Uphill bike riding is brutal, painful, but incredibly satisfying. Even experienced riders face many problems while riding uphill. That’s why every biker should follow essential tricks to make this type of cycling easier. And, this tricky part of uphill bike riding from today’s content will definitely help any cyclist a lot to complete this tough job with a satisfactory ending.
Yes, uphill cycling is different from flat riding for many reasons. And, this article is mainly to share tricks with you that can apply while riding. Also, experienced riders follow these types of tricks and complete their journey successfully. Thus, maybe these will be useful for you too.
Uphill VS Flat Cycling: What Are The Differences?
There are vast differences between riding a bike uphill and on flat roads. While you can ride the bike smoothly and less strenuously on the flat, it will be much more strenuous on the uphills. Well, I’ll present the significant differences between the two ridings through a chart below.
|Parameter||Uphill Cycling||Flat Cycling|
|Altitude||The rider may have to deal with problems such as low air pressure, low temperature, or low Oxygen supply because of the high altitude.||There are no problems such as low air pressure, low temperature, or low oxygen supply.|
|Speed||Riding a bike at speed uphill is not possible in most cases.||It is possible to ride a bike at very fast speeds, even 40 kilometers per hour or more.|
|Resistance||Due to the effects of gravity, you may be faced with up to 90% resistance.||You may be exposed to a maximum of 60% resistance due to gravity.|
|Strength||You need to use a lot of energy to ride on a bicycle uphill.||Bikers need to use much less energy to ride flat.|
|Posture||Often bikes suitable for uphill riding give you a forward-leaning riding posture, which makes this ride much easier.||A forward-leaning posture is not always important for flat riding.|
|Calorie Burns||Uphill bike riding is good exercise as it helps in burning more calories.||It burns relatively few calories.|
|Use Of Gears||A lower gear helps bike uphill.||Higher gears are better to achieve high speed.|
Is It Hard To Cycle Uphill?
Yes, uphill cycling is always harder than flat cycling.
When going uphill, you have to carry both the weight of the bike and yours too against the force of gravity. Because of this, you need to exert more force on the pedals to maintain your momentum. As a result, the muscles get tired quickly, and it becomes difficult for the rider to continue the bike.
Some obstacles make the rider struggle with uphill cycling.
- One of these obstacles is injury proneness. There is a possibility of injury, especially when the rider wants to ride faster uphill using high gear.
- Weather can be another important contender in uphill riding. A particularly strong headwind can make your uphill bike riding much more challenging.
10 Effective Tricky Parts Of Uphill Bike Riding
Uphill riding is undoubtedly a tough job. But the thing that will help you the most for this is your strong mindset. Also, some tricks will make your uphill riding much easier. Now I am going to share some effective tricks below that can make your uphill cycling easier.
1. Practice More
To get good at uphill riding, you need a lot of practice, be it riding style or technique as we all know more practice will make anyone more efficient and help to understand the bike better. For this special reason, you need to ride the bike on unfamiliar terrain, as well as practice riding exercises in the gym.
2. Plan Your Route
- Know the route you want to ride the bike well.
- Planning an alternative route is always an exciting experience.
- Also, you can use the integrated navigation and ride mapping app to plan the route for uphill riding.
And, these will help you to ensure proper nutrition and speed.
3. Stay Light
While riding uphill, you have to fight against gravity. Thus excess weight is a big hindrance here and will make your riding difficult. So, be careful about your weight and your bike weigh.
- Try to control your weight, if you want to uphill biking be easier and more comfortable.
- If the bike has any heavy accessories, replace them if necessary, and try to choose a lightweight bike.
4. Regain Strength
Uphill riding requires a lot of effort which challenges the muscle fibers.
A drip feed may therefore be required to recover excess energy lost. Therefore, you need to take the proper amount of fluids and food. In this case, drinking small amounts of water or applying a specific running gel may be the easiest solution. Furthermore, it will help keep your body and mind fresh.
