Correct position on your bike during a hill climb can make the climb feel easier. By easier I mean that you will have the tools to find a sustainable pace and utilise a range of muscles to efficiently spin to the top of that amazing descent.
Raise your seat to the point where you have a straight leg with your heel on the pedal. This gives you full movement in your legs when riding, avoiding cramping or having to stand up to gain power.
With your seat up, try and get a straight line from your hip through your knee and to the ball of your foot on your pedal. Keeping everything in line like this will help to avoid injury.
With this above set up there shouldn’t be an excessive amount of pressure on your bars (leaning too far forward) or feel like your knees are hitting your bars/perched on top of your bike. If you feel too much weight on your bars, try either raising them or go for a shorter stem. If it’s the other way around, try a longer stem before the expensive option, a new frame.
Strictly speaking the above are technically more along the lines of bike set up, I’ve put them into this because if the bike is set up well, it’s holding you in a good position. Below are a few tweaks you can try to help you on those long or technical (or both) climbs.
- Keep your body as still as possible. Try to keep your upper body as still as possible when climbing, any ‘body bob’ can be wasted energy.
- Thumbs on the top of your grips. Not one for technical ground this… on the easier stuff, you could move your thumbs above the grips to avoid over gripping or pulling on the bars, neither of which are beneficial on a prolonged climbed.
- Bent elbows dropped torso. This is one for the steeper climbs, on the steep stuff sometimes it can feel as though the front wheel wants to lift and there’s the temptation to move forward. Low and behold the rear wheel starts to wheel spin. Stay sat down, move your chest down and forward by bending your elbows. Hey presto, rear wheel traction, front wheel stays put!