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Old 07-16-06, 09:57 AM   #1
Mojo Slim
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Big Ring Week

I took three solo rides this week, 25,40 & 50 miles. My riding buddies were all sick or out of town. I decided to do every mile in the Big Ring. While the 25 miler is pretty flat, the hills on the other two rides were such that I normally would take them in a moderate to low gear. The lowest gear I used was 52/24. And to my surprise, my overall average speed might have actually been a little faster than usual. I'm trying to build up the hill climbing muscles and feel pretty good about this accomplishment.
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Old 07-16-06, 10:28 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mojo Slim
I took three solo rides this week, 25,40 & 50 miles. My riding buddies were all sick or out of town. I decided to do every mile in the Big Ring. While the 25 miler is pretty flat, the hills on the other two rides were such that I normally would take them in a moderate to low gear. The lowest gear I used was 52/24. And to my surprise, my overall average speed might have actually been a little faster than usual. I'm trying to build up the hill climbing muscles and feel pretty good about this accomplishment.
As I have only just got a road bike, I am contemplating a test to see if I can climb THE HILL in any gear on the thing. 1 mile long-15% average with one section after the bend of 25%. Then there is the rest of the ride that has a hill for 2 miles and climbs from sea level to 800 ft but there is an optical illusion in the middle of this that looks as though it goes uphill slightly for about 800yds. It is completely flat but due to the illusion- you sail up it. Then there is the third hill. Sea level again, and right from the beach you climb to the top of Beachy Head- One of the South Coast landmarks. After the previous two hills, I have no legs left and just rely on the fact that I will have no more climbing to do after I have done it. Then it is down to Fuscardi's on the seafront for a Brie and Bacon Baguette with a couple of Coffees to finish off the ride. (Changed off the pies for a healthier snack)

Done it plenty of times on the MTB and in fact was the first ride my (ex)riding partner took me on. Still get sentimental when I do it, But also wonder why no one else will do it with me.
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Old 07-16-06, 02:47 PM   #3
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Then it is down to Fuscardi's on the seafront for a Brie and Bacon Baguette with a couple of Coffees to finish off the ride. (Changed off the pies for a healthier snack)

isn't there something lovable about the English?
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Old 07-16-06, 02:52 PM   #4
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Mojo slim, good for you. Does this mean you're going to climb all your hills in the big ring?
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Old 07-16-06, 03:35 PM   #5
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Mojp Slim: Very cool accomplishment. Any time you can improve your climbing, it's good news.

If you continue with the "Big Ring" at least one day per week. You should see your power go up pretty quickly. Are you doing your climbing seated or standing? If your knees are able to deal with the bigger gears while seated, it's a good idea to mix this up too. I'm not surprised that your speed was a bit faster. My experience has been that many riders could actually ride hills much more effectively if they didn't gear down quite so low. Recently, I've been attacking several of the moderate hills in my area my moving two or three steps toward a higher gear at the start of the hill. I try to keep from going lower than the gear I was in when I got to the base of the hill for as long as possible. It's made a tremendous difference in how much energy I have when I crest the hill.

Conversely, even during the middle of the season, I ride a fix gear ride about once every ten days in a modertely low gear. This helps keep my stroke smooth and often helps my legs recover from harder rides.
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Old 07-16-06, 04:50 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stapfam
As I have only just got a road bike, I am contemplating a test to see if I can climb THE HILL in any gear on the thing. 1 mile long-15% average with one section after the bend of 25%. Then there is the rest of the ride that has a hill for 2 miles and climbs from sea level to 800 ft but there is an optical illusion in the middle of this that looks as though it goes uphill slightly for about 800yds. It is completely flat but due to the illusion- you sail up it. Then there is the third hill. Sea level again, and right from the beach you climb to the top of Beachy Head- One of the South Coast landmarks. After the previous two hills, I have no legs left and just rely on the fact that I will have no more climbing to do after I have done it. Then it is down to Fuscardi's on the seafront for a Brie and Bacon Baguette with a couple of Coffees to finish off the ride. (Changed off the pies for a healthier snack)

Done it plenty of times on the MTB and in fact was the first ride my (ex)riding partner took me on. Still get sentimental when I do it, But also wonder why no one else will do it with me.
Changed from pies!!?? I took this picture at a local bakery TODAY! just for you.
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File Type: jpg pies (Large).JPG (96.1 KB, 7 views)
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Old 07-16-06, 04:52 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by megaman
Mojo slim, good for you. Does this mean you're going to climb all your hills in the big ring?
I doubt it. We have some serious hills here in the Sierras: Long and steep. And on longer rides I need to save the knees a bit. But I will do more on the big ring, especially when I am riding alone.
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Old 07-16-06, 04:54 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NOS88
Mojp Slim: Very cool accomplishment. Any time you can improve your climbing, it's good news.

