MTB Abilities: Climbing & Descending

by jpc_touring-bicycle

All the weather of excellent approach come into play when climbing and descending hills in your mountain bike. Listed below are some methods that can assist you stand up and down the hill—not solely intact, but additionally with model and charm.


Video: Using Switchbacks

Physique place: Maintain your self free on the bike, knees and elbows bent that can assist you stay attentive to the terrain. You wish to let the bike take a lot of the brunt of the path; shift your weight based on the altering terrain and options.

The place to look: Maintain your eyes centered about 10 to fifteen toes forward of you on the path so that you simply see the upcoming terrain modifications and obstacles and make changes as wanted. For those who stare at a root or rock, chances are high you’re going to hit it. As a substitute, let your eyes stream forward to higher mean you can decide your line. 

Methods to use your gears: Selecting the proper gear for the path forward of you may be difficult at first; simply bear in mind to look forward and anticipate what you’ll encounter. For those who’re approaching a climb, shift to a better gear as you hit the bottom of the climb. For those who see a protracted downhill in entrance of you, shift to a tougher gear. Rolling terrain is trickier, however with some follow you’ll be shifting with out even serious about it.

a mountain biker descending a hill

Seat place for descending: Descending is the place the enjoyable begins and—for learners—may be essentially the most intimidating. First drop your seat, as you need loads of clearance between your butt and the seat. This allows you to reply to the variable terrain extra simply, and helps you keep away from getting bucked in the event you hit an surprising bump and the seat comes slamming upward. Some bikes include a “dropper publish” which lets you regulate the seat top on the fly by way of a distant lever on the handlebars.

Physique place for descending: Maintain your physique low to the bike and place your self far again in order that your butt is virtually suspended over the rear tire; be sure to’re not sitting down and that your knees are bent. This lets the bike take the brunt of the terrain you encounter and likewise retains your weight again, lowering your probability of going over the handlebars.

Until you’re pedaling, hold your toes and pedals parallel (the three and 9 o’clock “platform”) in order that pedals gained’t clip a rock or stump.  Bend on the knees and elbows and loosen up your muscle tissues so you may reply shortly to the altering path situations. Keep away from gripping the handlebars too tightly.

Methods to brake: Braking must be constant and managed; most of your braking energy comes out of your entrance brake, however grabbing a handful of entrance brake will ship you over the bars. As a substitute, evenly apply the brakes, and accomplish that evenly on the back and front brakes. When approaching a flip, brake earlier than you hit the flip, after which let your momentum carry you thru.

Advancing Your Downhill Approach
a mountain biker performing a wheelie to practice and perfect their downhill technique

Descending over boulders or drop-offs is a sophisticated approach and must be tried solely by skilled riders. For those who’re skilled and feeling assured, all the overall pointers apply, besides with better emphasis:

Lean manner again, together with your butt behind your saddle.
Maintain your elbows bent and physique low.

Depend on each brakes, however largely in your rear brake, as you could must launch the entrance to offer extra momentum.

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MTB Abilities: Climbing & Descending  
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