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Mauricio

Newbie question about going up and down hills

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Hi, my name is Mauricio, i am from Bogota, Colombia, in my country there are not much EUCs, so I have had the luck to met someone here who taught me some basics. at this time, i am able to ride, make turns, (not to tight), mount without help, brake, etc, however, I have a slight fear, if i will have to stop, mount, and go forward in the middle of a hill, (up or down) is there any consideration to take, any variation of my body inclination, for mount and start to go forward? Sorry i have had to use a little help of deepl, for write here

Thanks in Advance

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Hi!

  • If you go down a hill, it helps to put the feet more forward backward on the pedals than usual. So you can push all your weight directly into the end of the pedals. This allows you to "dig the heels in" and to put maximum pressure on the pedals for braking and gives you a safer feeling because you can control (brake) the wheel better (more easily).
  • Likewise, if you go up a hill, it helps to put the feet further back forward on the pedals than usual. This allows you to put all the weight on your toes/front of the feet and put good pressure on the front of the pedals, so the wheel tilts forward and accelerates up the hill, and you have better control for this.
  • If you start on a hill (down or up), these changed foot positions also make it easier to start because the wheel doesn't try to run away from you (downhill) or refuse to accelerate like normal (uphill).
  • In addition, if the hill is very steep, start sideways and then turn into the direction you want to go.
Edited by meepmeepmayer
correction, I'm pretty sure I mistook forward and backward foot positioning

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Excellent tips, I had not found relevant information anywhere, it also applies to short sections, such as ramps for descent or ascent on sidewalks?

Thank you. 

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5 minutes ago, Mauricio said:

it also applies to short sections, such as ramps for descent or ascent on sidewalks?

No. This is just to help you put more force on the pedals so the wheel behaves like you want. That isn't needed for short ramps etc. (unless you stop and start on one).

But most people will have an asymmetric stance (one foot more forward, one more backward) for the same effect during normal riding. Just better acceleration and braking possible.

Hills aren't really so special, you just need practice, and don't be afraid of them.

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So to reduce the confusion, you don't have to do this, of course. But if you ever find that braking downhill could be better, move the feet forward so you can put all the weight on the back edge of the pedals (however you must reposition your feet to do that, probably a bit back). And likewise, if you think going up a long steep hill makes the wheel slow down too much and is uncomfortable to keep the speed, move the feet back so you can put all your weight on the front edge of the pedals (however you must reposition your feet to do that, probably a bit forwards).

It simply allows you to easier force (tilt) the wheel to brake or accelerate. It's a notably different stance from just normal riding in moderate flat areas.

Edited by meepmeepmayer
correction, I probably mixed up forward and backward foot positioning

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Okay, and regarding the position and leanning of the body, and knees bending; kinetics and gravity, forces you to position yourself, or is just enough with leanning the foots to compensate

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Wheels are really odd, because as far as I can tell they are the only vehicle I know of that doesn't ever roll downhill on their own. They will, in fact, tilt in whatever direction they think is uphill. You can place a wheel on the wall of a subway, and they magically lean forward or back to stay in place. Put two wheels against the wall and watching them move in unison is quite weird. This means that once you get off a wheel that you've managed to halt, you can trust the wheel not to roll away from you regardless of incline.

For starting a wheel going uphill, this is quite hard to do without a lot of practice, and I find it easier to do a skateboard push several times, often at an angle so I'm not pointed directly uphill.

I do not think most people should do the assymetrical stance in order to get more forward or backwards leverage, because assymetrical stances encourage wobbling when hitting bumps. I think it's a bad habit that good riders can eventually make work for them, but that ultimately assymetrical stances will be solved by better wheel/pedal design.

If you're having difficulty starting uphill or moving uphill, then seek to reduce the slope of the hill before doing anything else. Even small quick weaves at not very sharp angles can reduce your wattage consumption by 1/3, and correspondingly greatly reduce the force you put on the pedals. Weaving is especially safe going downhill, as it gives you a huge safety margin you otherwise wouldn't have if you fell off balancing on your heels (which is surely a crash we've all done).

