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john74john74 Posts: 254
edited August 2007 in XC and Enduro
im good at technical sections im quick going down hill and fine on the flat as soon as i get to a hill i get dropped from the group and end up dying halfway up and having to walk. do i just need to keep riding hills to improve?
2010 Forme Reve
2010 Giant Talon 1


  • hastingshastings Posts: 206
    i find that if you ride a short steep hill (that takes up to 30secs to sprint) then repeat this every few minutes you will find going up hills a bit easier
  • ddoogieddoogie Posts: 4,159
    The best way to improve your fitness is to just get out and ride as much as you can. Whilst you are on your rides I like to think "fast". When riding along the flats, don't just settle for an easy spinning gear, crank it up and put it in the big ring. Use the downhill sections as resting zones and really work them.
    S-works Stumpjumper FSR

    I'll see you at the end.

    You'll see me on the floor.
  • MBUK says find a small hill (8 -10 seconds) and sprint up it then reapeat every 10 or less mins, to improve your hill climing performance

    out riding today i found the wind did exactly the same thing but as i use a heart rate monitor i worry more about my heart rate than speed, dont assume you should be able to keep a pace uphill as on the flat, your heart works much harder! instead try to make it as easy as possible if your having to get off and walk even first gear would be quicker than walking so try dropping down to a lower gear and going slow from the start rather than working your heart to hard at the bottom and im sure you will see what im talking about, dont wait till your worn out antisipate the hill and take it slower in a low gear from the start you'll get much further.

    hope this helps
  • x-islex-isle Posts: 794
    It may not be your fitness.

    It maybe your position on the bike.

    I recently realised this as I was far too crampt on my bike. My seat was in the correct position, but I struggled to get up the hills and I just felt uncomfortable on the long climbs.

    Turns out, my bars are wrong. I have a straight bars which made me lean right over, coupled with a long stem, I was also stretching for the bars. This made my breathing suffer.

    I've bought some riser bars and a shorter stem, not yet received them, but I'll be fitting them when they arrive and heading off to Cannock Chase to try the new position.
    Craig Rogers
  • john74john74 Posts: 254
    let me know what happens x-isle.

    even short hills my hr is up in the 170 to 180s
    2010 Forme Reve
    2010 Giant Talon 1
  • x-islex-isle Posts: 794
    I'm no Doctor, but if your climbing, your heart beat increases, if you are not breathing enough air in, then you are not getting enough oxygen into your blood and the heart won't slow down...............

    Maybe take your bike to a good LBS and ask them about your seating position.

    I will let you know if my new setup helps me out though!
    Craig Rogers
  • slimbobslimbob Posts: 35
    The short recovery hill rides are good advice, combined with the 'driving a bigger gear' when going up hill and always trying to push it, you can't go far wrong. Remember to still take easy rides too and/or overdistance rides.

    I used to roadbike alot and found that by just getting out on the bike that got me fit for hills, because the different gear ratios I was always pushing harder and even on the downhills I was trying to maintain speed opposed to mtbing where often people saunter to the top and then roll down and then rest. I don't know your current type of rides but alot of roadies are really surprised when they go out with mtbers and find they stop every 10mins - as I tend to do, it's a social thing :) . That doesn't happen on the road (so much...unless it's there is a pie shop!).
  • paulf2007paulf2007 Posts: 341
    ride at your own pace, dont try to stay with people that are quicker than you or you will blow up. As you get fitter/better technically you can up your pace. Tackle more climbs rather than avoiding them. I look forward to the climbs myself.
  • NoodooNoodoo Posts: 214
    I too, am rubbish at climbing.

    I have noticed that breathing pattern and pedalling rhythm make a difference though.

    Try taking a deep breath in through your nose, hold it for a second and then let it all out quickly through your mouth. then straight on with another intake through your nose...

    Try this 5 or 6 times whilst you're sat reading this and you should notice that you get an oxygen rush. It seems a pretty good way of getting oxygen in your system anyway.
    Combine that with a good pedalling rhythm and tell you mates to shut up talking at you before you start the climbs and you should get a lot further.
    Having mates waffle at me and having to reply took away a lot of my rhythm and breathing pattern, making me knackered really quickly.

    Saracen Mantra with Marzocchi MX Pro ETA\'s, 24-7 Silverstar pedals... and a map holder.
  • ANDE.BANDE.B Posts: 544
    Try doing hill-climbs with a high-cadence "lance armstong style" (like, above 90rpm)
    Its more energy-efficient and on technical xc climbs i find its the best way to keep going and avoid slipping or running out of momentum (as your using less-torq to keep flowing).
    I do 10-20 min rides at 120rpm to keep my legs fast for this kinda thing.
    My Pinkbike Pics
    "Cycling is just like church - many attend, but few understand." Jim Burlant
  • think180think180 Posts: 36
    Hi there, again no doctor here but if I were you I would:
    1. Train on the flat to make sure you have a good base level of fintness, which I'm sure you already do.
    2. Identify the type of hill. Short and steep or long and steady.
    3. If it's short, go for the methods mentioned above by coolblokey and hastings.
    4. If it's a long and steady hill, pace yourself. Find a cadence you can maintain for the whole hill, don't sprint at the bottom and blow half way up, let the sprinters go you'll pass them later. If you find a comfortable cadence you can control your breathing and climb in a relaxed way.
    5. When you can climb in a relaxed way, if you're racing, check the hills on the course and work out how you're going to tackle them. If you're working at 80% max HR you should still have enough energy to have a sprint at the end, then relax on the descent.

    Keep practicing, it'll come in the end.
  • Lean over the bars,put some work in, practise and take the pain, BOY!
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