Hills killing me

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by Greg, Jan 22, 2003.

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  1. Greg

    Greg Guest

    Hi all,

    I'm looking for some advice/tips for doing hill work - for as long as I can remember I have always
    had trouble getting up hills - it feels like I'm peddling through mud - and everyone else is flying
    by me. (I'm not a light fellow and am not build like a climber)

    Any idea what my gear ratio should be for hills. Would it make much of a difference changing it?

    Cheers Greg
     
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  2. Trentus

    Trentus Guest

    "Greg" <[email protected]*spam*.com> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    > Hi all,
    >
    > I'm looking for some advice/tips for doing hill work - for as long as I
    can
    > remember I have always had trouble getting up hills - it feels like I'm peddling through mud - and
    > everyone else is flying by me. (I'm not a light fellow and am not build like a climber)
    >
    > Any idea what my gear ratio should be for hills. Would it make much of a difference changing it?
    >
    >
    > Cheers Greg

    What gear are you using? I find I actually prefer and handle much better going up a few gears, my
    ideal gear for a steep hill appears to be 4th gear. I have friends who drop down to granny gear, but
    I can't spin my legs at that speed, and the bike moves too slowly for me to have good control. Maybe
    you'll find a HIGHER gear actually works best for you too.

    Next time you're on a hill play around with the gears, trying a few combinations. I found that 4th
    was my ideal gear whilst climbing a SEVEN KILOMETRE NON STOP HILL.

    Trentus
     
  3. Antti

    Antti Guest

    Improve your aerobic endurance. Train your anaerobic threshold higher. Drop your weight. Get more
    power to your legs from weight exercises.

    No secret formula for the gear ratio.

    Antti

    Greg wrote in message <[email protected]>...
    >Hi all,
    >
    >I'm looking for some advice/tips for doing hill work - for as long as I
    can
    >remember I have always had trouble getting up hills - it feels like I'm peddling through mud - and
    >everyone else is flying by me. (I'm not a light fellow and am not build like a climber)
    >
    >Any idea what my gear ratio should be for hills. Would it make much of a difference changing it?
    >
    >
    >Cheers Greg
    >
    >
    >
     
  4. Pann McCuaig

    Pann McCuaig Guest

    In article <[email protected]>, Greg wrote:
    > Hi all,
    >
    > I'm looking for some advice/tips for doing hill work - for as long as I can remember I have always
    > had trouble getting up hills - it feels like I'm peddling through mud - and everyone else is
    > flying by me. (I'm not a light fellow and am not build like a climber)
    >
    > Any idea what my gear ratio should be for hills. Would it make much of a difference changing it?

    Two things.

    First, if you haven't changed the gearing on your bike (road bike?) you can be pretty sure your
    lowest gear is too high. Look into replacing your smallest chainring with one with fewer teeth, or
    replacing your rear cluster with one that has a bigger large cog.

    Two, a technique I read about (probably in Bicycling magazine) many, many years ago worked for me
    when I moved from Wisconsin to Oregon and had to deal with hills.

    When you approach a hill that you think is going to give you trouble, shift into your lowest gear
    well _before_ you start climbing, and bleed off speed until you can barely balance the bike.
    Continue at this pace. You should be able to get up the hill fine.

    Once you have done this a few times and have a feel for what sort of slope _requires_ this
    technique, you'll be able to adjust accordingly. For someone who has trouble with hills, knowing
    that you _can_ ride up the damn thing is important to building the confidence required to spin on up
    them things just like "everyone else."

