A question for the “real mountain” bikers

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  • A question for the “real mountain” bikers
  • druidh
    Member

    Without wanting to get into the debate again, what methods have folk found to be the best/most comfortable for carrying bikes up mountains prior to descending?

    I’m gonna guess that frame and suspension design plays a major part in this. With rigid frames, it’s fairly easy to put the top tube on a shoulder. Wearing a rucksack can help as the weight can be put onto the rucksack shoulder strap. But what about all those suspension designs, especially with low/swoopy top tubes? Has anyone specifically ruled out a frame due to carrying issues?

    Carrying a marin full sus is virtually impossible. You cant get your arm through the frame and carrying it on my back means it gets caught in my rucksack nearly strangling me once. My partner has no problems shouldering her Specialized Epic

    what methods have folk found to be the best/most comfortable for carrying bikes up mountains prior to descending?

    Gondola

    DavidM
    Member

    I had this issue after going from a Hardtail Rockhopper to an 04 Enduro frame. Having just got back from the lakes, i find having one hand holding the fully up seatpost, and placing my other hand on the stem, at the stearer tube, with the low swoopy bit of the frame resting on the top of my camelbak works pretty well. Set a new record of ten minutes carrying without a rest. Hope thats helpful…

    IanMunro
    Member

    I tend to push and just pick up the bike for the really nasty stuff. I’ve had a couple of brown trouser moments when carrying where i’ve gone to grab a rock with my hands only to find a bit of the bike hits the rock first making me miss the hand hold. Now i just tend to the lob the bike up the rocks and clamber up afterwards. Also suffered a slightly embarassing moment once when i’d strapped the bike to the back of the rucksack for a tricky section only to find my feet waggling in mid air and me suspended from the rucksack as the bike got wedged in the chimney i was going down 🙂

    paule
    Member

    Depending on the saddle you’ve got, dropping the seat a bit, resting the seat on your shoulder and holding the bike under the downhube can work well. I seem to recall that rocky mountain used to sell their bikes with a pad under the saddle nose specifically for this purpose.

    Premier Icon stilltortoise
    Subscriber

    I’ve got a Whyte which is virtually the same design as the Quad Link Marin full sussers. I find it rests quite nicely on the top of my rucsac

    Premier Icon rickmeister
    Subscriber

    Easy. Get some small straps like the ones used to go around a Karimat or similar, using these loop around your Camelbak shoulder straps and bike frame. Sorted. make sure the chainring is on the outside and off you go….Bike strapped nicely on teh back of your pack. Funnily enough, works for my Marin and the GF’s Epic…..

    Onzadog
    Member

    I tend to lay the top tube across the top of the camelbak and loop my right arm over the stem/bars and my left arm over the saddle

    I don’t think there are any really satisfactory methods, but sideways across the back with the crossbar (or whatever) level with the shoulders seems to work, though sometimes it gets hooked up on the pack and you need someone else to help untangle it…

    Just ride the damn thing 👿

    GaVgAs
    Member

    yep as sfb says,keeping as much weight across your back is best for a full sus frame,As a rider with a weak back To lift the bike i have found proping the back wheel into the air while suporting the weight of the bike with the front tyre helps.I then crouch down and grab the nearside fork leg, and let the bike drop onto your back.

    To take it off your back I try to find a high point on the trail,or get someone to lift it off for you,If you have a hardtail i have found putting your head through the frame makes a hudge difference to comfort levels and its much easier to balance the bike and spread the weight around your shoulders.

    paule – Member

    ………… resting the seat on your shoulder and holding the bike under the downhube can work well. ………….

    This is what I do – altho thats mainly for getting up the stairs into my flat as I dislike pushing the bike for long and will do my best to avoid carrying it if at all possible. But I do like being out in the real mountains

    tom84
    Member

    same as onzadog here

    djglover
    Member

    When I’ve been up Helvellyn or Nan Bield with a FS. The method of choice was hooking the saddle over my shoulder with a bit of padding underneath (a glove)

    grumm
    Member

    resting the seat on your shoulder and holding the bike under the downhube can work well

    This. Can sometimes hook the seat on my rucksack too which works quite well on my Pitch.

    Swayndo
    Member

    I pushed a fair bit of the Landy track up Mullach Clach a’ Blair the day. Over in Torridon I tend to do some carrying, mostly in front of me on stepped rock. Shoulders are a bit stiff for over the top manoeuvres.

    GNARGNAR
    Member

    druidh
    what methods have folk found to be the best/most comfortable for carrying bikes up mountains prior to descending?

    A question for the “real mountain” bikers

    In that case it has to be the back of a truck.

    Inzane
    Member

    I use the seat on my shoulder carry when I am climbing up singletrack that has trees on both sides, but often swap to top tube across back asap as I find top tube across shoulders much more comfortable.

    Cant climb through the trees with top tube across shoulders because the bike is too wide and you end up having to walk sideways to try and fit it between trees.

    I find that even with the seat down my bike is a bit too long to carry comfortably on my shoulder as the front wheel wants to bang into the trail. As the hill gets steeper and rougher this gets worse and worse.

