Hill climbing ratios

General bike chat that does not fit elsewhere
boogi11
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Hill climbing ratios

Postby boogi11 » Sun Dec 30, 2012 10:35 am

Hi all, I live in the flat lands, and the nearest I get to a hill is a speed bump, but in sept I'm doing the Exeter sportive,112 miles with 12000ft of climbing, my current setup is 50/34. Chain ring. 12/25 rear cassette , should this be adequate.

I'm currently a stone overweight but hope to get down to 14st(I'm big boned :D ) before the sportive, and I have endurance on my side but hils to test me a lot .

Obviously I will be training consideraby before the event

Any thoughts

turnerjohn
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Re: Hill climbing ratios

Postby turnerjohn » Sun Dec 30, 2012 10:52 am

everyones different so only way is to find a hill and ride it ! TBH thats what you should be doing...does wonders for weight loss as well :-).
You should be fine with that setup...I've run a 52/38 / 11-28 for hilly sportives and been fine...but then I'm strong and reasonably light and I don't mind a higher gear.
Give some hill work a try and your be fine for Sept...ages away :-)

boogi11
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Re: Hill climbing ratios

Postby boogi11 » Sun Dec 30, 2012 11:02 am

Hi and thanks, I intend to do some hill work, just means driving 40 miles to find some, might have a few weekends in Wales, his sportive has some 25% climbs, methinks I screwed

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MountainMonster
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Re: Hill climbing ratios

Postby MountainMonster » Sun Dec 30, 2012 12:22 pm

boogi11 wrote:Hi and thanks, I intend to do some hill work, just means driving 40 miles to find some, might have a few weekends in Wales, his sportive has some 25% climbs, methinks I screwed


I wouldn't worry, there is nothing different to hills than the flat other than the speed you hit it. Just take your time from the beginning and don't put yourself near the red zone and you should survive alright.

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Mikey23
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Re: Hill climbing ratios

Postby Mikey23 » Sun Dec 30, 2012 12:34 pm

I have 50/34 and 11/28 and have struggled on some of the more extreme courses down here in the south west. On a couple of occasions have had to get off and push. Might just be me, but you might bear that in mind

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Raffles
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Re: Hill climbing ratios

Postby Raffles » Sun Dec 30, 2012 12:37 pm

boogi11 wrote:Hi and thanks, I intend to do some hill work, just means driving 40 miles to find some, might have a few weekends in Wales, his sportive has some 25% climbs, methinks I screwed



I use 50/34 and 12/25 rear cassette and I wouldnt tackle 25% with this configuration. I rode up 20% and it was sheer murder .
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thescouselander
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Re: Hill climbing ratios

Postby thescouselander » Sun Dec 30, 2012 13:26 pm

Raffles wrote:
boogi11 wrote:Hi and thanks, I intend to do some hill work, just means driving 40 miles to find some, might have a few weekends in Wales, his sportive has some 25% climbs, methinks I screwed



I use 50/34 and 12/25 rear cassette and I wouldnt tackle 25% with this configuration. I rode up 20% and it was sheer murder .


I have to agree with this. I went from a 25 to a 28 at the back as I was struggling on steeper hills. I can now get up most climbs but if I was to do anything really serious I might even consider a 30 at the back. I suppose a lot depends on how you pedal though - I like to keep my cadence up as much as possible.

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unixnerd
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Re: Hill climbing ratios

Postby unixnerd » Sun Dec 30, 2012 13:49 pm

I can get up the Cairngorm mountain ski road with a 50/34 and 11-28 and I don't need the lowest gear unless there's a headwind on the steepest bit. Nice thing about low gears is you can maintain a decent cadence and still have a bail out gear.

As you don't do hills often I'd stick with the 25t bottom cog, you should be fine. No point getting a new cassette for one event. The trick to hill climbing is to find a comfortable rhythm and stick to it. Any weight you can get rid of between now and then will be a real bonus.
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SmoggySteve
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Re: Hill climbing ratios

Postby SmoggySteve » Sun Dec 30, 2012 14:10 pm

If you don't mind throwing a bit of cash at it, a second cassette and a chain would hardly break the bank. You could get a 12-30 for hills if you really want something different. Takes 5 minutes to change a cassette over (obviously if you have the tools). but they aint expensive either. I have a few cassettes I change about depending on what the route in riding is like. 11-23 for long and flat (I go to Belgium & Holland alot) and a 12-28 for the hills.

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Monty Dog
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Re: Hill climbing ratios

Postby Monty Dog » Sun Dec 30, 2012 16:04 pm

As the OP doesn't get to ride hills lots, I'd suggest fitting a 28 sprocket as it comes as a shock to the system whereas at least having a lower gear might help. BTW the Cairngorm ski road bears no comparison to the steepness of hills in the southwest - one you can simply sit down and grind it out, whereas many of the roads in the Southwest are notable for their severity and you really need to muscle the bike to make any progress (If you want the routes with the greatest climbing/km then Cornwall and Devon are hard to beat IME).
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Re: Hill climbing ratios

Postby jezzpalmer » Sun Dec 30, 2012 16:29 pm

Monty Dog wrote: whereas many of the roads in the Southwest are notable for their severity and you really need to muscle the bike to make any progress (If you want the routes with the greatest climbing/km then Cornwall and Devon are hard to beat IME).


