Climbing - how much is in the mind?

New to Cycling? Want some advice? Start here...
User avatar
Peddle Up!
Posts: 1810
Joined: Fri May 30, 2008 19:10 pm

Climbing - how much is in the mind?

Postby Peddle Up! » Sun Feb 24, 2013 15:25 pm

I've just spent an interesting half hour reviewing a few of my rides recorded on Garmin Connect. Specifically, I took a closer look at some of the hills that I've struggled with (it doesn't take much :roll: ) and noticed something interesting. "Hill A", which I wheeze up, has pretty much the same gradient profile as "Hill B" which almost has me off the bike. The difference is that "Hill B" is a single track lane whereas "Hill A" is a normal double carriageway road.

So, does that make it seem steeper? Weird, ain't it? :)
Purveyor of "up" :)

StefanP
Posts: 421
Joined: Sun Sep 07, 2008 16:50 pm
Contact:

Re: Climbing - how much is in the mind?

Postby StefanP » Sun Feb 24, 2013 15:51 pm

Other things could come into effect, cars flying past may have you pushing harder to get up the climbs, I would imagine that the surface on the single track is poorer than the dual carriageway, how far into your rides each climb comes etc.

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

Re: Climbing - how much is in the mind?

Postby ALIHISGREAT » Sun Feb 24, 2013 16:55 pm

Peddle Up! wrote:I've just spent an interesting half hour reviewing a few of my rides recorded on Garmin Connect. Specifically, I took a closer look at some of the hills that I've struggled with (it doesn't take much :roll: ) and noticed something interesting. "Hill A", which I wheeze up, has pretty much the same gradient profile as "Hill B" which almost has me off the bike. The difference is that "Hill B" is a single track lane whereas "Hill A" is a normal double carriageway road.

So, does that make it seem steeper? Weird, ain't it? :)


that might be fair.. its a lot easier to pace yourself up a long straight climb when you can see it all ahead of you..

a tight twisty singletrack might have you pushing too hard if you don't know it well enough to pace yourself properly.

dbairduk
Posts: 40
Joined: Tue Jan 15, 2013 15:21 pm

Re: Climbing - how much is in the mind?

Postby dbairduk » Mon Feb 25, 2013 19:54 pm

I made this mistake yesterday on my first proper climbs. I didn't expect my friends to take me up a road over a fell! I blasted off up the hill and burnt out as i couldn't see the end. I still made it to the top but was very hard work! Yes it did enter my mind to get off at one point as it was my first ride clipped in also and thought I would fall off lol.

They showed as 3 different category 4 climbs on strava? What do they go up to?

User avatar
Rigged
Posts: 200
Joined: Mon Mar 03, 2008 17:42 pm

Re: Climbing - how much is in the mind?

Postby Rigged » Mon Feb 25, 2013 20:08 pm

dbairduk wrote:I made this mistake yesterday on my first proper climbs. I didn't expect my friends to take me up a road over a fell! I blasted off up the hill and burnt out as i couldn't see the end. I still made it to the top but was very hard work! Yes it did enter my mind to get off at one point as it was my first ride clipped in also and thought I would fall off lol.

They showed as 3 different category 4 climbs on strava? What do they go up to?


Category 4 is the easiest of the classified climbs on strava. It goes down to 4,3,2,1 and finally HC, which is the steepest and/or longest of them all.

To decide the category of a climb we multiply the length of the climb (in meters) with the grade of the climb in percent. If that number is greater than 8000 then it is a categorized climb. The minimum percent grade must be 3% or higher. So, for a 4% avg grade climb, it has to be 2km at least to be categorized. Cat 3 = 16000, 2 = 32000, 1 = 64000, HC > 80000.

User avatar
Sprool
Posts: 958
Joined: Sun Sep 09, 2012 19:32 pm

Re: Climbing - how much is in the mind?

Postby Sprool » Mon Feb 25, 2013 21:24 pm

I think mental attitude plays a huge part - hills I struggled up last year seemed so steep and long, going back to them now I'm really not fitter I just prepared to pace myself better and knowing they were tough, I found it wasn't as bad as I'd remembered.

dbairduk
Posts: 40
Joined: Tue Jan 15, 2013 15:21 pm

Re: Climbing - how much is in the mind?

