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  1. #1
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    Problems with technical climbs

    Hey everyone, I bought a new bike (Fathom 29er hardtail) and I absolutely love the bike. I used to ride a really old 26" FS (Palomino) but was never too serious about the sport.

    I've had no problems with technical descents on some of the black trails locally, but I can't climb up half the stuff I can ride down. I'm starting to get really bummed out when I ride since the climbs are my favorite but I just cant clean them.

    Is it typical to walk up really difficult sections? Should I feel bad about that? And, if I had the money for a new FS, would that make a big enough difference in technical climbing to make it worth dropping $3k? (I know my technical skills probably need work too).

    After a bad "crash" trying to climb up some steep rocks, I'm considering riding flats on the more difficult climbs to see if that helps...

  2. #2
    Nat
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    How steep and difficult are we talking?

  3. #3
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    OP,

    Are you familiar with TrailForks or MTBPROJECT?

    If so, can you provide a link to the trail in question?

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  4. #4
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    I switched to flats and 5-10s a few years ago for this reason. You are happier to attack stuff as you know you can throw a foot down if necessary.

    Riding up is a lot harder than riding down so don't feel bad. Try and be smooth, look ahead and try to pick your line well in advance and keep moving. Lowest gear, go slowly and if you hook up or wheelspin don't assume you'll stop. Keep pedaling and see if the bike will get moving again.

    If you're coming up on a really tough section slow down before it to catch your breath. I often get stopped on a climb because I run out of puff.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Pig View Post
    I switched to flats and 5-10s a few years ago for this reason. You are happier to attack stuff as you know you can throw a foot down if necessary.

    Riding up is a lot harder than riding down so don't feel bad. Try and be smooth, look ahead and try to pick your line well in advance and keep moving. Lowest gear, go slowly and if you hook up or wheelspin don't assume you'll stop. Keep pedaling and see if the bike will get moving again.

    If you're coming up on a really tough section slow down before it to catch your breath. I often get stopped on a climb because I run out of puff.
    I'd argue the opposite, actually.

    Hit it hard. I'm hardly a technical master, bit I manage to clear things simply because of speed/momentum that lots of other people don't. Unless you can get up to a rate faster than your normal climbing speed in a short period, I think you're handicapping yourself.


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  6. #6
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    No shame on walking a tough section, as you improve you start taking on more stuff.

    I'm new as well, but riding as much as possible has made a huge difference! don't rush it but be consistent. I'm making myself climb even when I'm on my road bike.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Le Duke View Post
    If so, can you provide a link to the trail in question?
    Its not rated as a black (rated blue/black) but one that I've had lots of problems on is Walker Ranch:
    https://www.mtbproject.com/trail/601365/walker-ranch

    Its not necessarily just that it's rocky/technical, but the climbs are frigging steep. The site says 45% grade which I absolutely believe.

    I'm thinking that in the long term, I do want to use my clips on these rides by maybe I could build up confidence and skill on flat pedals first with less of a risk of hurting myself.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by admc7777 View Post
    Is it typical to walk up really difficult sections?
    Dude. Everyone walks sometimes. And if someone tells you that they never walk, then they never push the envelope of mountain biking.

    Have you ever seen anyone ride that section of trail? Were they one of the skinny guys made up of bones and muscles, or a fat lady on a Huffy? Regardless, strive to become like them.

  9. #9
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    If I had a nickel for every climb I had to walk, I'd be able to buy an eBike.

    As jcd46 says (clever handle!), no shame in walking.

  10. #10
    Nat
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    I'm a far better climber when my feet are clipped in than when I'm using my flat pedals since I can power through harder.

    Some climbs will just take fitness and technical skill to conquer. Some climbs are too steep and loose for anybody on the planet to climb. Yes, everyone walks sometimes. There's no shame in it unless you're hanging out with the wrong group of people.

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    I do a lot of technical climbing, and my opinion is that FS bikes are better for the techie climbs. I'm talking 5.5 inch or under travel bikes below 30 lbs. HTs can get squirrelly and the rider needs to English the bike more. While on a FS, the rider stays seated, calm and pedals up the hill through the rough.

    All of this assumes you're in shape.

    Maybe not something you want to hear with a new HT. In general though, keep your cockpit short, seat over the pedals and lower rear air pressure. Higher gears while climbing in certain spots helps too.

    Edit: Clipless is a must for me.

  12. #12
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    So what exactly is the issue? Are you unable to clear obstacles like rocks on top of it being steep? Are you spinning out the rear wheel? Do you just run out of juice? Totally depends on what your problem is.

  13. #13
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    It takes power. If you have to hit it in the easiest gear, like a 52 rear ring or something like a 22t front-36t rear, that's usually a dead giveaway you gotta hit the gym or keep at it and train more. Getting better/stronger is not comfortable, it's on the edge of pain, but not actually painful. It's not easy.
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    Quote Originally Posted by scaryfast View Post
    So what exactly is the issue? Are you unable to clear obstacles like rocks on top of it being steep? Are you spinning out the rear wheel? Do you just run out of juice? Totally depends on what your problem is.
    The problem is I can't get over rocks on the steep climbs, where your momentum isn't enough to get you up even half of the technical section (even with the faster guys who pass me.) I do spin the rear wheel out a lot which make me want to unclip in case I fall over. The fitness part isn't the problem at all, I'm also a road rider so I'm not gassed going up the climbs to the point where I am too tired...

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    You could replace the rear tire with something that has better traction. What tire pressures are you running?

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    Quote Originally Posted by jeremy3220 View Post
    You could replace the rear tire with something that has better traction. What tire pressures are you running?
    I've got an Ardent on the front at 25 psi, and a Minion SS on the back at 27. I'm pretty tall so I ride an XL, and in total I weigh 175 lbs, bike is 29, and my pack is about 6 lbs. Any lower than that, and I mash the rim. Already done it twice at 24 psi on the back so I don't want to risk that.

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    Quote Originally Posted by admc7777 View Post
    The problem is I can't get over rocks on the steep climbs, where your momentum isn't enough to get you up even half of the technical section (even with the faster guys who pass me.) I do spin the rear wheel out a lot which make me want to unclip in case I fall over. The fitness part isn't the problem at all, I'm also a road rider so I'm not gassed going up the climbs to the point where I am too tired...
    If you're spinning out at all that means your weight is too far forward. Leaning forward can help a lot when climbing but at the same time it unweights the rear and you can't get any traction out of that. Leaning further back on a steep hill isn't easy either, it's definitely a fine balance. As far as climbing over rocks, are they small baseball sized rocks are larger? If its steep and loose, that's literally and uphill challenge. If the rocks don't move much then I would recommend hopping/lunging forward over the rocks (kinda trials riding) but it doesn't require any pedaling but more body english.

