Pushing v slogging

Discussion in 'Road Cycling' started by Kev C, May 18, 2003.

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  1. Kev C

    Kev C Guest

    Hi all. If you are going up a steep hill, lowest granny gear and your cadence goes way down is it
    actually "better/easier" to get off and push or should you just keep slogging away?

    --
    yours K (Addy not usable [not that you would try it anyway]) There wis a Hare ran tae a burn it ran
    sae fast it couldnae turn \\SPLASH// :eek:) [Please note grammar and descriptions are loose so no
    flaming me please]
     
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  2. Bernie

    Bernie Guest

    Kev C wrote:

    > Hi all. If you are going up a steep hill, lowest granny gear and your cadence goes way down is it
    > actually "better/easier" to get off and push or should you just keep slogging away?
    >
    > --
    > yours K (Addy not usable [not that you would try it anyway]) There wis a Hare ran tae a burn it
    > ran sae fast it couldnae turn \\SPLASH// :eek:) [Please note grammar and descriptions are loose so no
    > flaming me please]

    I dunno what's best from a physical point of view, but would you feel comfortable walking your bike
    up a hill that you know you can ride up? I spose it is egotism, but why walk when you can gear down
    and spin? Lots of stronger riders pass me on hills, but at least I'm not walking. My feeling is sit
    and spin up all those hills. Bernie
     
  3. Bernie

    Bernie Guest

    Kev C wrote:

    > Hi all. If you are going up a steep hill, lowest granny gear and your cadence goes way down is it
    > actually "better/easier" to get off and push or should you just keep slogging away?
    >
    > --
    > yours K (Addy not usable [not that you would try it anyway]) There wis a Hare ran tae a burn it
    > ran sae fast it couldnae turn \\SPLASH// :eek:) [Please note grammar and descriptions are loose so no
    > flaming me please]

    PS: I'll stand by my previous post/opinion, as long as you're not hurting your knees. Pay attention
    to how your knees are reacting to "slogging" up hills.. Bernie
     
  4. > If you are going up a steep hill, lowest granny gear and your cadence
    goes
    > way down is it actually "better/easier" to get off and push or should you just keep slogging away?

    The only times I can imagine it would be best to walk your bike instead of ride would be-

    #1: You simply don't have the gearing to make it practical (or safe) to
    ride up hill, finding that you need to tack (zig-zag) across the road to keep going, or you feel
    like you're about to injure knees etc. Trouble is, you usually don't feel like you're about to
    injure your knees; rather, you discover too late that whatever you did has caused you grief.

    #2: You develop muscle cramps that make riding extraordinarily painful and
    need to stop. You could, of course, just stop. Or, walk off the cramps. This happened to me once, on
    Mt. Ventoux several years ago. I can normally ride straight up a wall, but I wasn't myself that day
    (and it was after riding very hard for 80 miles prior). Walking seemed humiliating, but it also
    seemed like a good way to keep the legs moving and they began to feel better after a bit. I remember
    very well saying to myself, over and over and over, "Walk off the cramps, walk off the cramps, walk
    off the cramps..."

    In a strange sort of way, your ego is less deflated by simply stopping and taking a break than by
    walking, but walking is probably better for you.

    --Mike-- Chain Reaction Bicycles http://www.ChainReactionBicycles.com
     
  5. Bernie <[email protected]> wrote:
    : I dunno what's best from a physical point of view, but would you feel comfortable walking your
    : bike up a hill that you know you can ride up? I spose it is egotism, but why walk when you can
    : gear down and spin?

    One needs small enough gears for that. Megarange cassettes, smaller granny rings, possibly internal
    gear hubs. Recumbent trikes often use expensive internal gear hubs, but they are also stable even at
    extremely low speeds.

    --
    Risto Varanka | http://www.helsinki.fi/~rvaranka/hpv/hpv.html varis at no spam please iki fi
     
  6. Robert Chung

    Robert Chung Guest

    "Bernie" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    >
    > PS: I'll stand by my previous post/opinion, as long as you're not hurting
    your
    > knees. Pay attention to how your knees are reacting to "slogging" up
    hills..

