How to Climb Hills

If you’re a beginner mountain biker, there’s a good chance you’re having trouble learning how to climb hills on a mountain bike.  All that struggling and walking to the top can get very frustrating.  Hill climbing may even be one of your pet hates. And that might get you thinking…

‘ How come that guy got to the top so easily? ‘


‘ Am I ever going to get any better? ‘

Yes, you are going to get better.  You just need a bit of help learning how to climb on a mountain bike successfully.  And once you do that you’ll find plenty more fun.

That frustration will be replaced by a sense of achievement.  Climbing on a mountain bike will become easier and more enjoyable and you’ll be able to ride higher and tougher hills than ever before.

Sound good?

It is good.  And I bet you can’t wait for that day.

Beginner Mountain Biking Tips Should Be Easy to Follow

There are many ways to improve your mountain bike climbing skill, but to be honest there are only two things you need to know.

No technicalities.  No long list of do’s and don’ts pumping through your head as you’re pushing those pedals.  All you need to think about are…

Two Simple Rules

From now on, when you’re hill climbing on a mountain bike, don’t think about too much else.  In the beginning only these two things matter:

1. Staying Seated and 2. Trying Again

As a beginner, these are the two things that can really help grow both your leg strength and your mental tenacity for hills.  And while you’re focusing on those two rules your hill climbing technical ability will fall into place.

Remember that the goal is simply to get you to the top of more hills.  Never mind the speed at which you get there.  Pedal patiently.  Just focus on growing those legs and growing your desire to push on.

As they say…

1. Stay Seated

As much as possible, resist the temptation to stand while pedaling.  Why stay seated? Because seated pedaling

  • develops your leg strength much faster
  • teaches you the importance of body position / center of gravity; and
  • teaches you how to find traction on the steepest and slipperiest climbs

And whenever you lose traction and can’t climb any further, go back down to the bottom of the hill and…

2. Try Again

That’s right.  If at first you don’t succeed, try again.  Go back down and give it another go. Adopt an attitude of success.  A real desire to become better at hills.

You don’t have to give every hill a second go, just start giving some hills a second, or even a third attempt.  Sure, there’ll be some hills that you won’t reach the top of, even after many attempts, but…

the point is that all this perseverance will be making you stronger in both body and mind.  And mountain bike climbing is just as much about mental ability as it is about physical ability.

The Best Things in Life are Never Easy

The best things in life do actually take effort on your part, so stick at it.  Ride with the rules twice per week if you can and allow at least half a dozen mountain bike rides before expecting any improvements.  You’ll need this amount of time for your body to adapt and turn all your effort into new strength gains.

But once that new strength comes you’ll know all about it!  You’ll notice new power on the hills and a new confidence to push yourself harder.  You’ll know you’re getting better.

Climbing on a mountain bike will become easier and you’ll enjoy mountain biking a whole lot more!


Get Even Better

Here’s where to go next: How to Climb Like the Pros.

(Super secret mountain bike climbing tips and techniques, including the famous Chest & Nose technique)

And don’t forget…

The right mountain tires can make a huge difference to your climbing ability.
Check out How to Choose the Right Mountain Bike Tyres

Please Like or Share this page with a friend to help them mountain bike better!