Unrealistic uphill MUni expectations?

Aside from hopping & pecking your way up short steep sections, is it realistic to ride up miles of trails like this?

I’m surrounded by endless single track mountain riding and am getting frustrated by my inability to climb stuff. Admittedly, I haven’t been riding all that long and have a generic Nimbus 24, but I’ve notice in uni movies that most of the riders are carrying the uni uphill and just riding down.


it’s doable, yeah, but not a lot of fun…and by the time you reach the top, and are ready for the fun part, you’re too tired to enjoy it. yeah, I’d just carry it up, or find some other way to the top…

Real men ride up the climbs.

It is reasonable to ride up climbs like that. The ruts and loose dirt and rocks in that picture will make the climb much more difficult than a well maintained fire road or logging road.

If bikes are riding up the climb then it is reasonable for a unicycle to be able to ride up the same climb. However there are some technical climbs that bikes will be able to do but unicycles will have a very difficult time. Bikes can roll over uphill steps easier than unicycles.

Riding up off-road climbs takes practice and fitness. You have to learn the right technique. Once you learn the technique the climbs become easier.

I personally have become addicted to just these kinds of uphill climbs. They used to seem impossibly difficult and now they are just difficult. If you keep giving these kinds of hills a good effort, you will start to build endurance and you will start to surprise yourself.

It is debatable how FUN this type of riding is. What IS fun is riding bigger sections of every trail you ride each time you ride it. That includes the uphill tests of mettle.

Downhill, to me, is about 20x easier than uphill. So if you begin to be able to climb those, it will say a lot about your ability to ride. It’s worth the effort.

The climb LOOKS very doable.
(Looks can be deceiving - we’d need a long shot to get a better idea of the steepness.)

If I were doing this climb (regularly) I would begin to time how fast I make it up the hill. I think the climb could be fun with an “agressive” attitude and speed.

I do a climb like that almost every other day. Only steeper, and usually muddier. It’s more than easily do-able, go for it.

just grab your seat and go! I’m working on a trail like that myself, yours maybe a little steeper I can’t tell. I made it about halfway up the other day and I was smiling ear to ear and laughing out loud! I couldn’t wait to get back to the house and tell my wife all about it. (she couldn’t care less but she’s a good sport!)

I tried to make it up this hill one time, and made it about 10 feet up (the easy, less steep part) BTW, thats my sister at te top. She had a fall on that hill where she started to glide (or coast, I always get those two confused, but anyway…) amd hit a bump, got air and landed it, all gliding. It was fun to watch:D


…uphill. Who cares about one’s ability to ride? What is this, a contest? I ride for fun, not to measure my skills against my riding partners’.

I agree that it’s doable, but not very fun. Some people are masochists and love the uphill crank, saying it makes the ride downhill even sweeter, but I am not of that breed. I like to save muscle, energy and the contents of my camel-pak for the downhill trek, so that I can savor every bit of the trail like tasty little bits of slow-roasted prime rib with a smattering of horseradish on top. Yummy!

I guess once I get a brake on my Muni I won’t need so much muscle on the mega-downhills and I can spend more time cranking the uphills, but even then, that doesn’t make the uphills exactly fun. What I really need is some sort of Batman-like mini-harpoon that I can latch onto passing MTBer’s so they can help tow me up the steep parts :slight_smile:

I’m pretty much a dedicated downhiller, and if you’ve ever done any hard downhill rolling you’ll know how cardio this can be. Just the same I find uphill grinds challenging, boring, and macho. Being able to punch out short steep uphills is essential for Muni; grinding out hills is really more of a personal fitness project kind of thing. But everyone defines Muni a little different–usually according to their local terrain–so to each his own.

I have a thre mile single track close by my crib and featuring some super steep sirt descents mixed in with wicked uphill stretches. I dream of being able to grind out the whole thing, but I’m not even close so far . . . Gives me something to shoot for.