5. Stay Positive
During the tough times of uphill riding, riders often get depressed and develop negative thoughts. These negative thoughts slow you down and can set you up for failure. So, take a deep breath and clear the negative thoughts from your mind.
- Stay positive and believe that you can.
6. Adjust The Gears
The gear ratio plays a very important role in uphill riding.
Smaller chainrings and bigger cassettes will give you the most advantage in uphill riding. According to most experts, 46 to 49t chainrings and 16 to 18t cassettes would be the best gear ratios in this case. Although the best ratio depends on the riding terrain, a 46/17 or 42/17 ratio will give you a smooth ride on any terrain.
7. Maintain Climbing Cadence
Trying to ride too fast, in the beginning, will tire you out quickly, while riding slower may end up spending more time than necessary.
So, you need to maintain a riding cadence (Number of Pedal Revolutions Per Minute). Generally, maintaining a cadence of 60-80 is ideal for uphill riding.
8. Stay In The Saddle
We often notice riders ride the bike out of the saddle while riding uphill. It has some advantages like riding this way will help you reach your destination faster. But the disadvantage is that you will tire quickly and not be able to maintain the cadence.
So, the best option is to ride the bike in the saddle. This will help you reach the goal on time by maintaining your breathing and cadence.
9. Riding Position
While riding uphill, you need to keep your body calm and relaxed to get a stable pedaling platform. Here, the riding position plays an important role.
Although the frame of the bike influences the riding poster, a good drop handlebar can also help. Its various hand positions can provide a comfortable riding position that breathes freely.
10. Relax and Breathe
It is normal for the heart rate to increase because of exertion during uphill riding. In this condition, the muscles of the body, especially the muscles of the legs, need a lot of oxygen supply.
- Take long, deep breaths to regulate heart rate and deliver oxygen to muscles.
- Keep yourself relaxed and keep up the effort.
High Or Low Gear: Which Is Better For Biking Uphill?
Low gear is always recommended when climbing uphill.
Using a high gear setup (large chainrings and small cogs) will cause extra energy expenditure and tire you out quickly. Besides, a lower gear set-up(smaller chainrings and larger cogs) will help you ride longer with less effort.
If the crankset has two chainrings, stick with the smaller chainring and choose the larger cog. Because this setup will demand less power during the pedaling stroke. And, to meet this, you can go with a 46/17 or 42/17 gear ratio.
Are Road Bikes Easier To Ride Uphill?
Yes, road bikes are good for uphill riding.
You may notice that a road bike has all the qualities required for uphill riding. The frame of these bikes provides the rider with a naturally aerodynamic posture, allowing the rider to maintain a pedaling cadence. Moreover, because of their lightweight properties, they are preferred by riders in uphill riding.
- Road bikes usually come with drop handlebars that allow the rider to put their hands in three different positions and help them relax.
- They have a wide range of gear options, from where the rider can choose the required gear setting.
Considering all the features, we can say that a good road bike can be the best choice for your uphill riding.
And, Is Uphill Biking Harder Than Walk?
Yes, uphill riding is more tiring than walking.
When you are riding uphill, there is a greater tendency for you and your bike to roll downhill because of gravity. That’s why you have to keep applying pressure on the pedal. In addition, you have to carry the weight of the bike along with your weight while riding.
On the other hand, when you walk, even though gravity affects your gait, there is no tendency to roll over. The traction you get while walking does not come from bike tires.
It is true that you can go much faster on the bike, but the difficulty level will be higher uphill. All in all, uphill riding is harder than walking.
Final Thought On Uphill Biking Tricks
One of the most difficult and challenging aspects of uphill bike riding is maintaining self-control. Plus, the rider has to maintain complete control over the bike. In this type of riding, the rider has to work constantly and struggle as well as this exerts a prime influence on his body and mind.
Pro riders generally follow the above tips to keep themselves calm and maintain complete control over the bike. Moreover, this tricky part of uphill bike riding will surely make your uphill riding a lot easier and help you gain confidence. Finally, wishing you all the success in your next uphill biking, thank you.