Edited by LanghamP

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Correction: I think I confused forwards and backwards. Thanks to @buell47 for the tip. I changed my posts above. Sorry I hope this isn't too confusing.

Anyways, I meant to say that on steep hills, it helps to reposition the feet so you can put maximum pressure and all the weight on the front end of the pedals (uphills) or on the back end of the pedals (downhills). It's a big difference. Especially starting on a steep incline is much easier if you do this and much harder if you don't - you can hardly get going uphill and the wheel will run away downhill with your normal riding stance. However you need to re-position your feet for better control:) You feel it best in the moment when you are stepping on but the wheel is still standing still - either the wheel seems to have its own will (bad), or it is nicely balanced and neutral due to your changed foot stance and you have good control (good).

Don't worry too much about theory, just find a hill and try it and you'll know how it works for you. Simply remember, if hills are wonky, a different foot positioning (compared to normal riding) can give you much better control over your wheel (most importantly it fixes weak downhill braking).

Edited by meepmeepmayer

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In addition, I like softer ride modes for this. This gives the wheel a bit of a delayed reaction, so the pedals can swing/tilt more before it reacts.

Most importantly, for downhill braking a softer ride mode might help to really lean back and permanently put good pressure on the back end of the pedals.

You can try it, don't overthink (I believe that is what I did above;)), just see what feels best.

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Hello, thank you very much, I will try this weekend in a hill next to my home, however I must confess that my biggest fear is to fall in descents, I fear to start go forward, after an emergency brake in descent and that the wheel comes out shot and I fall on my back, i believe is a natural and instinctive fear, i will test all your tips, and will post my findings and progress

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37 minutes ago, Mauricio said:

fear to start go forward, after an emergency brake in descent and that the wheel comes out shot and I fall on my back, i believe is a natural and instinctive fear,

Pavement or trail/grass or steps when going downhill?

With pavement, even given a small amount of room, you can simply slalom and thereby reduce your forward speed. I don't subscribe to the change your feet on the pedals if you've already lost control and are above 15 mph, because moving your 

Dirt and grass hills, or steps are a different matter. With dirt and grass, it gets tricky and you'll need to get comfortable crashing a lot, and it's not a big deal except for the runaway wheel. The runaway wheel is easily solved by keeping one foot on the pedal for a longer time than the other. If I feel out of control I try to point the wheel uphill then step off (realistically, off-road crashes are very slow speeds). I don't use a leash, but I do understand a runaway wheel is very likely to occur (and has occured to me) the first couple of times you try going downhill.

Steps are easier, because you only have to be concerned with two things; not lean back and make sure the rear of your wheel clears the last step. I prefer to go faster so the edge of the steps are skimmed, rather than slamming into each step, but steps are drama free so long as you don't lean back (the wheel shoots put from under you since there's nothing touching the tire).

Finally...curbs. Catching your pedal on a curb because you didn't come off it perpendicular is dangerous. It's an instant crash.

Crashing or stepping off a wheel happens very often, surely hundreds of times. I think all the experienced riders are actually very good at falling. It's not like riding a mountain bike where you might not even have a close call for weeks. 

Edited by LanghamP

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Thanks mate, How do yo put the wheel uphill? pressing with only one feet to force it to spin? or, are you talking about braking the wheel and jumping after? What about sharp curves in the middle or in the end of a down of a hill, any precaution?

Edited by Mauricio

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3 minutes ago, Mauricio said:

Thanks mate, How do yo put the wheel uphill? pressing with only one feet to force it to spin? or, are you talking about braking the wheel and jumping after?

You turn the wheel, as in your direction of travel. Easy on pavement. But often resulting in a minor spill on dirt or grass.

You have to get used to crashing and/or bailing, learn how to handle the wheel on dirt and crash at low speeds, so you you'll know what to do in order not to crash at the higher speeds on pavement.

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