Learning to climb better...

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by Turbo.Fahel, Apr 12, 2003.

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  1. Turbo.Fahel

    Turbo.Fahel Guest

    I am 44 yrs old and today joined a club.

    I need to improve my climbing ability as it very average as I struggle on the hills.

    What can I do to improve, riding more, gym work etc ???

    --
    Regards, Turbo Fahel __o -\<, ( ) / ( )

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  2. Tony W

    Tony W Guest

    "Turbo.Fahel" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    > I am 44 yrs old and today joined a club.
    >
    > I need to improve my climbing ability as it very average as I struggle on the hills.
    >
    > What can I do to improve, riding more, gym work etc ???

    Get in a lower gear and keep your pedalling cadence up in the 60 to 90 range.

    Learn 'spinning' techniques (e.g. pull back on the pedal at the bottom of the stroke) to bring more
    muscle groups into the equation.

    In my case -- lose weight -- it just slows you up.

    Initially it might not be faster but you will improve.

    T
     
  3. Harris

    Harris Guest

    "Turbo.Fahel" wrote:
    > I am 44 yrs old and today joined a club.
    >
    > I need to improve my climbing ability as it very average as I struggle on the hills.
    >
    > What can I do to improve, riding more, gym work etc ???

    Sounds like you're getting back into "serious" cycling. To get better at climbing, you have to DO a
    lot of climbing. There's no quick fix; your're not going to become a star climber in a week or a
    month, but you will see improvement.

    If you're a bit overweight, shedding some pounds will definitely help. Try to find your own climbing
    style. Some folks prefer spinning low gears; others prefer mashing big gears. Some like to stay
    seated, while others like to spend more time out of the saddle.

    Experiment and see what works for you. Don't push yourself to exhaustion, but ride lots of hills.

    Art Harris
     
  4. Smudger

    Smudger Guest

    "Turbo.Fahel" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    > I am 44 yrs old and today joined a club.
    >
    > I need to improve my climbing ability as it very average as I struggle on the hills.
    >
    > What can I do to improve, riding more, gym work etc ???
    >
    > --
    > Regards, Turbo Fahel __o -\<, ( ) / ( )
    >
    >
    >
    >
    > ---
    > Outgoing mail is certified Virus Free. Checked by AVG anti-virus system (http://www.grisoft.com).
    > Version: 6.0.471 / Virus Database: 269 - Release Date: 10/04/2003
    >
    >

    Learn to honk properly. Many riders don't swing their bike from side to side enough. Use your whole
    body when out of the saddle.
     
  5. Turbo.Fahel wrote:
    > I am 44 yrs old and today joined a club.
    >
    > I need to improve my climbing ability as it very average as I struggle on the hills.
    >
    > What can I do to improve, riding more, gym work etc ???

    I was in your situation about six months ago and today the hills are where I can relax because
    everybody else is slowing down more than I need to. So on group rides my pulse usually goes down on
    a hill. I'm 52 and riding with recreational riders.

    So what did I do? I attack every hill I can find. I ride detours when commuting to work to find
    hills to attack. I go up as hard as I ever can on as high a gear as possible spinning as fast as
    possible. I seldom make it all the way to the top. If I do I haven't attacked hard enough. However
    my cadence on hills is lower than on the flat. The people I ride with often have a higher cadence on
    hills than on the flat and therefore slow down to much.

    I've been a regular at the Gym over the winter doing bicycle related exercises.Both for the legs and
    the upper body. For this part I have used Chris Carmichaels recommendations in his book the Lance
    Armstrong Performance Program. I showed my Gym instructor the workouts section and he set up my
    program according to this. I am not saying you have to use the Carmichael program but it is good to
    have a program that is bicycle related. Many good coaches and athletes can help you with that.

    But mainly. I just love attacking a hill. I don't know why but it feels so damn good everytime.
    --
    Perre

    Remove and/or replace the DOTs as needed to reply
     
  6. Ron Hardin

    Ron Hardin Guest

    Climbing is all pacing; work is work whether done on the flat or uphill.

