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  1. #1
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    Am i just stupid???

    So i recently got into mountain biking and what not just over a month ago. Picked up a Norco Fluid with a Fox Float RL rear shock and a Marzocchi Dirt jumper 3 fork for free. Had some issues with the brakes and shifters but got that taken care of.

    Now i can handle a decent bit for a beginner i think, but the one thing thats really annoyed beyond belief is a CAN NOT climb a bloody hill....ive dropped my rear tire's pressure down to about 28psi to help with traction, ive tried to do the whole lean back over the rear tire but lean forward enough to keep the front wheel down trick, but i always seem to either spin out, or lean to far back and lift the front wheel, or be pedaling and my feet just slip off the pedals...

    I absolutly hate go up hills with a passion now both on my bike and in the jeep and at this point im ready to just give up...

    I'll post up pics of my junk and the tires to show you what im running...so please tell me im riding junk, im a sucky rider and should get off the trails or something please...

    Im using the velociraptor front tire and the kenda klaw XT for the rear (i'll get a pic of it soon), but the kenda is kinda chewed up. I have a set of decent set of these

    Spare set of tires..



    Current front tire



    And heres the bike..

    Last edited by Tankerblade; 06-14-2011 at 11:56 AM.

  2. #2
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    Don't worry, we won't judge you (to your face) if you decide you want to shuttle.

    The trick to getting better at climbing is the same as if you want to get to Carnige Hall.
    Nobody gives a s#$t you singlespeed.

  3. #3
    "No Clue Crew"
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    I'm not a pro at all but would suggest trying other tires. I know it went thru 4 different kinds before finding one I really like for "All Mountain" riding. Also when riding with other people try riding their bikes. Get a feel for other suspensions...... My .02

  4. #4
    My other ride is your mom
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    Yeah...practice makes perfect. But I find that this time of year (before the summer rains) is about as loose as things get around here....so it makes things a bit more difficult.

  5. #5
    How much further ???
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tankerblade View Post
    So i recently got into mountain biking and what not just over a month ago. Picked up a Norco Fluid with a Fox Float RL rear shock and a Marzocchi Dirt jumper 3 fork for free. Had some issues with the brakes and shifters but got that taken care of.

    Now i can handle a decent bit for a beginner i think, but the one thing thats really annoyed beyond belief is a CAN NOT climb a bloody hill....ive dropped my rear tire's pressure down to about 28psi to help with traction, ive tried to do the whole lean back over the rear tire but lean forward enough to keep the front wheel down trick, but i always seem to either spin out, or lean to far back and lift the front wheel, or be pedaling and my feet just slip off the pedals...

    I absolutly hate go up hills with a passion now both on my bike and in the jeep and at this point im ready to just give up...

    I'll post up pics of my junk and the tires to show you what im running...so please tell me im riding junk, im a sucky rider and should get off the trails or something please...

    Im using the velociraptor front tire and the kenda klaw XT for the rear (i'll get a pic of it soon), but the kenda is kinda chewed up. I have a set of decent set of these
    Are you sitting or standing when climbing? Also what climbs are you having issues with? Where are you riding?
    “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did." Mark Twain

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by skinny-tire View Post
    Don't worry, we won't judge you (to your face) if you decide you want to shuttle.

    The trick to getting better at climbing is the same as if you want to get to Carnige Hall.
    Its all good. I expect alot of judging of a noob.

    Im definitely down to do some shuttling if you can stand a new guy with a crappy bike tagging along and biffing it...

    Quote Originally Posted by Douger-1 View Post
    Are you sitting or standing when climbing? Also what climbs are you having issues with? Where are you riding?
    Ive done both. Ive sat down and leaned forward, and stand up in a ton of different positions. lean forward, leaned back, leaned back but forward at the same time etc...

    Its just climbing in general. But i mainly ride out in Hawes and Usery, but did silly mountain this morning and its just starting to piss me off, especially when its something like a small hill...

  7. #7
    PMP,TAN,LAUNDRY
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    Raise that seat for climbing. Looks way to low right now. It's not the tires unless the tread is completely gone on the rear which looks like that may be the case.
    Bender to AZDog: I'm not the best person to give advice on not riding!

  8. #8
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    So are you saying that you are unable to climb any hill no matter the size/length/grade?
    Is your rear shock set too soft?
    What climbs specifically in Hawes and Usery?
    I think I'm not as good as I thought.

  9. #9
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    I'm a noob as well so I might be way wrong here, but it helped me out a little. Try climbing the hills in a harder gear to pedal in. You might just be putting too much power to the ground.

