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Old 05-23-2012, 05:47 AM   #24046
Aurelius
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Question Climbing hills (mtb)

So having conquered all the easy and intermediate trails at Santos, I'm feeling ready to make another attempt at the Expert level trails this weekend. The ONLY part of those trails where I constantly get stuck is on the steep uphill climbs, so I'm looking for some pointers from the experienced mtb riders here. You've probably all seen the type of hills I'm referring to: they range in height from 5-10 feet, they're very steep, and often littered with rocks and exposed roots. The biggest problem is that they're sometimes hidden from view until it's too late: you go around a corner and suddenly you're confronted by one, but you don't have the momentum to make it over the top. The obvious solution is to downshift and just winch yourself up, but what happens then is that the front wheel won't stay down due to the extreme slope. Having that front wheel barely touching the ground also means you can't effectively steer while climbing. This happens even with my weight shifted forward over the handlebars, which sometimes results in a loss of traction at the rear. Shown below is the dreaded Ant Hill trail at Santos, which is full of those kinds of climbs:

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Old 05-23-2012, 08:00 AM   #24047
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Originally Posted by Aurelius View Post
The obvious solution is to downshift and just winch yourself up, but what happens then is that the front wheel won't stay down due to the extreme slope.
Get out of the saddle and learn to position your weight in such a way that you're balanced between the need to keep the front end down and the rear hooking up. I know that bending my arms and getting my chest close to the handlebars helps a lot with this.
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Old 05-23-2012, 08:07 AM   #24048
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Originally Posted by Oznerol View Post
Get out of the saddle and learn to position your weight in such a way that you're balanced between the need to keep the front end down and the rear hooking up. I know that bending my arms and getting my chest close to the handlebars helps a lot with this.
You have to 'row' your bike when it gets really steep. Pull the bars back and down to drive the rear wheel into the ground.

The steeper the climb, the farther forward you need to sit on the saddle. If its really steep, you're all the way up on the tip of the nose of the saddle.

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Old 05-23-2012, 08:13 AM   #24049
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Originally Posted by Gummee! View Post
You have to 'row' your bike when it gets really steep. Pull the bars back and down to drive the rear wheel into the ground.
"Yank and crank"
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Old 05-23-2012, 08:42 AM   #24050
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Re-posted because some don't go where it was originally posted.

The Tour of CA rolls into town

We stood to watch it although we did find a bar that had it on TV.


The crowd was crazy and VERY enthusiastic. (The winner is behind that camera. amn!)


And the winner is...Sagan


Most Aggressive Rider Jersey - Jeremy Vennell (NZL)


King of the Mountain...Sébastian Salas (USA) (in red) - Most Courageous Rider Jersey - Wilson Marentes Torres (Col) (in blue)


Edit to add:

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Old 05-23-2012, 11:57 AM   #24051
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I got out again last night for a short ride down the river trail and back. I had a pretty good headwind but kept it steady and slowish. I figured to ride 45 minutes and make my turn.
On the way back I could click up two cogs out back. That was pretty cool. BUt, that still didn't reall bump my overall slowness. And once I hit the bump up to the road, I was done. Lots of folks past me. But, I was able to maintain focus.

Primarily due to not having anything in the tank to go faster.

I oly had to stop once to swap bottles around. A little calf cramp tried to get going at about 50 minutes but I just kept an even cadence and pressure and it subsided as I drained my first bottle.

No electrolytes or Gu or anything other than ice water this trip. Tomorrow night I'll take a bottle of go-juice.

The work computer doesn't allow me to see the stuff from Strava anymore. I guess I'm supposed to spend my lunch time reading policies and processes.

Excellent.
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Old 05-24-2012, 06:55 AM   #24052
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Just finished the Royal 162 yesterday. 155 miles of MN gravel. Literally twice as hot, and probably twice as windy as last year. 86F with a steady 15-20mph wind and gusts to 35mph.
I've been reading that it was in the mid-90s. I was about 4 hours north of there, and it was mid-80s. Plus the wind.

155 miles =
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Old 05-24-2012, 07:28 AM   #24053
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Originally Posted by Aurelius View Post
The obvious solution is to downshift and just winch yourself up, but what happens then is that the front wheel won't stay down due to the extreme slope. Having that front wheel barely touching the ground also means you can't effectively steer while climbing. This happens even with my weight shifted forward over the handlebars, which sometimes results in a loss of traction at the rear. Shown below is the dreaded Ant Hill trail at Santos, which is full of those kinds of climbs:
It is a balancing act between keeping enough weight on the back to maintain traction, enough on the front to maintain steering and moving back to unweight the front to clear obstacles and forward to get the rear over it. Stand up in a crouch to get your weight off the seat, basically stick the nose of the seat between your butt cheeks and keep your chest down over the bar. Now it is easy to move your weight front and back.

