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Become a Better Climber w/o Hill Repeats-Part Deux

September 15, 2009

Hopefully everyone has had an opportunity to practice the techniques in Part 1.  In Part 2 we will discuss a few different topics, but first I wanted to answer a question from the previous post.

“how much will a Triple setup vs. a Double come into play on the climbs? i’ve got a double, and have found a few areas where i wish i had the triple. should i get a smaller chainring to help out?” Jeffro

The advantage to a triple chainring is that it offers a lower range of gears.  Spinning is the key, so if you find yourself in your easiest gear struggling to make the climb, a triple may be a good option.  The only thing you sacrafice with a triple is some weight (the extra ring) and shifting performance due to a longer chain.   Another option may be a compact crankset.  This is a double crankset that offers you a wider range of gears than a standard double and may give you exactly what you need w/o adding the extra weight.  check out this post from Bike Hugger on the Rise of the Compact Crank (aka “The Death of the Triple”).

On the Ride Training

Although it is not necessary to suffer through the monotony of riding up the same hill over and over, you aren’t going to get better at climbing hills unless you climb some.  Pick a route that has 5 or 6 moderate climbs on it, something that takes  2 to 3 minutes to climb,  and follow these steps.

  • Keep your cadence up.  Remember in our previous post that it is important to spin up the hill.  Try and keep your cadence above 60.
  • Stay Seated
  • Ride the hill at max effort.  This drill may make you nauseous the first few times.  Make sure that you spin easy down the backside of the hill and ride easy to moderate between them.
  • I would recommend recording your time to top and avg speed on the climb.  You’ll want to celebrate as you improve.

Off the Bike

Building strenght is another way to increase performance on hills.  The stronger you are the bigger the gear you spin.  Two days a week should be sufficient to start. If you are not currently working out, start out slow using only body weight for the first 2 weeks.  After that you can incorpate weights or a theraband to add resisitence.  If your ride is Saturday I would recommend a Monday/Wednesday schedule for your strenght training.

Here is a basic workout to get you started.  I have incorporated some core and upper body excercises as well.  Strenght in these areas is important for overall performance.  Make sure you warm up for 20 minutes prior to these excercises.  Do 3 sets of the following.

  • 15 body weight squats
  • 15 push-ups (on your knees if you have to)
  • 15 reverse crunches

I hope that helps.  Let me know if you guys have any questions.  I also would like to hear some success stories.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. October 20, 2009 1:21 pm

    What tamplate do you use in your blog? Very interesting articles

  2. January 29, 2010 2:49 pm

    Good work, your articles are very interesting, i am glad that i googled your blog

  3. roostertx permalink
    January 31, 2010 8:32 pm

    Thank you for the comments and sorry for the late responses. I am glad that you are getting good information here. Please let us know if there is something specific you are interested in.

    The template is MistyLook by Sadish.


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