    Going slower removes cues that you're using on the flat (assuming you can pace on the flat, which
    also has to be learned).

    The easiest way to climb is slow down; impatience is the enemy. Slowly move to higher gears until
    you're working at a rate you can sustain easily, as on the flat. If you're working too hard again,
    reverse it a gear. Slow down. Pick the steepest grade you can find and see how slowly you can go up
    it. You won't have worked even a tiny bit when you get to the top. Somewhere in the middle is the
    perfect gear and pace.

    It's absolutely automatic after enough time, regardless of grade. I happen to like uphills and
    detest downhills, which only present sudden pothole hazards.
    --
    Ron Hardin [email protected]

    On the internet, nobody knows you're a jerk.
     
  7. Russell

    Russell Guest

    Per Elmsäter <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > Turbo.Fahel wrote:
    > > I am 44 yrs old and today joined a club.
    > >
    > > I need to improve my climbing ability as it very average as I struggle on the hills.
    > >
    > > What can I do to improve, riding more, gym work etc ???
    >
    > I was in your situation about six months ago and today the hills are where
    I
    > can relax because everybody else is slowing down more than I need to. So
    on
    > group rides my pulse usually goes down on a hill. I'm 52 and riding with recreational riders.
    >
    > So what did I do? I attack every hill I can find. I ride detours when commuting to work to find
    > hills to attack. I go up as hard as I ever can
    on
    > as high a gear as possible spinning as fast as possible. I seldom make it all the way to the top.
    > If I do I haven't attacked hard enough. However my cadence on hills is lower than on the flat. The
    > people I ride with often have a higher cadence on hills than on the flat and therefore slow down
    > to much.
    >
    > I've been a regular at the Gym over the winter doing bicycle related exercises.Both for the legs
    > and the upper body. For this part I have used Chris Carmichaels recommendations in his book the
    > Lance Armstrong Performance Program. I showed my Gym instructor the workouts section and
    he
    > set up my program according to this. I am not saying you have to use the Carmichael program but it
    > is good to have a program that is bicycle
    related.
    > Many good coaches and athletes can help you with that.
    >
    > But mainly. I just love attacking a hill. I don't know why but it feels so damn good everytime.
    > --
    > Perre
    >
    > Remove and/or replace the DOTs as needed to reply
    >
    >

    I completely agree with this now I'm pretty fit, but when I'd just started I used to collapse half
    way up most hills through trying too hard. The key for me was NOT attacking too hard at the bottom
    but finding a pace that I could maintain all the way up. Also... Resist the temptation to drop
    through to the lowest gear possible. Alternate sitting & standing. Concentrate on not loosing
    momentum when changing position. When sitting, sit well back & stretch legs out fully on the
    downstroke. Concentrate on controlled deep breathing, right from the bottom. Try using a heart rate
    monitor. You will find there is a point of no return, if you stick just below this you will complete
    the hill. Go over it and collapse is immenent. Remember if you've just joined a club, you can't
    expect to keep up with the other riders who've maybe raced & trained regularly, nobody would. Just
    keep riding and enjoy it! Hills show up differences in fitness far more than the flat so its not
    that your not good at hills, it just shows more. Finally, I heard somewhere it takes about 3 years
    of training to reach your optimum fitness, whatever your age so you've a lot to look forward to!

    Russell
     
  8. Richard Ney

    Richard Ney Guest

    Turbo.Fahel writes:

    > I am 44 yrs old and today joined a club.
    >
    > I need to improve my climbing ability as it very average as I struggle on the hills.
    >
    > What can I do to improve, riding more, gym work etc ???

    Lose weight and ride uphill lots.
     
  9. "Turbo.Fahel" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    > I am 44 yrs old and today joined a club.
    >
    > I need to improve my climbing ability as it very average as I struggle on the hills.
    >
    > What can I do to improve, riding more, gym work etc ???

    Have you considered EPO?

    DM
     
  10. Harris

    Harris Guest

  11. Phil Holman

    Phil Holman Guest

    "Turbo.Fahel" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    > I am 44 yrs old and today joined a club.
    >
    > I need to improve my climbing ability as it very average as I struggle
    on
    > the hills.
    >
    > What can I do to improve, riding more, gym work etc ???
    > --
    > Regards, Turbo Fahel

    The bottom line is you need to increase your power output for the duration of the climb. I suggest
    you do hill reps. Find a hill approx. 1 mile in length without too much traffic. After a warm up,
    ride up at an effort that you can just maintain to the top. Coast down to the bottom again and
    repeat. Start off with 4 then build up to 10 after a several weeks. Note the time it took for you to
    complete one of these when you started out and the time it takes after several weeks. This is not an
    easy workout but it's one that I use to improve my climbing at the start of the season.

    Phil Holman
     
  12. Si Davies

    Si Davies Guest

    A club mate of mine finally drags himself to the top of the hill where i was waiting "it's not fair
    - you always choose a route that takes in hills" he whines, "you know i can't do hills like you
    can". "ah", I answer " that's because i always choose the hilly routes"

    he just didn't get it, and continued to be crap at hills....

    "Russell" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    >
    > Per Elmsäter <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > news:[email protected]...
    > > Turbo.Fahel wrote:
    > > > I am 44 yrs old and today joined a club.
    > > >
    > > > I need to improve my climbing ability as it very average as I struggle on the hills.
    > > >
    > > > What can I do to improve, riding more, gym work etc ???
    > >
    > > I was in your situation about six months ago and today the hills are
    where
    > I
    > > can relax because everybody else is slowing down more than I need to. So
    > on
    > > group rides my pulse usually goes down on a hill. I'm 52 and riding with recreational riders.
    > >
    > > So what did I do? I attack every hill I can find. I ride detours when commuting to work to find
    > > hills to attack. I go up as hard as I ever can
    > on
    > > as high a gear as possible spinning as fast as possible. I seldom make
    it
    > > all the way to the top. If I do I haven't attacked hard enough. However
    my
    > > cadence on hills is lower than on the flat. The people I ride with often have a higher cadence
    > > on hills than on the flat and therefore slow down
    to
    > > much.
    > >
    > > I've been a regular at the Gym over the winter doing bicycle related exercises.Both for the legs
    > > and the upper body. For this part I have
    used
    > > Chris Carmichaels recommendations in his book the Lance Armstrong Performance Program. I showed
    > > my Gym instructor the workouts section and
    > he
    > > set up my program according to this. I am not saying you have to use the Carmichael program but
    > > it is good to have a program that is bicycle
    > related.
    > > Many good coaches and athletes can help you with that.
    > >
    > > But mainly. I just love attacking a hill. I don't know why but it feels
    so
    > > damn good everytime.
    > > --
    > > Perre
    > >
    > > Remove and/or replace the DOTs as needed to reply
    > >
    > >
    >
    > I completely agree with this now I'm pretty fit, but when I'd just started
    I
    > used to collapse half way up most hills through trying too hard. The key for me was NOT attacking
    > too hard at the bottom but finding a pace that I could maintain all the way up. Also... Resist the
    > temptation to drop through to the lowest gear possible. Alternate sitting & standing. Concentrate
    > on not loosing momentum when changing position. When sitting, sit well back & stretch legs out
    > fully on the downstroke. Concentrate on controlled deep breathing, right from the bottom. Try
    > using a heart rate monitor. You will find there is a point of no
    return,
    > if you stick just below this you will complete the hill. Go over it and collapse is immenent.
    > Remember if you've just joined a club, you can't expect to keep up with
    the
    > other riders who've maybe raced & trained regularly, nobody would. Just
    keep
    > riding and enjoy it! Hills show up differences in fitness far more than
    the
    > flat so its not that your not good at hills, it just shows more. Finally,
    I
    > heard somewhere it takes about 3 years of training to reach your optimum fitness, whatever your
    > age so you've a lot to look forward to!
    >
    > Russell
     
  13. > Experiment and see what works for you. Don't push yourself to exhaustion, but ride lots of hills.

    This is not correct. Riding hills will not make you a better athlete. Riding some hills is
    important.

    The only things you can do to improve your climbing are

    1. Get very fit.
    2. Get as light as you can.
    3. Lighten the bike.

    The Year Bjarne Rees won the tour he was 10 lb lighter than the previous year, and Big Mig was
    overweight.
     
  14. Peter Cole

    Peter Cole Guest

    "Turbo.Fahel" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    > I am 44 yrs old and today joined a club.
    >
    > I need to improve my climbing ability as it very average as I struggle on the hills.
    >
    > What can I do to improve, riding more, gym work etc ???

    Hill climbing is all about cardio-vascular capacity. That pretty much determines your maximum
    short-term power output. How much power you need is determined by the combined weight of you and the
    bike. There's no special technique to climbing, except that if you go too fast for your capacity,
    you'll "blow up", and have to slow way down for some minutes to recover. Anything that helps you
    develop cardio-vascular capacity will help you climb, there are tons of books on the subject.
     
  15. Mark Hickey

    Mark Hickey Guest

    "Turbo.Fahel" <[email protected]> wrote:

    >I am 44 yrs old and today joined a club.

    Well then, it's too late for the best answer - choosing your parents carefully.

    >I need to improve my climbing ability as it very average as I struggle on the hills.
    >
    >What can I do to improve, riding more, gym work etc ???

    Strength training will help, but it can be hard to work it into a full riding schedule without
    hurting your actual riding (it IS a great winter training strategy though).

    There's been lots of good advice so far, so I'll just concentrate on a few technique things that
    seem to work for me:

    1) Get comfortable on the bike when climbing. If out of the saddle, for me this means leaning
    slightly forward, arms wide enough to "open up my breathing". I'm more alternately leaning on
    each brake hood than pulling up on the other one (this isn't the case on a short, steep hill
    being attacked).
    2) Climb in the right gear. This takes some practice to determine. When I'm climbing a long grade
    out of the saddle, I'll choose a high gear and lower cadence. Sometimes I have no choice - my
    fixed gear bike has a 53x16 drivetrain, but it still goes up hills nicely as long as they're not
    horribly steep.
    3) On long hills, alternate between sitting and standing. What I do is to stand to get my speed up,
    then sit and spin carful, round circles (using ALL the muscles in my legs) to maintain the speed.
    As it decays due to the fact I'm sitting down, I stand and accelerate back up to my goal speed.
    Repeat until the top of the hill or your lunch is dripping from your bars.
    4) Ride more hills.

    Mark Hickey Habanero Cycles http://www.habcycles.com Home of the $695 ti frame
     
  16. Ken Papai

    Ken Papai Guest

    "Tony W" <...
    >
    > "Turbo.Fahel" <.ihug.co.nz...
    > > I am 44 yrs old and today joined a club.
    > >
    > > I need to improve my climbing ability as it very average as I struggle
    on
    > > the hills.
    > >
    > > What can I do to improve, riding more, gym work etc ???
    >
    > Get in a lower gear and keep your pedalling cadence up in the 60 to 90 range.

    Don't forget the mental aspect (and pain toleration) which as equal to, if not greater than the raw
    physical ability to climb long hills (1K or longer).

    -Ken

    > Learn 'spinning' techniques (e.g. pull back on the pedal at the bottom of the stroke) to bring
    > more muscle groups into the equation.
    >
    > In my case -- lose weight -- it just slows you up.
    >
    > Initially it might not be faster but you will improve.
     
  17. Tim Smith

    Tim Smith Guest

    h"Gearóid Ó Laoi, Garry Lee" <[email protected]> wrote:
    >This is not correct. Riding hills will not make you a better athlete. Riding some hills is
    >important.
    >
    >The only things you can do to improve your climbing are
    >
    >1. Get very fit.
    >2. Get as light as you can.
    >3. Lighten the bike.
    >
    >The Year Bjarne Rees won the tour he was 10 lb lighter than the previous year, and Big Mig was
    >overweight.

