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Uphill Obstacles | Intermediate MTB Skill Guide with Leigh Donovan

When encountering obstacles while climbing, your goal is to keep your bike and body moving forward. Uphill obstacles require complex maneuvers like the pedal wheelie to maintain your momentum so you don’t have to stop during a climb. Here are Leigh’s tips for getting up and over obstacles during a climb: 

  1. When approaching an obstacle while seated, move your body weight forward and load the front of the bike.
  2. As your front wheel nears the obstacle, lean back while simultaneously pushing your lead pedal down. This should allow your front wheel to lift into the air with ease. *TIP: Ensuring your lead pedal is at nearly a 90 degree angle to the ground will give you more leverage to lift your front wheel. Always keep your finger on the rear brake when attempting this maneuver and grab it if you feel like you are about to “loop out” or fall backwards.
  3. Once the front wheel has cleared the obstacle, lower the front wheel back to the ground by moving your body back over the center of the bike.
  4. As the rear wheel encounters the obstacle, press your handlebars and body weight forward. This will allow your rear wheel to unweight and clear the obstacle.
  5. Start small and work your way up to larger obstacles on your climb using the pedal wheelie while seated or standing! 

Want to learn the basics? Click below for Leigh's beginner mountain biking tips! 

MTB 101

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