Advertise on Bikeforums.net



User Tag List

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 36

Thread: Is this steep?

  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Washington, Mo
    My Bikes
    Trek 1.5, Scwinn Sporterra comp, Cannondale Synapse carbon
    Posts
    258
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Is this steep?

    I just used Strava to map out a ride I've done a couple times. It's about 25 miles with some hills, but there's a hill at the end that I really struggle with. It climbs about 160ft in .75 miles. That about kills me. I'm sure other more experienced riders who are good climbers will laugh at that, but would you consider that a good challenge for someone who's fairly new to the sport & has about 600 miles in the saddle? The steepest part of the grade is almost 11% for about 1/8 mile.

  2. #2
    Council of the Elders billydonn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Omaha, NE
    My Bikes
    1990 Schwinn Crosscut, 5 Lemonds
    Posts
    3,761
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Sure, it sounds like it's just the ticket. This is all relative to your current ability, as you say. If you keep riding for awhile, you'll come back to that hill in a couple years and find that you are much better at it. It's one of the real pleasures of doing this for a long time, IMO.

    There is a time to resign oneself
    to old age and infirmity. You first.
    My Cycling Blogspot

  3. #3
    Have bike, will travel Barrettscv's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Windy City
    My Bikes
    A road bike for every purpose
    Posts
    8,812
    Mentioned
    2 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Yeah, that's steep for someone learning the sport. Keep repeating the route and by the end of the summer it will become easier;

    Spinning is easier than mashing. Mashing the pedals at a slow cadence requires more energy and is less efficient than spinning at a higher cadence. Having a wide range drivetrain with a chain-wheel to cog ratio that is 1:1 or better really helps.

    A smooth cadence that produces power at all phases of the pedal stroke improves performance. Good shoes and clip-less pedals along with good technique matters. Again, staying seated and spinning is easier than standing and mashing. I will sometimes stand and mash, but I save that for the steepest part of the climb.
    Last edited by Barrettscv; 06-12-12 at 07:05 AM.
    2014 Trek DS.1: "Viaggiatore" A do-it-all bike that is waiting in Italy
    2012 Pedal Force CG2: "Secolo Bicicletta" the modern carbon fiber road bike
    2012 Pedal Force CX2: "Carbone CX" the carbon fiber CX bike
    2010 Origin 8 CX 700: "Servizio Grave" Monstercross/29er bike
    1997 Simoncini Special Cyclocross: "Little Simon" lugged Columbus steel CX bike
    1987 Serotta Nova Special X: "Azzurri" The retro Columbus SPX steel road bike

  4. #4
    Senior Member rdtompki's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Hollister, CA
    My Bikes
    Volagi, daVinci Joint Venture
    Posts
    3,933
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Yes. The average grade is only 4% which shouldn't be bad with reasonable gearing, but the 11% can easily cause someone getting started to either run out of legs, cardio or both That's a right-sized hill for strength building.
    Rick T
    --------
    Volagi - Triple"ized" and Tubeless
    daVinci Joint Venture

  5. #5
    Senior Member sparrish's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Apex, NC
    My Bikes
    Novara Verita, Trek 4500 MTB, Merckx Team SC
    Posts
    85
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    yep, that is steep for me. This weekend I rode with a group and did 3 climbs that were 130 ft or so, distance 1.25 - 1.75 miles.

    http://runkeeper.com/user/sparrish92/activity/94217199

    It was quite a grind, but I hope to get better over the coming weeks and months.

  6. #6
    Senior Member OldsCOOL's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    northern michigan
    My Bikes
    '88 Cannondale Criterium
    Posts
    4,548
    Mentioned
    11 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Sounds steep, probably looks steep and rides steep. We have one like it just up the street from the house. The .75mi will give you a good cardio hit while using the muscles to their limit, especially at the end of a 20 mile trip.

    By the end of this season you will be climbing it in a higher gear and not so winded at the top. Hills are your friends.
    Having a flat tire as part of the total cycling experience is highly overrated. Knowing how to fix one quickly is not.

