Pinkbike Poll: How Do You Prefer to Get to the Top of a Descent?

Apr 19, 2019
by Daniel Sapp  
Shooting the Dream Shuttle with Eric Porter and Todd Romano
I'd take that for a shuttle.

It's no big debate, descending on two wheels is a lot of fun. Most riders will argree that it's more fun than climbing, and I would wager that, as a sport, mountain biking has largely lost its desire for technical climbing in favor of technical descending - a whole other discussion in and of itself. No matter how you look at it, you've gotta get up to get down.

How and where we all ride continues to evolve and change. There are more places to ride than ever before, and whether whether you're gaining elevation under your own power, with an electric motor that helps turn those cranks, a chairlift, or a shuttle vehicle, there's a wide variety of ways to get to the top of a hill.

Chairlift life...

So, how do you prefer to ride and then how do you end riding most of the time?

Do you only ride park? Does sitting in the back of a shuttle truck with your buddies then ripping downhill sound like your ideal ride? Or is pedal powered the only way to go?

What is your preferred way to the top of the trail?


How do you most often get to the top of the trail?





216 Comments

  • + 202
 Climbing makes me feel good, in that strange way that pushing through pain does, but I ride for the thrill of the descent. Otherwise I would just run on the trails.
  • + 198
 Running sucks!
  • + 92
 I think you're doing it wrong. I quite enjoy it. That and no one makes bikes for me. Or downhill pants.
  • + 17
 I would have to get used to not pedaling up, takes a few climbs to forget about real life and go into Moto mode and smash downhills
  • + 33
 Exactly, climbing is part of the experience though I do not particularly enjoy it!
  • + 6
 @MX298: Great way to find new trails though. Much easier to work your way through the woods without dragging a bike.
  • + 68
 When I am old I'll be telling kids how when I was young people were able to pedal a bicycle all over town, all over the continent and over mountains...without motors. They won't believe me, but I'll still tell them.
  • + 26
 When I was younger it was shuttles or no ride. Now when I look at a new bike to buy I'm curious as to how well the bike climbs. Uphill is slow and hardly gets the adrenalin going, but when you hit the top it makes that descent feel like a proper achievement.
  • + 2
 @kathwill: that’s called a hike or a trail work day!
  • + 24
 There is something deeply satisfying about grinding, grunting and eventually conquering some nasty, techy, total bastard of a climb then riding off while flipping it the bird and telling it to go fk itself. Makes the downs feel so worth it
  • + 26
 Pedaling up 75% of time makes me appreciate the chairlift days even more!
  • + 7
 Chairlift are awesome
  • + 2
 @OzMike: Agreed. After some hard crashes and broken bones while pushing/progressing in other activities I've come to appreciate the tamer pedaly trails and punchy, techy climbs over gnarly descents. It's also why I picked up a Mojo 3 instead of a 150-160mm rig. Thing is a rocket when on the pedals!
  • + 3
 @ssip: what about a Hardtail then?
  • + 3
 @OzMike: We used to push our way up the hill, not enough shuttle access.
  • + 2
 @IamTheDogEzra: my dog tends to pant more on the uphills.
  • + 5
 @Muckal: I started mtbing way back on a hardtail (probably like most) and I remember everyone saying, "Oh you're on a hardtail, you'll rocket up this climb" but then got my first full suspension (Spesh Pitch) and was blown away with how much more traction there was on the climbs that I do here (dry, loose-overhardpack, rocky socal) especially on the techier stuff. I was definitely faster up climbs on that bike and having ridden Santa Cruz 5010s, Felt Compulsions and Spesh SJ Evos, the Mojo 3 is just on another level when on the pedals and in tight, flowy singletrack which are the types of trails I'm more drawn to now rather than smashing steep gullies and drops. Climbing was the first thing that wowed me on the Mojo 3. It just goes. Not the best tool for descending Moab/Sedona type rocky terrain though.

