HOW TO FLY UPHILL – 5 tricks to cycle uphill faster, regardless of training
Choose the right gear
There’s no universal rule, but the correct pedal cadence enables you to develop less muscle fatigue and therefore to maintain a higher pace for longer.
The ideal cadence varies from person to person, but amateurs have a tendency to use very hard gears. The best advice is to stay between 70 and 90 rpm for maximum climbing efficiency.
Attack the climb evenly
It may seem obvious, but when you tackle a climb an even pace is essential. It’s very important to find your pace and to keep to it as steadily as possible throughout the climb. When in doubt it’s a good idea to begin at a slightly slower pace than your body tells you is right, and then to increase it later. When you’re climbing there’s always plenty of time to suffer.
Stay mainly in the saddle
Cycling out of the saddle engages more muscles, meaning that you spend more energy.
So the best advice is to stay in the saddle during ascents for 90 – 95% of the time. To relax the muscles used for pedalling it’s nonetheless good to stand up regularly for short distances, for example whenever there’s an increase in gradient.
Changing position enables you to utilise different muscles and to relax those used in pedalling.
Minimize your weight
There’s no mystery in the fact that to go quicker uphill you need to increase your Power/Weight ratio. And while power is something you can work on in training, you can reduce your weight by resorting to a few simple methods.
There are 3 main “weight factors” involved in a climb: body, bike and clothing.
You can reduce your body weight with a healthy diet and a balanced lifestyle.
The bike can be assembled using lighter components, paying particular attention to the wheels and tyres.
Clothing is lighter if it’s made of high-performance materials like Dryarn, which weighs over 30% less than PES and wool while also having superior breathability and heat dispersion.
Keep your mind focused
Your mind also plays a crucial role. Staying focused on the exertion, on breathing regularly and on the road enables you to be more reactive and to avoid needlessly wasting energy.
With your head, your legs and your heart!