Another tip is to look past the obstacle you are about to hit. If you stay focused on it you are more likely to smack it with your front wheel or not be prepared for what is next if you do happen to clear it. Also try to pedal in circles in order to keep your torque constant so you don't have any sudden bursts of power that spin the rear or pop the front up. I avoid the granny gear too since it doesn't get you enough momentum. Finally practice riding super slow. Do track stands and just get comfortable staying clipped in when your forward progress stops or comes to a crawl. I used to bail when I would hit something that slowed me way down just based on survival instinct but once I got good at slow riding I was able to stay clipped in and clear stuff that I always used to have to walk.
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Old 05-24-2012, 09:20 AM   #24054
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Originally Posted by brewer90 View Post
It is a balancing act between keeping enough weight on the back to maintain traction, enough on the front to maintain steering and moving back to unweight the front to clear obstacles and forward to get the rear over it. Stand up in a crouch to get your weight off the seat, basically stick the nose of the seat between your butt cheeks and keep your chest down over the bar. Now it is easy to move your weight front and back.

Another tip is to look past the obstacle you are about to hit. If you stay focused on it you are more likely to smack it with your front wheel or not be prepared for what is next if you do happen to clear it. Also try to pedal in circles in order to keep your torque constant so you don't have any sudden bursts of power that spin the rear or pop the front up. I avoid the granny gear too since it doesn't get you enough momentum. Finally practice riding super slow. Do track stands and just get comfortable staying clipped in when your forward progress stops or comes to a crawl. I used to bail when I would hit something that slowed me way down just based on survival instinct but once I got good at slow riding I was able to stay clipped in and clear stuff that I always used to have to walk.
I'm actually pretty comfortable keeping the bike upright at very slow speeds, or even at a full stop for a few seconds. Doing that with clipless pedals still freaks me out though, due to the fact that the last time I couldn't unclip my foot in time, I ended up breaking my hip as a result. Eggbeater pedals are very easy to get out of though, so it's just a matter of getting more practice with them until clipping in and out becomes instinctive. For some reason I have a very difficult time getting my left shoe clipped in, so if I had to put my feet down on a hill, I would definitely have to walk the bike up. In any other circumstance though, those pedals work much better for me than flats.
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Old 05-24-2012, 10:28 AM   #24055
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I. Doing that with clipless pedals still freaks me out though, due to the fact that the last time I couldn't unclip my foot in time, I ended up breaking my hip as a result. .
Son of a bitch. What did you land on?
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Old 05-24-2012, 10:33 AM   #24056
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Son of a bitch. What did you land on?
Asphalt. Although, I imagine landing on a rock would have had the same result.

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Old 05-26-2012, 05:13 PM   #24057
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Asphalt. Although, I imagine landing on a rock would have had the same result.

Bad. Ass.



It was crazy windy here all week. I didn't go out and ride. Just getting back to it now with my 1yr old in his sweet chariot trailer. Damn thing cost more than a new entry level mountain bike Kids are expensive!
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Old 05-26-2012, 05:52 PM   #24058
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Tubeless on the road.

Has anyone here gone tubeless on their road bike? I just purchased some Mavic Ksyrium SL's to replace the 14 year old Heliums on my Rhygin. I also bought a kit from Stan's notubes, that comes with a couple of 700x23 Hutchinson tires, and the sealant, etc. I am going to mount them up, and see if I like the setup. People are reporting going thousands of miles between flats, with a much more forgiving ride at lower pressures. I will report back after a few rides.
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Old 05-27-2012, 04:32 AM   #24059
Aurelius
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Best ride of my life (so far!)

This is regarded by locals as the most challenging part of Cow Bone trail at Santos. They weren't kidding. Last week, I wouldn't even have tried hurling myself over the steep rock garden, but after sharing a few beers with other riders, it seemed like just the thing to try.

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Old 05-27-2012, 06:55 AM   #24060
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You're the man! I'd have been creamed crap on toast 30 seconds into that.

...although now I'm pricing MTBs. I blame you!
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