A hardtail would be brutal climbing and descending places like Moab, Sedona or Utah where there are lots of rocky tech and drops. I like climbing more now than before but I still like to get rowdy on the downs lol I think a hardtail could be appropriate for that certain terrain like smooth, groomed fire roads or even smooth flow trails or when you need simplicity for long distance bike packing but that's not for me at the moment. With that said, I occasionally drool over a Chromag HT and will likely add one to the quiver because you can never have too many bikes, am I right!?
  • + 3
 @ssip:
Right :-)
  • + 2
 It really depends, I climb all my local spots, but if I'm on a road trip I'll try to shuttle so I can cover as much trail as possible.
  • + 1
 @MX298: you probably have a negative gait when you run and it affects your overall forum and you never too running that far. Alternative sports is very beneficial for mountain bike riding! I like to swim and do yoga and hit the steam room
  • + 0
 @MX298: hiking is boring! Running downhill is the shit ! ( for those that dare)
  • + 1
 @Soucy: exacly!
  • + 0
 one for the downvotes: this is why the ebike is the best of both worlds. If you use it instead of the truck, you're doing something right. Plus, cardio isn't even good for you. Kills your testosterone Wink
  • + 1
 @MX298: only running on track sucks, trail runs are great
  • + 90
 preparing to be downvoted to infinity... I love climbing
  • + 47
 Especially the technical climbing
  • + 23
 @Santamtnbiker: I’ll take it one step further. I session tech climb sections until I can clean them.
  • + 3
 @speed10: we do this often in Florida, where our only climbs are steep punchy tech climbs
  • + 5
 @speed10:
That sense of joy etc cleaning a climb is up there with smashing a dh run for me! Certain sections draw you in and make you a better rider goin up and down
  • + 1
 Have you watched Ludo May climb some technical shit? He's pretty nuts!
  • + 1
 @speed10: then keep sessioning it till you can just wheelie up it!!!
  • + 75
 Pedal up is the best time to look around and enjoy and get ready for the down. Pedaling up gives more sense of accomplishment, but there are days when riding a chair lift is good.
I would say:
85% Pedal Up
15% Chair/Shuttle
Enjoy the ride up if its sitting on a lift or in a car or pedaling - just getting on the trail makes it a good day!
  • + 5
 if i could teleport i would never to a "climb" again factoring out trail undulations etc.
  • + 46
 I'll be honest: I have more fun on lift days than any other. But, that being said, they're about 3% of the times I ride in a year and do enjoy the challenge of climbing stuff and the fitness that comes with it.
  • + 44
 ebike? wtf?
  • - 36
flag enduroNZ (Apr 19, 2019 at 20:14) (Below Threshold)
 Do you know what a Luddite is? It's you!
  • + 21
 That's actually the entire point of this thing....it's just smothered in ebike bacon
  • + 3
 E-bike over shuttle any day.
  • + 0
 This poll doesn't work as they leave the trail out of the equation. I prefer to ride my bike up but ideally there must some technical challenges in there. Stuff I may not be able to clear first try. Is sessioning a section of climb a thing? For me it is. A root, a rock, a tight switchback. I like these just as much as technical stuff on the descends. If the climbs are really long or steep, I wouldn't mind some pedal assist but modulation has to be excellent. From reviews I understand that they're making good progress there so I don't mind waiting a little longer until they've got that dialed. The new (lighter, lower power, better modulation) Shimano Steps 7000 motor sounds interesting and I'd like to see the removable Fazua motor on more (cheaper) bikes. My guess is three years from now you can get lighter, less powerful e-bikes with lower battery capacity, just good enough to give you that boost when you need it. That's what makes sense to me. That said, if the only uphill is boring straight wide fire roads then the uphill is only a means to an end. There is little inspiration to pedal harder so the heavy powerful e-bikes they have now are good enough for that. If the views are good, company is good then I'd still much prefer that over a shuttle. But if that climb is along a busy road with heavy traffic spraying you with dust then yeah I'd rather just get on a shuttle and be done with it. To be honest though, I've never ridden an e-bike so I don't know how good modulation is already.

So it is all depends on the trails really. I'd really love to see more technical climbing trails. Climbing trails are much less subject to erosion (even with people on e-bikes or powerful athletes climbing those) than descending trails are. Especially if you leave rocks and roots in place and keep it twisty.

I clicked "other" in the poll. Even though I pedal primarily, few here do pedal loops ONLY.
  • + 10
 And of ride up on an ebike, who’s gonna bring my real bike to the trailhead?
  • + 7
 I find it so fascinating when people think shuttles and lifts are cool and on the other eBikes are lame. See the irony?