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    I haven't ridden one but I'd imagine a semi-slick would have terrible climbing traction.

  19. #19
    Nat
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    Minion SS is not exactly a grippy tire. Try a DHR or HR II and see how things go.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nat View Post
    Minion SS is not exactly a grippy tire. Try a DHR or HR II and see how things go.
    Agree. It'll be quick but those tiny, tight knobs aren't going to grip on big rocks very well.

    To reiterate, get rid if the clipless. Confidence is half the battle and being nailed to the bike takes it away as you ride into a section where you know falling off is likely. Just take your time, try to pick the easiest line and keep pedaling. If the rear slips, move your weight back a bit and... keep pedaling.

    To get over bigger rocks you need to shift your weight. Lift the front onto it then move forward to let the back lift up. It's just practice. Pay attention to exactly what's going on and think if things to try the next time. It's really not hard, it won't take long.

    Of course, yes, there are some things that are virtually impossible to climb. To do a ride that's landrover track the whole way, nothing technical at all, but sections are so steep you just spin on the gravel. Even the fittest guys walk parts of that ride.

  21. #21
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    Don't ever be ashamed of walking/pushing your bike, if thats what it takes to clear a climb, so be it.

  22. #22
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    Could def be something too steep for me to climb, can't offer specific advice.
    I'm 56 and been biking more for recreation, fitness scenery and mental health for almost 40 years. As others in better shape than I and more experience than I mention - Walking some is not a set back, not intended to break your spirit but rather illustrate you've taken the bike into areas that continue to challenge and push you some. That's going to exhibit growth and you can move though those motions in a few rides or outings making more strides and improvement than some will accomplish in a year's time.

    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.

    Time for practice;
    There's nothing better for me than to have these learning opportunities- A few spare moments when I've come upon something tricky and do some practice runs -session- there for a bit. Work on it til I get it or at least get better or smooth then move on.

    Climb challenges will make you stronger and there were times I just didn't have the horse power. That's often a frustration short-lived because just a few challenging rides can get you seeing improvements on stuff you'll realize you didn't make it up before. YEP in just one or two more rides if you don't lapse too long.

    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.

    Also, I remind myself as in skiing, look down - fall down. I have had times I was too focused on things too close on the trail or turns. Having the longer range view gives notice to things up ahead that enable you to time, control speed, find the right line and time to look ahead for the next challenge, be at-the-ready.

    When I've fumbled on techy trails or climbs, it's often been due to a rash of obstacles that I could have easily ridden through, over or around had I not got too tangled in the moment and let the next few hiccups conspire to shut me down 1 - 2 - 3.

    I think you are on that edge of doubting but soon finding these next few rides will yield some results or opportunity to work on the few things that will prove to be vast and fast increments. Use that new confidence, trust the bike and concentrate on smooth power and momentum. I keep my body a part of the bike, fluid motion, predictive positioning and weight transfer. This makes me feel like the bike and I are gliding, almost hovering over the trails at times. Herkey - Jerky motions and upsets are best avoided.
    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 !
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  23. #23
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    OP, I'd have to say that the biggest thing that will determine if you can ride or have to walk a technical climb is fitness, then comes skill and last power. Most people have to get off because they just don't have the lungs for it, very few don't have the power, unless they're very new and still building their "riding muscles" and getting accustomed to riding.

    Like you, I love to climb, the more technical the better and for me, always, it's the lack of fitness that stops me, most especially important when you spin your rear tyre and have to then pause, redistribute your weight and then get going again, all while being fully gassed because of the climb.

    Work on your fitness and the technical climbing will follow, you'll probably surprise yourself what you manage to clear once your fitness starts to build
    One day your life will flash before your eyes, will it be worth watching??

  24. #24
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    I know the feeling. You're on a tough climb at a snail's pace, your front tire hits a rock and you're at a dead stop. There's no shame in pushing the bike to the top of the hill and moving on. You're not turning around, riding back down and going home.
    Try a more aggressive rear tire and wider if your frame has room. I have a Schwalbe Nobby Nic 29x2.6 and it makes a big difference. You could also try a setback seatpost to get more of your weight over the rear tire.
    Last spring, I was having a lot of trouble on tough climbs. I was walking a lot more than I care to admit. I lost 10 pounds and that made a bigger difference than any tire or bike could provide... Squats, leg presses and lunges on rainy days help too.

  25. #25
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    One of the things that has helped me over the years is sessioning a technical section over and over again. 30 years ago my roommates and I would ride every evening after work in an area with some pretty technical climbs. Several times per ride, we would session a section over and over until all 3 of us could clean it. We learned a lot by watching each other's successful and failed attempts, including line choice, body position, approach speed, etc. We were all very proficient technical climbers by the end of that summer, especially considering those heavy rigid bikes we rode.

    Most of the groups I ride with these days seem to want to crank out maximum mileage in a certain amount of time, but I still have a handful of riding buddies who like to session technical sections. Each time we do it, we all seem to improve our technique and confidence.

    I taught a skills clinic a few years back for a local women's MTB club and we spent a couple of hours sessioning some tech sections while I spotted them and offered suggestions on successfully conquering the obstacles. Each rider became more confident and successful on those sections after repeated attempts.

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by admc7777 View Post
    Is it typical to walk up really difficult sections? Should I feel bad about that?
    Yes, we all have limits.
    No.

    More skill = less power/stamina required.
    More power/stamina = less skill required.
    More riding/failures = more skill, more stamina = more success.
    Use it, use it, use it while you still have it.

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by admc7777 View Post
    I've had no problems with technical descents on some of the black trails locally, but I can't climb up half the stuff I can ride down. I'm starting to get really bummed out when I ride since the climbs are my favorite but I just cant clean them.
    It's absolutely going to be harder to climb a given techy grade. No question whatsoever on that. You should expect that.

    Is it typical to walk up really difficult sections? Should I feel bad about that? And, if I had the money for a new FS, would that make a big enough difference in technical climbing to make it worth dropping $3k? (I know my technical skills probably need work too).
    Quote Originally Posted by Gasp4Air View Post
    Yes, we all have limits.
    No.

