# Thread: What is maximum angle of elevation your all-mountain bike can climb?

1. ## What is maximum angle of elevation your all-mountain bike can climb?

Well, I believe there is a limitation on the angle of elevation your bike can climb. Assuming all parameters are set to maximum efficiency (e.g. tires, gear ratio, rider posture, fork/shock pressures & etc), how steep your bike can climb really depends on your bike geometry.

Assuming you have unlimited power, how steep your all-mountain bike can climb before it topple? Please indicate the type of frame and fork.

Another know the maximum angle of elevation Nomad (6.3" fork) can climb?

Thanks

2. Originally Posted by chris9888
Well, I believe there is a limitation on the angle of elevation your bike can climb. Assuming all parameters are set to maximum efficiency (e.g. tires, gear ratio, rider posture, fork/shock pressures & etc), how steep your bike can climb really depends on your bike geometry.

Assuming you have unlimited power, how steep your all-mountain bike can climb before it topple? Please indicate the type of frame and fork.

Another know the maximum angle of elevation Nomad (6.3" fork) can climb?

Thanks
I would say how steep you can climb depends on rider skill and fitness more so than bike geometry. At some point steeper angles gives you a slight advantage but I would say 20% bike 80% rider. Watch these two videos of technical climbs from our group. Several of the bikes are Nomads. When I first moved to Colorado some of these sections I thought were impossible to ride until I saw other guys in my group make them. Some of these climbs top a 20% grade in my estimation

Most people won't know the angle they climb at unless they carry a GPS that tells them the grade and in the middle of those technical climbs I never take time to look down at what the current angle is.

Do you still need me to list kind of frames and forks? Hopefully you can see them in the video. Both the Nomads are rocking Lyrik's, the Trance a Manitou Skareb, The GF Roscoe Float 150mm, Specialized 29er carbon RS Recon/Reba? 120mm, Yeti 575's all running 150mm Fox's, Yeti ASR-7 with Float 180mm, we also have a Trek Remedy, Transition Covert, Yeti SB66, Epic 29er, Ellsworth ID.

Watching all those people and bikes attempt identical technical climbs IMO shows the rider is the major factor in how steep you can climb and has much less to do with the geometry. Guys with 6.3" bikes make stuff people with 4" don't and visa versa.

<iframe src="http://player.vimeo.com/video/34540761" width="400" height="300" frameborder="0" webkitAllowFullScreen mozallowfullscreen allowFullScreen></iframe>

<iframe src="http://player.vimeo.com/video/22828678" width="400" height="300" frameborder="0" webkitAllowFullScreen mozallowfullscreen allowFullScreen></iframe>

3. Originally Posted by chris9888
Well, I believe there is a limitation on the angle of elevation your bike can climb. Assuming all parameters are set to maximum efficiency (e.g. tires, gear ratio, rider posture, fork/shock pressures & etc), how steep your bike can climb really depends on your bike geometry.

Assuming you have unlimited power, how steep your all-mountain bike can climb before it topple? Please indicate the type of frame and fork.

Another know the maximum angle of elevation Nomad (6.3" fork) can climb?

Thanks
With enough rear traction, I believe the limit is when your knees hit the top of the fork or the bars keep you from leaning any farther forwards.

Go look at the angle of climbs people are able to do at a place like Slickrock in Moab. These climbs are so steep that you cannot hope to walk up them (or stop yourself from sliding down if you don't make the climb). My knees were hitting my fork on one of those climbs, so I guess I could not have gone much steeper.

Sorry, I cannot give you an angle.

4. I remember a few climbs in Slickrock that bailing required jumping and locking both wheels to 'stick' on the hill and not slide down. The traction there is second to none however. I agree with the 80/20 rider/bike breakdown in most cases.

A.

5. in space, i can ride mine straight up anything............

6. 90 deg

7. That's an easy one, the maximum angle is the one at which the HAB starts.

On the way down, the max descent angle is the one at which OTB occurs.

Varies by bike, rider, trail, food, and shorts.

8. Physics limits the possibility to steep climb to be where the center of mass (normally just in front of the seat) remains below vertical to the rear tire patch, and traction is available. So longer chain stays can climb steeper... think about hill climb motorcycles having very long chainstays.

Practically, it's rider talent.

To reply to your question on the Nomad, and the same rider and suspension travel, it has relatively longer than average stay length, so it can climb steeper than most others having the same travel. Also VPP has very high anti-squat suspension geometry compared to most other suspension designs. Within suspension bikes having the same travel, those that squat the least or rise while pedaling can climb steeper, without considering traction and rider talent problems.