I’ve never ridden one but I’m annoyed at the double standard. I’m also starting to get more intrigued by the prospect of doubling or tripling my descents during the same 2 hour interval. Seems like a great training tool if you really think about it.
  • + 7
 @ryan83: I think the reason people hate on e bikes is multifaceted. First, they arguably do more damage to the trails as they're heavier, can spin their back wheel, and just do more laps. Second, while some long time riders may get ebikes, the majority of ebike buyers are new to the sport, creating new market for bike companies. I have yet to see ebike groups taking on trail building or maintenance, it seems self evident that those who won't pedal up a trail might be less Likely to dig. Lastly, ebikes allow someone who might not have the requisite skill to get places they shouldn't go. Also, their is the whole land use issue which is hard won and largely for non motorized vehicles. Ebikes unless careful could jeapordize land access for all bikes in some spots.
  • + 6
 @mgrantorser: so the 65 kg expert rider on a 20 kg e-bike does more damage than the 95 kg intermediate rider on a 13 kg bike? Interesting..........
  • + 6
 @mgrantorser: unskilled riders that are new to the sport are most likely to do more damage per run and do less trail maintenance/ digging work regardless of the bike they are on. If you do think (and I could agree with that to some point) that majority of ebikers are poor riders, they will also not do that many runs. As to general trail erosion, if I look at my area it has increased a lot in the last 5 years and the reason for it is simply dramatic increase in popularity of the sport. A thing that almost everyone here wants. Ebikes are damn expensive, they easily add 700-1500$ to an already expensive bike, while used market for them is a sketchy place, would you but something with potentially fkd up battery and a worn out motor? So don’t expect that many of them. All the brake bumps and roots coming out on natural trails in Whistler are not created by Ebikes. Environmental factor cannot be ignored and it is hard to find as pollution heavy mean of transport up the hill as shuttle by car/truck. Which is common.
  • + 3
 @ryan83: The difference is illustrated in the numbers above.

A lot of people like a chair lift or a shuttle to get them to the top from time to time. But most of the time they get there by their own power.

If you buy an ebike your likely to use it all the time.
  • + 5
 @FuzzyL: Ebikes are here to stay. It happened, it is something that cannot be undone. The only thing that should be troubling our minds is how to reach out to these people to let them know basic trail use etiquette. Like my only real beef with Ebikers in the woods is the risk of them climbing singletracks designated for descent. And the only way to do this is to support them in organizing themselves, creating clubs involving top riders like Wade or Cedric, that will carry the message of "show respect to the trail and to the other riders" that we "analog" riders are rather bad at following. One Enduro competition will introduce way more damage to a trail it is organized on than all ebikers in the area combined. Damage in terms of actual physical wear, and in terms of public perception of it.
  • + 1
 @andrewbikeguide: yes. A typical e-bike Joey (and most of them are) will do 2 - 3 laps per day on a mountain with 300-600m altitude difference. A strong rider will do the double if not tripple. I know for a fact they do. They keep at least 1 spare battery in the car at the bottom of the mountain and ride up with only 30% of assist. And in some instances they are faster than the shuttle truck. Furthermore good riders on ebikes will venture into most fun, difficult trails. Joeys tend to not go beyond intermediate stuff on regular basis. And even if they would they will get hurt sooner or later which will result in them either opting for tamer stuff or selling the bike, getting into running marathons or playing golf.
  • + 3
 @WAKIdesigns: Correct, ebikes can not be “undone”. But it will be easy to apply the same rules to them as to other motor-powered vehicles. And I’m pretty sure that’s what will happen sooner or later.
  • + 1
 @FuzzyL: it won’t. Most of them look like mountain bikes. Deal with it. And again, they are 10% of the challenge (as lame as it sounds, it is way better than calling it a problem) because they use a motor which can be viewed negatively by the greater public. Another 10% are aholes on regular bikes, who will mess it up for all of us with reckless behavior around hikers and consciously destroying the trails (like making strava lines) Then you have 79% of people just riding along and wearing down the trails. The remaining 1% maintains trails and works with trail advocacy. Don’t put sins of all mtbers on ebikes, it’s BS. Also, looking at the level of erosion on some of my local trails, I am quite confident there is quite a lot of water in denying access to certain areas for MTBers. So don’t stand on the righteous side because you aren’t. MTBers are fkng up land exactly like everyone else.

