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How to improve cycling climbing Videos

Climb Like a Pro - Tips On Cycling Up Hills

GCN unlocks the secrets of how to climb effectively on a bike - straight from the pros. For more tips from the pros, subscribe to GCN ...

User Comments

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I know it's not what these videos are for, but how much of this applies to those of us who cycle for transportation rather than sport? I mean, steak bike, 8 speed internal hub, hub generator lights, and sit up and beg geometry. There's a rather nasty hill right near home and if I go that way it's nice going wherever I'm going, but not great coming back. I'm much better at it than I used to be but God, I hate this hill.
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Oh, it's a stupid language. Good and food don't rhyme why?
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+Kevin15047 STEEL bike even ?
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I meant to say steal bike.
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Forget compact cranks especially on a MTB. 3 RINGS. Choose you cassette accordingly. I like 44-32-22 in my MTBs, On road bikes I would set 52-39-26, 12-26 on the rear cassette. You still have the range but the ratios are closer to fine tune the final drive ratio. Use the largest ring you can. Don't worry about cross-chaining, the bike is supposed to help you not the other way around.
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+Ryan Morrison Remember the second part of the argument, the purpose of the gears is to help the rider not the other way around. So the rider does not have to strain. You don't adjust the gears to reduce the stress on the drivetrain, you use it to minimise the stress on the rider so you can put down as much power as possible without sore knees and legs.
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+Peter B. Either extreme is bad for your chain, it adds tension, and unwanted angle and will over time stretch the chain more than if you didn't This is if you mean large front ring and biggest(in size) cassette at the back, anyway.Never go highest at the front and lowest at the back and vice versa is a good habit for many reasons.
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+Ryan Morrison crosschain in the small ring and cassette gears bad cross in the large ring and cassette gears good.
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+Peter B. cross chaining is okay in rare situations but do it a lot and your chair will wear a lot faster, and if not replaced wear everything else out too. good habit not to cross chain for this reason.
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+Addicus Taylor There is a limit screw on the rear derailer which will stop it from going in the spokes if it adjusted correctly. keeping the chain on the largest ring as much as possible reduces wear in 2 important ways. 1 the largest ring is the farthest out of line with the wheels so less dirt will be kicked up on the chain. 2 it minimizes the torque on the driveline. Less torque on the chain allows smoother shifts.
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Silly thing to say. I worry about cross gears because I want my drivetrain to work as long as as well as possible. If your chain is to short and you gross hears it can pull your do you railer derailleur into your spokes.
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awesome video! hey guys, in the pursuit for being more aero I found some different opinions about what makes you more or less aero...for example, nobody said nothing about beards, but shaving your legs have the same effect of changing from a round frame to an aero frame...can you put it to the test? whats the real difference in performance between shaving legs and wearing cycling pants instead of shorts? do overshoes really make that much of a difference? Thank you guys, you are awesome
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They have a video comparing aero frames and light weight frames, you can try searching that on their GCN channel, but the difference is not significant- comparing to other changes such as your body position.The are articles out there with studies that shows how many seconds you can save with overshoes/ skin suit and etc of how many seconds you can save in a 40km time trial - then again, some upgrades are a lot more bang for the buck such as aero bars / helmet / skin suit and slamming your stem.Shaving legs apparently does make a difference according to an experiment done on "Specialized"'s channel in the "Win Tunnel" series of videos.
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I like all your videos and I'm one of your subscriber. Can Matt or Daniel Lloyd make a video on who's faster on climbling "a small ring spinner or a Big ring grinder?" respectfully, -Marc
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Thanks :) GCN
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Hi Marc, we've got something just like that coming up very soon! 

Cycling Survival 1 - How to cycle in the mountains - Climbing Technique

Download the full 40min Cycling Guide in HIGH QUALITY here: //cyclefilm.vhx.tv/packages/road-cycling-survival-guide Buy Cyclefilm DVDs ...

User Comments

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Your bicycle looks too big for you??
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+Dean Barry Many riders ride smaller frames for lightness and then need to extend the reach with a longer stem. His bike is a good fit.

Top 10 Climbing Tips - Climb Like A Pro

Ride faster uphill or just enjoy it more with our top 10 tips for climbing. Subscribe to GCN on YouTube: //gcn.eu/SubscribeToGCN Climbing is the most ...

