i've been reading some of the posts on here about achieving max heart rates. the best way to achieve your max is on a climb. for those who haven't exercised for a while or are, let's say, of a more mature age, should get themselves checked out by a doctor before trying to do an exercise to find their max. before carrying out this exercise, WARM UP THOUROUGHLY - 10 mins will suffice. ideally the climb should be climable in around 2 or 3 mins at a steady rate. also it would be ideal if it started off gradually and steepened near the top. ride tempo upto the climb and start to climb it. attack the climb in the saddle and as you reach the steeper part get out of the saddle and go for it. if the climb is of uniform gradient then just ride gradually harder up it until you think you can't go much harder and then sprint the final 100 metres. it would be better if your h.r.m recorded max h.r so you don't need to scare yourself looking at your h.r.m as you do this exercise, also you can concentrate on the job in hand. the benefit of doing it on a climb is that when you sprint hard up a climb, you use your whole body, thus making your heart work harder, giving you a higher reading. if you live in a flat area, you will have to do the flat option. however, don't just ride hard for x amount of miles like some have suggested on here. use the same principle as for the climb method. WARM UP, then start to ride at a steady pace building it up. ride harder and harder until you think you can no longer get any faster and then get out of the saddle and sprint like sport billy! it's a bit gruesome and it will hurt like hell for a minute or two but you will certainly find your true max h.r. i would like to point out that peoples max h.r and resting pulse doesn't determine how fast you can go on a bike. for example my resting pulse is 39 yet there are pros whos resting pulse is in the 40's. it certainly doesn't make me a better rider. the group of people i ride with all differ when it comes to our resting and max pulses yet we are all of similar ability. it's all too easy to use your h.r as a guide to your ability. it's not the case. there are times when you ride with a friend at say 20 mph, your h.r is 160, your friends is 145. it doesn't make him a better rider on that basis alone, if his heart is bigger than yours it will pump less often. of course the fitter you get the more efficient your heart becomes and will beat less at 20 mph than it did when you were unfit. failing all that, you can throw your h.r.m in the bin and stop worrying about what your heart is doing and just enjoy your riding! here endeth the lesson.