Are you able to generate high speed and power at your lactate threshold or steady state when climbing uphill? Check out the tips below on how to achieve better climbing fitness and improved forceful uphill cycling:
- Get into a lower gear before approaching steep sections.
- A reasonable cadence is 65 to 80 rpm. It may be lower than usual to keep within that range, but make sure not to push a big gear when the cadence is very low.
- If possible, know the gradient, length, time needed, and max gradient for your climb.
- Do not push yourself into overdrive on lower slopes if there is a long slog still ahead to get to the top.
- Move your legs rhythmically and remain light on the pedals. You want to eliminate all unnecessary tension.
- To have a constant speed and maintain the best rhythm, if the traffic permits, try to go wide around corners and avoid the apex that is steepest.
- Try to stay seated, especially for long gradual climbs — unless you need to stand on the pedals for steep sections and hills. It is less aerodynamic and requires harder work to climb out of the saddle.
- When you stand, keep your bottom bracket and saddle directly centered under your butt. If you feel like you are running on the pedals, that is good. Let the bike rock a little from side to side. Do not lean forward.
- Use your back and upper body more when you are starting to climb. Practice core strength exercises to strengthen upper back muscles. However, in power climbing, most of the energy should be in the legs.
If you would like to read additional advice about uphill climbing and climbing fitness, more information is available, including expert tips in this article from Bicycling.com.