Climbing. What am I doing wrong?

Discussion in 'The Bike Cafe' started by Jaguar27, Aug 13, 2006.

  1. Jaguar27

    Jaguar27 New Member

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    I really need some help here...
    Take into account that I'm 50, 6ft and 200 Lbs, so yeah, I know which part to work on and I'll never be a "Climber"...
    But here's where you Guys come in...
    I do a Saturday morning ride, 22.8 miles, a lot of loooong rolling climbs, I have no problem with those...I can simply spin up them, patience is all that's needed really, but then, around 3/4 of the way into the ride I hit my Wall, maaannnn...it's steep, probaly around 7% (don't laugh, that's steep to me) but the hardest part is it's so flippin' LONG...about a mile, maybe a bit less...

    The problem is, although I have the biggest rear Cassette Campy make, I can't spin up this one , here I am, down to 5mph...maybe a 20 cadence? I can't remember exactly....plus I concentrate on breathing out, try and use different muscle groups on the way up (I run out half way)...and there I am, down to 5mph...I reach the top and I feel so good, dizzy and out of breath but good, I console myself with the fact that I actually made it...

    It's so steep that Cars honk their horns...people on the way down point and laugh...

    PLEASE Help me do it faster!! :eek:
     
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  2. t4mv

    t4mv New Member

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    Maybe they're laughing WITH you and not at you...:)

    1) Cannondale's compact crankset (what's it called again, Si carbon compact, or something?...)
    2) Suck down some gel and chug a bunch of electrolyte replacement drink BEFORE you get to the climb.
     
  3. brad g

    brad g New Member

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    Don't look at the top of the hill, just concentrate on your immediate surrounding, I find that not paying attention to how far it is to the top and just focusing on my cadence somehow helps.
     
  4. brad g

    brad g New Member

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    By the way, how long have you been riding overall, and this particular route as well? I'm 31 years old, 235lb and have only been riding for about two months, but I can really tell the difference already (when I started I was 255lb).
     
  5. Insight Driver

    Insight Driver New Member

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    Techniques I use for riding long hills is to get in the gear that I can continue to spin in and look down at the road, not up the hill. I concentrate on how hard I'm pushing and downshift to keep it easy. Sometimes, though, spinning gets to be a drag, so I'll upshift and stand on the pedals for a while. I set myself in a gear that my body weight alone will push the pedal down. That uses totally different muscle groups. After standing on the pedals for a while, I'll sit and downshift back down to my spinning gear. All the time, just concentrate on your effort and keep it easy. Patience is key. Just be patient.

    Looking up tends to make you want to push harder to get the ordeal over with.
     
  6. Jaguar27

    Jaguar27 New Member

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    My six13 has the si Crankset but it's not a compact, that's a good idea, thanks...does anyone know if I could have a compact fitted??

    I drink Accelerade...it seems to be OK but gets a bit much after a bottle and a half....
    :(

    But thanks for the reply!!
     
  7. Jaguar27

    Jaguar27 New Member

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    Thanks, I already try and do that, plus I try and think of something else other than churning the Cranks...it seems to help, this climb is pretty much more phsychological than anything I guess...
     
  8. Jaguar27

    Jaguar27 New Member

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    I started riding seriously again on July 4th 2003 and average only about 3500 miles a year....I've been doing the new route for about a month....I can feel I'm getting a little better, it makes other climbs I do regularly feel a lot easier, so I think I'm going in the right direction...
    I do the wrong kind of riding to lose weight, I don't have time to do long/lower intensity rides... plus, I'll admit, I still eat too much...my Legs are getting (much) bigger, my belly isn't unfortunately...

    I'm an ex-Football (soccer) Player but had to quit in 91 after a serious back injury, so between 91 and 2003 I got lazy...but keep doing the long/lower intensity rides and you'll do well weight wise!!
     
  9. fauxpas

    fauxpas New Member

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    That's 1 revolution every 3 seconds... surely you'd stall and fall over at that pace?

    The 'Heartbreak Hill' near my house is steep, like extreme skiing steep, but very short in distance. Only the last few times have I been able to get to the top without walking it. I find riding in the hoods with my ass out of the saddle is the only way I get up it. I have 53/39 and 12/24, so its not particularly low gearing, which makes it a real workout. But I do it daily and each week I see improvement.

    So maybe you just gotta keep attacking it?
     
