This is how you interpret Elevation Curves

When planning a bike ride, the term elevation curves often comes up. But what does it mean and how does it affect your cycling? Basically, the elevation curve indicates how many meters of elevation you can expect during the current stage, both uphill and downhill. With each uphill, the cyclist must make an effort to overcome gravity, which requires more power and increases heart rate and strain.

Descents can be fast and exciting, but often require concentration and technical skills. More meters of altitude can add to the length of a route. Cycling up hills takes longer than cycling on flat terrain. Therefore, the number of meters of altitude can affect the overall timeframe of a ride or stage, but it also provides a more varied and exciting experience. Cycling up to the top of a hill can provide a great view and a sense of achievement, while fast downhill cycling can be exciting and fun.

As a rule of thumb, up to 100 meters of elevation per 10 kilometers constitutes a moderately challenging bike ride, but this can vary from person to person based on fitness level, experience, preferences and the specific conditions of the terrain. Cyclists often see contour lines as an important tool for understanding the terrain and challenges of a ride. Elevation curves provide a visual representation of the difficulty of the terrain. Steep ascents, steep descents or more flat stretches can be quickly perceived from these graphs.