Most cyclists have struggled with hill climbing at some point. It’s a gruelling but essential activity, which can improve your cycling in lots of areas.
More importantly, if you’re interested in competitive cycling, races are often won or lost through hill climbing.
If like me, you grew up in a hilly area, climbing is almost unavoidable.
Here are my 5 top tips for improving your hill climbing.
Firstly, make sure your bike is set up correctly for your body. Ensure your seat is level and not too high. You can check this by measuring where the seat comes up to on your hip. Also, make sure you find a saddle that’s comfortable for you.
You don’t want to overstretch your arms or legs whilst pedalling, so check your handlebars are the right height as well.
Ride and repeat
Unfortunately, there are no quick wins here. Nothing will beat getting out there, getting started on hill climbing and repeating regularly. Try and get into the habit of doing a hill climb workout once a week. Try 5-10 minute hill climbs and then downhill to recover.
I have a specific climb that I use to measure how well my legs are feeling. If you have a climb local to you, try climbing it regularly to see if you’re improving.
Improvise if you need to
If you don’t live near any hills then you can always overgear on inclines and make your climbing harder – perfect for building your strength.
Mix sitting with standing
This one is up for debate. I recommend mixing standing and sitting, as it uses two different sets of muscles and enables you to give the others a rest by swapping between, allowing you to go faster for longer.
Sitting in the saddle will give the large muscles at the back of your thighs more power and leverage to peddle. Standing is far more powerful but can tire you out quickly.
Pace is everything
Pacing is the most important thing with hill climbing. Take it easy and keep a pace that’s manageable for you. Remember – if you can’t hold a normal conversation, then you need to slow down.
If you’re planning a hill climb, you need specialist cycle insurance to protect yourself against a range of scenarios.
At Cycleplan, we provide Equipment Cover if your bike is lost, damaged or stolen, Personal Accident in case you seriously injure yourself, and Public Liability in case you accidentally injure someone else or damage third party property.
Get an instant online quote with us and take on your hill climb with complete confidence that you’re protected.