How to Manage Mountain Biking (Or Biking in General) Uphill
Having the right technique while bicycling uphill saves you loads of energy and makes the riding so much more fun. In this article, I will tell you some tips about how to bike up a hill.
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Probably the most essential for a MTB-rider (unless you only do lift-accessed downhill) is the ability to go upwards. I mean, it is named MOUNTAIN-bike for a reason…
Photo: WorldXCMTB on flickr
The first to think about when approaching a hill is to choose the right gear BEFORE CLIMBING. What is right gear then? Find the gear that lets you keep a high cadence (speed of pedaling), but still takes you forward. Now you can start climbing. If you have a gear that is to heavy, you will now have to stop and change, because it is almost impossible to change gear while putting big pressure on the pedals. It will also tear A LOT on your drive train.
Step number two is to choose the right path. It should actually have been done at the same time, or even before step one as you choose gear after what the terrain looks like. Try to choose the way with as less obstacles as possible.
Find the right riding position. This may sound obvious, but let me explain anyways.
You shall stand or sit in a way so that you are able to keep your balance and put enough pressure on the pedals to climb upwards. One common mistake in this step is that the rider put to much weight on the front part of the bicycle. The rear-wheel may then spin-off and you will loose all your speed.
An easy tip for preventing rear wheel spin-off is to keep a low point of weight. Try to avoid standing up and pedal. It is much easier to just choose a low gear and sit down, than riding on a high gear and standing up. If the bicycle tends to overturn backwards, a good idea is to try moving slightly forward on the saddle, but still sit down. That do most often helps a lot! If that is just not enough, then you may haveto stand up, but try sitting down as long as possible.
Your pedaling technique is also quite essential for how you can manage to prevent the rear wheel from spinning. It is also connected to the chose of gear and your position. If you are able to keep an even cadence all the way up, the wheel will probably get much better grip when you pedal.
Clipless pedals is very helpful when doing this. If you have a pair of clipless pedals, like Shimano SPD, you are able to not only push the pedal down, but also pull it up again, and that is exactly what you try to do now.
One good tip for training your pedaling is to ride in easy terrain with only one of your feet fastened. Keep a low gear! The fastened one will then have to do the right movement in order to get forward. Alternate like that a few times when you have time on your MTB-rounds, for example on asphalt transport.
So, now you know the theoretical stuff and I bet you are sitting in front of the screen with your helmet already on, so I won´t keep you here for too long.
Take care of you and have a good ride!
interested in more, for example how to go downhill? Look out mountainbikelikeapro.com !