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What Is Your Cycling Style

There are five cycling styles. The definition and their basic characteristics follow. In addition, there are some tips and tricks how to master them perfectly.

Standing Climbing

Standing climbing is a type of cycling during which you stand upright behind the handlebars and you pedal. If you use this cycling style, you target all major muscle groups in your body. Standing climbing is the most effective technique if you want to climb steeper roads. The ability you have to master is standing when you climb short and steep roads. However, standing while climbing moderate climbs improves your coordination. Even though it usually takes you some time to stand for a longer period of time while riding, it does make you more dynamic and it improves your performance. Practice this technique by trying to stand for 10 strokes, then for 20. In order to be able to master this style, you need to have strong upper body. Some exercises before practicing this style are recommended.

Seated Climbing

As opposed to standing climbing, seated climbing is the most effective for longer climbs. This technique is more sustainable than the previous one since less muscles groups are targeted so you need less oxygen resulting in the slower heart rate. Since less muscles are involved, you have to build and train your muscles in order to pedal with more muscular effort when you ride longer climbs. While hitting a slope, focus your attention on being still, on holding the handlebars moderately and on keeping your knees in line with pedals. This technique may cause knee pain. So, hamstring exercises and using a foam roller on ITB may help you.

Time-trialling

Time-trailing serves as an intro into competitive cycling. Your enemy is your watch. There are 10, 25, 50 and 100 miles time-trials.  In order to ride faster, practice making your silhouette smaller in order to cut the wind resistance your body makes. Yoga for improving flexibility is very important for time-trailer racers. Additionally, consider wearing an aero helmet for increasing the speed while cycling.

Descending

The first thing racers who descend a slope have to do is getting low in order to have more control over the bike while sitting on a seat. There is one more technique racers do: they drop the inside shoulder when cornering. Professional racers always use brakes at the beginning of the corner, not on the corner. Both brakes should be used with even pressure. When cornering, it is very important to keep your outside leg straight if you are descending. The useful advice is to keep your hands on the lower part of the handlebars so the weight is evenly distributed between the front and rear wheels in order to maintain traction. If you are a beginner, descending may be scary so you need to overcome the fear.

Extreme Descending

Extreme descending style includes sitting on a top tube, placing your hands on the top of the handlebars and placing your chin on the stem. This descending style is not easy to master and it is usually used by professionals.

It does not matter what cycling style you want to practice and master, you always have to have high-quality cycle gear including a vest, a jersey, a jacket, gloves, sunglasses and shoes.

Based on what you have read, what is your cycling style? Which one would you like to master?

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