Edit: After more thought, climbing squat may increase the ability to steep climb, the BB goes lower during acceleration and climbing squat, and the CG is lowered. Seated climbing power may suffer from the slacker seat angle while squatting below static sag. But either seated or standing and climbing the rider becomes lower to the ground if a bike's suspenion geometry has less than 100% anti-squat and the bike can climb steeper. So squatty suspensions, such as a low monopivot design and most Horst links could climb steeper, all else the same in geometry.

9. n° is the correct answer

10. With "unlimited power" you can ride loop-de-loops. Completely upsidedown.

11. why does this matter? you will be at your limit much sooner.

12. wilsonblur - was gonna give you positive rep then i heard the music in the second clip!

did that guy in clip 1 walk his bike down so he could ride back up? that desire to me would be almost as alien as wanting to snuggle with my main man Dave whilst sober.

13. Originally Posted by bigfruits
wilsonblur - was gonna give you positive rep then i heard the music in the second clip!

did that guy in clip 1 walk his bike down so he could ride back up? that desire to me would be almost as alien as wanting to snuggle with my main man Dave whilst sober.

One of my good friends put the videos together so we won't throw him under the bus. We all did make some suggestions for future videos.

I think in the first clip he was making a run stalled on the climb and was walking back down to try again. It was last year so I don't remember. It could have been frustration, that climb can really piss you off.

14. Thanks all for the comments and video. I am amazed how one of the riders in the video clip hopped up the rocky slope. I can't help to wonder if someone still has the energy to hop up the rocky slope after miles of abused ride and climb.

Agree that rider's skill play a more critical role than bike geometry. With the same rider, I am sure a 4" bike can climb steeper than a 6" bike. I just want to clear my mental block that my 6.3" fork's Nomad can climb a steep slope that I always wanted to climb. Whenever I almost did it, I always feel the whole front wheel going to topple backward if I made one more push. Trust me, I leaned almost flat on the frame with my hands pushing down the fork. The slope is very steep but smooth with excellent traction. I thought this might be the maximum angle of elevation my bike can go. I would have cleared the slope if I was one a 4" bike.

15. Depends if its a 650b, 29er or 26er or 69er or penny farthing and how many keyboard jockeys with pen protectors are watching

16. Is this the correct method to measure the maximum angle of elevation a bike can go?

17. I cant tell if you're joking or not.. but no.

18. That chart is flawed. There is only one angle, but it is labeled at three different places with three different angles. Is it from pinkbike?

Also, the Blur seems to have more of a case of "light front end" than the Nomad does...this seems backwards to me.

19. I'm gonna say that this one needs to be walked....

That is a pretty talented hike-a-bike session with a steep learning curve with a wrong foot hold.

A.

Jokes aside - try dropping 5psi in your tires - maybe a little more in the rear and it will spin out a little less when you have to really lean at the limit. Try to keep the weight on the pedals but forward of the nose of the seat and try to pull the bars down into the slope a little. Lots of folks will have varied opinions on this one but try to stay seated and in control without rushing. Don't forget to breathe and keep your arms open a little more than you might think. I agree on the lungs comment. It's usually cardio or gear choice than screws me.

20. Originally Posted by chris9888
Thanks all for the comments and video. I am amazed how one of the riders in the video clip hopped up the rocky slope. I can't help to wonder if someone still has the energy to hop up the rocky slope after miles of abused ride and climb.

Agree that rider's skill play a more critical role than bike geometry. With the same rider, I am sure a 4" bike can climb steeper than a 6" bike. I just want to clear my mental block that my 6.3" fork's Nomad can climb a steep slope that I always wanted to climb. Whenever I almost did it, I always feel the whole front wheel going to topple backward if I made one more push. Trust me, I leaned almost flat on the frame with my hands pushing down the fork. The slope is very steep but smooth with excellent traction. I thought this might be the maximum angle of elevation my bike can go. I would have cleared the slope if I was one a 4" bike.
Sounds like you should fit a Drop Bar to your MTB. Then the frame geometry matters less.
shiggy's Mt Bike Tire Site - Why I Use Dropbars - THE bike tire information resource

21. Originally Posted by chris9888
Thanks all for the comments and video. I am amazed how one of the riders in the video clip hopped up the rocky slope. I can't help to wonder if someone still has the energy to hop up the rocky slope after miles of abused ride and climb.

Agree that rider's skill play a more critical role than bike geometry. With the same rider, I am sure a 4" bike can climb steeper than a 6" bike. I just want to clear my mental block that my 6.3" fork's Nomad can climb a steep slope that I always wanted to climb. Whenever I almost did it, I always feel the whole front wheel going to topple backward if I made one more push. Trust me, I leaned almost flat on the frame with my hands pushing down the fork. The slope is very steep but smooth with excellent traction. I thought this might be the maximum angle of elevation my bike can go. I would have cleared the slope if I was one a 4" bike.
Chris, the Nomad has longer chain stays by almost an inch over the BLT which I actually think is more important than HA. None of us asked if your bike fits right, how long your stem is etc. Those are all important questions. I had a BLT before my Nomad and I can climb things on the Nomad I never made on the BLT. Some of it was the bike and some technique. The shorter stays on the BLT made it easier to manual and easier to wheelie out on steep things. Do other guys in your area make the climb you are trying? Watch them, how are they doing it? What are you doing differently?

