Hints on riding up gravel inclines

I’m having trouble trying to go up slight grades in a gravel pit. I can go up steeper inclines on pavement without a problem, but the gravel is a problem. I seem to be spinning out, on both the Duro and Hookworm. Hints? It isn’t the bumpiness, seems to be more the loose dirt.

Sounds like you are trying too hard, or don’t know your own strength :stuck_out_tongue:

I suppose practice is the only way, just like when learning to get up sealed inclines. :slight_smile:

Too much torque at once. Try and pedal in circles ‘pointing’ your toes and foot at the bottom of each revolution to get a little more than just the down stroke.

Also pedals with pins that keep your shoes in place and plenty of upward pull on the saddle with the arm that’s not waving around should make for more uniform power delivery. Smooth it out.

Works (sorta) for me. It is good that you have the strength to loose traction. Lower pressure might give more tire grip too.


A huge part of it is picking your route. Tiny differences in the steepness and the depth of the gravel will make a huge difference to your chances of staying on. Pick the best route through the “maze”.

If the gravel is really loose, it’s going to be difficult. Try to keep the wheel as straight as possible, and pedal as smoothly as possible. Use the handle, if you’re not already. Try to get up a little momentum before you reach the incline, and keep that momentum going up. It doesn’t have to be fast, just smooth.

If you are into changing your equipment to reach certain goals you could try the next size smaller cranks.

Shorter cranks will help smooth out your ride and prevent the spikes in torque that are braking your wheel free in the gravel.

Once you get smoother at climbing with the shorter cranks you can probably switch back but keep the smoothness that you have (hopefully) committed to muscle memory.

Oh and pick you line, avoid going strait up the loose bits, etc, etc.

Found an answer

We’ll I made it up one of the small inclines. I think part of the problem was that I was looking down too close to the wheel. When I started focusing more on the top of the hill, I made it. Maybe a hint for others.