I lock up my rear suspension (if I have time) and if there isn’t room to get speed I put it in the wall climber, i.e. 22 front 34 rear. I also try to sin before I get there. It is always easier to spin up a steep climb I find.
For steep hils I try to shift way down before I am in the steep, pedal faster ans seldom stand. I sit and pul in a downward motion on my handle bars. This will keep weight on yoour wheels. If you loose traction you tend to walk.
Well,being a clydesdale at 290 plbs. leaves me in the granny gear most of the time but I’m getting better at realizing that it is just plain easier in the biggest gear you can get away with.
One thing I do for sure is to at least try everything in the middle ring and biggest cog because if that dont work and I’m already part way up the climb,it is really easy to just drop to the small ring rather than trying to shift cogs from 3rd or 4th gear in the small ring.
I’m still in my 2nd season and being a clydesdale is taking me more time to really get my climbing game on course,but the more my legs have been warmed up the more easy it is to climb.
Well seeing that i have a hill in front of me. I usually try and get as much steam pedaling to the foot of the hill then drop it to a spinning gear usually middle or granny then try and keep the same high rpm cadence usually 70rpm or better. while i am doing that i plant my butt on the saddle and keep low on the bike making a concentrated effort to keep my weight as forward as possible without loosing traction on the rear wheel.
Really there are a lot of contributing variables, for myself momentum is the big one, it all depends on the trail leading up to the climb. Like Steve said, I too always try to run a trail in the 2nd ring, when a steep climb comes up I will hit it as fast as I can but because momentum is so rapidly lost instead of switching several gears I just drop to the small ring. Obtaining the gear ratio I want quicker and with less wear & tear on everything than is caused while shifting several gears under power.
The steepness of the hill and the traction surface determine if I have to stay seated or I can stand and power up it without loosing traction. But thatâ€™s all still a work in progress, I find myself spun out and cussing halfway up a hill more often than I want to admit to-
I know this is an old post but I think it’s pretty insightful and might help a few noobs, it helped me.
Like Steve and Dan, I ride mostly on the 2nd ring and very rarely on the 3rd ring. When it comes to those really steep parts or "walls" in a climb I just drop down to the smallest ring, its fast and it avoids eating up the gears on the cassette while shifting under power. And once to the top it makes shifting back to a good power gear really easy, just one push on the shifter and your back up to speed in no time.
As for standing, I do occasionally on really steep climbs that I want to get up fast. I rarely stand for more then a couple seconds. I don’t fear loosing traction while standing with the Velociraptor on my back wheel.
Depending on how steep the climb choose a front ring 22 or 32 (or whatever you have) first. then if you have a long travel bike i.e. All Mountain make sure you have a good direction otherwise it will be hard to steer the bike during the climb…then you RIP IT 😃