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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  1. #1
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    Spinning out on steep uphill terrain

    I've been riding for around 4 weeks now. I have a Trek 3900 hardtail. I'm 5'10" 160 lbs. My problem is there is steep terrain I know I am capable of climbing, but my back wheel tends to spin out on loose rocks and dirt. Then I have to put a foot down and end up loosing all momentum of the climb and just get off and push to the top of the hill. Very frustrating

    Any tips or pointers to prevent this so I can climb effectively?

  2. #2
    Total Goober
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    Are u seated or standing?
    Quote Originally Posted by Fuglio View Post
    You guys suck im all bummed now

  3. #3
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    part of learning how to climb.

    important factors that affect spin out:

    skill - apply even power output with your legs. harder to do this while standing, generally better to climb seated. Also body positioning which affects balance on the bike.

    tire pressure - experiment with lowering pressure in your tires. 3psi at a time. I lower pressure until i start hitting the rim, then raise it slightly

    tire choice - you have to balance weight and traction. heavier beefier tires have better traction, worst weight. It's generally recommended to have a high volume 2.2" rear tire on the lower end of weight spectrum. I like 2.3" hans dampf front and 2.2" racing ralph in the back. it depends on how you ride and what terrain.
    Last edited by bob13bob; 06-25-2013 at 09:19 PM.

  4. #4
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    The way I've learned to deal with very steep climbs is:

    Get your chest down towards the bars and put your butt at the very front of the seat so you're almost standing but still putting weight on the seat and as a result weight on the rear tire, to prevent it spinning out. Yes it's uncomfortable...

    I often have to quickly alternate between barely standing (weight just off the seat) and barely seated (weight on the nose of the seat) the whole way up a steep climb.

    Keep practicing. It has a lot to do with shifting your weight quickly back and forth and over time you figure out when to do what.

  5. #5
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    I am usually seated for as long as possible while climbing. I only stand if I'm convinced I can't possibly make it seated. I do spin out while I am still seated though. So maybe I shall change my tire pressure and see where that goes.

    I ride in central Texas singletrack lots of loose rocks and dry dry dirt on top of the trails, so maybe I'm just asking for it when I choose a steep trail to climb.

  6. #6
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    what tire and size do you have in the rear? what psi are you running?

  7. #7
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    Spinning out on steep uphill terrain

    26x2.0 tires in the front and rear. They came on the bike. Not sure my psi right now but it's pretty high I think. I will definitely check and lower it when in get from work.
    Ride it into the ground.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by wacobkr View Post
    Any tips or pointers to prevent this so I can climb effectively?
    It'll come with time and experience. The trick is learning to keep your weight centered and balanced and your power output steady.

    Your weight should be over the bottom bracket, so that it's centered between the wheels. Where exactly that puts you relative to your cockpit depends on the grade (the steeper it gets, the farther forward you have to be). It's a balancing act (ha) between keeping your weight far enough forward to keep the front wheel down and yet not unweighting the rear wheel. Just remember to keep your weight centered.

    Keeping your power steady will help prevent the wheel from spinning out. Sometimes when you jump from sitting to standing and put down a really hard stroke, it's enough to break the wheel free and you spin out.

    With practice you'll get to the point that you can hold your balance even when you spin out, long enough to adjust your weight and get moving again.
    "Back off, man. I'm a scientist." - Dr. Peter Venkman

    Riding in Helena? Everything you need to know, right here.

  9. #9
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    Body position and fitness are far more important than tires or tire pressure in my opinion.

    Get your butt as far forward on the saddle as you can. On extremely steep climbs, I have the nose of my saddle pressed against my tail bone. As someone mentioned above, get your chest low and your elbows in.

    And being fit enough to keep rolling is going to help more than anything else. The instant you ease up due to fatigue, even a little bit, the torque you need to apply after a microsecond of rest can cause the rear wheel to break free.
    I live with fear and danger every day. And on the weekends she lets me go mountain biking.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by KevinGT View Post
    Body position and fitness are far more important than tires or tire pressure in my opinion.
    100% right.

    Like others said - you wanna get really friendly with the nose of the saddle.
    As in, so friendly, you may want to make sure it's been tested for STDs.

    Chest low, saddle nose jammed where the sun don't shine. There you will find traction.

  11. #11
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    evasive and KevinGT kinda nailed it.

    It's pretty simple idea really, using in real life takes practice.

    You only need to keep the rear wheel weighted, be in the right gear (torquey low gear does not help much)and keep churning that pedals

    One thing I'd add would be the gear. Since I start riding SS I've been cleaning more and more stuffs because I don't normally use higher gear but after a few successful run on the SS gearing I know I can climb steep stuffs with much higher gear than I normally use.

  12. #12
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    i also bike in central tx, all the tips above are good.

    to clarify a couple
    1) too low a gear can have you spinning out, but you might not be strong enough to run the higher gear
    2) learn to trackstand so when you lose momentum you can get started again. I can generally recover from most spinouts unless it happens while Im lifting my front wheel to climb a ledge. Even then sometimes I can.
    3) shift your weight forward and rearward to alternately keep the front from lifting and the rear from spinning out.. Rock back while you apply the power to keep from spinning out then immediately rock forward to keep the front from lifting up.

  13. #13
    Now, THAT'S gonna hurt!
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  14. #14
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    skill will always be the biggest factor.

    tires can have a pretty large effect as well. 26 2.0" are pretty skinny for a 26er tire, especially at regular pressure.

  15. #15
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    I was thinking about this the other day.

    Obviously you need to be strong enough to get up the hill in the first place. Absent that, nothing else matters.

    After that, it's balance and traction. Since you're spinning out and not looping out, your problem comes down to traction. One thing you can do to manage traction is pedal more smoothly. I'm actually better at climbing when I'm in a nice, low gear and I can keep a nice, high spin going. If I'm pushing too tall a gear for me, I'm likely to be a lot more uneven about developing power. Those jerks as I get into the stronger part of my range of motion are something that can really blow it for me.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  16. #16
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    Spinning out on steep uphill terrain

    Thanks for the skill pointers guys. Gonna practice the technique and definitely swap to some wider tires bc the ones I have now are getting pretty worn.
    Ride it into the ground.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by wacobkr View Post
    26x2.0 tires in the front and rear. They came on the bike. Not sure my psi right now but it's pretty high I think. I will definitely check and lower it when in get from work.
    Get some bigger tires with lower pressure and report back with the results.

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