If you continue with the "Big Ring" at least one day per week. You should see your power go up pretty quickly. Are you doing your climbing seated or standing? If your knees are able to deal with the bigger gears while seated, it's a good idea to mix this up too. I'm not surprised that your speed was a bit faster. My experience has been that many riders could actually ride hills much more effectively if they didn't gear down quite so low. Recently, I've been attacking several of the moderate hills in my area my moving two or three steps toward a higher gear at the start of the hill. I try to keep from going lower than the gear I was in when I got to the base of the hill for as long as possible. It's made a tremendous difference in how much energy I have when I crest the hill.

Conversely, even during the middle of the season, I ride a fix gear ride about once every ten days in a modertely low gear. This helps keep my stroke smooth and often helps my legs recover from harder rides.
I have been watching the real climbers in my group. They all tend to push higher gears on the flats while I'm doing the Lance thing at 80-90 rpms. It still think that's the way to go in the long run, but I feel like I will get stronger pushing the big ring more. I read stuff in Bicycling Magazine, etc about how to train for hills, but the advice tends to be too complicated for my feeble mind. Keep it simple. Keep it fun.
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Old 07-16-06, 04:55 PM   #9
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What is this "Big Ring" of which you speak?
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Old 07-17-06, 06:51 AM   #10
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"Big Ring" - Dinner Plate...the big chain ring, as opposed to the salad plate, the little one, and then the saucer, the littlest one on a three ring set-up, granny gear.

I'm curious, having so many hills around here that just eat my lunch on most days, especially those days when I hit them with a headwind. What kind of speeds do you guys achieve when climbing? I've worked hard to get above 13 mph on most of the hills, with a headwind I ache just to keep it above 10 mph. I know I'm not ready for any Alpe De Heuz's or anything, but I'm wondering what kind of speed you guys get on the climbs? I feel like I've improved some over the last few years, but I still crawl up alot of them...
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Old 07-17-06, 07:53 AM   #11
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I wish I could shift out of my big ring. I have a triple (stupid for living in FL) and I don't think I have used my FD more than twice in a year. Stupid thing is hard to keep in tune with a triple as well. Majority of my riding is 52/15 or 52/17.
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Old 07-17-06, 11:46 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Baggsy
"Big Ring" - Dinner Plate...the big chain ring, as opposed to the salad plate, the little one, and then the saucer, the littlest one on a three ring set-up, granny gear.

I'm curious, having so many hills around here that just eat my lunch on most days, especially those days when I hit them with a headwind. What kind of speeds do you guys achieve when climbing? I've worked hard to get above 13 mph on most of the hills, with a headwind I ache just to keep it above 10 mph. I know I'm not ready for any Alpe De Heuz's or anything, but I'm wondering what kind of speed you guys get on the climbs? I feel like I've improved some over the last few years, but I still crawl up alot of them...
Depends on the climb- %age and length and how far into a ride.
With the long steep hills in my area I don't care about speed. All I do not want to do is push the bike.
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Old 07-21-06, 07:21 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mojo Slim
I took three solo rides this week, 25,40 & 50 miles. The lowest gear I used was 52/24. And to my surprise, my overall average speed might have actually been a little faster than usual.
Good job! I have been riding almost
entirely on the Big Ring too, lately.
I have been riding the 52 tooth ring
on my EZ-1 in preparation for getting
my Rhoades car (In less than 3 weeks)
that I had a 46 tooth ring installed on.

I find that I can climb all the rollers
on my 16, 26, and 45 mile rides ok
but I have to go to the 42 tooth ring
for what I consider truely steep hills.

If I do the mountains with 12% grades
i gotta use the TINY RING (about 32 or 34)
and even then it gets tough, tough, tough.
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Old 07-22-06, 01:12 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Baggsy
........ I'm wondering what kind of speed you guys get on the climbs?

I have a route with a few hills ranging from .5 miles to almost 2 miles at an average of 7%. 9 MPH in a 39X23. 10-11 MPH if motivated properly. Terrible agony is anything over that. I weight 195, so it's always a challenge. I really should get a 25.
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Old 07-24-06, 06:07 PM   #15
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I've been gone a couple of days, so I'm a bit late on this post. We have a hill posted at 15%. I have actually gotten down below 3 mph climbing it (not in my big ring!). It seems if you can walk it faster than ride it, you should walk it.
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Old 07-24-06, 06:40 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by centexwoody
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isn't there something lovable about the English?
We are from the planet Zargon. We have learned of "English" watching captured dvd's of Basil Rathbone being Sherlock Holmes and some inferior and by our standards unlovable organism portraying an Austin Powers. Do all English taste like brie and baguette? We seek elucidation.

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Old 07-24-06, 07:32 PM   #17
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yes, except for the one that taste like kidney pie
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