Tip 4 – Try a bigger gear for technical climbs

Any mountain biker out there has that one climb, that one little technical section, or that one pinch they just can’t seem to make it over. I still have sections on climbs I’m yet to conquer… If you have one of those sections, try a slightly bigger gear and a lower cadence. The lower cadence does a couple of things. Firstly, you’re less likely to spin out as you’re applying more torque. Secondly, if you need to get out of the saddle for a little extra power to get you up and over, once again, you’re less likely to spin out. And finally, the extra resistance makes it a little easier to balance on your bike as the harder gear gives you a slightly more solid platform to balance on and adjust your weight at low speeds. While it seems counter intuitive, in my books it’s a highly underrated and often overlooked aspect of conquering climbs.

 

Tip 5 – Use the terrain to your advantage and ride with your legs

Using the terrain to generate speed is something the world’s best riders do incredibly well. Every bump, roller, drop, corner and jump can be used to generate speed and allow you to ride faster and more efficiently. Pump tracks are the best example of how terrain can be used and where the skill can be best practiced. Most importantly though, all that speed comes from pumping, and pumping is done predominantly with your legs. Pushing through with your legs is critical for traction in corners and to generate speed over rollers, bumps and jumps. One of the best things any rider can do is to spend time at a pump track or ride down trails without pedalling and focus on generating speed without pedalling. If you’re not familiar with it, you’ll be amazed at how much “free speed” there is on any trail once you focus on it.