Technical Uphills

Discussion in 'Mountain Bikes' started by Danko, Sep 28, 2003.

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  1. Danko

    Danko Guest

    So I've been mountain biking for several years now and while I would by no means consider myself an
    advanced rider, I feel I can hold my own in most situations. That is, except for technical climbs.
    When I hit a steep, even a short one, that is heavily rooted or rocky I almost always end up losing
    momentum and have to put a foot down. Relatively smooth steep climbs I can take on no problems. But
    I'm coming to dread a few spots on my local trail that I LOVE to bomb down but absolutly dread going
    back up on the way out. After my recent conversion to clipless (best thing I've ever done BTW) this
    has been even more frustrating b/c after said foot downing, It can be a real bitch getting back
    going uphill unclipped while dodging said roots, and rocks. Do I need to be more agressive here? Am
    I focusing on the front wheel placement too much? Should I just keep easing up the gearing untill it
    isn't a problem? What words of wisdom can AMB provide?
     
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  2. Raptor

    Raptor Guest

    danko wrote:
    > but absolutly dread going back up on the way out. After my recent conversion to clipless (best
    > thing I've ever done BTW) this has been even more frustrating b/c after said foot downing, It can
    > be a real bitch getting back going uphill unclipped while dodging said roots, and rocks. Do I need
    > to be more agressive here? Am I focusing on the front wheel placement too much? Should I just keep
    > easing up the gearing untill it isn't a problem? What words of wisdom can AMB provide?

    A full suspension really helps. Beyond that, smooth power is the thing. Your level of agression is
    dictated only by your fear of knee and elbow bruises.

    --
    --
    Lynn Wallace http://www.xmission.com/~lawall "I'm not proud. We really haven't done everything we
    could to protect our customers. Our products just aren't engineered for security." --Microsoft VP in
    charge of Windows OS Development, Brian Valentine.
     
  3. Destroy

    Destroy Guest

    > A full suspension really helps. Beyond that, smooth power is the thing. Your level of agression is
    > dictated only by your fear of knee and elbow bruises.

    Yup, no substitute for FS on bumpy tough climbs; helps a lot. Soften the tire psi for more grip and
    smoothing bumps but not so much to pinch flat on downhills. Momentum is your friend, attack the hill
    with more speed so your overall climb speed is higher too. Stay in a bit higher gear, may be a bit
    harder to pedal but more speed and less tire spinning are the gains.
     
  4. Raoul Deluxe

    Raoul Deluxe Guest

    "Destroy" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    > > A full suspension really helps. Beyond that, smooth power is the thing. Your level of agression
    > > is dictated only by your fear of knee and elbow bruises.
    >
    > Yup, no substitute for FS on bumpy tough climbs; helps a lot. Soften the tire psi for more grip
    > and smoothing bumps but not so much to pinch flat on downhills. Momentum is your friend, attack
    > the hill with more speed so your overall climb speed is higher too. Stay in a bit higher gear, may
    > be a bit harder to pedal but more speed and less tire spinning are the gains.
    >
    There are a couple of tough climbs on the local trail just as he has described, neither of which
    I've ever made it to the top of. The level of aggression makes the most sense to me though. I don't
    think I was ever fully committed. I will keep all this in mind next time.
     
  5. Jon Bond

    Jon Bond Guest

    "danko" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > So I've been mountain biking for several years now and while I would by no means consider myself
    > an advanced rider, I feel I can hold my own in most situations. That is, except for technical
    > climbs. When I hit a steep, even a short one, that is heavily rooted or rocky I almost always end
    > up losing momentum and have to put a foot down. Relatively smooth steep climbs I can take on no
    > problems. But I'm coming to dread a few spots on my local trail that I LOVE to bomb down but
    > absolutly dread going back up on the way out. After my recent conversion to clipless (best thing
    > I've ever done BTW) this has been even more frustrating b/c after said foot downing, It can be a
    > real bitch getting back going uphill unclipped while dodging said roots, and rocks. Do I need to
    > be more agressive here? Am I focusing on the front wheel placement too much? Should I just keep
    > easing up the gearing untill it isn't a problem? What words of wisdom can AMB provide?

