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.
mtn. biking 101
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.
3. Don't belive the hype. Just because your favorite rider or best friend rides a certain bike, that doesn't mean that's the best one for you. Have an open mind and be realistic about your needs and ability.
Results 1 to 17 of 17
  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Posts
    15

    Noob technique question

    Took my new (used) bike out for my first ride and found that I was having some trouble ascending hills. The terrain is pretty sandy with small gravel and there are a lot of exposed tree roots.

    While climbing I found that if I stand and lean forward the rear tire would spin. If I remain seated the front tire would have a tendency to lift off the ground (especially when I go over an exposed root). Either way, I had a hard time staying vertical.

    Any tips?

  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Reputation: mr.chainsaw's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Posts
    21
    Going up something like that will take lots of weight shifting, sitting and standing....it's a dance. Also try "not a real easy gear" One gear harder than you think you need will help keep the front end down a bit more. Easier gears tend to make the front end come up
    Pigs get fat. Hogs get slaughtered...

  3. #3
    mtbr member
    Reputation: NERVOUS's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Posts
    62
    This definitely takes some getting used to, but what you want to do is keep your weight centered 'over' the rear triangle whenever you're climbing or descending; especially when the slope involved is aggressive. This means you have to move your butt forward and backwards on the bike... Not just up (i.e. standing) and down (i.e. sitting).

    Try experimenting by sitting on the very tip of your seat when climbing and getting your butt behind your seat when descending. It's physically tough to do, but you'll notice the difference in rear wheel traction immediately.

    Best of luck!
    JA

  4. #4
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    81
    What mr chainsaw said.

    My €0.02, is that technical climbing demands alot of cardio and core fitness to perfect.

    For instance if there is a greasy rooted ledge, you need to bring your front up and over it and then drive the bike forward through the handlebars, so that you're not applying much traction through the rear at the point it rolls over the ledge. All of which demands a healthy dose of oxygen and power.

    Or get off and push it like me :-)
    Don't fight the mountain

  5. #5
    local trails rider
    Reputation: perttime's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    11,845
    Leaving out things like obstacles, going uphill is pretty simple, up to a point: pick a gear that lets you make it, keep your weight between the wheels. To keep your weight between the wheels on an uphill, you need to move your weight forward. First just lower your chest. When that isn't enough, move forward on the seat. If you go too far forward, you lose traction in the rear.

    Maintaining traction and balance is usually harder when you stand up but standing up is a must over many obstacles or if you are riding a singlespeed bike.

    "it IS possible that you are faster or slower than anybody else who is having at least as much if not more or less fun"

  6. #6
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Gasp4Air's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    2,263
    I'd add that a good way to get your chest down and forward while still keeping your butt on the nose of the seat to maintain traction is to pull yourself down to the bars.
    Use it, use it, use it while you still have it.

  7. #7
    mtbr member
    Reputation: mr.chainsaw's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Posts
    21
    Pretty soon these tips we gave you will become second nature and things you get hung up on now you won't notice in a few months.

    You'll actually start looking for the down tree that's half way up a climb instead of going around it or dismounting
    Pigs get fat. Hogs get slaughtered...

  8. #8
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Posts
    15
    Quote Originally Posted by mr.chainsaw View Post
    Pretty soon these tips we gave you will become second nature and things you get hung up on now you won't notice in a few months.

    You'll actually start looking for the down tree that's half way up a climb instead of going around it or dismounting
    Went for my second ride today (two days after my first). I employed many of the techniques mentioned and they helped a lot. Thanks to all.

    It was a great ride. I rode the same trail but went on an extra loop so I rode a little further but it didn't take that much longer. I was faster and more confident, although a LITTLE more worn out at the end.

    My biggest problem today was sticks. The first one I picked up was stuck in my rear derailleur. I drew blood when i backhanded a sprocket removing it. (I need gloves) The second stick got caught in the rear wheel and was just a nuisance. The third went through the front spokes and caused a problem when it rotated through to the forks. Fortunately I hit the big tree with my forearm instead of my face or collar bone.