    Low cadence is a red-herring, and I'm not sure whether it has anything to do with hurting your
    knees. On steep hills, pedal force is determined mostly by the gear ratio, not the cadence.
    Sometimes I climb a steepish hill in a particular gear ratio at 60rpm. At other times, when I'm
    tired, I'll climb the exact same hill in the exact same gear ratio at 40rpm. The force on my knees
    is (almost) exactly the same.
     
  7. Bernie

    Bernie Guest

    [email protected] wrote:

    > Bernie <[email protected]> wrote:
    > : I dunno what's best from a physical point of view, but would you feel comfortable walking your
    > : bike up a hill that you know you can ride up? I spose it is egotism, but why walk when you can
    > : gear down and spin?
    >
    > One needs small enough gears for that. Megarange cassettes, smaller granny rings, possibly
    > internal gear hubs. Recumbent trikes often use expensive internal gear hubs, but they are also
    > stable even at extremely low speeds.

    Well, to qualify, the OP did not say what kind of bike he rides, and most any cycle with a triple
    crank can handle wicked paved hills. Further, on really steep hills, it is more like "slog" than
    "spin" up the hill, but still no need to walk. Bicycles being ridden straight up steep hills are
    also stable. Slow, steady, and stable. As I said, it is easier on the ego to ride slow and steady
    than to give in and walk. Best regards, Bernie
     
  8. Bernie

    Bernie Guest

    Robert Chung wrote:

    > "Bernie" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    > >
    > > PS: I'll stand by my previous post/opinion, as long as you're not hurting
    > your
    > > knees. Pay attention to how your knees are reacting to "slogging" up
    > hills..
    >
    > Low cadence is a red-herring, and I'm not sure whether it has anything to do with hurting your
    > knees. On steep hills, pedal force is determined mostly by the gear ratio, not the cadence.
    > Sometimes I climb a steepish hill in a particular gear ratio at 60rpm. At other times, when I'm
    > tired, I'll climb the exact same hill in the exact same gear ratio at 40rpm. The force on my knees
    > is (almost) exactly the same.

    Oh I agree absolutely. I was thinking about the effort the OP was using. I don't worry much about
    cadence most of the time, but wanted to be sure he was not putting unnecessary stress on his knees
    because of big gears or grades just too steep. Bernie
     
  9. Robert Chung

    Robert Chung Guest

    "Robert Chung" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    >
    > "Bernie" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    > >
    > > PS: I'll stand by my previous post/opinion, as long as you're not
    hurting
    > your
    > > knees. Pay attention to how your knees are reacting to "slogging" up
    > hills..
    >
    > Low cadence is a red-herring, and I'm not sure whether it has anything to
    do
    > with hurting your knees. On steep hills, pedal force is determined mostly
    by
    > the gear ratio, not the cadence. Sometimes I climb a steepish hill in a particular gear ratio at
    > 60rpm. At other times, when I'm tired, I'll climb the exact same hill in the exact same gear ratio
    > at 40rpm. The force on my knees is (almost) exactly the same.

    Sorry, I got interrupted and hit the "send" button unintentionally early. To continue:

    So the issue is too-high gearing, not too-low cadence. When someone says he was climbing
    such-and-such a hill at X rpm, this means almost nothing. When he says he was climbing that hill in
    Y gear-inches, that tells you a lot.

    Conversely, when you're on the flat pedal force is relatively insensitive to gear ratio. One can
    actually generate more pedal force (and knee force) at 90rpm on the flat than at, say, 45rpm up a
    really steep hill. If you're only looking at cadence you might come to the conclusion that the
    hill-climbing pedal forces were higher. My point is that you actually have to calculate the pedal
    force to know for sure.
     
  10. Kev C

    Kev C Guest

    Kev C typed the following

    > Hi all. If you are going up a steep hill, lowest granny gear and your cadence goes way down is it
    > actually "better/easier" to get off and push or should you just keep slogging away?

