Advice on taking on hills

So I'm on a weight loss journey, but with Storm (my name for my Rover) I've already lost about 40lbs, and I've logged over 120 miles in 6 weeks of riding it.
Hills are so hard. I ride with my wife and the instant I hit a hill I have her ride in front of me so she doesn't run into me because I stop!
I can overcome them (and do! Often!) but I was wondering if there is any advice experienced riders could give me to handle uphill.. easier.

Thank you in advance!


  • congratulations on starting the journey!

    if turning the cranks at 60 rpm in first gear doesnt work for you on climbs, you can replace your chainring with a lasco 22-32-44 triple crankset and use the 22-tooth ring until your recumbent muscles and riding style call for more teeth. [the chainguard will keep you from discovering just how sharp those teeth are]

    depends on type of rear hub, you might get an acceptable first gear for your flavor of hills going to a 12-34 megarange shimano cassette or, with a nexus, going to a larger drive sprocket. discover the lowest gear that works for you first, then worry about the upper end of the gear-inch spread.
  • Yeah a couple of the hills I usually ride I have to take in 1st gear (I have an internal shifter).

    The internal shifter sometimes disappoints me because I have to stop pedaling to shift, and then I lose steam so instead of losing 1-2 gears sometimes I have to physically stop the bike, shift to first and then start the climb again. It's very embarrassing but when I get stuck I've got no choice :(.
  • By the way that link looks AWESOME, I am very short (5'3"). This would probably help me quite a bit!
  • As you ride more your shifts between pedaling gets shorter. I agree it is still annoying.

    ¬ ITL
  • edited June 2017
    not so tall folks and those with bad knees have found the lascos a blessing.
    sounds like you have a sturmey hub. if so, your current is somewhere around 24-77 gear-inches, not well-suited to climbing. cant do anything with the rear drive sprocket on a sturmey but dropping your front chainring to 22 teeth will shift the gearing range to 16-53 gear-inches, likely make for pleasant climbs.

    if 16 g.i. is too low, costs about $7 to change the drive gear to fewer teeth to get a range that fits you.
  • Make the engine stronger
  • Dog, leash pull. :)

    ¬ ITL
  • edited June 2017
    The problem with a recumbent is the weight is being pulled up the hill. Also, it's hard to get off and walk the trike like a 2-wheeler. Most have solved this problem with an electric assist motor. I haven't done that so far but Florida doesn't have massive hills.

    My son is about to move here with his two great danes. I was wondering if they would help me climb hills. It will take a lot of training!
  • If u have a rack on the back just lift that and walk Trike up the hill.
  • Easier to stop, not going to fall over. Put the parking brakes on, catch your breath, drink some water, stretch the legs. Go when you're ready.

    ¬ ITL
  • I found, when I first started riding the tad that it was possible to sort-of 'tow' the trike. Basically, took a dog leash and put one loop around the brake handle on one side, and made a loop using the dog-end around the other brake handle. (long leash). It was possible to pull the trike up a hill without having the front end want to turn sharply left or right.

    Later on, I used a 1" PVC tube with two holes for the flag posts, which mount into the seat posts. On either end, I have a 90 degree bend in order to mount a couple of strong rear-facing lights. I found that when so mounted, pushing the trike using this PVC tube allowed for a sort of steering control over the front wheels... I've noticed postings where trike owners have mounted the front handlebars of a DF on the back to do the push steering... but the PVC tube is much lighter.
  • I just grab the rear wheel and go
  • Nexus 8 in the back with a Patterson Transmission up front. . . I can climb a wall with that setup! Don't get me wrong - sometimes it would be quicker to get off and push the trike up the hill but if I'm on my trike, I'm not in a hurry. Just keep spinning and I get to the top. . . Eventually.
  • Amen! its the principle of the thing - the walk of shame should be reserved for 2-wheel people.
  • Still need a engine to spin.
  • true, but if you cant do a hill at 10 gear-inches then time to invest in electric assist and preserve the engine.
  • I would never get off the trike mid-ride because it's too difficult for me. If needed, I have put my feet down and pushed to move the trike in a different direction or to go back up a slight incline. There were all kinds of issues at stop lights when I rode in the city.
  • edited June 2017
    JamesR, Or choose a different route.
  • I ride on the American Tobacco Trail with my new Rambler AT, at the southern end it's gravel and the last 100 yards is up hill with a steep grade on the last 50. the 2 times that I have been there my back wheel starts to slip and I just can't make it up. Never had this problem on my DF. I am determined to make it up this hill, only problem is that it is the last of a 30 mile ride.
  • edited June 2017
    Saw a video of two Greenspeeds heading up an incline with loose dirt. Oddly they weighted down the panniers and rack pack with rocks as they too had no traction. Might be worth a try.

    ¬ ITL
  • have you tried dropping the rear tire [if smart sam] to 30 psi before the final climb?

    having 60 pounds in panniers did not help a rover with 20x2.125 big apple plus at 50 psi in wet grass climbs. replacing rear tire with a maxxiss maxxdaddy 20x2.0 at 40 psi did.
Sign In or Register to comment.