how steep can you climb?

Discussion in 'The Bike Cafe' started by rek, Nov 17, 2002.

  1. rek

    rek New Member

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    Just a little curious...<br /><br />How steep a gradient can you people ride on your bike before you start to scream in utter pain and curl up into a fetal position etc.?<br /><br />In my lowest gear (39x25), anything more than about 7-7.5% is enough to make me think walking up is a really good idea..<br /><br />Whenever going up a not-short climb (like 500m+), my HR usually shoots up to about 85-90% max .. does this sound a little high to anyone? Should I turn the wick down a bit on ascents? I figure hills are going to be a hard time, so I may as well get them over and done with quickly.<br /><br />I'm still somewhat heavy for my height (91kg, 183cm) so I still have a few kilos to lose ... how much easier would it be if I weighed, say, 5-8 kilos less?<br /><br />I normally try to keep control of my breathing (make sure I take deep breaths) and maintain a cadence of 90-100rpm wherever possible (I heard Lance climbed at high cadence on the TdF coverage commentary, so it sounded like a good thing for me to do too .. ;) )<br />
     
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  2. admin

    admin Guest

    There is a 2km climb i got up once or twice a week, its ave gradient is about 12-13 %. I've only got a 39x23 so its a bit a churn to get up it ;D
     
  3. Duckwah

    Duckwah New Member

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    I've got a 30x25 and i can climb all day :p<br /><br />But its very slow :'(
     
  4. Rhodent

    Rhodent New Member

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    Is this where I mention my 30x26 granny ring, or would that embarrass me? Ahh well, what the heck, don't think there is a climb on the road that would be too steep, just too long. Only onw climb has made me get into that granny gear on the road, some insane thing in the middle of the Tour De Gold, don't have a clue on the gradient but I was the only person cycling it amongst the people I was with....<br /><br />On a MTB its really more a case of traction than steepness. I've gone up some pretty serious gradients where they've put down some concrete to let the poor little cars make it up. One little climb always got me, you had to keep your pedal stroke exactly the same, your weight distribution just right and pick the right line or you would lose traction, best I ever did was probably 3/4 of the way up this thing (1.5 km climb, no idea of gradient, but I've never seen anything like it on a tar road). Now that is with a 22x32, a bit of overkill, anything you can't push a 24x30 on is going to be too steep to get any traction on...
     
  5. rek

    rek New Member

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    Did my first ever &quot;serious&quot; climbing effort yesterday!! 13km of mountain-ish ascent (for the Melbourne people, Montrose to Olinda via the Mount Dandenong Tourist Road) .. a bit of 5% to start things off, 7km of constant 4.5% climbing, followed by 3.3km of light hills, finished off with 1km or so of 6% to get to the summit.<br /><br />Not exactly Ventoux, but that final kilometre really took everything I had .. :-/<br /><br />Coming back down was such a rush though (ave speed 54kph) ;D Made the pain all worthwhile. :)
     
  6. Rhodent

    Rhodent New Member

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    Jeez, looks good. 13km is a long time to be going uphill
     
  7. admin

    admin Guest

    [quote author=rek link=board=6;threadid=2661;start=0#22913 date=1037851687]<br />Did my first ever &quot;serious&quot; climbing effort yesterday!! 13km of mountain-ish ascent (for the Melbourne people, Montrose to Olinda via the Mount Dandenong Tourist Road) .. a bit of 5% to start things off, 7km of constant 4.5% climbing, followed by 3.3km of light hills, finished off with 1km or so of 6% to get to the summit.<br /><br />Not exactly Ventoux, but that final kilometre really took everything I had .. :-/<br /><br />Coming back down was such a rush though (ave speed 54kph) ;D Made the pain all worthwhile. :)<br />[/quote]<br /><br />Yeah thats a good climb.....i'm pretty sure i've done a hill climb time trial up there a few times.
     
  8. Jelle

    Jelle New Member

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    Where I live there are no hills. the nearest is at 40 km from where I live but it's a hard one. It's de kemmelberg, you furst have the 'monteberg' wich is about 4-5% and 1 km long, when you are up, you can go left on the kemmelberg (maybe you know it from 'gent-Wevelgem') that is 800 meters at 20 % on 'kasseistenen' that is really hard.<br /><br />You also have the 'rode berg' wich is alo 20% but only 300m and on normal road<br />
     
  9. Old Timer

    Old Timer New Member

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    Very many years ago when I was in the UK, hills were marked as ratios. We used to go around looking for 1:4s to test out on. :p What does that translate to in %? Are they still marked like that in the UK? There was a famous one in Devon somewhere reputed to be 1:3.5 but I never got there. (I couldn't even WALK these today! :'()
     
  10. rek

    rek New Member

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    1 in 4 is 25%. Either way, you won't catch me even trying to ride them! I'll drive the Directeur Sportif car up them if you like ... :p
     
  11. Lazarus-g

    Lazarus-g New Member

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    Old Timer over here in the UK hills are now marked as %, though it only been for the last couple of years.<br /><br />There's a hill near me that despite the fact that it's short is a real killer (i swear it's vertical) but I don't know the gradient :(, I failed the last time and that was on a Mtb, since then I've bought the road bike and I think my leg strength has improved, maybe I'll give it a go this week :-\
     
  12. Wok66

    Wok66 New Member

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    I climbed a set of hills near Avoca Beach (New South Wales) I like to call The Despicables. Short (500m), but cruelly steep. On the nastiest of these, as I climbed I could hear nothing but the gasping of air ond the screaming of muscle.<br />Imagine my surprise when I topped the hill to find two kids (read 10yo) rolling behind me :eek: on dragsters.<br />I ask them 'Did you boys climb that hill behind me ?'<br />'No' they reply 'we heard you coming up the hill.'<br />'Can you guys ride up this hill ?' I demand<br />'NO' the giggle in reply 'we've never seen anybody TRY to ride up this hill before.'<br /><br />That was on a MTB, no chance on my roadie.
     
  13. Vo2

    Vo2 Member

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    [quote author=Jelle link=board=6;threadid=2661;start=0#23034 date=1038137389]<br />Where I live there are no hills. the nearest is at 40 km from where I live but it's a hard one. It's de kemmelberg, you furst have the 'monteberg' wich is about 4-5% and 1 km long, when you are up, you can go left on the kemmelberg (maybe you know it from 'gent-Wevelgem') that is 800 meters at 20 % on 'kasseistenen' that is really hard.<br /><br />You also have the 'rode berg' wich is alo 20% but only 300m and on normal road<br /><br />[/quote]<br /><br />Sheez Jelle, 20% is a sick climb! :eek:
     
  14. maarten

    maarten New Member

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    Rodeberg is only max 16% on normal roads<br /><br />Buth the real killers here in belgium are<br /><br />kemmel 23% max on cobols several 100's of meters with average 20%<br />Koppenberg Cobols max 22% 300meters stretch of 19% average, has been restaured and cobols are now easyier to ride up(still most toerists walk up :) :) ) <br /><br />La Redoute 17 max 10% average over 1650meters<br /><br />Other killer down hill then over a bridge 90 degrees left 90 degrees right and then al of a sudden a 400 meters stretsch at 20% in front of you the velomediane is invisible from the bridge and suprises lots of bikers who become walkers ;)<br /><br />
     
  15. Lazarus-g

    Lazarus-g New Member

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    I'm missing something here ? I've started to look for the gradient signs on local hills and there's a hill which frightens the life out of me and that's 10% !! the hills that are mentioned must be awesome sights.
     
  16. admin

    admin Guest

    [quote author=Lazarus-g link=board=6;threadid=2661;start=0#23170 date=1038525327]<br />I'm missing something here ? I've started to look for the gradient signs on local hills and there's a hill which frightens the life out of me and that's 10% !! the hills that are mentioned must be awesome sights.<br />[/quote]<br /><br />10% is still bloody steep
     
  17. nferyn

    nferyn New Member

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    [quote author=Lazarus-g link=board=6;threadid=2661;start=0#23170 date=1038525327]<br />I'm missing something here ? I've started to look for the gradient signs on local hills and there's a hill which frightens the life out of me and that's 10% !! the hills that are mentioned must be awesome sights.<br />[/quote]<br /><br />Yes they are. But as they are relatively short, you can take them on pure power and your climing capabilities don't really come into play. Technique is also rather important: when I go over the 'Kemmelberg' I must stay seated otherwise my rear wheel slips and I don't have enough traction to take the hill.<br /><br />I would like to try a real mountain though... maybe I'll go to the Alps this summer ;-)<br /><br />Niek
     
  18. admin

    admin Guest

    [quote author=nferyn link=board=6;threadid=2661;start=15#23176 date=1038561349]<br /><br />I would like to try a real mountain though... maybe I'll go to the Alps this summer ;-)<br />[/quote]<br /><br />The hightest climb i've climbed is about 1600 meters high, took something like 22km to get there so its not very steep ;D
     
  19. Collumbo

    Collumbo New Member

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    We've got a fair few 25% climbs in Ireland, but they're all too short... never more than 1/2 km.. rarely more.<br /><br />I was on holidays in Tenerife a few years ago and climbed most of the way up &quot;Pico del Tede&quot;, which is the highest peak in Spain (not on Mainland Spain)... I was climbing for about 1 1/2 hours on a 39x19 or a 21 and got bored so I turned around and did the decent in about 10 Mins at about 70kph... Nice Wide roads too so you can really sweep around the corners and the cars will let you pass 'cos you're travelling faster than they can! Could have gone on climbing I suppose but it gets boring after a while! It goes on for about 30 or 35 Km I believe.
     
  20. Leon

    Leon New Member

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    Last year I visited Dunedin, New Zealand. They claim to have the world steepest street. See the clip below pulled from their website.<br />Unfortunately I did not have a bike with me so I could not cycle it. &gt;:(<br />Managed to walk it, even got a little certificate. ;D <br /><br />The gradient is 1 in 2.86 or just short of 35% or 19 degrees. ;D :D<br /><br />Visit the world's steepest street, while in Dunedin. Acknowledged in the Guiness Book of Records. Located just 1.3 km from the Botanic Gardens. Whether you walk, run, drive or just visit you may buy a certificate at the shop.<br />A must see and do for all visitors to Dunedin. At its steepest section the gradient is 1 in 2.86. Every year during Dunedin's Festival, large numbers of athletes, including family groups take part in the social and competitive foot races to the top of the street and return. These races are known as the 'Baldwin Gutbuster'.<br /><br />Any New Zealanders out there that has cycled it ?<br /><br />Leon<br />
     
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