As a group, cyclists tend to look at the same thing with a unified fear: hill climbs. The uphill portion of any ride presents a serious challenge, and your ability to handle long rides usually comes down to how well you perform during the climbs. Whether you ride competitively or just for enjoyment, the burning deep in your legs toward the end of a hill climb is a feeling riders know all too well.
While there is nothing that can be done to make hill climbs easy, the tips below may just give you a boost during your next ascent to the top.
Consider Staying Seated
Many riders feel inclined to stand up on the bike as soon as they begin a climb, but you may find more success by staying in the saddle. Hold your position as you begin to go up the hill, and work hard to maintain your cadence. It is okay to stand up from time to time when the road gets extra steep, but dealing with the majority of the climb while in your seat is usually the best bet for a good steady pace.
Before you head out on any road ride, look over your intended route and identify the hills you plan to climb. With the hills highlighted, create a plan for your ride that will allow you to store up energy in advance of the uphill portions. If you are going flat out right before you arrive at a hill, you won’t have anything left in the tank when you need it most.
Climb More Hills
It might sound obvious, but the best way to power through the difficult hill climbs is simply to train more frequently on uphill stretches of road. Your body will learn to adapt to the challenge of climbing hills on your bike through repetition, so put yourself in that position as often as possible. If you shy away from training on the hills, you will never have an opportunity to improve your performance in this area.
One other piece of the hill climbing puzzle is riding a bike that is in good condition, and is ready to take the challenge with you. Visit a local Kore Bikes repair shop for a tune up so you can be confident in your equipment as you face challenging road bike climbs. Have them adjust your derailleurs so you can be sure you’re in the right gear for the right hill. Good luck with your training, and happy riding!