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  1. #1
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    Steep climbs on a single-speed folding bike (pics & vid)

    Remember my post yesterday in the "What is your "Clyde Ryde" thread? I said I rarely ride my vintage 1982 Dahon Da Bike single-speed folder, right?

    Well, yesterday was one of those days. My father flew down from Oregon to visit, picked me up, picked up my mother, and drove us to Amador County in the Sierra Foothills. Of course you all know what that means, right? Since I have absolutely zero interest in looking at antiques like my parents were doing and they both know I love climbing and encourage me to keep doing it, I decided to bring my folder with me and do some climbing. I put my spare Garmin mount and Pedco UltraClamp camera mount on the handlebars for my usual hill-climbing shenanigans

    Amador City was the first stop. After three small creek crossings on Amador Creek Road, I encountered my first steep climb of the day. When the grade got up to 13% or so I attempted to climb out of the saddle, which caused the handlebar latch to release, dumping me on the ground and causing me to laugh my ass off, even after securing it and resuming my climb. Of course the whole incident was caught on video. The rest of the climb reached grades up to 20%. Since I didn't trust the handlebar latch I had to do all climbing in the saddle. All I have to say about that is "Freight Train, Freight Train!"

    The next hill was the steepest on the entire ride, E. School St. It maxed out at 25%, and I had to weave from one side of the road to the other to make it up. I had so much weight on the rear wheel that the deformation of the tire made me think my tire was going flat, which would have really sucked as I forgot my pump Luckily no flats.

    After that climb I had a mile-long climb that ranged from 5% to 10% to get to the town of Sutter Creek, where I rode around some more and discovered a nice 19% grade to climb (Randolph St.).

    I rode around a little more after that and met my parents for a well-deserved lunch back in Amador City before heading back down the hill (in the car of course).

    Garmin Connect data: http://connect.garmin.com/activity/86759779

    Here's the video. The first steep climb on Amador Creek Road and the School Street climb are the ones featured. The hamfisted crash happens at 1:13:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ow_8b-7AfN4


    My climbing gears:


    Dahon Da Bike drivetrain by kittyz202, on Flickr

    One of the three small creek crossings:


    creek crossing on Amador Creek Road by kittyz202, on Flickr

    Top of School Street climb:


    Dahon Da Bike at top of School St climb in Amador City by kittyz202, on Flickr
    Last edited by freighttraininguphill; 05-20-11 at 05:13 AM.

  2. #2
    Senior Member magohn's Avatar
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    Yikes - that kind of fall makes me paranoid ! Good news that your OK. Great job on climbing on such an interesting bike. We finally have some good weather here in the PNW - Im loving it!

  3. #3
    Getting a clue engstrom's Avatar
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    FTU - language!!!! This is a family site!!!


    I would have probably had a few more choice words. I love your videos - you sound just like me when I'm going up hills. It's just that you're going up faster than I do.

    Keep the posts and videos coming.

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    33.8 mph on 16" wheels? Wow!

  5. #5
    Senior Member snowman40's Avatar
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    That chain looks a little loose....or is it just me?
    Quote Originally Posted by snowman40
    If you must speed up to pass me, you don't deserve to pass me
    Quote Originally Posted by abstractform20 View Post
    farts are greatly appreciated as long as the other riders are talented and experienced. at the precise moment of release, a vacuum is formed. this is the optimal time for the rider behind you to get as aero as possible and "ride the brown rhino". his face should be within 2-3mm of the anus to receive maximum benefit (reduced drag...duh, its in a vacuum). i have hit speeds of over 53mph in such conditions.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by magohn View Post
    Yikes - that kind of fall makes me paranoid ! Good news that your OK. Great job on climbing on such an interesting bike. We finally have some good weather here in the PNW - Im loving it!
    Thanks Yeah, my dad made a remark that every time he comes down to California to visit, the weather in Portland improves. He also said that the last winter was the wettest he's seen in many years. It was so ridiculous it impacted fishing.

    Enjoy the great weather (finally!) and keep your vids coming too. I loved your last one! Raw videos are the best

    Quote Originally Posted by engstrom View Post
    FTU - language!!!! This is a family site!!!


    I would have probably had a few more choice words. I love your videos - you sound just like me when I'm going up hills. It's just that you're going up faster than I do.

    Keep the posts and videos coming.
    I know On a normal bike I don't do that so much. I know one of the words uttered on the 25% section was because I thought my rear tire was going flat due to the deformation from all my weight over it. I'm glad it wasn't flat, because I wouldn't have stopped. It was an old tire anyway, so I would have ridden the damn thing flat and stopped by the LBS for a new tire and tube after I got home

    Quote Originally Posted by flippin_bikes View Post
    33.8 mph on 16" wheels? Wow!
    I know I didn't realize I went that fast until I looked at the Garmin data. It must have been on the descent into Sutter Creek.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by snowman40 View Post
    That chain looks a little loose....or is it just me?
    It's just you

    Actually, there is a chance it may have stretched from all the stress I put on it while climbing. It looks fine in person though.

