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Old 01-02-2013, 06:54 AM   #26656
mud
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Originally Posted by Aurelius View Post
So I spent part of yesterday trying to learn to climb steep hills on my 29er. Couldn't do it, though. In retrospect, I think I was getting bad advice: using the smallest gear in front combined with the largest gear in back made pedaling ridiculously easy, but it also caused the bike to wheelie uncontrollably, with an occasional loss of traction at the rear. The video below at the 1:22 mark shows a rider pedaling at a much slower cadence than I was, but both wheels remain firmly planted.
Yes, Using the granny gear really does take finesse. It is a fine balance between wheelie-ing and loosing traction. Trials REALLY helps with this one.

Practice, practice, practice......
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Old 01-02-2013, 07:00 AM   #26657
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Yes, Using the granny gear really does take finesse. It is a fine balance between wheelie-ing and loosing traction. Trials REALLY helps with this one.

Practice, practice, practice......
Climbing steep hills on any mtn bike means putting your taint WAY up on the nose of the saddle and bringing your face right down towards the bar and 'rowing' your bike up the hill.

Rowing = pulling back and down to drive the rear wheel into the ground at the power portion of your pedal stroke. You still need to have a smooth pedal stroke or you'll break traction.

HTH

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Old 01-02-2013, 07:01 AM   #26658
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Using the granny gear really does take finesse. It is a fine balance between wheelie-ing and loosing traction. Practice, practice, practice......
Agreed.
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Old 01-02-2013, 07:03 AM   #26659
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Originally Posted by mud View Post
Yes, Using the granny gear really does take finesse. It is a fine balance between wheelie-ing and loosing traction. Trials REALLY helps with this one.

Practice, practice, practice......
Gotta replace my clipless pedals with a set of flats before I do any more climbing practice.

Also, what happens when you stall out on a steep climb? Once the bike is moving forward, traction isn't as big an issue, but trying to start from a dead stop on a hill just causes the rear wheel to spin.
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Old 01-02-2013, 07:09 AM   #26660
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Agreed.
I think the Vortex trail at Santos is unsafe. Lose control in some areas, and you could go home in a body bag.
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Old 01-02-2013, 07:13 AM   #26661
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Originally Posted by Aurelius View Post
Gotta replace my clipless pedals with a set of flats before I do any more climbing practice.
I don't know from mtn biking, but I use these on my Sirrus, and I find them very useful for intense urban cyclo-flogging.
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Old 01-02-2013, 07:16 AM   #26662
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Gotta replace my clipless pedals with a set of flats before I do any more climbing practice.
Leaving them on is how you're going to learn to quickly get out of them. I've only ever fallen over once, because I couldn't get unclipped. And, that was because I was unwilling to give up climbing the hill.

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Also, what happens when you stall out on a steep climb? Once the bike is moving forward, traction isn't as big an issue, but trying to start from a dead stop on a hill just causes the rear wheel to spin.
You walk it.
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Old 01-02-2013, 07:23 AM   #26663
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Leaving them on is how you're going to learn to quickly get out of them.
I can already unclip instantly without having to think about it. Flats would just give me a little more peace of mind, so I can concentrate on the task at hand.

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You walk it.
That's cheating.
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Old 01-02-2013, 08:14 AM   #26664
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I can already unclip instantly without having to think about it. Flats would just give me a little more peace of mind, so I can concentrate on the task at hand.



That's cheating.
I went to flats years ago for any real technical riding. I also can get out of a set of clips without thinking of it instantly, but for bridges and stunts flats are the way to go. You may lose something for climbing, but not enough to make it worth it for me. If your ten feet up on a teeter-totter and it goes wrong, you want to be able to abandon ship in a hurry.

What Gummee said about climbing steeps is bang on, you got to get on the rivet and tuck your elbows in to your ribs then punch it. Sounds obvious, but the faster you can go the easier it is, having enough momentum to roll over whatever is going to hang you up is key, then keeping the power going down come hell or high water. Being fit is a big player in being proficient in the technical stuff. Having consistent and ample power is huge.

There are climbs in Whistler that I've tried to make for decades (literally) that I've come within three pedal strokes to making, but never have. Usually after burning out or spazing I’d make a noise like Chewbacca and want to throw my bike into the woods.
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Old 01-02-2013, 08:20 AM   #26665
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Old 01-02-2013, 08:23 AM   #26666
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Originally Posted by Aurelius View Post
Gotta replace my clipless pedals with a set of flats ....
I use these on my hybrid...



They or similar would rock on a mtn bike. can wear a walking shoe, or most anything. the pins hold your foot almost as securely as a SPD cleat for anything other than pulling straight up (eg the 'scrape your shoe' motion at the bottom of the stroke works just fine)
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Old 01-02-2013, 08:38 AM   #26667
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I can already unclip instantly without having to think about it. Flats would just give me a little more peace of mind, so I can concentrate on the task at hand.
I'm confused. You're going to go to flats so you can work on one aspect of a ride that lasts how long?

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That's cheating.
No such thing. Sometimes it IS faster/easier to get off and carry the bike. You'll note I said 'carry' and not 'push.' You push the bike and its beaten you. Carry it and you're still showing it who's boss.

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Old 01-02-2013, 08:41 AM   #26668
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You'll note I said 'carry' and not 'push.' You push the bike and its beaten you. Carry it and you're still showing it who's boss.

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Old 01-02-2013, 08:48 AM   #26669
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Originally Posted by Chisenhallw View Post
I don't know from mtn biking, but I use these on my Sirrus, and I find them very useful for intense urban cyclo-flogging.
Silly question....can you use the 'flat' part of the pedal while wearing shoes with clips (If that makes sense) ? I like the look of these but what I'd like to be able to do is clip in on the flat portion of rides and then, say, when going uphill, flip the pedal over so I don't have issues un-clipping when going uphill.

Hope that made sense...
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Old 01-02-2013, 08:51 AM   #26670
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Originally Posted by Weirdo View Post
I went to flats years ago for any real technical riding. I also can get out of a set of clips without thinking of it instantly, but for bridges and stunts flats are the way to go. You may lose something for climbing, but not enough to make it worth it for me. If your ten feet up on a teeter-totter and it goes wrong, you want to be able to abandon ship in a hurry.
I've definitely benefited from flats while climbing some really steep (but short) slopes. If I run out of inertia just before reaching the top, that extra power I can generate by pulling up hard on a pedal keeps me from stalling out. But on rock strewn trails with a steep drop on one side, I'd rather not be clipped in.

Quote:
What Gummee said about climbing steeps is bang on, you got to get on the rivet and tuck your elbows in to your ribs then punch it. Sounds obvious, but the faster you can go the easier it is, having enough momentum to roll over whatever is going to hang you up is key, then keeping the power going down come hell or high water. Being fit is a big player in being proficient in the technical stuff. Having consistent and ample power is huge.
I've pretty much got the technique down regarding body position, but I wanted to test a claim made by a couple of other riders that the smallest gear up front will get me up any hill. In retrospect, I think using the middle gear would have worked much better.

Quote:
There are climbs in Whistler that I've tried to make for decades (literally) that I've come within three pedal strokes to making, but never have. Usually after burning out or spazing Id make a noise like Chewbacca and want to throw my bike into the woods.
I know what you're saying. I actually hate trails like the ones I was on, but it pisses me off that others can ride them and that I can't. So I'm going to keep practicing until I figure it out. Once I've done it, I'll probably never ride them again.

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