Tim Don’s off-road masterclass: Climbing

Eighth at the Xterra Worlds shows The Don is as handy off-road as on it. In part two, he shows you how to ascend efficiently


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For long slogs up smoother climbs, stay in the saddle and keep your weight over the rear wheel for greater traction. Just straightening your arms out a little should be enough to shift your bulk back so you can apply more power.

Look ahead

Don’t let your head drop – keep your chin up and your eyes looking forward. This way you’ll be better able to see where you’re going and find the smoothest possible line, so you can carry your momentum up the climb.

Rev up

Gear selection is crucial for climbing. Find one that allows you to hold a smooth cadence. It’s often better to use higher revs than higher power because it lowers the chances of your rear wheel losing traction and spinning out.

Keep it down

Traction is an issue on shorter, steeper climbs too but so is keeping the front wheel down. Bend your arms to shift your weight forward when the ramps rise sharply. If the front wheel is still popping up, move on to the front of the saddle.


We’ll be running part three tomorrow. Photos: Paul Whitfield