A big chunk of your time riding your mountain bike will be spent on climbing. Riding up a hill will take you longer than descending it.
This is why it is imperative to hone your climbing skills properly. Climbing can offer the same level of fun as the descent if your fitness condition is on point and you are familiar with several simple nuances that can enhance your basics.
The following are a few tips to help you polish your climbing skills while mountain biking:
Use the Right Gear at the Base
If you are unfamiliar with a trail, your gear might be too low once you reach the ascent. You will lose your momentum right away and leave you with no choice but to hop off your bike. To prevent this from happening, be sure to keep your head up and expect to get into easier gear before getting there.
Pay Attention to Nutrition and Water
- Your ride will be ruined right away if you don’t load up your body with proper nutrition, making your climb more difficult than it should be. Don’t forget that mountain biking is an endurance sport so remember to pack lots of water.
- If you plan to ride your mountain bike for over 45 minutes, be sure that you also pack some nutritional elements. Some good options to consider include an energy drink, a protein bar, or even a banana.
Be Careful with Your Line Choice
Do you plan to go over the rocks or would you rather go around them on the outside? Again, keep your head up and watch out for your line. Most of the time, riders assume that they can simply cruise over the rocks or root structures only to realize that they are already thrown off their mountain bike. You have limited momentum during an ascent for handling the technical terrain so better pick the outside line and stay away from the technical stuff.
Don’t Stick with One Chain
- If you are riding in really hilly terrain, the best way to keep up with it is to turn your one chainring into two or three drive trains. If your mountain bike only has one drive train, which is the case for most new bikes today, you can only choose from 12 gears. You have a really low range if you are riding hilly terrain.
Avoid Burn Out from the Get-Go
If you end up pushing yourself out too fast early on, you will find yourself burned out way before you reach the peak of the mountain. Once again, you might need to hop off your bike and your riding buddies might chide you if you are the last one to reach the top. To avoid this, try to wait until at least you are halfway up the mountain before really giving it your all.
Climbing with your mountain bike isn’t just something that you can do just because you want to do it. Take note of these tips to enjoy the best climb of your life!