    We have a lot of supertechnical climbs around my home riding area. Here's what I do:

    Find the line you want to take first. It might not be the most obvious one - remember, turning on a
    steep climb is not easy, so the straighter it is, the better. If you have to go up an 8" step to do
    it, it might still be worth it. Find the hardest obstacle - this is your "peak move". Focus on
    setting yourself up for that move, not on the moves before hand. Keep your eye on it, don't look too
    close, or you'll lose your line. LOOK WHERE YOU WANT TO GO, not at what you want to avoid! Hit the
    hill with speed, and try to keep your momentum up the hill. However, don't be in too hard a gear, or
    too easy. You want to be able to push the gear sitting down, but without it being so spinny that
    when you stand up to move your weight around, you spin out. If it's got a lot of steps, practice
    hopping around in your clipless. When you can hop in place, and then forwards, or up onto ledges
    from a standstill (with teh front wheel already up on it), you're golden. Then, if you can get your
    front wheel up, which usually isn't too hard, you can hop that rear wheel up. It takes a lot of body
    english to do it well - if you do it really well, you don't even really need to get the wheel off
    the ground, its more of a smooth thing.

    Practice to succeed! By this, I mean don't practice if you're stuck on one move, and are getting
    frustrated. Move on, do it on the way back, or wait for another ride. But don't give up either - if
    you walk it every time without trying it 3 or 4 times (or more, if you're determined and are making
    progress), you won't get any better. If you're really stuck, try it in a different gear, try a
    different line, just mix it up a bit.

    Hope that helps!

    Jon Bond
     
  6. Zilla

    Zilla Guest

    I'm no really technical climber, but I've learn to pop a wheelie on some of the roots and rocks I
    used to not be able to climb on. Then I make sure I have enough weight on the back wheel by shifting
    my butt back a little so it does not lose traction. This is becoming instinctive to me now.

    --
    - Zilla Cary, NC (Remove XSPAM)

    "danko" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > So I've been mountain biking for several years now and while I would by no means consider myself
    > an advanced rider, I feel I can hold my own in most situations. That is, except for technical
    > climbs. When I hit a steep, even a short one, that is heavily rooted or rocky I almost always end
    > up losing momentum and have to put a foot down. Relatively smooth steep climbs I can take on no
    > problems. But I'm coming to dread a few spots on my local trail that I LOVE to bomb down but
    > absolutly dread going back up on the way out. After my recent conversion to clipless (best thing
    > I've ever done BTW) this has been even more frustrating b/c after said foot downing, It can be a
    > real bitch getting back going uphill unclipped while dodging said roots, and rocks. Do I need to
    > be more agressive here? Am I focusing on the front wheel placement too much? Should I just keep
    > easing up the gearing untill it isn't a problem? What words of wisdom can AMB provide?
     
  7. Miles Todd

    Miles Todd Guest

    Zilla wrote:
    > I'm no really technical climber, but I've learn to pop a wheelie on some of the roots and
    > rocks I used to not be able to climb on. Then I make sure I have enough weight on the back
    > wheel by shifting my butt back a little so it does not lose traction. This is becoming
    > instinctive to me now.
    >

    That's funny... I do the opposite. When I wheelie over an obstacle on a climb, I do a big weight
    shift to the front to totally unweight the rear wheel, so it has no choice but to follow the front
    over the tricky spot. I do this because usually traction is hard to get on the obstacles, but
    typically quite good uphill of them.