    More skill = less power/stamina required.
    More power/stamina = less skill required.
    More riding/failures = more skill, more stamina = more success.
    Yes, it's typical to walk. I would amend Gasp4Air's statement and say that you shouldn't feel bad, except in as much as it motivates you to work harder to improve. A FS probably won't make as much of a difference in your climbing as you want it to make. Yes, suspension on the back wheel keeps it in contact with the ground more and allows you to keep making headway on chunkier climbs. It's not going to be a miracle cure for your problems. It sounds to me like you're essentially a beginner (bordering on intermediate) in that you have to go back to square one on those technical climbs.

    For one, you need to work on body position to keep both wheels planted. Bikes now have a pretty significantly different geometry than what your old Palomino had. This requires you to make adjustments to your body position, which you probably have some degree of muscle memory on. You're going to have to try to forget those positions, and be flexible enough to learn what works on the new bike. Experiment a bit with it.

    Quote Originally Posted by admc7777 View Post
    Its not rated as a black (rated blue/black) but one that I've had lots of problems on is Walker Ranch:
    https://www.mtbproject.com/trail/601365/walker-ranch

    Its not necessarily just that it's rocky/technical, but the climbs are frigging steep. The site says 45% grade which I absolutely believe.

    I'm thinking that in the long term, I do want to use my clips on these rides by maybe I could build up confidence and skill on flat pedals first with less of a risk of hurting myself.
    That trail has some pretty significant climbs. I'll be honest, they'd hurt me pretty bad, too, and I'd be walking spots. Or at least stopping and resting.

    When it comes to pedal choice, I prefer flats for most of my riding. Particularly when I'm practicing something difficult. I'll move back to clipless when I want to prep for a race or focus more on fitness, especially long distance stuff. When it comes down to either choice, though, you have to commit to pushing through the learning curve. Either one will hurt you (in different ways) if you don't commit to learning. I spent 14yrs exclusively on clipless before going all-in on platforms for a year. Now I'm confident switching back and forth depending on my goals. When it comes to getting comfortable on whatever pedals you choose, I wouldn't be working on that on a trail like this.

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    Thanks for all the advice. I'll be sure to report back in a while once I have improved!

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by admc7777 View Post
    Its not necessarily just that it's rocky/technical, but the climbs are frigging steep. The site says 45% grade which I absolutely believe..
    Damn...45%?
    Stick around if you're housebroken...

  30. #30
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    Lot's of opinions here...

    I prefer clipless on technical stuff where the terrain is unforgiving of a slip or failure. It's really about your commitment and confidence.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Le Duke View Post
    I'd argue the opposite, actually.

    Hit it hard. I'm hardly a technical master, bit I manage to clear things simply because of speed/momentum that lots of other people don't. Unless you can get up to a rate faster than your normal climbing speed in a short period, I think you're handicapping yourself.
    This. I am still learning but momentum is key in a lot of short and steep climbs.

    You should also carefully balance your weight between the rear and the front wheel.

    To be honest I do have problems on steep climbs because I tend to wheelie, even if I stay seated very close to the bars.

    My Cannondale F1 has this tendency, the original handlebar was replaced with a high rise one.

    Can this fact make a difference or is it just a lack of technique?

  32. #32
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    If your handlebar is high then youíll wheelie more easily. You can try flattening out your back (get lower) and pull the bars back/down as you climb seated. Picture pulling the bars towards your hips. Or you can stand up to climb.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nat View Post
    You can try flattening out your back (get lower) and pull the bars back/down as you climb seated. Picture pulling the bars towards your hips. And/Or you can stand up to climb.
    This, absolutely, with a slight correction.

    I cleaned a fairly long, tough climb yesterday on my SS, the second time I've tried it. I had to stand on parts of it but to avoid spinning out on the loose surface I used this "rowing" technique, and shifting my weight fore & aft just slightly to keep the rear tire gripping, until I could sit again.

    Doing this, while trying to maintain the best line, sounds like a lot to keep track of, but once you get a feel for making micro-adjustments it's like second nature.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crankout View Post
    Damn...45%?
    According to the MTBproject link posted, that's 45% max grade, not average.

    But yeah, 45% is damn steep. Not something most people will be climbing unless it's a very short section and/or the traction is really good.

    Also have to realize a lot of the gradient data in MTBProject is suspect. For example,
    take a look at the stats for Slickrock trail in Moab:
    https://www.mtbproject.com/trail/158941/slickrock

    That claims a max gradient of 16% which is WAY off on the low side.
    No dig no whine

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cleared2land View Post
    Lot's of opinions here...

    I prefer clipless on technical stuff where the terrain is unforgiving of a slip or failure. It's really about your commitment and confidence.

    Ditto, I think those that fear clipless in the tech never gave clipless enough time to embed in their brain to emergency unclip as second nature.
    Quote Originally Posted by mileslong View Post
    I passionately remove rocks and corners and other stuff I find too hard to ride.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DIRTJUNKIE View Post
    Ditto, I think those that fear clipless in the tech never gave clipless enough time to embed in their brain to emergency unclip as second nature.
    Yup, there's a reason the flat fanatics say that the things you can do with clipless pedals is "cheating."

    Lunge up and forward, then pull the bike up behind me? Yup, I'm guilty...and I don't care.

  37. #37
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    I understand that my preference of being 'clipped-in' in the more technical stuff can be counter intuitive for some, but when full-commitment is required, it nice to have 360į of application to the cranks that inspires confidence for me personally. That has saved me in numerous situations. YMMV.
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  38. #38
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    You can do all those things with flats, too. And if you can do them on flats, you will be able to do them much better when you are on clipless, than if you never learned to do them on flats.

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  39. #39
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    On a slow grinder of a standing climb Iíll both crank down on the forward leg and pull up hard with the rear leg. You canít do that on flat pedals.

  40. #40
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    Sometimes you lose traction/ pick bad lines when you are too easy a gear on a technical climb. This sucks, because you are tired, but it's better to muscle a harder gear than spin out over rocks and such. If I am crawling up a steep climb, I might be in 1st, then grab a gear or 2 harder and mash through the technical parts. Then downshift and recover for the next section. It's a balancing act keeping the legs and the lungs equally exhausted.

  41. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nat View Post
    On a slow grinder of a standing climb Iíll both crank down on the forward leg and pull up hard with the rear leg. You canít do that on flat pedals.
    Yes, you can.

