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Trouble with flat pedals

Kate_GuyanaKate_Guyana Posts: 56
edited August 2013 in MTB beginners
Hi there,

I've just moved from SPDs to flats (DMR V12s with Teva links), but am having some real trouble on hills. I went to forest drive (Twych trail) this weekend and found it almost impossible to set off once I had stopped on the hills. The rocky uphill beginning was a bit beyond my skills and so I came to a standstill a fair amount. Everytime I did I found it impossible to set off again. I'd be in a low gear as I'd been going up a hill and found that no matter how hard I pushed down with one foot, I couldn't get my second foot on for the next pedal stroke. The pedal just wouldn't come round far enough. I would use my non-pedalling foot to try and push off as much as possible, but found it near impossible. Any tips?

Also, would people say that the uphill part of Twych is difficult or am I just being lame? The first part seemed a massive step up from Swinley/Cannock/Bedgebury.

thanks in advance

Posts

  • Go back to SPD, problem solved, Next ;)
  • supersonicsupersonic Posts: 82,708 Lives Here
    No gears left to change down further?
  • To be fair, even on a road bike, there are some hills where if you stop, that's it, you're walking, as it's next to impossible to get going again.
  • supersonic wrote:
    No gears left to change down further?

    No. And when I'm in a low gear it means that when I push down to set off again I don't go anywhere. It's as if I need to be in a slightly higher gear for it to be able to work properly, but there's no way I could get up those hills in a higher gear.
  • Go back to SPD, problem solved, Next ;)

    I was tempted! However, I'm not sure I'd feel that safe on a technical uphills clipped in.
  • jimothy78jimothy78 Posts: 1,407
    Yes, the singletrack climb on the Twrch is very difficult if you're new to this game. You really have to work on keeping momentum going, especially on the bits that have rocky steps. Don't blame your pedals - just try to keep your eyes on the trail ahead, pre-empt the bits that are going to be (extra) tricky, and concentrate on giving a little extra effort to build up some speed that will allow you to get over them before all your momentum is lost.

    Technique will help too - do some homework on lifting your front and rear wheels up little steps like curbs and things, and then transfer that to the trails.

    At the end of the day, though, there's no shame in getting off and pushing your bike up the really technical bits - each time you ride, just aim to pedal more and push less.
  • jimothy78 wrote:
    Yes, the singletrack climb on the Twrch is very difficult if you're new to this game. You really have to work on keeping momentum going, especially on the bits that have rocky steps. Don't blame your pedals - just try to keep your eyes on the trail ahead, pre-empt the bits that are going to be (extra) tricky, and concentrate on giving a little extra effort to build up some speed that will allow you to get over them before all your momentum is lost.

    Technique will help too - do some homework on lifting your front and rear wheels up little steps like curbs and things, and then transfer that to the trails.

    At the end of the day, though, there's no shame in getting off and pushing your bike up the really technical bits - each time you ride, just aim to pedal more and push less.

    Thanks very much. Good to know I hadn't just regressed massively! Yeah I need to get to grips with manualling I think to get myself over obstacles. It just seemed like there was no amount of energy left in me to be able to even think about that sort of thing as I was going up! Need to work on fitness as well I think!
  • jimothy78 wrote:
    Yes, the singletrack climb on the Twrch is very difficult if you're new to this game. You really have to work on keeping momentum going, especially on the bits that have rocky steps. Don't blame your pedals - just try to keep your eyes on the trail ahead, pre-empt the bits that are going to be (extra) tricky, and concentrate on giving a little extra effort to build up some speed that will allow you to get over them before all your momentum is lost.

    Technique will help too - do some homework on lifting your front and rear wheels up little steps like curbs and things, and then transfer that to the trails.

    At the end of the day, though, there's no shame in getting off and pushing your bike up the really technical bits - each time you ride, just aim to pedal more and push less.

    Thanks very much. Good to know I hadn't just regressed massively! Yeah I need to get to grips with manualling I think to get myself over obstacles. It just seemed like there was no amount of energy left in me to be able to even think about that sort of thing as I was going up! Need to work on fitness as well I think!
  • supersonicsupersonic Posts: 82,708 Lives Here
    On steep sections, if I am off the bike, I often have to scoot it along a bit to get momentum, then jump on!
  • cooldadcooldad Posts: 32,599
    Don't stop. Simple.

    Or not so simple sometimes.
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  • mattshropsmattshrops Posts: 1,134
    I switched fron spd's to flats for the reason you're having trouble with flats :? After a quick dab I couldn't get back in on a climb, much better with flats. after a few years on road bikes i'm very used to being clipped in but just can't do technical climbs with them. I also have found it hard to spin up for a difficult bit on flats with me expecting a fixed connection to pedals and then my feet flying off! Getting used to it now and its definitely the best way to learn your handling skills(bunnyhop,manual etc)
    If you've got a dropper post I've found lowering it after a dab really helps to get over the bike on a climb , both feet back on- then seat back up.
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  • ThewaylanderThewaylander Posts: 8,594
    Yup cwm is a great climb but tricky as can be in spots, and its just hard to get pedalling with it being rough as well as steep n some places.

    dont fret and just aim to do a bit more each time.
  • Kowalski675Kowalski675 Posts: 4,412
    jimothy78 wrote:
    each time you ride, just aim to pedal more and push less.

    That's the approach I'm taking, seems to be working.
  • The RookieThe Rookie Posts: 27,757
    Point the toe down for the first pedal stroke so you can push it through the bottom of it's stroke and backwards slightly, gives more time to get the second foot on.....
  • Thanks for all these replies. Exactly the kind of advice I was after!
  • welshkevwelshkev Posts: 9,690
    yes, the climb at cwmcarn is one of the toughest of the trail centres that I've ridden. it's my local trail and I've never ridden the whole thing with out putting a foot down or pushing small sections!
  • YeehaaMcgeeYeehaaMcgee Posts: 5,740
    I don't see how SPDs could alleviate this at all, they'd just make life even harder for you.

    Can you trackstand? The way I set off on really steep hills is to hold the bike on the brakes, get both feet on, then pedal away. I suppose it's like doing a hillstart in a car.
  • ThewaylanderThewaylander Posts: 8,594
    Hard part with Cwm on a track stand start, though you can do it, is its pretty rough so its really just hard to get enough momentum going quickly to get over obsticles.
  • paul.skibumpaul.skibum Posts: 4,068
    Sometimes not the lowest gear helps with a good initial push on the pedal as you get more momentum and therefore more time to find the other pedal and with flats you only need to get the foot on to some degree and pushing and worry about positioning once your settled. Cwm is definitely tricky climbing but its not that bad to get started.
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  • To be fair, even on a road bike, there are some hills where if you stop, that's it, you're walking, as it's next to impossible to get going again.
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