    On the epic rides we often carry for up to an hour to get to the top of the hill…

    gusamc
    Member

    with one rucksack I was able to hook the bike on that and that was pretty good. I usually pull the bike up via one hand on stem

    juan
    Member

    Now that is a thread where I can be of most use 😉
    if it’s for a short period of time 5-10 minute having the diagonal tube sitting on my shoulder is fine. If it’s for more 15-55 minutes I usually carry it resting on the rugsac, one hand holding the fork and the other arouns the seat post.

    We are talking FS here RM switch. No doubt that a HT or others bikes might have more convenient ways to be carried up.

    Juan, I just tried this method of having the down tube resting on your shoulder / backpack straps yesterday and it’s fantastic! I was shown it by the Spanish guys out here who all use it, was sceptical at first but it’s the only really comfortable position I’ve found to carry a bike. Carried it for about an hour that way on Saturday.

    I’ve also used the tie it to the rucksack option but the problem there if you’re on dodgy terrain is that it feels like if you fell you could get pulled off the trail by your bike and it’s be hard to jetison it. I had to do a small bit of that via ferranti type stuff on fixed ropes with my bike on this route that I got lost on a month ago and that was the only way it was possible to do it and still have two hands free for the ropes, felt really dodgy.

    Inzane
    Member

    eh? downtube on your shoulder. Is the bike upside down??

    druidh
    Member

    Inzane – Member

    eh? downtube on your shoulder. Is the bike upside down??

    I can see how that might work…..

    Premier Icon matt_outandabout
    Subscriber

    I just have the top-tube across shoulders – hold seatpost in one hand, handlebars in the other. Works for ‘shorter’ yomps and carries just fine.
    For longer ones I have an old rucsac accessory strap, and I strap the top tube to my rucsac. I find I have to cinch up the rucsac quite firmly, and it still takes and hand on the bars or post to stop it wobbling too much/bars smacking you in the face, but its less ‘arm’ work for a longer carry.

    Nope, downtube on shoulder with bike above you and cranks behind shoulder. Move forward and back to find balance point and hand up onto stem for balance. I was totally skeptical when I saw it but like I said yesterday I tried it and it was a revelation! Watch out for low branches is all I say! I’ll see if I can find a photo of someone carrying like this or if not I can take one next time I’m out with someone.

    Before this the best solution I had was to drop the seat to about half height and turn it about 30degs towards the left. Then it sat on my shoulder OK but the seat digs in in a way the downtube doesn’t and also on steep ground / traverses the wheels hit the ground which hurts like hell.

    Try it, might not be for everyone but everyone that I’ve met out here does it this way and it certainly works for me! A bit of muscle to get it up there I guess but once it’s there it’s great.

    Ride a cove hustler if that makes any difference!

    druidh
    Member

    Lots of food for thought here. I was more thinking about whether carry-ability should affect frame choice, (small main triangles filled with shocks and rockers making it more difficult), but still interesting to hear of different carrying methods.

    Premier Icon Sanny
    Subscriber

    Downtube across the shoulders works best if you have a bashring. The alternative if you slip could be very nasty indeed. I always go for the crossbar over the shoulders with the bike balanced on the top of my rucksack. It works with my 5 Spot so I suspect would work with pretty much any bike. I go for the saddle and bars holding option. Now if someone would invent a rucksack with bike carrying straps, that would be awesome!

    Cheers

    Sanny

    Brycey
    Member

    Carried my Commencal Supreme DH up a hill at the weekend and I can safely say there’s no easy way of doing it! Balancing it on the ruck sack was the best I could manage, but it wasn’t ideal.

    Alright sanny! You can sort of tie the bike into my rucksack (havok or something) and like I say works well if you need both hands! Yeah, could be nasty with the chainrings but if you fall it’s really easy to ditch the bike which is the problem I’ve found with it tied to the rucksack, on one section I got stuck and came really close to being pulled of the rockface backwards by my bike because I couldn’t change the position of it or ditch it easily.

    Guess it’s a case of here’s all the options, choose according to bike / body / terrain!

    james
    Member

    Potentially hands free

    Open front triangle (no bottle cages either) design only though

    Do excuse the driveside trouser protector though ..

    jojoA1
    Member

    Depending on the terrain I use these two methods.

    On the longest carry of my life (SITS 2008) It was mostly the first pic method.

    peachos
    Member

    did snowdon on saturday and used the downtube on shoulder method as it’s probably the only real way i can get my norco up and out of the way. the saddle method wont work on the steep stuff as you’ll end up with the front wheel hitting the ground and pedals in the shins/thighs. anyway, downtube on shoulder (i used the camelback hose for padding) holding fork & chainstay for balance. managed to do this up the steep bits for up to 30mins in strong winds. not bad for a 16kg bike.

    coogan
    Member

    *shudders at the memory*

    jojoA1
    Member

    Coogan, give us a clue? Are you Irish, Embra or Glaisga?

    Inzane
    Member

    hmmm I have been seriously thinking about making a hook system to run off the straps of my camelbak that I can hook the top tube of the bike onto and walk up the hills…

    Then it would be possible to walk along, hook bike onto hooks. Climb hill and simply unhook the bike to put it down…

    Anyone done this? Hmmm maybe mould a carbon fibre one??

    juan
    Member

    Jojo’s shot is exactly what I meant…
    OT’s about the best if you are on the small side of the human scale and have a biggish bike

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