Do you dread having to go up or down a hill on your bike? You might think you’re about to exhaust yourself. Or like you’ll move too fast and lose control of your ride. But you don’t have to struggle out on the trails! Just follow these tips for climbing and descending on two wheels.
Climbing Up a Hill
1. Stay seated first.
Pedal fast while seated for maximum power transfer. To amp up your cadence, just move your body back as you push on the downstroke. Lean forward, flex your elbows, and pull on the handlebar opposite your leg in the downstroke. Then you’ll be riding like the wind!
2. Stand up for more power.
Steep hills require more power. As you start the downstroke, lean your bike away from that foot with your body straightened over it. Keep your elbows loose while leaning on the handlebars. Transfer your weight to your other foot using your bike as a lever to finish the stroke.
3. Keep pedaling.
When your foot is at the bottom of the stroke, move it back like you’re scraping something off your shoe. Pull up on the pedal and step forward until you’re ready to do another stroke. Practice this on each leg. When you’re comfortable, use both legs to climb the hill.
4. Shift gears.
Use whatever gear you’re most comfortable in. Keep your cadence consistent through the whole climb. When it starts to slow down, switch to an easier gear. Let up on the pedals at the same time to take pressure off the chain.
Going Down a Hill
1. Get in the right body position.
The steeper the hill, the more weight you need on the back of your bike for braking and cornering. Shift most of your weight to the back of your seat.
2. Go straight downhill.
Get low, move your hands on the drops near the brakes, and tuck your elbows into your sides. Raise your body slightly off the seat to better your balance. Put your feet in the 3 o’clock and 9 o’clock positions to center yourself over your bike.
3. Prepare for corners.
Drive down your outside leg and lean on the inside drop. Keep your outside elbow close to your body with your head and shoulders level. This will keep your tires on the ground.
4. Use your brakes.
Move your weight back and put even pressure on both brakes. Move you weight forward if you get to an obstacle or rough ground. Keep a firm but relaxed grip on the bars to absorb the shocks. Lighten up on the brakes if you lose traction.
Get More Cycling Tips in Scottsdale, AZ
For all the best cycling tips, come to Airpark Bike Co in Scottsdale, AZ. We’ll help you travel safely, comfortable, and efficiently on two wheels. You can buy a brand new bike here with us, too. We sell Yeti, Niner, Wilier, Diamondback, and more high-end brands. Tons of sizes and builds in all prices to fit your budget. See for yourself today!