    Luck, Pann
    --
    geek by nature, Linux by choice L I N U X .~. The Choice /V\ http://www.ourmanpann.com/linux/ of a
    GNU /( )\ Generation ^^-^^
     
  5. Bcotton

    Bcotton Guest

    "Greg" <[email protected]*spam*.com> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    > Hi all,
    >
    > I'm looking for some advice/tips for doing hill work - for as long as I
    can
    > remember I have always had trouble getting up hills - it feels like I'm peddling through mud - and
    > everyone else is flying by me. (I'm not a light fellow and am not build like a climber)
    >
    > Any idea what my gear ratio should be for hills. Would it make much of a difference changing it?
    >
    >
    > Cheers Greg
    >
    Three words Training, Training and Training. I weigh 195 pounds and enjoys endurnce rides, on the
    flat. I rode nine one hunred miles centuries last year, that includ one 340 miles ride with stops
    only for food and potty. I lead most of the rides for my bicycle club, at my speed, usually about
    11-12 miles per hour for the total ride, usually 50 miles or more. I don't do Randonneurs,
    because, my ride are done at my pace. People I ride with, ride at my pace. I have met more that
    two riders who weighed more than two hunred pounds, at one time. Both trained hard by riding often
    and the muscle that use to carry 200 pounds slowly ,now the same muscle carries less that 150
    pounds a lot faster.

    // Bill Cotton: Latitude N40° 03.756' W75° 06.192' / / Phone 215 663-8363 Data 215 663-8364 //
    [email protected] [email protected] // [email protected] [email protected] //
    www.billcotton.com
     
  6. Jim Edgar

    Jim Edgar Guest

    Greg at [email protected]*spam*.com wrote on 1/19/03 11:02 PM:
    > I'm looking for some advice/tips for doing hill work - for as long as I can remember I have always
    > had trouble getting up hills - it feels like I'm peddling through mud - and everyone else is
    > flying by me. (I'm not a light fellow and am not build like a climber)

    Get really good at descending.

    One climber (120 #'er) I ride with just flies away anytime we go up a decent climb, but could
    literally walk down the other side faster than he rides. I dunno - combination of his build/weight
    plus the lack of downhill skill.

    As far as going up goes....

    If you are riding with a group, you could attack at the base of the climb in the big ring, then drop
    into your climbing gear and float backward through everyone as you continue upwards. Timed
    correctly, you end up towards the back, but ready to make up time on the descent.

    Check your position - you may find that sliding back on the saddle as you go up lets you use
    different muscles.

    Check your position (2) - relax anything that isn't getting you up the hill
    - neck, arms, shoulders, fingers, etc. - get your hands out onto the outside of the curve on the
    flat part of your bars to open up your chest/lungs. Concentrate on fully _expelling_ your breath
    as you climb.

    Find a cadence and stick with it. If you are a bigger (180+) guy, it'll probably be more efficient
    to sit and spin rather than pretend you are Roberto Heras dancin' on the pedals out of the saddle.
    It'll probably take time to develop your climbing cadence and the aerobic conditioning to maintain
    it. You'll need to practice climbing.

    > Any idea what my gear ratio should be for hills.

    No.

    > Would it make much of a difference changing it?

    Probably. Depends what it is.
     
  7. Sparhawk

    Sparhawk Guest

    On Mon, 20 Jan 2003 09:02:10 +0200, "Greg" <[email protected]*spam*.com> wrote:

    >Hi all,
    >
    >I'm looking for some advice/tips for doing hill work - for as long as I can remember I have always
    >had trouble getting up hills - it feels like I'm peddling through mud - and everyone else is flying
    >by me. (I'm not a light fellow and am not build like a climber)
    >
    >Any idea what my gear ratio should be for hills. Would it make much of a difference changing it?

    The only gear that you should consider changing is your clothes size, you are fat, overweight and
    not built like a climber because of that.

    Lose the weight, train and ride hard and come back to see us again after you do and maybe we can
    talk gear ratio then.

    Sparhawk
     
  8. On Mon, 20 Jan 2003 02:02:10 -0500, Greg wrote:

    > Hi all,
    >
    > I'm looking for some advice/tips for doing hill work - for as long as I can remember I have always
    > had trouble getting up hills - it feels like I'm peddling through mud - and everyone else is
    > flying by me. (I'm not a light fellow and am not build like a climber)
    >
    > Any idea what my gear ratio should be for hills. Would it make much of a difference changing it?

