In the last year I started using cleats (2 bolts SPD) on my touring bike, which I often use with rear panniers on biking holiday (travelled about 2000 km with this set up).
The struggle I have is when cycling on a steep climb: in certain cases, when I am already using the shortest gears, I have to trade off between two opposite necessities:
- if I push harder without standing on the pedals I end up lifting my front wheel
- if I don't push harder I go too slow to keep a decent equilibrium
Until I used clip less pedals I could easily put my foot on the ground in case of necessity, but now the concern of having locked feet adds another source of uncertainty.
I have tried releasing one foot during the climb, but it goes without saying that pedaling gets way more clumsy.
What is a good technique to climb steep road with cleats and back panniers?