Become a JetBlack hill climbing legend at over 80kg.
This is an easy fix to help the heavier rider climb like Alberto.
Some say seated climbing uses less energy than standing.
Let’s take it back to what drives us up hills and the mechanism we use. It all starts at the pedals; cranks, chain rings and then connecting left and right our bottom bracket. These all help move the chain which in turns moves our rear wheel.
Now the hardest / stickiest part of our pedalling is at the 12 o’clock and 6 o’clock position. If you haven’t perfected your pedalling then this is where there is a massive dead spot and this magnified when climbing hills.
Rider weight is also an issue….or is it? I would stick my head out and say not really; here in God zone we don’t have the massive 10 to 30km climbs where you need to be the shape of Quintana or Froom. Most of us are lucky to have a 3km climb in our area or event we are planning.
So the saying of “nah I’m too heavy for climbing’….I say it’s an excuse….. I say use your weight to help you get up the hill. Apply good technique while climbing and you will find you weight can help you.
Yeah right… I hear you saying…read this then give it ago.
Take a look at Contordor when he is climbing. Look at the 12 / 6 o’clock pedal position then look where his pelvis and upper body is.
Another easy example, look at a Athletics sprinter when in the starting blocks or at a standing start, is he standing up right? Where is his/ her weight for the power coming from? forward, directly above or behind the pelvis / hips. The answer: Forward
Most beginner riders I see climbing will stand directly above the bottom bracket. This makes it very hard to scrape your foot across the bottom or kick over the top.
While freewheeling, stand up directly above the bottom bracket and just try pulling your foot from the 6 o’clock position. Near impossible with all your weight bearing down. Now move your pelvis forward until your chest is well over the centre of your bars. Look down and see what has happened to the angle of your foot and leg.
All of a sudden with a simple movement forward you have eliminated the dead spot. This is the position your lower body should be in while climbing out of the saddle.
Now for the trick….Lift your upper body up so as your elbows are just slightly bent using your wrists to bear the weight and to flick the bike from side to side. Holding you upper body tall and over the top of the bars will enable you to use some of that body weight to push down on those pedals. This dropping the amount of muscle recruitment used to power the movement.. With elbows only slightly bent and being strong through the wrist will help save wasting energy on holding your upper body up, you need it all for the legs.
This takes practice but once you feel it you will understand the benefits. The guy’s I coach have increased their climbing by improving their efficiency this way.
Think like Alberto…..climb like Alberto