PACE AND GEARS

Bikes Etc - - TECHNIQUE -

First off – never read about the gear­ing that pro climbers use and then try to use them your­self, it will crip­ple you. Gear­ing has low­ered greatly in re­cent years, and few rid­ers would even con­sider strain­ing and honk­ing over big climbs in the way they did 20 years ago. The ma­cho gear­ing bravado has (mostly) been left at the road­side, and faster ped­alling con­sis­tency has proven to be the way ahead. When you hit a climb, find a com­fort­able gear and stick with it, within a cog or two. Do not fall into the trap of chang­ing straight down to your bot­tom gear and twid­dling as if your chain has just dropped. Aim for a pedal rate just a bit slower than on the flat, maybe 70-85rpm (try count­ing your ca­dence in train­ing, it may sur­prise you), and it will help to take your mind off the strug­gle. You need to learn what ef­fort you can sus­tain for the du­ra­tion of a climb, and that only comes with ex­pe­ri­ence of rid­ing th­ese climbs. Re­mem­ber that you may well have to face an­other climb fur­ther down the road, too, so keep your matches dry. Fo­cus on your ef­fort out­put lev­els, stay be­low the red line, keep your breath­ing deep, con­stant and man­age­able, and do not be lured into chas­ing faster rid­ers. Set your own pace and switch off. If you blow a gas­ket on a long climb, there is lit­tle chance of re­cov­ery, so keep it real and un­der wraps.

Ride at your own pace on climbs, rather than try­ing to chase other rid­ers

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