TT on hilly course

Discussion in 'Cycling Training' started by blkhotrod, May 5, 2007.

  1. blkhotrod

    blkhotrod New Member

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    does anyone have any experience with TT on a hilly course....with regards as to when to stay down in the aero position and when to sit up. i have been experimenting with this and it seems to feel comfortably to stay on the aerobars if grade is 4% or less, by sliding forward a little more. Over 4% i run out of gears and oxygen quickly and need to sit up badly.
     
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  2. daveryanwyoming

    daveryanwyoming Well-Known Member

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    If my speed drops below 20mph (32kph) or so on a hill I sit up and move to the brake hoods or bartops. Aerodynamics become a lot less important at slower speeds so it's a chance to breathe a bit better, relax my back and ride in my normal climbing position. That number isn't cast in stone but I'm either going fast and fighting wind (could be less than 20mph if pushing a strong headwind on the flats) or climbing and fighting gravity. I'll lay on the bars for the former and sit up for the latter.

    -Dave
     
  3. GuiYoM

    GuiYoM New Member

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    I stay concentrate the whole TT, I don't think about hills, flat, wind, rain, snow or rock falling. I know what I need to do, hilly course doesn't need a special preparation or special approach, that's just a damn hill, yes you'll slow down AND? I can easily deal with it. If you never did TT hilly before, now you can have serious problem, don't focus on the shitty climb you did or the next one coming, focus on how you're going at the moment.
     
  4. blkhotrod

    blkhotrod New Member

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    I'm sorry if my english isn't perfect, but what does this response have to do with the question of aero position or sitting up on a gradual hill?........or was this just an opportunity for you to exercise your penis from your mouth?:confused:
     
  5. Spunout

    Spunout New Member

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    If you aren't going very fast, chances are you'll be more powerful NOT in the aero position.

    Try to flatten out the rollers by dipping into the tank a bit more. Work harder uphill than downhill.
     
  6. GuiYoM

    GuiYoM New Member

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    If you don't understand what I said, that's not my damn problem.
     
  7. blkhotrod

    blkhotrod New Member

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    if you would of said something, i'm sure myself and other forum members would of understood it. this takes the cake though..........

    "I don't think about hills, flat, wind, rain, snow or rock falling. I know what I need to do, hilly course doesn't need a special preparation or special approach, that's just a damn hill, yes you'll slow down AND?" :confused:

    this is better than the Jay Leno interviews of the 'person on the street' where he looks for the most stupid answer he can find........to questions like who was the first president? give Jay a call, he may be in your neck of the woods soon.
     
  8. GuiYoM

    GuiYoM New Member

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    You're the one who ask how to climb a fuckin' hill in a TT... Do I need to say more?
     
  9. vadiver

    vadiver New Member

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    Is this not different for each of us?

    I accept I could be wrong but is this not a function of individual VO2max?, Power, Speed and Frontal area?

    In order to really find out when you should sit up I would think you would need to go to a wind tunnel and experiment. Since you probably do not have access to that I think you are doing the right thing, experimenting on the road and looking at data.

    DaveWy is probably on the right track on sitting up at a given speed moreso than a grade.
     
  10. GuiYoM

    GuiYoM New Member

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    STAY SEATED AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE

    Although you develop more power while standing (you are taking advantage of all your upper body weight pushing down on the pedals), you also use 10 to 12% more energy as your pelvis isn't in contact with the saddle which means more work for your core and back muscles as you pull up on the unweighted pedal. The net effect is more energy used (less efficient) to climb standing versus to climb seated.

    On short climbs, the length of a football field or less, it makes little difference. But on longer climbs, stay in the saddle and spin at 80 - 85 RPM. This is particularly so if you are heavier as standing puts just that much more weight on your leg muscles, while sitting uses the seat to help take the extra upper body weight off your legs. Staying in the saddle will:
    • burn less energy - heart rate is approximately 8% lower for any set speed
    • use your bigger gluteal (butt) and hip muscles to your advantage

    Want to train for climbing hills while seated?? Here is a drill you might consider. Go hard up short hills while seated. Find a climb that's moderately steep and takes about 30 seconds to crest. Hit it hard at the bottom in a fairly large gear. Beware of letting your cadence slow by the top. Use a gear that lets you pedal at 90 rpm or more all the way up. Start with two or three reps and increase as your strength improves.

