Soft pedaling is what we refer to as making your feet feel light in order to pedal into a clean gear change. When approaching a steep incline we want to make as many gear changes prior to the hill. However, when that inevitable gear change happens on the hill you want to focus your weight onto your seat and bottom and not mash down hard on the pedals while shifting to an easier gear. Clean gear changes are important in maintaining your bike’s longevity and not wearing on its drive train. You shouldn’t hear harsh noises or gears jumping around while shifting, keep it light and smooth.
Here Doug exaggerates mashing all of his weight onto his pedals by standing while biking uphill. Soft pedaling as a concept is more of a feeling, which is hard to illustrate through a photograph. It’s a tool you’ll find useful in correcting that awful crunch sound of an abrupt gear shift. You know the one I’m talking about, the sound that makes you cringe thinking you’ve just broken your chain.
Again, it’s hard to describe this week’s concept with a photograph. Here Doug bikes uphill and focuses his weight on his seat and bottom, making his feet feel light, like a feather. This allows for a smooth gear shift, one that’s music to your ears.
We hope you enjoy our weekly mountain bike tips. Please remember that they can help but will not eliminate risks, as mountain biking is a dynamic sport. These tips are meant to help you build skills and progress for a more enjoyable mountain biking experience.