User Comments

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If you're light weight, get to the bottom of the hill with as much speed as possible.
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+Video DSLR Tutorialreally any hill over 30-35 mph any extra you put in only have very minimal gains, if you save it and rest up for the next hill that saved energy will give you far more return. if its a very gradual downhill then ya keep pedaling or if you need to catch a wheel or be left behind on the decent then a short sprint to catch on so you can then tuck and coast while still keeping up will help you in the long run if the hills long enough.
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Of course you shouldn't sprint to the bottomof the climb but putting a bit more effort in it will make the first few hundred meter of the climb much easier.
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+Sarge Izzard thats not the best option really, if you pedal your ass off on the downs to maintain speed you will be to burnt to use your weight to your advantage on the next uphill section. unless you can draft a bigger guy and keep his speed your best off to just tuck and make the most of what you got on the downhills.
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i recently started following a new cycling route. halfway through the route there is an abnormally steep and long climb. it is steep at the start and gets steeper afterwards . i start by cycling in a even cadence at the bottom of the climb until i can maintain speed, but when i realize i have to put in too much effort i shift into the middle ring in the front, get out of the saddle and steadily pedal to the top. is this the right way to do it or do you have some other advice? +Global Cycling Network
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superb mate
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+Aditya Damle The more you raise your chest the more directly you can work your buttox and quads. Sometimes when going uphill on a difficult route i find only hanging on with the tips of your fingers, leaning your center of mass back a little bit, putting most of your weight on the saddle and thus back wheel, (always good to have better backwheel traction going uphill) using the extra space your extended fingers give you, then you're gonna feel a good leverage almost like you have your back up against a wall, then ontop of that pull into your handlebar on the downstrokes using your shoulders, you're going to be able to use that to push uphill better without breaking cadence or the stability of your bike. The straighter you ride the less distance you have to go! Try not to displace your weight ofetn :3
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+Global Cycling Network yea thanks!
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It sounds like you are doing things exactly right - the key is to pace things so that you don't go too hard at the bottom, especially as it gets steeper later.
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Sorry, I'm a little confused. Is it better to be seated or not?
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+Salah El Mouled It's better to be seated!Only stand up if you really have zero energy left or when there is a short super steep climb.I often stand the last 5% of the climb.
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What is the suggested chain ring for climbing ? Currently I'm using the inner 36T and 28T sprocket.
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I see, indeed depends on [email protected] variables. It takes some time to find out the best teeth ratio for my riding style . Thanks for the info
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Hi Chan, it depends on so many variables it's not really possible to say which is best. If you find that you can maintain the cadence that you'd like at all times, then you've got the right gear. If you're struggling to turn your pedals over maybe get something easier. 
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Understand all people's climbing style and gearing is different,but wondering what gears are recommended with climbing an average gradient of 4% for a beginner/medium rider? Eg being in both big rings?
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Hi Adrian, as you say, everyone is different, it just completely depends. However, we'd say avoid using 'big/big' as it's not very good for the health of your bike as the chain has to stretch a bit, and it's also not very efficient. Use your little ring at the front, and then fine tune at the back depending on your effort. 
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Hi gcn Q. would it be better to practice climbing on heavy bike & when you race use your lightweight bike? any advandage to this method...thanks.
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Cheers.
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Technically no, you would just go faster in training by putting out the same power on a lighter bike than a heavier bike. In reality though, swapping to a lighter bike gives a real psychological boost. 

Hill Climbing Technique by Coach Troy Jacobson, 2004

Watch this short video clip from coach Troy with tips about faster hill climbing on the bike.