So no, I won’t be looking for issues with Ebikes when MTBers have been posing issues long before they arrived. And brake bumps were all over long before Ebikes. If anything, as I already wrote above, Enduro comps are the main trail wreckers
  • + 4
 So, the problem isn't necessarily e-bikes, but the problem is people with a lack of skill and manners riding the trails a racers who care more about the quickest route than what the trail looks like once they're done. So that's the problem, not whether they have pedal assist on the uphills or not. This probably fed my dislike for racing. Ever time there had been a race, the trail was completely destroyed. Descends ripped apart, fun technical climbs trampled, corners cut, berms blown, tight sections widened... And once the whole circus was finished, would they come back to fix what they've done? Never. I've seen a few e-bikes climb. There is nothing awkward going on. No roost, no ruts they're digging. I've more often seen unassisted bikes spin out in a too light gear or get off course because their front end wanders as they almost stand still. Bikes with pedal assist just go up, on the trail. They're typically not racing, just riding. Now I'm not saying riding bikes unassisted would be bad (I don't have pedal assist either) but blaming e-bikes for everything just doesn't make sense. If anything is to blame for trail damage (on the climbs) it would be superlight gearing and racing.
  • + 1
 @ryan83: I think both are lame.
  • + 1
 @andrewbikeguide: Yup,was thinking that same,and they also do more laps.Maybe from now on we'll also start picking on the guys who are really fit because they get more riding too?
And last but not least,this land use excuse again,that was already going on before Ebikes existed.BS
  • + 1
 @NoskillNotalent: Soon enough people start picking on the hardtail riders. Maintenance is low so you don't need that much money to keep it going. So you can work less, ride more and as a consequence cause more erosion. I feel guilty now. People with e-bikes must be working their asses of to afford them so I'm pretty sure I don't ride any less than they do.
  • + 1
 @vinay: 100%, trail etiquette is in a terrible state ATM. Over the years as local DH trails have become smoother and more suited to mid travel trail bikes there are enduro muppets everywhere, stopping in the track, riding up sections, basically an accident waiting to happen. what i have noticed is that where the enduro riders are riding up the trail, Ebike riders seem to be riding up the rocky fire road at the side.

Riding round Llangdeglla the amount of groups of riders stopping 10 deep in the trail was ridiculous. there were hardly any ebikes amongst them.

Coming from a DH background when we were at tracks where you had to push up people always used to shout back when a rider was coming down so everyone could get out the way. it rarely seems to happen now.

I'll be honest the bigger mountain biking gets the more idiots there are and the more i dislike mountain bikers. i've ridden since the mid 90's and the current crop seem to be loud self obsessed arseholes. It's embarrassing. truly embarrassing.

I still don't see how an ebike using low assistance is any different to all these modern bikes using a 42 tooth rear sprocket. are they heavier? yeah, but downhill bikes used to weigh nearly the same back in the day.
  • + 42
 Your Mom gets me to the top
  • + 12
 On her way to college?
  • + 1
 underrated
  • + 5
 Can she give me a lift too?
  • + 7
 I get her at the bottom
  • + 16
 Hey, Missy, I mean mom.
  • + 4
 @acali: Crap, meant to upvote you for invoking a quote from one of the greatest movies of all time. Bring on #3!
  • + 1
 Does your mom lift, bro?
  • + 5
 @mtnbiker1978: Be excellent to each other!
  • + 2
 @acali: Party on dudes
  • + 37
 Heli drop is pretty sweet.
  • + 12
 Almost as cool as an Uber / Taxi lift to the trailhead - (and the look of shear disappointment you get when you explain to the Uber driver you need to fit your bike in his Toyota Prius too)
  • + 2
 But not as cool as that Baja truck in the photo. Any Uber drivers that own a Baja truck?
  • + 29
 I only ride park I don't climb hills I only ride downhill I only ride park I'm on the lift all day And I don't have no chain I only ride park
  • - 1
 I agree with Falcon screw pedaling and wasting valuable time and energy

