Quick Tips: Grinding Out Big Climbs – Part 2

Slow and steady is not a bad. thing.
Slow and steady is not a bad thing.

Still not quite alive after that last hill? Here are some more tips that your legs and lungs may thank you for.

Remain seated. Standing uses more energy per pedal stroke than sitting. You’ll apply more force (in direct body weight dropped into the pedal), but you’ll also use more energy to do it. For long climbs, stay seated when possible and use a lower gear / faster cadence to reduce the power required per stroke.

If you have to stand, position your weight correctly. When standing, we tend to lean forward, which can removes weight from the rear wheel. This reduces traction and will cause the wheel to slip/spin under the added pressure of standing. Don’t lean forward. And don’t pull hard on the handle bars while standing and leaning too far back… that’s a nice way to do a wheelie.

When group riding, announce your intentions. In a group, you’ll get lots of riders with lots of different climbing abilities. If you’re going to stand, call “Standing” to avoid hitting a bike directly behind you (bikes tend to shift backwards when you stand on a climb). Use “Slowing” if the climb comes up suddenly. And use “Passing left/right” or “On your left/right” to get around fellow riders.

Also when group riding, add some space on the sides. The steeper the climb, the lower the gearing, and the more bikes will tend to drift left and right. Allow more side-to-side space to prevent clipping.