No matter how much you love cycling, there’s no shame in admitting that riding uphill is one of the sport’s less-fun aspects.
Even if you’ve been touring the States’ national parks for years, even if you’ve mastered a wide variety of bikes, you can always stand to learn new techniques. Making your rides easier can also help to make them more fun – so if you’ve been frustrated by a trail with several steep climbs, take a look at these pro tips!
Get Your Gears Right
Changing pedal too late can leave you facing a great uphill challenge. If you keep pedaling and striving to downshift, you may well find yourself struggling to make that climb at all.
Certain types of hub gears need a quick, punchy break to take effect. So, when you’re downshifting with these, take it easy on the pedaling just for a second or two. Otherwise, you might well end up at a gear that’s too high, leading to a complete stop.
You’re best pedaling at a steady, smooth pace as you climb. When your speed begins to drop, shift down and aim for the top.
Don’t be Afraid to Just Walk it
Let’s be honest: the idea of actually dismounting and walking your bike uphill might seem like an admission of defeat … or even shameful failure.
Well, it’s not. Not at all.
If you just can’t get your gears figured out, or the climb is too high or steep, reaching the top might well seem impossible. Instead, take It easy on yourself. It might not necessarily take less time, but you face less risk of straining yourself or falling.
Also, while you walk, you’ll be saving a little energy, meaning you’ll be less exhausted when you reach the top – making the rest of your ride easier and more fun.
Still, if you don’t like the idea of walking your bike uphill or feel the time taken to dismount would be counter-productive, why not try combining the two? Ride to the halfway point, and then walk the rest.
Getting your Posture Right
Should you stay seated or should you stand when tackling uphill climbs?
Well, for shorter hills, it’s best to keep yourself in a sitting position on the ascent. Ideally, you want to invest minimal effort into pedaling, without sacrificing momentum, to avoid over-exerting yourself.
While you might be tempted to stand, you may actually end up putting greater strain on your chains and possibly wearing out your gears faster.
With these pro tips, you can tackle uphill climbs with a little more confidence. If you’ve only just started cycling as a sport or exercise, you should try to stick to flatter terrain, otherwise you might find yourself having to cut one of your first rides short.
Steep hills are incredibly intimidating for novice cyclists, so work your way up from flat paths to more vertical trails. At Adamant, our bikes are made with the best components available today, to ensure they provide the best-quality experience for cyclists at all levels. Whether you need a model for mountain biking or something for your daily commute, our range has you covered.
What type of terrain do you prefer to ride your mountain bike on?
Flat or steep? Dirt or grass? Do you like lots of jumps? Do sharp turns get your pulse racing or inspire cold dread inside you?
Whatever your tastes, the USA is filled with fantastic mountain-biking spots to visit, with something for everyone.
Join us as we look at five of the best ...
Munds Wagon Trail
This trail, in Sedona, Arizona, offers bikers eight glorious miles to explore.
The singletrack climbs to an amazing 1200 feet, though there’s a generous helping of dips to take a little of the strain off. You also get to ride along the creek bed for short intervals, giving you more time to take a breather.
The incredible surroundings offered by Arizona’s red-rock environment keeps this easy on the eye at all times, and is a must for mountain bikers more used to urban or green landscapes.
Tahoe Rim Trail
This is a stunning trail, though not all of it is accessible to bikers. Considering this runs 165 miles around Lake Tahoe (the biggest alpine lake in all of North America), that may not be such a bad thing.
Mountain bikers can enjoy riding around 80 miles of this trail, especially the singletrack connecting Tahoe Meadows and Spooner summit. This is about 23 miles, with plenty of steep descents, inclines that put you to work, and a wealth of beautiful views.
This is a complete contrast to Munds Wagon Trail, offering lush greenery, meadows, and lakes. A feast for the eyes and the wheels alike.
This is part of the Kingdom Trails in Vermont, which make up the biggest range of trails in America’s northeastern region.
The Mountain Loop itself runs over 15 miles, starting at Burke Mountain Campground, which leads on to singletrack. You’ll find bridges, jumps, and more, before you return to the campground later. It’s a great trail to try, in fantastic surroundings.
Poison Spider Mesa
For decades now, Moab has been a must-visit for serious mountain bikers. However, the expansive range of trails on offer continues to grow, with around 30 miles of new tracks appearing every year.
This is a stunning location, offering endless desert vistas as far as the eye can see. It provides slickrock steeps and trails for bikers of all levels, with a massive 13-mile run that reaches up to Poison Spider Mesa. This stands around 1,000 feet high,and benefits from one of the coolest, most dangerous-sounding names ever.
McKenzie River Trail
In Eugene, Oregon, the McKenzie River Trail runs for around 26 miles across the Cascade Mountains.
These are ideal for seasoned bikers as well as newcomers, with plenty of amazing sights to take in. There are hot springs, unforgettable forests, and even lava fields – what more could you ask for?
You’ll also see waterfalls, and get to enjoy tricksy turns and smooth terrain, keeping you on your toes from start to finish.
At Adamant Gear, our bikes provide experienced riders with the highest-quality designs and construction, ensuring reliability and stability.
Mountain biking is one of the most popular ways to stay fit, see some amazing sights, and challenge yourself.
Time on your bike is precious, so you have to make the most of it – and even seasoned riders can learn new techniques and skills to get more out of their favorite sport.
Here in the beautiful USA, mountain bikers are blessed with many stunning trails and spots to enjoy. The better you handle your wheels, the safer and happier you will be.
Intrigued? Join us as we look at four expert tips to make you a better biker.
Take a Stance
When you’re riding your mountain bike, it’s natural to want to stay seated. This makes sense on flat terrain with a smooth surface, but what about when you’re on rougher ground?
Stand up, supporting yourself on your pedals, and bend your knees slightly.
Remember to lean forward a little, and keep your elbows bent, forming a tight, secure posture.
By adopting a stance rather than sitting, you’ll absorb any bumps much easier, reinforcing your safety on tough descents.
Approach Corners like a Pro
Take a corner the wrong way, and you can cost yourself time in a race, let alone risk a dismount.
What’s the best cornering technique then? Don’t leave your feet at the same level on the pedals.
Instead, let your foot on the outside drop to the bottom and lift the inside foot higher. This drives your weight into the corner for a smoother, more solid movement.
Focus, Focus, Focus
The more experienced you become at any sport, the easier it is to be complacent.
However, with mountain biking, a lack of focus is a risk to your health as well as your performance. One bad corner or slip, and you may get pretty banged up. Pay attention to where you’re going: let your eyes guide you, and your responses will be much sharper.
Don’t let yourself become distracted by your fellow riders, or how good you might look while pulling off a certain move. Keep your eyes on the trail, obstacle, or trick ahead of you.
Brake Smoothly, Brake Evenly
You need to master your brakes to stay safe and in control while riding. Though most of your brakes’ power is based in the front one, squeezing this too hard and fast can put you in a slightly unstable position (namely, on the ground).
When applying your brakes, do so smoothly. Squeeze them lightly, slowly. Pay equal attention to the front and back brakes to avoid skids.
When coming to a sudden stop, be sure to let your heels drop, bend at your elbows and knees, and shift your hips back. This helps you stay in control and keeps you in a stable position should you be on rough terrain.
Mountain biking should be fun and exciting, but always exercise caution and use the right equipment. At Adamant Gear, we stock high-performance mountain bikes crafted with the toughest, most durable components for the safest, most secure, most satisfying ride.