How To Climb On Gravel | Tips To Nail Technical Off Road Climbs

How To Climb On Gravel | Tips To Nail Technical Off Road Climbs


– We’ve all done plenty of
climbing on our road bikes, many of you have probably
done quite a bit of climbing on your mountain bikes,
but today, I’m going to be going through some tips
and tricks to be able to ride uphill on gravel like a boss. (short intro SFX) Riding uphill on gravel
isn’t all that different from road riding, but anytime
you got the ground moving underneath your tires, there
are some nuances to it. And today I’m going to hook
you up with some tips that I have picked up along the way. (hip-hop music) So on this rig, I’m running
a forty-two up front and a thirty-two eleven on the rear. Now, with Sram and Shimano
both coming out with gravel-specific group sets,
the options are endless for what you could use
for gravel riding now. Having a clutch in your rear
wheel is a really valuable tool to have at your disposal. While a clutch isn’t essential,
it does keep the tension on the chain which will
keep it from coming off the front rig over bumps and
breaks in the road and are going to keep you riding
without having to stop and put your chain back on. (hip-hop music) So keeping with the theme
of equipment and how to climb gravel, the biggest
thing is that you got to be prepared for what you’re coming into. As you can tell, I am in
a massive gear right now, so I need to put out a
ton of power and then let way off, shift up through
the cassette, because during gravel, it can be
mud, grit, sand, all types of terrible conditions
and there’s nothing that spells recipe for disaster
than shifting under pressure, but even on your road
bike, it is a sure-fire way to have a mechanical. (hip-hop music) So now we’re going to
talk about the technique, or the finesse of being
able to ride gravel uphill. Riding with your weight back
when you’re riding up gravel sounds like a no-brainer,
especially when you consider all the loose rocks and stuff
that are underneath your tires, so you really have
to make sure that you’ve got your weight back. And then,
well, if you think of the alternative, and you’re
climbing some big torn stage, and you’re throwing your
bike all over the place, and the tire is wheeling out,
that is not very efficient. You need to be in saddle, in a good gear, nice and smooth, putting
out a consistent amount of power to the pedals which
is going right to the rear wheel, and has a
nice consistent contact path with the ground. Okay. So I know you guys are thinking, “Oh, yeah, JP, that’s great,
you riding on all those nice and manicured dirt roads
but what if you get into some really technical stuff like this?” Well, all the same stuff applies. You’ve got to keep your weight back. You’ve got to make sure
you pick your head up and you’ve got to anticipate
because momentum is the key to being able to ride
really steep off road stuff, keeping your head up. (hip-hop music) So one thing you might not
think a lot about when you’re climbing gravel is overheating
and I’ll can’t tell you the amount of times
I’ve actually burned up when I’ve been out riding
gravel on a super long, 20 minute climb because while
there’s no airflow out here, and sometimes the sun is
just beating on your back, the combination of those two makes me say, “I’ve got to get my jersey
open, flapping in the breeze,” And if there’s any rivers
or lakes that I can jump in and bring my
core body temp way down, I’m doing that. And I guess
if you have enough water, spraying water just kind of all
over your back, and bringing that core temp down is good advice. (hip-hop music) All right, so I’m not
being totally serious, you don’t have to be
meditative and zen, and doing crazy stuff on the side of the trail, but you should be really
positive because sometimes these climbs can be
really long, hot, arduous, and these rides are adventures,
you’re out in the middle of nowhere often for hours,
sometimes by yourself, so you know, I try to
kind of channel my inner mentality to be really
positive, think forward, think about something that
you’re looking forward to, whether that’s a good meal
after the end of the ride or hanging out with friends
when you’re finished, but if you map everything back towards, “I’m having fun, and I’m
out here to enjoy myself,” This is going to make
your day-riding gravel and climbing gravel a heck of a lot better. (hip-hop music) A lot of times when riding
gravel, we come into what we call stutter bumps, or
breaking bumps, which can be quite undulating. Now, these gravel bikes
are able to hold up to 50 C tires so high volume
tires that can really absorb a lot of what I’m Riding over right now, these
huge bumps and everything, so, my advice here is, get
some really big tires, run them at decently low pressure, and I guess you have the
two options where you either go slowly and
then you just kind of use your rhythm and glide
through them while you’re climbing with your weight back. If you’re going to hit
them, full speed, better be really confident because if
you get it wrong, it will definitely throw you. (hip-hop music) Tying this all together, we
need to make sure that we get our weight back, we don’t
want to be climbing like we’re some big quarter France
star, out of saddle, like, no, this is gravel, we
need to be planted, and we need to be firm. Make sure that you got your gears right. You want to make sure that
you got high volume tires, especially if you’re
hitting the stutter bumps. Stay positive, zen, we can’t
let our body temperature rise and get too hot,
blow off on the climb, or you’ll be out in the middle of nowhere. I think that’s just about
everything that I went over to be a gravel rock star. So, if you like this video,
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