User Comments

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Don't know if anyone has touched on this, but the weight won't be a major fact, and as you said the quality of the wheel will help just as much. Wheels are an expensive way to shed weight. The best way is (and particularly if you're on the heavier side) losing weight from your body. 300g is about the same as taking a leak before you cycle! If you can reduce your weight by 2-5kg you'll notice a BIG difference! I was 73 kg for 1.84m, but am now 69 kg and it's a different game! Happy hill climbing!
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I need massive help. I have a loop that I am riding as I work up to road cycling. There is a hill directly after a sharp turn, and that damned hill is my Everest right now. Kills me. I don't have much momentum as I start the long climb because of that damned turn. AND I am not as physically fit as I used to be, so I stall out about fifty feet before the top of the hill every. damned. time. It's driving me insane. Part of it is that I brake a little too much round that corner, but UGH.
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Thanks. I've begun to think more about cadence. And everyone--my boyfriend, my best friend, family--just keeps saying it will come with time as long as I keep going with it and build stamina and strength. I am doing more smooth-road training in higher gears but switch to the lowest as I climb that freakin' hill. I swear: if I make it, I will hop off and do a jig. Obsessed with it, right now. Want to get back up there to 20-25 mile rides. I'm doing around 4-5 now. Thanks again.
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thats a valid point I guess, in training it dont matter if the bike is heavy. The main reason I´m buying a new wheelset is that all the reviews says the shimano RS10 wheels that came with my cannondale caad10, are shit. Bigger guys, like myself, has problems with popping spokes in the rear wheel and so on. That said, I´m one of those guys who just wants to go fast. I cant go for a recoveryride, because I always try to go fast..
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well I havent been able to ride as much as i wanted because of cold and wet conditions here in Norway. Ive only done 500km. But still I see good progress; ive been doing hill repeats on a pretty steep local hill and the time is down from over 8 minutes to about 5 min. Im buying a new wheelset next month which will be more than 300g lighter than the RS10´s I have now, I hope that will make a difference in the hills as well.
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greatest tip 4:43 . It works if your not chasing someone twice as fast and not your burnt dead by the top. If you pace and reach the top go up two gears and burst over the crest. You will gain lots of distance on the downhill burst. Your already ahead so you dont have to spin much. Others have to take their rest period to try catch up. You have to gauge whether you have the strength left to gear up. Follow your body.
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I ride for health reasons here where I live in Las Vegas. Las Vegas is actually a huge valley so theres not too many flat spots its all ups and downs. Im 42 and have only been riding for 6 months now. Before this last time I rode was high school. I love my Trek bike, its 10 times better than anything I had when I was a kid. Thanks for your tips on technique - best information ive gotten off YouTube in a long time.
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Power is important on shorter climbs and lower gradients. For example, Philipe Gilbert is arguably the best on the shorter climbs and is about 73-74 kg. Alberto Contador is arguably the best on the longer steep climbs and is about 62kg. Your Dad could also make a mean sprinter or prologue (short time trial) rider, but realistically would have to be more like 190 lbs or less to be outstanding.
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what set up you recommend for triathlon events i got 50/34, 12-30T but i plan to change it to 53/39 11-32T Will this set up is good or can i stay with the compact set up, b.t.w i live in Puerto Rico where triathlons has few up hills once in a while but i like to go up te mountains on training days withelevations up to 3,000 and an avg. 3% to 8% grade, any tips or idea welcome...thx
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At 1:52 he says: "attack the bottom of the hill, and as you start climbing the hill you continue to work hard, utilizing that momentum to propel you up the hill as far as you can". I do that - and my climb fails and I lose the race. His response at 3:47: "the key is, instead of attacking the bottom of the hill, start the hill at a controlled pace". Coach - you're fired.
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cycling uphill is harder than running uphill, because wheels are round....they want you to go downhill, inherantly by being on the hill. Running up a hill? sort of, but if you stop running or slow down, your momentum wants you to stop, but doesn't necessarily want you to instantly fall down the hill.. wusses run uphill, real athletes cycle uphill.
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my friend, wheels 300g lighter wouldn't be much more durable.... even contador(a light guy) snapped his rear zipp during a climb back in 2010. i recommend have your lbs built a traditional wheel with at least 32 spokes at rear. it can be reasonably light but it will be much tougher and it will cost you a LOT less for the long period.
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Okay, pulling up on the pedals is a myth, proven with pressure sensors. When you use other muscle groups, it takes more oxygenated from your heart and lungs. It's like basically trying to fuck with thermodynamics, even though the strain on your thighs is reduced. I never run out of leg strength, its all cardio fueling it.
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gear selection is based on how well your cardiac system can get oxygen to the red blood cells to and from lungs to legs. also all the top 10 riders in tdf are on the hotsauce. he know this but wont tell you this. epic fail infomercial pro corporate. pro intertainment system. pro msm , pro politician. epic epic failllll
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Ah ha! - thank you! In that case, it's not a particularly helpful tip: it should be the obvious strategy either before or after the first ride. I like Michael Cotty's tip: "There's no hard and fast technique...Just experiment, work on something that is going to be good for you...and,bottom line, go out and enjoy!"
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So you should as he says: "that last 20% or so of the climb, push yourself harder to gain more momentum and punch yourself over the top of the hill" What I did: "so that last 20% or so of the climb, pushed myself harder to gain more momentum and then lie down on the pavement whilst pedestrians stared at me" ;-D
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Hello everyone. Nice video clip. My older brother used to be a flabby. He enhanced himself from 283 lbs of fat to 209lbs of absolute lean muscle mass. Shit's ridiculous! I just registered myself because I'm hoping to get stronger muscle mass. He made use of the Muscle Building Bible (Look in Google)...
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Don't disagree with any of it, apart from the fact that your pulse INCREASES when going down hill. If you want to get more out of modest hills train on a mountain bike or ordinary bike. I get out of the saddle for eight strokes and then sit down. I am a messy climber, but I rarely have to stop.
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you burst at the bottom a little to get good momentum and pace going. Then burst over top to leave your rival in the dust. Never sprint over your max. as you train hill repeats and sprints you will learn how long you can hold a sprint before back off, sometimes feeling almost unfatigued by it.
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Interesting. I do a lot of this stuff without knowing it. It's good to get the reasoning behind it. Very useful strategies employed for good power delivery throughout the climb. Got some good tips. Will look out for a few more of his tips.
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True dat! The good thing about some of the Spinervals videos I've trained with is you can shut the music off. I like also the on-screen overlays that help when you mute the video and just crank up your own tunes to spin mindlessly.
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LOL One would think that the part where I said I run uphill "barefoot... through glass... BOTH ways." woulda have been a clue that I was not serious... Have a nice day. And no, I'm not being sarcastic. :)
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I don't know if this helps anyone else but when i'm climbing I concentrate on smoothing out my cadence and visualise the circle motion my feet are making. It really seems to make my power more efficient!
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great advice: "Attack the bottom of the hill, continue to push hard as you go up (and if you slow down then pedal harder), then go as fast as you can as you near the top." Go on lad - give it 110%!
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I just bought my first road bike, so I dont know a lot about this, but this sounds like really good advice. Im a heavy guy at 97kg/210lbs so climbing is probably going to be my biggest problem.
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this fella on the vid...is he fucking "sam beckett" from quantum leap or what..??????? he gonna call squiggy up in a minute for some info.... then morph outta here into the next video