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  42. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold View Post
    You can do all those things with flats, too. And if you can do them on flats, you will be able to do them much better when you are on clipless, than if you never learned to do them on flats.

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    FWIW, whenever I'm in Moab or St. George, I never see the guys on clipless having trouble on the technical bits. It's always the people on flats, wearing knee pads and carrying 20lbs of crap on their back struggling to make it up and over stuff.

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    Certainly the will to keep going is a major factor. I drill-sergeant myself to keep going despite exhaustion all the time.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Le Duke View Post
    FWIW, whenever I'm in Moab, I never see the guys on clipless having trouble on the technical bits. It's always the people on flats, knee pads and carrying 20lbs of crap on their back struggling to make it up and over stuff.

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    Doesn't mean they had the technique figured out, either.

    I may be slow, but technical climbing or descending is not generally my problem. Flats or clipless. I use both, fwiw, and have 3x as much time on clipless. Anything I can ride on clipless, I can ride on flats and the other way around.

    The problem is with people not taking the time to learn the technique. I have said it before and it bears repeating. Whichever pedal you choose, commit to it and learn to use it correctly. There is a learning curve for both types of pedals, and each one has its difficult aspects. On platforms, generating power on the upstroke is one of the more difficult parts, but it absolutely can be done and it works just fine once you have the technique.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold View Post
    Doesn't mean they had the technique figured out, either.

    I may be slow, but technical climbing or descending is not generally my problem. Flats or clipless. I use both, fwiw, and have 3x as much time on clipless. Anything I can ride on clipless, I can ride on flats and the other way around.

    The problem is with people not taking the time to learn the technique. I have said it before and it bears repeating. Whichever pedal you choose, commit to it and learn to use it correctly. There is a learning curve for both types of pedals, and each one has its difficult aspects. On platforms, generating power on the upstroke is one of the more difficult parts, but it absolutely can be done and it works just fine once you have the technique.

    Sent from my SM-G900V using Tapatalk
    Oh, I know.

    Just seems like a LOT of people seem to prefer flats/fear clipless for technical riding. Yet, it doesn't seem like it's working out for them.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Le Duke View Post
    Oh, I know.

    Just seems like a LOT of people seem to prefer flats/fear clipless for technical riding. Yet, it doesn't seem like it's working out for them.

    Sent from my XT1585 using Tapatalk
    Sure, and I've watched at least a dozen people not clear a technical bit while riding clips and fall over. I've done that several times myself. I use both. I don't blame the pedals for my failures though.

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  47. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold View Post
    Yes, you can.

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    Youíll have to convince me then because my experience says otherwise.

    FWIW Iím comfortable on both flats and clipless.

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    As to the maintain some speed/momentum and attack the climb, well yes, this can work and sometimes no matter the rider is "needed" because it is such a steep, quick section, but the honest fact is, the fitter you get and the better your technique of being able to pause, collect yourself, maybe switch lines and get going again while staying on the bike, the slower you can go. With that premise in mind I always go as slow as I can up most any tech climb for the challenge, makes things so much harder and you're not just relying on the bikes suspension and/or speed to get you over it, you have to have the skills and fitness and that gives great rewards

    This, most definitely, going up or down, feel much more secure being properly "attached" to the bike and while I admit this is part bad technique if I was using flats, it's something I've gotten accustomed to.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cleared2land View Post
    I understand that my preference of being 'clipped-in' in the more technical stuff can be counter intuitive for some, but when full-commitment is required, it nice to have 360į of application to the cranks that inspires confidence for me personally. That has saved me in numerous situations. YMMV.
    One day your life will flash before your eyes, will it be worth watching??

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    Learn to trackstand. Sometimes pausing in the middle of a slow technical climb to adjust a line or to ratchet the pedals to prepare for an obstacle is the difference between successfully cleaning a line and getting stuck halfway up.

    Also, while they have fallen out of favor with most riders, my perception is that the use of small bar ends on my bikes allows me to climb difficult tech sections on my local trails more easily because the alternate hand position allows me better leverage to use my upper body and arms to assist in the climb.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cleared2land View Post
    I understand that my preference of being 'clipped-in' in the more technical stuff can be counter intuitive for some, but when full-commitment is required, it nice to have 360į of application to the cranks that inspires confidence for me personally. That has saved me in numerous situations. YMMV.
    I am basically a covert to flats and ride them most of the time now. I cannot argue with this however. The extra power of pulling up which I think is rarely used becomes very useful on tech climbs. When I switched to flats there were punchy short climbs I had cleared many times before on the same bike with clipless. It took some technique change and I was able to clear them. I would say in flats I am working harder on these climbs. I also think learning the limits of being clipped in and sticking with climbs is a skill that is valuable. Bottom line is I have friends that can clear things I cannot. I clear things others do not. I fail to clear some things I have climbed many times in the past. Almost everyone has to bail out now and again

  51. #51
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    I love to climb, I love the challenge.
    I'm 6'2'' , long legs , maybe a little advantage with these long "lever"

    It's OK to walk sometimes , we're not Superhuman particularly when you do a climb for the first time.
    When I walk one and I figure that it's humanly possible to do , I often do it again.

    Clearing a tough climb has a lot to do with choosing the right Line IME.
    Choose the right Line for the front wheel and be conscious of what the back is gonna do.
    When you know your back wheel is passing an obstacle , give a little lift so it doesn't skip.

    I use clips , always.

    I find it easier on a HT 26''
    (I know , I'm not hip)
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  52. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by twd953 View Post
    According to the MTBproject link posted, that's 45% max grade, not average.

    But yeah, 45% is damn steep. Not something most people will be climbing unless it's a very short section and/or the traction is really good.

    Also have to realize a lot of the gradient data in MTBProject is suspect. For example,
    take a look at the stats for Slickrock trail in Moab:
    https://www.mtbproject.com/trail/158941/slickrock

    That claims a max gradient of 16% which is WAY off on the low side.
    Gotcha. I've been in some xc races where there may be some steep gradients, such as 45%, but for a brief distance. I know that some of the longer climbs on the roads where I ride tend to be around a 12-15% gradient and those are tiring in duration.
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  53. #53
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    I feel at one with the bike clipped it. The bike becomes an extention of my body. Which in turn helps in maneuvering and using my body english to get up and over obstacles. Having my feet in the optimal position for power with each and every stroke helps in technical climbing, thereís no slipping off the pedal. Thereís also the advantage of having added power on the up stroke. As one foot is powering down you can use the pull of the upstroke pedal to assist and add power to the stroke.
    Quote Originally Posted by mileslong View Post
    I passionately remove rocks and corners and other stuff I find too hard to ride.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nat View Post
    Youíll have to convince me then because my experience says otherwise.