    This is, as it stands, impossible to answer. We need to know what kind of gears you use now. Not
    everyone has the same.

    I understand your plight. Perhaps you are in the wrong gear, but perhaps not as well. Heck, hills
    are hills. Some people, those skinny kids in particular, climb them faster that fatter, older folks.

    But most road bikes, IMO, do not have very good gears for such folks as you suggest you are to climb
    real hills. Invest in something like a triple, and try lower gears.

    --

    David L. Johnson

    __o | As far as the laws of mathematics refer to reality, they are not _`\(,_ | certain, and as
    far as they are certain, they do not refer to (_)/ (_) | reality. -- Albert Einstein
     
  9. In article <[email protected]>, Trentus wrote:
    > "Greg" <[email protected]*spam*.com> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    >> Hi all,
    >>
    >> I'm looking for some advice/tips for doing hill work - for as long as I
    > can
    >> remember I have always had trouble getting up hills - it feels like I'm peddling through mud -
    >> and everyone else is flying by me. (I'm not a light fellow and am not build like a climber)
    >>
    >> Any idea what my gear ratio should be for hills. Would it make much of a difference changing it?
    >>
    >>
    >> Cheers Greg
    >
    > What gear are you using? I find I actually prefer and handle much better going up a few gears, my
    > ideal gear for a steep hill appears to be 4th gear. I have friends who drop down to granny gear,
    > but I can't spin my legs at that speed, and the bike moves too slowly for me to have good control.
    > Maybe you'll find a HIGHER gear actually works best for you too.
    >
    > Next time you're on a hill play around with the gears, trying a few combinations. I found that 4th
    > was my ideal gear whilst climbing a SEVEN KILOMETRE NON STOP HILL.
    >
    > Trentus
    >
    >

    What ratio is your "4th gear"?

    AC

    --
    <<|
    | http://www.acampbell.org.uk/cycling/
    _________ ,___o / \ __________ _\ <;_ / \ OCD Cycloclimbing ___________ (_)/ (_) / \
    http://www.ocd.org.uk
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------
     
  10. Harris

    Harris Guest

    Jim Edgar <[email protected]> wrote:

    > If you are riding with a group, you could attack at the base of the climb in the big ring, then
    > drop into your climbing gear and float backward through everyone as you continue upwards. Timed
    > correctly, you end up towards the back, but ready to make up time on the descent.

    I see this advice all the time. It's OK for racers who can't climb I suppose. But on
    recreational/club rides, it's a real PIA to have slower riders sprint ahead only to slow down. Then
    everyone has to pass them, and you end up with riders all over the road.

    Art Harris
     
  11. Greg

    Greg Guest

    Thanks for all the feedback.

    My gear ratio's are 53/39 on the front and 21-19-17-16-15-14-13-12 - is this normal?

    I've tried various combinations of gears but find when I go into the hill I just loose all momentum
    - the legs just strain to turn over :) Did a 10km hill on the weekend which was sheer hell.

    "Trentus" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:p[email protected]...
    > "Greg" <[email protected]*spam*.com> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    > > Hi all,
    > >
    > > I'm looking for some advice/tips for doing hill work - for as long as I
    > can
    > > remember I have always had trouble getting up hills - it feels like I'm peddling through mud -
    > > and everyone else is flying by me. (I'm not a
    light
    > > fellow and am not build like a climber)
    > >
    > > Any idea what my gear ratio should be for hills. Would it make much of a difference changing it?
    > >
    > >
    > > Cheers Greg
    >
    > What gear are you using? I find I actually prefer and handle much better going up a few gears, my
    > ideal gear for a steep hill appears to be 4th gear. I have friends who drop down to granny gear,
    > but I can't spin my legs at that speed, and the bike moves too slowly for me to have good control.
    > Maybe you'll find a HIGHER gear actually works best for you too.
    >
    > Next time you're on a hill play around with the gears, trying a few combinations. I found that 4th
    > was my ideal gear whilst climbing a SEVEN KILOMETRE NON STOP HILL.
    >
    > Trentus
     
  12. Greg

    Greg Guest

    My ratio's are 53/39 on the front and 21-19-17-16-15-14-13-12 Yip - ita a roadbike.