    '85 Trek 460 road racer

    '89 Raleigh Technium PRE

    '79 Motobecane Super Mirage

  7. #7
    rugged individualist wphamilton's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Alpharetta, GA
    My Bikes
    Nashbar Road
    Posts
    5,561
    Mentioned
    10 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    YES it's steep, after your 25 mile ride. I have one like that, in fact it's http://app.strava.com/segments/639243 , which some visiting pro did at 19 mph and a bunch of others scoff at, but it killed me after a good hard 25 miles.

    What I did was go out to the hill first (instead of last), and down and up 5 or 6 times. A couple of sessions like that and I feel like I've defeated it, and time for bigger challenges.

  8. #8
    Council of the Elders billydonn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Omaha, NE
    My Bikes
    1990 Schwinn Crosscut, 5 Lemonds
    Posts
    3,761
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    With only 600 miles experience, the OP should not get too obsessed with hill climbing.

    Discuss?

    There is a time to resign oneself
    to old age and infirmity. You first.
    My Cycling Blogspot

  9. #9
    rugged individualist wphamilton's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Alpharetta, GA
    My Bikes
    Nashbar Road
    Posts
    5,561
    Mentioned
    10 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by billydonn View Post
    With only 600 miles experience, the OP should not get too obsessed with hill climbing.

    Discuss?
    Maybe not, but when you're new to cycling you generally improve quickly and a hill is as good or better than anything else for that isn't it?

  10. #10
    Senior Member OldsCOOL's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    northern michigan
    My Bikes
    '88 Cannondale Criterium
    Posts
    4,548
    Mentioned
    11 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by wphamilton View Post
    Maybe not, but when you're new to cycling you generally improve quickly and a hill is as good or better than anything else for that isn't it?
    Egg-Zackly.

    As a restarting veteran last year, I begrudgingly took on hillclimbs. That was the first step in reacclimating to road biking where hills no longer would make me look for an easier route. And my legs were the stronger for it.

    This year, I have chosen to ride in stiff headwinds that used to keep me at home. I'm talking 20-25mph in-the-face stuff that normally used to tick me off in a matter of 3-4 miles ride time.

    And seriously, when you are a newbie it doesnt matter if it's windy or hilly.....they are effectively the same thing....obstacles to your being an improving rider.
    Having a flat tire as part of the total cycling experience is highly overrated. Knowing how to fix one quickly is not.

    '85 Trek 460 road racer

    '89 Raleigh Technium PRE

    '79 Motobecane Super Mirage

  11. #11
    Climbing Above It All BikeWNC's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Basking in the Sun.
    Posts
    4,146
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    When I started back riding in 1998, I took my bike up to the Blue Ridge Parkway and tried the last 5% 1.8 mile pitch to the top of the mountain. It was all I could do. I kept at it, adding distance and difficulty and in the Fall of 1999 rode the entire 470 miles and 47K' of climbing of the BRP on a tour. Keep at it and improvements will happen!
    FS: Shimano DA 7900 brake calipers, DA 7900 Crankset 50/34 175mm and BB

  12. #12
    Council of the Elders billydonn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Omaha, NE
    My Bikes
    1990 Schwinn Crosscut, 5 Lemonds
    Posts
    3,761
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by wphamilton View Post
    Maybe not, but when you're new to cycling you generally improve quickly and a hill is as good or better than anything else for that isn't it?
    Hills can also cause injury to persons without base... Preventing improvement. That was my thought.

    There is a time to resign oneself
    to old age and infirmity. You first.
    My Cycling Blogspot

  13. #13
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Posts
    217
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    hmmm ... too many steeps all the time for a beginner isn't good physically or psychologically for you. ride that hill twice a week at the end of your ride, but skip it on other easier training rides - even if you have to drive and park, or walk it. try checking your resting pulse in bed when you wake up, and if you're hitting it too hard the pulse will be elevated. if it is, take it easy or do a rest day. it'll get better as you build cardio fitness, leg strength, and convert fat to muscle (or to air). I routinely ride 40 -50 hilly miles, but only ride up the last killer hill to home (200 feet, 1/4 mile) once or twice a week.

