Here at Raleigh we know that climbing hills effectively can make all the difference to your overall ride. Here are five tips to get you to the top.
Before you even get on your bike, it is important that you are fuelled correctly. Complex carbohydrates such as porridge, pasta and rice are great for slow releasing energy and will help to give you a boost as you ascend.
Most exercise lasting less than 60 minutes only requires water. However, if you are exercising for longer, then digesting some carbohydrates during your ride will help. Foods such as a banana, a cereal bar or a dried fruit will help as you ascend and can be digested quickly.
As well as the correct food, you need to make sure you also stay hydrated. Not having enough water will affect your performance. Before you start your ride, make sure that you are well hydrated and drink water slowly throughout the day.
Our bike bottle cages give you easy access to your drink during your climb. In a range of metals and styles, Raleigh bike bottle cages are aptly designed and shaped for secure storage and hold through rocky and uneven terrain. Handy adjustable grips help to keep your bottles holding firm as you cycle, with useful attachments and bridges fusing it onto the bike. Staying hydrated whilst you cycle is vitally.
Ensure you pace yourself. If you are riding with a group, make sure that you ride to your own pace to avoid running out of energy too early on.
"One of the best ways to find your pace is to know your route ahead of setting off. "
On a hilly route you will need to put in more physical effort during the climb, as compared to a flat route where your pace will be more consistent. As well as your type of route, you need to know how far you will be riding. If you are riding a new route, it will help you to mentally prepare for the hills as you will know whereabouts in your ride they will appear.
Make sure you choose the correct gear setting for your climb. Climbing up a hill in too big a gear is inefficient and will make you slower. When you are approaching the hill make sure you drop down through your gears quickly and smoothly. Make sure you drop down the gears one at a time, as dropping several at once can cause the chain to drop off the gears.
If the hill is steep or long, then use your left gear lever to drop to a smaller chainring. If the hill isn’t that steep or long, then you might be fine just shifting down a few gears using the right gear lever and the gears at the back.
The best way to conquer climbs is to practise, practise, practise. This will help to develop your technique as well as improve your overall fitness. If you are just getting into cycling, try one of our electric bikes where you have complete control over the level of assistance. An electric bike at its core is a regular push bike. They just rely on extra components that work together to allow it to operate; electric motor, battery, the sensor and the electric display. All our electric bikes use pedal assist, so the rider still gets a workout, but with an added boost to make their ride easier.
The more you practise hills the better and more confident you will become. Practise your climb on a range of long and short hills to improve your riding ability. Alongside these top tips you will become a master of climbing hills!