Quick Tips: Grinding Out Big Climbs

A nice line of Team Superior cyclists.
It’s a long climb; don’t burn yourself out.

Here are some things to help get you over that next big climb. NOTE: This won’t make the hill any shorter or the road shallower. But you might not fall over when you’re done.

Study the terrain. If you have a route map, check out the terrain profile before the ride. By knowing how far into a ride your the climbs are, they won’t take you by surprise.

Conserve energy. If you’ve got a climb coming up, ease back on the pace a little to avoid early burn-out on the climb.

Ease into it. You’ll be tempted to hit a hill hard. That works fine for short, punchy hills and rollers. But if you’ve gotta grind it out on a really long climb, you’ll be spent way before you crest. Better to go easy into the climb and if you find you have more to give further in, go for it.

Don’t downshift too far. Some people see big climbs and will immediately shift down to their granny gear. Problem is, you’ll lose most of your momentum because your cadence will be too high. Instead, shift down as your cadence begins to drop. Just remember that each time you downshift, apply a little more pressure to the pedal to up the cadence a bit. If you downshift and keep the same cadence, you’re just bleeding speed and momentum.