I may be reading too much into what you are saying by pushing down on the fork. In steep climbing you actually slide forward on the saddle in the crunch position and pull backwards and down on the bars to keep the bike under your body weight.

Edit: so in the article he says not to pull on the bars, what I am doing is keeping my body over the stem and my chest down.

MTB Skills Tip w/ Pic, Technical Climbing w/Andy Winohradsky - BetterRide.net

22. That depends on your lungs, not on the bike!!

23. Originally Posted by wilsonblur
Chris, the Nomad has longer chain stays by almost an inch over the BLT which I actually think is more important than HA. No of asked if your bike fits right, how long your stem is etc. Those are all important questions. I had a BLT before my Nomad and I can climb things on the Nomad I never made on the BLT. Some of it was the bike and some technique. The shorter stays on the BLT made it easier to manual and easier to wheelie out on steep things. Do other guys in your area make the climb you are trying? Watch them, how are they doing it? What are you doing differently?

I may be reading too much into what you are saying by pushing down on the fork. In steep climbing you actually slide forward on the saddle in the crunch position and pull backwards and down on the bars to keep the bike under your body weight.

MTB Skills Tip w/ Pic, Technical Climbing w/Andy Winohradsky - BetterRide.net
Thanks Wilson.

So far, I only saw one hardtail XC rider climb the steep slope successfully. I have yet to see any long travel bike did it, but that does not mean none has done it. The article on technical climbing is awesome, will give it a try this weekend. Cheers!

24. There's this hill that I can climb on my AM bike that people have trouble walking down.

25. Originally Posted by Will Goes Boing
There's this hill that I can climb on my AM bike that people have trouble walking down.
There's this hill that I can climb on my AM bike that people have trouble looking down.

26. There's this hill that I can climb on my AM bike that eats people and spits their remains out, adding another obstacle to the climb. it's like an angry bear. this one time, i saw a guy get beheaded and i had to j-hop over his head.

27. The human limit is almost always reached before the limit of the bike. The rest of this thread is just hokum.

28. I thought the rest of this thread was maturing like a fine wine.

A.

29. Originally Posted by Mtn-Rider

Varies by bike, rider, trail, food, and shorts.
this. here on our Florida trails, we've got some pretty sick short climbs, just depends on how fast you descend before the next little hill.

30. This like "how long is a piece of string?"

31. If you wanna climb hills get an Epic

32. Originally Posted by wilsonblur
Chris, the Nomad has longer chain stays by almost an inch over the BLT which I actually think is more important than HA. None of us asked if your bike fits right, how long your stem is etc. Those are all important questions. I had a BLT before my Nomad and I can climb things on the Nomad I never made on the BLT. Some of it was the bike and some technique. The shorter stays on the BLT made it easier to manual and easier to wheelie out on steep things. Do other guys in your area make the climb you are trying? Watch them, how are they doing it? What are you doing differently?

I may be reading too much into what you are saying by pushing down on the fork. In steep climbing you actually slide forward on the saddle in the crunch position and pull backwards and down on the bars to keep the bike under your body weight.

Edit: so in the article he says not to pull on the bars, what I am doing is keeping my body over the stem and my chest down.

MTB Skills Tip w/ Pic, Technical Climbing w/Andy Winohradsky - BetterRide.net
Wilsonblur, for the first time I managed to clear the steep slope after using the technique described in the article you recommend. My buddy who was riding an XC bike cannot even reached half the slope. I only re-learned two techniques:
1. Instead of elbow-in, I elevated by elbow
2. Instead of lean forward my weight on handlebar, I moved far forward off my saddle with my butt just touching the tip of the saddle. I would lightly seat on the tip of the saddle if my rear tire loss traction.

I used the same technique for all other steep climbs, and cleared all with breeze. Next, I will be targeting at another steep slope which I thought was impossible to climb. It is chronically muddy with a sphere shape perimeter. The angle of elevation is more than 45 degree.