Postby dbairduk » Mon Feb 25, 2013 21:50 pm

Rigged wrote:
dbairduk wrote:I made this mistake yesterday on my first proper climbs. I didn't expect my friends to take me up a road over a fell! I blasted off up the hill and burnt out as i couldn't see the end. I still made it to the top but was very hard work! Yes it did enter my mind to get off at one point as it was my first ride clipped in also and thought I would fall off lol.

They showed as 3 different category 4 climbs on strava? What do they go up to?


Category 4 is the easiest of the classified climbs on strava. It goes down to 4,3,2,1 and finally HC, which is the steepest and/or longest of them all.

To decide the category of a climb we multiply the length of the climb (in meters) with the grade of the climb in percent. If that number is greater than 8000 then it is a categorized climb. The minimum percent grade must be 3% or higher. So, for a 4% avg grade climb, it has to be 2km at least to be categorized. Cat 3 = 16000, 2 = 32000, 1 = 64000, HC > 80000.


Oh god! I thought they were massive lol
http://app.strava.com/activities/42092297 not sure if you can see that, bet they are babys to you lot.

User avatar
pride4ever
Posts: 507
Joined: Tue Aug 28, 2012 18:55 pm

Re: Climbing - how much is in the mind?

Postby pride4ever » Mon Feb 25, 2013 22:06 pm

Cat 4 is basically downhill,...in a few months you will be flying up those.
the deeper the section the deeper the pleasure.

dbairduk
Posts: 40
Joined: Tue Jan 15, 2013 15:21 pm

Re: Climbing - how much is in the mind?

Postby dbairduk » Mon Feb 25, 2013 22:25 pm

pride4ever wrote:Cat 4 is basically downhill,...in a few months you will be flying up those.


I was warn out after the first cat 4 climbs, then the 3rd was real hard work.

I am going to hunt out a cat 3 for my next ride then lol, gotta get practising.

User avatar
Bobbinogs
Posts: 4001
Joined: Thu Nov 12, 2009 19:52 pm

Re: Climbing - how much is in the mind?

Postby Bobbinogs » Tue Feb 26, 2013 07:24 am

dbairduk wrote:They showed as 3 different category 4 climbs on strava?


Looking at the profile, I would say that is one cat 4 climb (with an undulation) and then one cat 4 descent. It can get confusing on Strava as different folks will segment the same climb albeit in differing lengths (usually to suit their own performance :wink: ) so one climb ends up dotted with cat 4 symbols when it is really just one hill with a couple of features.

Back to the OP, I think climbing is a big chunk in the mind but also very much down to differing personal preferences. Looking at the hills around my way, there are a few of us that always seem to feature on Strava but some guys appear to be made for certain climbs whereas they struggle on others that look similar (but obviously vary).

I have noticed that the fastest way to climb is without actually trying too hard. That may sound contradictory but I find that settling into a nice cadence/rhythm with HR at a tough but sustainable level, with a final blast on the last 100m, works best. If I try too hard then I just end up peddling in squares and the times are always disappointing in that they rarely match my perceived overall effort.

Imposter
Posts: 5224
Joined: Fri Jan 25, 2013 17:17 pm

Re: Climbing - how much is in the mind?

Postby Imposter » Tue Feb 26, 2013 08:40 am

if a climb starts getting too easy - ride up it faster...

User avatar
DaxPlusPlus
Posts: 647
Joined: Thu Aug 04, 2011 12:24 pm

Re: Climbing - how much is in the mind?

Postby DaxPlusPlus » Tue Feb 26, 2013 09:27 am

Is it me or are Cat 4 climbs in the Cotswolds total b@stards? They are usually short - so they don't really register using the standard Cat scales (4,3,2,1,HC) but they are invariably stupidly steep.
Sometimes you're the hammer, sometimes you're the nail

strava profile

User avatar
DaxPlusPlus
Posts: 647
Joined: Thu Aug 04, 2011 12:24 pm

Re: Climbing - how much is in the mind?

Postby DaxPlusPlus » Tue Feb 26, 2013 09:33 am

Also which hills are you comparing?

I'm also interested in getting up hills faster so was wondering what gearing you using to get up these hills? Actually a better question might be what cadence do you manage as well as whether your in or out of the seat?
Sometimes you're the hammer, sometimes you're the nail

strava profile


User avatar
Bobbinogs
Posts: 4001
Joined: Thu Nov 12, 2009 19:52 pm

Re: Climbing - how much is in the mind?