Shuttle
Lift
Or any other way that doesn’t involve me pedaling or climbing
  • + 15
 I often like to pedal up. Allows me to warm up a bit and get my sh!t together. But not “pedal powered loops only”, I like lift and shuttles on occasion.
  • + 8
 Ya, like a well balanced diet!
  • + 2
 My warm up is from the chair off ramp to the trail head...and I whine all the way. All you whistler park rats know what I’m talking about!
  • + 15
 My butler flies me up in the helicopter
  • + 8
 *The* helicopter? As in only one? Pfft. Peasant.
  • + 2
 anywhere i go, i get a whole team of metal workers, helicopter pilots and journeymen....just to construct a charlift system across any type of terrain, all out expense
  • + 15
 Push/Pedal or Carry whatever it takes
  • + 1
 Yeah, the missing category for sure.
  • + 1
 @Fastfish11 that’s the definition of down country - push/pedal/carry
  • + 10
 that sucks, the poll doesn't fit with the e-bike agenda! You got your answer so maybe you could stop shoving e-bike content in our throats.
  • - 1
 Ebikes are way more economic to get to the top than a chair lift or shuttle. They get my vote
  • + 4
 @enduroNZ: solar or wind power chairlifts exists, they also create jobs. #makebikeparksgreatagain
  • + 1
 @enduroNZ: how so?
  • + 12
 No one likes to suffer anymore or what?
  • + 10
 I like to feel my legs on fire, makes my head feel clear
  • + 10
 Nothing beats standing in the box one hand on the roof and the other hand on a beer rocking up a forest service road and cheersing your buddies
  • + 2
 Nothing beats shuttles with the homies. Maybe chair laps with the homies
  • + 7
 I live in Whistler about a ten minute ride from Creekside. I never go to the park. Too crowded. I much prefer getting out there, way out there exploring new terrain and trails and places where I rarely see anyone. Other bikers are usually cool but I find hikers can be annoying. Parents with noisy kids complaining that my dog barked. People that can’t share the trail. Stinky tourists with sippy cups of shitty coffee standing 9 abreast looking at you coming up the trail and not moving out of the way. Climbing is good for the soul and body. Standing in lines with too many people is a waste of my time.
  • + 7
 I did a hill climb competition once, it was a serious workout, a good grind. I was channeling my inner roadie and cranking up that mountain. When I got to the top everyone was cheering and patting each other on the back. I thought “I made it!” I even finished top 20! Then I had this overwhelming feeling that I had somehow been deprived of a great prize. The rest of the day I felt off somehow. That was the moment that I had confirmed to my soul something I already knew. I am a mountain biker. A cross country rider, a trail rider, enduro, freeride and downhill. I go up to go down. I love a good climb but there is no way that is the end of the ride. I don’t care how I get to the top (usually pedal) but we all do it for a reason, to go down!
  • + 2
 The padawan does not become the Jedi by taking the easy road
  • + 11
 Pedal pwAaaaaaaaaar. (26” ain’t ded)
  • + 7
 90% of the time climbing is an essential part of the ride. But that 10% of the time you just gotta do some shuttling. It’s like a guilty meal once in a while you crave it.
  • + 1
 I honestly don't. Shuttling completely breaks the flow of the ride for me and makes for much less enjoyable days. Having said that, chairlifts don't seem to do the same thing so I'll take them as my guilty pleasure. Wink
  • + 8
 I have a truck. My friends have trucks. We shuttle. Chair lift in the summer. I pedal sometimes.
  • + 4
 Depends on how much time I have, and or how out of shape I am. Nothing sucks worse that using all your energy on the climb and then feeling like you barely make it down alive on the descent.
  • + 2
 Yep I'm definitely one of the sheep masses! Prefer a chairlift but in its absence then pedalling it is! Realistically, mountain biking is about the journey, up or down its the same thing. The convenience of a sit down and a brew on the way up is however such an obvious preference!
  • + 2
 Before: Only reason to climb was to get to the sweet descent. Bike I really want for the descent sucks on the climb, so all bikes for the last few years have a compromise. Pedal efficiency vs. downhill chops. Lighter vs. heavier duty tires. Always trying to find the right balance between energy burned going up vs. energy reserves for the descent.


Now: Bought a Turbo Levo. Set bike up for the descent. Coil front and rear, aggressive meaty tires. Faster down than ever before, plus starting to enjoy going up at speed. Face hurts after ever ride from smiling so much.
  • + 1
 Do you notice the weight. That's the only thing that would put me off
  • + 3
 There's this other thing, called squats, they increase your wattage output. Google it or something.
  • - 1
 Get a proper motorcycle, stop pretending to be a mountain biker and using their trails.
  • + 0
 @enduroNZ: You do notice the weight but you adapt to it pretty quickly. The weight doesn't hinder the bike in any way from my experience. It's low in the frame helping the bike feel stable and planted in the rough, and the suspension feel is excellent.
  • + 5
 Queue "I only ride park"
"I'm on the lift all day and I don't have no chain"
  • + 1
 I jump the whole damn thing.
  • + 2
 Climbing sucks balls avoid it at all and any costs......"earn your turns " is a non builders way of feeling good about their trail use issues .. dig trails to earn them .. ride down them to enjoy them........drive, push, chair or heli......
  • + 5
 drones. but if no drones are available... I guess uber??
  • + 2
 My Pegasus or Dragon, but they draw too much attention. "I didn't think they were real!" "Does he breath fire?" "Can I take a picture?". Just more of a hassle then anything. So I pedal..
  • + 3
 I’m a park rat. I only pedal up when the parks are closed. But when they’re open (May-Oct)... I only ride the downhill bike.
  • + 5
 In my day we used to climb uphill both ways - and we liked it!
  • + 1
 In my biased opinion, climbing enhances your overall bike handling skills, learning to deal with tight lines in a stressful and physically demanding situation l, inclines to a more and better awareness while shredding down hill, sometimes I feel like my bicycle is an extension of my desires, where ever I look, it follows
  • + 1
 I mountain bike for 3 reasons: 1) stay in halfway decent shape, 2) have fun, 3) the feeling of progression