    I wonder sometimes if weight is all that matters. Whenever I have been able to look at
    world-class stage-racing cyclists up-close (not on TV) I have been amazed at how compact they
    are. Not just slim, or low-weight, but really, really compact. Lots of muscle and power in a very
    aerodynamic shape.

    It would be interesting to be able to compare great, but non hill-climbing, cyclists like Mario
    Cipollini or Sean Kelly, with the likes of Bernald Hinault, Greg Lemond, Laurent Fignon, and even
    Indurain (who, though I have only seen him on TV, did not look all that "compact"). (I don't mention
    recent cyclists, because I haven't seen them in person. Don't get around much anymore...)
     
  18. "Tim Smith" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...

    > It would be interesting to be able to compare great, but non hill-climbing, cyclists like Mario
    > Cipollini or Sean Kelly, with the likes of Bernald Hinault, Greg Lemond, Laurent Fignon, and even
    > Indurain (who, though I have only seen him on TV, did not look all that "compact").

    Sean Kelly won Liege-Bastogne-Liege twice, the Tour of Lombardy twice, the Tour of Spain, Paris-Nice
    (many times), at least one mountain stage of the Tour de France (in 1980 I think) and was fourth
    overall in the Tour de France at least once. To call him a "great but non hill climbing" cyclist is
    way, way off. Maybe he couldn't go up mountains day after day as well as guys who won multiple Tours
    de France, but he was undoubtedly in the top 1% of cyclists in terms of hill climbing ability.

    Even Mario Cipollini can climb hills faster than the vast majority of cyclists.

    JT
     
  19. Mark Hickey wrote:
    > "Turbo.Fahel" <[email protected]> wrote:
    >
    >
    >>I am 44 yrs old and today joined a club.
    >
    >
    > Well then, it's too late for the best answer - choosing your parents carefully.

    Maybe 15 years ago, someone a little older that I said his new Ti frame "bought" him about 5
    years younger on his fitness level. Noticed your website...I need more than 5 years though.
    Nice to see an affordable Ti frame though.

    Steve (age 50 11/12)

    >
    >
    >>I need to improve my climbing ability as it very average as I struggle on the hills.
    >>
    >>What can I do to improve, riding more, gym work etc ???
    >
    >
    > Strength training will help, but it can be hard to work it into a full riding schedule without
    > hurting your actual riding (it IS a great winter training strategy though).
    >
    > There's been lots of good advice so far, so I'll just concentrate on a few technique things that
    > seem to work for me:
    >
    > 1) Get comfortable on the bike when climbing. If out of the saddle, for me this means leaning
    > slightly forward, arms wide enough to "open up my breathing". I'm more alternately leaning on
    > each brake hood than pulling up on the other one (this isn't the case on a short, steep hill
    > being attacked).
    > 2) Climb in the right gear. This takes some practice to determine. When I'm climbing a long grade
    > out of the saddle, I'll choose a high gear and lower cadence. Sometimes I have no choice - my
    > fixed gear bike has a 53x16 drivetrain, but it still goes up hills nicely as long as they're
    > not horribly steep.
    > 3) On long hills, alternate between sitting and standing. What I do is to stand to get my speed
    > up, then sit and spin carful, round circles (using ALL the muscles in my legs) to maintain the
    > speed. As it decays due to the fact I'm sitting down, I stand and accelerate back up to my goal
    > speed. Repeat until the top of the hill or your lunch is dripping from your bars.
    > 4) Ride more hills.
    >
    > Mark Hickey Habanero Cycles http://www.habcycles.com Home of the $695 ti frame
     
  20. It's a simple thing, Tim

    Power/weight ratio,. On the flat it's just power. Big Mig had massive power and so he could compete
    weighing 12 3. Roche and Delgado were about 10 7. Don't know about Kelly.
     
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