Go-To Techniques for Climbing

Cyclist Climbing

Riding hills efficiently can be tricky.

In today’s Quick Tip, our guru Victor talks about hills. But not in the way we usually hear about cycling experts discuss hills, but rather he will attack the details on the best way to go at the feared enemy of many cyclists. Listen in to learn great techniques for taking on your next hill.

 


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Comments

  1. I took your advice and tried keeping a higher cadence than usual on a local climb. Broke my personal record on Strava dating from 2015. Obviously I was faster, But I noticed that my heart rate was way higher than usual, although I didn’t want to push myself to the limit. Note that I use a triple chainring (30/25) and the hill is quite steep at around constant 12%. I have no problem keeping a cadence of 100-105 on flats, but a cadence of 85-90 seems very tough on climbs. I think I couldn’t sustain such a high pace for very long. Should I keep working on this and how?
    I love your show btw. Best wishes from Slovenia!

    • Tomaz

      That’s awesome that you broke your record!

      You were likely faster because you had less muscle fatigue but as you observed your HR was higher. The good news is that you will recover faster from a short bout of high HR than you would from muscle fatigue. You probably would need to also more closely monitor your perceived exertion so that you dont “blow up” on the hill. Keep us posted.

  2. Joe Abram says:

    Funny i just heard this as we just got off a short morning ride with two big hills. One was gravel, and we had two issues, one being gravel, the other being about 18% grade. First issue I noticed was loss of traction, then momentum, then cadence, then off the bike. My buddy got off first as he had a big traction loss and thought he was going down. The 5 miles of gravel was harsh, then we went into a big valley to a lake, and on the way back, I simply could not keep cadence. I just kept cranking. I’m not a super strong rider, only go out about once a week, and my low gear is 39/26. I’m planning on upgrading my old beast to a 32 rear, which will help, but I simply don’t think it will be enough to allow me to keep cadence on the local hills.You guys got me thinking to go with a compact, or possibly a compact triple on the front. Every time I ride to the lake and around it, I always wish I had my stump jumper with slicks. So I’ve got some decisions to make. I’m sure if I get some better gearing, I would enjoy the hills much more.

    • Joe
      Thanks for the note. Sounds like a super fun loop.. In my book a 39/26 is a tough gear for serious hill climbing. From what you describe I would at a minimum change out to a compact crank with a 34t small cr with a 32 on the back. That will help tremendously. Can get tricky with easier gearing than that from a purely mechanical set up point of view.

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