Author Topic: How do you get a mountain bike to climb something?  (Read 3971 times)

How do you get a mountain bike to climb something?
« on: May 29, 2015, 09:31:40 pm »
How do you climb a steep rocky slope on a mountain bike? I've got dead low gears but keep wheel spinning or popping a wheelie  :-[

It's got quite a short upright stem and proper wide handlebars. This off-road lark's tricky!

Re: How do you get a mountain bike to climb something?
« Reply #1 on: May 30, 2015, 10:11:13 pm »
Body language to get over the big lumps, plus the fitness to carry adequate speed. Add plenty of practice,  and a degree of failure analysis.

PaulF

  • "World's Scariest Barman"
  • It's only impossible if you stop to think about it
Re: How do you get a mountain bike to climb something?
« Reply #2 on: May 30, 2015, 10:30:11 pm »
Big fat tyres!

That and keeping the weight centred: not so far forward that the rear wheel spins, not so far back that the front lifts. It's a delicate balance.

Re: How do you get a mountain bike to climb something?
« Reply #3 on: May 30, 2015, 10:37:47 pm »
Mostly, sit forward on the saddle nose (you may prefer a different saddle !) - sitting nornally lifts the front,  standing causes the back to spin out. And as mentioned,  body english over lumpier bits.
Edit - on/over the nose centres your weight.

Re: How do you get a mountain bike to climb something?
« Reply #4 on: May 31, 2015, 12:21:05 pm »
If it's a steady gradient with no bigger steps, you need to turn the pedals with smooth torque all the way round in circles. And hold your weight backwards just far enough to hold traction through those circles.

If there are lumps in the uphill, you need to practice those on the flat first.  :P


Re: How do you get a mountain bike to climb something?
« Reply #6 on: May 31, 2015, 06:49:17 pm »
Thanks for all the advice - smooth pedalling and weight distribution are deffo areas for improvement.

CAMRAMan

  • Formerly A Warwickshire Lad
Re: How do you get a mountain bike to climb something?
« Reply #7 on: May 31, 2015, 08:13:15 pm »
It sounds perverse, but you may also be in too low a gear for the incline. Ignore that if it's a really slippery surface that's causing the wheel slip, but sometimes there's no substitute for hard work to get you up a hill. Having to input plenty of torque would also help balance out the jerky pedal movements.
Haggerty F, Haggerty R, Tomkins, Noble, Carrick, Robson, Crapper, Dewhurst, Macintyre, Treadmore, Davitt.

Re: How do you get a mountain bike to climb something?
« Reply #8 on: August 09, 2015, 05:50:16 pm »
Tight elbows - bring them in toward your body and down and it keeps the front wheel tracking on the steep stuff  :thumbsup:
Does not play well with others

Dibdib

  • Fat'n'slow
Re: How do you get a mountain bike to climb something?
« Reply #9 on: August 09, 2015, 06:19:20 pm »
Ask the internet:

https://www.google.co.uk/webhp?tab=ww&ei=Q3_RUsbfD4_0yAOzloGgAQ&ved=0CBUQ1S4#q=mountain+bike+technique+for+steep+hills

On a less unhelpful "JFGI" note  :facepalm:, GMBN have some decent videos with tips from pro riders:

How to survive on a climb https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=25vqGEN72Co
How to climb faster on your mountain bike https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WGtsC3n9ctM
How to ride technical climbs https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=crnqZ-DtyPs

Re: How do you get a mountain bike to climb something?
« Reply #10 on: August 09, 2015, 07:34:36 pm »
A degree of attack on short sharp ups / rocks and move your weight as you go up and over---so if it`s a rock step, build speed, determined approach, weight forwards and shift weight as you go over obstacle to bring back wheel up. 
....after the `tarte de pommes`, and  fortified by a couple of shots of limoncellos,  I flew up the Col de Bavella whilst thunderstorms rolled around the peaks above

Re: How do you get a mountain bike to climb something?
« Reply #11 on: August 25, 2015, 04:06:32 pm »
Sometimes you've got to be in the middle ring and hit the climb super smooth. The granny ring lets you power on and off too much, the middle ring will smooth it out a bit more meaning you can find the sweetspot between leaning forwards and wheelspinning a bit easier.

Also, getting knackered and transitioning to standing will surely add to the wheelspins, so when youve got your position  try to stick to it for the duration of the climb.

Re: How do you get a mountain bike to climb something?
« Reply #12 on: September 30, 2015, 09:50:14 pm »
Choice of tyres and pressures also influence traction more than you may think, I always end up honking up steep sections