how to climb steep hills on a mountain bike


I think I'm ready to head up some serious hills. Dont worry you arent the only one! Moving back and forth may seem simple enough once someone brings it to your attention or you come upon it yourself.

Start with shorter hills and gradually increase your trials to steeper ones. Well, taking steep hills on a mountain bike, especially over somewhat technical terrain, requires a forward-back balance that most non-racing road riders never even think about. To create this article, 17 people, some anonymous, worked to edit and improve it over time. So hop back on your bike with this advice and find yourself a few steep hills to practice on until it feels much easier! On rides with my friends, I always envy those with hardtails when riding uphill because I will always be left behind on stiff climbs and it is frustrating sometimes. When it comes to mountain biking at high elevations, consistent levels of acceleration are key, especially in relation to the upcoming steps.

All rights reserved. I got a flat bar Road bike last summer and fell off at the end of August trying to avoid, "Climbing hills on a bike successfully is a science in itself. if(typeof ez_ad_units!='undefined'){ez_ad_units.push([[728,90],'mountainbikinghq_com-medrectangle-3','ezslot_4',108,'0','0'])};if(typeof __ez_fad_position!='undefined'){__ez_fad_position('div-gpt-ad-mountainbikinghq_com-medrectangle-3-0')}; More specifically, there are 5 main skills that you should develop before your mountain biking journey that will prepare you for the climb. Please see your Privacy Rights for how your information is used. If you only need a bike for commuting then a hardtail could still be a good choice if you will change the tires, this is fairly inexpensive and you will end up with a tough bike that can handle any weather. How to do a Front Wheel Lift on a Mountain Bike, Uphill and Downhill Body Position on a Mountain Bike, Tips for Cornering: How to Ride Switchbacks on a Mountain Bike, Riding Skinnies: How to Ride Wooden Features on a Mountain Bike. Are you sure you want to delete this family member? Footwear | Fitness Apparel | Outdoor Gear. and/or its affiliates and licensors. or All rights reserved. Cookie Settings. We use cookies to make wikiHow great. How do I use these tips when there are people surrounding me? However, this is not proper form, and can actually throw off your balance significantly. You might already know that the general movement of mountain bike frame geometry from the very relaxed angles of the early 1980s to the somewhat steeper angles and much shorter chain stays (the frame tubes running from the pedals to the rear axle) of today makes for easier climbing on steep roads and trails. While climbing on your bike, keep your hydraulic lock locked to prevent skids. wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. Additionally, you should make sure that the front end of your bike is lowered before you try to make the climb. Begin typing to search, use arrow keys to navigate, Enter to select. Approved. Yes, having the possibility to lock your rear suspension is a big advantage but keep in mind that even if the rear suspension is locked, it will still absorb some of your pedaling power. As previously mentioned, the front wheel is very likely to become elevated while you are climbing if the weight is not correctly shifted. Usually when climbing, it's best to be in the small front ring and the largest back ring. The final component of your mountain bike that should be adjusted before riding in your pedal tension. Thats it. Now I know how to climb hard hills successfully.

If your cadence is about 100 rpm, then whatever gear you're in is fine. I have an 18-gear cycle; how do I use front gear and back gear for hilly roads, and for normal roads, which gear should I use? This isn't a race, it's about economizing your energy usage. Join Active Shop for cycling gear and much more at the Active Sports Mecca. I'm an overweight female, almost 62. Now we can easily conclude that hardtails are better when it comes to riding uphill than full-suspension mountain bikes. This will allows you to put enough weight on the front to keep it from lifting up on very steep climb and keep it going where you want it to go. . By applying the skills that you have learned and practiced in your free time, you will have the best chances of climbing to the top of any peak.

Conversely, power (the kind of full-body, anaerobic effort seldom required in thin-tire recreational cycling) and endurance, (the ability to keep all systems going for long off-road climbs) serve only to help you win a summit. Hybrid bikes have the advantage that unlike road bikes they can handle smooth off-road sections much better, but still, in rougher off-road conditions they wont have the performance of a mountain bike. ", hills around where I live. You only do that for downhill. I'm training to go on a pretty big tour in five months.

