Most people don’t enjoy cycling up hill. Remembering the following basic tips will make climbing hills a little more enjoyable.
Look up and anticipate
Make sure you keep an eye on the road ahead, so you spot the approaching hill in plenty of time. If you can see a steep climb coming up use the flat or descent leading into it to build up some speed and momentum.
Think about your gearing before you need to shift. Changing gear mid hill can lead to the chain jamming or a dropped chain.
When approaching the hill drop down to lighter gear. You should feel you are pedalling faster but still putting some power through the pedal.
On short, sharp climbs, try to power over them but for longer climbs it is important to pace yourself a little.
Stand or sit?
Generally speaking, unless the hill is short and sharp or you want a work out, it’s better to drop to an easy gear and stay seated on your way up. This means you don’t expend too much energy in one go, so you’ll have plenty of steam to get to the top.
On a really steep hill you may need to get out of the saddle. When out of the saddle, keep the elbows slightly bent and your head up looking where you are going.
Mind over matter
Sometimes climbing a hill is “mind over matter”. Hills can look pretty intimidating, and it’s often tempting to just get off and not try the climb. However, if you drop to your easiest gear and give it a go, you’ll probably surprise yourself how far you get.
Practice makes perfect
The only way to improve your climbing is to practice, so don’t be avoiding any hills when out training.You’ll get better just by choosing a hilly route at least once or twice a week.