With that in mind, I think of the climbs as my "fitness" (eating vegetables),and the descents as fun / the reward (eating dessert). I try to have a balanced diet., so to speak.
  • + 1
 Some kind of mix? I like to pedal, but pedalling all the way from the bottom of the trail to the trailhead, while doable, is just time consuming. Riding our local trails in Puncak, I usually take uplift* on the main road and then pedal to the trailhead. I can get four runs on a half day ride using the uplift*, instead of two.

*hitching an empty vegetable pick up truck on their way back from markets in Jakarta/Bogor to plantations in Cipanas/Cianjur. Puncak trails is build alongside a national road connecting those regions so we see a lot of them. A hitch can turn 40 minutes of pedalling on tarmac to a breezy 15 minutes of resting and refueling on the pick up bed. I pay the driver less than 1 USD for each hitch.

www.trailforks.com/region/puncak
  • + 1
 As I get older, the climbing is more rewarding, though it’s the speed and working the hill that brings the thrills. Best climbing for me is technical and creative, I don’t mind gravel burning but it’s not that enjoyable; left road biking behind ten years ago ...

Lifts and shuttles are fun once in a while, but if you’re fit to climb, then climbing is where it’s at. I am suprised at how unfit many riders are, but then go to a ski resort in the winter and it’s the same crowd.
  • + 4
 Love shuttle days on the dh, but nothing beats just grabbing the pedal bike and going on an adventure.
  • + 2
 Chairlifts rule, pedaling's cool. Shuttling is fine if I don't have to participate in retrieving the truck after the ride...the logistics and time spent doing car rodeo kill a lot of shuttle days for me.
  • + 1
 I noticed those who ride a lot of park/chairlift get good quick. No way to get down time faster than a chair. Shutting for epic downs or when no viable up. Most times gotta make that pedal. There are times when I look forward to a good pedal. If I had the choice chairlift it!
  • + 3
 yeah, you notice this a ton with skiing. I know some people that got into skiing from climbing. They hardly ski at the ski areas and mostly learned to ski to be better mountaineers. These people scare me cause they have the physical ability to get to places that they shouldn't with their downhill abilities, always afraid they will twist their knee or something.
  • + 1
 When you live in a fairly flat area like RI, going to a bike park is a blast and great for your descending skills. But the days I remember as my favorites involve traveling somewhere with long climbs and descents that are just as good or better than bike park.
  • + 1
 Climbing. But specifically SINGLETRACK climbing. I am so friggin spoiled that around me, 90% of the climbing is on singletrack. It may not be as fast as smashing fireroads, but it is so so so so so so much more fun. It makes the up actually enjoyable and a challenge.
  • + 1
 Its hiking for me. Maybe because I don't go to any bikeparks or trails that often, but hiking seems to be the best for not getting anxious and/or scared. I always have that when I'm on a chairlift/shuttle/any other sort of transportation that isnt a bike.

I guess second best would be pedaling up, but I can't really do that on my DJ
  • + 1
 I do a pretty balanced way to get to the top over all, lots of shuttling, and hike a bikes to ride awesome descents that have no shuttle access and chair lift for summer bike park season. Feels good to earn your turns for sure, but always feels good to descend to matter how you got up.
  • + 3
 I'd like to pedal up the first time for fitness and achievement and then take a shuttle or charilift for multiple runs DH
  • + 2
 I'm interested in whether people would prefer one pedal up an one ride down OR two uplifts and two rides down? Essentially takes the same time I reckon
  • + 2
 Here in Arkansas sometimes you see Tom Walton flying around in one of his 3 helicopters with bike racks on them. Not even a joke.
  • + 2
 I here his brand of bikes are sick.
  • + 1
 If mountain biking was easy every tool would do it. I love the ebike argument of more people being able to be on trails. Wtf ??who wants that? Only way you will respect the sport is to power through some climbs.
  • + 2
 I chose shuttle vehicle because if you're in one it means you are with your friends, not at a park, and you are probably about to ride the best trails possible.
  • + 0
 everyone who said they prefer pedalling up a mountain to a chairlift is a liar lol

we all pedal up hills its nothing special or anything to brag about. now go pedal up st anne or whistler and tell me you would prefer that to the lift.... yea ok Jans Ullrich.
  • + 3
 Although I don’t like it at the time, I find the satisfaction from climbing lasts longer than the buzz from the descent.
  • + 1
 I climb about 100.000 m every year and the descent is the same. Two days each year I use chair lift. I do a lot of descents but I don't feel accomplished in these two days, but a lot of fun
  • + 0
 If I’m at a bike park with any sort of uplift, I’ll use that. Climbing for me is a means to an end.