  10. Jaguar27

    Jaguar27 New Member

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    Thanks insight...I only wish I had the Legs to spin up this climb, that's what I'm aiming at, but it's just to steep and long for me to spin..it's more a kind of a "Churn"...remember Floyd on stage 16? That's me unfortunately
    :mad:

    Yes, I'm sure I need patience...I'm carefull to not attack at the bottom, I get in the lowest gear asap, take it nice and easy, then suddenly, I'm having to concentrate on using different muscle groups, different hand positions, my breathing and something else other than climbing unfortunately...

    But thanks to you and the others who have replied I'm getting some good tips here....I'll be working hard and maybe I'll beable to fly up in no time...
     
  11. Jaguar27

    Jaguar27 New Member

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    Yeah, you're right, I do have a Cadence thingy on my Bike but it becomes all blury as I'm on the verge of passing out....
    I see you're a Fan of little Britain? Great show!!
     
  12. WINGNUTT

    WINGNUTT New Member

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    20 cadence!?!??!! Dude... this is crazy.... get a compact crank (or a triple) and change your rear cassette. Just going to compact (5 teeth less) isn't going to be a big enough difference as this is only a 12% improvement. You'll also need a 27 or maybe 30 rear cassette. Switch to shimano if you have to, or maybe just go the triple route. But for the love of God, do something man... 20 is ridiculous.
     
  13. mikesbytes

    mikesbytes New Member

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    Hi Jaguar27, I'm also a vet at 45 and I go up hills a lot better than other riders of the same ability as me.

    Its all about power to weight ratio;

    1. Add strength. There's various ways to do this and its more about finding the time. You could go out once a week for a an extra ride of say 30-45minutes, where you head straight to you closet hills from home and then hammer it up the hill the best you can followed by the easiest cruse to the next hill which you hammer again.

    2. Loose weight. This probably happening anyway as part of your new exercise endevours. As you improve your strength, your muscle weight will go up, but this will be counteracted by fat lost. Eventually you will loose more fat than the muscle you put on and your scale weight will go down. When you are down to 180lbs, you will weigh the weight of your bike less. Or to put it another way, walk up a set of stairs with a 20lbs back pack on, take the back pack off and do it again.

    1. & 2. above will take some time, so why don't you change the gearing on your bike so bottom gear is low enough to give you an acceptible bottom cadience that will make those hills more enjoyable. While spinning is considered the best way to get up a hill, when you go below the minimum cadience for spinning, why don't you try standing and pumping the pedals, just to help you out for the remaing metres to the top of the hill.

    Cheers, Michael.
     
  14. fauxpas

    fauxpas New Member

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    An american that likes little britain...? What the...?
     
  15. Jaguar27

    Jaguar27 New Member

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    I'm British.
     
  16. Jaguar27

    Jaguar27 New Member

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    All great advice, thanks....
    I actually live half way up a hill....

    I need to find out if I can have a compact crank installed on my Bike, I agree, that will help a lot...I'll call my LBS...

    Thanks again Michael!!

    Cheers then!!
     
  17. Jaguar27

    Jaguar27 New Member

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    Hiya Wingnutt, thanks for the reply....I already run a 13-29, I've e-mailed my LBS to see whether they can get a Compact for the front...my Bike has the Cannondale Si BB so I'll see what they say....

    I'm ready for a new Bike in January anyway, so I'll deffinately be going for a compact next time methinks....

    In my original post I think I deffinately underestimated the cadence...I'll pay closer attention next time...
    ;)
     
  18. fauxpas

    fauxpas New Member

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    "You can here it in my accent when I talk, I'm an Englishman in New York" (Sting)

    Have you thought about crank length? A slightly longer crank should give you more leverage. But obviously you wouldn't want it too long. I wonder if you could have them a little longer for your body size?

    I have 165mm cranks as I'm a short-ass bastard, but am contemplating going to std 170mm. And I think many people have 170mm that could really have longer ones than that.
     
  19. WINGNUTT

    WINGNUTT New Member

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    With a 29 on the back and a 34 on the front, you should be in pretty good shape. If that doesn't do it, I'd recommend upping the saddle time and just staying at it... improvement happens gradually, so patience is key.
     
  20. WINGNUTT

    WINGNUTT New Member

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    This is a good point... if you are 6ft tall, you should have at least 172.5mm cranks, unless you are oddly proportioned. I'm 5'11" and find 175mm to be perfect. Won't make a huge difference, but if you have long legs, you might want to consider 175s. I bike fitting expert could give you accurate advice on this one.
     
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