Agreed with that, I have many good hills (Rhigos, Bwlch, Devil's Elbow, Black mountains, the Dragon Ride essentially) on my relative doorstep; but on a recent trip to Devon & Cornwall (sadly without bikes) I was surprised at how many 25% signs I saw; it looked positively brutal.

Personally I'd go with a 28, then probably wish I had more LOL.
Going from the flat to that is going to be character building. :D

boogi11
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Re: Hill climbing ratios

Postby boogi11 » Sun Dec 30, 2012 17:15 pm

Character building, ..... Going to mess me up, but I guess this is almost the worst to uk has to offer , just grind out the hills and see what happens

thescouselander
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Re: Hill climbing ratios

Postby thescouselander » Sun Dec 30, 2012 17:17 pm

Monty Dog wrote:As the OP doesn't get to ride hills lots, I'd suggest fitting a 28 sprocket as it comes as a shock to the system whereas at least having a lower gear might help. BTW the Cairngorm ski road bears no comparison to the steepness of hills in the southwest - one you can simply sit down and grind it out, whereas many of the roads in the Southwest are notable for their severity and you really need to muscle the bike to make any progress (If you want the routes with the greatest climbing/km then Cornwall and Devon are hard to beat IME).



Totally agree with this. According to strava the climb to cairngorm ski centre only averages out at 5.7% which isn't too bad really. There are plenty of climbs round here which are twice as steep if not even steeper.

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unixnerd
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Re: Hill climbing ratios

Postby unixnerd » Sun Dec 30, 2012 17:24 pm

According to strava the climb to cairngorm ski centre only averages out at 5.7% which isn't too bad really.


That's because after the middle car park it goes almost flat for a few 100m. There are parts which must be 20%ish. It rises about 1200 feet in around 3 miles, about 1/4 of that is really steep prior to the middle car park.

If you think it's not too hard I'll put your name down for the annual time trial to the top :twisted:
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Trikeman
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Re: Hill climbing ratios

Postby Trikeman » Sun Dec 30, 2012 17:39 pm

If you do go for the 28 (as I have done on my sportive) try to keep to the 25 as you're lowest much as you can (next to the 28). I try to stay out of the 28 even on steep climbs for as much as I can, and keep my 'trump card' for absolute dire situations. If you have to hit the 28 on hills (all bar the steepest) perhaps more training is needed (hence the recommendation above).
I find that 90% of time I can keep out of the 28, then I get over just about everything on the 50/25,,,,,,,,, but if I just run out of juice, then I have my fall back gear. :D
Even on a good hill there is a hell of a difference between 25 and 28.

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thescouselander
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Re: Hill climbing ratios

Postby thescouselander » Sun Dec 30, 2012 17:49 pm

unixnerd wrote:
According to strava the climb to cairngorm ski centre only averages out at 5.7% which isn't too bad really.


That's because after the middle car park it goes almost flat for a few 100m. There are parts which must be 20%ish. It rises about 1200 feet in around 3 miles, about 1/4 of that is really steep prior to the middle car park.

If you think it's not too hard I'll put your name down for the annual time trial to the top :twisted:


I'm not saying its easy but, in my opinion, steep sections interspersed with flat bits is generally easier than a relentless gradient that is the same all the way up as with the former at least you get a bit of recovery time.

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unixnerd
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Re: Hill climbing ratios

Postby unixnerd » Sun Dec 30, 2012 18:00 pm

steep sections interspersed with flat bits is generally easier than a relentless gradient that is the same all the way up as with the former at least you get a bit of recovery time.


Agreed.
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boogi11
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Re: Hill climbing ratios

Postby boogi11 » Sun Dec 30, 2012 18:40 pm

So o summarise......it's owing o be steep .

mike101
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Re: Hill climbing ratios

Postby mike101 » Sun Dec 30, 2012 18:54 pm

I did this ride this year. It's a tough day in the saddle (I live in Devon and knew the route well - the amount of ascent took it out of me in the final 30k). If you aren't used to hills I'd recommend the lowest gear possible and try and get out in the hills somewhere if you can.

That said, I'd only be riding 6 months when I did it. You have plenty of time to train, take it steady and enjoy the ride.

styxd
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Re: Hill climbing ratios

Postby styxd » Sun Dec 30, 2012 18:58 pm

I dont know how tall you are, but 14 stone is a hell of a weight for a cyclist. If you're doing a fair bit of training, why not lose a bit more weight? It'll only help on the hills!

But a 34/25 is fine for anything the UK has to offer if you are of a reasonable fitness. One thing I'd work on is climbing out of the saddle (unless you can do it well already). That'll make the difference.


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