If there isn’t an uplift, or it’s a normal trail centre, then if I’m feeling fit, I’ll ride up, if not, I’ll use my ebike.

Just starting to come back from 9 months off injured, so if I want to ride and keep up with riding mates, it’s going to be the ebike. If I’m on my own, I’ll suffer up on the regular one to get back to peak fitnes.
  • + 0
 Nothing beats the sense of achievement of a good long techy climb. It’s both exhausting and meditative, and the big descents are often so much better when you earn them. Still love shuttle/lift days though but they don’t happen often.
  • + 2
 I push my norco aurum because it is a downhill bike and because of that it’s basically incapable of pedaling up a hill haha
  • + 3
 I like them all. Should have the poll where you rate them in order of preference
  • + 2
 Another interesting thing to consider: when pedaling uphill say 1000'+, do you take the road or trail? What if the trail is techy with big power moves?
  • + 1
 I do about 1500 ft of climbing on my rides but only have 400 ft climbs. They are techy but short compared to a 1000ft climb. What is it like to lump all your climbing into one or two climbs?
  • + 4
 depends... if it is just 1,000' I would probably take the trail cause it is a better workout. If it is part of like a 4,000' day I would probably take the road to leave some energy in the tank for the ride down. Of course if it is a very popular downhill trail I will always take the road cause IMO it is kind of dick to wreck everyone coming down runs.
  • + 2
 @mkotowski1: We have areas around here with long climbs to downhills that involve no pedaling and we have more punchy up and down stuff too. The long sustained climbs are a grind, you don't want to breath too hard or you won't make it. I find the short punchy stuff to be a better workout. Though it is kind of nice to just get the climb over with then enjoy a pedal free descent.
  • + 1
 @iantmcg: Everything around me is 1500'+ up then straight down. I prefer putting my head down and focusing completely on the suffer moreso than "mountain biking" uphill for an hour, so I usually go for the road if that's an option. When you take the road, this also means you could potentially get a second lap in.
  • + 3
 Trail. Especially if it is techy with big power moves.
  • + 1
 @iantmcg: that’s cool, I gotta get out west and try some of these long climbs to pedaless downhills.
  • + 3
 I think I would miss climbing if I only had lift access trails. Actually wait no that sounds amazing
  • + 1
 Pedal power is the most durable solution, but I love my ebike, and a shuttle day or some chairlifts are nothing but fun! I’d prefer to be able to be capable of anything, open to everything.
  • + 4
 transporter beam - endless downhill
  • + 1
 I earn my turns by working to pay for gas and lift tickets. Pedal as a final option (solo rides not in resorts), rides up all other times.
  • + 2
 The only reason I pedal up is it gets me in better shape to go faster on the downs.
  • - 1
 As a former resident of Whistler, chair lifts and gondys are obviously what I have used most. I had a DH bike exclusively.

Now I'm back in the UK, that's changed. There isn't so much of a 'shuttle' scene here as there is in the PNW. The UK has only one chairlift/gondola and that's Fort William. We do have some pretty mean bike parks though, and I've ridden a few. All of these use truck/bus/tractor powered uplifts.

Honestly - I'm super interested in ebikes right now. I think the technology is ALMOST there. In my opinion, the next year or two will be huge for the ebike game. Looking at the Decoy, Levo and the new Mondraker, we have hugely capable bikes that can throw down on gnarly trails, with your own personal uplift built right in. They don't look ridiculous either. We're really close to 'normal' looking enduro ebikes.