How To Train For Short Climbs

Riding fast up short, steep hills requires tough, specific efforts, Here a few we'd recommend. Subscribe to GCN for more training advice: ...

User Comments

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hallo! So guys, what is the ¨correct physiological system(min 1:54) you mention on this video (
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+Global Cycling Network That was fast!!!! Thanx!!!!
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+Νικόλαος Β. Καραλάιος in that case, anaerobic capacity.
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Hi Guys, I noticed that you ride most of the intervals in standing position (also in the "train for power" Video? Wouldn't it be more specific to ride the intervals sitting?
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If you always ride seated, then yes. We tend to ride out of the saddle on short climbs though so this would be more specific, not less. Just go with what's natural to you though, don't force it. 
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wow nice hills and no cars! Where are you? Australia?
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cool, that is not so far away from me. I'll never get to Australia, but France might be possible one day. :-)
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No, South of France. Very nice riding. 
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Dan, 10/10 for your sock and shows colour combination. Matt and Si..... Not so much! 
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Haha, someone else commented on this video that Matt's shoe/socks combo makes him look 10 years younger! Generation gap? 
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Does Dan have ridiculously large feet?
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Yes, like thin flippers.
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What's the ideal grade (or range) to practice these on? Best cadence range?
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Hi Renee, look for something from 5% to 15%, and use whatever cadence feels best to you. 
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Where are you all riding in this video. It's quite beautiful.
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In the hills above Nice, specifically at the top of the Col d'Eze. You're right, it's stunning there.
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Might sound stupid, but do you find a climb that takes about 1 min to get up at full speed or one that is longer and guess when a minute is over? I imagine guessing 1 minute is quite hard!
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+Global Cycling Network Thanks!
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A climb that takes almost exactly a minute is perfect as it means you don't have to look at the clock, you just race to the top. Nothing to stop you doing it on a longer climb, though, and glancing at how long you've done.
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