    Miles
     
  8. Jd

    Jd Guest

    Destroy <[email protected]> wrote in message news:<[email protected]>...
    > > A full suspension really helps. Beyond that, smooth power is the thing. Your level of agression
    > > is dictated only by your fear of knee and elbow bruises.
    >
    > Yup, no substitute for FS on bumpy tough climbs; helps a lot. Soften the tire psi for more grip
    > and smoothing bumps but not so much to pinch flat on downhills. Momentum is your friend, attack
    > the hill with more speed so your overall climb speed is higher too. Stay in a bit higher gear, may
    > be a bit harder to pedal but more speed and less tire spinning are the gains.

    What I find amazing is that an admitted newb thinks they can give advice, especially advice that
    sucks. Your mythical notion that there is no substitute for FS on a bumpy climb is the most glaring
    of your crap "advice". Climbing technical is situational and there is no set formula. Some people
    can granny spin up and others may find that powering up works better for them, just as some may find
    a hardtail is better than FS for technical climbing.

    To the original poster: Take a dirt camp class or other type skills clinic instead of listening to
    the crapola advice from newbs who think they know what they are talking about.

    JD
     
  9. Westie

    Westie Guest

    "danko" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > So I've been mountain biking for several years now and while I would by no means consider myself
    > an advanced rider, I feel I can hold my own in most situations. That is, except for technical
    > climbs. When I hit a steep, even a short one, that is heavily rooted or rocky I almost always end
    > up losing momentum and have to put a foot down. Relatively smooth steep climbs I can take on no
    > problems. But I'm coming to dread a few spots on my local trail that I LOVE to bomb down but
    > absolutly dread going back up on the way out. After my recent conversion to clipless (best thing
    > I've ever done BTW) this has been even more frustrating b/c after said foot downing, It can be a
    > real bitch getting back going uphill unclipped while dodging said roots, and rocks. Do I need to
    > be more agressive here? Am I focusing on the front wheel placement too much? Should I just keep
    > easing up the gearing untill it isn't a problem? What words of wisdom can AMB provide?

    I'm not sure about momentum. It's a funny thing to me. Slowish and steady is what I find to be the
    best. By slowish I mean fast enough to have that momentum to get over stuff because extra speed
    helps more often than not when trying to clear a single obstacle. But not so fast that you run out
    of puff and bonk after trying to clean several obstacles. You need to keep a lot in reserve too.
    Like when you need an explosive effort to pop wheelies up and over stuff or bounce around. Or even
    just to keep your balance and mash when you're close to stalling and about to dab after
    miscalculating.

    Balancing the weight between front and rear makes a big difference too. You've got get that weight
    forward but keep enough on the rear wheel to prevent it spinning out and to be able to stay light on
    the front wheel so it can go up and over obstacles. No real trick to that I don't think. You've just
    got to learn to feel it.

    Aggression certainly helps. But don't let it take control. All that adrenaline gives you more energy
    but it's no good charging it like a bull at a gate. You need to control and guide it, to let it flow
    through you and guide your actions. You need to become one with the force. Don't let your aggression
    force you and control you and make you give in to the power of the dark side.
    --
    Westie
     
  10. Paladin

    Paladin Guest

    [email protected] (danko) wrote in message
    news:<[email protected]>...
    > So I've been mountain biking for several years now and while I would by no means consider myself
    > an advanced rider, I feel I can hold my own in most situations. That is, except for technical
    > climbs. When I hit a steep, even a short one, that is heavily rooted or rocky I almost always end
    > up losing momentum and have to put a foot down. Relatively smooth steep climbs I can take on no
    > problems. But I'm coming to dread a few spots on my local trail that I LOVE to bomb down but
    > absolutly dread going back up on the way out. After my recent conversion to clipless (best thing
    > I've ever done BTW) this has been even more frustrating b/c after said foot downing, It can be a
    > real bitch getting back going uphill unclipped while dodging said roots, and rocks. Do I need to
    > be more agressive here? Am I focusing on the front wheel placement too much? Should I just keep
    > easing up the gearing untill it isn't a problem? What words of wisdom can AMB provide?