    I'll give that technique a shot.

    Thanks

    "Pann McCuaig" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > In article <[email protected]>, Greg wrote:
    > > Hi all,
    > >
    > > I'm looking for some advice/tips for doing hill work - for as long as I
    can
    > > remember I have always had trouble getting up hills - it feels like I'm peddling through mud -
    > > and everyone else is flying by me. (I'm not a
    light
    > > fellow and am not build like a climber)
    > >
    > > Any idea what my gear ratio should be for hills. Would it make much of a difference changing it?
    >
    > Two things.
    >
    > First, if you haven't changed the gearing on your bike (road bike?) you can be pretty sure your
    > lowest gear is too high. Look into replacing your smallest chainring with one with fewer teeth, or
    > replacing your rear cluster with one that has a bigger large cog.
    >
    > Two, a technique I read about (probably in Bicycling magazine) many, many years ago worked for me
    > when I moved from Wisconsin to Oregon and had to deal with hills.
    >
    > When you approach a hill that you think is going to give you trouble, shift into your lowest gear
    > well _before_ you start climbing, and bleed off speed until you can barely balance the bike.
    > Continue at this pace. You should be able to get up the hill fine.
    >
    > Once you have done this a few times and have a feel for what sort of slope _requires_ this
    > technique, you'll be able to adjust accordingly. For someone who has trouble with hills, knowing
    > that you _can_ ride up the damn thing is important to building the confidence required to spin on
    > up them things just like "everyone else."
    >
    > Luck, Pann
    > --
    > geek by nature, Linux by choice L I N U X .~. The Choice /V\ http://www.ourmanpann.com/linux/ of a
    > GNU /( )\ Generation ^^-^^
     
  13. Greg

    Greg Guest

    And just how do you come to the conclusion that I'm fat? Just because I'm not build like a climber?
    I didnt even give you my weight - and if I did - you have no idea how muscular I am with out % body
    fat reading!

    "Sparhawk" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...

    > The only gear that you should consider changing is your clothes size, you are fat, overweight and
    > not built like a climber because of that.
    >
    > Lose the weight, train and ride hard and come back to see us again after you do and maybe we can
    > talk gear ratio then.
    >
    > Sparhawk
     
  14. You could always get at Greenspeed Trike... I have one. You can tackle ANY hill. Any.
    www.greenspeed.com.au
     
  15. Mike S.

    Mike S. Guest

    Yeah, but those of us that are sprinter types find that getting to the head of the field at the
    bottom of the climb is the only way to stay in contact with the back of the field by the top. Works
    fairly well on shorter hills, and when there aren't two back to back.

    One of the things that I've found is that if the hill is short enough, I can stand and go faster
    than if I sit. On longer hills, I alternate standing and sitting. Stand for 100m, then sit for 100m,
    etc. When you stand, make sure that you shift one or two gears harder so you keep the same speed
    climbing as sitting.

    Hills never get any easier, just faster! Don't worry too much about keeping up with the
    featherweights, they'll always outclimb a sprinter-type build. Catch them on the descents or on
    the flats after the bottom of the hill. Then start attacking and make them try and sprint!
    Payback's a bitch...

