The Col Collective


Great videos, very inspiring stuff. I'm heading to Italy in a few weeks and will definitely be taking on some of the iconic climbs you feature. You seem to be climbing out of the saddle in 90% of the shots, does that reflect your overall actual balance between standing and sitting? I think for most recreational / amateur riders the balance would tend to go the other way; generally being out of the saddle uses more energy than sitting and spinning doesn't it? Keep up the great work! Allan

Hi Allan,

Super happy to hear you’re enjoying the videos!

Great question and one that I’ve had come through quite a bit since we started putting the videos out. It’s funny, I didn’t realise how much I climb out of the saddle until I started editing the first vids. Everything that you see on screen is a true reflection of how I actually climb, I feel more comfortable out of the saddle (just what suits me). We film around 1 hour 15 minutes for each climb and edit to between 5-7 minutes so I definitely don’t stand up all the way. If I had to guess I’d say on longer, steeper, climbs I’m out of the saddle 65-70% of the time. In terms of efficiency I’ve found that the best way is to go with what feels natural to the individual. We’re all different, that’s what makes the world and bike riding so good. Hope that helps.

Stay well and ride safe,


Topic: Technique

When descending after long climbs my hands feel numb and I struggle to brake. I have good gloves and bar tape, any tips? Victoria.

Hi Victoria, that’s something I have suffered with too so I’m obviously in good company! I’ve found the cause to be the vibrations from the road, you may notice an improvement by running your tyres slightly softer. Try 10psi less than normal and see how you feel. A carbon handlebar may also eliminate more of the road buzz (although it’s an expensive upgrade) so I’d start with the tyre pressure. Fingers crossed! (sorry that was a bad pun I know)

Hi Mike, you make climbing look effortless. What kind of cadence do you try and keep when you are seated and when standing? Your videos are inspiring! Thanks, Leon

Hi Leon,

Thanks for the message. So happy to hear that you’re enjoying the videos.

When it comes to climbing I really work on feel. I’ve always been better turning a smaller gear at a higher cadence. The key for me is to have a low enough gear (e.g. 34 x 25 or 28) so that I can keep the legs spinning more. If I can keep a cadence of around 85rpm then that’s good for me.

We’re all different so it’s best to experiment and see what feels comfortable for you. Don’t be afraid to fit a lower gear if you need to. I swear by my compact gearing!

Stay well and ride safe.


Topic: Gearing, Technique

Hi Mike, Looking to improve both cadence and climbing ability over the winter. Will be on the turbo and currently have a routine as follows 10 mins warm up 1 minute @ 90 rpm at a resistance where I can feel it 1 min @ 100 rpm 1 min @ 110 rpm 2 mins recovery Repeat this until 60 mins is reached 10 mins easy 10 mins going up in resistance every 2 mins until max reached 20 mins at max resistance alternating 1:30 mins in saddle 30 secs out of saddle. 10 mins recovery/warm down at lowest resistance. Will perform this twice during the week and prob Saturday mornings with a 3 hr ride on Sundays. Do you see any issues with this combination? Thx Martin

Hi Martin,

Thanks for the message.

Without having a solid and in depth understanding of your fitness and previous training experience it’s always going to be tricky to drill down specifics so I’ll do what I can in terms of advice based on my experience.

Firstly, everyone is different so there is no right and wrong, a lot of training comes down to what you find that your body responds best to. With respect to the below, the immediate thing that springs to mind is “that is a very hard session”. So my advice would be to definitely make sure that you are able to recover between sessions otherwise you’ll soon find that you aren’t able to get the quality of training in that you’re aiming for. I know for one that I would struggle to perform 3 sessions at this intended intensity each week and recover well between each.

I’d also look to build up any training in a progressive way. Starting with lower intensities or duration and building gradually over time, otherwise you may find that you’re pushing too hard too soon and you subsequently have no where to go. Also, from a mental standpoint it’s nice to be building up progressively than riding at the same level for weeks on end through the winter which may see you plateau and be less productive.

Personally, I’ve found if I want to work on my cadence then I try and ride at a higher cadence for longer periods so I’d maybe look at just doing 45 minutes (or more) regularly at 100rpm or 110rpm with low resistance as opposed to 1 minute blocks.

I always try and simulate my training to match as closely as possible with the riding that I intend to do. In the past I’ve set a turbo trainer up with the front wheel elevated to simulate a climb. I’d then do 20, 30, 40mins or more (depending on how long the climbs are that I’m generally riding) mixing in and out of the saddle exactly like I would on a normal climb out on the road. For me it’s always been more effective to simulate it this way. To keep things fresh you could focus on climbing out of the saddle one session and in the saddle for another.

Once again, I try and make any training that I do as closely matched to the riding that I do, e.g. if I want to improve my endurance and efficiency then I’ll try to increase my volume.

Finally, you could look at focusing just on cadence during one session and then hill climbing for another, again to keep each session as specific as possible. You’re looking to improve two different areas so you want to really get good quality training in on each every time.

I hope that goes some way in helping, as I say we’re all different and this is just based on my experience. Whatever happens, don’t be as lave to your training. If you find one thing isn’t working for you then switch it about. Make sure you get enough recovery in between sessions and over the long-term and most importantly enjoy what you are doing!

Ride safe and good luck!



Thanks for taking the time to respond. I appreciate your advice & will definitely incorporate it into my training plan.

Thanks again.


Topic: Fitness, Technique

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