    FWIW Iím comfortable on both flats and clipless.
    You obviously can't just pull upwards on the pedal with platforms. It's a different technique than most use with clipless, but from my understanding of pedaling technique, they're not exactly using clipless pedals correctly, either. You can do this same thing with clipless, however, and as I've been told, it's how you're supposed to.

    To "pull up" on platforms, you need to point your toe on the upstroke, press your foot INTO the pedal, and wipe your foot backwards and up. Yes, you engage different muscles doing it this way than most do with clipless, but it does work and I use it fairly regularly on technical climbs. You smoothly transition into this motion as you approach the bottom of the downstroke. It makes for a pretty smooth pedal stroke and if your weight balance is right, makes it very difficult to break loose on a steep section. If I have trouble with a climb, it's not because my pedal choice prevents me from doing something.

  55. #55
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    Okay, I thought of an experiment that would convince me that one can generate power on the upstroke of a flat pedal:

    - Find a moderately steep hill, doesn't have to be a killer, just steep enough that you have to pedal continuously to maintain momentum
    - Pedal with one foot only. Put your other foot across the top tube, on the chainstay, or wherever just so it's not on the opposite pedal
    - Successfully complete several (let's say 10) one-footed crank rotations
    - Repeat task with clipless pedal

    Video would be nice, but everyone could try this on his own.

    Harold: Please don't take this as a personal attack. It's just the scientific skeptic in me wanting proof.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Le Duke View Post
    Oh, I know.

    Just seems like a LOT of people seem to prefer flats/fear clipless for technical riding. Yet, it doesn't seem like it's working out for them.

    Sent from my XT1585 using Tapatalk
    Their fear of clipless pedals is tied to their fear of technical obstacles.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nat View Post
    Okay, I thought of an experiment that would convince me that one can generate power on the upstroke of a flat pedal.
    I've actually done this when I had one flat and one clip pedal on my bike. To a small extent, you can pedal smoothly with the flat and "pull", but it only worked for me at a slow speed and relatively smooth/flat terrain. Its not even close to the benefit of being clipped in, but training yourself to pull up on flat pedals is, if you can actually do it without thinking, slightly more beneficial than just mashing down.

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    Quote Originally Posted by richde View Post
    Their fear of clipless pedals is tied to their fear of technical obstacles.
    My problem is that I love clipless, but I'm not that comfortable on technical climbs (yet) so regardless of the pedal, I'm a little on edge. I think the lack of confidence makes me want to go slow, making it even more difficult to get over obstacles.

    I'm hoping I can build up some general skills and confidence on my flat pedals and then switch back to clipless once I can handle the terrain better.

  59. #59
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    You just need to practice and build confidence. A lack of confidence on the tricky parts will cause you to back off the power and then you're done.
    I got some bad ideas in my head.

  60. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by admc7777 View Post
    I've actually done this when I had one flat and one clip pedal on my bike. To a small extent, you can pedal smoothly with the flat and "pull", but it only worked for me at a slow speed and relatively smooth/flat terrain. Its not even close to the benefit of being clipped in, but training yourself to pull up on flat pedals is, if you can actually do it without thinking, slightly more beneficial than just mashing down.
    Pulling up is a mental trick people have been using for decades to help develop a smooth pedal stroke but on a flat pedal I contend that you're just moving your foot up and out of the way (after wiping across the bottom of the stroke). When clipped in you can actually apply upwards torque, which on a low RPM grinder of a climb (think standing up, breathing hard, and sweating) adds to forward motion. This is a pedal stroke I learned from years of riding a singlespeed.

    Besides, everyone says that on a flat pedal you're supposed to drop your heels. Okay, this last part was meant in jest.

  61. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nat View Post
    Pulling up is a mental trick people have been using for decades to help develop a smooth pedal stroke but on a flat pedal I contend that you're just moving your foot up and out of the way (after wiping across the bottom of the stroke). When clipped in you can actually apply upwards torque, which on a low RPM grinder of a climb (think standing up, breathing hard, and sweating) adds to forward motion. This is a pedal stroke I learned from years of riding a singlespeed.

    Besides, everyone says that on a flat pedal you're supposed to drop your heels. Okay, this last part was meant in jest.
    For me the upstroke clipped in feels like itís assisting [when needed] in the power stroke of the pedal going down. Thereís definitely some assisted torque there, be it minimal, it does help.
    Quote Originally Posted by mileslong View Post
    I passionately remove rocks and corners and other stuff I find too hard to ride.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Travis Bickle View Post
    You just need to practice and build confidence. A lack of confidence on the tricky parts will cause you to back off the power and then you're done.
    Yup.

    Ride everything like you're going to clean it, don't go into it planning on failure...that's how people get hurt.

  63. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by DIRTJUNKIE View Post
    For me the upstroke clipped in feels like itís assisting [when needed] in the power stroke of the pedal going down. Thereís definitely some assisted torque there, be it minimal, it does help.
    I think so too.

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    Quote Originally Posted by richde View Post
    Yup.

    Ride everything like you're going to clean it, don't go into it planning on failure.
    Who plans for failure? If thatís the case youíre in the wrong sport. Confidence is the name of the game.
    Quote Originally Posted by mileslong View Post
    I passionately remove rocks and corners and other stuff I find too hard to ride.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DIRTJUNKIE View Post
    Who plans for failure? If thatís the case youíre in the wrong sport. Confidence is the name of the game.
    The people worried about getting out of clipless pedals.

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    There are some unforgiving technical features that I can stand back and plot spots for possible bail-outs and those sections where full commitment will be necessary and nothing less will be my only option.
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    The beauty with climbs, you often have bail out options where decents often don't.

