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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was never a standing climber, always seated in granny gear. This season I decided I would do a lot more standing for fitness and alleviate some knee issues. Coming off winter I had no traction issues. Now that the dirt is dry / loose I am breaking traction on standing climbs. Not sure if it is par for the course or my tire is lacking. I am running a Maxxis Ardent 2.25" rear tire. I have always thought ramped knobs were good for rolling resistance but maybe hurting the climbs? Thanks.
 

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BOOM goes the dynamite!
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It's harder to maintain steady power output standing. The loose stuff obviously doesn't help. The tire may not be ideal, but totally doable. You'll get it. Just takes practice like anything else.
 

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I ran an ardent 2.25 last season and found it decently well rounded. I felt like it had alright climbing traction. Nothing weird enough to think it wasnt sufficient to climb. I swapped it for a bonty xr3 and sort of regret it in most conditions.

Time to click down a gear!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
It's harder to maintain steady power output standing. The loose stuff obviously doesn't help. The tire may not be ideal, but totally doable. You'll get it. Just takes practice like anything else.
I have been adjusting my body position to aid rear traction - more crouching and rearward bias. Not really what I wan to do though.
 

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Mudhorse
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Aye, keep your CoG as far back as you can while still keeping the front wheel from floating up. Limiting your peak torque will also help prevent wheelspin, so to that end try and spin the pedals rather than mash. It's harder to spin while standing up, but it is possible - when you're approaching the loss-of-traction threshold just ease off on the downstrokes so you're just above the stalling threshold. I'm a natural masher so learning to spin didn't come easy for me, but lots of practice on the flat will pay off on the low-grip climbs. You'll know you've nailed the technique when you can pedal with one leg on flat pedals on flat terrain.

Alternatively, if you want to cheat then fit your rear tyre backwards and you'll get a big increase in traction due to the way cross (bias) ply tyres deform under torqued load. The price to pay for this is poor rear tyre grip under braking and increased rolling resistance so not really recommended unless you've entered a hill climb competition.
 

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I have been adjusting my body position to aid rear traction - more crouching and rearward bias. Not really what I wan to do though.
I agree with moving weight back, and don't bounce. Try to hover and pedal circles so mostly legs are moving, not your whole body bouncing. I find standing is sometimes necessary on steep climbs with big rocks, but I sit whenever I can because I'm lazy :)
 

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Oh, So Interesting!
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IMO, Tomahawk is what Ardent should have been... Honestly not sure if climbing traction is much better, but it's a far better tire overall. Or the new Hans Dampf, it has excellent climbing traction vs the Aggressor I used before it.

I'd try an oval front ring too, smooths out power delivery. Roadies or those with high-rpm cadence don't seem to like them as much, but I can't even tell it's oval, it's just smoother and I'm less likely to spin out.
 

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Spin, don't "mash". You can even out the torque while climbing, it just takes a little practice.
Also, as davec113 mentioned, an oval chainring can help in maintaining a relatively constant torque while standing (or seated).
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I have not been experiencing any stall outs mostly short breaks / skips in traction. I will continue to focus on body position but thought a hint more tire bite might be enough. I usually climb @ low cadence but high torque.
 

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Hitching a ride
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Look man, I'm not going to hold your hand on this, but I will pass on some advice my father gave me when I complained about the distance of my throw. His advice was simply, Don't squeeze it so hard. Traction is all about not exceeding that sweet, sweet coefficient of static friction. You should have learned in physics class, which apparently died the same death as Econ 101 in secondary schools, that the dynamic frictional coefficient is always less. So don't pound so hard, man. Be smooth. I'm pretty sure they teach kids this, or they should.
 

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Slow and deliberate pedal stroke.
Smooth power delivery
Practice.

I rode a mile long fire road, steep at time just the other day and needed to stand to relax my low back. It was a struggle to not spin out. So much so that I was only able to get few seconds of stretch/relax for the back before holding traction become the issue.
It can be done but conditions need to be suited for it, and practice. The larger the rock, or deeper the rocks it will be a useless situation to pedal standing.
I am usually pretty good at it, bu can't do it for extended periods of time, it seems as if I'm too busy controlling power delivery that I end up slowing down more than it's worth.
 

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Not sure if it is par for the course or my tire is lacking. I am running a Maxxis Ardent 2.25" rear tire.
Well... it's a little bit of everything. Sure, you can get a tire with more traction, but you'll pay with rolling resistance. I wouldn't worry about the tire at this point.

Standing is an important technique. On the bleeding edge of steepness, I'll plant my ass on the nose of the saddle to put some weight on the rear tire. It hurts, but it's necessary to get the power to the ground.

On a less severe incline, standing can be very useful. You can go a few cogs taller, stand on the pedals, and really pick up the pace. The trick is leaning back to maintain traction, but not lifting the front off the ground too much. This will keep your lungs and heart from red-lining, but eventually your legs will burst into flames.

Work on maintaining good front/rear balance.
 

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Bipolar roller
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Older article from bike radar:
(Surprised no one has mentioned bar ends yet. I'm just that old I guess ;) )

"Steep climbing:

Steep climbing requires a balance of power, fine-tuned body weight and the ability to put the power to the pedals smoothly and efficiently - in or out of the saddle. Being able to maintain a potentially uncomfortable position is also a key to successfully climbing really tough ascents.

On the edge: Some climbs are too slippery to ride out of the saddle, so you'll need to remain seated. This keeps weight on the rear wheel for traction. You'll feel the front wheel trying to come up off the floor, so you'll need to keep your weight as far forwards as possible on the saddle without engulfing it.

Drop those elbows: You need to really get the top of your body down low for these climbs, so drop your elbows. This allows you to pull on the bars so you can lever your legs against them.

Stamp on the pedals: When sprinting, you can take advantage of clipless pedals and pull up on one pedal as you push down on the other - but don't pull up too hard if it's steep, because you could cause the rear end to break loose.

Tug on the bars: For every down-stroke on the pedal, pull up on the opposite end of the handlebar - this is known as honking and helps you get every ounce of leg power to the pedal. Using bar ends forces you to ride in a slightly different position, allowing your biceps to pull up more on the bars.

Attack the hill: Even when you're riding out of the saddle, you need to keep your body weight fairly even between the two wheels. So you can keep yourself low at the front while still putting the power down to the pedals."

https://www.bikeradar.com/advice/fi...1&type=gallery&gallery=1&embedded_slideshow=1
 
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