Do you feel like a victim when you ride steep climbs? Like your fitness is too low to get up them without your effort spiking?
Your heart races uncontrollably, you start panicking because you feel like you are drowning as you gasp for air, and you wrestle with excruciating pain in your legs to keep your cadence high enough to not tip over.
Is this the experience you have on steep climbs?
But you don’t have to be the victim of the climb! There are two things you can do to help make steep climbing easier on you.
If you develop the ability to become efficient at standing while using a low cadence this will solve all your steep climb woes. This technique allows you to stay in your lower physical zones and not max out your effort when the climb gets steep.
Standing helps adjust your position on the bike when the climb gets steep as because of the climb, your original seated position is no longer efficient. The steepness puts you off the back of the bike, forcing you to fight the control of the front wheel while being too far behind the pedal stroke. This cuts off your entire upstroke of the pedal stroke because you cannot access your hamstrings well.
By simply standing and positioning your chest low over the handlebar you put yourself in an optimal position. You immediately gain control of your front end and position yourself in a way where you can access those hamstrings and pedal with the full up and downstroke.
Now for the badass stuff! When you add in the ability to use a lower cadence while standing, you can use less power. In addition, you now have the ability to add in your body weight into the downstroke while controlling the upstroke. Magic, now you are using less effort with more control!!!
Give this a shot and practice it! It will give you the control back when the climb gets steep!