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How to Bike Uphill - With & Without an Electric Bike

June 3, 2021


Hi, it's Alanna from SIXTHREEZERO, today we're talking about how to bike uphill.


So this video was actually a request from the winner of our last bike giveaway, Alice. So thank you so much for this suggestion. And if you have any suggestions on tips or pointers or anything that you want us to do a video on, let us know in the comments below, but this is a question we actually see a lot. What gear do I use when I'm biking uphill? What can I do to make biking uphill easier without losing my breath every time? So we're going to go over some tips today. And before I get started, I want to make sure that you know about our E-bike giveaway. So we're giving away an E-bike this Saturday. And the last day to enter is Friday, which is today. The day that we're posting this, and all you have to do is download our app. The link will be below and log two miles.


So it's a really short ride, 15 minutes if you're going pretty fast. And it doesn't have to be consecutive, it can be split up into multiple rides, but it's a really easy, fun way to enter our giveaway, check out the app. So just make sure you download the app. Link is in the bio below.


Getting started when biking uphill, it's going to be hard when you start off, especially if you are new to biking or haven't been biking or exercising in a while. It's just going to take some time and practice to get you to a place where it's not leaving you completely winded. And honestly, even once you've been biking for a while and he had your great cardio health, it's still probably going to leave you a little out of breath every time you hit a hill, but these tips will hopefully make it a little easier for you and make sure that you have the correct form and you're using the correct gear.


So to start off with form, when you are biking a uphill, you want to make sure that you'll have a flat back, you're upright, but slightly leaned forward, and your elbow should be slightly bent and your shoulders back. So this is going to make you a little more aerodynamic. You'll have a lower center of gravity, so it's going to make it easier. And with your shoulders back, your chest is open. So you can get as much air when you're breathing as possible. Which you're going to need for biking uphill. So once you've nailed down your biking posture, the next thing that you're going to want to think about is your gears. When biking uphill, you really want to make sure you maintain a consistent pedaling, speed, or cadence. So in order to do that, you're actually going to want to lower your gears. So a lot of beginners tend to use a higher gear when biking uphill, but when you do that, you're actually using more effort than you may need.


So what you want to do is focus more on your pedaling cadence and maintaining that throughout the duration of the hill. And you can do that by lowering your gear. So lowering your gear will meet- will mean that you will be putting in less effort and it will be able, you'll be able to consistently pedal and you might be going actually slower, but your effort will be less than if it's at a higher gear. And you'll be able to maintain a consistent pedaling speed. Now, if you are approaching a very short hill and you think that you can maintain your pedaling speed at a higher gear then, by all means, go for it. Just the thing you want to remember is that you want to keep your pedaling cadence consistent throughout the hill, and you really want to try not to stop. That is going to make it so much harder if you stop. So just try to power through until you get to the end of the hill and you can then go downhill. So just to recap, lower gear means less effort maintained, pedaling speed, higher gear is going to mean higher effort.


So, that covers the gears. And you might have to play along- around with that depending on your hill. And if you're biking the same route frequently, or as a workout, then you'll get a better feel for what gear to keep your bike in. But then that'll also give you a good idea of how you're progressing when you can gear up to higher and still maintain a pedaling speed. That means you're getting better. So those cover the technical aspects of biking uphill but there are some mental tricks that you can also apply to make biking easier for you. So, one thing that you can do is to have some visual cues ahead of you to strive for as you're biking uphill. So whether it's a stop sign or a tree, just trying to reach that next point will help you keep pedaling throughout the hill without stopping.


Another trick is to picture the hill and imagine that point when you get so tired that you want to stop and imagine yourself just totally nailing it. This is going to prime your brain so that when you encounter the situation in real life, your brain knows how to react. And your brain is trained to think that you can surpass this monument. And it just, it's just a little mental trick to make it a little easier for you. Like I said, no matter what, it's going to be tough when you started out. So you probably do want to start off with more shallow inclines just to get started and to get, get a feel for biking uphill. But if you're consistent with your practice gradually increasing your effort and the inclines that you're biking on, you will get better. It will become easier. It's still super tough for me and I bike all the time.


One thing that will come into play is the bike that you're using. So obviously a lighter bike is just going to be easier. So for me, that's the Pave n' Trail or the Ride in the Park. I love those two. They are so light, easy to ride, and those are the easiest to bike uphill with. If you have something like a cruiser, it is definitely going to be a little harder because those are a little heavier. And then of course the E-bikes are the heaviest with the battery and the motor, but they have the added benefit, of course, the motor. So those are actually, even though they're heavier, of course, easiest to ride uphill on, you can always hit the throttle or turn on the pedal assist. And actually, hills are no problem at all with an E-bike.


One thing I'll add is to make sure that you shift gears before you even get to the hill. So when you see the hill up ahead and you know that you're going to need to switch to a lower gear or address the gears, just make sure you go ahead and do that as you're approaching, but before you're going uphill. Just because it gets a little tricky and hard to manage once you're struggling to bike up that hill. So just make sure you take care of that ahead of time. And just remember to breathe.


It's going to take work to get to a place where you're not struggling to bike uphill, but it is doable. And you can even use if you have an electric bike, the pedal-assist to gradually get you there. You can set the pedal-assist to five, and then as you progress and get stronger and better at biking uphill, you can decrease your pedal assist until you can do it without pedal assist at all. So I hope you found those tips helpful. If you have any other suggestions or topic ideas, make sure to leave them in the comments below. Don't forget to download the app, get yourself on that leaderboard. And remember it's your journey, your experience. Enjoy the ride.

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