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  1. #1
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    Climbing Style and Hip Pain/Tightness

    Been riding my SS 29er for about 9 months now, and made a lot of progress in my very hilly area. Can't believe the stuff I am clearing I used to do in the little ring. Found the climbing more enjoyable with a 32-22 combo though, since most of the trails are either up or down. Got to the point I was clearing the nasty climbs pretty handily, so I went back to the 20-tooth. Hard to believe how much more fighting there is on the steep technical stuff with 2 more teeth. I find myself actually sitting a good bit and really mashing while controlling the bike on the rocky uphills (rigid fork). Pretty sure that is where the sore, tight hip is coming from. Any thoughts? Is a 20 just too much for my physically, or is there a technical issue I am missing? PS--the 20-tooth sure does pass the time on the road the trail a lot better... plus there is the strangely masochistic pleasure in making it through all of that...

  2. #2
    nothing to see here
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    Quote Originally Posted by slohr
    I find myself actually sitting a good bit and really mashing while controlling the bike on the rocky uphills (rigid fork). Pretty sure that is where the sore, tight hip is coming from. Any thoughts?
    Yup. I reckon that's your problem. Get out of the saddle for a few rides and see if the problem disappears.
    I see hills.

    I want to climb them.

  3. #3
    VENI VEDI BIKI
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    Or, you are "pulling" with your hip flexor instead of your calves.

  4. #4
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    Hmmmm....

    Quote Originally Posted by skankingbiker
    Or, you are "pulling" with your hip flexor instead of your calves.

    That's a good point. I did spend a lot of last year working on driving the knees to the bar on the back of the stroke. Might not be pulling all the way through with the balls of my feet. I'll experiment with that on some longer smooth climbs.

    Also, trying to get used to getting out of the saddle more to accelerate. Been reading too much the last couple of years that you should be sitting on a road bike on long climbs. I think you need a break from that when the long road climbs get above 10%.

  5. #5
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    I too made the switch to 32 x 22 and found myself able to conquer gnarlier terrain than with the 20t cog. I still keep right up with everyone when I am in the woods with the 32....on the road it may be a different story!

  6. #6
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    22-tooth

    Quote Originally Posted by bmxking45
    I too made the switch to 32 x 22 and found myself able to conquer gnarlier terrain than with the 20t cog. I still keep right up with everyone when I am in the woods with the 32....on the road it may be a different story!
    Yeah, plus I felt a lot less beat-up the next day. I do like how you can spin a little more over the rocks. Going up steeps and over rocks is a lot harder when one pedal stroke covers a lot of ground. Ratcheting really takes it out of you when you are already working really hard! I usually find that is when I end up in the saddle and grunt to get moving again. Considering going back to the 22, work on my form. Hopefully when I get a little stronger, I'll jump up to a 21 instead of going 2 full teeth. The injuries seem to come much quicker and last longer at 47 than 25!

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by slohr
    I find myself actually sitting a good bit and really mashing...
    Sitting and mashing is a great way to hurt yourself.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by bad mechanic
    Sitting and mashing is a great way to hurt yourself.
    i strenuously agree. SS doesn't have to be bad for your back,knees, or hips if you use the right techniques.... but if you use bad techniques you can really mess your body up. Sitting and mashing is definitely in the bad technique category

    If I stand up fairly straight and use good technique I can climb decently sized hills with 32x18 on my 29er; whereas I would need at least 32x22 to sit and mash up those hills
    Last edited by boomn; 10-20-2010 at 12:29 PM.

  9. #9
    openwound
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    As the other guys have already said, stand up and work on your single speed mountain bike form. Ride the gear that you can ride and enjoy. Yeah, I can mash a 19 on my ride but I'm much more happy and faster dropping it down two teeth.

    Aren't we supposed to start getting wise as we age..?
    (we already have an "age poll" thread somewhere, so I don't wanna get a new one going on that. I'm 49, fwiw)

    If you don't have one already, get yourself a foam roller.

  10. #10
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    Stretch your buttocks and hip flexors before and after each ride. If mine get tight I'll even stop in the middle of a ride to stretch.

    Here's what works for me. Also good if your lower back gets tight/tired.

    Lie flat on your back and pull your right knee up to your chest. Lay your right arm straight out on the ground "90 degrees" from your torso. Use your left hand to pull your knee towards the left side of your body. Try and keep your shoulder blades/right arm flat on the ground. This should give you a really good stretch and relieve that tension. Repeat with left leg.

  11. #11
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    Remind me not to go on a group ride with this guy^!

    Just kidding unless your gonna do it

  12. #12
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    It's the darned rocks...

    Thanks for all the helpful input. I stand all I can when climbing smooth trail. Love that about the 29er SS. Problem is the rocky stuff--I tend to end back up in the saddle getting over the rocks, especially if I have to ratchet the pedals. Have not been out a lot the last 2 months while coaching, so I think I'll go back to the 22 and work on standing form over that stuff. I'm definitely going to go the foam roller route too!

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