8 Tips and Tricks for Cycling Uphill

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Do you struggle cycling uphill? Have you ever watched the experts riding climbs with ease and wondered how they do it? 

We suggest 8 tips for tackling long and steep hills with great efficiency.


1. Weight Matters

There is a fact that if you have a good strength to weight ratio you will find hills much easier. Individuals who have strong legs, core and less body fat will find It easier to cycle uphill due to fitness level. 

No one wants to be told that they need to lose weight but if you are a few kilograms overweight or at a higher level of being overweight shifting some of this fat will make cycling uphill much easier.

cycling fitness


2. Fitness Facts

Fitness is extremely important when it comes to any sport and it really does help if you are cardiovascular fit. 

Training to improve your heart and lung capacity over the months and years will really help to ride uphill. Whilst strong legs are important, so is the ability to keep going at a steady pace whilst spinning the pedals.

 Going to the gym three times a week and doing some cardio exercise is a good way to help build your fitness levels. 

3. The Weight of the Bike 

A lighter bike is much easier to ride uphill. It mostly depends on the weight of a person and also the bike. There are many places online that will allow you to compare prices of the weight of the bike at reasonable prices. 

If you want to spend minimal then you could even get a second hand bike for half the price.  (Always make sure you do a bike check before you cycle). 


4. Top Cadence 

The best way to go uphill with greater efficiency is to spin the pedals at about 80-100rpm (revolutions per minute). 

This means that for easier hill climbing you need to just drop down the gears in order to find an easier ratio so that you can keep turning the pedals quickly even on uphill. It is exhausting to push a harder gear uphill.

 You need fitness, strength, endurance, generous gears for good cadence. 


5. Get Out Your Seat 

There has been a number of studies to find out if it’s better to sit down or stand up when cycling uphill. 

It has been found that road cyclists generate the perfect level of power whilst conserving energy by remaining seated until the gradient hits 10%, shortly after this when your heart is pumping it is then time to stand.

When the incline becomes steeper more than 20% it could seem very difficult to stay standing whilst pedalling. Some individuals might feel like they need to sit down in order to keep the front wheel on the ground.

 It is said to be 25% faster to ride standing up so that the harder/steeper section will be over faster. 

If you are a heavier cyclist there could be a number of more benefits if you stayed sitting down, this is because having a lower centre of gravity can help with general power to weight ratio. The best thing to do is to try it for yourself and see what works best for you. 

Most amateur riders will find they do a mix of in and out of the saddle riding when they are cycling up long ascents. 


6. Beat The Burn

On steep or long hills, you are most likely to feel the lactic burn in your legs as you power your muscles. 

As your speed drops and the lactic acid builds in your legs you can then finally slide back in the saddle a little to change the order of the muscles and this will create more force from the quads and glutes.

 It is always important to stay hydrated whilst riding so always take a bottle of water with you as it also helps with high blood pressure. 

uphill focused


7. Stay Focused 

Staying focused is extremely important. Imagine yourself at the top of the hill and imagine how good you will feel when you get there.

Stay focused and take deep breaths, keep turning the pedals as you ride uphill. Tell yourself you can do it and you will get there but you need to believe in yourself. 

8. Practise Makes Perfect 

The more you ride uphill, you will keep improving and getting better. The best thing you can do is find a range of hills from shallow to short and steep to long, try them all and you will see a difference in your performance every single time.

 Some days you might do better than other days but do not let this demotivate you. Furthermore, you will be improving your inner core and strengths.

 The results will pay off! Stay safe and exceed the goals you set !!

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