This article has been viewed 365,227 times. If you get a bike with an air suspension fork this will lead to more maintenance in the long run and you will not benefit too much by having a higher quality suspension if you only ride on the road, but you will pay a premium price for it. Now let us examine what are features that make a bike good for uphill riding: Of course when it comes to riding uphill on off-road conditions then a mountain bike no doubt about it is the best choice, you can have a light bike with as little surface contact as possible if you dont have enough traction you will have a hard time climbing if you will be able to climb at all. ACTIVE also makes it easy to learn and prepare for all the things you love to do with expert resources, training plans and fitness calculators. In order to avoid anything becoming dirty, broken, rusty, or needing replacement sooner than it should, make sure that you are always cleaning your bike before and after every ride. Let us not forget that mountain bikes are far slower than road bikes and this makes road bikes a better choice for commuting for longer distances. Thanks to all authors for creating a page that has been read 365,227 times. This article received 11 testimonials and 90% of readers who voted found it helpful, earning it our reader-approved status. In a skill builder to come, Ill discuss other hill techniques (pedaling in circles, a second means of maintaining traction, how to start again when on a hill, how to maintain dignity while pushing . (I know that this hurts, but this is probably the most important tip in this article). wikiHow is where trusted research and expert knowledge come together. Thanks. Keep your. Mountain biking is awesome, but does come withinherent risks be safe, be smart and have fun! To get to the top of a steep climb will take a level, "Just back from the Jurassic Coast Beast, an aptly-named cycle sportive in South Dorset, UK. Puts everything in perspective for me. Mountain biking is a rigorous activity that involves scaling high altitudes and making sharp turns and jumps. Find Camps & Activities for your Active Kids, Best Hiking Shoes: Hit the Trail with Style and Comfort, The 10 Best Fanny Packs: Fun and Fashionable Ways to Stow Your Stuff. As the hill grows steeper and the front end tries to lift, apply more weight in that direction. Once the hill gets much harder, and you notice you've no lower gears left to use, grip onto the. This is something that you're quite capable of doing and proving it to yourself can be a lot of fun in between the agony! We all learned the necessary right-left balancing trick of staying in the saddle when the training wheels came off our first two-wheeler. However, electric assist mountain bikes can make mountain biking an option for you even if you are not able to do mountain biking Top 5 Electric Mountain Bikes Under $1,000. You will have to keep on ADJUSTING your balance and riding position every few seconds to react to the climb. The first thing that you should keep in mind when climbing on a mountain bike is to move forward on your saddle during the uphill journey. MTB Egypt. Are mountain bikes good for everyday use. Sitemap If you are looking for a bike for off-road riding in an area with a lot of steep hills then a mountain bike will be the best choice for you. I'm a 42 year old married father of 3 that fell in love with mountain biking late in life. Try to never stop peddling as you might not be able to get on your cycle again. Lower you chin as close as possible to the handle bar while looking forward, not down. It depends on the road, but as long as your pedaling is at a level you're comfortable with, you're fine. Full-suspension mountain bikes are the worst option in this situation because you need to exert more effort when riding uphill due to the rear suspension and their frame wont give you the option to mount bags or a bike truck so your caring options will be limited. That is, when you feel the rear wheel slipping a bit, shift back in the saddle to put more weight over that wheel. {"smallUrl":"https:\/\/www.wikihow.com\/images\/thumb\/8\/83\/Climb-Steep-Hills-While-Cycling-Step-1-Version-2.jpg\/v4-460px-Climb-Steep-Hills-While-Cycling-Step-1-Version-2.jpg","bigUrl":"\/images\/thumb\/8\/83\/Climb-Steep-Hills-While-Cycling-Step-1-Version-2.jpg\/aid914168-v4-728px-Climb-Steep-Hills-While-Cycling-Step-1-Version-2.jpg","smallWidth":460,"smallHeight":345,"bigWidth":728,"bigHeight":546,"licensing":"

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\n<\/p><\/div>"}, a stationary bike and can ride for 15 miles with no problem, getting out on a real trail is a completely different story. This site is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. Uphill you need to transfer a lot of power from the pedals to the back wheel and having a rear suspension that will absorb some of that power is a disadvantage. I recommend that in this situation you find a hardtail with a coiled suspension fork. in-depth comparison between hardtails and full-suspension MTBs, the differences between mountain bikes and road bikes, the differences between mountain bikes and hybrid bikes, Ride a full-suspension mountain bike on the road, Ride a mountain bike on the road all you need to know. This event was my entry to the "real world," and boy how I wished I had read this article before the event. When it comes to riding uphill the instant power transmission from your pedals to the back wheels that you will have on a hardtail will make it much more efficient than a full-suspension, the lack of a rear suspension will make them lighter which is another big plus when it comes to uphill riding. It's now time for me to get out of the gym an onto a real bike. Get excited about the challenge of making it to the top of the hill.

