Can You Really Put Out More Power On Climbs?

Published on November 7th 2018


Is it true that you can put out more power on climbs compared to riding on the flat? Emma feels she always could, Chris is the opposite - so they decided to investigate... Get your hands on our Early Bird Christmas Offers! Subscribe to GCN: Register your interest in the GCN Club: Subscribe to GCN en Español: Submit your content with our new uploader: Join our Facebook community: Could the answer be down to motivation? That some people just prefer flat or climbs, so they subconsciously put out less effort on the terrain they don’t like? Perhaps that is a factor… but not the full explanation. Another answer lies in physics and physiology: the science of pedalling uphill is a little different to on the flat. The difference between riding uphill or on the flat comes down to kinetic energy and muscular movement patterns. Kinetic energy is the energy you have due to your speed: when you’re moving faster, you have more of it. Much more! Because kinetic energy is proportional to the square of your velocity. So when you’re moving fast (eg on the flat) the kinetic energy contained in you and your bike is much higher than on a climb when you’re moving slower. That kinetic energy is what helps you to overcome what’s slowing you down: drag and rolling resistance on the flat. If you enjoyed this video, make sure to give it a thumbs up and share it with your friends. 👍 If you'd like to contribute captions and video info in your language, here's the link - Watch more on GCN... How To Ride Steep Climbs 📹 Photos: © Velo Collection (TDW) / Getty Images & © Bettiniphoto /