  8. #8
    Banned. Mr. Beanz's Avatar
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    Pretty funny! I like the transitions. Especially the one from laughing into hard breathing.

    I have to say this seems to be your most graphic heavy breathing video yet. My speakers are by the window, so knowing Gina isn't home, I looked out and got the stink eye from a neighbor

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Beanz View Post
    Pretty funny! I like the transitions. Especially the one from laughing into hard breathing.

    I have to say this seems to be your most graphic heavy breathing video yet. My speakers are by the window, so knowing Gina isn't home, I looked out and got the stink eye from a neighbor


    I noticed that too During the editing process it got so loud I had to turn the volume down Looking at my heart rate on the Garmin data shows that I was working quite a bit harder on this climb than on the last few that were ridden on normal geared bikes. Makes me respect fixed-gear and single-speed riders even more, especially if they do any climbing with those bikes.

    I'm sure this was great strength training, but to save my knees I'm looking for a 16" wheel geared folder, with a better handlebar latch of course

  10. #10
    Bicycle Repair Man !!! Sixty Fiver's Avatar
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    ft - Always inspiring to watch... hill climbing can be it's own special kind of addiction.

    And yes, last winter in Portland was wet and while there I ride a folder and have a good time climbing up and down all those hills and passing hipsters on fixed gears.



    My folder here is a vintage 1973 Phillip's 20 which has no issues climbing any hill as it has been refitted with derailleur gearing and a wide range for touring... would suggest 20 inch wheels as they give a much nicer ride.

  11. #11
    Banned. Mr. Beanz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by freighttraininguphill View Post
    :. Makes me respect fixed-gear and single-speed riders even more, especially if they do any climbing with those bikes.
    One poster on this site (pinoybenter) ride all types of bikes, bents, fixies, folding, VERY low trikes. I ran into him on GMR while he was on his folding bike. Very light rig. Low spoke count Rolf rims (16?, ti pedals, and a few other goodies. He was cranking pretty good up GMR, I was shocked. He mentioned that the bike was very low weight, maybe 12 lbs tops.

    Not so good on the downhill though. I guess they are missing too much on the top end.

    On one of his bents.


    He also rides this thing up GMR.



    102310M by gulpxtreme, on Flickr
    Last edited by Mr. Beanz; 05-20-11 at 12:00 PM.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sixty Fiver View Post
    ft - Always inspiring to watch... hill climbing can be it's own special kind of addiction.

    And yes, last winter in Portland was wet and while there I ride a folder and have a good time climbing up and down all those hills and passing hipsters on fixed gears.



    My folder here is a vintage 1973 Phillip's 20 which has no issues climbing any hill as it has been refitted with derailleur gearing and a wide range for touring... would suggest 20 inch wheels as they give a much nicer ride.
    Thank you +1000 on the addiction I LOVE climbing! Gonna do some more tomorrow in El Dorado Hills. All the steepest stuff, of course

    Good job passing the brakeless wonders (at least they are around here)

    The reason I want 16" wheels is because the bike is smaller when folded up and will fit in the tiny trunks of modern sedans. We were in a Nissan Altima hybrid. Even though it looks like a mid-size car, the trunk is too small.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Beanz View Post
    One poster on this site (pinoybenter) ride all types of bikes, bents, fixies, folding, VERY low trikes. I ran into him on GMR while he was on his folding bike. Very light rig. Low spoke count Rolf rims (16?, ti pedals, and a few other goodies. He was cranking pretty good up GMR, I was shocked. He mentioned that the bike was very low weight, maybe 12 lbs tops.

    Not so good on the downhill though. I guess they are missing too much on the top end.
    Yup, I'm definitely going to try to get a better folder. A Bike Friday with a triple and bar ends or drop bars would be perfect, but they may be bigger when folded and they are quite expensive too.

    I'll bet that 12 lb folder climbs great!

  13. #13
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    Your crash (tump over) was deja vu on the heels of mine Sunday on the mountain bike, including language!

    Brad

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    Quote Originally Posted by bradtx View Post
    Your crash (tump over) was deja vu on the heels of mine Sunday on the mountain bike, including language!

    Brad
    Were you on a climb too? I had some entertaining mtb crashes when I first got clipless pedals years ago

    This is my first road crash in years. On my mtb I had a minor crash going around a corner on singletrack at the end of a race in 1993.

  15. #15
    SERENITY NOW!!! jyossarian's Avatar
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    That was like a 9 1/2 minute obscene phone call. It was awesome. And that hill at ~7:00 mark made MY legs hurt.
    HHCMF - Take pride in your ability to amaze lesser mortals! - MikeR



    We demand rigidly defined areas of doubt and uncertainty!

