How to cycle uphill: chose the right cycling clothing and perfect your technique

How to cycle uphill: chose the right cycling clothing and perfect your technique

Cycling uphill is one of the hardest tasks for all cyclists, be they amateur or professional. With a little knowledge and the right cycling clothing, cycling uphill needn’t be such a struggle.

We’ve all been there. Trying to muster all the power we can but somehow, despite a willing mind, the legs just don’t deliver. Eventually the bike comes to a standstill and we are left with no choice but to humiliatingly climb down off the saddle and push the thing up the hill. Well, we can’t promise to have you tearing up that hill effort-free; much depends on your own stamina and the incline of the hill you are attempting to tackle of course. We can, however, promise to make your ride a little easier if you follow these simple top tips:

  1. Invest in the right cycling clothing (we are slightly biased!) Aero dynamic drag is your greatest speed enemy when pedalling on a flat road, but as soon as you start going uphill, you have gravity to contend with too. Simply leaning forward will reduce the drag caused by your own body, but if you are also wearing tight-fitting cycling clothing this will significantly improve your aerodynamics and make the fight against gravity that little bit easier to overcome. We suggest checking out 2XU’s compression cycling shorts and bib or the Polaris Vortex bib tights.
  2. Accelerate as you approach the incline. The steeper the hill, the more you need to accelerate in advance. As soon as you feel yourself pushing harder on the pedals, you are losing vital power and speed so you need to ensure you have as much momentum as possible to propel yourself.
  3. Change through your gears. Ideally you should start on some of your hardest gears, slowly switching up to your easiest gears as you climb. This is a gradual process, so don’t suddenly go from full resistance to none in one fell swoop, however tempting it might seem. Change through your gears incrementally.
  4. Stand up and cycle. Getting out of the saddle will help you to use your own body weight to power the bike. Don’t stand up straight away, though, as it uses much more energy than sitting in the saddle. Only stand when you need a bit of a power-up.
  5. Relax (easier said than done, granted) and don’t give up. This is all about mental attitude, and you will get to the point where you need to summon all your inner strength to keep going. Try thinking about something else or counting each push, promising yourself to do just another ten more. Everyone will have a different way of keeping a strong mental attitude, so use whatever trick you can that works for you. Once you start suspecting you’re losing the battle, it’s already lost.