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How to hillstart on a steep lane

Posted: 31 Aug 2018, 2:30pm
by NetworkMan
Picture this. I am riding up a steep, narrow, Devon lane with brambles at one side and possibly grass up the middle. I am in my ~25" gear and struggling at perhaps 3-5 mph. A car comes up behind and because we are going slowly it starts to make threatening noises with it's engine as the driver repeatedly slips the clutch. The lane is too narrow for the massive 4x4 to get by even if I stop so we carry on for a while until eventually there is a farm gate or the road gets wider. I stop and he passes.
Trouble is I can't get started again. I lift one pedal, push firmly down and try to get the other foot into the clip but before I can do that I just stall. I can sometimes get moving with one foot clipped in, the other not, but then I can't always get it clipped in before stalling again. The 'scoot' start won't work either.
Any suggestions? I suppose I could try a higher gear with a firmer push but it's not easy to change since the bike isn't moving.

Re: How to hillstart on a steep lane

Posted: 31 Aug 2018, 3:03pm
by mjr
1. Ride unclipped to the top of the hill?
2. Do a car-style hill start to get more of a burst: apply back brake, apply pressure to the pedals and release the back brake before you fall over.
3. If there's space or a side turning, ride across the hill to get clipped in and then turn uphill.
4. Walk to the top. It sounds like it won't be much slower.

Re: How to hillstart on a steep lane

Posted: 31 Aug 2018, 3:16pm
by crazydave789
fall over in front of car, threaten to sue for dangerous driving unless they take you to the top.

Re: How to hillstart on a steep lane

Posted: 31 Aug 2018, 3:20pm
by foxyrider
Well i'd normally suggest an across lane start but it sounds like the lane is too narrow, especially if there is vegetation in the middle.

Hold onto the gate so you are already clipped to set off?

Annoying as it may be, walking to a less steep/wider bit of road may be the easiest solution.

Re: How to hillstart on a steep lane

Posted: 31 Aug 2018, 3:22pm
by Marcus Aurelius
Clip your right foot in, push off from the top of the pedal circle with your left foot just resting on the pedal / providing back up power only, when you’ve got enough momentum built up clip the other foot in.

Re: How to hillstart on a steep lane

Posted: 31 Aug 2018, 3:32pm
by PH
This is the way I do it, unless I decide it's easier to walk 50/50

1) Lift the rear wheel
2) change up a couple of gears
3) get started
4) change down again.

With an IGH skip 1)

Re: How to hillstart on a steep lane

Posted: 31 Aug 2018, 3:38pm
by Mick F
If you're already in bottom gear, there's no way to change down by spinning the wheel.

Fallen off. Lots. :oops:

When you stop, don't unclip, but lean against the LH bank. If you can't, keep going until you can.
Done it millions of times, but I had to learn that by stopping and unclipping meant disaster.
Only other option, is to go downhill and clip in, then turn round to head back uphill. Difficult if the road is narrow of course.

This is me speaking.
Hills are a way of life, and people who don't understand what it's like living in a place with steep narrow lanes, will never understand the issues of day-to-day life as a cyclist in rural Devon and Cornwall.

Re: How to hillstart on a steep lane

Posted: 31 Aug 2018, 3:51pm
by PH
Mick F wrote:If you're already in bottom gear, there's no way to change down by spinning the wheel.

Change up
This makes the first push off harder but gets you more time to place the other foot.

Re: How to hillstart on a steep lane

Posted: 31 Aug 2018, 4:16pm
by ian peacock
Turn round, go to bottom of hill, try again. I do this regularly, and the bonus is: you get fitter.

Re: How to hillstart on a steep lane

Posted: 31 Aug 2018, 4:17pm
by whoof
PH wrote:This is the way I do it, unless I decide it's easier to walk 50/50

1) Lift the rear wheel
2) change up a couple of gears
3) get started
4) change down again.

With an IGH skip 1)

+1

Re: How to hillstart on a steep lane

Posted: 31 Aug 2018, 4:52pm
by Xilter
Let the 4X4 make angry noises behind you. They chose to get up your back side rather than wait ( either at the bottom or even apply the hand brake ) for you to crest the hill.

Or grab onto the back of it as it passes you

Re: How to hillstart on a steep lane

Posted: 31 Aug 2018, 4:56pm
by NetworkMan
PH wrote:
Mick F wrote:If you're already in bottom gear, there's no way to change down by spinning the wheel.

Change up
This makes the first push off harder but gets you more time to place the other foot.

Yes, I had considered it (see my post) but I haven't actually tried.
Have you tried it Mick?

Re: How to hillstart on a steep lane

Posted: 31 Aug 2018, 5:03pm
by Mick F
Did you read my post? :wink:

Steep lane.
Bottom gear.
Change up a gear to get moving?
You must be joking.

Re: How to hillstart on a steep lane

Posted: 31 Aug 2018, 5:09pm
by Mick F
PS
Off out shortly, so can't get back to this thread for a while.

Steep lane.
Bottom gear and you have to stop.
Only way of doing this successfully is to stop and lean or hold on to something.

Once up in West Scotland up a long and steep hill, I found a tree branch I could hold onto, then when I got my breath back, I let go and carried on.

Changing up a gear is not always an option as sometimes the road is way too steep.
Come round here, and I'll show you some steep hills. :wink:

Re: How to hillstart on a steep lane

Posted: 31 Aug 2018, 5:10pm
by Vetus Ossa
Mick F wrote:If you're already in bottom gear, there's no way to change down by spinning the wheel.

Fallen off. Lots. :oops:

When you stop, don't unclip, but lean against the LH bank. If you can't, keep going until you can.
Done it millions of times, but I had to learn that by stopping and unclipping meant disaster.
Only other option, is to go downhill and clip in, then turn round to head back uphill. Difficult if the road is narrow of course.

This is me speaking.
Hills are a way of life, and people who don't understand what it's like living in a place with steep narrow lanes, will never understand the issues of day-to-day life as a cyclist in rural Devon and Cornwall.


That's very true, and in my experience the vast majority of mororist's are fairly understanding but of course you will always get the odd idiot.
Being an ebike rider it is much easier to start on hills, on VERY steep ones you always have the luxury of using turbo mode to pull away :)