Category Archives: Sport

Trek Mountain Bikes

If you are in the market for a new bike – or even for your first bike, you definitely need to check out Trek Mountain Bikes. Trek Mountain Bikes have been around since the beginning of mountain bike time, and they aren’t going anywhere soon – except maybe to the next challenging trail!

First you should note that trek designs and manufactures mountain bikes, as well as street bikes, but the company does much more than that. As for bikes, they produce such high quality rides that even Lance Armstrong rides a Trek! What better endorsement could the company have than that?

Trek has a line of accessories that are highly suited to mountain bikers of all ages and skill levels. Clothing and shoes, under the Trek brand are available through the website. You can also purchase helmets and other safety equipment, lights, locks, saddles, racks, packs, trainers, bike maintenance gear, trailers, team wear, Trek souvenirs, and even computers for your bike! Trek even has their own specially designed water bottles, and they sell nutrition bars and packs as well!

Now that you know that Trek is all about bikes and mountain bikes – and fulfilling the needs and whims of bikers and mountain bikers, visit the site, and start building your Trek mountain bike. That’s right! You can build your very own virtual Trek Bike. You can start with just the frame, or select a complete bike. You can choose the color scheme, and many other features as well – when you have virtually designed the bike of your dreams, you can order it if you want to! If you can’t afford it just yet, however, you can save it, and go back and look at it over and over again.

Once you’ve purchased your Trek mountain bike, you may be interested in a Trek mountain bike tour. Trek also caters to mountain bikers with Trek Travel. Trek Travel puts together mountain biking tours. You can plan your Trek Travel vacation based on where you want to go, the type of trip you want to take, the skill level that you are at, the dates you want to travel, or by selecting a pre-planned event. These are often guided tours, and the guides are well trained not only to make sure that you have the best biking adventure possible, but also that you remain safe during your tour.

If you aren’t quite ready to buy the Trek mountain bike, you can still go on one of the many Trek mountain bike tours – and the bike will be provided for you! You get to choose between the OCLV Carbon Fiber Trek 5.2 Madone road bike and the full-suspension Trek Fuel EX9 mountain bike – and the bike is included in the price of your tour. If you’ve already purchased a Trek bike – or any other brand of bike – and you prefer to bring your own bike on your tour, bring it along! Trek simply requires that you pack it in a bike carrying case. You will, however, be expected to reimburse Trek for any spare parts you may use during the trip, and you will be responsible for the care and maintenance, as well as the assembly and disassembly, of your own bike.

If you aren’t in the best of shape, don’t let this keep you from the fun and adventure of a Trek mountain bikes tour! There are easy tours available, where you will average thirty miles per day, or less. The terrain will be flat, and you can ride at your own pace, and riding is optional each day. If you prefer something a bit more adventurous, there are moderate trips available as well.

Mountain Bike For The Bike

A mountain bike is particularly designed for riding on uneven and bumpy areas. Most mountain bikes have fat knobby tires, which ensure extra traction and appropriate shock absorption. A full front and rear suspension is becoming more common in the recent models of bikes meant to run on mountainous surfaces.

Modern bikers are less fond of handlebars and extensions though some bicycles under this particular variety are provided with end bars on the handlebars. Wheels of mountain bikes range from 26 to 29 inches. The larger wheels have better rolling capabilities and helps in rotational weight thereby making slower acceleration aptly possible.

The Best Varieties Of Mountain Bicycles

Enduro Mountain Bikes

The weight of Enduros vary between 30 to 35 pounds. These bikes feature greater suspension travel, say about 150mm of front and rear travel. They have been perfectly designed so as to ride the rough terrains with ease and satisfaction on the part of the rider.

Downhill Mountain Bikes

These bikes provide 8 or more inches of suspension traveling. The bodies of these bikes weigh less, which make them more apt for racing. Downhill mountain bicycles have tough construction and as they have provisions like large, high gears, they are aptly suited for riding down out-and-out downhill trails and racecourses. Most downhill riding requires high-speed movement for which these bikes are provided with one chain ring, a large bush guard and a chain guide. In fact, Downhill Mountain biking is the most popular form of competition biking.

Dirt Jumping Bike

Dirt jumping bikes come in two types, Urban and Street Mountain bikes. These bikes are variable combinations of trial bikes like, BMX bike and freeride bike. This specific bike variety is extremely strong and possesses 0 to 4 inches of front suspension. They are mostly without any rear suspension along with fast-rolling, slick and semi-slick tires.

Some other significant bike forms include Cross-Country Mountain Bikes, Freeride Mountain Bikes, Trials Mountain Bikes, Single-Speed Mountain Bikes and North Shore Mountain Bikes.

Mountain Bikes – Monarchs Of The Mountains

Depending on suspension, mountain bikes can be largely classified into four different varieties:

1. Soft Tail Bikes – These are bikes with negligible rear suspension. These bikes are made active by the flex of the frames rather than the pivots.

2. Fully rigid bikes – Such bikes are provided with hardtail along with firm fork system.

3. Bikes having dual or full suspension – These machines on road come with front suspension fork and rear suspension along with rear shock and linkage. Such mechanisms enable the rear wheel move smoothly on pivots.

Hardtail Bikes – These bike varieties have frames without any rear suspension. More often, such bikes are provided with front suspension forks.

The contemporary bikes for mountains are provided with stronger and lighter frame types in addition to pioneering form and design. The built of these bicycles give way to forceful riding over rocks, logs, wooden bridges and fabricated ramps.

Some of the most notable and advanced companies who have come forward to introduce the up-grading models of bikes include Manitou, Rock Shox and Fox together with other notable makers. When you ride a bike, you are likely to make mistakes and the fault may not always be yours. Accidents and disasters can happen due to equipment malfunctioning or a wrong judgment as far as the rider is concerned. To put an end to such absurdities a number of companies have appeared on the scene with protective gears also known as armors.

Such equipments have been designed in a way so as to keep you absolutely safe from physical damages. The most significant upper body protectors for expert riders include full-face helmets, spine protector and backpack hydration system. Before unleashing the beasts on the craggy lanes, the makers of mountain bikes have indeed kept in mind the present trends and demands.

Buy A Mountain Bike

If you plan to buy a mountain bike in the near future, there are several factors you will need to take into consideration. One of the most important factors of choosing a mountain bike is what you are going to be using the mountain bike for.

For example, the most avid mountain bikers, as the name implies, like to take their mountain bikes to rugged and rocky mountain terrain. Other mountain bikers prefer unpaved roads and trails, while other mountain bike enthusiasts stick to paved roads and bike paths.

There is a direct correlation to kind of riding you will do and the type of mountain bike you should buy. Three things to pay special attention to are the mountain bike’s tires, the mountain bike’s forks, and the mountain bike’s saddle.

Mountain Bike Forks

There are different types of mountain bike forks, but the main thing you want to look for are shocks. Mountain bikes with shocks will generally be more comfortable to ride than those that do not have shocks, and will also be better equipped to go over rougher terrain. Mountain bikes without shocks will have a more rigid feel to them, but you may find that these bikes are built more for speed than mountain bikes without shocks.

Mountain Bike Saddles

Some saddles are very light weight and do not offer a lot of padding. Some saddles are heavier and offer a lot of cushioning. Generally, mountain bikes that have saddles without a lot of padding are more high performance oriented, while those that have more cushioning in the saddle are designed for leisurely riding. Some mountain bikes also have shock absorbent seat posts.

If you find that you like a higher performance mountain bike better than a mountain bike that is designed for comfort, but do not like the saddle, keep in mind that you can always switch the saddle out for a more comfortable one.

Mountain Bike Tires

When you buy a mountain bike, take a look at the tires. Do you plan to ride on very rugged terrain? Then make sure the tires are wide, a little bulky, and provides lots of traction. Do you plan on riding only on pavement? Then stick with a tire that is a little narrower and smoother, but provides a little bit of traction. This doesn’t mean that you can’t use a tire with a lot of traction on pavement, but you will get more speed with a smoother tire.

Downhill Mountain Biking

From its rather ordinary beginnings on the sporting scene, mountain biking been transformed into an activity so challenging that it has been classed by some as an extreme sport. And each category of mountain biking, because it requires a specific set of skills, has developed its own group of enthusiasts. The one thing that all the categories of mountain biking have in common is that their adrenaline-buzz-producing maneuvers are bringing people into the sport in unprecedented numbers.

The form of mountain biking most likely to appeal to fans of the Mega Roller Coasters is downhill mountain biking. If you can picture a downhill skier, and replace the skis with a bike plunging down a mountain, its wheels airborne almost as much as they are in contact with the ground, you’ll have the basic idea. And if the mere idea of downhill mountain biking gets you jazzed, what do you think the actual experience will do?

DH, as downhill mountain biking is known in mountain biking circles, is in no way the same as riding a standard bicycle up and down the gently rolling hills in your neighborhood park. Neither is it the same as cross country mountain biking, which may involve some downhill riding but is more akin to bike racing.

Downhill Mountaing Biking Bikes

Downhill mountain biking demands a mountain bike with front and rear suspensions especially engineered to handle the extreme stresses of the terrain over which they are ridden. The downhill bikes also have heavier, stronger frame tubing than other varieties of mountain bikes, and normally weigh in at between forty and fifty pounds.

Don’t bother trying to pedal a downhill mountain bike uphill; it’s an exercise in futility. Downhill mountain biking requires that a bikers and their bikes be transported to the top of the hill they are to descend by a ski lift. The trail on which they will be coming back down will be both physically demanding and dangerous. Downhill mountain biking should never be attempted until all possible safety measures are in place.

Downhill mountain biking courses are both steep and treacherous throughout, and can contain jumps of up to forty feet with a ten foot drop. The bikers who are attracted to downhill mountain biking, however, are those who thrive on challenges; the harder the better. The risk involved is not their biggest concern. But even the most experienced downhill mountain biking enthusiasts never begin a descent without being fully protected with a helmet, elbow and knee pads, a body suit, and goggles.

Girls Mountain Biking

One of the greatest appeals of mountain biking is that it is a unisex sport. Mountain biking does not discriminate on the basis of gender. Nor does it eliminate participants due to their ages or ethnicities; in its early years it was largely the domain of men and boys, but now women and girl mountain bikers are joining the fun in record numbers.

Girls mountain biking has begun to achieve prominence in the sport, thanks to the teams of girls mountain bikers fielded by many US high schools. High school mountain biking programs allow female students to master the techniques necessary to succeed in girls mountain biking competitions, and many of them are the equal of the male bikers in their schools.

NorCal

The NorCal High School Mountain Bike League, founded in 2001, opened up the world of girls mountain biking to Elena Spittler, who was the league’s girls mountain biking champion in 2005. She joined the Berkeley High School Mountain Biking Team as its single female member, simply to prove that girls could succeed in the sport. She struggled to keep up with the boys during her first year on the team, but by the time she was a senior, Elena was trouncing some of her younger male teammates.

Two years after she struck a blow for girls mountain biking at her high school, there are now seven girls on the team, and the total number of participants in girls mountain biking for the entire NorCal High School Mountain Bike League has doubled.

The league now has a summer girls mountain biking camp and intends to host a girls mountain biking mini-camp in the first part of the high school racing season to help the girls competing improver their techniques and build their confidence. The league has made a commitment to these girl-specific activities, and is also training its team coaches in methods of recruiting and working with girls mountain biking candidates.

Girls Mountain Biking Clinics

The clinics stress the importance of preserving mountain biking trails, finding team sponsorship, educating the public in the positive benefits of girls mountain biking, and improving one’s biking skills. They encourage their students to develop self-reliance and challenge them in the same way that their male counterparts are challenged.

Mountain Biking Trips

No matter which part of the globe you call home, you won’t have to look very far to find a large number of mountain biking enthusiasts. And travel agencies, recognizing the enormous popularity of mountain biking the world over, have added the mountain biking trips to their offerings as a way to capitalize on it.

Mountain Biking Trips Down Under

Among the most requested mountain biking trips are those to Australia and New Zealand. Mountain biking trips to the Auckland are very much in demand, because they take mountain bikers over terrain from which all of Auckland is visible; the views along are worth the entire cost of the trip.

You can expect to spend a week to ten days on mountain biking trips to Australia; you’ll be treated to trails passing by, and even beneath, waterfalls, and through rainforests. You’ll recuperate between each stage of mountain biking trip at five-star luxury hotels, in some of the most scenic areas to be found Down Under. Accommodations are included in the price of the mountain biking trips.

Mountain Biking Trips In Alaska and california

For those who prefer the northern climes to those of the Southern Hemisphere, mountain biking trips to Alaska might prove ideal. Haunting blue-white glaciers, serene mountain meadows, forgotten lakes, pure air and icy, crystal-clear streams will be waiting for mountain bikers wherever they turn in Alaska.

The travel agencies can arrange Alaskan mountain biking trips with stopovers to include whale watching and wildlife spotting excursions, or hiking through terrain where mountain bikes are not allowed. There is no better way to experience the Great Outdoors than by participating in mountain biking trips to the great big state of Alaska.

Californians have some of the most sought-after mountain biking trips available right along the northern coast of their own state. Northern California’s flawless climate, spectacular coastline, forests of unspoiled redwoods, pristine waterways, and vineyards are all great reasons to schedule a weekend mountain biking trip there. California weather, even during its “winter months” from January to March, is mild during the day, and California mountain biking trips make terrific family vacations no matter the time of year!

With the enormous increase of mountain biking, there are more mountain biking trips available now than ever. You can probably find one within driving distance of your home, or you can head for a travel agency and make arrangements to see some of the world’s most renowned scenery from the saddle of a mountain bike.

A Mountain Biking Primer

The first requirement for a would be mountain biker is to obtain a bicycle. Some mountain bicycles are traditional in that they feature thick rugged tires. These bikes are ideal for off road rough terrain biking. There are also mountain bikes that feature thinner less rugged tires. These bikes are really hybrids between mountain bikes and touring bikes. The advantage these bikes offer is they weigh less than traditional mountain bikes. If you are planning on biking on paved roads or paved bike trails or even on trails with light obstacles such as roots or rocks these bikes (hybrids) may be ideal for you.

For the technical mountain biker who enjoys riding over rocks, tree roots, and other natural hazards the thicker tired mountain bike will offer a safer more satisfying riding experience. As a fledgling mountain biker you should not as a general rule choose the most expensive mountain bike available. As a general rule what you are paying for is either an enhanced ride through the use of front and rear shock absorbers mounted over the front wheel and under the seat of the bicycle or a bike frame constructed of the very latest space age medals and so lighter than traditional mountain bikes. The only times I can see spending extra for an more expensive mountain bike is if you suffer from arthritis, have had a carpal tunnel or other operation such that an enhanced shock absorbing system will benefit you. Also if you enter mountain biking races than a more lightweight mountain biking frame will benefit you.

Right after selecting a mountain bicycle, I suggest you select a bicycle helmet. No one should engage in the sport of mountain biking without a helmet. Many states have passed laws requiring that both children and adults wear helmets when they ride bicycles. The natural hazards inherent in the sport of mountain biking make proper headgear a necessity. Most bike helmets today are made at least in part of hardened Styrofoam with plastic outsides and are very light in weight. Inside the biking helmet there is usually stamped the safety results that independent testing organizations have obtained in testing the helmet. These should be examined carefully.

In addition to needing a mountain bike and a helmet you will need to transport your bike to where you wish to ride. To do this, you will need a bike rack. There are 3 major types of bike racks available. These are roof racks, trunk racks, and bicycle hitches. A roof rack fits tightly on your car’s roof. The bikes are clamped tightly to the rack. A roof rack has the advantage of allowing the trunk of your vehicle to be readily accessible. This can be an important advantage on vacation trips. The two most prevalent manufacturers of roof racks seem to be Thule and Yakima. I have also seen racks with Sears Roebuck and Volvo trademarks attached to cars also. One major disadvantages of a roof rack is that carrying your bikes on top of your vehicle adds height to the vehicle. You need to be very conscious of this when you are using your vehicle with bikes attached on top and about to pass through a tunnel, park your car in a parking facility with a low roof, or even park your car in your own garage. I am ashamed to admit that I have forgotten that my bikes were attached to my roof rack as I entered my own garage on more than one occasion with expensive consequences of my absent mindedness!

Some other possible disadvantages of using roof racks are that lifting your bikes up to fasten them to the roof rack puts extra strain on your back and may cause back injuries. Another disadvantage of roof racks, is especially with today’s sport utility vehicles, you may need to carry a step stool in your vehicle when you are cycling in order to lift the bikes high enough to fasten them to your vehicle. A trunk rack as the name implies, has clamps which fasten tightly to the trunk of your car. Trunk racks are clamped to the trunk of your car before you begin your biking trip and are removed after its completion.

Trunk racks may be ideal when you are carrying bicycles for young children that are not heavy or large. As the size and weight of the bikes increases. the added size and weight may bend or dent your trunk and impede accessibility to it with a trunk rack. A hitch rack is attached to the rear of your vehicle on a more or less permanent basis. The bikes are fastened using heavy rubber clamps. A hitch rack offers the advantage of not increasing the height of your vehicle or denting your trunk. Hitch racks do increase the length of your vehicle and restrict visibility in back of your vehicle. Furthermore, a hitch rack with bikes attached makes the motion detector on my Ford Explorer useless. With all of that said, I myself use a hitch rack.

Another piece of equipment that is a necessity for mountain biking are water bottle racks. Regardless of the season, it is important to have an ample supply of water with you when you are mountain biking. Water bottle racks come in a few styles and can be easily attached to your bicycle. If you will be cycling for more than a few hours, you should take food with you as well. Food for lunch or snacks can be carried safely in many types of bike bags which can be fastened by means of velcro straps or bungies (single or double width elastic straps). If taking food in a bike bag is likely to be a part of your mountain biking experience, you should ask your bike store to attach a sturdy rack to your bike to which you can attach a thermal bag to carry your food in.

Should My Mountain Bike Have Bike

A mountain bike is a bicycle that is designed specifically for mountain biking, either on dirt trails or on other unpaved environments. Mountain bikes are different from regular bikes in a number of ways.

First, they have wide and knobby tires for extra traction and shock absorption.

Also, most mountain bikes are fitted with bar ends on the handlebars. However, with the increase in the popularity of riser handlebars, fewer riders now tend to use bar end extensions.

There are basically four different classifications of mountain bikes.

1. Fully rigid- Fully rigid mountain bikes have a frame which has a rigid fork and fixed rear with no suspension.

2. Hard tail- Hard tail mountain bikes have a frame with no rear suspension, and these bikes are usually used with front suspension.

3. Soft tail- Soft tail mountain bikes have a frame with a small amount of rear suspension, but activated by the flex of the frame instead of by the pivots.

4. Dual or full suspension- Dual or full suspension mountain bikes have a frame with a front suspension fork and rear suspension with a rear shock and linkage that makes the rear wheel move on pivots.

Mountain Bike Disc Brakes

There are many key components on the typical mountain bike. One of the most critical components of a mountain bike is the mountain bike disc brakes. Mountain bike disc brakes are featured on most new mountain bike models. Mountain bike disc brakes offer much improved stopping power over the previously used rim brakes.

Mountain bike disc brakes also work much better under adverse conditions. This is because they are located at the center of the wheel. Unlike rim brakes, they remain drier and cleaner than other rims. Although there are many advantages to mountain bike disc brakes, there are some disadvantages as well. They tend to weigh more and are often more expensive as well.

Maintenance on disc brakes also tends to be more difficult and costly. This is especially true of hydraulic disc brakes, which work by moving brake fluid through a hose or line to squeeze the pads together.

It is very important to make sure that your brakes are in as proper working condition. This means you need to take your bike in to your local bike shop and get a full inspection at least once a month. This will not only ensure that your brakes and the rest of the parts on your bike last as long as they possibly can, but more importantly that you can feel safe riding on a bike that you know is safe and secure and which will be able to properly handle those rugged and steep hills.

How I Got Into Mountain Biking

It was a humid Saturday morning as I had one foot clipped into my mountain bike while there must have been thirty of us lined up onto the starting line of this 15 mile mountain bike race. As I stood there I glanced over at the other competitors, some of whom had what looked like a ball of fire in their eyes while others had ripped leg muscles. They all sat onto their bikes, some of witch were carbon fiber bikes, hard tail and full suspension bikes and even a few 29ers. Here I am with only a year of experience riding on single track trails with my Trek full suspension mountain bike as I tried to keep myself pumped up for what could potentially be a very grueling race. Before the gunshot was heard, I kept my hands relaxed on the handle bar grips, only letting go to make sure my gloves were on tight, my helmet was adjusted properly and I took a few sips from the Camelbak hydration system that was strapped to me. Once the gun went off and was heard all over the mountain bike park, we were all in a dash to leave the starting line while clipping in and jockeying for position like a herd of wild animals as we made our way from the open field and into the single track trails. As I kept changing gears, looking around at the riders in front of me and thinking about what I would encounter during the race, I had a thought in the back of my mind.

I thought about what led me to buy a mountain bike, how long would it take before I would become confident enough to ride through rugged terrain, switchback trails and steep hills. Could this new sport help me out in the other endurance sports that I compete in?

With the background of a distance runner, and a triathlete, mountain biking would definitely benefit me. A little more than a year and a half before this race, a friend convinced me to buy an inexpensive hard tail mountain bike to participate in group rides in the winter time where we would be doing a lot hill repeats on a twenty mile loop on pavement. These workouts would keep us in shape through the winter so we would all be better off for the upcoming triathlon season. Once springtime rolled around and I wanted to get into ridding on single track trails that offer switchbacks, rugged terrain and steep hills, I realized that the bike that I currently had was inadequate for this type of ridding. So then I found myself buying a Trek full suspension mountain bike. The more I rode my new bike at the local mountain bike parks, the more I appreciated having an intermediate level bike. He way the dual suspension was forgiving on the terrain of the trails along with how well the tires gave me enough traction through the different trail conditions were just a couple of key features that I began to appreciate about this bike. As I rode my mountain bike on the easy and intermediate trails, I not only realized that I was turning into a better mountain biker, I noticed something else along the way. When I was not making my way though the local mountain bike parks, I was out on the road on my triathlon bike. What I found out about mountain biking is that it forces you to become very good at being able to handle your bike in all different situations. It is that same requirement in mountain biking that made me more confident when riding on road, especially through a village where there are a lot of cars, traffic lights, potholes and other various problems that a cyclist has to be aware of. At the time, while I was still becoming acclimated to this bike that I had bought, I knew that sometime in the future I would like to try a mountain bike race. I also knew that I would have to become a much better mountain biker at this new discipline before I try to do it at a competitive level. I soon found myself waking up very early on a September morning to join a of friends on what was going to be a sixty mile ride on our bikes. We would ride the first thirty five miles on a flat trail and then stop for breakfast and then the fun would really begin. Then twenty five miles of singe track trails and see who could endure the most pain. As the leaves fell off the trees and the snow blanketed the ground, there was yet another opportunity for me. Mountain biking on the snow packed trails while breathing the dry air and trying not to let my tires lose their grip in the snow. Eventually in the middle of the summer, I found myself on vacation visiting a friend in Massachusetts near the New Hampshire border and we mountain biked at various parks in the area. My friend and I rode in parks that offered an endless amount of rocks, boulders, roots, logs, man made bridges over creeks and even a few mosquitoes! At this time I was confident enough in my bike handling that I had registered for my first mountain bike race.

Now here I was in the first of four laps in this grueling mountain bike race while I was thinking about how I got into the sport instead of thinking about the race itself. I was quickly getting exhausted while I tried to keep up with the more experienced athletes in this race. With beads of sweat already dripping down my face and realizing that my mental toughness was slowly fading away, this discipline was beginning to feel a lot harder than distance running and competing in triathlons. I found myself on trails that meandered through the park as well as steep climbs, a few rollers, roots, logs, some rocks and then an open field to have a chance to gain speed. Overall I didn’t finish as well as I wanted to, but I plan to compete in more mountain bike races in the future. With the various mountain bike parks around the country, this is a very rewarding sport for a beginner to get into as well as an experienced mountain biker. Both types of mountain bikers will still reap the benefits and enjoyment, while continuously trying to push themselves past their comfort zone.

Tips For Hill Climbing

Mountain bike riding is a popular pastime and sport for many Americans. According to the National Bicycle Dealers Association, 28.5 percent of the bicycles sold by specialty bicycle shops in 2008 were mountain bikes. But it is a good bet that few of these riders consider actual mountain bike climbing to be their favorite part of the sport.

Climbing hills, particularly steep hills, is an activity that most riders approach with dread. They know from hard, painful, sometimes humiliating experience that mountain bike climbing leads to the agony of defeat much more often than it leads to the thrill of victory. With the right strategy, however, hill climbing can be done efficiently, without causing undue hardship to the bike or to the body.

Three Ingredients of a Successful Bike Climb

Biking enthusiast Ken Kifer says that there are three ingredients of successful mountain bike climbing:

1. Physical strength of the rider
2. Proper gear selection for the climb
3. Hill climbing strategy employed

Assuming that most people who participate in such a rugged sport as mountain biking are physically fit, the first ingredient should not pose too great an issue. If it is a problem, some rough and tumble rides up and down various hills for a few weeks should eliminate this obstacle.

Items 2 and 3, however, are not quite so easy to master. However, before these aspects are even attempted, one must choose the correct type of bike

Choosing the Correct Type of Bike

There’s a vast difference between a road bike and a mountain bike and not knowing this difference-and perhaps making the wrong choice-can make mountain bike climbing nearly impossible.

In general, one can tell the difference between a road bike and a mountain bike by considering two factors-the framing and tires of the bikes.

Framing.

Because road bikes are built for speed, they typically have lighter frames than do mountain bikes. By contrast, the heavier frames of mountain bikes house suspension systems that are built to withstand the frame-jarring shocks of rough terrains.

Tires.

Road bikes have thinner, smoother tires. The tires of mountain bikes, however, are broad with a significant amount of traction to handle rough terrains.

The Final Ingredients

The final two ingredients-proper gear selection and hill climbing strategy-are indispensable parts of each other. Both are essential ingredients of successful mountain bike climbing. Both involve strategy. And the uses of both are dependent on the different types of hills.

Mountain Bike Climbing Up Different Types of Hills

Most hills or mountains fall into three categories. Each category brings its own unique set of challenges. But each different type of hill can be conquered-with the proper strategy.

1.The concave hill is steepest as the top. Such a hill appears to get taller as the rider approaches.
2. A convex hill is steepest at the bottom. This type of a hill appears to get shorter as the rider approaches.
3. An even grade hill has a sloped, even rise.

To make mountain bike climbing even more challenging, some hills can be a combination of all three types and some can be part of a series of hills. Some can even be mountains. The strategies for climbing the different types of hills must be considered in relation to whether one is climbing an isolated hill, a series of hills, or a mountain, as the strategy is different for each.

This article will address the strategy for mountain bike climbing up an isolated hill.

Climbing an Isolated Hill

An isolated hill is one that “stands alone” without any surrounding hills. The strategy employed in climbing same will depend upon whether the hill is convex or concave.

Convex Hills.

Climbing any hill takes power and speed, two components that must gradually be increased upon approaching a hill. For a convex hill (one that is steeper at the bottom), the timing and the speed of the ascent must be nearly perfect. As odd as it may sound, the way to accelerate up a convex hill is to shift down. This provides more power for the climb. But timing is everything when using this method. Downshift too soon, and exhaustion will plague the rider even before reaching the hill. Downshift too late, and climbing the hill can be too labor intensive.

Concave Hills.

Concave hills are steeper at the apex and, as such, require a different strategy than do convex hills. Two key factors to this strategy are keeping the speed steady, thus conserving energy, at the start the climb. As the hill becomes steeper, the downshifting should begin.

Another strategy to mountain bike climbing of a concave hill is to stand up on the pedals, which creates a more powerful cycle. When standing, make sure the full body is evenly distributed on both pedals. This will create sufficient power to overcome the hill.

A Few Tips for General Technique

One’s pedaling technique is also an important factor in successful mountain bike climbing. The right placement of the feet can have a huge impact on the amount of effort expended while climbing the hill. The feet should be positioned properly and the heel should be kept parallel to the ground. (If the toes are pointed down, the muscular contractions of the leg are minimized which will affect the speed and the stamina of the rider.)

Another point to consider is the cadence of the ride. (Cadence is the number of times that the pedal is rotated, on either side, per minute of cycling.) Aiming for a steady cadence is a healthy goal, whether the surface is flat or is on a hill. Cycling at a cadence of 85 to 105 is an optimum level.

When mountain bike climbing, one’s power to climb the hill will be increased at a higher cadence while downshifting to a lower gear. The effort on the pedal, however, should remain the same on both the upstroke and the down stroke. Maintaining the same amount of pressure throughout the whole pedaling cycle will create a more even stroke, which can help to maintain the energy level needed to climb the hill.