  10. #10
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    If mountain biking was easy, everyone would be doin' it I would say if your primary reason your not making it is because your spinning out, try going slower (and maybe in a lower gear). Don't try to power up the hill going your fastest, not yet anyways. Get the feel of climbing first (shifting weight, centering yourself with your core), then you can speed up. After 4 years, I finally learned how to climb decent about a year ago - I challenged myself to see how slow I could go up a hill and before I knew it I wasn't spinning out anymore and I gained confidence. Now I'm more in tune to the hill angle and the amount of pressure I need to apply, gearing, etc, and MY ability, not anyone elses.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by azdog View Post
    Raise that seat for climbing. Looks way to low right now. It's not the tires unless the tread is completely gone on the rear which looks like that may be the case.
    The seat is as high as i can sit and pedal at the same time

    Quote Originally Posted by ajmelin View Post
    So are you saying that you are unable to climb any hill no matter the size/length/grade?
    Is your rear shock set too soft?
    What climbs specifically in Hawes and Usery?
    Well i mean i can climb the super short hills, or the long really low grade hills...but its the steeper ones.
    My shock is set up to the right amount of sag, and often i use the lock out feature also...

    One specific climb is some of the starting hills on the Hawes Trail, so once you drop in from the canal parking area, and stay to the right...

    Quote Originally Posted by jcsxj View Post
    I'm a noob as well so I might be way wrong here, but it helped me out a little. Try climbing the hills in a harder gear to pedal in. You might just be putting too much power to the ground.
    Ive tried that, because i thought the same thing, but then i stall out halfway up the hill and even more pissed off because i wore myself out haha

  12. #12
    How much further ???
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tankerblade View Post

    Ive done both. Ive sat down and leaned forward, and stand up in a ton of different positions. lean forward, leaned back, leaned back but forward at the same time etc...

    Its just climbing in general. But i mainly ride out in Hawes and Usery, but did silly mountain this morning and its just starting to piss me off, especially when its something like a small hill...
    Make sure your saddle allows your leg to reach a near full extension without fully extending or locking. Next when you approach a climb slide forward slightly on your saddle, but remain seated, and drop your elbows a little. Your chest should move slightly toward the bars. Focus on smooth pedaling throughout the entire pedal stroke. Try not to give huge amounts of power on the down stroke as this may be breaking the rear loose.

    This of course is a generalization and may not work in all cases. I believe I introduced myself to you on the No Clue Crew ride at Pass Mt on Memorial day. I was riding the yellow Wildhare. Id be glad to ride with you anytime and give you pointers if you'd like. I live very close to Usery/Hawes. Im no pro by any means but I've always prided myself on climbing.
    “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did." Mark Twain

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by loveaz View Post
    If mountain biking was easy, everyone would be doin' it I would say if your primary reason your not making it is because your spinning out, try going slower (and maybe in a lower gear). Don't try to power up the hill going your fastest, not yet anyways. Get the feel of climbing first (shifting weight, centering yourself with your core), then you can speed up. After 4 years, I finally learned how to climb decent about a year ago - I challenged myself to see how slow I could go up a hill and before I knew it I wasn't spinning out anymore and I gained confidence. Now I'm more in tune to the hill angle and the amount of pressure I need to apply, gearing, etc, and MY ability, not anyone elses.
    But how slow is slow? i try to go up slow, and in the lowest gear i can go, but i still cant get up these hills....i spin, or flop...

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tankerblade View Post
    But how slow is slow? i try to go up slow, and in the lowest gear i can go, but i still cant get up these hills....i spin, or flop...
    Deeper Gear.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Douger-1 View Post
    Make sure your saddle allows your leg to reach a near full extension without fully extending or locking. Next when you approach a climb slide forward slightly on your saddle, but remain seated, and drop your elbows a little. Your chest should move slightly toward the bars. Focus on smooth pedaling throughout the entire pedal stroke. Try not to give huge amounts of power on the down stroke as this may be breaking the rear loose.

    This of course is a generalization and may not work in all cases. I believe I introduced myself to you on the No Clue Crew ride at Pass Mt on Memorial day. I was riding the yellow Wildhare. Id be glad to ride with you anytime and give you pointers if you'd like. I live very close to Usery/Hawes. Im no pro by any means but I've always prided myself on climbing.
    Thats right about where my saddle is set up. I'll definitely try your advice. It might be the fact of wrong position, crappy tires, and the i need to power through this mentality that might be causing all this frustration...

    I think i remember you from that ride, although i am horrible with remembering that crap especially after what happened with my rear shock and had to bail. but i'll keep that in mind and i'll be sure to give you a holler

  16. #16
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    Climbing can be tricky, and I am at best "competent" myself. As noted above, this is the time of year where everything is super loose, making it even sketchier. Without seeing you climb, it's tough for me to say what to adjust with your body position.

    Also, when pedaling, think about spinning the cranks, not mashing them down, keeping it smooth. You know how your car would jerk forward if you mash the gas, let off, mash the gas etc, same thing here. Smooth power delivery is key, especially when traction is poor and the climb is steep.

  17. #17
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    Well, you did say you just started over a month ago? Skills take years to accomplish....just be the little engine that could..."I think I can, I think I can". Vision yourself finishing that hill, and if you don't..well try, try again. Also, your on platform pedals?...when your comfortable you might try switching to clipless so you can pull with the opposite leg that your pushing with, then you can get the smoothness referred to above.

