Technical tricks for relaxed uphill pedaling.

A central position in the bike is crucial to success when riding safely through technical passages, whether uphill or downhill. It is essential to load the bike via the bottom bracket and to support yourself as little as possible on the handlebars, otherwise the front wheel will get stuck on obstacles. When riding uphill, this means that you should slide forward on the saddle on gentle inclines and stand up from the saddle on steeper inclines/rolling over obstacles so that you can get far enough forward with your body to maintain traction and control on the front wheel.

If the terrain becomes too steep and uneven, as is the case in this root passage, it is therefore essential that you alternate between a seated and standing position when pedaling to allow the bike to work under you and maintain traction.

Here are 3 golden rules for technical uphill sections:

  1. gear selection

  2. eye tracking

  3. body position

Here are more details on these 3 elements:

Gait selection:

Ideally, you'll manage to maintain a cadence of 55-75 revolutions by shifting into the appropriate gear in a timely manner.

Gaze guidance:

Always look 1-2 seconds ahead, look for a good rideable line and avoid targeting the "hazards". So look where you want to go, not where you don't want to go.

Body position:

In this series of photos, you can easily see how the body moves further forward in the bike as the incline increases. Especially with sudden changes in steepness, e.g. on root steps, it is therefore advantageous to stand up in order to be able to move better in the bike. Standing up also has the advantage of making it easier for the bike to roll over obstacles, since you can "take in" the bike and not get a knock from the saddle.

In this video Lapierre athlete and coach Roxy has 3 more tips for technical uphills: