How do you tackle a hill?

Discussion in 'The Bike Cafe' started by nashy_88, Jul 31, 2004.

  1. RobotDeathSquad

    RobotDeathSquad New Member

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    Since the big hill I climb here is 14 miles, with only 4 short area's of flat or downhill and a few portions that are at the 20% grade (for as long as 1/8 of a mile), and an over all grade of about 10%, I power my way up in the lowest gear I've got usually. I can, most of the time keep my cadence around 70 rpm though.

    When your hill is 14 miles long, you just put your head down and go.

    When your hill is 14 miles long, and your going down, you keep your head up and pray. Usually with this expression -> :eek:
     


  2. FreeHueco

    FreeHueco New Member

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    I feel the same way.. Except that my low gear is a 39-23. I ride as much of the hill in a higher gear as I can (usually a 39-19) and as I give in to the pain, I switch to a lower gear.

    At least I finally ditched the triple when i built up my new frame..
     
  3. yrbjr

    yrbjr New Member

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    I like when riding in a group to sit and draft the first 2/3 of the hill, then pick up one maybe 2 gears and sprint right past everyone---recover on the descent!!!
     
  4. bmph8ter

    bmph8ter New Member

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    If it's a short hill, I like to stand and sprint/attack up it. I think this may even help me get better. On a longer climb (maybe 3/4 mile and longer) I try and stay seated and "spin". Don't know if it's exactly spinning, but I have no issues hitting the granny gear (on a triple) to keep my legs feeling fairly fresh. Then, when I think the top is close enough I'll click down 2-4 gears, stand up, and attack. Sometimes (ok most of the time) I go out too soon and burn my self out. I'm working on that though.
     
  5. Greg-O

    Greg-O New Member

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    i most often climb it seated, but i will occasionally downshift a gear or two, and pop out of the saddle at the top.
     
  6. less'go

    less'go New Member

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    I'm sorry, silly question, but is standing some kind of faux-pas? I do both, but without really giving it much thought. Am I a wusse if I do more standing than sitting or what?

     
  7. keydates

    keydates New Member

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    Standing is usually less efficient, but it is good to do, especially on long climbs. If it's steep enough, you have to stand/lean forward in order to go anywhere.
     
  8. lokstah

    lokstah New Member

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    I tend to think of going-out-of-saddle-climbing as a sort of afterburner; it's inefficient and painful, but yields a burst of power and speed. Done in spurts, it's a great add-on to a workout, and sometimes the only way to overcome a nasty hill or a rival cruising just ahead of you.
     
  9. WKrider

    WKrider New Member

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    I have long femurs and am 6'1". I tend to stay in the saddle and power up. I can count on one hand the number of times I have gotten out of the saddle on a hill. I like the feeling of using POWER to get up the hills, it gives me a rush. :eek:
     
  10. moonfroggy

    moonfroggy New Member

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    thats how i go up hills, not cuz i am trying to go fast but just cuz thats what comes naturally to me
     
  11. halien

    halien New Member

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    I all depends on the hill - short = power over the top out of the saddle and push on down the other side.

    Long hill - mainly saddle.
     
  12. PeterF

    PeterF New Member

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    I'm a big guy (200+ lbs) and I ride with a lot of mountain goats on my club rides. What I find to work the best for me is to shift into my 39t ring once my speed decreases below 18 mph and then I up the cadence. I'm never going to catch the 140 lb'ers on the hill, but it conserves my energy and so I can latch back on after the top.
    :cool:
     
  13. GatorTrek

    GatorTrek New Member

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    I am a new rider and this is a great thread. I have often wondered what experienced riders do. I ride for fitness and exercise and I ride a hybrid. I do a couple of things. I most often like to get into a high gear (more difficult is high, right?) and stand and attack the hill so I get my heart rate high. Then I back down and catch my wind on the flat or downhill. There is this one hill on my bikepath that has been kicking my butt. It is a short, steep hill so I would stand and attack it. But the thing I realized is that it is followed by another mile (no exaggeration) of slight uphill grade! After I attack it, that next mile is killer. So, today I put it into a lower gear and stayed in the seat fo the entire 1.2 miles of uphill. It worked out much better over the long haul. Today I went 35 miles!
     
  14. donhix1

    donhix1 New Member

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    I would suggest that you get a heart rate monitor. That way you can keep out of the anaerobic zone when attacking a hill. You can tell how much effort you are doing in each gear.
    Another thought is that if you keep attacking this hill with the false flat you will get stronger and stronger until someday it won't take much effort at all
     
  15. fusioncon

    fusioncon New Member

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    this is exactly how I tackle em.. but i'm 3lbs/inch *neener*
     
  16. Ezdno

    Ezdno New Member

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    Well I havent ridden in quite some time but back in the old days...the 90s it was turn up the headphones stand up and run up the hill. But I wasnt racing anyone but myself and riding 37 miles a day was the norm. No I will be lucky if I can ride my new peddler a mile...but I am either gonna do it or die trying.

    If that dont work...I will break out the civic.
     
  17. blazingpedals

    blazingpedals New Member

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    I used to mostly sit and spin for hills, with occasional standing. I was only good for 20 strokes or so standing then I'd have to sit back down anyway. Now that I pilot a recumbent, standing is not an option. Hillclimbs are unpleasant so I try to get them over with as soon as possible! I've found that hammering up the first part lets me pass a lot of bikes. As I lose momentum, I just have to downshift until I reach a gear I can push at my LT. Surprisingly, I don't get repassed too much - a lot of those lower-hill passes stick. At the top I may or may not allow myself to spin easy for a few strokes before getting back up to cruising speed.
     
  18. donhix1

    donhix1 New Member

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    Whenever I look at a recumbant I think that it would be difficult to ride up really steep hills because you can't stand and use your own weight.
     
  19. blazingpedals

    blazingpedals New Member

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    Standing doesn't really "use your own weight" in the sense that nothing is free - you first have to lift your weight before it can be used to push the pedals down. But it's easier on your knees at low rpms, which means the really steep hills. Sometimes I miss being able to stand, because standing uses different muscles, vs the ones that are already tired. Keeping a good cadence is my only choice.
     
  20. Johnny NoCom

    Johnny NoCom New Member

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    Blazing PutPut,
    You also have the choice to get rid of that old school slow heavy recumbent and buy a lighter faster splitter frame.

    Cheers,
    Johnny NoCom

     
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