Welcome to road cycling

Reza Prabowo
5 min readJun 22, 2020

Hey! Thinking to start cycling on a roadbike? Neat! With so many things to choose from and to start with, probably it’s a bit overwhelming for some you to start of your adventure on the road.

Here are a few quick tips

The bike

  • Start off with getting something within your budget. Don’t max out your credit card just so that you can have the same bike as your neighbour or someone with 10+ years of cycling on their legs.
  • Money isn’t an issue? Good for you. But still, buying a top of the line bike as your first bike will only make you look like a douche.
  • And best thing about starting low, is that you will have tons of different things to UPGRADE! But don’t start too low that you won’t get to fall in love with the bike.
  • Something around the range of S$1500–2500 would be a good start. Try getting a full bike with a Shimano 105 or Ultegra. And make sure it’s a full set, some bike shops tend to mix and match it with cheaper or even no -series parts! Get a decent aluminum wheels like entry level Mavic, Fulcrum or DT Swiss.
  • Carbon or Aluminum? At this price range, a high grade aluminum will feel better than a cheap carbon. And it’ll be just as light.
  • Any brands to recommend? Just browse around, that’s the fun part. Go to shops, test ride a few, and don’t get pressured by the shopkeeper. You have a lot of options and you should explore it. Find the one that tickle your 🍒 balls when you see it. If you really want to know some of my favorites, hit me up on twitter @rezaprabowo.
  • When you are ready to buy the bike, go there with someone who has a bit more experience in buying bicycles. The store will always try to upsell some stuffs or services you might not need yet (like a bike fit), so it’s good to go with a backup.

The gear

  • Safety first! A good helmet is a must! Don’t even think of getting a cheap one. Something above S$150 will do just fine. Just like a seatbelt in a car, you might not think you need it, but when an accident happen you’ll be glad you wear one. (Unless if you don’t need that brain of yours any longer)
  • Good bibshorts is a necessary investment. Don’t be stingy on this. Sitting on the saddle for hours will be much more comfortable with a great pair of bibshorts. You can wear whatever jersey or t-shirt but bibshorts are a staple. And wear it commando, no undies!
  • Clipless pedals and shoes. I know it’s scary and everyone fell on their first few rides with it, but the clipless shoes are the one thing that change modern roadcycling. Direct power transfer from your legs to the pedal, and avoiding injuries.
  • Front and back bike lights, to signal your presence to others, not necessarily to see the road ahead unless you’re living in a scantily lit city.
  • Get a ballpark fit at the shop. And double check when you’re at home. Or get a friend that know a thing or two about good position. Don’t worry too much, just ride it first. There are also some apps on the appstore that can help you on getting a good fit too so you dont have to pay $300+ for a bike fitter on your first bike. Here’s a review of one by DC Rainmaker. Save that for later.
  • If you reaaally think you need a bike fit, get someone with 5+ years and hundreds of athletes on their portfolio like fitskuul. Just because a fitter have retul logo doesn’t make them good. Don’t be scared to ask about their previous clientele.

On the road

  • Obey all traffic rules. Stop at intersection. Don’t jump 🚦lights . Be at the correct lane, don’t take the middle lane unless it’s a left turn and you’re going straight or turning right. Don’t hog the lane if you don’t need to. 2 cyclist abreast max.
  • Be kind to other road users. We all have equal right to be on the road. You’re not more entitled because your bike is more expensive than their motorbikes or cars. We don’t need more friction between road users.
  • Be safe, be responsible. Always give a signal when you want to turn or take a lane. Be confident, but always check your surroundings as well.
  • Just ride. Start small. 20km then 30km next week, then 40km. Don’t rush things, go at your own pace, at your own ability. You’ll eventually get to a century 100km or even an audax 200km when the time comes.
  • Find a gang that matches your personality, and opt for smaller ones since it’s 💯 guaranteed to have less drama.
  • Download Strava to track your progress. It will motivate you when you see what you’re capable of, and get inspiration from other people.
  • Don’t do it for 🙅🏾‍♂️ Instagram, do it for yourself. You owe it to yourself.

Most importantly, ride the bicycle because it makes you happy. Forget about losing weight, going fast or being social, just focus on finding your happiness on two wheels first, everything else will follow. Ride safe!

Got questions? Hit me up on twitter or instagram.

Credits: 📸 Photography: @audirangga 🙋🏻‍♀️ Model: @farezaudi

Reza Prabowo

An entrepreneur by heart, a designer by passion, a programmer by trait, and a cyclist in between.