    Thanks all. I have to follow my sons (10 & 9)(9year old has lots of probs but basically mentally he
    4~5)to teach them some road sence they have a tendency to walk on steep hills and basically I was
    wondering if there was something I could say to keep them riding rather than walking or indeed if
    it was actually "better" to walk.Seems as long as they are not injuring themselves riding is a
    "better" option.

    --
    yours K (Addy not usable [not that you would try it anyway]) There wis a Hare ran tae a burn it ran
    sae fast it couldnae turn \\SPLASH// :eek:) [Please note grammar and descriptions are loose so no
    flaming me please]
     
  11. Archer

    Archer Guest

    In article <[email protected]>, [email protected] says...
    >
    >
    > Kev C wrote:
    >
    > > Hi all. If you are going up a steep hill, lowest granny gear and your cadence goes way down is
    > > it actually "better/easier" to get off and push or should you just keep slogging away?
    > >
    > > --
    > > yours K (Addy not usable [not that you would try it anyway]) There wis a Hare ran tae a burn it
    > > ran sae fast it couldnae turn \\SPLASH// :eek:) [Please note grammar and descriptions are loose so
    > > no flaming me please]
    >
    > I dunno what's best from a physical point of view, but would you feel comfortable walking your
    > bike up a hill that you know you can ride up? I spose it is egotism, but why walk when you can
    > gear down and spin? Lots of stronger riders pass me on hills, but at least I'm not walking. My
    > feeling is sit and spin up all those hills.

    But he said he's already in his lowest granny gear and having trouble maintaining a
    reasonable cadence.

    --
    David Kerber An optimist says "Good morning, Lord." While a pessimist says "Good Lord,
    it's morning".

    Remove the ns_ from the address before e-mailing.
     
  12. Bob

    Bob Guest

    "archer" <[email protected]_hotmail.com> wrote in message news:[email protected]s.ids.net...
    > In article <[email protected]>, [email protected] says...
    > >
    > >
    > > Kev C wrote:
    > >
    > > > Hi all. If you are going up a steep hill, lowest granny gear and your
    cadence goes
    > > > way down is it actually "better/easier" to get off and push or should
    you
    > > > just keep slogging away?
    > > >
    > > > --
    > > > yours K (Addy not usable [not that you would try it anyway]) There wis a Hare ran tae a burn
    > > > it ran sae fast it couldnae turn \\SPLASH// :eek:) [Please note grammar and descriptions are
    > > > loose so no flaming me
    please]
    > >
    > > I dunno what's best from a physical point of view, but would you feel comfortable walking your
    > > bike up a hill that you know you can ride up?
    I spose
    > > it is egotism, but why walk when you can gear down and spin? Lots of stronger riders pass me on
    > > hills, but at least I'm not walking.
    My
    > > feeling is sit and spin up all those hills.
    >
    > But he said he's already in his lowest granny gear and having trouble maintaining a reasonable
    > cadence.
    >
    >
    > --
    > David Kerber An optimist says "Good morning, Lord." While a pessimist says "Good Lord, it's
    > morning".
    >
    > Remove the ns_ from the address before e-mailing.
    >

    What about standing? This will allow a higher cadence. For a portion of my ride here in CT, I have
    to stand or the rpms get too low for my liking. Plus, I feel less pressure on my knees when standing
    than I do when sitting (although this could be purely imagined).

    --
    Bob ctviggen at rcn dot com
     
  13. Just Zis Guy

    Just Zis Guy Guest

    On Sun, 18 May 2003 22:24:53 GMT, "Kev C" <[email protected]> wrote:

    >If you are going up a steep hill, lowest granny gear and your cadence goes way down is it actually
    >"better/easier" to get off and push or should you just keep slogging away?

    I have only once had to push up a hill - it was steeper than 25% and I was riding a triplet with two
    inexperienced child stokers - but I would rather push than blow a knee any day. Cadence below 60 is
    time to get off, I reckon. And if it happens often, get lower gears because if we wanted to walk why
    would we have brought the bike ;-)

    I very rarely climb out of the saddle[1], I try to make sure that I have the right gears to spin up
    the worst hill I'm going to meet on a given ride.