    That having been said, on long, fairly steep climbs, it may provide a break to alternate sitting and standing to employ different muscle groups. Just before you stand, shift to the next smaller cog, then shift back when you sit. These gear changes will help you maintain a steady pace during cadence changes.

    And if you are going to stand, let the bike rock side to side under you - an arc of maybe 6 inches side to side. And don't lean too far forward. Stay back so that your weight is directly over the crank.

    BODY POSITION

    Being bent over in the drops is the most efficient position on level ground, but hills are different as there is much less aerodynamic resistance. You actually get the most power sitting up as high as you can.

    • HAND POSITION Comfort overrides these comments, but for seated climbing, most riders prefer to keep their hands on top of the bars, perhaps 2 or 3 inches from the center stem. A wide grip on the top of the handlebar reduces breathing restriction. And remember to drop your elbows and relax your upper body.

      For out of the saddle climbing or aggressive climbs (where you are accelerating or attacking on the saddle) put your thumbs on the hoods and rest one or two fingers on the levers or wrapped around underneath. And when you get to that descent, most riders will go to the drops (keeping your wrists straight) for the aerodynamic advantages although others prefer the hoods for the feeling of control. But not the top of the bars as your hands will be too far from the brakes.
    • UPPER BODY STILL AND CHEST OPEN Keep your upper body quiet - the bike should rock under you (try pulling up on the handlebar opposite of the leg on a down stroke). Too much movement wastes energy. And your shoulders should be back and "open". If not, you are constricting your chest and cannot breathe efficiently.
    • SIT BACK ON THE SADDLE When you slide back on your seat, you gain a leverage advantage on the pedals. The only time you would want to slide forward is for a short sprint on a small rise.
    WHEN YOU MUST STAND - pedaling while standing

    If you must stand, remember it's hard to pull up because you aren't in contact with the saddle -- there's nothing to brace your hips to pull against -- and you will to power into BOTH the down and up strokes (12 to 5 o'clock on the down stroke and 7 to 10 o'clock on the upstroke). You should use your body weight to help you push down. Let the bike move fluidly under you. Don’t force it. The bike should rock rhythmically side to side in an arc of about 6 inches (judged by the movement of the handlebar stem). This gives each leg a direct push against its pedal and makes the best use of your weight. This will help to maintain a smooth stroke and your momentum. Don't lean too far forward. If the nose of your saddle is brushing the back of your thighs, you are just right. Farther forward and you will press the front tire into the pavement and lose power. Stay back a bit and find the front-to-back sweet spot. This helps center your weight over the crank to drive the pedals as described. And remember to shift up a gear or two just before you stand to take advantage of the extra power you gain from standing (but which you can’t maintain for any length of time).

    Remember that if you are in a group, you need to consciously protect those behind you when you stand to climb. How you stand on a hill is very important - do it wrong and the guy behind might suddenly be on the pavement. The issue is the brief deceleration that can occur as you change from sitting to standing incorrectly, which, relative to other riders has the effect of sending your bike backwards and can cause the following rider's front wheel to hit your rear wheel.

    On short, rolling hills, the trick is to click to the next higher gear (smaller cog), then stand and pedal over the top with a slightly slower cadence. This keeps quads from loading up with lactate because it helps you pedal with body weight. In fact, it can actually feel like you're stretching and refreshing your legs.

    The correct way to stand:
    • It is good etiquette to announce "Standing!" a couple of pedal strokes before you do so.
    • Stand smoothly as one foot begins its downward power stroke - don't lunge, keep your effort constant.
    • As you come off the saddle, push your hands forward a bit. This helps to ensure that the bike won't lose ground.
    • When returning to the saddle, continue pedaling evenly and again push your hands forward to counteract any tendency to decelerate. This will gain several inches and put the seat right under you.
    You can practice your technique with a friend during a training ride. They can ride behind and let you know when you've got the hang to it. That's when the gap between their front wheel and your rear wheel doesn't narrow each time you stand or sit.

    FIND YOUR SPEED AND RHYTHM

    Climbing should always be done in your comfort zone. Ride at your own pace - Know your limits and listen to your body. If you become anaerobic, you won't recover, so let faster riders go. It's a common mistake: Trying to keep up with better climbers on the lower slopes, then reaching your limits and losing big hunks of time. Take it a bit easier and you have a much better chance of catching them later. You don’t want to over exert and go anaerobic. If you're nearing your red line on that hill, slow slightly, breathe deeply and continue at a speed within your ability.

    Use the right gears and shift early to balance the work of your muscles and aerobic system. New riders often make the mistake of pushing their muscles until they cannot push any more. When they decide to shift to an easier gear -- if they have one -- it is often too late. The muscles are exhausted and unable to continue.

    KEEP THAT CADENCE UP

    Think about this. If you ride up the hill in two minutes at 60 rpm, you've divided the total work into 120 pieces (consider each revolution of your pedals as a unit of work). But if you spin at 90, there would be 180. As you've done the same elevation gain, but now broken it into smaller bits, there will be less work (and strain on the knees) with each revolution. (And if you do have knee problems, take a break and stand during hills - which will change the biomechanics and give your knees a break).

    Gear down before the hill. The goal is to avoid producing large quantities of lactic acid and then pedaling through the pain. You want a sustainable rhythm. Try to keep your cadence above 70 -- any slower puts excess stress on your knees. The optimum spin rates for efficient pedaling are somewhere between 70 and 80. One rider reported that he actually went faster as he increased his cadence in a lower gear. For example, he would maintain 6.5 mph at 50 rpm in one gear and then, as he geared down, he found he maintained 8 mph at 70 rpm without a perceived increase in effort. If you find that things are going well, you can always shift to a harder gear later.

    Try to find the cadence that would let you "climb all day". You are pushing too hard if you:
    • can't keep a smooth pedal stroke
    • are panting or breathing irregularly
    Ride your own pace. The energy you save may help you catch someone who started too fast near the summit
     
  11. vadiver

    vadiver New Member

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    When you post stuff like this you should provide the link and/or at least provide the source of the writing.

    Authors tend to be protective of their work to the point of copywrite laws.
     
  12. Xsmoker

    Xsmoker New Member

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    And I thought he just got himself edumcated.
     
  13. vadiver

    vadiver New Member

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    :eek:

    That was kind of my thought. From his first post on this thread to his last one he made some massive progress.
     
  14. daveryanwyoming

    daveryanwyoming Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, but he still completely avoided the OP's original question "...with regards as to when to stay down in the aero position and when to sit up."

    But it's sure a nice summary of riding up hills, here's my favorite piece of advice from that article:
    I had better start doing that during my hilly time trials and races, hate to have bad ettiquette :)

    -Dave
     
  15. Spunout

    Spunout New Member

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    If anyone in my groups announced that thay have to stand, I'm in the wrong group. Things can only get worse from there.

    I coach and deliver courses, and one key skill is how to stand up without shooting the bike back into the person's front wheel behind you.
     
  16. Xsmoker

    Xsmoker New Member

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    Please elaborate......
     
  17. frenchyge

    frenchyge New Member

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    Heh. So many have not mastered that skill that I would prefer they announce their intention to stand. :)
     
  18. Spunout

    Spunout New Member

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    Yup. Slowly stand up and back, not forward. Stand by pushing down on a pedal, not on your BDC pedal.

    Good drill to practice with a training partner, plus the front wheel rubs will keep your bike handling skills up.
     
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