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  1. #101
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    Quote Originally Posted by DIRTJUNKIE View Post
    LOL x2 ^hilarious!
    Any beginners out there? Most excellent advice. Look down the trail and not at the obvious cliff, rock, tree or other obstacle you are trying to avoid.
    Where your eyes are focused is usually where your front tire goes.
    Here, here! It is something I have to remind myself, constantly.

  2. #102
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    Quote Originally Posted by bachman1961 View Post
    Could def be something too steep for me to climb, can't offer specific advice.

    I've walked the bike some after losing momentum/traction on a climb, losing balance or rhythm at off-camber twisty turns or feeling skittish through rocky or rooty stuff that might tumble me. Sometimes it's a patch of snow or ice in the shadows that I failed to notice.

    I'm doing more out of saddle pedaling and it's made a vast improvement for me because I was fairly strict about staying on the saddle in the past.
    Pedal stroke/power is easier to keep consistent, body positioning and weight transfer can be tuned so fast the bike stays true and stable and that pedal stroke in the proper gear can keep the rear tire consistent on the trail surface.

    There were times I'd lose traction due to power surges on that rear wheel where a punch of rear wheel torque was the error on loose stuff.
    Related to that, there are times on climbs where 2nd gear is better for that reason. If I have the momentum or smooth pedaling stroke, too low of a gear can mean too torque'd and resulting slippage.

    See what the others use for tires up that way too,, cannot hurt to insure you have the better advantages on all fronts !

    Report back when you have some other comments and successes !
    If the OP's trail angle is close to 45 degrees I think he has to stand up on the bike and do a 2nd gear correct? Several months ago I couldn't climb a starting uphill section no matter what I did. I was always in 1st gear in the back, like I always did for other inclines. Didn't work. Someone on here told me to shift up a gear or two, get some momentum, stand up and power down on the pedals. It worked. The bike almost completely stops at one point but the back tire is planted and doesn't slip. Now I see guys walking their bike up sections I can actually climb now, thank you MTBR for the advice... So it appears that on more gentle slopes like 5-20% you can do the usual protocol of lowest gear, lean forward and slowly crawl up the hill, but after 20% you usually need to stand up, 2nd or even 3rd gear, and keep weight on the back tire or it will slip. That's hard to do for more than say 30 seconds but it can work on short sections.
    ABSU: Arrogantly executing mythological occult metal since 1991.

  3. #103
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    I absolutely live for technical climbing and it warms my heart to see everyone discussing it so earnestly. There are quite a few bits of bike setup and technique that come into play and fitness is the core skill, but I always joke if I was to teach a climbing class I would simply stand up and say

    "there is only one skill required to be an excellent climber -
    Sheer, unadulterated, indomitable will"

    Although I believe (and have observed) most riders are leaving a lot on the table by specc'ing 1* drivetrains that don't have low enough gears. Yes I understand the climbing 101 argument for less torque and tire spin, but with technique you control the traction situation. A higher cadence, sitting style with lots of body english and hte ability to instantly add torque (and donkey punch) is a key asset for many types of climbs, as well as the ability to recover on the move while still on very steep stuff. I run a 22/42 on a 29'er and use it often - and not because I'm weak or slow ! Just food for thought.

  4. #104
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    Quote Originally Posted by Preston67 View Post
    "there is only one skill required to be an excellent climber - Sheer, unadulterated, indomitable will"
    Ha ha ha, there is a lot in that. I've made it up climbs that have stopped younger and fitter riders and this is why. You decide that you are not stopping, no matter what. I genuinely think that I've almost had a heart attack on a few occasions but it's worth the risk ;0)

  5. #105
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    Quote Originally Posted by Preston67 View Post
    "there is only one skill required to be an excellent climber -
    Sheer, unadulterated, indomitable will"
    Why would you tell them that when you know better, as you spell out below?

    Quote Originally Posted by Preston67 View Post
    Although I believe (and have observed) most riders are leaving a lot on the table by specc'ing 1* drivetrains that don't have low enough gears. Yes I understand the climbing 101 argument for less torque and tire spin, but with technique you control the traction situation. A higher cadence, sitting style with lots of body english and hte ability to instantly add torque (and donkey punch) is a key asset for many types of climbs, as well as the ability to recover on the move while still on very steep stuff.
    Seems like fast twitch strength and skills, without which "indominatable will" just spins the rear wheel or loops out. (and WTF Is a "donkey punch", other than an abusive sexual practice (per Google)?)
    Last edited by andytiedye; 02-18-2018 at 04:21 PM.