  14. #14
    Cycle Year Round CB HI's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Honolulu, HI
    Posts
    11,420
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Don't tell about the 4% overall grade. Just stick with telling everyone that you are climbing a 11% grade.
    Land of the Free, Because of the Brave.

  15. #15
    Bicycle Repair Man !!! Sixty Fiver's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    YEG
    My Bikes
    See my sig...
    Posts
    25,768
    Mentioned
    13 Post(s)
    Tagged
    2 Thread(s)
    An 11 % grade is going to be a good workout for most people regardless of their physical condition.

  16. #16
    Century bound Phil85207's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Mesa Arizona
    My Bikes
    Felt AR4 and Cannondale hybrid
    Posts
    2,249
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    You are just starting out, don't be to hard on yourself. Try not to attack the hill to hard. Nice easy spin until you need to change gears and repeat. Sometimes at a steep hill I just put in granny gear and grind up. It helps me not to look up to far, just a little ahead, pick out a spot and make it to that spot, then pick out another spot a little farther up and repeat. Smaller steps are easer for me to do than looking all the way up and being overwhelmed. Just a thought. Gearing makes a big difference too. Good luck.
    Chief Executive In Charge Of Diddly Squat.

    Taking on a long hill is like fighting a Gorilla. You don't stop when you are tired, You stop when the Gorilla is tired.

    Now ridding a
    Felt AR4 with Mavic Super light Premium wheels
    Cannonade Hybrid

    If you lack the courage to start, you have already finished.

    In God we trust

  17. #17
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    6 miles inland from the coast of Sussex, in the South East of England
    My Bikes
    Dale MT2000. Bianchi FS920 Kona Explosif. Giant TCR C. Boreas Ignis. Pinarello Fp Uno.
    Posts
    19,915
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    First ride I did was 28 miles on a relatively flat route. It still hurt. 2nd took in two of our local hills and I walked both of them. Several changes came about over the next few years. I got fitter and a higher quality bike with more sensible gearing came in. 22 years later and I still do those two hills and I no longer walk them but they still hurt. They are hills.
    How long was I in the army? Five foot seven.


    Spike Milligan

  18. #18
    Senior Member bruce19's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Lebanon (Liberty Hill), CT
    My Bikes
    MASI Gran Criterium S & Guru steel
    Posts
    2,815
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Did a club fundraiser ride on Saturday that started with a 157 ft. climb for .7 mi. at about mile 7 of a 40 mi. ride. I never know how to figure out % of the climb. I just know that climb is not as hard at the beginning of the ride as compared to the end of a ride.

  19. #19
    What??? Only 2 wheels? jimmuller's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Boston-ish, MA
    My Bikes
    '73 Raleigh Carlton Gran Sport, '72 Peugeot UO-8, '82 Peugeot TH8, '87 Bianchi Brava, '76? Masi Grand Criterium, '72 Bertin C32, '87 Centurion Ironman Expert, '74 Motobecane Champion Team, and lots of uncertainty on some
    Posts
    6,911
    Mentioned
    19 Post(s)
    Tagged
    1 Thread(s)
    There's a big difference between 200ft/mile for 1/4 mile and 200ft/mile for 3 miles! Of course this is obvious and said before, so just ignore this posting.

    Yeah, that's fairly steep. We have all been up steeper hills, I'm sure. Some days you slay the beast, some days the beast slays you.
    Real cyclists use toe clips.
    jimmuller

  20. #20
    2 Fat 2 Furious contango's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    England
    My Bikes
    2009 Specialized Rockhopper Comp Disc, 2009 Specialized Tricross Sport
    Posts
    3,977
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by moppeddler View Post
    I just used Strava to map out a ride I've done a couple times. It's about 25 miles with some hills, but there's a hill at the end that I really struggle with. It climbs about 160ft in .75 miles. That about kills me. I'm sure other more experienced riders who are good climbers will laugh at that, but would you consider that a good challenge for someone who's fairly new to the sport & has about 600 miles in the saddle? The steepest part of the grade is almost 11% for about 1/8 mile.
    To someone stronger than you that hill may appear as little more than a bump in the road. To someone weaker than you that hill might as well be the slopes of Everest.

