Hills killing me

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

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  1. On Mon, 20 Jan 2003 14:08:20 -0500, Greg 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?

    Geez. For 20-year-old racers, yeah. A 39/21 is not a very low gear. Also, do you really think you
    need a 53/12? Against whom do you sprint for downhill finishes? I would at the minimum replace that
    cassette with a 13-26 or 13-25.

    --

    David L. Johnson

    __o | Deserves death! I daresay he does. Many that live deserve _`\(,_ | death. And some that die
    deserve life. Can you give it to (_)/ (_) | them? Then do not be too eager to deal out death in
    judgement. -- J. R. R. Tolkein
     


  2. Greg

    Greg Guest

    Thanks - I'll try that out!

    "Harris" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > 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 fl&1>12>z!LÆ*šŽH0ò
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    "Christopher M. Jones" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > 11: Despite the fact that Earth has always had dozens of races, thousands of languages, thousands
    > of widely varied ethnic and cultural traditions and lifestyles, and hundreds of governments,
    > all planets throughout the universe will have one race, one language, and one global
    > government, or at most two or three.

    One climate too: desert planets, garden planets, arctic planets...
     
  3. On Mon, 20 Jan 2003 15:44:03 -0500, ICS wrote:

    > "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.

    Wait a bit. Don't "lengthen" your chain. Repalce it. Probably due, anyway. But I also repeat that
    you do not need that 12. Finally, depending on the brand of derailleur, you may not be able to
    handle a 28.

    --

    David L. Johnson

    __o | Some people used to claim that, if enough monkeys sat in front _`\(,_ | of enough
    typewriters and typed long enough, eventually one of (_)/ (_) | them would reproduce the
    collected works of Shakespeare. The internet has proven this not to be the case.
     
  4. David Damerell wrote:
    >
    > 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.

    As others have pointed out, a 38t ring is available. Some 130 cranks might need a bit of "dremeling"
    to take the 38t. My DA 7402 cranks take the 38t without modification.

    > I don't have the teeny jumps you do, but they are not really useful for normal riding.

    By definition, they are useful if they are used and I would hardly call it *not* normal -- a lot of
    people use it and enjoy it. I used a 12-21 8sp almost exclusively for the 6 or so years I owned it
    before 9sp's came out. If riders didn't perceive and advantage to "small" step sizes, they wouldn't
    bother with tight cassettes. They recognize the tradeoffs. Once one is wont to "close spacing," it
    is hard to give up. I've done a lot of experimenting with step sizes. I find I like resolution at or
    below 9%. For example, the 19 to 21 difference is a teensy bit high for my taste, but in the end,
    the 18t isn't quite worth the sacrifice of a low for a 17-18 sequence. On the low end, I find a step
    of 4% to be the bottom end of what can be distinctly sensed as a "different gear." But I never
    design to go below 6%, and it is really the integer based teeth constraint that causes the 6% step
    (16 <=> 17), not the actual desire for that step size.

    For causal riding, it is much easier to tolerate, and even "not notice" larger step sizes. I've
    found I'm most sensitive to step sizes for "max effort" (Time Trial) style riding. For me, this
    amounts to max effort intervals of 15 to 60 min. I don't like steps above 9% for TT style efforts
    and I've come to this through experimentation. "Max effort" is roughly defined by me as delivering
    the maximum joules for the time interval of concern. A power meter is not necessarily required
    because a speedometer and the body's sensations provide feedback in the short term. A stopwatch and
    a "same course" are sufficient as a relative power meter in the longer term for hill climbs. I
    think even casual riders might want to occasionally see "how hard they can go." In this case, I
    believe they will appreciate tight gear spacing from time to time, although the cost might not be
    worth it to them.

    So my philosophy is:

    1. Try to get spacing under 10%
    2. For the high, shoot for an rpm under 120
    3. For the low, shoot for an rpm above 80
    4. Simple crossover, double-shift pattern (crossover available in at least two "spots")

    Naturally these goals are difficult to simultaneously satisfy if one pedals over varied terrain --
    as ususal. A set of compromises will take place. Each of the goals will need to give some. How the
    constraints are balanced depends upon the riding style of the particular individual. One of my
    favorite tradoffs is to "stretch the lows" a bit. This also has the "unintended" benefit of delaying
    the need to shift down to the little ring for knolls. Sometimes a delay means the double shift never
    needs to be made at all -- that's nice for those of us who don't have indexed front shifting.

