08 July, 2011
The Best Climbing Bikes
Hills are part of most biking courses, whether you ride on the road, a mountain or a bike path. Having a variety of gears to choose from can make climbing hills easier. Lighter bikes and lighter, stronger riders, are key factors in climbing. Bikes with three chainrings in front also give you more gears to choose. Manufacturers make light and responsive road and mountain bikes that can help you reach the top of the slope more easily.
Cannondale Six Carbon
If you are looking for a road bike that can tackle tough climbs, Cannondale's Six Carbon is a light, responsive ride that Bike Radar calls "a sublime blend of speed and comfort -- a great all-rounder." This bike is well-balanced and rigid so that it does not lose energy in torque, keeping your ride straight and efficient. Testers found that it was an effective balance of a race bike with comfort for nonprofessional riders. Ordering the bike with a third chainring will ensure you have all the gears you need to traverse the steepest of grades.
Sportives are high-mileage rides, usually over hilly courses, with a large and mixed group of riders. Bike manufacturers make bikes meant for endurance rides, with Lynskey producing one of the top-rated sportive bikes on Bike Radar. Equally at home on the road or a groomed path, this titanium bike is light and responsive, efficient for climbing steep grades and racing the flats. It earned five of five stars from the testers at Bike Radar.
Cannondale Rize 4
Mountain bikes are generally better equipped to handle climbs than road bikes, offering more gears for steep and technical trails. The Cannondale Rize 4 garnered five of five stars on Bike Radar for its ability to power uphill and speediness going down. Its aluminum frame provides enough room for your body to move as you climb, as well as a strong, stiff backbone to ensure your ride is straight. The RockShox Revelation 409 fork takes care of your front suspension, while the rear suspension gives you 5 inches of travel.
Santa Cruz Nomad Carbon
The Santa Cruz Nomad Carbon is a carbon-fiber bike that powers though climbs and big rocks and is stiff enough to allow you to brace yourself against its frame. Testers at Bike Radar awarded it 4.5 stars, saying it is "an outstandingly stiff and capable big hit" and "it really shines on big hills and big rocks." Although it impressed all its testers, the Nomad Carbon is not for beginner riders. The stiffness and steering accuracy require you to adjust the shocks minutely as well as your riding style through tight corners.
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