    If you find it a challenge then it's a good challenge for you. Keep riding it and sooner or later your view of it will shift from "big challenging hill" to "moderate hill" to "easy hill" and maybe further than that into "bump in the road" and "can I sprint this hill?" territory. Ultimately it's about where you are now, and where you are now is that the hill is a good challenge.
    "For a list of ways technology has failed to improve quality of life, press three"

  21. #21
    Have bike, will travel Barrettscv's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Windy City
    My Bikes
    A road bike for every purpose
    Posts
    8,812
    Mentioned
    2 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by contango View Post
    To someone stronger than you that hill may appear as little more than a bump in the road. To someone weaker than you that hill might as well be the slopes of Everest.

    If you find it a challenge then it's a good challenge for you. Keep riding it and sooner or later your view of it will shift from "big challenging hill" to "moderate hill" to "easy hill" and maybe further than that into "bump in the road" and "can I sprint this hill?" territory. Ultimately it's about where you are now, and where you are now is that the hill is a good challenge.
    +1

    There are a set of hills in the Cuyahoga National Park that are in the 10 to 17% range. They have been a great education for someone from Chicago who only gets to ride hills when he goes out of state. It didn't take me long to learn to complete the climbs in good form.

    See: http://connect.garmin.com/activity/178627931

    At first, I had to stop at the half-way point. This allowed my heart rate to recover and I then resumed my climb.

    Then, I completed the climb, without stopping, but at a snails pace and with no energy left after reaching the summit.

    After a dozen attempts, I could keep a faster pace on the sections that were less than 10%.

    Finally, I could keep a good pace and not really think about the climb while I repeated the route.

    Part of this is just being familiar with the route and my own ability. Now I can finish the hilly route without too much fuss.
    Last edited by Barrettscv; 06-12-12 at 11:55 AM.
    2014 Trek DS.1: "Viaggiatore" A do-it-all bike that is waiting in Italy
    2012 Pedal Force CG2: "Secolo Bicicletta" the modern carbon fiber road bike
    2012 Pedal Force CX2: "Carbone CX" the carbon fiber CX bike
    2010 Origin 8 CX 700: "Servizio Grave" Monstercross/29er bike
    1997 Simoncini Special Cyclocross: "Little Simon" lugged Columbus steel CX bike
    1987 Serotta Nova Special X: "Azzurri" The retro Columbus SPX steel road bike

  22. #22
    Squeaky Wheel woodway's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Woodinville, WA
    Posts
    1,302
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

  23. #23
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    NW,Oregon Coast
    My Bikes
    7
    Posts
    38,998
    Mentioned
    20 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    On a quiet road, I can use the whole width to make my own switchbacks.

  24. #24
    www.ocrebels.com Rick@OCRR's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Whittier, CA
    My Bikes
    GT Edge Titanium, Mercian Vincitore, Masi Gran Criterium, GT Zaskar, Hercules 3-Speed, KHS Flight Team
    Posts
    5,217
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by woodway View Post
    Wow woodway, That is massively steep! The steepest we get around here is 18 - 20% but that's peanuts compared to your ride!

    Rick / OCRR

  25. #25
    Erect member since 1953 cccorlew's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Antioch, CA (SF Bay Area)
    My Bikes
    Roubaix Expert, Motobecane Fantom Outlaw turned commuter, Cannondale F500 Mtn bike, Some old French thing gone fixie
    Posts
    6,532
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I'm going to tell you what you already know:
    Going up hill is slower and takes more work. For everyone.

    Your hill isn't steep....for strong experienced riders. It's a bump
    Your hill is really steep... for new riders, and riders with some experience. For your fat neighbor on the couch watching TV it's impossible.

    My ride up to my house is on a minor — very minor — uphill. Yesterday I saw the studdly kid next door pushing, that's right, pushing, his bike up the hill. He said it was too hot, and the hill was too steep.

    No matter who you are, there's someone worse, and someone better.

    Enjoy your ride.
    WANTED: Not a darn thing. I've got it all. Life is good.
    Website at curtis.corlew.com Bicycle blog at ccorlew.blogspot.com

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •