Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  

Steep climb tips please

Recommended Posts

I did an event recently which had a couple of progressively steep hill climbs up through the woods.

There were all manner of bikes there, 2T's & 4T's, XR400's, DRZ's, WR's but KTM's were predominant. We were all on MT43 rear tyres as that was the rules of that course.

Me & my bike seemed to be better than some but worse than loads at the steep progressive climbs. Can anyone cast any light on what makes a bike & rider better?

My rear tyre wasn't fresh - maybe 40% worn, and was at 12 to 14 psi I think.

I weigh in at around 80Kg's in gear.

My mate on an XR400 who is MUCH heavier than me seems to be able to climb better than me. Also another mate of similar weight to me on a Gas Gas 300 2T also seemed to be able to power up these things better than me.

So what is making it so hard for me. Technique or bike setup?

I know the XR has a more grunty engine for very low down revs but the DRZ is no slung down low either.

I'm current tweaking the rear shock to see if that will help. Seems I just could get any traction and thus speed on the less steep section as the tree roots and loose ground were too much.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

suspension tweaks may help. but the easiest thing to tweak would be the air pressure in your rear tire. you should be able to get away with 8-9 pounds on that tire with your weight. many guys will go down to 6. the difference is very noticeable.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Technique or bike setup??

Both are important to get achieve the best result....

Fresh tyres with appropriate pressures , suspension set up, smooth throttle control , weight forward , studying the terrain constantly for the best path so as to keep your forward momentum and low fuel load are some items I would consider for hill climbs....oh and a BB would be helpful for increasing your torque..

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for your replies guys.

"Grip is all in your mind" I've heard that before but it still doesn't help you when your sliding backwards out of control into the trees :ride::thumbsup:

Fresh tyres and lower pressure would be worth a try.

Where to put your weight is another thing. I'm a stand up rider whereas some of my mates or more sit down. I think that benefits them when doing steep climbs as I'm not as good when sat down but don't feel confident enough to stand while climbing so steep.

On some of the attempts my front wheel was in the air so I was balancing the bike on the throttle but ultimately was fighting a loosing battle.

Other times the back would suddenly just spin out sideways which normally dumps me off - game over!

I think my mate on the XR just sits down on that seat slightly back of normal position and leans forward - thus putting loads of weight to the rear tyre. Is that a good technique?

Here is a vid of the worst climb on board a WR450.

The climb is at 5:45 in..

I got the last lip but then the DRZ rear up and I dumped it there lol.

Here's another

which show both steep climbs.

3:55 is the less steep one - I tried this several times but only made it twice and each of these I needed a couple of guys to catch me at the top before a slide back down.

Steep one again at 8:33..

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
keeping both feet on the pegs as much as possible is important.

take even one foot off for a second and you loose valuable traction.

+1 there are videos that talk technique for keeping your weight where it should be.

+1 tire pressure, they don't have to be new tires, but aired down to 10 lbs or so means the drz is a billygoat.

do you have rimlocks ? get em if you don't. if you air down past 10 psi, you'll notice a huge difference in traction, just don't run that pressure on the street, and watch for pinch flats in the rocks.

watching other folks climb will do you good. follow their lines, mimick their actions, so long as they aren't falling ;-)

i ride on a 60% worn k270 and still enjoy climbing stuff, so long as it's aired down to 10 or so psi. the way the tire deforms to grab the ground at 10 psi is great.

are you running the E gearing yet ? <---- that's a big plus

Edited by ohgood
gearing

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A guy I was riding with on Saturday remarked that it looked like there was too much pressure in my rear. The MT43 just wasn't deforming very much so he suggested I should run lower psi.

Next run I'll drop it down to 10 psi and see how that feels.

There's deffo something wrong with my current setup as my bike is always the one that has trouble making it up steep stuff - that is unless it's muddy and I had a fresh maxxis on.

I suppose also my bike is the heaviest of all the ones I ride with, added to that it's a very tall bike and so I can quickly run into issue where not being able to get your feet down early enough leads to problems:banghead:.

The seat is cut down and the rear spring turned out some (forks also raised) so the bike is now sitting lower than ever.

I'm 5'11" BTW with 32" inside leg so although I'm not short on the bike it's always nicer to have a smaller lighter bike when riding technical stuff.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I did an event recently which had a couple of progressively steep hill climbs up through the woods.

There were all manner of bikes there, 2T's & 4T's, XR400's, DRZ's, WR's but KTM's were predominant. We were all on MT43 rear tyres as that was the rules of that course.

Me & my bike seemed to be better than some but worse than loads at the steep progressive climbs. Can anyone cast any light on what makes a bike & rider better?

My rear tyre wasn't fresh - maybe 40% worn, and was at 12 to 14 psi I think.

I weigh in at around 80Kg's in gear.

My mate on an XR400 who is MUCH heavier than me seems to be able to climb better than me. Also another mate of similar weight to me on a Gas Gas 300 2T also seemed to be able to power up these things better than me.

So what is making it so hard for me. Technique or bike setup?

I know the XR has a more grunty engine for very low down revs but the DRZ is no slung down low either.

