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Clydesdales/Athenas (200+ lb / 91+ kg) Looking to lose that spare tire? Ideal weight 200+? Frustrated being a large cyclist in a sport geared for the ultra-light? Learn about the bikes and parts that can take the abuse of a heavier cyclist, how to keep your body going while losing the weight, and get support from others who've been successful.

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Old 07-22-11, 09:35 PM   #1
HazeT
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Dude, where are my legs? "after a bump"

I'm 275lbs right now and ride pretty often, ~120 miles/week and have alreay put 1100 miles on my bike since april. While I'm feeling more comfortable with longer rides, I feel that I had zero improvement going "up hill".
There's a bump on my early route, it's a .7 mile stretch that start at a damn stop sign and goes at a 2% grade for quarter mile, then it increases to 5% and then 8% grade "according to my edge 305". and that's enough to kill my legs when I get to the top of it. once I'm there, it's flat and even on my lowest gear 34-27 I can barely pedal.
What can I be doing wrong? I don't think such a bump should be that stressful to my legs.
I've tried both ways, going up at a higher cadence, ~rpm and also trying to get out of the saddle at a higher gear and use my weight, neither ways had a descent result.
Any tips on what can I be doing wrong? there got to be something wrong
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Old 07-22-11, 09:42 PM   #2
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You have the wrong gearing for hills.
I use 50-39-24 chain rings w a 11-34 cassette.
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Old 07-22-11, 09:57 PM   #3
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well, it's a compact crankset and the 105 RD can't take more then 27 teeth. Sochanging the gearing is not an option, and honestly I don't think that this is the problem.
I must be the problem, just need to find out where
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Old 07-22-11, 10:40 PM   #4
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If you can make it up the hill (which it sounds like you can) just hammer it out and every day it'll get easier.
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Old 07-22-11, 11:04 PM   #5
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If you can make it up the hill (which it sounds like you can) just hammer it out and every day it'll get easier.
I will try that this week. but really, it's just a bump... it's 110 ft over .7 miles... that's what bugs me is that even after 1100 miles on the saddle this pos still kills me.
and I damn hate the stop sign. have to go from a complete stop which sucks for me
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Old 07-22-11, 11:53 PM   #6
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I will try that this week. but really, it's just a bump... it's 110 ft over .7 miles... that's what bugs me is that even after 1100 miles on the saddle this pos still kills me.
and I damn hate the stop sign. have to go from a complete stop which sucks for me
OK then... the answer here is: on your weekends do hill repeats. Find a tough hill and just do it over and over (don't die but get used to that increased grade!) one day per weekend. If you are used to a much tougher hill, this little bump will eventually become nothing to you.

What gearing/speed are you attacking this hill on? (estimates are OK)
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Old 07-23-11, 01:28 AM   #7
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Yeah I have the same problem with a certain hill (1000ft over 4 miles), and the only way to get better is to keep at it...Some things in life just have no short cuts, I still can't get to the top without stopping yet, but hey, all the smaller bumps that was giving me problems before ceased to matter...Funny how that works.
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Old 07-23-11, 07:33 AM   #8
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If you can make it up the hill (which it sounds like you can) just hammer it out and every day it'll get easier.
This is incorrect.^

"It never gets easier. You just go faster."

Have you timed yourself? Perhaps you're going faster. If not, keep at it. You will.
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Old 07-23-11, 08:36 AM   #9
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If you can make it up the hill (which it sounds like you can) just hammer it out and every day it'll get easier.
Very true, the more you ride it the easier and faster it'll be. My commute is quite hilly and it was killing me at the beginning of the year and now I still find myself working hard but I'm going a lot faster.

Just this week while riding to work on my '77 Raleigh I had to call out "on your left" and cranked past a guy on a modern lightweight road bike, the guy probably had more money in his shoes than I have in my whole bike

Once I was past him he just fell back and I didn't see him again.

BTW- In the last year I'm down from 242 lbs to 209 lbs and I'm 6'6".



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Old 07-23-11, 09:15 AM   #10
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This is incorrect.^

"It never gets easier. You just go faster."

Have you timed yourself? Perhaps you're going faster. If not, keep at it. You will.
Timing yourself is a good idea. You might be improving and not even know it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by FORDSVTPARTS View Post
Very true, the more you ride it the easier and faster it'll be. My commute is quite hilly and it was killing me at the beginning of the year and now I still find myself working hard but I'm going a lot faster.

Just this week while riding to work on my '77 Raleigh I had to call out "on your left" and cranked past a guy on a modern lightweight road bike, the guy probably had more money in his shoes than I have in my whole bike

Once I was past him he just fell back and I didn't see him again.

BTW- In the last year I'm down from 242 lbs to 209 lbs and I'm 6'6".



