Help With Climbing



ltmark

New Member
Aug 24, 2004
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I'm 57 and just got back into cycling after I retired! My goal is to start riding centuries, which I haven't done since I was 42. I currently ride 120-150 per week and can do pretty good on flats and small climbs, BUT when I get to a big hill, I usually gear down and by the time I decide to stand on the pedals, I am in too low of gear to pedal while standing. HOW and WHEN (or do I) shift up to get a gear that will make standing effective? Thanx for this forum...I have learned a lot!
 

smnw10

New Member
Aug 23, 2004
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when climbing really long climbs where i stand at some point, i do so when i'm about to shift down...so instead of shifting down i'll stand up and go until that is too difficult, then i'll shift down while standing

don't know how effective it is, but if you shift down too early you're just gonna make life more difficult for yourself

on contrary if you're seated going up a hill and then want to stand but you're in too low of a gear, simply shift up one or two gears right when you go to stand up......it's all personal preference and what works best for an individual but those work well for me if i need to stand
 

Carrera

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Feb 2, 2004
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These days I don't climb uphill I sprint. This may sound like showing off but in fact it's just that I like to get the climb done with as quickly as possible. So, if I'm in a really low gear I'll sprint, standing up and pedaling in a jogging style. Other times I use a big gear and more leg power.
Selecting the right gear is tough for everyone. Myself I prefer to go high enough to feel a little strain but no so high that I'm busting my ass. There have been occasions I misjudged, got into too big a gear and stopped. I'll then roll back down a few feet and regear. If I'm in too low a gear, I'll accelerate to the max, lurch and change up.

ltmark said:
I'm 57 and just got back into cycling after I retired! My goal is to start riding centuries, which I haven't done since I was 42. I currently ride 120-150 per week and can do pretty good on flats and small climbs, BUT when I get to a big hill, I usually gear down and by the time I decide to stand on the pedals, I am in too low of gear to pedal while standing. HOW and WHEN (or do I) shift up to get a gear that will make standing effective? Thanx for this forum...I have learned a lot!
 

eortiz

New Member
Nov 12, 2003
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For the longest time, I never try to stand on a climb. If I do, I tend to blow up faster and crawl the rest of the way. But after a lot of miles on my legs (and climbs) I find I can stand (and longer too.) I climb a hill/mountain in a comfortable gear and when I want to stretch my legs I stand but shift one or two (depending ow my lungs and legs feel) gears down. Stand and pedal as long as I can keeping in mind how far I still have to climb because I don't want to blow up. The sit and **** back to the original gear I was in. I only stand if I want to strech my legs or back.

ltmark said:
I'm 57 and just got back into cycling after I retired! My goal is to start riding centuries, which I haven't done since I was 42. I currently ride 120-150 per week and can do pretty good on flats and small climbs, BUT when I get to a big hill, I usually gear down and by the time I decide to stand on the pedals, I am in too low of gear to pedal while standing. HOW and WHEN (or do I) shift up to get a gear that will make standing effective? Thanx for this forum...I have learned a lot!
 

ltmark

New Member
Aug 24, 2004
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I appreciate the help! I tried some of these ways this morning, and I did a little better. The miles must be finally helping. My thighs would start hurting really bad after only 10-15 rev's when I started, but now I can go a lot further before they feel like they're going to blow up! Thanx again to everyone. I was riding my old Univega that I bought in '84.....Just got a new Cannondale R600 and I feel like a real Road Cyclists now.. Retirement is GREAT!
 

eortiz

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Nov 12, 2003
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I envy you! I know how it feels (good) not to worry about time (to go to work) since I was unemployed for 1.5 yrs. I wish I could just ride and not work :(

ltmark said:
I appreciate the help! I tried some of these ways this morning, and I did a little better. The miles must be finally helping. My thighs would start hurting really bad after only 10-15 rev's when I started, but now I can go a lot further before they feel like they're going to blow up! Thanx again to everyone. I was riding my old Univega that I bought in '84.....Just got a new Cannondale R600 and I feel like a real Road Cyclists now.. Retirement is GREAT!
 

closesupport

Banned
Jul 18, 2004
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smnw10 said:
when climbing really long climbs where i stand at some point, i do so when i'm about to shift down...so instead of shifting down i'll stand up and go until that is too difficult, then i'll shift down while standing

don't know how effective it is, but if you shift down too early you're just gonna make life more difficult for yourself

on contrary if you're seated going up a hill and then want to stand but you're in too low of a gear, simply shift up one or two gears right when you go to stand up......it's all personal preference and what works best for an individual but those work well for me if i need to stand
i don't change i zig zag slightly just to recover but my hill is steep and seems endless, the downside is i have to travel 19miles to get to it.
 

dhk

New Member
Sep 1, 2003
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ltmark said:
I appreciate the help! I tried some of these ways this morning, and I did a little better. The miles must be finally helping. My thighs would start hurting really bad after only 10-15 rev's when I started, but now I can go a lot further before they feel like they're going to blow up! Thanx again to everyone. I was riding my old Univega that I bought in '84.....Just got a new Cannondale R600 and I feel like a real Road Cyclists now.. Retirement is GREAT!

I just completed my first year of retirement, and nearing 57 as well. It's great to have the time to ride now, but also a little frustrating to realize that I'm not 27 any more either. After 3800 miles this season, I've found that 150-180 miles a week is about all I can handle, and have to watch the training intensity closely. I like the faster club rides with the pack, but it takes me a couple of days to recover if I stay over an hour above LT intensity.

I did enjoy 3 centuries this season so far....my first ones since 1975. My plan is to do one more this fall, then work on gaining some power over the winter months so I can turn it up a notch next season.

My philosophy is that if you always enjoy your rides; the rest will follow in due time. Good luck.