All day laps of UK bike parks without having to run a big dirty diesel tractor on loop for 8 hours? Sounds like a win to me.
  • + 1
 There’s a chairlift at glencoe & the Lecht, as well as plenty of other Scottish ski spots. Problem is there aren’t many trails that lead off the top of them.
  • - 1
 everyone who said they prefer pedalling up a mountain to a chairlift is a liar lol

we all pedal up hills its nothing special or anything to brag about. now go pedal up st anne or whistler and tell me you would prefer that to the lift.... yea ok.
  • + 1
 wow, its almost like this poll was created specifically to cause lots of comments and arguments! good job PB, you win another ad Smile
  • + 2
 Public transportation, when free, makes me feel like I'm cheating. In the best possible way.
  • + 3
 I walk... walk my DH like a dog all the way up.
  • + 3
 WTF which dentists out there are using Uber as an uplift service?!
  • + 2
 'to the top of that large mountain please' lol
  • + 2
 Well made climbing trails are a joy to ride. If its fire road though, I'd much rather be shuttling
  • + 3
 I find that I descend better after climbing than I do if shuttle
  • + 1
 Riding up hill is a battle. When I get to the top I see my enemy driven before me and I hear the lamentations of their women.
  • + 4
 Hike
  • + 4
 Ya wheres the hike an bike option, i have to push my up a lot of trails to ride downhill
  • + 1
 @stokersteinwand: I call conspiracy ¿
  • + 2
 The climb is part of the ride! I enjoy it just as much as the descent – just in a different kind of way.
  • + 1
 Yes!
  • + 4
 I use drugs
  • + 2
 Pushing my bike, while my friends make fun of me.
  • + 0
 Screw climbing. I do enough grinding on my roadbike commuting. So when I get to the mountains after hours of traveling I want to bomb the downhills all day.
  • + 2
 No option for horse back up? Horse follows me down?
  • + 1
 more vids of trail horses following riders please
  • + 1
 I enjoy pedaling, shuttle, and chair lift. Over all chairlift is a no brainer but I spend more time climbing
  • + 2
 frig shuttling, pedal your damn bike!
  • - 1
 Helicopter is the best way up.

Poll is a little irrelevant to people that don't have big climb-big descent kind of trails, lots of places in the world are more like across/ little up/down and don't necessarily have a 'top'
  • + 2
 For once I'm part of a majority. Feels a bit strange.....
  • + 0
 i definitely enjoy the downhills way more, but i appreciate the climb for improving fitness. Get your workout in and then have some fun.
  • + 1
 I wish there was an uber shuttle! Wouldn't use it all day but it'd be great to get another run or two in.
  • + 2
 When the f*ck did riding up hills become fashionable again?
  • + 1
 Blame S T R A V A....
  • + 2
 Shuttle laps all day, pedal up as a last resort. I dislike up.
  • + 2
 Chairlift all day every day.
  • + 2
 Interestingly my HR is higher downhill. Is that interesting? Not really.
  • - 1
 Half day of pedal and half day of hanging with friends and Recon rack shuttles sounds like a damn perfect day. This comment just made me realize I would probably enjoy a full day of hanging with friends riding e-bikes too!
  • + 3
 Push up the hill
  • + 2
 Lots of peakless helmet lycra clad xc freaks on here it seems.
  • + 1
 I work weekends. So often even going to bike parks I end up having to pedal up.
  • + 2
 Heli lift of course. Poor bastards hit that negative button.
  • + 1
 Got lost and ended up 30 miles away from my car in the rain once, UberXL for the win.
  • + 2
 Please never mention Uber again on PB.
  • + 2
 Lyft this ban on Pissaiolo please
  • + 1
 Me and my OH did our first uplifted DH race last year and it was ace but all of our other riding's pedal powered.
  • + 1
 Legend has it, there are those who pedal up AND pedal down in CO... it's called Buff Creek. And it's terrible...
  • + 2
 How is "pushing to the top" not an option.
  • + 1
 Chairlift is best. Sadly pedaling happens most often.
  • + 1
 Ha same here, nothing beats park laps! But the park isn't always open and pedaling to the top is always good for my fitness.
  • + 1
 pedal during the week earn the downhill and beer onn the weekends
  • + 1
 fire road up Singletrack down
  • + 1
 I ride my bikes and don't shuttle if I can avoid it.
  • + 2
 Uber? lol
  • + 1
 I prefer to go to the top with evil corporate domination
  • - 2
 how many of you drive to the trailhead? do you carpool? can you ride a bike at all without the help of a motor? seems like for most people who ride, their mountain bike is a extension of their pick-up truck.
  • + 1
 DH bikes are pure, so shuttles and beer on the way up. Or chairs and beer
  • + 1
 ha, i race xc. need I say more?
  • + 10
 Please dont
  • + 1
 Well since you asked, trophy truck would be nice...
  • + 1
 With a/c a cup holder tuns n a twist!
  • + 1
 Hike and bike DH ?
  • + 1
 Wager....lost?!
  • + 1
 HELI-DROP
  • + 1
 Best option: Go long!
  • + 0
 Where is the heli-drop option Wink
  • + 0
 Earn your turns.
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