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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 08-07-13, 11:09 PM   #1
blackvans1234
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First ''climb'', advice?

Hey all, fellow mini-clydesdale (197lbs) here, just wondering what your advice is regarding a climb.

http://ridewithgps.com/routes/2942500

So I know the general ''start slower than you think you'll need, and you'll catch people blowing up near the top"
keep spinning, blah blah blah.

Any ''clyde specific'' tips you can give?

I was considering doing a smaller climb for my first
http://www.strava.com/segments/648285


Should I just hit the big one or go for this smaller one?
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Old 08-07-13, 11:19 PM   #2
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everyone has a different climbing rhythm in regards to spinning vs mashing. But there looks to be a nice warm up before you hit the climb so I think you should be good. Just stay at a comfy pace at the bottom and hold that pace to the top (I'm not one to climb slower then I need to). I don't know how you bike is geared so I can't tell if you will be spinning vs mashing on that 5-7% grade.

I'd bypass the smaller version if possible, its hard to compare a 1000ft hill to a 3000ft hill and might just fry you mentally if you find the small one really hard. Generally in my area, the short ones are steeper then the longer ones. Go big or stay home
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Old 08-07-13, 11:32 PM   #3
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My bike has a 34(compact) and 12-28 in the rear.
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Old 08-07-13, 11:39 PM   #4
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Just go out and ride. You may have to stop and rest or whatever part way, but after a while you'll get a lot better.
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Old 08-07-13, 11:44 PM   #5
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you should be able to hold 80rpms at 6+mph pretty easy and still have a gear left to give for the steeper sections. I run a 34 compact with either 11-23 or 12-27 cassette. I reserve the larger cassette for social climbs or really long climbing days...ie 50+ miles WITH 6k+ of vertical. I need the gearing to get me home w/o diving too much into the red. http://www.strava.com/activities/24319901
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Old 08-08-13, 12:08 AM   #6
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you should be able to hold 80rpms at 6+mph pretty easy and still have a gear left to give for the steeper sections. I run a 34 compact with either 11-23 or 12-27 cassette. I reserve the larger cassette for social climbs or really long climbing days...ie 50+ miles WITH 6k+ of vertical. I need the gearing to get me home w/o diving too much into the red. http://www.strava.com/activities/24319901

This one has 6k feet of climbing, and is 60 miles.
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Old 08-08-13, 12:17 AM   #7
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i think you should be good, eat a good breakfast the morning of
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Old 08-08-13, 06:32 AM   #8
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This one has 6k feet of climbing, and is 60 miles.
That's alot of climbing... someone along time ago gave me this advice... push on the flats; rest on the hills. What? rest up hills? It now makes perfect sense. Where I can, I pushed hard, especially if doing an event ride; to make up time. When I hit a steep climb, I slow down, find a comfortable rhythm for me (it's different for everyone) and spin up the hill. I concentrate on my breathing and just maintaining a steady cadence. As soon as I crest the hill, if I don't need to stop, I start to push again. Gotta say since I started this, I now love to climb hills; just hate flat rides! I say just do it... worse thing that can happen, well, just do it...
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Old 08-08-13, 06:32 AM   #9
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Sit up on the hills, it engages different muscles and may allow you to expand your chest more.
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Old 08-08-13, 06:45 AM   #10
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Tell us more. What's your weekly mileage? What are your typical long rides and how much climbing do they entail? How old are you? If you're comfortable with the distance and typical do 60'/mile, I would think the ride is doable (pure guess). OTOH, If you're a flatlander, 20'/mile on a good day, the subject ride would seem to be quite a grind.
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Old 08-08-13, 10:03 AM   #11
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This one has 6k feet of climbing, and is 60 miles.
Have you done rides of similar length that involve at least 3000-4000 feet of climbing? If not, I suspect you're going to find this ride to be fairly difficult... For a one-time event, I don't like to increase elevation gain by more the 1.5X what I've done during a "typical" training ride. My current weekend training ride, for example, includes 3000 feet of elevation gain so I wouldn't want to go past 4500 feet of total elevation gain unless I was willing to do some serious suffering.
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Old 08-08-13, 11:01 AM   #12
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I'm 22, usually ride 150 miles a week. We do group rides of 30-40 miles. I've done 50 miles and wasn't hurting too bad (it was also at a pretty high pace). As for climbing, I usually do around 2000 feet in the 30 or 40 miles.

I'll probably just skip out on this one, do the climb near me (800 ft) just to get my feet wet.

They also just added another little climb so the total is about 6500 feet of climbing and is 57 miles.

