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By bike up onto the mountain

Heed tips and become an altitude-hunkie
Bikes in front of the sea in Madeira

Have you always admired the arduous activitiy of cycling uphill? Have you ever marvelled at the racing- and mountain-bikers from your car window? And asked yourself: How does anyone master these ascents? Well, have a read and learn how everyone, and we really mean: EVERYONE, can tackle  the mountains and reach alpine huts by bike!
In order for the tips and tricks to make sense, the Eurobike Cycling Pro Andreas will answer questions.  In just a few minutes you will be a pro in therory, regarding anything to do with cycling on mountains. After that you only have to apply what you read and pedal as hard as you can. Lets do this!

Bikes in front of the sea in Madeira

1: Which type of bicycle is best suited for going uphill?

Cycling Pro Andreas: That really depends on the terrain. On coarse gravel and soft ground I would definitely recommend a mountain bike with wide tyres and a well-defined tread. For cyclists who enjoy riding on asphalt, cycle paths and firm ground, just like on Eurobike cycling tours, I recommend a city or touring bike. Tip from the Pro: Ideally you want a bike with lots of gears, which definitely facilitates cylcing uphill!

Question 2: Which equipment does my bicycle require?

Andreas: With this you basically have to distinguish between one-day tours and tours over several days.  

I recommend:

  • Pannier and handlebar bag or map holder
  • Bicycle repair kit with spare tube
  • Tools and tyre pump for emergencies
  • Plenty of fluids

Everything else depends on personal requirements


Question 3: What do you need to be aware of when cycling uphill? Are there any tips and tricks?

Andreas: Choosing the correct gear is definitely crucial! The trick is not to go too low but also not to go too high. Just like when cycling on level terrain you also have to adjust the gear to the speed and intensity of the ascent when cycling uphill. My tip: TAKE YOUR TIME! And it is even ok to push your bike at times, BEFORE you collapse and fall off your bike ...

Question 4: Which technique is helpful when cycling uphill?

Andreas: Try to shift your centre of gravity forward and stick to a constant cadence. Initially it sounds really difficult and exhausting. And it is! But with time it becomes easier and soon you will ascend any mountain effortlessly! Another tip: Be patient! Start gently and find the gear which suits you. It is best to change gears as little as possible – it usually costs you momentum

Question 5: With what level of intensity is it best to start on a steep ascent?

Andreas: The biggest advantage cycling professional have over mountain cycling beginners is routine. Hence I recommend you watch out and strive for a consistent cycling speed. No rush and keep calm!

Question 6: Which type of clothing/which outfit is best suited for a cycling tour?  

Andreas: Definitely functional, breathable clothing, keeping moisture away from the body. And most importantly: proper padded cycling shorts will increase your level of comfort considerably, so that spending time in the saddle during your bike ride does not become agony. 

Question 7: What is the best way to train in order to become a mountain pro??

Andreas: How does the famous saying go: Practice makes perfect! Just as always when training for something people say: start slowly, so you do not immediately loose interest. With time you then increase length, level of ascent and cadence. In no time you will be one of the cycling pros, who can overcome any ascent

Cycling in the mountains

Question 8: Which tours would you recommend for which level of difficulty with Eurobike?

Andreas: Basically with Eurobike each tour is categorised into one to four ‚Robis‘ (bike-symbols). With those categories we distinguish between casual-, fair-wether-, holiday- and leisure cyclists. The more ‚Robis‘ a tour has, the more challenging the route becomes. Those of you who enjoy a good challenging ascent just like a pro, is recommended to go for three to four ‚Robis‘.

Question 6: Planned family cycling holiday:  how does child-appropriate cycling work on a mountain?

Andreas: Whether a mountain cycling tour is a good idea with children, is entirely up to the parents of course. Generally we always advise families to choose a cycling tours on level terrain with only a few ascents. Should you however regardless go for a mountainous tour then the following applies: slow pace with lots of breaks, drink plenty of fluids and provide motivation. With this in mind also young cyclists can become true altitude-professionals!

Things to know about the expert:

Andreas is an experienced product manager and has been part of the Eurobike team for 20 years. He is responsible for the development of cycling holidays and is always on the lookout for the most beautiful routes.

All clear? Then jump on your bike and take the tips and tricks from our pro to heart. Only in a few weeks you will enjoy breath taking mountain panoramas at dizzying heights!

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