1. The most important thing about buying a new bike is to make sure it fits. The only way you'll know if the bike is right for you is to size up the bike and make sure that the bike's geometry matches your body's geometry. Ask questions and do some research.
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2. If possible, try to find a shop that will let you demo the bike on real dirt. Five minutes in a parking lot won't cut it. You wouldn't buy a car without a real world test drive, and a bike should be no different.
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  1. #1
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    Climbing technique question...

    So ive been riding again for about 7 months. I am relearning technique.

    Climbing steep hills, i lose rear traction when i move my ass and body forward and stomp on the pedals. This is how i used to do it.

    I get 100x better traction when i place my chest down and move my butt back. doin this, i lay down the power by pushing the pedals in the vertical plane instead of horizontal. Like im folded in two and im kicking forward.

    It works, but what gives?

  2. #2
    T.W.O.
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    Because you weigh the rear keep the tire bite as long as your front wheel does not wander you should be gold. Are you on Clipless?

  3. #3
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    Yeah, clipless. But i always thought that when i move forward, because the terrain is steep, i am actually over the rear hub. I guess not?

  4. #4
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    personally i find seated climbing is the best way up steep stuff. if its granny ring steep try that

  5. #5
    Fat-tired Roadie
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    I think it also has a lot to do with even application of power. Shove on the pedals hard enough and you'll spin out your rear wheel.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  6. #6
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    Yeah, power delivery is important on steep climb especially if you have smaller knobs on the rear and toquey granny gear, smooth pedaling can help a lot. Of course if you have the leg bigger gear can fix a lot of that problem, I hardly slip on my SS but I don't always make the climb either

  7. #7
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    I'm a seated climber too. On most climbs, I just lower my chest to the bars. On very steep climbs, I also move my butt forward. Many times,I'm right on the tip of the saddle and very small weight shifts are all that's needed to maintain front/rear balance. Many times there's a very fine line between losing traction and the front end wandering or popping.

    Air pressure in your tires is also a big factor in spinning out on very steep climbs. More so than the amount of tread.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigbeck

    Air pressure in your tires is also a big factor in spinning out on very steep climbs. More so than the amount of tread.
    That is good insight right there.

    Ive recently lowered my tires pressure in the back by 5 pounds, and it made a tremendous difference in climbing.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by bing!

    Ive recently lowered my tires pressure in the back by 5 pounds, and it made a tremendous difference in climbing.
    Tire pressure is the most important performance adjustment you can make on a bike and judging by the people I ride with, and people I meet on trails, it's one of the most neglected adjustments.

    Fine tuning the front tire pressure is even more important than the rear. Because when the front lets loose,not much you can do about it. How well the shoulder knobs grip is very important on the front, it's often the difference between going down or staying upright.

  10. #10
    West Chester, PA
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    This has been helpful to a few people I've given some advice to, but it is not based on any scientific research. I may have read it in a magazine or something years ago.

    The #1 problem people make when they stand to climb is they put all their weight on the bars to alleviate the strain they're feeling in their legs. You need to be in a more aggressive crouching position and use your upper body muscles too.

    On steep stuff, stay seated as long as you can. When you do stand up, try flexing your forearms downward with a firm grip on the bars, as if you're twisting motorcycles throttles with both your hands. This helps keep your butt rearward so you don't stop transferring power to your rear tread. You can try it sitting in an office chair. Put your elbows on the desk, make two fists, flex your forearms so you're turning your wrists down. Then try it while flexing your shoulders back. The try it all in one motion while pushing your butt into the chair.

  11. #11
    DynoDon
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    you need a 360 degree pedal stroke, smooth even power, no mashing, if you have a trainer or spin bike, you can put one foot on a milk crate and with the other try to learn to do a complete 360 degree power on, pratice that on both feet.
    I've found I have a mental block on some hills, I get to a root section or a steep rise that has given me trouble before, and I defeat myself, I've gotten to the point I go back, and do it over, and over until I get it, then the next time it gets easier and easier, sure alot of it is technical, but I think its more mental, for me anyway.. good luck..

  12. #12
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    Seated climbing is the easiest way to do it, but I dislike it because you have to have your seat up your ass. Hence where an adjustable seatpost comes in.

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