Mountain biking is a new sport, so you may not be familiar with the challenges of riding uphill. Mountain bikes are definitely more challenging than road bikes when it comes to climbing uphill. With the proper training and tips, you can improve your MTB climbing skills when you are out on the trails. Before you ride a mountain bike uphill, you must train yourself for mountain biking. Because ride a mountain bike uphill isn’t easy. We are going to share some ideas in this article. Let’s jump on the main topic.
How to ride a mountain bike uphill
Do you want to learn how to ride a mountain bike uphill? Is your friend riding faster than you this summer, or is it just me? Do you want to conquer that mountain at your trail park? It’s not an easy task. Every biker must face the challenge of climbing hills. Mountain biking is not for everyone. It takes time to learn how to ride a mountain bike uphill. These are some tips to help you climb higher on your bike.
Learn more: How to bike uphill without getting tried
Knowing the type of hill, you are about to climb is helpful. Plan ahead if possible. Distant hills require different strategies. A short steep climb might require a different strategy than one that is long and gradual. You need another method for small rolling hills or rollers. You can also plan how to attack a mountain if you know the type of hill coming up. Garmin and other bike computers can tell you the category of the mountain you are facing so that you know whether you should take it slow and easy or fast and punchy. Strava will show you the grade of your routes so that you can plan ahead and strategize before you leave your house.
Strava segments allow you to see a visual representation and compare the steepness of hills. The data is not perfect but it will give you an idea of what to expect and allow you to compare how others have done the hill. The more hills you climb, the more confidence you will have. Don’t panic if the climb takes longer than expected. It’s better to climb the summit with more energy than to walk halfway. Read more to know how to mountain biking.
Keep your head up
You might feel tempted to climb off the saddle when you are struggling to climb that hill. This is a bad idea. Your instability and weight distribution will be disrupted as soon as you get off the seat. This is not what you want. Instead of standing while pedaling, you can shift your weight a little forward while still sitting. Do this, and your chest will be towards the stem. This position can be achieved by balancing your weight slightly heavier on the front wheel than on the back.
Keep it simple and be patient
You should be able to climb steady and long climbs. You want to be able to move your legs quickly and control your effort. If you ride too hard you will tire yourself and you’ll soon be exhausted before you reach your destination. Your cadence refers to the speed at which the pedals are turned. A faster cadence places less pressure on your heart when climbing. This is not an easy task. It’s better to be able to climb the downhills with enough energy and not exhaustion.
Check out: How to get better at mountain biking
Check tire pressure
Your mountain bike tires need to be under pressure. This is key to climbing successfully. Your tires must have the right combination of grip and rolling resistance. You’ll experience poor grasp and rolling resistance if you push your tire too hard. Too low tire pressures can lead to poor grip and rolling resistance. You’ll need to try harder to climb the hill if you have too much pressure or not enough grip. You are more likely to puncture your tire on the trail if you don’t have enough pressure. You can make minor adjustments in PSI to get the correct tire pressure for your MTB tires. You can make small changes in PSI, one to two at a time until you find the perfect tire pressure.
Although newer bikes can shift with more tension than older bikes, it is still a good idea to go early. For a smoother shift and easier getting up, move to a lower gear before you climb. You can climb by shifting down one or two times to a higher gear before climbing. As you climb, stand straight up and move smoothly.
Sometimes your bike might not shift if it is too slow to move. Your bike might not change if there is too much tension in the chain. You will need to stop and repair your chain if you drop it. It might be challenging to get started again if you stop after stopping, especially if you are on a steep climb. You can ride across the road if the road is clear and there’s enough space. You might find that riding diagonally or across the street gives you some extra space to pedal again.
This is not a good idea if you are in traffic. You may need to ride your bike for a while until you find an excellent place to start again. You can also turn around and pedal down the hill until it is flat enough to start again.
Smoothen your pedal stroke
Mountain bikers face many challenges when climbing, unlike road cyclists who have smooth roads. You will encounter roots, rocks, mud, and sometimes all three. You will lose traction if you pedal too hard like a mad person. It is a well-known fact that cross-country mountain bikers have the most smooth pedaling action of any cyclist. This means they distribute the power more evenly throughout the pedal stroke. Next time you climb a technical hill, think about how your pedals feel and apply pressure in a more circular motion.
Higher cadence (or spinning of the pedals) is directly linked to your ability to climb longer distances. You need to be careful about how fast you are going. However, too slow cadence can cause fatigue and more strain on your muscles. You should instead focus on turning your pedals more quickly (lighter gear) to allow you to pedal longer and without fatigue. The more lightweight bag takes the strain off your legs but puts it on your heart and lungs. It may seem harder to spin fast when you first start, but it will become easier over time.
Choose your line
It is essential to choose a line. Seek out the path of least resistance by looking ahead. Consider where your rear wheel will roll. Roots and rocks are likely to stop you from moving. There are several ways to get past technical sections. First, try a slightly harder gear. This will help you to have more control of your power. You can accelerate towards the feature to create momentum, which will help you push through it. As each wheel reaches the quality, you can slightly unweight it by moving your body slightly forwards and backward on the bike. This will prevent your wheels from getting stuck. You’ll be amazed at the distances you can travel with practice.
Keep it simple
Mountain biking can be stressful and difficult. It’s why it’s so important to keep your balance. There will be bumps on the trail, and you may get jostled in the saddle. You’ll be more able to handle the jostles if you keep your body relaxed. First, make sure your jaw is not locked up. Next, ensure your hands and fingers aren’t tight and grasping the handlebars. You will notice a looser neck, back, and arms as a result. You can go on and on. As you climb the hill. You’ll save energy by not being so anxious and having more control over technical sections.
Get your tire pressure right
It is incredible how much a good set of tire pressure can make a difference in climbs. Yet, it’s something that we all forget about. Although tires pressed hard at high pressure will make them roll better, making them less suitable for climbing. Because the tires deform less during rolling, it has a smaller contact area with the ground, which results in less grip and traction. However, they will be more challenging to maneuver, much like trying to cycle through a treacle. Your risk of getting pinch flats is higher. We recommend that you spend some time trying different pressures.
These days, dropping weight and running carbon are the hottest fads. It’s not surprising that lighter bikes are more accessible to ride up hills than older, heavier bikes. This is where it really adds up. Sure, you can do the short climbs well, but as the miles accumulate, you will need to slow down.
Hill climbs can wear you out, so you’ll probably end up painting when you reach the top. Avoid the ragged breathing that can lead to panting. Instead, you should focus on your breathing rhythm and pedal strokes. This will help you maintain a steady pace and momentum, plus it will give you something else to focus on other than the steepness of the climb.
Your mental game should be improved
Climbs can seem like an endless process and leave you wondering if it’s possible to ever get up again. Climbing is a game of head that only the pros excel at managing. Pros have been known to count in 1-minute increments on longer climbs. This is when they are at the limit. They start counting again once they reach the end of the minute.
Another option is to break down the climb into smaller chunks. Instead of thinking about the mountain you are climbing, think about how you can reach the next rock on the trail. Once you get there, you can look for another goal. These strategies are simple but can make a big difference in your mental game. These strategies will take you far, and you’ll soon be at the top, ready to conquer the descent.
You have to make a few decisions to climb the hill smartly and make it easier for yourself. Be sure to follow the outside line if you are climbing uphill. This route is more complex but also shorter. Instead of weaving back-and-forth on climbs, ride straight. Although it may seem more straightforward, science has shown that riding back and forth in a zig-zag requires more energy than riding straight up. Now you have a better idea of making the ascent easier for yourself, it is time to get ready for the most exciting part: the descent!