Improving your climb - Russ Hays

Improving your climb

by Ana Ramirez January 25, 2016

Improving your climb

Struggling with your climb? You’re in good company because most cyclists do. We get cyclists coming into the shop regularly asking us why climbing is so difficult for them. Welcome pilgrim, it’s difficult for all of us. It’s never going to be easy but we’ve put together a few tips that will make it far less difficult.

Get out there and climb as many hills as you can. Find a local hill and ride it up and down. Keep doing it. Find a steeper hill and repeat. It will never get super easy but you’ll feel your improvement and discover what works for you.

Don’t start a climb and go into the red too early. You’ll hit your threshold and recovery will be difficult, if not impossible. Pay attention to your body and go at your own pace. Pace yourself so that you can finish strong.

Plant your rear slightly back in the saddles, standing only when you hit a particularly steep section or when your body signals you need to change position. When you do need to stand keep your butt back to avoid too much weight on the front. Concentrate on your breathing and stay steady. Breathe deeply to get that fresh oxygen into those hard working muscles. Help your legs out by bending your elbows, flattening your back and lowering your torso and pulling through your core to put more power to the pedal.

You aren’t being a wimp if you gear down, you’re climbing smart. Strive to keep your cadence in a comfortable range. You should try to hold steady at about 70 rpm, but again every physique is different. You will find what works best for you as you gain more experience with climbs.

Don’t be eating food at the bottom of a climb or you may regret it. Instead eat about 20 minutes before you hit the climb, then again at the top of the climb, as it will help you recover. Keep hydrating. Keep your energy level up by drinking and eating a little, often.

We hope this helps you with your climbs. The main thing is just to get out there and try. We’d love to hear your climbing tips.

Ana Ramirez
Ana Ramirez