Climbing - I'm terrible at it.

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Climbing - I'm terrible at it.
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Posted: Aug 13, 2017 at 17:35 Quote
I have no endurance while climbing. I'm sick of it. Even in the granny gear.

Recently just got back into riding, used to focus on downhill, now more XC riding.

I moved from the PNW to Dallas, TX where you'd think I'd have no hills to climb, but I'm finding even on short creek crossings or semi technical climbs I just can't do it.

Here's the odd thing, I've done several century rides on my road bike and never really fell behind on climbs then.

I've thought about done more fitness training specific to this (leg extensions, squats and leg curls), as well as some more intensive stationary bike rounds. Or, do I just need to go riding more? (probably both).

Anyone have any good experience with this? Thanks!

Posted: Aug 18, 2017 at 1:22 Quote
I do intervals, 40s full power, 20s rest as much times as I can. It improved my climbing fitness a lot.

Posted: Sep 14, 2017 at 20:01 Quote
i tell myself "dont you effin quit on this hill....if need be i can rest all i need at the top as thats my reward but so help me if i quit going up the hill" does wonders for me lol....hills are not places i stop on unless i fall off my bike or my wheel breaks loose.

i ride flats but found that when riding spd's i could climb even better as i could pull and push on the pedals to help.....maybe give that a go if you don't already ride clipped in. For me though i just love the freedom of flats pedals.

also try to not look to often to the summit as this can demotivate you....try and tell yourself that every single second you pedal your succeding and you only fail if you stop so as long as your pedalling no matter how slow your going your winning.

Posted: Sep 16, 2017 at 9:01 Quote
I have the same problem went from downhill to xc and all. What I've found in research is your power output needs to be fluid in your pedal stroke. Think of it as even output through the full circle of the crank vs 2 pistons pressing down on each pedal. Spin it out. Also seat post height is huge

Posted: Nov 29, 2017 at 15:08 Quote
I would say it's a combination of everything. If you add one or two days of lower body strength training, I think you will notice a huge difference in your performance. With that said (this next point is a personal recommendation) I would consider focusing more on the muscular endurance type of training; This being reps ranging between 12-15. That mixed with a few ideas already listed (sprints, just keep riding), I think after a while you'll notice progress. But it takes time; BE PATIENT!

Posted: Dec 1, 2017 at 16:47 Quote
Welcome to the club! I despise climbs and find my buddies pulling away most of the time unless its gradual and I can keep my speed.

Anything slow and technical forget about it, I just take my time and push until I get to the top keeping a comfortable pace (I know they're gonna pull away). Every once in a while I'll get hung up on a slow technical climb and can't upclip in time and go for a ride to the ground (makes for good jokes). I'm new to clipless pedals, they do help quite a bit.

Going down it's a different story, move over bitches! I guess that's kinda how I keep up with them. So what if you can't climb, it'll come in time. I could care less, I know I have something to work on and I'm not racing or trying to beat the best STRAVA time.

Just ride your bike and have a blast!

Posted: Dec 1, 2017 at 18:29 Quote
I ride the bike to the trail, and I have no lifts so I do climbing as well. The only way to get better is practice (sadly). Once you get good at it, it'a quite rewarding to push that crank up the hill.

Posted: Mar 14, 2018 at 16:27 Quote
climbing can be rewarding and frustrating at the same time.
1 body position, steeper you get keep scooting your butt up on the seat, as one of my friends said, keep scooting your butt forward till if feels good.
2 climbing is very aerobic, water, water, and more water, to keep your muscles hydrated
3 make sure you breath, breath as you climb, lots of oxygen
4 practice, practice, practice , you will never get better unless you keep cranking

works for me anyway

Posted: Apr 9, 2018 at 19:02 Quote
lblizzard wrote:
climbing can be rewarding and frustrating at the same time.
1 body position, steeper you get keep scooting your butt up on the seat, as one of my friends said, keep scooting your butt forward till if feels good.
2 climbing is very aerobic, water, water, and more water, to keep your muscles hydrated
3 make sure you breath, breath as you climb, lots of oxygen
4 practice, practice, practice , you will never get better unless you keep cranking

works for me anyway

This^.
One big thing that really helps me I think more then cardio or leg strength, it learning to keep momentum. Coming into a climb with enough speed to float you part way up, but also cranking to keep that speed. Speed will get you ato the top a Lot easier then compared to starting slow and using granny gear all the way up.

