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  1. #1
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    Uphill switchbacks

    I'm riding a new trail and there is a series of uphill switchbacks that make me come off my bike almost every time. I can conquer each switchback individually, and if I don't the first time, I'll practice it until I conquer it. However, after the switchback there's a gradual incline to the next one, totalling 4. I peddle to it turn, but that's it. Either my front wheel comes off the ground, my right cleat disengages, or my front tire pulls to the left. Sometimes it's a combo of these or all three. Any suggestions to help me out. Right now I'm just riding them, hoping for things to click soon.

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    XtraSuperPlatinumMember spexy's Avatar
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    Ah, the uphill switchback. Rarely does anyone talk about them but if they're steep enough they're harder than facing downhill. I've seen people tumble over clipped in on these looking as if they had never ridden a bike before.

    I think alot of where you might be running into trouble is not weighting your front wheel enough. You've got to balance yourself on the tip of the saddle just enough to keep the front and rear tires glued to the ground. You haven't got the speed to use for balance so it's time to rely on body english. Also sounds like you're wearing yourself out with adrenaline. Just keep an even pace and on the straightaways before each turn--take it slow to catch your breath.

    Keep trying. Walk back down the hill and do it again while the mistakes are fresh in your mind. Once you've mastered all four you can start going faster.

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    Go as fast as you can and use momentum.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Jim311's Avatar
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    It's all about transfering weight. Sometimes I'll pull the front up and pivot on the rear tire, or other times I'll weight the front tire and move the rear. Really just depends. Practice!
    My money pits:

    Cannondale Jekyll 500 with Avid Mechs and Sun DS2 rims with XT disc hubs.

    Cannondale F900 with SRAM XO shifters/derailler, Mavic X3.1 tubeless wheels, Avid Mechs, Race Face Next LP cranks, Time ATAC pedals, SRAM levers.

  5. #5
    Zin
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim311
    It's all about transfering weight. Sometimes I'll pull the front up and pivot on the rear tire, or other times I'll weight the front tire and move the rear. Really just depends. Practice!
    On my ride today, I was climbing a short, yet steep section of single track and started to pull my front wheel off the ground. Messed up and over compensated and lost traction on my rear wheel and stopped dead in my tracks. Of course, I bike-hiked the last 10 feet or so.

    I'm guessing the advice for switch backs would apply to steep climbs too.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Jim311's Avatar
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    At my local trails there's a series of fairly steep switchbacks with LOTS of roots and rocks. The roots are spaced in one section so that right as the back wheel hits a large root, the front does as well, and it tends to want to bring the bike to a halt and it's easy to lose balance. So what I do is lift the front up just enough to clear that front root, and then shift my weight to the front tire and pull up the rear of the bike over the root. It's pretty hard to describe, but ultimately it comes down to your position over the bike and momentum. It would make more sense if you saw it in person, and it's not an easy technique to master.
    My money pits:

    Cannondale Jekyll 500 with Avid Mechs and Sun DS2 rims with XT disc hubs.

    Cannondale F900 with SRAM XO shifters/derailler, Mavic X3.1 tubeless wheels, Avid Mechs, Race Face Next LP cranks, Time ATAC pedals, SRAM levers.

  7. #7
    Wood Licker Maelstrom's Avatar
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    N7,

    Yep same idea. uphill, downhill anything technical is all about body position on the bike. Learning that body position, I found, is usually best done when riding with other people watching you and telling you "hey you are too far back on the wheel" or something along that lines.

  8. #8
    Zin
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maelstrom
    N7,

    Yep same idea. uphill, downhill anything technical is all about body position on the bike. Learning that body position, I found, is usually best done when riding with other people watching you and telling you "hey you are too far back on the wheel" or something along that lines.
    Thanks Maelstrom! I almost always have to ride alone this time of year. I guess I'll have to find another ICEBIKER around here to help.

  9. #9
    Wood Licker Maelstrom's Avatar
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    Winter riding is even harder because maintaining traction is even more difficult than any other situation (except maybe wet slick rock)...Is there a club near you. Maybe you can find some winter riders there.

  10. #10
    Senior Member iamthetas's Avatar
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    what about 10"or larger logs when climbing a steep incline.there is a park i ride that and every time i get here i just get off now (too many ballbusters)and just scratch my head as to how to do it. about 6' past it you have to make a left not major but not small.about 15'before you are coming out of a left also .it is singletrack so i cannot build momentum by just cheating the cornres.there are a couple more uphill logs later on in it and i just walk them too. how is it done without killing your balls or knees/shins.this forum is very good. i learn each time i log in here.

  11. #11
    Wood Licker Maelstrom's Avatar
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    Thats definately boyd weight. It would be similar to a bunny hop. As you come up to it throw your body weight back and lift the front wheel and then quickyl thrown your body weight forward and lift the rear end (like a real bunnyhop). You should just pop over the obstacle.

  12. #12
    mmm babaghanouj. rasheed's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by iamthetas
    what about 10"or larger logs when climbing a steep incline.there is a park i ride that and every time i get here i just get off now (too many ballbusters)and just scratch my head as to how to do it. about 6' past it you have to make a left not major but not small.about 15'before you are coming out of a left also .it is singletrack so i cannot build momentum by just cheating the cornres.there are a couple more uphill logs later on in it and i just walk them too. how is it done without killing your balls or knees/shins.this forum is very good. i learn each time i log in here.
    i don't know how difficult these would be to do going up an incline, but i'd think one of the two could be used to get over a log.

    the "log hop": http://www.neonwheels.com/mtb/instruct/index.shtml
    the "ride up": http://www.neonwheels.com/mtb/instruct/rideup.shtml

  13. #13
    Wood Licker Maelstrom's Avatar
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    Great Site...and yes both of those are actually similar movements. Lean back lift front wheel and throw weight UP and forward

  14. #14
    Senior Member Jim311's Avatar
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    Yeah, once again it's all about body position and knowing which end to weight. As you come up to the log, lift the front wheel, and then as the rear wheel hits the log, unweight the rear of the bike so the bike easily rolls over.
    My money pits:

    Cannondale Jekyll 500 with Avid Mechs and Sun DS2 rims with XT disc hubs.

    Cannondale F900 with SRAM XO shifters/derailler, Mavic X3.1 tubeless wheels, Avid Mechs, Race Face Next LP cranks, Time ATAC pedals, SRAM levers.

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