I was struggling with my climbs, and not improving after concentrating on the discipline for almost a month. The breakthrough came when I switched from the WTB Dissent on my KH 29er to a Scwalbe Hans Dampf. Better, but still not able to climb without a great deal of effort. Tired-out much too quickly on the trail.
I tried the same setup on my KH 26er with 165mm cranks, and I couldn’t believe the difference. I can chug up the hills like a train, or fly up them in a sprint. This setup seems to suit my (nearly) 53 year old legs:
JT: I am afraid that jumping and some of the other-worldly techniques that you have mastered are a little bit out of reach for the rest of us mere mortals. I am going to attempt some of the sections of the Canebrake Trail as soon as I get up the nerve.
I love my 26er now, and while it is not the fastest dog in the hunt, it has enabled me to climb/descend much more comfortably at a lower heart rate.
Glad you found a setup that works for you. I went through a similar thing myself.
That WTB Dissent is a pig of a tire, at least the 29-inch version. I ditched mine for a Maxxis Ardent 2.4 and found it to be much more responsive. While the Ardent was good I’m now riding a Specialized Purgatory 2.4 and really like it. Tread is a little more aggressive and still relatively light weight. My buddy rides the Hans Damph and loves it. It’s a little heavier than the Ardent and Purgatory.
haskinsc: I am amazed at how critical tire pressure, tread and pattern, and tire weight are in a rider’s comfort level. In addition, the preference of one tire over the other is limitless. I enjoy the endless possibilities of this sport and this is exactly why it is so frustrating and never boring.
Unicycling offroad is the most fun I have had in a long time. I only wish that I had discovered this sport a long time ago!