    The nice thing about 10 cogs and indexed triple fronts is that the compromises begin to vaporize.
    Shall we feast on cake?

    > 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.
     
  5. Chluu907

    Chluu907 Guest

    >Some people, those skinny kids in particular, climb them faster that fatter, older folks.

    Are you kidding David? I'm in my mid twenties and I do not climb very well. Most of the people who
    zoom past me are middle aged men and women in the 40+ age range. I had one guy who appeared to be at
    least 60 years old, on a green steel bike that was probably as old as I am, whiz past me. That had
    to be the most demoralizing moment I have ever had while on the road.

    If you're in the San Francisco Bay Area, why not stop by for one of Mike J.'s early morning climbs.
    There's nothing like riding in the early morning, while you're still half asleep and groggy, trying
    to keep up with a triathlete, a young hot shot racer and a former racer (I believe that's the
    general make up of Mike's usual morning trio).

    I find that most of the younger riders stick to the flatter rides, while the majority of climbers
    are older individuals that are definitely beyond their 20's.

    Claude
     
  6. On Mon, 20 Jan 2003 08:51:49 -0500, bcotton wrote:

    > 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

    I'm in Bill's club, and can attest for his mileage. What he forgot to mention was that his 340 mile
    ride was for his birthday. His 70th.

    --

    David L. Johnson

    __o | "What am I on? I'm on my bike, six hours a day, busting my ass. _`\(,_ | What are you on?"
    --Lance Armstrong (_)/ (_) |
     
  7. [email protected] wrote:

    > I don't do Randonneurs, because, my ride are done at my pace. People I ride with, ride at my pace.

    Nothing wrong with that; I just want to point out that most randonneur rides are done in the "allure
    libre" style these days, meaning you can go at whatever pace you want (as long as your average speed
    including stops is above about 9.4 mph).

    --
    Benjamin Lewis

    Reader, suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself.
    -- Mark Twain
     
  8. "bcotton" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:<[email protected]>...

    > Three words Training, Training and Training.

    I can only agree. I used to be a really lousy hill climber until I started regularly riding with
    "Luvs Hills" Lester. After week after week of doing rides that mostly consisted of powering up one
    hill and whipping down another, I became a better climber. It's not a matter of technique, I don't
    think (although you do learn to shift into gears at more opportune times) and it isn't a matter of
    the mechanics of the bike. It's just a matter of going out there and throwing yourself at hills,
    over, and over, again.

    Claire Petersky ([email protected]) Home of the meditative cyclist at:
    http://home.earthlink.net/~cpetersky/Welcome.htm
     
  9. And 70 years old- wow. This is why I bike. First. there are people inspire to help out others in
    this way. Secondly, the thought I with dedication I to can be this fit and enjoy myself for all my
    life. Wow.

    > 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.
     
  10. Mark Lee

    Mark Lee Guest

    "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
    >

    Is that a Metric or Imperial 4th gear on a Standard International hill? Mark Lee
     
  11. Suzy Jackson wrote:

    > All this talk about gearing makes me smile.
    >
    > The three contributors to deciding what gear ranges to run on your bike are:
    >
    > 1. Your fitness level
    > 2. What (if any) loads you carry
    > 3. Where you ride.

    How about
    4. Personal preference

    > Then there are those who perhaps aren't as fit, who demand that not only should there own bike
    > have a triple front and 34 tooth cassette, but everyone elses should as well.

    I've never heard anyone make this demand.

    > But mountain bikes won't do. They want that 34 tooth cassette on a bike that looks like it came
    > straight out of the Tour de France.

    Why should "they" use a mountain bike on the road? The fact is that it's hard to find decent touring
    bikes these days without special ordering them.

    > Oh, and they want to fit 38mm tyres in their carbon forks, because they keep getting pinch flats
    > because they're overweight as well as unfit.

    I think "they" are a creature of your own invention. In any case, should overweight unfit people not
    be allowed to ride suitable road bikes? I'm not sure what you're complaining about, anyway; most new
    cyclists these days *are* buying mountain bikes, even if they will never see a patch of dirt, and
    road bikes are generally available in configurations suitable for racers.

    --
    Benjamin Lewis

    On a paper submitted by a physicist colleague: "This isn't right. This isn't even wrong." --
    Wolfgang Pauli
     
  12. Matt O'Toole

    Matt O'Toole Guest

    "Chluu907" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...

    > >Some people, those skinny kids in particular, climb them faster that fatter, older folks.
    >
    > Are you kidding David? I'm in my mid twenties and I do not climb very
    well.
    > Most of the people who zoom past me are middle aged men and women in the
    40+
    > age range. I had one guy who appeared to be at least 60 years old, on a
    green
    > steel bike that was probably as old as I am, whiz past me. That had to be
    the
    > most demoralizing moment I have ever had while on the road.

    Mere youth has nothing on 20+ years of conditioning!

    Matt O.
     
  13. Benjamin Lewis wrote:
    >
    > Suzy Jackson wrote:
    >
    > > All this talk about gearing makes me smile.
    > >
    > > The three contributors to deciding what gear ranges to run on your bike are:
    > >
    > > 1. Your fitness level
    > > 2. What (if any) loads you carry
    > > 3. Where you ride.
    >
    > How about
    > 4. Personal preference

    I like that one. It's really the only one that matters.

    > > Then there are those who perhaps aren't as fit, who demand that not only should there own bike
    > > have a triple front and 34 tooth cassette, but everyone elses should as well.
    >
    > I've never heard anyone make this demand.

    Actually it goes more like: I don't use small gear step sizes so therefore anyone's "personal
    preference" for them is "kooky stuff, obsessive-compulsive behavior, the psychological need for more
    gears, and Nebbishness" (whatever that is). It goes more like: I use low gears, no 12t cogs, and so
    therefore anyone's "personal preference" for racing clusters is all about "coolness, wannabee-racer
    marketing" posturing.

    Yes, there are some folks that think that what they do is what others should do. The loudest and
    proudest are large step size wide range folks. I don't care if they like what they do (I'm happy for
    them actually), but they always think they know best about what somebody else should do. They
    postulate on something they know nothing about -- something they've apparently never tried. They
    postulate that everyone but them is a stupid sap for some evil marketing campaign. No one can tell
    them anything, and they can't accept the idea of personal preferance, and they make vague statements
    about "effciency" ("negligible impact on efficiency").

    > > But mountain bikes won't do. They want that 34 tooth cassette on a bike that looks like it came
    > > straight out of the Tour de France.
    >
    > Why should "they" use a mountain bike on the road? The fact is that it's hard to find decent
    > touring bikes these days without special ordering them.

    Actually this has normally been more true than not. There was a few years where there was better
    choice, but these bikes apparently weren't popular enough to support as widely. Dealers had a hard
    time selling their stock.

    > > Oh, and they want to fit 38mm tyres in their carbon forks, because they keep getting pinch flats
    > > because they're overweight as well as unfit.
    >
    > I think "they" are a creature of your own invention. In any case, should overweight unfit people
    > not be allowed to ride suitable road bikes?

    Yes, it would be nice if "overweight" people could easily get into cycling. Of course, there will
    always be some jealous punk complaining that the overweight newbie could afford (out of the gate) a
    nicer bike than the punk could.

    > I'm not sure what you're complaining about, anyway; most new cyclists these days *are* buying
    > mountain bikes, even if they will never see a patch of dirt, and road bikes are generally
    > available in configurations suitable for racers.
     
  14. On Wed, 22 Jan 2003 14:42:45 -0500, Chluu907 wrote:

    >>Some people, those skinny kids in particular, climb them faster that fatter, older folks.
    >
    > Are you kidding David? I'm in my mid twenties and I do not climb very well. Most of the people who
    > zoom past me are middle aged men and women in the 40+ age range.

    Funny, I like to think that most of the people who zoom past me are young twerps who haven't had the
    time to add on that layer of adipose tissue that seems to come with bifocals.

    > If you're in the San Francisco Bay Area,

    Not any more.

    > I find that most of the younger riders stick to the flatter rides, while the majority of climbers
    > are older individuals that are definitely beyond their 20's.

    Huh. Maybe the younger riders you see are all triathletes. They tend to like flat roads, it
    seems to me.