I'm current tweaking the rear shock to see if that will help. Seems I just could get any traction and thus speed on the less steep section as the tree roots and loose ground were too much.

before you drop to 10psi, put on a rim lock if you don't have one. 10psi without a rimlock = sheared valve stem, and a tube change on the trail.

watched your vids...

first video: you were doing fine, until all those bikes parked at the top blocked the trail. looks like everyone is running a trials tire ? those things are like glue !

second video: 5:47 looks like a ****ing BLAST ! that kind of short, steep, off camber, rutted/rooted and rocky stuff = all the right setup, and then your skill level.

those are some fantastic trails. we have alot of the stuff like 5:47, and some tight tight single track, but not nearly as much nice fireroad as you. all ours is rocky or pea-gravel and ok climbs.

other than 5:47, you shouldn't have much trouble with your tires aired down and some practice. we'll assume you're fiddling with suspension setups and finding something that feels more 'right'. i'm 225lbs and run the upper end of pre-load limits, on the stock spring. it works pretty good, i'm no billy goat, but do well.

the drz -will-climb- like mad, if you get the bikes out of the way and let it. gear to drz-E, and get some momentum, feet on the pegs. your legs weigh a good deal and help keep the front end down, while pressing the rear into the dirt and getting you up the hill. i've noticed the second my feet come off the pegs the traction disappears. unless you're falling over, keep em planted and gas it !

my good german friend likes to say "more gas more gas more GAAAASSS!" in this kinda stuff. he's usually right. :-)

Edited by ohgood

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You can 'set up' a bike till the cows come home but it won't do you much good till you develop the proper skills. Practice... practice... and then.... practice.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You are using a Trials tire. I agree with the low pressure. With a trials bike, I never get over 7psi in the rear, if muddy it goes to 4.75. Also might do better if you ride the way we do on trials bikes. First, keep your feet on the pegs. Bend your knees and control traction by moving your body back for more traction, forward if front starts lifting. At the same time spread your knees (bow-legged). This allows the bike to move around without knocking you off balance. If riding with legs close to the frame, the bike will hit a leg any time it shifts to the side which results in you taking foot off the peg and losing traction.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
before you drop to 10psi, put on a rim lock if you don't have one.

watched your vids...

first video: you were doing fine, until all those bikes parked at the top blocked the trail. looks like everyone is running a trials tire ? those things are like glue !

Mine is UK spec DRZ E which means wide open pipe, FCR and 3x3 as standard. I have also done the pump mod to give it more push when youi crack the throttle.

My bike has one rim lock on each wheel so I should be good for low'ish tyre pressures. I tend to run higher as there are lots of rocks on the trials I ride around here but I could run lower and then pay much more attention to what I'm hitting lol.

The vids I posted weren't of me BTW - they are from two buddies that were also at the same event. The guy on the KTM did drop it on one of the climbs but that didn't make it into his final vid.

Gearing is another issue I suppose. Standard is 14/47, I'm running 14/49 so I'm geared lower than an E already (is it lower or higher - I get confused).

A mate suggested that I should try a 13 front but I've already tried that 13/47 - that bike was fun but too revy on the road.

13/49 would be a hoot so I'll have a 13T front ready for the next event.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Mine is UK spec DRZ E which means wide open pipe, FCR and 3x3 as standard. I have also done the pump mod to give it more push when youi crack the throttle.

My bike has one rim lock on each wheel so I should be good for low'ish tyre pressures. I tend to run higher as there are lots of rocks on the trials I ride around here but I could run lower and then pay much more attention to what I'm hitting lol.

The vids I posted weren't of me BTW - they are from two buddies that were also at the same event. The guy on the KTM did drop it on one of the climbs but that didn't make it into his final vid.

Gearing is another issue I suppose. Standard is 14/47, I'm running 14/49 so I'm geared lower than an E already (is it lower or higher - I get confused).

A mate suggested that I should try a 13 front but I've already tried that 13/47 - that bike was fun but too revy on the road.

13/49 would be a hoot so I'll have a 13T front ready for the next event.

i'd say it's prolly technique then. the 13/49 may mean you need t oclimb some of it in 2nd to get the pig (drz) the momentum needed to keep going up.

i don't know offhand what the mph would be at 7000 rpm in first with 13/49, might want to look at that.

ya, i knew that video was shot by your buddy, i believe the camera is POV ? just saw one the other day, they're supposed to be high quality stuff. am i right ?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A method I use to keep the rpm's high for climbing is shifting my weight off and on the rear tire. If the bike starts to bog I quickly shift my weight to the front which allows the rear to break traction and spin this allows the motor to climb in rpms, I then sit back and weight the rear. In some cases it is better than down shifting.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I recently did the Chris Evans Lozere tour and 14/50 was good for my BB DRZ on some of the steep climbs we did there. The trick to good climbing technique is momentum. Gas the bike at the bottom of the climb to get the momentum and then maintain it on the climb. (watch indoor trials and some of the obstacles they climb) Also allow the bike to move around under you. It is when you try and open the throttle to increase momentum on the steep slippery stuff you will spin out. If you need to gain drive on the climb try and do it where there is grip ie not on a wet slab of rock. Also feet on pegs (pushing weight down through bike), not paddling is good advice as well. Practice practice practice. Hope this helps.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
i believe the camera is POV ? just saw one the other day, they're supposed to be high quality stuff. am i right ?

Yeh, I think both of them have the POV 1.5.

They look a good bit of kit and take good footage with good audio.:thumbsup:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Reply with:

Sign in to follow this  

×