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I'm Riding It
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I've been having trouble climbing steep, sort of long climbs because my front end comes off the ground (wheelie) and have trouble keeping it down. I've tried putting my weight forward but then i don't get any traction on the back.

Then, also on hills with loose gravel how do you prevent slipping and spinning out of the rear tire. Also how do you get over or through holes in the hill and ruts that you get stuck in?

I'd really appreciate any tips as i'm getting desperate. :(
 

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Don't worry, be happy!
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well, you could search for the old thread... but...
get so far forward the seat is poking you in the butt. Then you have to find the sweet spot where you are balanced so that you don't spin out on gravel, and you are geared so that you can make it up the hill. Gravel climbs are some of the worst. If you were a girl I'd say "boobs to the tube" for get down low.

formica
 

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Did the search...

This was the first pertinent one that showed up. So I really have to get that low, huh? Wow, not easy for a 6' tall person on an 18" frame, lemmetellya. I guess I have to get down to practice, practice, practice! I have a friend who is 5'6 whom I ride with. He is 80lbs less than I and is cleaning crazy rooty technical windy sections with style... I can't let him keep doing this without me!!! :)
 

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Sharp rocks hurt...
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Ok steep climbs are kind of my specialty. You need to lean forward and down, get down so far your head is about 6 inches from the handlebar. Then you need to find the sweet spot where your front end stays down but your back stays turning. Lean forward and back to achieve this. If your front end comes up lean forward more. If your back tire comes loose lean back. Spin at about 80 RPM and try to make even strokes all the way around. If you thrash on the pedals the back tire will break loose. Practice a lot and you will get it down.
 

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The Lone Wolf said:
Ok steep climbs are kind of my specialty. You need to lean forward and down, get down so far your head is about 6 inches from the handlebar. Then you need to find the sweet spot where your front end stays down but your back stays turning. Lean forward and back to achieve this. If your front end comes up lean forward more. If your back tire comes loose lean back. Spin at about 80 RPM and try to make even strokes all the way around. If you thrash on the pedals the back tire will break loose. Practice a lot and you will get it down.
Cheers!

And thanks to Formica for giving us the basics!
 

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The Lone Wolf said:
Ok steep climbs are kind of my specialty. You need to lean forward and down, get down so far your head is about 6 inches from the handlebar. Then you need to find the sweet spot where your front end stays down but your back stays turning. Lean forward and back to achieve this. If your front end comes up lean forward more. If your back tire comes loose lean back. Spin at about 80 RPM and try to make even strokes all the way around. If you thrash on the pedals the back tire will break loose. Practice a lot and you will get it down.
Like The Lone Wolf says, there are 2 parts that you need to practice:

1. Balance front to back. Most people think of balancing side to side to ride a bike, but its just as important to have balance front to back when riding technical trails. You need to find the spot that works best for you, which you can only do by trying again and again.

2. Steady but firm pedal stroke. You need to keep the pedals moving smoothly so that the rear tire does not jerk and break loose. You need to have a hard enough gear so that there is tension all the way around the pedal stroke, but easy enough that you can keep pedaling smoothly. The hardest part for people to learn, is keeping the pedals spinning even when the tire does slip or bounce over a root or rock. Most begineers just stop when the back tire slips, but if you just keep spinning and maintain balance, you can usually recover and keep going. Remember that momentum is your friend!

Its best to find a short steep hill and spend an hour every now and then just going up and down. You'll get the hang of it soon!

Mike
 

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This has been argued many times, so I'll just say that bike setup makes a difference too. Your handlebar (riser or flat, bars ends or not), stem length/rise, and saddle position (fore/aft and height too) all affect front/rear balance.

Using bar ends allows you to put more weight on the front going uphill without being too nose-heavy on downhills.

I like to set my saddle forward so I don't have to sit on the pointy bit for all but the steepest sections. Some folks disagree and say you should set your saddle position based on the bottom bracket/leg length relationship.
 

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Lots of good tips here. Another one that I forget about sometimes is to look up the hill , or trail Avoid looking directly in front of your front wheel , that slows your momentum. Its a lot like skiing or boarding, look out ahead, not directly in front of your skis or board
 

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Gotta relax..

Things that help me out. first is concertrating on relaxing your upper bod and directing the power to the ground with your legs. Bend at your waist and with your upper body lean forward hovering over the front of your bike. I will unwrap my thumb from the underside of the bar and slump my shoulders in order to relax my shoulders and arms. Find a gear/cadence that is compliant with the grade your climbing up and somewhat comforatable for you to turn over. This takes time and depends on your conditioning/strenght/fatique.
 

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meow
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Another thing that helps is to pay attention to the position of your arms during climbs. Keep your elbows in and pull back on the bars, this helps to push the rear tire into the dirt. I like to think of it as rowing the bar, one side at a time, opposite of your pedal stroke. And as said before, boobs to the bar!
 

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a.k.a. MTBMaven
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Seat Position

All good stuff here. One thing I would add is to position your saddle correctly fore and aft. Years ago I moved my saddle forward just a few millimeters and noticed a difference the very next ride. Try to position yourr saddle so your body is directly above your cranks. (The seat tube on my Enduro is very relaxed and I like to position my saddle rather high on climbs. This has a tendency to put my weight further over the rear wheel.) Even after these adjustments I still find myself sitting on the horn of my saddle on really steep climbs. Sounds painful but you really don't notice it; your concnetration is totally focused on climbing.
 
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