Last edited by blackvans1234; 08-08-13 at 11:06 AM.
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Old 08-08-13, 11:03 AM   #13
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58mi is a long ride for most people. 6000ft of climbing is a huge amount for most people. I would echo sstorkel. We don't know your history so can't tell if you are ready for it. Let us know how it goes with either decision. If you do it, be sure to have snacks and water to keep your energy up.
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Old 08-08-13, 06:56 PM   #14
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I'll probably just skip out on this one, do the climb near me (800 ft) just to get my feet wet.
Try hill repeats on the 800ft climb. If you can ride up and down the 800ft climb 4-5 times in a row without feeling like you're going to die, then you might be ready for the ride with 6500ft of climbing.
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Old 08-08-13, 10:23 PM   #15
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but hill repeats will actually be harder then the climbs on the route. Don't be scared of hill that are around you. You WILL one day have to go over them. Better sooner then later if you're doing 150 miles / wk!!!!
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Old 08-09-13, 01:22 AM   #16
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but hill repeats will actually be harder then the climbs on the route.
Depends on the hill being repeated, doesn't it? Assuming the gradients are similar, you're basically comparing the following two workouts:

1) Climb 3000 feet without stopping

2) Climb 800 feet, coast downhill 800 feet, climb 800 feet, coast downhill 800 feet, climb 800 feet, coast downhill 800 feet, climb 800 feet, coast downhill 800 feet

It sure sounds to me like the second one is easier if the gradients are similar.
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Old 08-09-13, 01:44 AM   #17
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Hey all, fellow mini-clydesdale (197lbs) here, just wondering what your advice is regarding a climb.

http://ridewithgps.com/routes/2942500



Any ''clyde specific'' tips you can give?
What's the purpose of these rides? Are you intending to do them with a group or solo? As part of an event?

Generally the 10% rule already listed is a pretty good one to go by. It'll help keep you from injuring yourself. So, it wouldn't hurt to work up to the HC climb a little bit.

I don't know exactly where you live and how "local" either is to you. But, it looks like either cold be considered local to Albany.

With regard to "clyde specific" advice for climbing: Sadly the pertinent advice is "loose weight". Plan and simple. On climbs as long as these there's no chance of using some of the clyde tricks that work on rollers etc.

If I were doing these as part of a group ride or event: My advice wouldn't be that different from what you would normally give any rider. With a few exceptions. I'm never going to be able to climb with true climbers. But, what we clydes and others can do, is tire them a bit leading into the climb. Typically the thin little climbers don't have the raw power to even hold a strong wheel on the flats. So, if you have excellent endurance you can push the pace for several km before the climb, wear the climbers a bit and while you'll be starting the climb slightly worn they may be even more so. This technique doesn't work so great if you're alone in your efforts. Typically you need at least a few others to help with this scheme. In my local groups I know who I can rely on to grab my wheel if I accellerate and who will also pull through and help keep the pace up. I'll try to collect a couple of these guys and get the train rolling. That is a reasonably surefire way of achieving the goal. If at an event/race and in a larger group or without some of those mates, I find it counter productive to actually discuss organizing anything. Everyone is always in it for themselves and more than happy to let someone else work while not doing anything themselves. In these instances I find that I can sometimes get the ball rolling by simply launching half heartedly off the front in such a way that others see me as a free meal ticket and attempt to latch on. If I can get just one to pull through, I'll get a rest and go again. A little chit chat, maybe some goading or cajoling and pretty soon you can get 4 or 5 guys to actually give it a go. Success.

On the two shorter climbs you link to you can employ the normal tactics of assuring you're in the front 1/4 at the start, drafting wheels for whatever they are worth on the less steep sections, and using what reserves you do have on the steeper sections in an effort to maintain contact with those wheels. Personally I find these work well for me on climbs of 7:00-14:00. Last year I was really disappointed to loose contact with a group in the last few hundred meters of a 12 km 24:00 climb. As you go longer and longer it just becomes more difficult to "smart" your way up a hill. Hopefully this year I'll have a bit more in the tank for that event.

With regard to gearing. 34-28 should be plenty low for riding the 5-7% slopes on those climbs. You may still find it challenging on the section(s) that reach 14%. But, those are realatively short. If riding in a spirited group you may find this gearing too low to effectively stay with the group and the gaps between the lowest gears slightly too large to effectively stay in your most efficient zone. The 21-24-28 are big'ish shifts when you're trying to stay with wheels.

Personally for climbs of similiar steepness but not nearly as long as that HC climb I've found a 36/50-11-26 to offer my Goldilocks gearing.

I would continue, but, Mrs. Fred is staring at me. Gotta' go.
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Old 08-09-13, 11:15 AM   #18
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If the purpose of the ride is to survive then you should be fine with the gearing you have. Take the advice of 'it's a ride not a race' and pace yourself.

I'll gladly do hill repeats that I have behind the house (1.6 mi at 6.7%) vs some stupid stuff like:

http://app.strava.com/segments/608870

Distance - 2.4mi
Avg Grade - 8.3%
Elev Difference - 1,052ft
Climb Category - 2

OR even worse after 94 miles and ~8,000' gain into a ride:

http://app.strava.com/segments/659554

Distance - 6.4mi
Avg Grade - 6.4%
Elev Difference - 2,165ft
Climb Category - 1
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Old 08-09-13, 12:35 PM   #19
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I just reread this and saw "first" climb in the title.

Disregard my previous post.

Start small. Work up from there.
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Old 08-09-13, 01:07 PM   #20
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I really appreciate having a HRM for rides with lots of climbing. My max HR is 190ish, so for long climbs I try to keep my HR in the 155-165 range, which is my "tempo" zone (granted, that's a rough calculation, but it works for me) in which I can ride pretty much all day. Once I get over 170, that starts burning the proverbial matches and my stamina plummets. When you first get on the climb, your HR will jump, but once you get into a groove it'll slow down. If you focus on your HR + cadence, and ignore your speed, you'll be much less likely to overdo it. Of course, this all assumes you have gearing that will allow you to manage your HR effectively...
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