Freemounting uphill?

I can freemount about 90% with my method, but I rarely ever do it successfully when it’s going even the slightest bit uphill. I have no problem with level or downhill.

I put the left pedal at 6 o’clock, and just hop up with the seat and start riding. No rollback or anything. I would imagine rollback is even harder to do uphill anyways, though.

Maybe if I put the pedal back towards 3 o’clock so I actually start moving forward when I put my right foot down. Or would rollback be a better freemount overall, since it’s easier to start moving downhill backwards, and I can just stop and move forwards while already having my balance?

Sounds like you’re basically static mounting. Just position the cranks to be more like 4 o’clock and use the same method (no rollback). If you start to get into MUni (I’m assuming you’re trying to mount on a road/pavement) you’ll find the static mount is the best way to go. Also, if you have room, try static mounting perpendicular to the slope of the hill then turn up hill as you ride off from your mount. Good luck.

Oh, so that’s what static mounting is. Yeah, I do that.

So just set the pedals so I go a little forward up the hill, or start out going level to the side of the hill and turn upward. I will try those.

Mounting downhill is always easier than uphill. But you should practice mounting uphill because it will make you a better rider. Mounting uphill with the pedal at 6 o’clock is very difficult. I agree with MuniSano that a 4 o’clock pedal position will be much easier.

Also, if you are on the street and there is a curb, stand on the curb with the wheel in the street. It will be the easiest mount you ever do.

Until recently mounting on even the slightest uphill grade would give me a lot of trouble. Then on one of my trail rides something clicked and now I am getting the hang of mounting uphill. I do a static mount starting with the right pedal back around 8 o’clock, then push the wheel forward a tiny bit to get a little momentum as I jump up. Once I hit the pedals I lean forward and pull hard on the handle while pushing down with my front foot to start moving up the hill. Since you mount with the left pedal down your position would be around 4 o’clock (as suggested by everyone else).

I’m still working on the technique but seem to be improving and can mount on parts of the trail I previously had to walk up or back down to a flatter spot.

I don’t understand. If I have the left pedal at 4 o’clock, when I jump up with my left foot already on the pedal, it will push me backwards. But if I have the left pedal at 8 o’clock, then I won’t be able to push forward with my right foot once I put in on its pedal because it’s slightly back.

I feel stuck, and mounting backwards from everyone else isn’t making it any less confusing! When you say right pedal at 8 o’clock, do you mean closer to you or farther away from you? Is 8 o’clock right pedal the same as 8 o’clock left pedal or 4 o’clock left pedal?

You have to jump up off the back foot, putting no (or very little) pressure on the pedal. The steeper the hill, the more you have to jump and the less pressure you must put on the pedal. It’s not easy on a steepish hill! For steeper hills a rolling/walking mount works better, especially on a bigger wheel (but I’m useless at those!)

I tend to cheat and mount sideaways across the road/path and turn immediately upwards if it’s a steep hill.


Wow - just ignore that very confusing bit of advice. People are telling you to mount with your rear pedal slightly below horizontal. It doesn’t matter which foot you mount on. You do it the same either way.

The point is - start with the crank close to horizontal rather than close to vertical.

To make it still easier, start by walking and rolling the wheel until the cranks hit that position and then mount, so that you have a little bit of momentum in the wheel to push against when you jump up.

The previous posts by rob and tmoyer have good advice and should answer your questions about the technique. You can ignore the clock face terminology all together if that makes things easier.

To view the wheel as a clock face you need to turn the uni so that the side in question is facing you. On the right side if you position the pedal between 7 and 11 o’clock and then move so that you are standing behind the uni, the right pedal will be closer to you. On the left side it’s the opposite with positions between 1 and 5 o’clock putting the left pedal closer.

So, as davidp has just made clear (as mud), don’t use the clock describe pedal positions. It’s like telling someone to turn right when giving directions without a clear starting point.

What Crazy Stares initially described as his mount is what I refer to as a Dead Spot Mount. A static mount into the dead spot, which is hard to ride away from on level ground, and really hard on an uphill. Usually I use the Dead Spot Mount as an example of how not to mount.

Best way for a beginner to learn to mount is with a rollback, as you learn the most by doing it. Roll the rear pedal all the way past BDC (bottom dead center) until you can put your other foot on the now-rear opposite pedal and ride away.

For all-purpose use, a regular static or rolling mount is best. Those are done with the rear pedal either horizontal or a little lower (never above horizontal). The key to this one is “don’t let the wheel roll back”. Easy concept, but takes practice to learn. However, once you do learn it, you can use it everywhere. Especially on the uphill. Including on really bumpy trails. On a Coker.

Once you master not letting the wheel roll back (which only means to not unbend your knee when stepping on), you will learn to allow a moment for your body to get over and in front of the wheel’s center, so you can start to crank forward. Don’t start pedaling too soon or the wheel will still be in front of you.

That clears up a lot of things, thanks.

I find the roll-back mount easier on an uphill slope, and the static (or roll-forward) mount easier on the flat or downhill (at least on a small wheel - the roll-back always seems harder on a larger wheel). If you’re pointing uphill, the roll back is assisted by the slope and vice-versa for downhill slopes…

I agree with Martin above, except for on dirt. Rollbacks are more risky on dirt or irregular surfaces. Rollbacks are definitely larger/more involved the bigger the wheel gets. That’s why they’re semi-useless on a Coker. :slight_smile:

John’s right about roll-backs on dirt or soft surfaces: one covers the same ground twice, which can let the wheel dig itself in, and makes it harder to get moving away.

Okay. I spent a lot of time tonight working on both mounts, and I seem to have the hang of each, rollback and static horizontal mount.

I’m a little concerned about the rollback, it seems like when I step up, the right pedal only comes to vertical or barely-passed vertical, and I complete the rollback by pulling it the rest of the way with my right foot. Is this normal, or should it go all the way back by itself?

Also, I timed myself to see how fast I could go for a minute. I got 140 pedal rotations in on my 20" before I fell off at 45 seconds, which translates to 11.1 mph. Is this something I should be proud of? I think my cranks are 150mm.

Also also, I think I finally got idling down tonight. Hooray.

To cheat, turn the uni across the slope, mount then turn up the slope.

To cheat, find an uneven bit of the slope, or a pebble, that can act as a backstop for the wheel.

To not cheat, the higher the back pedal, the better (within common sense limits). I sometimes mount with the back pedal above the horizontal.

If you mount with the bottom pedal at 6 o’clock, then your top pedal is stalled at top dead centre - which is particularly bad if you are setting off uphill.

Keep as little weight on the back pedal as possible. The reason I sometimes put mine above the horizontal (say 2 o’clock) is that it seems to make the uni less likely to roll back unexpectedly, and if it does, the front pedal has further to move (so I have more time) before it passes top dead centre in the wrong direction.

Why is this cheating?

For the same reason as using your knees when rock climbing is cheating.

Why is using your knees when rock climbing cheating?

It’s not really cheating, but you do look a bit of a putz when you shove your knees into a rock to scramble up the thing.

Not kewl, not kewl at all.