  6. #106
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    Quote Originally Posted by Preston67 View Post

    "there is only one skill required to be an excellent climber -
    Sheer, unadulterated, indomitable will"

    Although I believe (and have observed) most riders are leaving a lot on the table by specc'ing 1* drivetrains that don't have low enough gears.
    I agree with you that longer climbs that put you on the rivet can require that type of determination to keep throwing power and technique at the hill to make it to the top, but I think technique trumps willpower for technical climbing. I'm always surprised at how much less effort it takes to get to the top of some of the more technical climbs around me after I've spent some recent time focusing on fundamental techniques. Exact same fitness and willpower, but way less effort most of the time.

    I can't agree with the lower gears though. I run 1x exclusively now and my best climbing is consistently in gears 2-4. Now, if you talking about long climbs with interspersed ledgy/rocky sections, I can see using the tiny gears to give yourself more of a break in between them, but having the higher torque on hand in the tech bits really helps.

  7. #107
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    >without which "indominatable will" just spins the rear wheel or loops out.

    >but I think technique trumps willpower for technical climbing.

    I am employing some solipsism here as the will is what brings the desire to acquire and develop the skill. But one can say that about any skill set. I think it bears more on tech climbing because of what I witness which is that so many people tend to give up early on climbs. There is a moment when you kind of "give up" and think "I won't make it much further so why put in the pain" whether its red lining the cardio or just thinking its over and you need to put a foot down, and that moment of decision to keep riding even though you "know you're going down" can lead to revelatory success when all of a sudden you don't go down after all. Again in a vague sense you can apply that to any skill set that is purchased through physical risk, but I think the combination of risk, difficulty, and effort is what makes it apply more specifically to climbing.

    >and WTF Is a "donkey punch, other than an abusive sexual practice

    Abusive is in the eye of the beholder, but that term comes form Jeff Lenosky's videos. Imagine you are trying to climb over a 3+ ft wall - you coast up to it, manual hard to get the front wheel on top and then kind of catapult your body and bike up and over the wall. He cals that a "donkey punch". Its the same maneuver you would use to hump up a cluster of roots or what have you on the trail.

    The super steep gears are used for a number of things. Super steep pitches (and if you say that one will spin out before getting steep enough to use them then I would say you may have different dirt and different steeps than out here in PNW, or you need to work on feeling the traction), recovery between tech on steep sections, and as a necessity when you're on 3+ hours. Generally in tech I won't be in those lowest gears either, but we have many trails that are steep enough or tech/steep enough to bring them into play.

    >but having the higher torque on hand in the tech bits
    What you actually mean is less torque, as a taller gear actually reduces the amount of torque you can apply, even as its allowing you to apply it over a longer period before coming into the dead stroke of the pedal. It just seems to me that if you have let's say 40% of the pedal stroke where you can apply power, that means 60% of the time when you hit the next rock or the next hangup, there is a 40% chance you won't be in the torque position to power through it. By using a higher cadence, you have more of a chance to power through a hangup, or generate a burst when you have a moment of traction to donkey punch up something. The downsides are of course more chance for pedal strikes and spinning out because you have too much torque. I think you can use skill and feel to keep from spinning even though you have more torque.
    If you are trying to ride up a mildly steep rock garden, then yes a taller gear is a better way to go for steady powering up and through it. I'm talking more true tech climbing that is steep and gnarly with varying traction and the requirement to hump up stuff, not just climbing 101.

    I'm way beyond arguing on the internet, these are just some of my thoughts and you're welcome to take a different approach and I'm happy to continue the conversation but don't want to come across as a dogmatic ahole. Just things I've pondered while deep in the pain cave vaguely aware of my riding buddies walking up the hill behind me LOL.

  8. #108
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrallen View Post
    Now, if you talking about long climbs with interspersed ledgy/rocky sections, I can see using the tiny gears to give yourself more of a break in between them, but having the higher torque on hand in the tech bits really helps.
    Isn't that a contradiction?

  9. #109
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    Try to find others to ride with who can clean these sections and see how they do it. Sometimes all it takes is seeing someone do it to know it is possible. Then you can commit, and practice.

  10. #110
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Pig View Post
    Isn't that a contradiction?
    Yes, you're right. I meant having higher distance per pedal stroke rather than higher torque. What I was getting at is that really low gears and a higher cadence around here tends to lead to stalling out, pedal strikes and not being able to really pop the front wheel when trying to get through the rocks with regular ledges that require hopping and lunging to get over.

    I will completely allow for the possibility that there is a better way to make these types of climbs in a super low gear. In my experience riding with guys with widely varying styles, none of the guys cleaning the tech climbs are using their lowest gears. In the old 3x days, some of these guys never even used their small ring for anything. Yes, they are freaks of fitness and I was not one of them, but best climbing gears we always somewhere in the second chainring a few cogs up the cassette.

