When climbing a gradual hill, try to remain seated for as long as possible.
This will help maintain traction and good control. Climbing should be done in a
relaxed position with the elbows bent and your attention focused ahead. Keep
your hands firm on the handlebars or bar-ends. The key to good climbing is
keeping your backside on the saddle, remaining relaxed and transferring your
weight to compensate for quick shifts in balance.
technical ascents, lift your backside off the saddle and shift your weight to
the front of the bike. Bar-ends help these situations by providing extra
mechanical advantage. However, remember that steering the bike with your hands
on the bar-ends is difficult, and can sometimes land you in trouble.
Climbing requires a good sense of balance, especially if you are in your
small chain-ring on the front, and your large cog on the rear. Establishing the
proper balance needed for some climbs takes practice, so don't feel bad if you
find that a steep climb is giving you trouble. Persevere and you will find that,
in time, that climb will not be so threatening.
A good exercise to
improve your balance is to try to pick things off the ground while riding at a
slow speed. Place your water bottle on the ground and, while balancing on your
bike, try to bend over and pick it up, without putting your foot down. This
might seem impossible at first, but keep trying and you will be surprised to
discover how fast your balance improves. As you improve, try picking up smaller
items like gloves, or even coins!