Climbing technique Master the art of the dreaded hill climb!


The most efficient way to climb for most riders is by sitting in the saddle. This makes the best use of your gluteal muscles and places less stress on your breathing. Spinning a lower gear while seated will also keep your legs fresher for longer.

Get out of the saddle on a climb to add a short burst of speed or just to stretch the legs. It can also be useful to stand up on the pedals when the pitch of the hill gets a little steeper.

Use this technique sparingly though as it can use up far more energy than a seated effort and push your body into lactate overload.

Before tackling hilly or undulating rides, consider the following carefully:

    • Bodyweight - if you are carrying excess weight, you are starting every climb with a major handicap. If you think you could do with losing a few pounds, then please contact us for some more nutritional advice. We can provide some sensible and easily implemented action points to help.
    • Practice - the more hills you climb, the better you will get at them. Make sure that you don’t shirk riding on hills in training. It will help you in particular to prepare for Box Hill come race day.
    • Gearing – slogging up a climb in too big a gear is slow, inefficient and will drain your energy reserves. There’s no shame in fitting a compact chain set with a wide-ranging rear cassette. If in doubt, always opt for lower gears than you think are necessary.
    • Pacing - some hills are can be too steep and it’s a case of just getting up them. However, on shallower gradients and longer climbs, pace yourself sensibly by not starting the climb at too hard an effort. Make sure you’re in the correct gear from the start. On steep hills this is particularly important, so you don’t fall out of your cleats. Don’t push too hard too soon. Ride within yourself so that you stay out of the red zone.

Watch this video to see how you can master the art of climbing on your bike.