  11. #111
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    Quote Originally Posted by Preston67 View Post
    >
    If you are trying to ride up a mildly steep rock garden, then yes a taller gear is a better way to go for steady powering up and through it. I'm talking more true tech climbing that is steep and gnarly with varying traction and the requirement to hump up stuff, not just climbing 101.

    I'm way beyond arguing on the internet, these are just some of my thoughts and you're welcome to take a different approach and I'm happy to continue the conversation but don't want to come across as a dogmatic ahole. Just things I've pondered while deep in the pain cave vaguely aware of my riding buddies walking up the hill behind me LOL.
    We're still discussing. We can save the arguing for the flats vs. clipless folks.

    I would say that we probably have different terrain and that forces the differences most likely. I'm not sure what "mildly steep" is versus "steep", but we're mostly rock around here, so it's riding up rock gardens. The limestone also seems to break into very squared off edges, so it can be like riding up uneven stairs with large loose rocks strewn around to throw you off and embedded rocks to catch a pedal. All of our climbs would be short by your standards probably, but they can be fairly steep.

    I understand your traction point and agree that it is feel and technique in a lot of spots. It's really required to manage your body position in going over dusty smooth rock or spots with a lot of loose rock.

    In the rock garden climbs the lowest gears just seem to lead to pedal strikes which prevent you from generating enough power to avoid getting hung up or getting the front wheel up when needed. The slightly higher gears make it easier to time the rocks with a short ratchet or briefly stop pedaling.

    Since I would love to be able to climb in a lower gear in the middle of summer when it's hotter than Hades, I'll give your technique a go and see if I can make it work. I don't have a smaller chainring, but I do have an Eagle gear that I never use.

  12. #112
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    Quote Originally Posted by Preston67 View Post
    >without which "indominatable will" just spins the rear wheel or loops out.

    >but I think technique trumps willpower for technical climbing.

    I am employing some solipsism here as the will is what brings the desire to acquire and develop the skill.
    But you just told them they don't need any other skills to do it.
    This just sounds like the standard mindfµck dealt out by bad coaches everywhere.

    Quote Originally Posted by Preston67 View Post
    I think it bears more on tech climbing because of what I witness which is that so many people tend to give up early on climbs. There is a moment when you kind of "give up" and think "I won't make it much further so why put in the pain" whether its red lining the cardio
    more likely for non-technical but just STEEEEP. Low gears can help here.
    Quote Originally Posted by Preston67 View Post
    or just thinking its over and you need to put a foot down, and that moment of decision to keep riding even though you "know you're going down"
    1. Rear wheel breaks loose, forward momentum turns to sideways momentum and the wheel rapidy approaches The Edge. Damn right I'll put a foot down, preferably BOTH feet (standover is a Very Good thing to have in this case).
    2. Front wheel comes up on ridiculously steep grade. Grab a handful of brake to get it down again. Loop out avoided, but speed is now 0 mph. Continuing to pedal just lift the wheel even more, due to less speed.
    3. Wheel, pedal, or chain ring hits obstacle and the bike stops.

    Obviously a lot more speed may help avoid 1 or 2, and the "punch" discussed below could help with 3 (in all cases requiring a lot more of that "explosive" fast-twitch power) but once in that situation, how could one recover?

    Quote Originally Posted by Preston67 View Post
    >and WTF Is a "donkey punch, other than an abusive sexual practice

    Abusive is in the eye of the beholder, but that term comes form Jeff Lenosky's videos. Imagine you are trying to climb over a 3+ ft wall - you coast up to it, manual hard to get the front wheel on top and then kind of catapult your body and bike up and over the wall. He cals that a "donkey punch". Its the same maneuver you would use to hump up a cluster of roots or what have you on the trail.
    You mean this video? https://youtu.be/mvfce4bEZpg
    He just calls it "the punch" there. He also says it takes "a ton of upper body strength".

    Quote Originally Posted by Preston67 View Post
    The super steep gears are used for a number of things.
    I'm with you on the low gears, though haven't tried gearing as low as 22×42 yet.

  13. #113
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    Quote Originally Posted by the one ring View Post
    I can't believe almost 100 posts in and no one has mentioned to avoid eye contact with the single big rock in the middle of the trail…
    Quote Originally Posted by Cleared2land View Post
    Avoid eye contact with whatever you don't want to contact.
    Rocks have eyes!?

    Where you fellas riding?

    Or what's in your gels!?

    'We'll all make it to the top... Some of us, might not make it to the bottom'
    "Mountain biking: the under-rated and drug-free antidepressant"

  14. #114
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    Quote Originally Posted by targnik View Post
    Rocks have eyes!?
    Nope, but potatoes do.
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