Climbing Made Easy | GCN’s Cycling Tips


(wheels spinning on road) (rhythmic breathing) – [Dan, With Sunglasses] Climbing. It’s brutal. It’s painful. But it’s so incredibly satisfying. And coming up, is all
you really need to know about riding up hills. (techno music) – Firstly, and most importantly,
the most effective way of riding up a climb comfortably is to pace yourself. Don’t put yourself into the
red at the beginning of a climb with screaming lungs and burning legs, but riding at the pace of a snail. – Instead, start climbs
deliberately slowly. Give yourself some time
to get into a rhythm and only at that point, think about lifting the pace slightly. This is very beneficial because not only will
the climbs hurt less, you’ll probably find you’ll end up going faster, too. – [Matt Voiceover] On short climbs, you can definitely power up them in as much pain as you like. But just remember that each time you do it, each climb you storm up, you’ll dramatically reduce your ability to do it again in that ride. So even little climbs
might need pacing, too. (techno music) – It’s very easy to get overwhelmed and even confused with the amount of advice you can find on climbing in the saddle versus
standing up on the pedals. But the truth of the matter is, it doesn’t really matter. A few people are more comfortable
getting out of the saddle, but the vast majority prefer to climb staying seated. But you can make that decision all on your own. – The most common way to ride on a climb is sat down in the saddle, only getting out of the saddle to alleviate the pressure on your backside, or even
to stretch your legs. Or, to haul yourself
over a steeper section of the climb. (techno music) Another thing that could over-complicate your cycling is getting bogged down in gear selection. – In fact, the biggest
mistake you can make in this regard is to choose something which feels unnatural, and therefore, makes you uncomfortable. A lot of riders pedal quite
slowly in a hard gear, particularly if they’re new to the sport. Now that’s not necessarily a bad thing, but you might find it does feel easier pedaling about 80 revs per minute. Spinning faster than that will probably require
practice to do efficiently and there’s no evidence to say
that it will be of benefit. (techno music with heavy beat) – To make climbing easy, though, you need to practice. And that means riding up hills. – It does indeed. Yes, of course you need to be fit, but it does also help if you’re used to the
sensation of climbing. You will still be using the same muscles as you do on the flat, but you’ll be using them in a slightly different way. – [Matt] The good news for those of us that might not live near climbs, is that riding on an indoor trainer can mimic climbing really well. So, if you’re training
for some alpine riding and you live in the center
of a big city, don’t worry. Do as much climbing as
you can in the real world, when time allows, then get on your trainer and get pedaling. (techno music with heavy beat) – Now you might think that us giving you just four tips, one of which is actually riding up climbs, is slightly over simplifying what is an art form. And yeah, there are a few
things, few techniques, which can make a small
difference here or there. – But the most important thing is not to overthink your climbing. As the legendary band
Funkadelic once said, “free your mind, and
your ass will follow.” Now, if you like this video
and you haven’t subscribed to GCN already, you can do
that by clicking on the globe. It’s absolutely free. – Yeah, and here are two
more videos which we think you might enjoy, the first of which is down here, and it’s Matt, getting taught, by Alberto Contador, how to climb. And the other one, in the other corner, is myself and Si Richardson asking can you improve your cadence?