New riding technique.. to me at least

I don’t often read about techniques, I tend to discover and adopt them.

I’m not a skinny guy and so on a hardtail bumbs can seem more severe than they probably do for a 130 pound freak show. So I’ve been wrestling with how to make it better especially faster while climbing on bumpy stuff.

2 weeks ago at McDonald sport park I started treating my handlebars somewhat like monkey bars, where i hang off of them and hover about 2 inches above my seat while climbing in a harder gear than i traditionally do, so i can support my weight more off of the gear instead of spinning like a mad man. It gives me the addeed suspension of my knees, keeps my body from bumping all over hell and just generally gives a much faster and smoother climb. It also makes it obvious how much upper body strength can be important to our sport as well.

Know what i’m saying?

It’s also going to give you a bit of traction control as well.

Makes sense for a hardtail. Should work well on firm terrain. On loose stuff, may need weight on the saddle to prevent spinning out. Keeping the elbows low, and pulling back to drive the rear wheel into the ground helps too. On a full suspension, staying seated and spinning usually works better.

This climbing technique came up in discussion the other day on a slippery wet climb. Getting your butt off the saddle lowers your centre of gravity to help maintain control over technical terrain and is especially important at lower speeds. Also keep your upper body low by getting your butt right in front of the saddle. If your core is strong you can hold yourself in this position and ‘feel’ for traction, putting as much power down as you can without spinning and loosing momentum.