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Most riders criticize the fact that I like to stand when going up big hills, but I always seem to be able to get further up the hill when I stand vs. sit. Since I won't be giving up this habit anytime soon (whether on singlespeed or geared bike), I was wondering if anyone had any tips for this type of climbing.

First, I've found that momentum is key. Getting as much speed before hitting the hill really helps.

Second, I usually lean forward over the bars, but if I get to a section of the hill where it gets steep, I'll actually lean back to put more weight on the back tire (but not enough to lift the front wheel off the ground).

I'm able to get up almost every hill in the normal trails I ride. However, there is one hill that gets me every time. At the bottom of the hill is a small stream which the best way to cross is via a concrete bridge off to one side (the rocks in the stream are too big to blast through). Actually, it is more of a narrow concrete slab with water running over it. So, after the bridge the momentum is less than what I'd want it to be. Next, the hill has a bunch of rocks and loose material going up. I usually make it up about half way and then end up kicking out some rocks and loosing momentum altogether. Local riders say that a few people have made it up.

Anyone have any tips?
 

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Jam Econo
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You have to balance a tightrope, if you will, keeping your weight between the front and the rear of the bike. Your pedal technique needs to be subtle in how you lay down the power; as it gets steep you might want to power as hard you can, but depending on the composition of the trail, you'll need the use discretion laying it down. The stronger your legs are the easier this is, because you can maintain more control over your cadence even in a difficult climbing situation.
Sometimes everyone has to walk though!
 

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Here's one I haven't seen written about here yet -

1.) standing up, try to visualize & create perfect, efficent circles with consistent power all the way through the spin w/ each leg.
2.) while doing this, use the handlebars as an additional torquing device- throw your entire body into each pedal stroke and pull-up, but keep the circles as perfectly smooth as possible. Pull on those handlebars until you think you might snap 'em.

This technique is one to throw in just before you run out of momentum - in fact, it can make you increase in speed, bcs you are using your back and your arms to spin the pedals.

Looks insane, but if done right you can fly up even loose, skittish terrain.
 

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Climbing "THE DEAD ZONE" by Travis Brown. The article is mountain bike action July 2006. I use this technique, it just squirts you up the hill fast without using full grunt power. Use the link from Pooh Bear they describe the action by Travis. Once you understand this technique you develop an understanding about climbing on the singlespeed and apply other techniques depending on grade. I will stand the entire climb, thats what we do I do, that is the fun. You need to climb climb and climb an average day is about 4,000 ft.
 

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Known Mountainbiker
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Polar Bear said:
Most riders criticize.....

Anyone have any tips?
Yeah. Stop riding with roadies.:D There is nothing wrong with standing; it is one of our three gears. (standing, sitting and walking)

Roadies have this theory that when riders stand it is a sign of being tired. Roadies say that standing causes more wind resistance. Standing is a bad technique to a roadie. Unless you ride with super easy gearing; you're going to stand on big hills with a SS. On the little hills, you should be able to stay crunched in an aerodynamic sitting position not giving any sign of your fatigue to your riding buddies.

I bet your riding buddies criticize your backpack and the visor on your helmet too.

Momentum is good but not as important as control and technique (and strength). There, that's my tip and the rest was just me picking on the roadies.

Caz
 

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Polar Bear said:
I'm able to get up almost every hill in the normal trails I ride. However, there is one hill that gets me every time. At the bottom of the hill is a small stream which the best way to cross is via a concrete bridge off to one side (the rocks in the stream are too big to blast through). Actually, it is more of a narrow concrete slab with water running over it. So, after the bridge the momentum is less than what I'd want it to be. Next, the hill has a bunch of rocks and loose material going up. I usually make it up about half way and then end up kicking out some rocks and loosing momentum altogether. Local riders say that a few people have made it up.

Anyone have any tips?
As far as "that hill", it sounds like it's just a tough place to ride. Only thing to do is pick a good line and MASH! Maybe a little less tire pressure could give you some better grip over rocks/roots. No idea what you're running already but might be worth a shot. Good luck! :thumbsup:
 

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surfer w/out waves
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you're probably not making a funny enough face.... the uglier the grimmace, the more power you generate. Just try to look like Chuck Norris in the crapper after an all you can eat buffet in Tijuana!

Just mash!!!
 

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Sitting is more effecient WHEN it can be done, but you do get better power when standing. It's best to think of sitting as you're first choice, and standing when the hill gets steeper or more technical. If you stand all the time even on not so steep climbs, you will waste more energy.
 

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I'm thinking there must be a minimum cadence when seated, below which you are more efficient standing. I feel like somewhere below 60, I need to stand. But, I don't know where exactly that point is. I think I stand somewhere around 30 rpm, or sooner when I know it is coming.
 

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stick
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I've noticed that if I stand to climb when I'm going too fast, I get tired quicker. I'd guess it's something to do with having to use my leg muscles to absorb the excess motion/momentum instead of driving all of it into the pedals [I'm a nub, still use flats]. So I've found myself actually intentionally slowing down to go up some hills [apparently, I suck at gears]. Aside from that, I love standing to climb. Sitting and spinning is rather boring.
 
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