## How is a cat climb worked out?

General bike chat that does not fit elsewhere
andy 3654
Posts: 144
Joined: Sun Jul 15, 2012 10:01 am

### How is a cat climb worked out?

This morning while out on a ride I had to make a de-tour as some poor soul had crashed and the police blocked off the road.On my new and completely unknown new route I came across a 16% hill at 1st it was a decent after reaching the bottom of this white knuckkle gripping brakes as hard as I could to keep it at 20 mph as it was wet, leafy and anything but strightI passed 3 riders about to tackle the climb.
I must admit I did have the thought of " I can do that, easy." run through my head so I turned around and went for it.
It wasn't so much as a fools attempt but I now have huge respect for KOM,S.

Any way back to the plot would this of been a Cat climb and if so what would it be and how are they worked out.
It was coming out of the villege of Streatly in Oxfordshire.

ddraver
Posts: 17394
Joined: Tue Sep 20, 2005 15:57 pm

### Re: How is a cat climb worked out?

It used to be the gear the citroen something something had to use to get up it, so Cat 4 you could keep in 4 th gear, 3 in third and so on. If the car could nt get up it, it was "hors catagorie"

Now to be honest I think there is some mathematical forumla that some people use, but it varies significantly between countries, regions and races, to be honest, some people just use tradition or Voodoo...

There is no global standard I'm afraid.
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ALIHISGREAT
Posts: 3918
Joined: Tue Aug 02, 2011 15:43 pm

### Re: How is a cat climb worked out?

In racing the category depends on the length, gradient, and position in the stage.

On Strava, MapMyRide etc. they use a formula based on gradient and length.

MajorMantra
Posts: 2038
Joined: Thu Oct 23, 2008 21:29 pm

### Re: How is a cat climb worked out?

http://inrng.com/2012/07/tour-climbs-categories/

As above though, Strava and others have their own methods.

simona75
Posts: 330
Joined: Sat May 26, 2012 17:24 pm

### Re: How is a cat climb worked out?

andy 3654 wrote:Any way back to the plot would this of been a Cat climb and if so what would it be and how are they worked out. It was coming out of the villege of Streatly in Oxfordshire.

I think you just discovered Streatley Hill, probably one of the toughest hills in the Thames Valley. It was used in the ToB a few years ago and I think it was a Cat 3 or 4 in that event (but I dont think the ToB use the same system as the Tour de France and others)

gpreeves
Posts: 452
Joined: Fri Sep 21, 2012 16:44 pm

### Re: How is a cat climb worked out?

Strava use a fairly simple formula to work it out:

Distance in metres x Gradient %

Anything over 8000 is a Category 4 (i.e 1km at 8%), 16000 is Category 3. Not sure about higher categories, Cat 4 is the highest anywhere near me.

The Streatley Hill climb is either 1.4 km at an average 8.7% or 0.8km at 13% (both according to Strava). Either way it works out as a Strava Category 4.

andy 3654
Posts: 144
Joined: Sun Jul 15, 2012 10:01 am

### Re: How is a cat climb worked out?

So is 1 toughest or is it the higher the number? Man I must sound dumb

ALIHISGREAT
Posts: 3918
Joined: Tue Aug 02, 2011 15:43 pm

### Re: How is a cat climb worked out?

simona75 wrote:
andy 3654 wrote:Any way back to the plot would this of been a Cat climb and if so what would it be and how are they worked out. It was coming out of the villege of Streatly in Oxfordshire.

I think you just discovered Streatley Hill, probably one of the toughest hills in the Thames Valley. It was used in the ToB a few years ago and I think it was a Cat 3 or 4 in that event (but I dont think the ToB use the same system as the Tour de France and others)

http://app.strava.com/segments/729782

This the one? Strava says Cat4

gpreeves
Posts: 452
Joined: Fri Sep 21, 2012 16:44 pm

### Re: How is a cat climb worked out?

andy 3654 wrote:So is 1 toughest or is it the higher the number? Man I must sound dumb

Not at all mate, not that long since I'd have had to ask myself. "Hors Catégorie" is the toughest (usually just called HC), followed by Cat 1, Cat 2, Cat 3, Cat 4.

simona75
Posts: 330
Joined: Sat May 26, 2012 17:24 pm

### Re: How is a cat climb worked out?

ALIHISGREAT wrote:
simona75 wrote:
andy 3654 wrote:Any way back to the plot would this of been a Cat climb and if so what would it be and how are they worked out. It was coming out of the villege of Streatly in Oxfordshire.

I think you just discovered Streatley Hill, probably one of the toughest hills in the Thames Valley. It was used in the ToB a few years ago and I think it was a Cat 3 or 4 in that event (but I dont think the ToB use the same system as the Tour de France and others)

http://app.strava.com/segments/729782

This the one? Strava says Cat4

Yup, middle section is brutal

ALIHISGREAT
Posts: 3918
Joined: Tue Aug 02, 2011 15:43 pm

### Re: How is a cat climb worked out?

Might try and take it in on a ride at some point then -> there is a similar one at Brill which I ride quite a lot http://app.strava.com/segments/352587

which looks easier

I can't even imagine how hard the Streatley one is.

simona75
Posts: 330
Joined: Sat May 26, 2012 17:24 pm

### Re: How is a cat climb worked out?

ALIHISGREAT wrote:Might try and take it in on a ride at some point then -> there is a similar one at Brill which I ride quite a lot http://app.strava.com/segments/352587

which looks easier

I can't even imagine how hard the Streatley one is.

It's tough but the hard bit only goes on for 200-300 yards. Is a good mid point climb on a loop out of Oxford

TheFD
Posts: 871
Joined: Wed Aug 03, 2011 15:08 pm

### Re: How is a cat climb worked out?

Strava is wrong on many segments.

This one for example - Strava shows it to be an average of 7.7% - yet put the segment into bikehike and it shows the gradient to be above 10% most of the way and it reaches nearly 20% on one section with other sections being 15%.

I would take Strava with a pinch of salt.
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