How to Turn Climbing into a Strength
When you begin your cycling hobby, it doesn't take long before you begin identifying yourself as a "cyclist" or "road cyclist". But as most cyclists become more experienced, it's not uncommon to hear them becoming more specific and characterising themselves as "sprinters" or "climbers".
Climbers sometimes refer to those who avoid climbs as "flat track specialists". But if you are much more comfortable on the flats than the hills, there is no reason that has to remain the case. Turning your climbing into a strength from a weakness can only make your road cycling more enjoyable, and here are some simple, practical tips to achieve that goal. As the leading bicycle sellers in Melbourne, we would suggest you to try these to make your cycling more enjoyable.
Learn the Downhill
Working on how you descend hills is just as important as putting in the work to climb them. Going downhill is a technical, difficult skill to get right, and not being able to master it can hold you back from getting the best times and results from your rides that involve climbs and descents. Learning the downhill skills required to come down a mountain safely is also an investment in your safety and that of other cyclists and road users.
Lose Some Weight
No, we don't mean your body weight, if you're cycling regularly and eating right, that will take care of itself. But changing the weight composition of your bike can pay big dividends you're making those tough hill climbs. Some riders who are going to ascend a climb then retrace their steps have "drop points" at the bottom of the climb for their gear so that they can climb without the extra weight while having the benefit of the extra gear when they come back down.
And of course, if you're doing a climb that doesn't involve turning around, it goes without saying that lighter is better, and you can get better results from lighter clothes, more breathable fabric that doesn't retain moisture (and weight) as well as electrolyte gels and salts rather than toting litres of water at a time.
Lunge and Bulk
Your legs are the most important asset when you climb, as well as your gluteal muscles and core. Body weight exercises help, but weighted squats, lunges and other core exercises all can contribute to better endurance and power when you are faced with a hill that doesn't seem like it's going to quit before you do.
If you ever want to get some more information about the right climbing gear, how to set up your bike for hill climbs or learn about updating your equipment, just drop into Ivanhoe Cycles at any time and speak to our friendly, experienced team of cyclists.