.
That guy you passed could have been on mile 95 of a century though. You never know. Haha.
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Old 07-23-11, 09:26 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by HazeT View Post
I'm 275lbs right now and ride pretty often, ~120 miles/week and have alreay put 1100 miles on my bike since april. While I'm feeling more comfortable with longer rides, I feel that I had zero improvement going "up hill".
There's a bump on my early route, it's a .7 mile stretch that start at a damn stop sign and goes at a 2% grade for quarter mile, then it increases to 5% and then 8% grade "according to my edge 305". and that's enough to kill my legs when I get to the top of it. once I'm there, it's flat and even on my lowest gear 34-27 I can barely pedal.
What can I be doing wrong? I don't think such a bump should be that stressful to my legs.
I've tried both ways, going up at a higher cadence, ~rpm and also trying to get out of the saddle at a higher gear and use my weight, neither ways had a descent result.
Any tips on what can I be doing wrong? there got to be something wrong

Honestly, just do what you have to do with the gears to keep the pedals turning.

I've often found that if I tire quickly on a hill it's because I'm trying to stamp the pedal too hard, putting a load on my leg muscles. In a low gear that just means my muscles are working hard to stamp on a pedal that offers little resistance, so the answer is to either change up a gear (counterintuitive) or focus on turning rather than pushing.

Aside from that just practise, practise, practise. If you've got a computer or GPS or something then check your progress - a few times I've felt myself struggling on long slow inclines only to realise I was going appreciably faster than normal.
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Old 07-23-11, 09:36 AM   #12
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Lets see, you have been riding for 4 whole months, and weigh 275, ...errrr....this is a tough one!

Just keep riding the hill!!!! Find a bigger hill and go ride that one.
Then find an even bigger hill and do repetes on that one. If you like hill repeats, you are not working hard enough!

Also adjust your diet, loosing a few lbs will help.

You really expect to have legs of steel, and the heart and lungs to just hammer out a hill in 4 months??
@275????


Just keep riding, Hammer on your hill, and sometime in the future it will seem small.
Right now it's your level of fitness that is holding you back, so keep on riding.
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Old 07-23-11, 09:43 AM   #13
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That guy you passed could have been on mile 95 of a century though. You never know. Haha.
At 7:40 in the morning?

Besides it's not the first time something like that has happened My wife, son and I regularly ride much faster than the majority of the people on our favorite local trail.

Trust me, I have no illusions that there are stronger, faster riders out there but it does feel good to cruise past people on modern hardware on my antique.

.
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Old 07-23-11, 11:17 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by HazeT View Post
I'm 275lbs right now and ride pretty often, ~120 miles/week and have alreay put 1100 miles on my bike since april. While I'm feeling more comfortable with longer rides, I feel that I had zero improvement going "up hill".
There's a bump on my early route, it's a .7 mile stretch that start at a damn stop sign and goes at a 2% grade for quarter mile, then it increases to 5% and then 8% grade "according to my edge 305". and that's enough to kill my legs when I get to the top of it. once I'm there, it's flat and even on my lowest gear 34-27 I can barely pedal.
What can I be doing wrong? I don't think such a bump should be that stressful to my legs.
I've tried both ways, going up at a higher cadence, ~rpm and also trying to get out of the saddle at a higher gear and use my weight, neither ways had a descent result.
Any tips on what can I be doing wrong? there got to be something wrong
At least it starts at a stop sign. I have a couple of bumps that have a red light in the middle, catching those red sucks. The bumps are maybe 50 feet up in about a block or 2.
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Old 07-23-11, 01:39 PM   #15
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FYI: not that it makes a big difference but the 105RD can take a 28T cog

Agree with the others, keep at it and soon you'll be looking at mountains to climb
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Old 07-25-11, 08:50 PM   #16
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I have a hill on my commute home that sounds like this one. I don't know the grade, but it's about 0.7 miles long, and I judge my "strength progress" during the year by what gear I take it in. I usually start with the smallest of 3 chainrings and the largest cog, and just grind it out with steady but slow effort. Over time I go to smaller cogs and then eventually move the middle chainring and largest cog, then start down the "cog scale" again. Right now I'm on the middle chainring and third largest cog on a good day, second largest or even the largest on a not-so-good day. Same bike so the tooth counts and speeds don't matter, so I don't have to get all quantitative about it but I can still easily gauge my progress. It feels damn good when I move a level, especially to the level that lets me stay in the middle chainring.
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Old 07-25-11, 10:38 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HazeT View Post
I'm 275lbs right now and ride pretty often, ~120 miles/week and have alreay put 1100 miles on my bike since april. While I'm feeling more comfortable with longer rides, I feel that I had zero improvement going "up hill".
There's a bump on my early route, it's a .7 mile stretch that start at a damn stop sign and goes at a 2% grade for quarter mile, then it increases to 5% and then 8% grade "according to my edge 305". and that's enough to kill my legs when I get to the top of it. once I'm there, it's flat and even on my lowest gear 34-27 I can barely pedal.
What can I be doing wrong? I don't think such a bump should be that stressful to my legs.
I've tried both ways, going up at a higher cadence, ~rpm and also trying to get out of the saddle at a higher gear and use my weight, neither ways had a descent result.
Any tips on what can I be doing wrong?
You weigh 275 pounds, only have a 34x27 low gear, and don't report doing anything which would increase your power output and fatigue resistance for that sort of duration.

