Starting as a beginner

Finding easy rides #

If you have just started cycling, it is important you stay motivated by picking rides that are in accordance with your fitness level. Most often, it is best to start with flatter rides with little elevation gain. Rides with elevation gain are always more difficult because you have gravity working against you. 


To find rides with little elevation gain is easy. All you have to do is to go to the cloud library and sort the rides according to elevation gain:

With the rides sorted according to elevation gain, all you have to do is to find a ride with a distance that suits your preferences. 


Besides elevation gain, the steepness (grade) of the road also plays an important role in assessing how difficult a ride is. By clicking on a specific ride you can easily learn about the steepness of the ride:



Each ride has a profile colored according to the grade of the road. In the upper right corner, you can see the distance within each group of gradients:



This can help you find rides within your ability. 


Open Road also allows you to start or stop a ride wherever you want to. The colored profile can help you avoid difficult sections of a ride and ‘cherry pick’ segments within your ability. That allows you to just do the beginning of rides such as the Ring of Fire:



Or the Coromandel Gravel Paradise:



Or skip the difficult sections of the crossing of Picos d’Europa:



Once you get going and your fitness level improves, you can start looking more broadly for rides. This article explains in more detail how one can find a ride that suits your fitness level. 

Ways to make a ride easier #

Besides picking a ride with little elevation gain, there are other things you can do to make your ride easier. First, we suggest using Open Road’s virtual gearing, secondly, we suggest you split the ride up into several segments, and thirdly you can make the ride easier by adjusting the weight.


Virtual gearing #

The best thing you can do to make a ride easier is to use virtual gearing. Virtual gearing works like the physical gearing of your bike. By shifting to a lower gearing during the ride you can make your easier. You can read more about virtual gearing here


Split the ride up in several segments #

You can easily split a ride up into several segments. Open Road will remember where you ended a ride, and offer you to continue the same place next time you start the ride. 


Set difficulty by adjusting the weight #

This functionality is meant for riders that are injured or riders who want to complete a ride with less effort. One should think of this functionality as using an electric bike. It will help you complete the ride with less effort. But instead of using an electric motor, you can adjust your weight, and in that way have less gravity working against you.


This functionality is not on by default. You turn it on by going to ‘general settings’ and checking ‘Turn on ‘Set difficulty by adjusting weight’ before ride’:


Now it is available when you start a ride with a smart trainer or a power meter:


You simply lower the weight and your ride will become easier.



Please note that this kind of ride is not eligible for online leaderboards. Therefore, we are removing GPS data from the FIT files we generate with this functionality turned on.