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.
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
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    Uphill CLIMBS !! --- back tire keeps spinning.....ARGH

    I have this hardtail (retailed new for $1300) which is super light and I'm having difficulties getting up any sizable uphills. It seems the back tire want to float and spin and in turn if I shift my weight back, the front tire elevates. It's frustating to no end.

    For starters, I'm a complete novice in the sport. I'm in great shape but need advice on form. I've heard other mention try staying on the seat. Does this help? Keep weight back?

    Any and all advice is appreciated.

  2. #2
    bi-winning
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    One suggestion, perhaps lower the tire pressure. Do you have a gauge? 35-40 psi should be plenty.

    What type of terrain are you riding on, and what tire are you using? Perhaps not a good match between the two.

    Finally, technique is very important. I recommend you try to stay seated for many climbs. Choose the appropriate gear, slide forward on the saddle, and have your forearms near parallel to the hill. Spin away. If you feel the need to stand up and climb, try to find the right balance between keeping the front end down, and keeping enough weight back to give traction to the rear tire.

    Finally, perhaps a longer and/or lower rise stem may help if none of the above are effective.
    When under pressure, your level of performance will sink to your level of preparation.


    Shorthills Cycling Club

  3. #3
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    Maxxis Ignitor - 26" x 2.10" tires

    Both tires are set at 42psi .......

    Terrain includes roots, rocks, and moderate uphills/downhills (under 20ft.)

    Mostly riding in Florida on old abandoned phosphate mines. They've dredged out holes leaving berms that provide a perfect 'mountainous feel' for us Floridians.

    Is that air pressure too much? Will those tires work okay?

  4. #4
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    You have to be smooth when you pedal. If you ride the same area all the time just try to improve the distance you climb every time you go out. Try different positions to

  5. #5
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    Try to sit/push back on the nose of the saddle, and have a regular cadence. Avoid going to the largest cog, as it may not produce enough torque get any traction.
    "Winners never quit. Quitters never win. But those who never win and never quit are idiots."

  6. #6
    College Boy
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    it requires finding that balance between the 2. Staying in the saddle is the best way to do it. when you stand up you shift you center of mass up which means you have to have it farther forward to keep from tipping over.

    I have found shifting to lower gears makes it easier to climb and I spin my tires less. For example if I am climbing a hill in 2:4 and having trouble yeah I can more than likely power my way though it but I will spin my tire on every single down stroke. But if I shift to 2:2 or 1:3/4 I can climb with out to much trouble stay in the saddle and keep weight on the rear. Mind you I do still have to shift my weight around to keep the front on the ground on stepper climbs.

    Just remember it is finding the balance and staying in the saddle helps out a lot because it keeps you center of mass closer to the ground which means you can put more weight on the back weight with out the front wheel coming off the ground.

  7. #7
    local trails rider
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    Balance: you need to find a point where you have weight on your rear tyre but the front still stays on the ground. It takes some practice.

    Smooth pedaling takes some practice too. It is easier while seated and in a gear that is low enough but not too low. Pedaling smoothly while standing up is more difficult and you need a higher gear than in seated climbing.

    Then there's climbs that are impossible.

  8. #8
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    i've found that you need to stay sitting on the seat, just slide forward a bit and use you're upper body to shift you're weight forward or back. In extreme cases you're upper body may need to be parallel with the hill as you are climbing it. Staying seated keeps the rear tire weighted and moving you're upper body forward helps to weight the front of the bike, keeping you're front wheel planted.

  9. #9
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    I also stand, but it is a very crouched position, with the point of the saddle going right up my arse. This can improve your balance between front and rear and allow you to adjust it more quickly.

    Also, flow helps sometimes you go really fast some times really slow but the trick is to keep moving so some of those hills (20 ft) you might just blast them.

  10. #10
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    When I've been riding with people that have this issue, my tip is usually to slow down. A great exercise is to try going as slow as possible to get the balance and technique right. Once you can get up slowly without mashing the pedals, you can pick up the pace until you find the balance between power and traction.

  11. #11
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    as others have said, steady pressure on your pedals is important. You need to also maintain your momentum while doing so. If you either drop below a certain momentum, apply too much pressure or any combination of both the tire will slip.