    Problems with technical climbs-uh-oh-i-.jpg Problems with technical climbs-uh-oh-ii.jpg Problems with technical climbs-uh-oh-iii.jpg
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  68. #68
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    Quote Originally Posted by richde View Post
    The people worried about getting out of clipless pedals.
    You have a point there.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cleared2land View Post
    There are some unforgiving technical features that I can stand back and plot spots for possible bail-outs and those sections where full commitment will be necessary and nothing less will be my only option.
    True, normally if I stop to look Iím looking to just pick my line before hand. The look for a bailout thing seldom comes to mind unless itís the section is alongside a cliff or other dangerous trailside feature and the failure for penalty is high. Then the pre-spotting for bailout areas comes into play.
    Quote Originally Posted by mileslong View Post
    I passionately remove rocks and corners and other stuff I find too hard to ride.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nat View Post
    Okay, I thought of an experiment that would convince me that one can generate power on the upstroke of a flat pedal:

    - Find a moderately steep hill, doesn't have to be a killer, just steep enough that you have to pedal continuously to maintain momentum
    - Pedal with one foot only. Put your other foot across the top tube, on the chainstay, or wherever just so it's not on the opposite pedal
    - Successfully complete several (let's say 10) one-footed crank rotations
    - Repeat task with clipless pedal

    Video would be nice, but everyone could try this on his own.

    Harold: Please don't take this as a personal attack. It's just the scientific skeptic in me wanting proof.
    It doesn't work exactly the same on platforms, like I've said. Part of what makes it work on platforms is that your feet oppose each other. You can't generate as much force to keep your hind foot planted into the pedal with only one foot (at most, just your body weight, and far less than that on the upstroke) whereas when that foot is pressing against the leading foot (with heel dropped), and able to press into the pedal more, you're able to generate more force.

    Again, it's a different technique than clipless, as I've said repeatedly, and it uses different muscles, but it does work. This is why I say all the damn time that if you're going to pick a pedal, then commit to learning how to use it effectively. If you don't commit to learning it, you miss things.

  70. #70
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold View Post
    It doesn't work exactly the same on platforms, like I've said. Part of what makes it work on platforms is that your feet oppose each other. You can't generate as much force to keep your hind foot planted into the pedal with only one foot (at most, just your body weight, and far less than that on the upstroke) whereas when that foot is pressing against the leading foot (with heel dropped), and able to press into the pedal more.
    Iím afraid this is a physics impossibility. What youíre saying is the upward motion pedal [flat pedals] is somehow assisting the downward stroke of pedal through inertia.
    Quote Originally Posted by mileslong View Post
    I passionately remove rocks and corners and other stuff I find too hard to ride.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DIRTJUNKIE View Post
    Iím afraid this is a physics impossibility. What youíre saying is the upward motion pedal [flat pedals] is somehow assisting the downward stroke of pedal through inertia.
    No. You obviously don't have enough time on platforms to get it. It's a forward-backward opposition, not an up-down opposition.

  72. #72
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold View Post
    No. You obviously don't have enough time on platforms to get it. It's a forward-backward opposition, not an up-down opposition.
    I understand what youíre saying. Keeping the upward stroke pedal planted by the force of the downward pedal. I get that part, I just donít get where you think the upward pedal is somehow helping in powering the downward pedal. The foot is planted via the power of inertia. There is no force being used as power upward, the inertia is only keeping the foot planted. With a clipless pedal your foot is connected to the pedal, which allows for an upward stroke power assist of the downward stroke pedal.
    Quote Originally Posted by mileslong View Post
    I passionately remove rocks and corners and other stuff I find too hard to ride.

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    I believe this is what Harold is referring to. If you rotate your ankle properly it's more forward and backward then up and down.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DIRTJUNKIE View Post
    I understand what youíre saying. Keeping the upward stroke pedal planted by the force of the downward pedal. I get that part, I just donít get where you think the upward pedal is somehow helping in powering the downward pedal. The foot is planted via the power of inertia. There is no force being used as power upward, the inertia is only keeping the foot planted. With a clipless pedal your foot is connected to the pedal, which allows for an upward stroke power assist of the downward stroke pedal.
    My hell, you certainly delight in being obtuse, don't you?

    Quote Originally Posted by DCFarris View Post
    I believe this is what Harold is referring to. If you rotate your ankle properly it's more forward and backward then up and down.

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    Yes, thanks for digging that up.

    You absolutely CAN pull upward with platforms. It's not like we're talking about a pedal surface that's perfectly smooth. There are pins that are gripping the soft, tacky sole of the shoe. You can actively pull against that with the pedal properly tilted. You are able to press your trailing foot into the pedal with more force when the leading foot is pressing into the pedal at an opposing angle. Take the static pedal positions at the crank positions of 90 and 270 degrees. In a level lift, you can keep your feet planted AND pull the bike upward using the same force opposition. Put your helmet upside-down on the ground. You can use the same opposition to pick up the helmet with flat palms just from pressing against opposite inside surfaces. You cannot do so with one hand. This is why pulling upward on platforms doesn't work with single-foot drills. IT'S DIFFERENT THAN CLIPLESS!!!!!!!!!!

  75. #75
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    I've only skimmed this, but saw more than a few replies about this piece of gear or that piece of gear.

    Ride more. I thought I was a decent rider when I moved from Michigan to Colorado. Technical climbing slapped me in the face. It was like starting over. If you're just getting serious as you said, just ride more. After that first CO summer riding 5 days a week, far fewer tech climbs gave me trouble, despite the fact that it was 2007 and I was on a bike from 1999 at that time.

  76. #76
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold View Post
    My hell, you certainly delight in being obtuse, don't you?
    Not really, just trying to have a discussion with you. Sorry if I came across as argumentative. I was just trying to see where you were coming from.


    Quote Originally Posted by Harold View Post

    Yes, thanks for digging that up.

    You absolutely CAN pull upward with platforms. It's not like we're talking about a pedal surface that's perfectly smooth. There are pins that are gripping the soft, tacky sole of the shoe. You can actively pull against that with the pedal properly tilted. You are able to press your trailing foot into the pedal with more force when the leading foot is pressing into the pedal at an opposing angle. Take the static pedal positions at the crank positions of 90 and 270 degrees. In a level lift, you can keep your feet planted AND pull the bike upward using the same force opposition. Put your helmet upside-down on the ground. You can use the same opposition to pick up the helmet with flat palms just from pressing against opposite inside surfaces. You cannot do so with one hand. This is why pulling upward on platforms doesn't work with single-foot drills. IT'S DIFFERENT THAN CLIPLESS!!!!!!!!!!
    I now see more of what you were trying to say earlier. My opinion stands although slightly changed. I see what you were saying that with pinned flat pedals there may be some assist with the upward pedal. Although not nearly as much as a clipless pedal as I see now you were not comparing the two in power. Which I thought you were to begin with.
    Quote Originally Posted by mileslong View Post
    I passionately remove rocks and corners and other stuff I find too hard to ride.