    I also flushed out a hawk. She was in the brush next to the trail. I didn't see her until she started to take flight. I leaned back (although I probably didn't need to) so that her wing wouldn't hit me in the face.

    Anyways... Thanks for the pointers. They are not second nature yet, but I am confident that they will be soon. They helped a lot.

  9. #9
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Posts
    1,624
    Don't underestimate the importance of picking out a good line to follow, either. That can make the difference between impossible and possible.

    And yes, sticks stuck. If one gets stuck in the derailleur, you can usually get it out with finesse, and that'll be gentler on the mech, too.

  10. #10
    gran jefe
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Posts
    3,088
    see this basically identical thread.
    Tips for technical uphill sections

  11. #11
    mtbr member
    Reputation: mr.chainsaw's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Posts
    21
    Quote Originally Posted by 61rsss View Post
    Went for my second ride today (two days after my first). I employed many of the techniques mentioned and they helped a lot. Thanks to all.

    It was a great ride. I rode the same trail but went on an extra loop so I rode a little further but it didn't take that much longer. I was faster and more confident, although a LITTLE more worn out at the end.

    My biggest problem today was sticks. The first one I picked up was stuck in my rear derailleur. I drew blood when i backhanded a sprocket removing it. (I need gloves) The second stick got caught in the rear wheel and was just a nuisance. The third went through the front spokes and caused a problem when it rotated through to the forks. Fortunately I hit the big tree with my forearm instead of my face or collar bone.

    I also flushed out a hawk. She was in the brush next to the trail. I didn't see her until she started to take flight. I leaned back (although I probably didn't need to) so that her wing wouldn't hit me in the face.

    Anyways... Thanks for the pointers. They are not second nature yet, but I am confident that they will be soon. They helped a lot.
    Sounds about right.
    Pigs get fat. Hogs get slaughtered...

  12. #12
    mtbr member
    Reputation: mack_turtle's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Posts
    2,925
    i was having similar issues, and riding SS poses even more challenges. I have developed a technique of centering my weight over the bike so i don't loop out and my rear tire does not slip, often. it's all about positioning your body in that sweet spot for the terrain and it takes a lot of time and practice.

    try this: find a steep hill covered in grass. attempt to climb it. if you don't make it, go down to the bottom and try again. do that as many times as it takes so you can do it successfully. this will develop technique you can take to the trails.

    this was helpful stuff- climbing technique- what's wrong?

  13. #13
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Posts
    2,241
    As you've already found out, don't run over sticks.
    If you do, try not to run over the end of them as that will flip them up.
    A little stick can do amazing damage to a bike, hundreds of dollars to fix. Amazing what a MTB will handle without issues and what little thing will wreck it.

  14. #14
    I4NI
    Reputation: S_Trek's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Posts
    1,234
    Quote Originally Posted by Gasp4Air View Post
    I'd add that a good way to get your chest down and forward while still keeping your butt on the nose of the seat to maintain traction is to pull yourself down to the bars.
    This and pertime said
    There....Are... Four...Lights!

  15. #15
    local trails rider
    Reputation: perttime's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    11,845
    Sometimes you find spots that are too steep.


    "it IS possible that you are faster or slower than anybody else who is having at least as much if not more or less fun"

  16. #16
    I4NI
    Reputation: S_Trek's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Posts
    1,234
    Quote Originally Posted by perttime View Post
    Sometimes you find spots that are too steep.

    Arre you still running "Hanks" tires off road? Dont know how you do it
    There....Are... Four...Lights!

  17. #17
    local trails rider
    Reputation: perttime's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    11,845
    That is not Hanks but I think I'll put them back on the other bike for the summer. The bike in the photo has Fat Alberts.

    The bike is singlespeed and I thought I had a chance to get up the noise barrier mainly on momentum. My front wheel was almost there when I ran out... Parting ways with the bike seemed like the best idea, so I rolled back down. Time for a snapshot before working my way up again, I thought

    "it IS possible that you are faster or slower than anybody else who is having at least as much if not more or less fun"

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •