Hill Climb Training for Beginner – Intermediate Part 2

This is the second part on how to climb better for sportif and touring events

Seated or Standing?

Stay mostly seated as standing generally uses more energy and should be kept for harder efforts, steeper sections and stretching out on a long climb. When you get out of the saddle beware of “kick-back”. This is when you lose momentum and the bike goes slightly backwards, this can be dangerous for a rider behind. Also gear up when out of the saddle as more strength is applied to the pedals. Gear down when seated again, this help you stay in rhythm. “Pulling and Tugging” – You may have heard people tell you to “rock or tug” the bike or ride slightly at angles to lessen the gradient. This mostly wastes energy. Keep the bike straight and try pulling the bars forward slightly in momentum with you’re cadence. It almost feels like your pulling the bike a little forward when do it. Some riders get right over the bars like when sprinting when out of the saddle. This isn’t really any help as your pushing weight down the bike in the opposite direction of where you want to go. That being up. When out of the saddle try centre your arse over the seat tube. This is gives better centre of gravity and allows you to use some more muscles. It takes a bit of getting used to though.

Listen to your body

If you feel you can go a little harder or want to try and go with a faster rider then give it a bash if you’re feeling good. If not just pace yourself, ignore it if other riders are passing you. Climbing is very personal and for some it’s just about getting to the top for others it’s seeing a guy up ahead and thinking “I’ll have him”.


If you’ve been on a bike for any amount of time then physically you can climb, if you’ve been drinking your energy drinks and eating your power bars then you do have the energy to get to the top. Unfortunately it’s our minds that give generally give up because the body will be under a lot of physical stress and telling your brain to stop. It’s a matter of riding through it.

Breaking it Up

Break the climb up into sections and focus on completing each section, take some liquid in then off to the next point of reference. Helps you concentrate and not get bogged down on how far it is to the top. Use whatever helps you get through the climb. This is just one way of beating the psychological side of climbing.

So, that’s really my small crash course in climbing there’s only one thing left to do: Spin out to a long climb and just do it. The way to train for climbing is to climb. There’s no quick fix.

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