    You've gotten some good advice (paid for in blood, eh, Commander?) and some silly advice. Some
    thoughts from a sick mind:

    pedal harder. No I'm not being rude.

    monkey-see, monkey-do. How do others do it? Bend it like Beckham, or do it like the successful
    riders do it.

    analyze what's really holding you back? losing traction? losing power? losing control of the
    front wheel?

    Learn to trackstand. Ever wonder why the freak is so good at technical sections that send saner
    riders crying home to mamma?

    Watch a video. Ned has a good one. If you can't afford it, then the AMB-ID 2002 video opens with
    some peacock climbing a steep root ladder. Watch that turkey slide forward, pedal hard & wrestle his
    bar to keep from washing out.

    If that's not enough, free lessons every Wed morning at 6:45a.m. Everything here but slick rock.

    Paladin
     
  11. On 28 Sep 2003 21:05:38 -0700, [email protected] (Paladin) wrote:

    >pedal harder. No I'm not being rude.

    Depends on the rider and the terrain. Some climbs are better mashed while others are better spun.

    I am usually way more successful at spinning over obstacles than mashing over them.

    Barry
     
  12. On 28 Sep 2003 18:27:15 -0700, [email protected] (JD) wrote:

    >To the original poster: Take a dirt camp class or other type skills clinic instead of listening to
    >the crapola advice from newbs who think they know what they are talking about.

    Or ride with some experienced folks who are willing to stop along the trail and let you make several
    attempts at obstacles.

    Barry
     
  13. Zilla

    Zilla Guest

    "miles todd" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    >
    >
    > Zilla wrote:
    > > I'm no really technical climber, but I've learn to pop a wheelie on some of the roots and
    > > rocks I used to not be able to climb on. Then I make sure I have enough weight on the back
    > > wheel by shifting my butt back a little so it does not lose traction. This is becoming
    > > instinctive to me now.
    > >
    >
    >
    > That's funny... I do the opposite. When I wheelie over an obstacle on a climb, I do a big weight
    > shift to the front to totally unweight the rear wheel, so it has no choice but to follow the front
    > over the tricky spot. I do this because usually traction is hard to get on the obstacles, but
    > typically quite good uphill of them.
    >
    > Miles
    >
    >

    For some reason I lose traction when I shift my weight "too" forward. My weight is "already" shifted
    forward during a climb.

    --
    - Zilla Cary, NC (Remove XSPAM)
     
  14. Bb

    Bb Guest

    On Mon, 29 Sep 2003 13:50:06 +1200, Westie wrote:

    > I'm not sure about momentum. It's a funny thing to me. Slowish and steady is what I find to be the
    > best. By slowish I mean fast enough to have that momentum to get over stuff because extra speed
    > helps more often than not when trying to clear a single obstacle. But not so fast that you run out
    > of puff and bonk after trying to clean several obstacles. You need to keep a lot in reserve too.
    > Like when you need an explosive effort to pop wheelies up and over stuff or bounce around. Or even
    > just to keep your balance and mash when you're close to stalling and about to dab after
    > miscalculating.

    This is good advice. Unless the hill is small enough or you are badass enough to climb the entire
    hill at high speed, you're going to need to slow down in between obstacles and regain energy and
    composure. Then just before the obstacle you can hit the gas and nail it with some momentum.

    > Aggression certainly helps. But don't let it take control. All that adrenaline gives you more
    > energy but it's no good charging it like a bull at a gate. You need to control and guide it, to
    > let it flow through you and guide your actions. You need to become one with the force. Don't let
    > your aggression force you and control you and make you give in to the power of the dark side.

    But do not use your light sabre to remove the obstacle.

    --
    -BB- To reply to me, drop the attitude (from my e-mail address, at least)
     
  15. On 29 Sep 2003 16:52:24 GMT, BB <[email protected]> wrote:

    >But do not use your light sabre to remove the obstacle.

    I don't need no stinkin' light sabre, I can create a toxic nebula on demand!

