We think cycle helmets are a good idea, but only if they fit and are adjusted properly. We help you adjust yours, or choose a new one below.

The best help adjusting a bike helmet we’ve seen is here.


Sore bottoms come in all shapes and sizes – and so do saddles – don’t be saddled with an uncomfortable one! Soft is not always best, the right shape for you and saddle adjustment are far more important. We have loads of help below.

A suitable saddle shouldn’t cause any discomfort at all: no numbness, pain, chafing or pinching. Like a new pair of walking boots, we say a new saddle might need a bit of breaking in – but in practice, it’s our bottoms that need a little bit of breaking in, so don’t give up after the first ride or two.

Touring cyclists in the saddle for several days know all about saddle comfort! So some of the best advice comes via Cycling UK, previously CTC, the Cyclists Touring Club, and parent of Havant-based Portsmouth CTC. Some of this advice is aimed to help women – but men, don’t be put off – many saddle problems are the same.

Different types of cyclists have different needs. Sporting cyclists will look more towards light weight and low air resistance, whereas day to day, commuting or leisure cyclists might prioritise comfort and practicality. You don’t need to spend a huge amount, but if a badly fitting saddle spoils your riding, it’s not good value. We’ve tried £10 saddles which seem good on Amazon reviews, but never yet found anything as good or long lasting as more reputable makes like Selle Italia, or even at the lower end, Madison.

More great saddle advice and reviews:

So, saddle up and ride in comfort!

I can’t do hills

Well, Hayling Island is the right place to be. There are some that claim there is a ‘hill’ in St Peter’s Road but it’s an undulation at most.

Once you get off the island, however, it’s a different story. We have some fantastic cycling in the South Downs Country Park but hills are virtually unavoidable if you want to enjoy the scenery, or commute any distance.

Let’s be clear about one thing: there’s no shame at all in getting off your bike and pushing it up a hill. None at all. Everyone’s had to do it. If you’re not used to hills, the chances are you’ll be pushing at some point. Don’t let it spoil your ride.

I’ve written an article that explores different aspects of cycling hills. You can read it here.


Bike hire on Hayling Island

Bike hire on Hayling Island is available through Black Point Cycle Hire (or on Facebook at facebook.com/BPCycle). They’ve been going since 2014, and still going strong as at June 2023.

They have a good range of Scott and Specialized hybrid bikes of all sizes, male and female, and some for children. The company is based at Sandy Point but will deliver direct to you and pick up when you’re done. Prices look reasonable and include puncture repair kits, pump, lock, helmet and backpack.

If you’d like to get back into cycling or if you have visitors that would like to explore the superb countryside in our area, please consider using Black Point. It’s been a long time since we had generally-available cycle hire on the island – they deserve our support.