  18. #18
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    IMO...Climbing is all about "spinning". Make sure you are shifted into a comfortable gear that you can maintain a steady, fast spinning motion all the way to the top. Don't try to shift in the middle of the climb. The key is to never let up. Keep your butt planted on the seat. The only reason to lift your butt is to clear an obstacle (i.e. rock ledge), once your back tire is over the obstacle, lower back into the saddle smoothly and continue to spin. You will be spinning the pedals fast (high RPM), but will be moving relatively slow...this is normal. Keep your head low and your elbows in tight. If you feel the front end getting light, shift your weight forward a little. Oh and practice, practice, practice...Good Luck!

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tankerblade View Post
    The seat is as high as i can sit and pedal at the same time



    Well i mean i can climb the super short hills, or the long really low grade hills...but its the steeper ones.
    My shock is set up to the right amount of sag, and often i use the lock out feature also...

    One specific climb is some of the starting hills on the Hawes Trail, so once you drop in from the canal parking area, and stay to the right...



    Ive tried that, because i thought the same thing, but then i stall out halfway up the hill and even more pissed off because i wore myself out haha
    You need to get out and ride with guys that can climb and ride in general and do what they do , you can learn alot by watching and seeing how it works. ( this is the fastest learning curve )
    Cycling is hard and causes alot of mental and physical pain that you need to put out of your mind and just pedal .

    There are alot of rides going on daily , check this site and get in on some rides , you will learn fast.

    That bike of yours is just fine

  20. #20
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    I like to have a little momentum built up at the bottom of a climb and shift into a climbing gear right before I start uphill. Like everybody else is saying stay on the seat. It's amazing how much easier it is to subtly shift weight when you've got your butt on the seat. Make sure that everything you do is as smooth and fluid as possible. One jerky pedal stroke can spin you out, flip you over, or just get you off of your line.

    Like somebody else said, ride with some experienced people. Watch what they do. Riding with guys a lot better than I was extremely frustrating at first, but I learned the most that way. Now, I beat them uphill and keep up on the down.
    The secret to mountain biking is pretty simple. The slower you go the more likely it is you’ll crash.
    - Julie Furtado

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tankerblade View Post
    I'll post up pics of my junk and...
    Please do not post pictures of your "junk"....this is not the forum for that.

  22. #22
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    Are you using clipless pedals.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by azokie View Post
    IMO...Climbing is all about "spinning". Make sure you are shifted into a comfortable gear that you can maintain a steady, fast spinning motion all the way to the top. Don't try to shift in the middle of the climb. The key is to never let up. Keep your butt planted on the seat. The only reason to lift your butt is to clear an obstacle (i.e. rock ledge), once your back tire is over the obstacle, lower back into the saddle smoothly and continue to spin. You will be spinning the pedals fast (high RPM), but will be moving relatively slow...this is normal. Keep your head low and your elbows in tight. If you feel the front end getting light, shift your weight forward a little. Oh and practice, practice, practice...Good Luck!
    That makes alot of sense...

    Quote Originally Posted by kelstr View Post
    You need to get out and ride with guys that can climb and ride in general and do what they do , you can learn alot by watching and seeing how it works. ( this is the fastest learning curve )
    Cycling is hard and causes alot of mental and physical pain that you need to put out of your mind and just pedal .

    There are alot of rides going on daily , check this site and get in on some rides , you will learn fast.

    That bike of yours is just fine
    i tried to get out one time...but the mountain bike gods were against me that day...

    Quote Originally Posted by Hardcore Ken View Post
    Are you using clipless pedals.
    No platforms with the egg beater things in the center....

    So by the looks of it, i need to keep by butt planted to the seat, and in a comfortable gear keeping up a high RPM on the crank in a smooth continuous motion, and adjusting my body weight up or down depending on the situation...makes a ton more sense...

    So here is the tire ive been running in the rear...



    as you can see its really used and torn up...Is it time to retire this one??

    And since i had another set of tires laying around i replaced the rear one to this...



    which style tire is best for out here??

  24. #24
    Break it, Fix it, Ride it
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    Elbows in, lean a bit forward, pedal cadence should be approaching the coefficient of friciton for the terrain type. Think sticky thoughts, dream of powerful legs and don't quit. One day, cardiac will be yours. True story. Lower tire pressure works, but I've found only to a point. Too low and the rear end seems squirrely. For 26" tire, I'd never go under 35psi, tubeless or otherwise. For a 29er, I like 30-32. Practice practice practice. If you're not close to puking, you're not trying hard enough. Session weekly. Even slight progress can boost your riding esteem. Hard will become easy soon enough. Stay with it.
    Today's the day I eat bikes.

  25. #25
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    Elbows was my problem. I tended to keep mine IN like suggested but would find myself wandering all over and screwing up lines and generally letting the front do stupid things. I started putting my elbows out (familiar to me due to shooting) and it helped keep things much more stable up front and i started getting some climbs that were eluding me. I do find that now for the longer cadence climbs the elbows come in and I can maintain a longer pace.. slow still but i can make it. Overall the tweaks and trials the practice is what made the most difference. Knowing where to be in the gearing, which lines i can make, and what my bike will do; theres no substitute for that kind of knowledge no matter the trick.

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