One option is to gain more power momentarily by standing in the pedals, leaning forward to hold down the front end. I am tired of doing the walk of shame on Heartbreak Hill in Franklin, TN. In this article, I will tell you what are the most important features that a bike must have to be good for climbing, if mountain bikes are good commuter bikes in areas with steep hills and we will examine if a hybrid or a road bike would be a better choice. or As you can see, there are virtually no limits to the lengths that you can scale when you are behind the wheel of your mountain bike. I have to bike a hill with a class of about 18 people. If you happen to come to a stop while climbing up a steep hill on your mountain bike, getting started again can be difficult. If you are starting a climb from a stationary position, then it is natural to start on the lowest gear possible. Dont pedal too fast during the first part of the climb or youll run out of breath before you reach the top, Take a break before a steep climb and wait until your heart rate falls to a normal rhythm.

This will improve the aerodynamics of the bike, helping it to move through the trail faster than ever. Terms of Use If youre unsure of your skill level, reaching out to a mountain bike coach in your area is a great place to start. But still, if you need a bike for commuting and you want to ride some trails on weekends then a mountain bike will still be the right choice, even if it is a full suspension one. % of people told us that this article helped them. By following a few tips and tricks, you will be able to climb as high as you would like with your mountain bike. If you are approaching the climb with speed, then there are two techniques you can try: Less obstacles, such as rocks. Keep reading to find out some valuable skills, components, and even some steep trails that will test your climbing abilities in North America. Online training diary. My bell would not ping! The bobbing motion from pedaling can result in significant energy loss (although many modern well-designed suspension designs and technologies mitigate this effect rather efficiently). This achieves nothing. Keep your elbows close to your side and flexible. And be prepared mentally to suffer, that way you know you are getting a good workout. What Are The Key Parts Of An Electric Assist Mountain Bike? This article was a great, no-nonsense tutorial to hill climbing. Take a look at the list below to get a head start on your research for some of the steepest trails in North America. From marketing exposure to actionable data Just starting to go out again and trying to gain confidence. After all, theres always an opportunity to make your partner smirk by doing an endo on the way down the other side. "Just starting out on a bike after many years. Always look ahead so that you know where you're headed. Do Not Sell My Personal Information But, in the meantime, see if you cant scissor your way to the top. By slowing down the pedal cadence, you will be accelerating the speed of the bike, helping you to complete those tough climbs.

Don't climb something too steep; know your limits and push yourself only as far as is safe. Dont have it too high either.

Reading this article which explains everything in detail sure did help me figure it all out. More About Me Instead, this will depend only on your own skills. References https://mountainbikinghq.com/mike-rausa. Look for this banner for recommended activities. Do you have tips for starting again halfway up a hill after youve stopped? If you want to know about the differences between mountain bikes and road bikes I have written an in-depth comparison, check it out! But what can you do when more weight is required in both directions at the same time? If you want to know about the differences between mountain bikes and hybrid bikes I have written an in-depth comparison, check it out! It may be good for the soul to endure such trying times, but if youd prefer a better chance at pedaling all the way up, read on. No wonder cleaning hills is tough at first. There are 7 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. Understand the benefits to your body of cycling on hilly terrain. You are far less likely to tire out than using the method that requires standing to get you up the hills. First and foremost, you will need to consistently keep your mountain bike clean. The process of unweighting the rear wheel is relatively simple, and is not too much different from what you are practicing with the opposite wheel. if(typeof ez_ad_units!='undefined'){ez_ad_units.push([[300,250],'mountainbikinghq_com-large-mobile-banner-1','ezslot_13',116,'0','0'])};if(typeof __ez_fad_position!='undefined'){__ez_fad_position('div-gpt-ad-mountainbikinghq_com-large-mobile-banner-1-0')}; Now that you have learned everything you need to know about preparing for steep climbs on your mountain bike as well as how you can improve your own skills in order to do so, you might be wondering where you can go to challenge your abilities. Sign In. Shift your seating position (i.e your buttocks) to the very forward tip of your seat, almost as if youre about to stand up. Cookie Policy Use our Active trainer to record your mileage and vital stats. Pedal at a constant speed (rotations per second). Mountain bikes arent very efficient when it comes to urban commuting in areas with steep hills because they will require a great effort on the uphill portions and this will result in you arriving sweaty and tired at work. When you are traveling through an uphill climb, you will actually want to slow your pedal cadence instead of speeding it up, contrary to what your instincts might tell you to do in this situation. In this video, learn how to stop safely and get rolling again up a steep hill! This kind of slower but powerful riding takes time to master but it's efficient and is good for longer rides, such as when traveling through hilly country for long distances. Once youve mastered it youll find yourself cleaning those steepest final parts of climbs that stopped you cold before. Mountain biking is a great hobby to have, but it is not for everyone.

Don't expect to go fast. Ride on the outside of the curb to save energy and not lose momentum.