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by jyossarian View Post
    That was like a 9 1/2 minute obscene phone call. It was awesome. And that hill at ~7:00 mark made MY legs hurt.


    I think that was probably some of the heaviest breathing I've ever done on a bike

  17. #17
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    freighttraininguphill, No, I wasn't going uphill, just trying to avoid some treefall by leaving the single track only to find twice as much in the tall grass! Your crash and mine reminded me of the old Laugh In TV show's guy on a trike.

    Brad

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by bradtx View Post
    freighttraininguphill, No, I wasn't going uphill, just trying to avoid some treefall by leaving the single track only to find twice as much in the tall grass! Your crash and mine reminded me of the old Laugh In TV show's guy on a trike.

    Brad
    LOL! I'd like to see that part of the show! I had a good one on my mtb years ago. I was riding a rather technical part down by the river that was all sandstone or some other kind of rock. I had clipless pedals and somehow I ended up on my back with the bike upside down in the air above me Wish somebody had that on video!

  19. #19
    Fat Guy Rolling dcrowell's Avatar
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    Awesome. You laughing after you fell made me happy. It made it clear you were unhurt.

    My wife was a bit concerned about what I was watching. She could hear it from the other room.
    Car-Free IT Geek
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    Quote Originally Posted by dcrowell View Post
    Awesome. You laughing after you fell made me happy. It made it clear you were unhurt.

    My wife was a bit concerned about what I was watching. She could hear it from the other room.
    Thanks I laughed so much before resuming my climb I had to edit out the part where I stood there laughing for a minute before riding off. This was after I had re-secured the handlebar latch

    See, this is why more people need to put up raw video of hill climbs. Then the sounds will be so common that nobody will think twice when they hear heavy breathing Look at Mr. Beanz' post in this thread. His neighbor heard my video playing and gave him a dirty look

  21. #21
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    Went to 4 bike shops yesterday looking for a new geared folder (good thing I was on my trike-no gas wasted and plenty of exercise). Found a 7-speed 20" wheel Dahon Speed D7 at REI for $499. Since all bikes are now 15% off, the final price before tax was $424. After purchasing a rack trunk, bar ends, bottle cage ($2.99-what a steal!), tire liners, new pedals, toe clips, and a spare tube, total cost after tax was still only $585

    A folder on a folder:


    Worksman Port-O-Trike carrying Dahon Speed D7 by kittyz202, on Flickr


    Worksman Port-O-Trike carrying Dahon Speed D7 by kittyz202, on Flickr

    You can see my backpack in the shopping cart stuffed with the accessories (and my sweatshirt). I put it on my back and rode home with no problems. The ride home was almost all MUP, so that was even better.

    The bike after I worked my magic on it and got it set up the way I wanted. The background shows what kind of terrain I tested it on, of course That's what passes for hills around here.


    Dahon Speed D7 by kittyz202, on Flickr


    Dahon Speed D7 by kittyz202, on Flickr

    It climbs great I look forward to climbing Kingsbury Grade with it someday
    Last edited by freighttraininguphill; 05-25-11 at 01:04 AM.

  22. #22
    Fat Guy Rolling dcrowell's Avatar
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    I have Speed D7 too, but mine came with a chainguard and fenders.

    My wife bought it for me from an REI when she was in Los Angeles.

    Car-Free IT Geek
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  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by freighttraininguphill View Post


    I think that was probably some of the heaviest breathing I've ever done on a bike
    it was quite orgasmic with the fall mixed in and the loud exhale and the laugh as if to say "we just did naughty stuff!"

  24. #24
    Fat Guy Rolling dcrowell's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by motobecane69 View Post
    it was quite orgasmic with the fall mixed in and the loud exhale and the laugh as if to say "we just did naughty stuff!"
    My coworkers are wondering why I'm snorting and laughing.
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  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by dcrowell View Post
    I have Speed D7 too, but mine came with a chainguard and fenders.

    My wife bought it for me from an REI when she was in Los Angeles.
    Mine did too. I took all that stuff off as part of my usual tweaking process. I like to lighten the load a little since that bike won't be a rain bike right now. I kept the fenders just in case, but my luck with plastic fenders has always been horrible. I've broken every set I've ever had.

    Quote Originally Posted by motobecane69 View Post
    it was quite orgasmic with the fall mixed in and the loud exhale and the laugh as if to say "we just did naughty stuff!"
    Quote Originally Posted by dcrowell View Post
    My coworkers are wondering why I'm snorting and laughing.


    I played the video for the owner of an LBS and his friend yesterday. His friend was laughing and joking around about saying things like "oh baby!" to spice it up even more

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