Riding up things

Most of us mountain bikers live for the descents, but let’s face it: We need to get up those hills, and the more efficiently we can do that, the better.

As you master these skills, technical climbing will become easier and easier. Heck, it might even be fun.

Intro >>>
Pedaling up a hill >>>
Pedaling up a steep slope >>>
Pedaling up a vertical ledge >>>
Dynamic traction for loose climbs >>>
Kung fu power wheelie: the pro way to get up steep faces

The camera is not tilted. With technique, power and confidence, some amazing things can be done. Slickrock Trail, Moab, UT.

Some of you are strong climbers, but very few of you are skilled climbers. I can say this because I’ve worked closely with thousands of riders, and I’ve seen the how-to videos online … and I can tell you the vast majority of mountain bikers are missing the key to efficient, powerful climbing. They key, put simply, is to balance on your feet and drive with your hips. (Yes, this is a common theme around here.)

I learned this skill from a BMXer. After working with Coach Greg Romero at the Olympic Training Center — learning all about gate starts and sprint power — I stood on the climb to my house, felt my hips drive forward and said WHOA there it is! I’d been riding pretty well for 20 years, but this move — the hip drive — had been missing.

Yep: A BMX gate start uses the same move as a steep climb.

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