    I personally like to sit for about 3/4 of the way up a particularly steep incline and then I shoot to my feet for the remainder. This is a bit tough if you're new to it as you need to keep your balance, pressure and momentum during the transition - easier said than done on loose terrain.

    However when I feel my momentum starting to drop I shoot to my feet and on my down stroke I pull up on the opposite handle bar (right foot downstroke - pull up on left handle bar). This results in a massive amount of leverage and power yet also shoves my rear tire into the ground increasing traction. It takes some practice and getting used to on the particularly loose terrain (see: gravel, rocks, pebbles and sand) but with the right about of down stroke pressure coupled with the right amount of conter-pressure on your handle bars and a correct gear will get you over just about any incline. Just be careful not to apply too much pressure on the downstroke or its a sure fire way to spin your tire in a dead standstill.

  12. #12
    Still learning
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    It's probably pedalling efficiency. If you're only pushing down to pedal, then you'll get the rear wheel flying all over the place and slipping. There was a period where I would do that, but I've stopped it now - and now, getting up the hills, I fly by all the other Sport B riders (of course they catch me on every other section of the course which isn't straight

    Just make sure you can keep a constant power throughout the pedal rotation to keep the power constant.
    And remember, once you've lost grip, that's it.

  13. #13
    Rod
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    The tire pressure sounds fine. I try to stay in on my seat and just lean forward. If i get off my seat I start spinning in certain situations. Just ride more and it will come to you.

  14. #14
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    As others have said, it takes a lot of practice. When I was starting out, I took a lot of falls (think, ride to a dead stop and tip over sideways) halfway up a short, steep hill. The biggest thing is going to be pinning your balance.

    Sometimes, I climb in a seated position, and to adjust my weight balance, I'll slide fore or aft on the saddle, and I'll adjust the angle of my torso relative to the bike...sometimes with my chest nearly resting on the h-bars. Climbing while standing takes a bit more practice. Due to the extra power and leverage you have, it's easier to lose traction, so you MUST be smooth with your pedaling action or you'll get wheel slippage. When climbing standing, I will sometimes be in a full standing position with the stem dangerously close to my 'nads. I use my arms & shoulders to keep my upper body moving smoothly, and concentrate on keeping my legs moving smoothly. Other times, depending on the steepness of the hill, I might have my weight farther back, but with my torso more crouched, and I use my upper body to rock the bike back and forth to gain leverage and power.

    There are lots of techniques. Probably the first one you should learn is seated climbing. Once you get that down, you can work on standing.

    If you can, though...keep your mo' from the previous downhill or straightaway. One trail I enjoy in Indianapolis has very short but steep climbs over a levee, but if you do it right, you never have to pedal when going uphill...only when going downhill.

  15. #15
    local trails rider
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    Quote Originally Posted by NateHawk
    One trail I enjoy in Indianapolis has very short but steep climbs over a levee, but if you do it right, you never have to pedal when going uphill...only when going downhill.
    Ahh .... my favorite way of doing short but steep climbs: pick up enough speed before the climb so that you can coast all the way up. Feels weird when you do it the first time. I suppose places where you can do that are not available to all, though.

    If the climb is short, I may survive starting as fast as I can and trying to maintain speed/momentum.

  16. #16
    Don't look back ....
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    Pump the backsides!

    Pumps the backsides, sprint to the face.

    The faster you go, the less torque is available to spin the tires and the less likely you are to spin. However, as you've killed your speed, the increased torque works against you while seated and even more so standing.

    Constant application of torque while going as slow as possible will teach you the best lessons of balance and traction control. Learning to power wheelie or pedal kick (a trails skill) the bike on loose surfaces help both fore / aft balance and torque control. It's very easy over power the hill. "Be one with the hill. Gravity is both your enemy and friend."

  17. #17
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    Think of installing bar ends. My favorite are old fashioned, long, thin. I have installed them horizontally, even with ends directed a bit down. They help greatly not just on climbs, but on level sections too, as they allow you to sit in more bent forward position. I think, it is the best way to improve pedaling efficiency instantly. Besides, being able to change riding position reduces fatigue and lower back problems. I have never had any trouble with bar ends entangled in shrubbery, although I often ride very tight single track.
    From my experience, most durable bar ends are welded, rather than 1-piece.
    There are also grips integrated with bar ends. I have never tried them, may be other users would give their opinion on them.

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