8 tips to conquer cobbled climbs by GCN! Today, GCN (Global Cycling Network) is going to give you 8 tips to conquer cobbled climbs in Belgium.
These climbs, that will be featured in a video at the bottom of this post, ooze cycling history.
They are super steep, punchy, and covered in brutal cobbles. The pros make them look easy, but they can be notoriously difficult to ride.
So, GCN decided to come up with some top tips to help you conquer these cobbled climbs.
Prepare before you try to conquer cobbled climbs
A good tip for cobbles climbs, is to get into the right gear before starting the climb. It can be extremely tricky to change gear on a cobbled climb. You’re going to be gasping for air. And your cadence will drop dramatically.
NOTE: When you come to a complete stop, it’s very difficult to get going again.
Riding in the gutter
Don’t be afraid to ride in the gutter. It’s not considered wimping out at all. The pros do it all the time.
In fact, it’s actually quite a big fight to get into the gutter during a race.
It’s usually smoother so you’re able to go faster. But you do have to be careful.
Ride in the middle of the gutter.
WARNING: While exiting the gutter, be careful of the edges of the cobbles. It can catch the wheel of your bike, and throw you off.
Body position makes it easier to conquer cobbled climbs
Be careful while riding out of the saddle during a cobbled climb.
If you put your weight too far forward, it’s easy to slip and lose grip.
TIP: You want to slightly lean backwards over the saddle, putting your weight down onto the back wheel.
This will give you more grip on the cobbles, and help provide control and power in the pedals.
Don’t be afraid to run
If a cobbled climb becomes too much for you, you can run up the rest of it. Just pick your bike up, put it on your shoulder, and run to the top.
Pick your line
When riding cobbled climbs, you want to try pick your lines. You want to look to where the cobbles are most uniform. Then try to pick the path that’s smoothest, and might possibly give you the most grip.
NOTE: Avoid the parts where the cobbles are the most broken, with jagged edges. Also, avoid riding in mud.
Keep your pace while trying to conquer cobbled climbs
Whenever you attempt to conquer cobbled climbs, the best approach is to give your biggest effort from the very bottom all the way to the top.
If you lose any speed on the climb it can be quite hard to get going again, and regain that speed.
TIP: The best method is to attack it as hard as you can, and maintain your speed until you reach the top.
Don’t relax at the top
After conquering a cobbled climb, you’re going to be very tired. But don’t relax. Get back up to speed immediately.
It’s highly advisable that you don’t descend down a cobbled climb.
It’s very tricky and dangerous, and you’re very likely to crash.
NOTE: Instead, don’t go down the hill very fast, and don’t apply the brakes too hard. Also, don’t forget to lean back behind the saddle, which will put your weight onto the back wheel.