Cycling is a great way to keep fit and stay in shape. It’s low impact and can be enjoyed by people of all ages.
Before attacking hills, take on board these cycling tips:
Whether on a professional ride or just on a touring spin, hills and steep climbs are part and parcel of any ride so here are a few cycling tips to help get up that hill. Downhill and flat cycling can be fun and exhilarating but these cycling tips will help to lessen the feeling of dread when facing a big climb.
These tips are a general guide to the best practices when hill climbing and are aimed at riders of all levels of cycling ability. No matter what level of cycling anyone is at, one of the best and most obvious tips is that it is important to have a basic level of bike fitness. There is no point in attempting to ride up a steep hill or mountain without first building up some general riding stamina. This can be done by getting out on the bike regularly and increasing the length and intensity of rides gradually as endurance improves. As far as cycling tips goes, this is probably the best advice any rider can get.
Once riders have acquired good solid experience and bike training then the following cycling tips will improve climbing ability and will also enhance the cycling experience and enjoyment.
Choose a good bike
The first thing you need to do is to buy a bike that fits your requirements. If you want to use one for social use only then a mountain or road bike would be best. If you want to use one to take to work and there is no where to store it then a bike that folds away could be the perfect option. Choosing the right bike for you is really important, so take your time.
Plan the ride
One of the most useful tips to remember is to look at a map or guide to get an idea of the length and height of the climb and how many climbs there will be on the route. If the climb is steeper or longer than anything done before, do not go full throttle straight way; conserve energy at the start.
Start in the right gear
Another one of the most simple and obvious tips is to always make sure that the bike is in the appropriate gear when beginning the climb. These can vary according to individual ability but generally low gears are better. It is important to remember not to expend too much energy on the first half of the climb, as performance will suffer on the second half.
Stand or sit down
Knowing when to stand up or sit down depends on the length and gradient of the hill. It is generally accepted that better efficiency and speed is attained when remaining in the saddle. This is particularly useful when on long shallow climbs. Shorter steeper climbs will necessitate standing up to generate shorter sharper bursts of power. However, it is advisable to sit down and use the gears more and stand less.
When cycling the drops, it is important to open up the lungs and chest to take on as much oxygen as possible. Do this by changing your hand position up to the hoods.
When on a climb it is good practice to place the hands on top of the handlebars with a minimum amount of pressure. Short sharp climbs will require the use of power form the arms.
Eating and drinking
Always avoid eating or drinking when climbing hills and if extra energy is needed then gels are useful.
Try to maintain a steady cadence. It is natural for rider’s cadence to fall when on a climb but it is important to monitor it and not let it drop too much. Cadence can be helped by adjusting the cog or compact. It is recommended to try and keep to a cadence of between 70-80 RPM (revolutions per minute).
Climbing in a pack
Try to start off the climb by moving to the front of the pack early. As you may fall back through the pack, keep in mind that you will can catch up again on the descent. Standing up on the pedals can interrupt riders in front so try to change gear first and maintain speed.