Braking while climbing

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Braking while climbing

Postby wrob » February 27th, 2019, 6:48 pm

I rode today fat studded at 2 psi going slow & trying to establish a good line
in the fresh snow without carving it up, i had no problems for most of the trail
but on the hill climbs i did get wheelspin, then i tried dragging the rear brake &
it helped cut down the spin, it seems counterintuitive but it was working! next
time i'll try 1to 1 1/2 psi,that might be a better solution,but i was just wondering
do others use this technique?it's my 2nd year riding snow& ice so i guess i'm
still on the learning curve LoL !
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Re: Braking while climbing

Postby c0nsumer » February 28th, 2019, 6:53 am

I don't brake while climbing, but I will intentionally focus on a very smooth, often lower cadence, spin. This decreases the torque-y surges keeping the rear wheel biting.
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Unless otherwise stated the content of my posts are my opinion and should not be taken as the official stance of, nor representative of, CRAMBA-IMBA.
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Re: Braking while climbing

Postby DynoDon » February 28th, 2019, 7:26 am

For me climbing in 1st gear is not always a good choice, when I do spin its time to walk, by using a higher gear I carry more momentum, better grip, and I have something left to keep moving, torque works better on slick climbs, much better than RPM's. (gravel/slick climbs in warm weather is the same, torque is better then RPM's)
4 wheels transport the body, 2 wheels transport the soul !!!
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Re: Braking while climbing

Postby wrob » February 28th, 2019, 8:20 am

Gearing....that's another issue of mine, i don't need a 2 tooth difference on the high end, 11/13/15/17/19,i'm
not that fast & i rarely use those gears, especially for winter riding, i have 2 cassettes, one has 32/36/42 &
the other is 32/37/46, that's where i'd like a consistent 3 or 4 tooth difference, when doing tough climbing,
does this make sense or not? i appreciate your feedback, can i buildup a cassette like this?
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Re: Braking while climbing

Postby Roy » March 1st, 2019, 10:34 am

Wrob,
You might try sitting farther back in the saddle - the opposite of standing on the pedals.
This will give the rear wheel the advantage over your power input!
Same idea as the old driving trick for starting to move in snow and ice by putting the car in second gear.
Much like DynoDon's method of using a higher gear.

But, forget all that and work on the skill of applying even power so you do not need to use the rear brake!
If you concentrate on applying even power you will probably use the rear brake less and less.


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Re: Braking while climbing

Postby wrob » March 1st, 2019, 12:03 pm

Thanks for the suggestions every one, i'll try them all, i'd still like to have a cassette with a 3 or 4 tooth
gear change where i need it the most & not 5, 6, or 9. Years ago, i experimented for kicks by combining
cogs from two 7 speed cassettes, if i remember correctly, one was a 14-32, & one was a 13-30? anyhow
i got close ratio super smooth shifting with XT thumb shifters!
aah memories!
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Re: Braking while climbing

Postby Steve_Balogh » March 2nd, 2019, 12:52 pm

One thing that is often overlooked because it doesn't always apply to normal mountain bikes in summer - pay attention to what's going on with your front wheel. One important lesson I learned from the early days of fat biking when Endomorphs were one of the few tires available - how well the front tire works will affect how much slippage the rear experiences. When Surly introduced the Larry, I had put just one one the front. I found myself climbing hills that were impossible before, getting a lot more traction off the rear with the same old Endomorph. Nowadays with better tires and wheel options, I still give the front wheel attention if I have slippage issues with the back. In snow, if you cannot steer properly, you will lose traction in the back. Some people I know actually put a grippier tire up front. But you don't always need to change tires, try experimenting with different tire pressures FRONT and rear. Sometimes tweaking the front is all you need. When you slip again, pay attention to your steering, many overlook this. Sometimes you might also be dragging the front with too little pressure. Typically those days of fresh powdery snow in cold that doesn't pack are the days I'll experiment the most. If the snow packs well I often just go by squishing the tires by hand.
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Re: Braking while climbing

Postby Roy » March 4th, 2019, 8:22 am

What Steve just wrote makes a lot of sense.
For example:
if the front wheel is slowed by something ( like deeper snow or a rock or a log), allow your body weight to shift forward monetarily, then brace yourself. When you brace the forward momentum of your body will pull the rear wheel over the object that impeded the front wheel.
Call it front wheel Zen.



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Re: Braking while climbing

Postby wrob » March 4th, 2019, 9:09 am

Absolutely, loss of adequate steering control while climbing is a real momentum kiiller, and small changes
in tire pressure can make a huge difference,i always carry a gauge & adjust pressure as needed, why struggle
on a bad ride when a small change in air pressure can make it a great ride! I will also weight the front wheel
some what when going into icy, bumpy curves & on some down hills & let the shock& studs do their thing .
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