Hill Climbing???

Question about hill climbing:
Does anyone else get extra leverage to climb really steep &/or long hills by PUSHING DOWN on your KNEES with your HANDS? Or is it just me?

I use this technique all the time on roadbikes, just to give a leg some rest, but I am wondering, does anyone else does this? --chirokid–

the olny times i have used this is when i am extreamly tired and going up a extream hill. For me it olny seems to help if you hold on the seat with the other hand. Maby is just all in our heads.


I dothat when I’m really tired or going up a steep hill. It helps me quite a bit, I think.

Push on the knees and tug on the seat, yup, I did both on my way up Elk Knob!

If you’re not pulling up on your seat or handle, you’re not getting all the power that’s available to you. Pushing down on your knees works for “seated climbing,” in other words going up a long hill that’s maybe not so steep that you need big power, but long enough to make you want to stay seated.


On Thu, 7 Aug 2003 00:44:49 -0500, chirokid <chirokid.rs13q@timelimit.unicyclist.com> wrote:

>Does anyone else get extra leverage to climb really steep &/or long
>hills by PUSHING DOWN on your KNEES with your HANDS?

I don’t do that. I pull on the seat handle with one hand and I need the other hand/arm to flail around for balance. I have done the hand-pushing thing on a bike but I think it is mostly of symbolic value.

Klaas Bil

I’ve done the hand pushing thing, but generally not for MUni. Once again, usually on the not so steep, yet very long hills. Otherwise, this technique leads to frequent UPD’s. With the steep hills, using the hand-pushing technique pushes you out of your seat. Pulling on the handle keeps you seated and gives you more power, but is also more tiring.

Thanks for all your thoughts guys. I have never tried to hold the seat going up hill, just the knee pushing thing. Of cousre, my seat has no handle to pull on, but I will give it a try anyway. Hopefully, the no handle thing will change soon, as I see a KH24 in my near future (hope my wife see the same thing :D)

I rode a hill on Monday that was 1/2 mile long and was mostly a constant 9 degree, or a 15.8 percent grade. Is that considered a big hill? BTW, it was all paved, with curbs, all the way to the top. I had no UPD, no touches or rests at all, and then turned and rode back down the hill. All this with no rests, stops or UPDs. I just rode a steady, yet slow, pace all the way up the hill. I did use the hands on knees push some though.

Tuesday, I didn’t unicycle any, I just walked 4 miles. Wednesday, I rode a relatively flat course for 4.25 miles, and even the mildest hill KILLED my thighs. Boy, were my thighs sore. Actually, they felt like they would BREAK IN HALF anytime I flexed them. I guess I need to ride more hills. :slight_smile: Shucks, one day I might even ride up the Great Smoky Mountains… naaahhh! --chirokid–

This is the type of hill that I would probably use my hands on my legs for. Since it was paved, there wasn’t too much danger of uneven terrain causing a UPD. Besides, you said you made it to the top without a UPD, right? Then your technique worked. Go with what works for you (unless it involves injuring me somehow…)

Re: Hill Climbing???

On Thu, 7 Aug 2003 20:33:39 -0500, paco
<paco.rtk74@timelimit.unicyclist.com> wrote:

>hand-pushing technique pushes you out of your seat. Pulling on the
>handle keeps you seated and gives you more power, but is also more

When climbing steep hills it helps me to /stand/ on the pedals. That
way my legs are more efficient at transmitting power to the wheel. So
in that case handle-pulling doesn’t keep me seated (duh) but it still
allows me to pedal more forcefully.

Klaas Bil - Newsgroup Addict

I go a sort of ok speed on my Coker… - Roger Davies

On the steep hills I lock my arm and grip the front of the seat. This allows me to ride “out of the saddle” and really push the cranks hard. I used this technique both on road on the Coker (with 110 cranks) and on Muni but for different reasons. On road I just need the power (if you think I live in a flat area think again!). Off road I use this technique to allow for control and power, the unicycle just seams to follow me and weave up the hill.


I use a pulsing motion when it gets steep. I saw Bronson Silva do this on level ground as he got on his MUni at last year’s Cal MUni weekend. Whether he was trying to pulse, I can’t say, it just appeared that way as I observed.

I do this as others have said, by pulling on the handle and pushing down hard on the pedals.

I have started doing this on steep inclines and blending my body movement over the top just as a stall appears to take shape. My hand is linked strongly to the handle and I am out of the saddle. Most of the time I get a few more rotations using this method, but it is now trashing my knees. So maybe I will just walk when it gets this steep.

I think some riders like to keep the spinning even.

great technique

I have been using this method for years and many climbs. Other riders. seem to be talking about holding on to your seat for more power. Sounds good, but this technique that I call “4 posting” is used when you are all out of power and all you have is your JELLY LEGS. It is used to maintain a steady climb while trying to reoxygenate your body. It is hard to get your energy back while continuing up hill. 4 posting works great.

I’ve done a number of Mountain climb bike races, but I’ve never gotten much success from the hands-pressing-down-on-thighs technique. Using the handle for leverage works well, but standing up (for me) is exhausting, especially if the uphill is continuous and sustained.

The races I’ve entered are on pavement, but take well over an hour to almost two hours of pure uphill riding.

The stand up thing is forbiddingly tiring for such a time-frame. The only time I stand is to cross to the high side of a banked turn or when climbing steep (but FAR shorter) muni hills.