    --

    David L. Johnson

    __o | Do not worry about your difficulties in mathematics, I can _`\(,_ | assure you that mine
    are all greater. -- A. Einstein (_)/ (_) |
     
  15. The Pomeranian ranted:
    >
    > Yes, there are some folks that think that what they do is what others should do. The loudest and
    > proudest are large step size wide range folks. I don't care if they like what they do (I'm happy
    > for them actually), but they always think they know best about what somebody else should do. They
    > postulate on something they know nothing about -- something they've apparently never tried. They
    > postulate that everyone but them is a stupid sap for some evil marketing campaign. No one can tell
    > them anything, and they can't accept the idea of personal preferance, and they make vague
    > statements about "effciency" ("negligible impact on efficiency")...

    Decaf, Pom. Try decaf. ;-)

    --
    Frank Krygowski [email protected]
     
  16. Greg

    Greg Guest

    Yeah - I've seen everything from kids on bmx's to fairly old guys on ancient bikes pass me :))

    "Chluu907" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    > >Some people, those skinny kids in particular, climb them faster that fatter, older folks.
    >
    > Are you kidding David? I'm in my mid twenties and I do not climb very
    well.
    > Most of the people who zoom past me are middle aged men and women in the
    40+
    > age range. I had one guy who appeared to be at least 60 years old, on a
    green
    > steel bike that was probably as old as I am, whiz past me. That had to be
    the
    > most demoralizing moment I have ever had while on the road.
    >
    > If you're in the San Francisco Bay Area, why not stop by for one of Mike
    J.'s
    > early morning climbs. There's nothing like riding in the early morning,
    while
    > you're still half asleep and groggy, trying to keep up with a triathlete,
    a
    > young hot shot racer and a former racer (I believe that's the general make
    up
    > of Mike's usual morning trio).
    >
    > I find that most of the younger riders stick to the flatter rides, while
    the
    > majority of climbers are older individuals that are definitely beyond
    their
    > 20's.
    >
    > Claude
     
  17. Greg 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?
    >
    > 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.

    That's a bit stiff of a cassette/chainset for most riders. Even when I was strong in the good old
    days, a 39x21 was about at the end of its usefulness for long grades of > 6% to 7%, or so. (A 39x21
    was okay for long grades of 6%.) A 6 mi (10 km) climb is quite long.

    You could "trade" the 12t for a 24t if you don't use the 12t cog. But that alone is likely not
    enough if you are struggling as you say you are
    w/ those 6 mile "hills." So the simplist and cheapest thing to do is to put as big a cog in the rear
    as your rear derailleur can handle. You'll likely lose some closeness in your gear spacing -- a
    price you must pay for the simple solution. I've used the following 8sp cassette/chainset with
    decent results (although you lose the 12t):

    38 52 13 77.462 106.000 14 71.929 98.429 15 67.133 91.867 16 62.938 86.125 17 59.235 81.059
    19 53.000 72.526 22 45.773 62.636 26 38.731 53.000

    You could just leave your 53/39 in place, that gets:

    39 53 13 79.500 108.038 14 73.821 100.321 15 68.900 93.633 16 64.594 87.781 17 60.794 82.618
    19 54.395 73.921 22 46.977 63.841 26 39.750 54.019

    A 38-26 is a full 24% lower than your current low. That's 2 to 3 gears lower, depending upon how you
    count a "gear." "Stretching" the gearing even further you can do:

    39 53 13 79.500 108.038 14 73.821 100.321 15 68.900 93.633 16 64.594 87.781 18 57.417 78.028
    21 49.214 66.881 24 43.063 58.521 28 36.911 50.161

    You need to check the max cog capacity of your rear derailleur to see if a 28t is okay. It probably
    is, but do check.

    > "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
    > >
     
  18. Harris wrote:
    >
    > 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.

    That's the way climbs are: "riders all over the road." You deal with it in any case. I don't see the
    problem -- it might actually help if the purpose is known.
     
  19. Jim Edgar

    Jim Edgar Guest

    Harris at [email protected] corrects:

    > 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.

    Hmmm... it wasn't clear in the original post if he was racin' or ridin'. I figured it was good
    advice for the former, and that if it was the latter, he'd move ahead with a "Gee chaps, I need a
    touch of room before the incline" rather than a "DIE BEFORE MY ATTACK YOU INFIDELS!"

    That whole communication thing... ;^)
     
  20. Jim Edgar

    Jim Edgar Guest

    Greg who started this thread at [email protected] returns:
    > 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.

    Yikes....

    At least slap a 12-25 on that thing and save your knees.
     
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