There is a feeling you get after nailing a monster climb that you’ve attempted but failed many times before. Fun downhills may make you think “wow, that was fun” but it isn’t a pinch on the satisfaction of conquering a Personal Everest; you can collapse in a heap at the top knowing that you’ve DONE IT!!!

I love uphill riding on its own; the gravity karma on the way down again is an added bonus.


It’s pleasant to be able to say “I rode all the flat and downhill sections of that ride with no UPDs”, but it’s better to be able to say “I cleaned the whole thing.” Riding uphill is not always fun, but it’s certainly technically challenging; the techniques involved are related to heartrate and muscular management.

If I’m out for a ride that isn’t at risk of tiring me out, I’ll try to ride the whole thing. At someplace like the Slickrock Trail I’ll bail on some of the uphills because I know I’m going to be wasted at the end of the ride.

The differenence in focus might have to do with whether you come, as I do, from a road biking background, as opposed to skateboarding.

This is the reason I moved on to mountain bike from longboard - sick of walking up hills all the time :slight_smile: Carving down is neat, but cranking is much better exercise. I say go for the uphills, challenge yourself. You will be surprised how far you can get. Consider longer cranks if you do this kind of climbing routinely.

I’m into MUni touring more anything else, although I also admit that I have the defective gene that enjoys long, painful climbs. I end up riding a lot of loop trails and try to find the easier way up, then the fun way down. The local ski resorts usually have mellow access roads going up, then you can ride single track for the descent, which is perfect. But even the mellow rides have a minimum of 1,000’ of climbing involved with some steep sections.

Here’s an example of an easy Park City ride - GlenHawk

Of the people who are into long, rough climbs, what size wheel are you riding?

Probably the biggest single off-road climb I’ve done was Mount Tamalpais, up Old Railroad Grade. That is a very even 5% fire road, with total climb of some 2000’; I did it on my 26x3.0" with 170mm cranks.

The 24 Hours of Adrenaline course at Laguna Seca boasts some 1500’ of climbing; about half of that is on bumpy singletrack, and half is fire road. I did two laps on a 29x2.1" with 150mm cranks; I wasn’t able to ride much of the bumpy singletrack (especially at night).

Of course you have (Is this normal?!?).

You’re one of the original dawn patrol, right? During my incarceration at the GMD lodge I never let a day go by without at least climbing up Flagstaff. Gotta have endorphins. And it does make the descent sweeter.

My KH29 is great for trail uphills, even steep ones, as long as they’re not too long. It’s so light and covers ground well, even in the one-hand-on-saddle pulling-for-leverage position. And for cruising flats and downhills, it’s like butter. However, when the hills are very long AND steep, the mashing gets too hard. See my Whiteface ride story for gory details on that subject: http://home.nycap.rr.com/rduhan/race2005/

Don’t tell my wife, but I’m looking at getting a KH24 Freeride for the gnarlier stuff.

I’m a bit in the middle. It really depends on the trail: If it’s a somewhat long, steep uphill where i doubt whether i can do it, i might go for it, assuming I think I’ll have energy for any descent or further climbs that may follow. If it’s a long boring slog and i have nowhere i need to be (unlimited time) I’ll walk it and save some tread for trail that’s worth my time.

With that in mind, I generally ride long uphills if I care, but still, the best trails are all downhill. I agree with vivalgro, all downhill trails can be just as exhausting, if not more. A day of Northstar double black diamond trails is nothing to thumb your nose at.

Downhill is a lot of fun. Uphills like this, however, are extremely satisfying to finally conquer. I love uphill challenges. I don’t measure my progress against my ability to ride down hills. Except for drops, I can ride down everything on any course I regularly ride. I do find a lot of personal progress when I conquer a new uphill, though. There are still lots of challenges for me in that space.

The Oympic Mt. Bike course in Conyers, GA has some horrific granite uphills. I’ve done all the parts even when I haven’t put them all together in a single ride, i.e., sans UPD. But I keep trying.

You can do this! Keep us posted. And good luck!

That’s just an amazing story to read, cheers!