    [1] and never when riding the recumbent :)

    Guy
    ===
    ** WARNING ** This posting may contain traces of irony. http://www.chapmancentral.com (BT ADSL and
    dynamic DNS permitting)
    NOTE: BT Openworld have now blocked port 25 (without notice), so old mail addresses may no longer
    work. Apologies.
     
  14. Robert Chung

    Robert Chung Guest

    "Bob" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    >
    > What about standing? This will allow a higher cadence. For a portion of
    my
    > ride here in CT, I have to stand or the rpms get too low for my liking. Plus, I feel less pressure
    > on my knees when standing than I do when
    sitting
    > (although this could be purely imagined).

    As I mentioned elsewhere in this thread, cadence has almost no effect on pedal force for a given
    gear on a given hill, so even if standing allows you to increase cadence it doesn't decrease force
    (the small effect that it does have is that for higher cadence for a given gear the force
    *increases*).

    Which is not to say that standing doesn't have an effect. Even if it doesn't have an effect on the
    pedal force, even if it doesn't have an effect on total knee force, it may have an effect on the
    direction of those forces at the knee. Standing reduces the angle the knee makes when you're
    pedaling at maximum torque, and thus may reduce the maximum perpendicular force on the spot where
    the femur meets the patella. This may be why you feel less pressure on your knees when standing --
    it's the angle, not the cadence.
     
  15. [email protected] wrote in message
    news:<[email protected]>...
    > Bernie <[email protected]> wrote:

    > One needs small enough gears for that. Megarange cassettes, smaller granny rings, possibly
    > internal gear hubs. Recumbent trikes often use expensive internal gear hubs, but they are also
    > stable even at extremely low speeds.

    good heavens--he said "hill" not "wall"!
     
  16. Just Zis Guy

    Just Zis Guy Guest

    On Mon, 19 May 2003 15:03:24 +0200, "Robert Chung" <[email protected]> wrote:

    >This may be why you feel less pressure on your knees when standing -- it's the angle, not
    >the cadence.

    First credible justification for standing I've heard. Thanks.

    Don't mind me if I keep spinning, though :)

    Guy
    ===
    ** WARNING ** This posting may contain traces of irony. http://www.chapmancentral.com (BT ADSL and
    dynamic DNS permitting)
    NOTE: BT Openworld have now blocked port 25 (without notice), so old mail addresses may no longer
    work. Apologies.
     
  17. Bob

    Bob Guest

    "Just zis Guy, you know?" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > On Mon, 19 May 2003 15:03:24 +0200, "Robert Chung" <[email protected]> wrote:
    >
    > >This may be why you feel less pressure on your knees when standing -- it's the angle, not the
    > >cadence.
    >
    > First credible justification for standing I've heard. Thanks.
    >
    > Don't mind me if I keep spinning, though :)
    >
    > Guy
    > ===

    I agree with you -- it likely is the angle. Also, I have very strong quads due to weight lifting,
    and I find a bit less pressure if I can remember to pedal circles instead of push down. For my bike,
    I'd have to buy a new one to avoid standing. I'm already riding a 39T front chainring, and I'd have
    to put a triple to get a better chainring. My bike is old (it has -- gasp! -- downtube shifters). I
    don't mind standing; in fact, I stand about
    1/3 to 1/5 of my ride, and I'm currently riding my mountain bike on the road (I can shift to the
    small chainring if desired).

    --
    Bob ctviggen at rcn dot com
     
  18. Just Zis Guy

    Just Zis Guy Guest

    On Mon, 19 May 2003 13:26:20 GMT, "Bob" <[email protected]> wrote:

    >I have very strong quads due to weight lifting, and I find a bit less pressure if I can remember to
    >pedal circles instead of push down.

    Not far off the recommended technique in bentdom. I have pretty strong quads as well, partly from
    weights but mostly from riding recumbent; I find that concentrating on pedalling technique, keeping
    the power on for more of the pedal stroke, makes for faster and less tiring ascents.