Posted: Apr 11, 2018 at 8:44 Quote
sphynx88 wrote:
I have no endurance while climbing. I'm sick of it. Even in the granny gear.

Anyone have any good experience with this? Thanks!

I've "figured out" a couple of things over the years. But first... disclaimer! I am NOT a trainer, I am NOT a professional. Smile My only qualification (term used VERY loosely) is many tears of riding (1st off road bike in the late 70's). I ride 99% single track almost daily (5-6 times a week), just about all year 'round. You would think endurance and strength would not be an issue. Smile I personally do better on short steep punchy technical climbs than I do on long drawn out ascends.
However, habits, good or bad, may be something to consider.

My experience (in order of what seems to have helped me the most)...

Hitting a climb right at the start without warming up and stretching is my biggest mistake. I despise stretching, and just don't do it. But I do try to warm up before starting a climb at the start of a ride, like riding around the parking lot or up and down the road before hitting the trail. For me, it's like day and night for that initial climb.

I also try to remember to take in some fuel BEFORE I start a ride. Yeah, usually forget to. Turns out my metabolism needs a few minutes to make use of said 'fuel' before I try to ride. I suspect everyone's metabolism may be different (just a guess). If I woof something down (usually a gel) just before my ride, it doesn't seem to help. 10-15 minutes prior to a ride, and it seems to work for me. Maybe psychological?

What I have learned years ago, I stay seated. Coming from hard tails (before rear suspensions even existed), this was a counter intuitive thing to get past. To this day, once and a while I catch myself, and have to plant my rear back down. Staying planted helps me with both steep tech and long steady climbs.

I've also noticed that if I ride taxing climb kinda trails back to back for a few days, my ability for climbing begins to wane. I guess I'm not allowing for re-coop. If I manage to mix up riding day to day (flat XC one day, techy climbing the next, etc.), I do notice my climbing ability to be more positive and consistent.

Anyway, just my experience...

Posted: Apr 23, 2018 at 10:34 Quote
Even though this thread started a while back, I'll add a few things.

Texas riding is different than many other places in that you have little time to recover. Those short hills and climbs add up and you tend to hit them hard so you go anaerobic instead of sitting and spinning up a long grind. Combined with the heat, it really can be draining.

So focus on intervals and power to get up the hills fast (hit with lots of speed) and pay attention to your heart rate for recovery. And in the heat, just stop caring and ride slower.

Posted: May 9, 2018 at 7:33 Quote
txclg wrote:
Texas riding is different than many other places in that you have little time to recover. Those short hills and climbs add up and you tend to hit them hard so you go anaerobic instead of sitting and spinning up a long grind. Combined with the heat, it really can be draining.

Very true, especially when it's 100 degrees and 98% humidity Smile

Posted: May 9, 2018 at 7:51 Quote
Yuck on the humidity.

+1 on the stay seated. There is a reason seat angles on modern bikes are returning to near vertical. It allows more efficient pedaling. Standing and pedaling might look cool in promo videos, or work well for a short punchy section you weren't prepared for, but for sustained climbing, seated, seat post all the way up, and proper fit win every time.

Posted: Jun 24, 2018 at 18:47 Quote
I've kids and struggle to put a lot of time into training so have started a little weight training in my garage - I can do a set of deadlifts in 15mins or so. The gain in leg and back strength has been massive for me (although I've always been on the weedy side of things) and I'm completing lots of hills that I'd have previously walked. That may be something to consider if you have access to the equipment?

Posted: Jun 27, 2018 at 10:08 Quote
sphynx88 wrote:
I have no endurance while climbing. I'm sick of it. Even in the granny gear.

Recently just got back into riding, used to focus on downhill, now more XC riding.

I moved from the PNW to Dallas, TX where you'd think I'd have no hills to climb, but I'm finding even on short creek crossings or semi technical climbs I just can't do it.

Here's the odd thing, I've done several century rides on my road bike and never really fell behind on climbs then.

I've thought about done more fitness training specific to this (leg extensions, squats and leg curls), as well as some more intensive stationary bike rounds. Or, do I just need to go riding more? (probably both).

Anyone have any good experience with this? Thanks!

What DFW trails are you hitting? Some of them are just quite taxing even for in shape riders.

Heat is an issue too. Personally, it seems to limit the ability to recover quickly after a trail feature that requires exertion.

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