So keep reading! Keep it in a position that allows you to pedal comfortably (maximum utilization of your muscles). 2022 Active Network, LLC and/or its affiliates and licensors. Sit up and hold the outer edges of the handlebars. link to Top 5 Electric Mountain Bikes Under $1,000, Move forward on the saddle while climbing, Farlow Gap Pisgah Forest, North Carolina. If your chain is not oiled, it will be more likely to get stuck and consequently make your mountain bike move slower, especially when you are trying to climb steep trails.

So you live in an area filled with steep hills and you need a reliable bike for commuting or for exploring your surroundings but you dont want to end up struggling too much on the many climbs that are inevitable. But no matter what geometry youre riding with, youll benefit from a short analysis of body position and technique called "scissoring" during a climb. The part about keeping my chest open was invaluable. Along with moving your body forward, you should also be putting your chest down toward the handlebars. Take a look at the list down below for an overview of how you can become a better climber on your mountain bike, and keep reading for a more in-depth description of each one. These mountain biking trails, scattered all throughout the country, are considered to be some of the most difficult and challenging pathways for even the most experienced mountain bikers. When it comes to how steep a mountain bike can climb, there is no actual limit to the elevation levels that you can scale on the bike itself. The steeper the descent, the further back you should place your weight while looking forwards. Stay focused on a steady, rhythmical climb that makes the most of every turn of the wheels to pull you up this hill. If you're descending over uneven terrain such as on a mountain bike trail, it's best to get out of the seat and let the bike take all the bumps for you.

However, some of these bikes can be so expensive as to be way out MountainBikingHQ provides valuable insights for beginner to advanced mountain bikers. If you have unpaved portions on your daily commute then a mountain bike will be the best choice but if you only ride on the road and you are facing steep hills then you will be better off with a road bike. wikiHow is a wiki, similar to Wikipedia, which means that many of our articles are co-written by multiple authors. When it comes to scaling steep trails and reaching the maximum levels of elevation on your mountain bike, there are a few things that you can do in order to push your bike to the limit and climb as high as you possibly can. if(typeof ez_ad_units!='undefined'){ez_ad_units.push([[300,250],'mountainbikinghq_com-medrectangle-4','ezslot_1',109,'0','0'])};if(typeof __ez_fad_position!='undefined'){__ez_fad_position('div-gpt-ad-mountainbikinghq_com-medrectangle-4-0')}; If you fail to master this technique, especially in the middle of a steep uphill climb, you are more likely to be pulled backward during the ride, completing somewhat of an accidental wheelie.

", it uphill hit home for me. In addition to preventing an accident wheelie, this will help you to keep your balance while you are peddling. Shorter chain stays place your weight more directly over the rear wheel, allowing far greater traction. if you are wondering which one of the two bikes is better for urban commuting in an area with a lot of stiff hills then the answer is obvious, hybrid bikes will be better in these situations because they are lighter, have no suspensions, and are equipped with tires that are made to be efficient on the road. Only now use standing briefly if needed. Mountain biking is a dynamic sport there are many different ways to approach a feature and we may not have covered all of those different ways in this tutorial.

Avoid soft sand and loose gravel or anything that will make your tires slip, if at all possible. Yet, if you live in a hilly area or you're traveling through hills, why deny yourself the pleasure of continuing to ride regularly just because of those steeper hills? But remember that this must be momentary only, for soon youll have to return to the sitting position to apply greater traction to the rear wheel. Got a question for Dr. Burke? If you have an adjustable fork, then drop your fork at the lowest travel. I now have a metal plate in my wrist and an electronic bell! Keep your seat high as it helps in peddling in low gears (depending upon the incline and your comfort). if(typeof ez_ad_units!='undefined'){ez_ad_units.push([[468,60],'mountainbikinghq_com-leader-1','ezslot_14',115,'0','0'])};if(typeof __ez_fad_position!='undefined'){__ez_fad_position('div-gpt-ad-mountainbikinghq_com-leader-1-0')}; Next, all of the parts of your bike should be well-oiled at all times. In this section, we will be outlining these basic skills that should be obtained and used for the best climbing results.

Privacy Policy Next, you will need to keep your chest down during the climb. But when it comes to riding on the road for uphill portions of your ride am mountain bike will be fairly inefficient. A low gear is needed for going uphill (you'll need the higher gear for going back down). The 5 components in this section are essential before you can expect to scale trails of high elevations. Running Shoes|Fitness Apparel|Sports, Daily Deals: ACTIVE is the leader in online event registrations from 5k running races and marathons to softball leagues and local events. This will ensure that your breathing is made easier by an open chest. If you are not in a comfortable position where you can practice the proper form, you will not be able to pedal as fast as you normally would. Mountain bikes are less efficient for uphill riding on the road than road bikes because they are much heavier, are equipped with wide knobby tires that run at low pressures that have increased rolling resistance, and their suspensions will absorb some of your pedaling power.