Climb­ing & de­scend­ing in rough ter­rain

Outer Edge - - Contents -

In the last ar­ti­cle we dis­cussed get­ting started in a solid body po­si­tion. For most peo­ple the key to get­ting the most out of their rid­ing is to be sta­ble and bal­anced on their bike. When you are able to main­tain this state it im­proves con­fi­dence, safety, speed and the abil­ity to deal with chang­ing ter­rain. In this ar­ti­cle we will look at con­tin­u­ing this prin­ci­ple into climb­ing and de­scend­ing rougher ter­rain.


There are those that love and em­brace the chal­lenge of a hard climb and for oth­ers it is a nec­es­sary evil, it gets us to the top of the hill and can vary from hard work to down­right un­pleas­ant de­pend­ing on the ter­rain. There are two main keys to ef­fi­ciently climb­ing the first is to be re­ally fit and that is a prob­lem for a dif­fer­ent day, the sec­ond is the cor­rect body po­si­tion. A num­ber of you will have ex­pe­ri­enced the com­mon prob­lems climb­ing tech­ni­cal or steep ter­rain of lift­ing the front wheel or spin­ning the rear, both of th­ese prob­lems make it re­ally hard to climb and they are caused by poor body po­si­tion. The key to ef­fec­tive climb­ing is to get for­ward and low. To achieve this there are four key points you need to think about.

1. Pick an easy gear. You need to be able to spin up the hill so you want a rel­a­tively easy gear.

2. Move your bum for­ward on the seat. The steeper the climb the fur­ther for­ward you need to be, this can mean sit­ting up on the pointy part of your seat.

3. Lean for­ward. You want your chest nice and low to­wards the bars.

4. Drop your wrists. This gets your arms low and pulling back rather than up. You don’t want to lock your el­bows in, we used to teach that but it makes it harder to deal with turns and changes in the trail so has been rethought as trails are get­ting rougher.

How do you know if you are in the right po­si­tion? If you are bal­anced and in a sta­ble po­si­tion there should be very lit­tle pres­sure on your hands in fact you should be able to ride one handed if re­ally well bal­anced.

This gives you the ba­sic seated po­si­tion but there will be times when you need a bit more push or you have to let the bike move un­der you a bit to deal with rougher ter­rain. To do this rather than stand­ing up and crank­ing move to a hover po­si­tion. To achieve this you stay in ex­actly the same po­si­tion you were in you sim­ply move your bum off the seat a few cen­tre me­ters. The trick is to stay low and for­ward but move your weight off the seat and onto the ped­als. This will pro­vide the best bal­ance be­tween power and trac­tion. Head out and give it a go you will find it will sig­nif­i­cantly im­prove your climb­ing on steep or tech­ni­cal trails.


Once again with de­scend­ing it is still im­por­tant to be keep­ing cen­tred on the bike. There is the still of­ten the mis­con­cep­tion that you need to move your weight back when de­scend­ing or rolling down steep sec­tions of trail. While go­ing down­hill you still need to be able to turn and stop so you need weight on the front wheel and main­tain­ing a solid ready po­si­tion will give you more con­trol.

This po­si­tion is

1. Chin over stem

2. Bum over seat

3. El­bows for­ward

When go­ing down a steep rollover mov­ing back straight­ens your arms and then as the front wheel drops you will get pitched for­ward. To al­le­vi­ate this you need to get for­ward and low as you are ap­proach­ing the rollover. As your front wheel goes over the edge you can then let it drop away from un­der you so the bike doesn’t pull you for­ward. Once over the edge and head­ing down move back to your ready po­si­tion to main­tain con­trol and so you can deal with what­ever is com­ing up.

If you are in­ter­ested in more tips and in­for­ma­tion check our free face book group at www.face­book.com/groups/weride­moun­tain­bikes... See you on the trails!

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.