I thought I have tested the limit of my Nomad in term of maximum angle of elevation it can climb. I think I have to re-test the limit again. Thanks

33. I like you cause your ising my number one rule. Always blame the bike first. Cant climb a hill? Head angle too slack. Cant do a down hill section? Head angle to steep. Trouble railing switch backs wheel base too wide. ... i remember being outa breath pushing my bike up hill thinking to my self the whole section was unrideable. Then a pair of dudes on unicycles came down through and over all kinds of rocks. Grabing the seat in one hand hoping all crazy.... so i think you need a unicycle

34. I have octopus tentacle suction cup tyres, I can ride on the ceiling.

35. Originally Posted by Fuglio
I like you cause your ising my number one rule. Always blame the bike first. Cant climb a hill? Head angle too slack. Cant do a down hill section? Head angle to steep. Trouble railing switch backs wheel base too wide. ... i remember being outa breath pushing my bike up hill thinking to my self the whole section was unrideable. Then a pair of dudes on unicycles came down through and over all kinds of rocks. Grabing the seat in one hand hoping all crazy.... so i think you need a unicycle

I know where you are coming fro, and I wish to put that in right perspective. The evolution of bike enables bikers to jump higher, drop lower, go faster and perform stances that were once considered impossible. The evolution of bike has also made an average rider like me to clear obstacles with confident and ease, compared to a unicycle that needs the skill of a circle's performer to do it. Yes, l agree that a skillful biker can climb and drop any mountain with any bike given to them, compared to an average rider like me who needs bike that perform the tasks.

Well, let me give you another perspective. What is the maximum angle of elevation a Rangerover can climb compared to a Suzuki Vitara? Can a skilled driver do the same with a toyota corolla?

36. . The evolution of bike enables bikers to jump higher, drop lower, go faster and perform stances that were once considered impossible.
It really hasnt. Bikes havent changed all that much honestly. Riders have improved drastically. If anything, bikes have only changed to accommodate what riders are capable of, or willing to try. It seems like you're putting a ton of emphasis on the bike unfairly.

37. Originally Posted by One Pivot
It really hasnt. Bikes havent changed all that much honestly. Riders have improved drastically. If anything, bikes have only changed to accommodate what riders are capable of, or willing to try. It seems like you're putting a ton of emphasis on the bike unfairly.
Let me share with you the video taken on old school downhill race in 1992. I am pretty confident that those same riders that crashed would perform better with any current models of DH bikes.

Old school 1992 downhill mountain biking race events! LOTS of Crashing!! - YouTube

38. Its all you dude. If you come to a steep hill are you going to bust out a plumb line and say nope hill is too steep. I understand the question and without a doubt some bike are better climbers then others. And while there may be a formula that determines maximum climbing angle, it would be completely useless.
Terrain bike setup and rider ability will determine the maximum angle first...... lets use a real world example..
. im about to change from a bike with a 69 degree HA to one with 67.. while climbing will be harder there is no hill on the mountain that will go from possible to impossible ...
.. forward momentum will do alot to keep you going uphill and from tipping over..... ... are you thinking of getting a new bike?

39. Originally Posted by Fuglio
Its all you dude. If you come to a steep hill are you going to bust out a plumb line and say nope hill is too steep. I understand the question and without a doubt some bike are better climbers then others. And while there may be a formula that determines maximum climbing angle, it would be completely useless.
Terrain bike setup and rider ability will determine the maximum angle first...... lets use a real world example..
. im about to change from a bike with a 69 degree HA to one with 67.. while climbing will be harder there is no hill on the mountain that will go from possible to impossible ...
.. forward momentum will do alot to keep you going uphill and from tipping over..... ... are you thinking of getting a new bike?
My Nomad carbon is the best bike I can ever get, it climbs like XC and dives like DH. I cannot think of any bike that can do the same or as forgiving. For now, the limitation is me, not the bike. Cannot disagree with what you wrote dude.

40. Originally Posted by chris9888
Wilsonblur, for the first time I managed to clear the steep slope after using the technique described in the article you recommend. My buddy who was riding an XC bike cannot even reached half the slope. I only re-learned two techniques:
1. Instead of elbow-in, I elevated by elbow
2. Instead of lean forward my weight on handlebar, I moved far forward off my saddle with my butt just touching the tip of the saddle. I would lightly seat on the tip of the saddle if my rear tire loss traction.

I used the same technique for all other steep climbs, and cleared all with breeze. Next, I will be targeting at another steep slope which I thought was impossible to climb. It is chronically muddy with a sphere shape perimeter. The angle of elevation is more than 45 degree.

I thought I have tested the limit of my Nomad in term of maximum angle of elevation it can climb. I think I have to re-test the limit again. Thanks
Nice WORK!

41. It's an old topic, but would like to share my experience.

I climbed ~40% on dry surface, on rain I couldn't.
4.0 Fat bike tires.

After climbing my local hills and checking Strava for maximum %, it's says 16%, which even visually was wrong.
So I bought this devise, a laser measure, Bosch plr 50.
Periodically I stop and do some measurements.

So at this moment it's ~40%.
It's a 50m long uphill gradually increasing %. Because those 40% are just the last 10m, guess the satellites precision in forest doesn't work very well.
And Strava say 16% as it do measurements in bigger steps, for example once at 20m and do an average.

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