Hill repeats at low cadence (go up, go down, ride around for five minutes on flat ground, repeat), or hard five minute intervals will give you more fitness that makes it easier with your current weight and gearing.

A bigger cassette (may require a new rear derailleur, perhaps a "mountain bike" unit) and/or triple crank (will require new derailleurs and perhaps shifters) will make it easier at your current weight and fitness.

Less weight will make it easier with your current equipment and fitness.
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Old 07-26-11, 12:00 AM   #18
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I'm only 240 or so, and I have a regular crank (so 39/27 is as good as it gets) and I live at the bottom of a nasty hill... here it is for your viewing pleasure:



The first couple times I tried it, I was wheezing and gasping and stopped several times. Needless to say I can make it up the whole thing now and yes, it is easier. You just have to figure out a way to distract yourself. Instead of trying to go faster, try to go slower sometime. Stand up, sit down, go faster, go slow, sing show tunes, convince yourself you're a climber... whatever it takes.

You'll get it.
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Old 07-26-11, 05:53 AM   #19
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I find my body doesnt take my rides seriously until I do a medium or larger hill, it takes a minute or two to recover from that hill, but from then on the engine is all warmed up and at low or high rpms I can deliver plenty of torque.

I tested this once. I did that first hill... rode back down and hit it again, the second time was a TON easier.
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Old 07-26-11, 09:11 AM   #20
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No, the problem is that hill is cursed. I have a 6 mile section on the way home that isn't much, but it kills me everytime. Even going downhill is hard. Going uphill in the opposite direction is easier than going downhill on this section. Drives me nuts! Of course, I'm doing it after already riding 8 miles uphill (gentle but uphill) working all day, and it's over 90 degress, but STILL! It's gotta be an ancient curse that only effects me, because all the other bikers don't seem to notice it.

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Old 07-26-11, 09:33 AM   #21
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No, the problem is that hill is cursed. I have a 6 mile section on the way home that isn't much, but it kills me everytime. Even going downhill is hard. Going uphill in the opposite direction is easier than going downhill on this section. Drives me nuts! Of course, I'm doing it after already riding 8 miles uphill (gentle but uphill) working all day, and it's over 90 degress, but STILL! It's gotta be an ancient curse that only effects me, because all the other bikers don't seem to notice it.

Tabriz
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Old 07-29-11, 08:51 AM   #22
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"It's gotta be an ancient curse that only effects me, because all the other bikers don't seem to notice it."

I had a section like this last year that I did on almost every ride as it is right near my house. This year it's easy and I can go up with no problem - almost a joke.
I think 90% half mental!
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Old 07-29-11, 09:30 AM   #23
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If your legs feel like warm butter when you get to the top, you want an easier gear.

Either going to a triple on the front with a ~28 small ring, or a cassette on the rear with a 32 or 34 bailout large cog would work wonders for flattening hills.

Going from a 34 to a 28 front will net you a 21.4% easier gear; 27->32 on the rear will be 18.5%; 27->34 will be 25.9%.

Changing the rear cassette would probably be easier and cheaper.
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Old 07-29-11, 10:17 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by TrojanHorse View Post
I'm only 240 or so, and I have a regular crank (so 39/27 is as good as it gets) and I live at the bottom of a nasty hill... here it is for your viewing pleasure:



The first couple times I tried it, I was wheezing and gasping and stopped several times. Needless to say I can make it up the whole thing now and yes, it is easier. You just have to figure out a way to distract yourself. Instead of trying to go faster, try to go slower sometime. Stand up, sit down, go faster, go slow, sing show tunes, convince yourself you're a climber... whatever it takes.

You'll get it.
Sound of Music: Climb Every Mountain?
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Old 07-29-11, 10:26 AM   #25
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it's a .7 mile stretch that start at a damn stop sign and goes at a 2% grade for quarter mile, then it increases to 5% and then 8% grade
Agree with others that it should get "easier" over time. You may also want to consider how you "attack" the hill. Try to sprint that first quarter mile so that you are spinning and moving pretty fast by the time you hit the 5% grade. Then be quick to downshift as you go up and keep the spinning going. Your lungs will feel it, but your legs may survive better.
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