Postby Bobbinogs » Tue Feb 26, 2013 10:28 am

DaxPlusPlus wrote:Also which hills are you comparing?

I'm also interested in getting up hills faster so was wondering what gearing you using to get up these hills? Actually a better question might be what cadence do you manage as well as whether your in or out of the seat?


If you are bored you can look around my routes to find a nice few local lumps: http://app.strava.com/athletes/1294870

The older rides have cadence but I am currently waiting for my faulty Bryton to be fixed so just use smart phone at the mo. PM me if you want a few pointers.

Gearing is very personal. I tend to ride a 34/25 on compact or 39/28 on standard, both roughly the same.

User avatar
Grill
Posts: 5378
Joined: Wed May 23, 2012 08:27 am

Re: Climbing - how much is in the mind?

Postby Grill » Tue Feb 26, 2013 10:54 am

No climbing there. Here's a route with some actual climbing:
http://app.strava.com/activities/40952980

Note to self- eat breakfast and bring more than one banana for the above route as the pain will be like nothing you've ever experienced.
English Cycles V3 | Scott Plasma 3 TT | BMC TrackMachine TM01 | Ritchey Road Logic | Scott CX Team

User avatar
Bobbinogs
Posts: 4001
Joined: Thu Nov 12, 2009 19:52 pm

Re: Climbing - how much is in the mind?

Postby Bobbinogs » Tue Feb 26, 2013 11:18 am

Yepp, fair ol' lumpy route Grill but it's not quite Gloucestershire :wink:

To be honest, we are spoiled a bit around here as you cannot really cycle too far without getting to some lump or another. Frocester hill is a nice climb, as is the climb out of Gloucester up to Edge, although the surface ain't great. The Cheltenham to Stroud climb is good and scenic but my fav has to be the hill out of Stroud up to Slad, about as beautiful as it gets...and the descent down Buckholt Rd to Cranham makes it all worth while.

User avatar
DaxPlusPlus
Posts: 647
Joined: Thu Aug 04, 2011 12:24 pm

Re: Climbing - how much is in the mind?

Postby DaxPlusPlus » Tue Feb 26, 2013 11:25 am

I've cycled up past the Green Dragon (Cowley) over 160 times .. it doesn't get any easier. Steep enough for it to hurt, short enough so that you can really crucify yourself.

I don't get to see much of view - I spend most of my time staring at the ground approx 3-4 feet in front of my bike :|
Sometimes you're the hammer, sometimes you're the nail

strava profile

User avatar
Grill
Posts: 5378
Joined: Wed May 23, 2012 08:27 am

Re: Climbing - how much is in the mind?

Postby Grill » Tue Feb 26, 2013 11:46 am

Bobbinogs wrote:Yepp, fair ol' lumpy route Grill but it's not quite Gloucestershire :wink:

To be honest, we are spoiled a bit around here as you cannot really cycle too far without getting to some lump or another. Frocester hill is a nice climb, as is the climb out of Gloucester up to Edge, although the surface ain't great. The Cheltenham to Stroud climb is good and scenic but my fav has to be the hill out of Stroud up to Slad, about as beautiful as it gets...and the descent down Buckholt Rd to Cranham makes it all worth while.


All that climbing was in a 45 mile stretch and three of those climbs hit 30% and one hit 40%!

Done a fair bit of riding in your neck of the woods and it's quite nice, but I like the longer climbs (Bwlch, Rhigo, Tumble, etc.). The Wye Valley has some fantastic climbs as well and you can't argue with the scenery!

If there's a route in Gloucestershire that approximates my Sunday ride, then please let me know so I can take it down!
http://app.strava.com/activities/42096566
English Cycles V3 | Scott Plasma 3 TT | BMC TrackMachine TM01 | Ritchey Road Logic | Scott CX Team

User avatar
Bobbinogs
Posts: 4001
Joined: Thu Nov 12, 2009 19:52 pm

Re: Climbing - how much is in the mind?

Postby Bobbinogs » Tue Feb 26, 2013 11:53 am

Ha, we've got hills, none of them there mountains :)


Return to “Road Beginners”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: marcusjb, Step83 and 4 guests