    "Harris" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:E%[email protected]...
    > Jim Edgar <[email protected]> wrote:
    >
    > > If you are riding with a group, you could attack at the base of the
    climb in
    > > the big ring, then drop into your climbing gear and float backward
    through
    > > everyone as you continue upwards. Timed correctly, you end up towards
    the
    > > back, but ready to make up time on the descent.
    >
    > I see this advice all the time. It's OK for racers who can't climb I suppose. But on
    > recreational/club rides, it's a real PIA to have slower riders sprint ahead only to slow down.
    > Then everyone has to pass them, and you end up with riders all over the road.
    >
    > Art Harris
     
  16. Harris

    Harris Guest

    Greg <[email protected]> wrote:
    > Thanks for all the feedback.

    > My gear ratio's are 53/39 on the front and 21-19-17-16-15-14-13-12 - is this normal?

    Definitely not! That's for flat rides. Switch to a 12-25 or 12-27, your knees will thank you.

    Art Harris
     
  17. Ics

    Ics Guest

    "Greg" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    | Thanks for all the feedback.
    |
    | My gear ratio's are 53/39 on the front and 21-19-17-16-15-14-13-12 - is
    this
    | normal?
    |

    Definantly go with a different cassette or freewheel. My favorite is a 12-28 and I'm a big guy as
    well. You may have to lengthen your chain a couple of links. Typical rear road derailleurs can shift
    up to a 28 tooth.
     
  18. Greg <[email protected]> wrote:
    >My gear ratio's are 53/39 on the front and 21-19-17-16-15-14-13-12 - is this normal?

    Is it normal? Yes. Is it good? No. What are you (or any normal non-racer) going to do with a
    53/12, eh?

    I have a 52/39 on the front (why a 39? They don't come any smaller in 130mm BCD), but a 13-34 on the
    rear - much more useful. I don't have the teeny jumps you do, but they are not really useful for
    normal riding.

    However, if your machine came with a 'road' derailleur it probably will not accommodate a rear
    sprocket larger than _about_ 28t. That would still effect an improvement.
    --
    David Damerell <[email protected]> flcl?
     
  19. Dane Jackson

    Dane Jackson Guest

    Greg <[email protected]> wrote:
    >
    > "Sparhawk" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > news:[email protected]...
    >
    >> The only gear that you should consider changing is your clothes size, you are fat, overweight and
    >> not built like a climber because of that.
    >>
    >> Lose the weight, train and ride hard and come back to see us again after you do and maybe we can
    >> talk gear ratio then.
    >
    > And just how do you come to the conclusion that I'm fat? Just because I'm not build like a
    > climber? I didnt even give you my weight - and if I did - you have no idea how muscular I am with
    > out % body fat reading!

    He's a troll, ignore him so he can go back under his bridge. It's probably best to killfile him.

    --
    Dane Jackson - z u v e m b i @ u n i x b i g o t s . o r g Suburbia is where the developer bulldozes
    out the trees, then names the streets after them. -- Bill Vaughn
     
  20. Matt O'Toole

    Matt O'Toole Guest

    "Greg" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...

    > My gear ratio's are 53/39 on the front and 21-19-17-16-15-14-13-12 - is
    this
    > normal?

    It might be normal for a well-trained rider on relatively flat terrain, but most people need lower
    gears than that to ride hillly terrain comfortably. In fact, I think most recreational riders would
    benefit from a triple (if they ride hills). Unfortunately, most road bikes come with overly tall
    gears, for a racy image, rather than what works best for the rider.

    > I've tried various combinations of gears but find when I go into the hill
    I
    > just loose all momentum - the legs just strain to turn over :)

    That's how to tell you're in too high a gear. The right gear is the one you can keep turning
    comfortably, or at least not so uncomfortably.

    Get some lower gears. A simple cassette swap to a 13-28 will help a lot, without spending too much
    money. That's basically two gears' worth lower than what you have now. A triple crank would be
    great, but a lot more expensive -- you'd probably need new derailers, and front shifter too if
    you're using STI. An in-between solution might be a wide range mountain bike cassette, like a 12-32,
    along with a new rear derailer if yours won't handle it.

    Matt O.
     
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