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    There's a lot of information in here and I'll admit to just quickly browsing through it so I apologize in advance if this has been said.

    Where I ride, I encounter steep, technical ups every few feet. It's all we have. We just don't have very many, long, drawn out climbs.

    A lot of your success or failure will depend on line choice. Sometimes the best line isn't the smoothest line. Traction is paramount and rocks are often better than dirt.

    Then you need power. Being in too easy of a gear robs you of momentum and torque. It's a fine line and something that takes practice. It's also different for each person.

    Balance is the key. Front to back. You need to keep your front wheel planted and tracking or you'll miss your line and wander all over. Look where you want to go. Your weight needs to be driven down through your back tire or you'll spin out and lose everything you gained. This takes a lot of practice to get right.

    When doing a technical climb, it's all about your hips. Where are they? If too far back, you'll loop put. Think about walking up stairs. Your body leads with your hips, not your feet. If you lunge into a technical climb by pushing your front wheel forward, you won't make it. Bring your hips up and then lunge all together.

    Most of what I'm saying comes down to this: practice technique. Ride with a buddy that can show you or take a coaching lesson. Gear is mostly irrelevant.

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    I've just tried this technique and it works really well:


    I was only lowering my chest and it would not work, the position on the saddle is important for very steep climbs.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DIRTJUNKIE View Post
    Not really, just trying to have a discussion with you. Sorry if I came across as argumentative. I was just trying to see where you were coming from.




    I now see more of what you were trying to say earlier. My opinion stands although slightly changed. I see what you were saying that with pinned flat pedals there may be some assist with the upward pedal. Although not nearly as much as a clipless pedal as I see now you were not comparing the two in power. Which I thought you were to begin with.
    How can you say how much you can do it if you don't ever do it? I use it regularly and it works plenty.

    Sent from my SM-G900V using Tapatalk

  80. #80
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold View Post
    How can you say how much you can do it if you don't ever do it?

    Sent from my SM-G900V using Tapatalk
    Where did a I say that?
    Itís just common sense. An upward stroke with a pinned flat pedal is not nearly as efficient in a power assist to the downward stroke as a clipless pedal is.
    Quote Originally Posted by mileslong View Post
    I passionately remove rocks and corners and other stuff I find too hard to ride.

  81. #81
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    Quote Originally Posted by DIRTJUNKIE View Post
    Where did a I say that?
    Itís just common sense. An upward stroke with a pinned flat pedal is not nearly as efficient in a power assist to the downward stroke as a clipless pedal is.
    How is it common sense? You have no evidence backing up your statement. About all we can say is that it is different, but possible. It is not like you are engaging your most powerful muscle groups on that part of the pedal stroke regardless of which pedals you use.

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  82. #82
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold View Post
    How is it common sense? You have no evidence backing up your statement. About all we can say is that it is different, but possible. It is not like you are engaging your most powerful muscle groups on that part of the pedal stroke regardless of which pedals you use.

    Sent from my SM-G900V using Tapatalk
    Common sense tells me that being ATTACHED to a pedal [clipless] would most surly give you more power on an upstroke than a pedal [flat pinned pedal] that is merely gripping the sole of your shoe. Iím done debating this obvious point.
    Quote Originally Posted by mileslong View Post
    I passionately remove rocks and corners and other stuff I find too hard to ride.

  83. #83
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    Quote Originally Posted by Goldberg123 View Post
    I've just tried this technique and it works really well:

    I was only lowering my chest and it would not work, the position on the saddle is important for very steep climbs.
    yes it does work well.....however there's a definite balance while doing so, finding this balance is the key to maintaining momentum, traction whilst being gassed.
    Last edited by nvphatty; 02-07-2018 at 08:20 AM.

  84. #84
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    Flats vs clipless makes no difference to technical climbs...

    You're definitely more desperate to clean it when clipped in i.e. stalling out, under power & un-clipping becomes more difficult (occasionally impossible).

    Flats you're less desperate & possibly less committed...

    The actual getting up has more to do w/ technique, momentum, & gearing

    Oval chainrings help with technical climbing, get one.

    Don't be in your lowest gear, 2nd or 3rd to lowest - depending on run in & momentum. Save the Granny gear for those long grinder climbs.

    Learn to get the front wheel up & over then use your hips to get the back wheel over i.e. a thrust forward & upward.

    If riding up a section w/ repeated obstacles i.e. one after another - hover a centimetre or so above the saddle when cranking, this is particularly important on hard tails, but also applies to FS.

    Finally, rear tyre choice for the conditions. Wet & greasy? You need a grippy tyre out back, especially if riding amongst wet roots/rocks.

    Also, tyre should be nice and wide - a good contact patch helps for sure.

    Personally, I find technical climbing easier on a hard tail.

    In my minds eye, I'm just fighting the terrain & not the terrain & the suspension.

    Lastly, make it personal. Tell yourself, I'm gonna clean that phuka & do it!!

    If you don't make it, go back & ride it again until you do.

    My $0.02

    '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"

  85. #85
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    I find that fitness and power can overcome technical climbs with smaller features. You can essentially power up them a lot of times with a little technique. So, as others have said, you can hit it hard and use your roadie fitness to bash your way through. It's an effective technique if it's sustainable for the climb.

    I find that bigger features are best attacked with more technique at a slower pace. Good line choice is key though. I rode with a guy for years that would frustrate the heck out of me. Not because he was so good at technical climbing, but because he would attack the climbs at a much slower pace than I could. Following him closely meant I was off my bike before the end of the technical sections. Riding on my own, I might clear some of those sections through brute force at times, but his greater skill and slower speed let him clear them routinely.

    After a year of focused training on skills like 3/4 punches, hops, trackstands and front/rear wheel lifts. I find myself cleaning all the same climbs and doing it at the same slow speeds most of the time and usually with a lot less effort. It rained a lot here over the holidays, so even though I've become fairly proficient at technical climbing, I spent a bunch of time at the local high school honing my 3/4 punch and hopping techniques. I considered myself fairly proficient at technical climbs before the practice, but once the trails dried out I was amazed at how much easier it was for me to clean features. I wasn't necessarily cleaning anything more, but everything was happening so much more easily. This really set in my mind that technique trumps fitness for larger features.

    As a reference here is one of my regular trails.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sZphUr7mVa8

  86. #86
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    Quote Originally Posted by DCFarris View Post
    I believe this is what Harold is referring to. If you rotate your ankle properly it's more forward and backward then up and down.

