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 16 of 16
  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Posts
    23

    Riding up a steep hill?

    All,

    Need some advice on riding up a steep hill. Do you get off the saddle, put all your body weight to the front and what gear do you set it on?

    I tried going up a pretty steep hill last weekend, got off the saddle and my uppper body was above the handlebar and I just felt like my front kept bobbing up above the ground and when i almost reached the peak I thought I was going to pop up from the front. What am I doing wrong?

  2. #2
    Faceplant King
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    19
    When you're going up a steep hill, don't lean forward too much or you won't get good traction with your back wheel, especially if you have a squishy front fork. I lean forward a little, choose my gear wisely (which can only really come with knowing your bike and your style) and dig in. I don't come off the seat usually, but that may just be me. Hope I helped.

    Nick

  3. #3
    MTB Addict
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Posts
    631
    I stay seated, lean forward some (but not enough to break traction), pick a low gear, and spin the pedals fast and hard.

  4. #4
    *****************
    Reputation: Bikinfoolferlife's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Posts
    12,378
    I rarely stand when I climb except on my road bike (and more for the gearing I run). If I do stand, it's usually a fairly short climb that I want to power up without shifting, long climbs for me are about sitting and spinning. If you do stand, don't put your weight so far forward as to lose traction on the rear wheel. Some front forks bob a lot when standing.
    "...the people get the government they deserve..."
    suum quique

  5. #5
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Posts
    23
    That is probably what I am doing wrong. Standing and leaning too far foward that i'm bobbing in the front so much that I almost went backwards.

  6. #6
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    2,073
    Also make sure not to pull up on the handlebars. Instead pull back like you're trying to force the bike back down the hill. This helps to keep you grounded.

  7. #7
    mtbr member
    Reputation: C-Fed's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    182
    Here's how I do it....but stronger climbers probably don't do it this way:

    I shift looow, keep my butt on the seat, lean forward just a bit and just spin. I try to keep my cadence as steady as possible and get in a good rhythm.

  8. #8
    bi-winning
    Reputation: rkj__'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Posts
    11,137
    Don't feel you need to stay planted in the saddle all the time though. Different riders have different styles. Some stand on climbs that others would stay in the saddle for.

    If the climb is really steep, try moving towards the nose of the saddle, and keeping your upper body pretty low and forward.
    When under pressure, your level of performance will sink to your level of preparation.


    Shorthills Cycling Club

  9. #9
    local trails rider
    Reputation: perttime's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    11,834
    When a climb gets steep, it often becomes a balancing act between keeping the front tyre on the ground and keeping enough weight on the rear for traction. Usually, it is easier sitting down (maybe sitting on the tip of the saddle and leaning forward). If you have to stand (like me on singlespeed or if the gear is too tall to turn seated and there's no chance to shift), maintaining traction becomes more difficult: pedaling smoothly while standing up takes a bit of practice.

  10. #10
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    80
    just pick a good gear that you can really put some torque down without the back tire spinning out.

    oh, and i'm hardly ever seated on climbs (or ever for that matter)... so learn what you like the best, dont just sit or stand because someone says its "better". the best way to ride is the way you want to.............

  11. #11
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    42
    Being really new myself, I had the thought that setting up before the really steep section would be best. I get into a really low gear early even if it slows me down a bit before the steep part, that way its all about front/rear weight dist. and pedalling hard.

    I am not experienced enough to be trying to shift on a reall hard pull and standing up has meant spinning out for me.

    I may not be the first guy up the hill but I just try to be smooth and steady.


    Great info here that I will be applying on my ride this evening.

  12. #12
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    11,276
    Steepest hills are in second chain ring and granny, or granny up front and third or fourth in the back.

    Stand and mash down, and pull up for all you are worth.

    You have to move your butt back to maintain traction, this makes it harder to pedal but if you slip you are done.

    I have come to a complete stop (unable to pedal any steeper, havn't lost traction), done a track stand stepped off and slid back down cause the shoes couldn't grip the ground...
    That would indicate one gear lower, still havn't got to granny cause I can't maintain traction.

    This is on steep clay (hardpack).

  13. #13
    local trails rider
    Reputation: perttime's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    11,834
    Sometimes a climb includes spots where you need a burst of speed: a loose spot with no traction or an obstacle. Then a too low gear might mean you walk the rest of the way.

  14. #14
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    42
    perttime, that has happened to me. I think I will try higher gears on the hills and see how I do.

  15. #15
    What could go wrong ...
    Reputation: Zoke2's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    1,971
    use bar ends ... or take the ski lift
    I used to ride to Win ... Now I ride to Grin

    While my guitar gently weeps, my bike sits there mocking me

  16. #16
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Posts
    328
    Quote Originally Posted by Nutzer
    All,

    Need some advice on riding up a steep hill. Do you get off the saddle, put all your body weight to the front and what gear do you set it on?

    I tried going up a pretty steep hill last weekend, got off the saddle and my uppper body was above the handlebar and I just felt like my front kept bobbing up above the ground and when i almost reached the peak I thought I was going to pop up from the front. What am I doing wrong?
    I don't know that you did anything wrong. Some hills are so steep that you encounter this.
    You must keep the rear wheel traction or you wash out and stop...but you need to keep the front end planted too. So you strike a balance. If you go too far forward your rear loses traction, if you go too far back your front pops up. Both situations will end your uphill progress (and often begin downhill progress on some body part).
    At some point you reach a point where you are on the cusp of both losing rear traction AND going over backwards. The only way to get up something like that is with momentum (so that rear traction doesn't matter as much)...or you get off and push it.

    If your hill wasn't too awful steep you just need to learn the right balance point with your bike on that particular hill.

Posting Permissions

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