Better Hill Biking

To help improve on the hills you need to do the following.

Train on the hills.

Do you use a heart rate monitor?

Find a quiet hill that takes around 2 minutes to climb.Sitting in the saddle improves pure cycle strength however everyone is different some prefer to climb out of the saddle some prefer being seated. Being seated in training will help you improve climbing and flat strength riding.

Ride the hill and time it while watching your heart rate monitor. Start off the first time in a medium /easy gear and ride up at 80% to warm up thoroughly and make a mental note of your time.

If possible repeat each climb up to four-eight times with a harder bigger gear each time. Find, which gear you, climb at the most efficient i.e. almost the quickest at an easier heart rate.

Often the hardest one will only be a few seconds quicker but your heart rate will be so high that you are unable to hammer it at the top therefore losing more time than you gained.

If you were a racing cyclist and sprinting to the top then heart rate would not matter, to get better on the hills and in a race you need always find a few hills on each ride and attack them either at the bottom the middle or the top.

Save your bottom to top hills efforts for your quick hill session ride.If you use a cadence monitor try and keep your revs above 60 rpm any lower and you cause too much strain on your knees. To improve on the hills when doing repetitions you must also ride hard over the top or along the flat for a further 20-40 seconds.

Carry out these hill reps once a fortnight ensures that you get a good warm up 10-15 minutes before and after. Your recovery is riding back down and turning around and repeating. A good work out is the time taken to ride up is your recovery. Spin your legs on the descent back down, even if this means back pedalling only do this 10 times (Any more could cause your chain to slip) to get ready for the next interval.

Often the ride back down will take 30 seconds less than the climb up. Carry two bottles of drink to make the bike heavier and sip between each climb and hydrate afterwards.

Find different gradients. Short sharp ones and long gradual ones. Find which ones you need to work on. Generally speaking the big powerful people prefer short sharp ones while the smaller athletes prefer the steady longer climbs.

Just look at the Tour riders. Especially from Colombia, they are usually under 9 stone and no good at the prologue time trials for absolute power but weight to ratio is the worlds best on longer climbs.


To understand how you need to improve riding up hills thinks about the following. Type A. Do you when climbing hard shift to a lower gear and spin due to fatigue in your legs if so you lack strength. Type B. Do you spin a fast gear up hills and you struggle to breath and end up panting? If you do then work on your cardiovascular fitness.

Full time athletes train many hours because they can then spend a lot of time sleeping and recovering. Generally athletes who work full time have little if any rest time between working and training. Improve your climbing in training by moving to the back of the saddle and use different muscles groups. Hard climbing can be helped by breathing correctly. This involves exhaling forcefully then inhaling in a relaxed manner. This stops shallow short breathing, which does not clear the lungs, and allow them to fully fill with fresh air.

Good technique reduces wasting energy and power. Failing to work on good form causes slow progress.