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Steep Sandy Uphills

Old 07-25-13, 11:26 PM
  #1  
Myosmith
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Steep Sandy Uphills

I went riding in some sandhills today and there were a few steep sections with deep loose sand. I had plenty of gearing to handle the incline, but when I stood up the back tire would spin out and if I kept the back wheel weighted enough to get traction, the front end would lift and I'd lose steering. I'm running as wide of a tire as the frameset allows though not an aggressive tread. I'm fairly new to offroad riding. Is there a technique for riding uphill in loose stuff or is it just a matter of more tire?

Thanks
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Old 07-26-13, 08:11 AM
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Originally Posted by Myosmith View Post
if I kept the back wheel weighted enough to get traction, the front end would lift and I'd lose steering.
I'm not sure what your body posture looked like when this was happening. If you were on the nose of your saddle leaning way forward, chest on/near the handlebar, then you did everything you could short of carrying more speed before the hills. That can help a lot, although deep sand tends to kill momentum quickly.

Tire model and inflation pressure are all that you have left if you can't fit a wider tire. What tire is on the back, what do you weigh, and what pressure was it inflated to?
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Old 07-26-13, 09:24 AM
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Short of riding a manual/wheelie up the hill on a nearly deflated tire, there is no magical cure. Deep sand kills traction and momentum as Colin pointed out. What I try to do is sit up fairly straight on the saddle, keep the pedal stroke consistent and light pressure on the handlebar. My hands are merely suggesting the direction of travel to the front wheel. trying to keep balance and don't freak when the tire slips, stay balanced and keep a steady pedal stroke going.
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Old 07-26-13, 07:26 PM
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Schwalbe Smart Sams (more of a trail tire than a knobby) 700c x 40mm @ about 50 psi. I weight about 230 pounds and the bike about 28. I could do OK until I got to the point that my back tire would spin, then momentum would drop to zero and it was game over. I tried keeping my weight centered over the BB keeping just enough weight on the seat to keep the back tire hooked up. If I moved further forward or stood up with all my weight off the seat, I just spun out sooner. I think it's time to look for a real MTB or at least a monster cross bike that will take some beefier tires.
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Old 07-26-13, 08:19 PM
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Whoa, 40mm is the widest you can fit on there-- I didn't realize you were on a hybrid.

Yes, a proper MTB with a 2.2 or larger in the rear would make a big difference. And even at 230, you could run said tire at 35psi or less, which would help traction tremendously.

However, just to be sure you can't optimize your technique, make sure you're doing it like this: http://www.pinkbike.com/video/254147/
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Old 07-27-13, 01:56 AM
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agree.I think it's time to look for a real MTB or at least a monster cross bike that will take some beefier tires.
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Old 07-27-13, 06:45 PM
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I try to stay seated if possible. Lean forward and drop your elbows down, this will weight the front and allow you to pull on the bars for power without lifting the front wheel.
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Old 07-28-13, 07:29 AM
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Originally Posted by likebike23 View Post
I try to stay seated if possible. Lean forward and drop your elbows down, this will weight the front and allow you to pull on the bars for power without lifting the front wheel.
this is how I climb whenever possible. but it's good to also have a standing technique in your arsenal. you can produce more power standing, and sometimes if you gear way down the torque on your rear wheel is just too much. if you use a higher gear and stand, you might have more rear traction.

but controlling your body weight is much harder when standing.
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