Help, I’m new to cycling: Back to bicycle basics

bicycle basics for novice riders

Cycling is a simple pleasure – a bike can be acquired for next to nothing and you don’t require a licence or any specialist equipment. However, whatever type of cyclist you are, it pays to know the basics. We’ve spoken to countless newbies over the last few years as part of our Back on a Bike project. How to avoid getting your bike pinched, how to fix a flat and your rights and responsibilities in law are all essential pieces of knowledge.

British cycle manufacturer, Brompton, says the covid-19 curfew has boosted sales across the industry by around 15 per cent. So with bicycle sales on the up and roads quieter that usual, this new golden age of cycling means there’s never been a better time to leave the car at home and take to two wheels instead.

Bicycle basics: Cycling and the Law

We’ve answered the most often asked questions on our page Cycling and the Law.

Should you be unfortunate enough to be involved in a collision or crash, make certain the solicitors you choose have long-standing partnerships with leading treatment and rehabilitation providers, cycle-specialist accident investigators and barristers who specialise in this area of work. They can even help when the other parties involved in the road traffic collision are uninsured or untraceable. If you have any questions about cycling and the law, you can contact leading law firm Shoosmiths Access Legal on 0345 389 1050 free of charge.

Bicycle basics: Protect your bike and yourself

When you invest in cycle insurance from the ETA, you enjoy a host of benefits including new-for-old replacement (whatever the age of your bike), protection against accidental damage, third party cover up to £5 m and free legal advice. The ETA is a name you can trust; after all, The Good Shopping Guide names us as the most ethical company in our field. Cycle insurance from the ETA is great value and the monthly option is pay as you go. If you decide cycling isn’t for you after a few months, you can stop the policy without any penalty.

Bicycle basics: How should I store my bike?

Bicycle thieves are not respecting the government’s advice about staying off work. Check whether the way you will store your bike – both at home and when you’re out and about – is covered by your insurance. For example, if you keep your bicycle in a shed, is a particular level of security specified for the door or padlock? If so, you may end up having to fork out for an expensive lock unexpectedly. ETA cycle insurance simply requires that the shed door is locked – it does not specify the lock type.

penny farthing bicycle

Whatever bike you decide on, it pays to know the basics

When you lock your bike in public, are parts like the saddle and wheels covered against theft? And if they are, does a minimum claim amount, or high excess, make it hardly worth putting in a claim in the first place?  ETA cycle insurance covers all bike parts against theft and vandalism, including quick release components such as saddles and wheels.

We’ve produced a useful guide on how to lock your bicycle to stay one step ahead of bike thieves.

How to lock your bicycle

Bicycle basics: How do I fix a flat tyre?

Do you know how to repair and replace a punctured or burst tyre on your bicycle? Our three-minute guide shows you how to without breaking a sweat.

The ethical choice

The ETA was established in 1990 as an ethical provider of green, reliable travel services. And 30 years on, we continue to offer cycle insurance, travel insurancebreakdown cover  and home insurance while putting concern for the environment at the heart of all we do.


ETA cycle insurance



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