    Barry
     
  16. Jd

    Jd Guest

    B a r r y B u r k e J r . <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:<[email protected]>...
    > On 28 Sep 2003 18:27:15 -0700, [email protected] (JD) wrote:
    >
    >
    > >To the original poster: Take a dirt camp class or other type skills clinic instead of listening
    > >to the crapola advice from newbs who think they know what they are talking about.
    >
    > Or ride with some experienced folks who are willing to stop along the trail and let you make
    > several attempts at obstacles.

    While your answer makes sense Barry, there is a reason I don't post that answer. If this person had
    friends who ride, why in the first place would they have to ask a bunch of strangers on the
    internet? My answer seems to be more practical with this notion in mind.

    JD
     
  17. Paladin

    Paladin Guest

    B a r r y B u r k e J r . <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:<[email protected]>...
    > On 28 Sep 2003 21:05:38 -0700, [email protected] (Paladin) wrote:
    >
    >
    > >pedal harder. No I'm not being rude.
    >
    > Depends on the rider and the terrain. Some climbs are better mashed while others are better spun.
    >
    > I am usually way more successful at spinning over obstacles than mashing over them.
    >
    > Barry

    What I was getting at was the old saying that "there's not a whole lot of trouble you can get into
    on a mountainbike that pedalling harder won't you get you out of." Especially going up hill. Stuff
    that's too steep, I can't just sit and spin, or I'll flip over backwards. I might have to stretch
    out over the bars like a mongoose slipping under a chicken fence, with the infamous "sphincter
    hold" employed or not depending on conditions. The standing and rowing motion also comes to mind,
    where you can keep traction on the rear, yet transfer a lot of power to the cranks by standing,
    yada yada yada.

    Paladin
     
  18. Michael Dart

    Michael Dart Guest

    "danko" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > So I've been mountain biking for several years now and while I would by no means consider myself
    > an advanced rider, I feel I can hold my own in most situations. That is, except for technical
    > climbs. When I hit a steep, even a short one, that is heavily rooted or rocky I almost always end
    > up losing momentum and have to put a foot down. Relatively smooth steep climbs I can take on no
    > problems. But I'm coming to dread a few spots on my local trail that I LOVE to bomb down but
    > absolutly dread going back up on the way out. After my recent conversion to clipless (best thing
    > I've ever done BTW) this has been even more frustrating b/c after said foot downing, It can be a
    > real bitch getting back going uphill unclipped while dodging said roots, and rocks. Do I need to
    > be more agressive here? Am I focusing on the front wheel placement too much? Should I just keep
    > easing up the gearing untill it isn't a problem? What words of wisdom can AMB provide?

    Take the shuttle. ;^)

    Mike
     
  19. Bb

    Bb Guest

    On Mon, 29 Sep 2003 18:35:40 GMT, B a r r y B u r k e J r . wrote:
    > On 29 Sep 2003 16:52:24 GMT, BB <[email protected]> wrote:
    >
    >
    >>But do not use your light sabre to remove the obstacle.
    >
    > I don't need no stinkin' light sabre, I can create a toxic nebula on demand!

    Remind me not to ride BEHIND you, then. ;-)

    --
    -BB- To reply to me, drop the attitude (from my e-mail address, at least)
     
  20. x

    x Guest

    RE/
    >I'm no really technical climber, but I've learn to pop a wheelie on some of the roots and rocks I
    >used to not be able to climb on

    Somebody distinguish between raising the front wheel by shifting weight backwards and applying pedal
    force and bunnyhopping the wheel up.

    I've been doing option "A", but it's starting to dawn on my that it might be a bad habit to get
    into. With "B", there's no diff between a downhill approach and a flat or uphill approach - it works
    either way. With "A", OTOH, I've burned myself a couple times forgetting that eithr I'm going too
    fast for the gear I'm in or the downslope is just too much for a "manual" type wheelie.

    Accordingly, I'm using manual-type wheelies very sparingly and trying to train myself to do the hop
    thing... Am I on the right track?
    -----------------------
    PeteCresswell
     
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