    Name:  110615pedalangles.jpg
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    You apply outward force on the pedals as you spin, and they stick even more.

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    Cool heads prevail

  87. #87
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    Quote Originally Posted by DIRTJUNKIE View Post
    Common sense tells me that being ATTACHED to a pedal [clipless] would most surly give you more power on an upstroke than a pedal [flat pinned pedal] that is merely gripping the sole of your shoe. Iím done debating this obvious point.
    Common sense tells me clipless pedals are a crutch.
    Cool heads prevail

  88. #88
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    Quote Originally Posted by DIRTJUNKIE View Post
    Common sense tells me that being ATTACHED to a pedal [clipless] would most surly give you more power on an upstroke than a pedal [flat pinned pedal] that is merely gripping the sole of your shoe. Iím done debating this obvious point.
    You're attached with platforms, too. It's just a different system that relies more on the rider's input, whereas clipless pedals actively retain your foot once you've attached the cleat to the pedal. And yeah, that advantage of clipless is a big reason why I put them on for races and other long rides.

  89. #89
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    Quote Originally Posted by Goldberg123 View Post
    I've just tried this technique and it works really well:


    I was only lowering my chest and it would not work, the position on the saddle is important for very steep climbs.
    This technique is how Iíve always tackled a tech climb. Especially a very steep climb.
    Quote Originally Posted by mileslong View Post
    I passionately remove rocks and corners and other stuff I find too hard to ride.

  90. #90
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    Quote Originally Posted by DIRTJUNKIE View Post
    This technique is how Iíve always tackled a tech climb. Especially a very steep climb.
    Steep & technical aren't the same thing...

    Although a technical climb can be steep &/or vice versa...

    '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"

  91. #91
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    Quote Originally Posted by targnik View Post
    Steep & technical aren't the same thing...

    Although a technical climb can be steep &/or vice versa...

    'We'll all make it to the top... Some of us, might not make it to the bottom'
    True, I meant this technique is how I have always tackled steep. With technical thereís more standing up and body english involved. Although if itís steep and technical I tend to still use this technique between the standing up and body english, if that makes sense.
    Quote Originally Posted by mileslong View Post
    I passionately remove rocks and corners and other stuff I find too hard to ride.

  92. #92
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    Quote Originally Posted by ryguy79 View Post
    I saw more than a few replies about this piece of gear or that piece of gear.

    Ride more. I thought I was a decent rider when I moved from Michigan to Colorado. Technical climbing slapped me in the face. .
    What he said^
    Recently I found a bunch of riders stalled out on a short techy climb. I was forced to change lines from the center and move outside to the right where even larger rocks obstruct the way. I've been riding that spot for 15yrs and had no real problem, still made it including the 100* turn in the middle . I tell the story because one of the guys standing there had big saucer eyes and said,"Sh*t you just made that look so easy!" I told him the same thing, just ride it often and with commitment.
    oops I wasn't clipped in

  93. #93
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    Quote Originally Posted by Goldberg123 View Post
    I was only lowering my chest and it would not work, the position on the saddle is important for very steep climbs.
    Yep, saddle nose in the ol' taint. After a while you get a feel for when the rear tire is about to break loose.
    "Reasoning will never make a Man correct an ill Opinion, which by Reasoning he never acquired"
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  94. #94
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold View Post
    You're attached with platforms, too. It's just a different system that relies more on the rider's input, whereas clipless pedals actively retain your foot once you've attached the cleat to the pedal. And yeah, that advantage of clipless is a big reason why I put them on for races and other long rides.
    Wouldnít you be more proficient in racing if you ran clipless all the time? As in when you are recreational riding also. I would think youíd be more in tune if everything was second nature to unclip and clipping in. Just saying that switching between the two could cause a conflict in a very important section of the course.

    Sorry to take this a bit off course here. Still within the topic though.
    Quote Originally Posted by mileslong View Post
    I passionately remove rocks and corners and other stuff I find too hard to ride.

  95. #95
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    I have found accidental alternate lines on several occasions as I suspect many of you have. We tend to find our line that works and we often tend to stick with that line. On several occasions as I begin to head up that climb and someone stalls and blocks my line, but my momentum is good and I'm not wanting to stop because someone stalls in my line. In a split second, we are forced to either stop or take that scary alternate line and surprisingly find it was much easier than anticipated. That tends to bolster your confidence and provides that warm n fuzzy feeling of accomplishment.
    A bad day of cycling is better than a good day at work

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  96. #96
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    Quote Originally Posted by DIRTJUNKIE View Post
    Wouldnít you be more proficient in racing if you ran clipless all the time? As in when you are recreational riding also. I would think youíd be more in tune if everything was second nature to unclip and clipping in. Just saying that switching between the two could cause a conflict in a very important section of the course.

    Sorry to take this a bit off course here. Still within the topic though.
    Depends what you wanted to focus on. If fitness and speed, sure. But if technical handling, then maybe some time on platforms learning skills that hold you back would be beneficial.

    Sent from my SM-G900V using Tapatalk

  97. #97
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cleared2land View Post
    I have found accidental alternate lines on several occasions as I suspect many of you have. We tend to find our line that works and we often tend to stick with that line. On several occasions as I begin to head up that climb and someone stalls and blocks my line, but my momentum is good and I'm not wanting to stop because someone stalls in my line. In a split second, we are forced to either stop or take that scary alternate line and surprisingly find it was much easier than anticipated. That tends to bolster your confidence and provides that warm n fuzzy feeling of accomplishment.
    Definitely, more often than not I stall out out of distraction and frustration. But, I have had that occasional forced alternate line of utter bliss after Iíve acomploshed it. The bonus is, itís in front of who you avoided to get around. A built in audience if you will. Itís actually a good thing to force you off old habit lines. Thankyou to hikers and HABíers.
    Quote Originally Posted by mileslong View Post
    I passionately remove rocks and corners and other stuff I find too hard to ride.

  98. #98
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    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 trailÖ
    "Reasoning will never make a Man correct an ill Opinion, which by Reasoning he never acquired"
    ó Jonathan Swift

  99. #99
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    Avoid eye contact with whatever you don't want to contact.
    A bad day of cycling is better than a good day at work

    Work Truck - Dassault Falcon 7X

  100. #100
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    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.
    Quote Originally Posted by mileslong View Post
    I passionately remove rocks and corners and other stuff I find too hard to ride.

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