcome to take part on a mountain bike but be aware this will make your ride more challenging. You may want to consider changing your tyres to road tyres. This will make the ride smoother and quicker

What type of bike can I use on an off-road ride?

We obviously recommend the use of a mountain bike for an off-road ride. These are stronger and more durable to the difficult terrain. Hybrid bikes are also welcome, but we do not recommend the use of road bikes at these events.

How far is a 'long ride'?

Firstly, you will need to build up to your intended race distance. Then, depending on how many weeks you have to train, you need to aim to improve your endurance by gradually increasing the distance you ride. A gradual increase of up to 10% is a sensible balance which will allow your body to adapt to the increased workload.

We advise that you only increase the duration of your long ride in your training. Training is about doing as much you can without becoming exhausted or injured. Please refer to our training programmes for more information.

How much food should I take with me on a ride?

For detailed information on your food intake and hydration please read our nutrition section.

Some of the clothing is so expensive, is it worth it?

It’s worth spending money on technical fabrics as these are designed to keep you cool by ‘wicking’ away perspiration from the body. Clothing needs to be tight fitting for as little wind resistance as possible. The technical clothing will often be more comfortable for cycling compared to alternatives as it is tailored for that activity. Wet weather kit is always a good investment.

Take a look at our clothing and equipment guide

Do I need to know how to fix a puncture?

Ideally yes. It may be worth attending a bike maintenance course to learn the basics. Most of the time it’s better to carry a spare inner tube and change that if you get a puncture while out on a ride. You can then fix the puncture later at home. It’s also important to make sure that your tyres are correctly inflated before you go out.

Do I really need to stretch? 

Stretching allows you to maintain a full range of movement in the muscles and helps to prevent injury. It’s key to do this after your bike ride. If the session has been intense or if it’s been very cold, it’s better to stretch after you’ve warmed up. 

It's also important to warm up before you start cycling, not doing this can lead to pulled muscles.

I’m finding it difficult to stick to my training schedule. Is it ok to swap the sessions around?

Of course! It’s important that you enjoy your training and that it works around your lifestyle. However, we recommend that you don’t do two hard sessions back-to-back. As part of your training schedule it’s important to let your body rest and recover too.