    I do also ride wedgies, I recently competed in a mostly cross-country (flint track, not
    singletrack) duathlon on my old MTB as part of a team. I was 12th fastest bike overall, out of 120,
    completing the 20k in just under 43 minutes - not bad for a 40-year-old asthmatic whose only
    training was riding to work! I only got out of the saddle for the biggest bumps on the descents,
    not at all on the climbs, and of the 39 people I passed en route every one was on an uphill
    stretch. Spin, baby, spin!

    My target cadence on the flat these days is 100-105, and I try to keep above 95 on climbs. I
    recommend a Cateye Astrale for anyone who has knee problems or trouble with cadence; cheap and quite
    informative.

    Cheers from Merrie Englande,

    Guy
    ===
    ** WARNING ** This posting may contain traces of irony. http://www.chapmancentral.com (BT ADSL and
    dynamic DNS permitting)
    NOTE: BT Openworld have now blocked port 25 (without notice), so old mail addresses may no longer
    work. Apologies.
     
  19. Archer

    Archer Guest

    In article <[email protected]>, [email protected] says...
    >
    > "archer" <[email protected]_hotmail.com> wrote in message
    > news:[email protected]...
    > > In article <[email protected]>, [email protected] says...
    > > >
    > > >
    > > > Kev C wrote:
    > > >
    > > > > Hi all. If you are going up a steep hill, lowest granny gear and your
    > cadence goes
    > > > > way down is it actually "better/easier" to get off and push or should
    > you
    > > > > just keep slogging away?
    > > > >
    > > > > --
    > > > > yours K (Addy not usable [not that you would try it anyway]) There wis a Hare ran tae a burn
    > > > > it ran sae fast it couldnae turn \\SPLASH// :eek:) [Please note grammar and descriptions are
    > > > > loose so no flaming me
    > please]
    > > >
    > > > I dunno what's best from a physical point of view, but would you feel comfortable walking your
    > > > bike up a hill that you know you can ride up?
    > I spose
    > > > it is egotism, but why walk when you can gear down and spin? Lots of stronger riders pass me
    > > > on hills, but at least I'm not walking.
    > My
    > > > feeling is sit and spin up all those hills.
    > >
    > > But he said he's already in his lowest granny gear and having trouble maintaining a reasonable
    > > cadence.
    > >
    > >
    > > --
    > > David Kerber An optimist says "Good morning, Lord." While a pessimist says "Good Lord, it's
    > > morning".
    > >
    > > Remove the ns_ from the address before e-mailing.
    > >
    >
    > What about standing? This will allow a higher cadence. For a portion of my ride here in CT, I have
    > to stand or the rpms get too low for my liking. Plus, I feel less pressure on my knees when
    > standing than I do when sitting (although this could be purely imagined).

    I don't think it's imagined; I feel the same way. I think it's because instead of moving the pedal
    with full pressure on your knee, you are raising your body, with the leg starting from a more
    extended position than it is at the top of a seated pedal stroke. Then the maximum force is applied
    with your leg nearly straight, which would significantly reduce the stress on your knee.

    --
    David Kerber An optimist says "Good morning, Lord." While a pessimist says "Good Lord,
    it's morning".

    Remove the ns_ from the address before e-mailing.
     
  20. Bernie

    Bernie Guest

    Kev C wrote:

    > Kev C typed the following
    >
    > > Hi all. If you are going up a steep hill, lowest granny gear and your cadence goes way down is
    > > it actually "better/easier" to get off and push or should you just keep slogging away?
    >
    > Thanks all. I have to follow my sons (10 & 9)(9year old has lots of probs but basically mentally
    > he 4~5)to teach them some road sence they have a tendency to walk on steep hills and basically I
    > was wondering if there was something I could say to keep them riding rather than walking or indeed
    > if it was actually "better" to walk.Seems as long as they are not injuring themselves riding is a
    > "better" option.
    >
    > --
    > yours K (Addy not usable [not that you would try it anyway]) There wis a Hare ran tae a burn it
    > ran sae fast it couldnae turn \\SPLASH// :eek:) [Please note grammar and descriptions are loose so no
    > flaming me please]

    Given all that, my feeling is to keep cranking and don't give up easily. Bernie
     
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