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Old 09-05-12, 07:39 PM   #1
jim p
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One thing that I enjoy about climbing hills

When going up hill the handle bars are raised a little and the extra power used to get up the hill takes some of the pressure off my hands. Sometimes I even pull up on the bars instead of resting my hands on the bars.

So if you look hard enough you can find something good about just about anything.
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Old 09-05-12, 07:47 PM   #2
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The best thing about climbing hills is reaching the top, and then going down the other side.
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Old 09-05-12, 08:58 PM   #3
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You are improperly fit. You should not have that kind of pressure on your hands.
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Old 09-05-12, 08:58 PM   #4
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Have you considered getting a fit in order to discover what's going on with the weight on your hands? I've found on my single that the more I stretch out the less weight I have on my hands as the large core muscles are better able to get things in balance.
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Old 09-05-12, 09:29 PM   #5
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You are improperly fit. You should not have that kind of pressure on your hands.
Maybe not. Of the five points of attachment, the less you put on your feet, by maintaining a low output, the more you will have on the hands and bum. As he says, climbing the hill forces him to increase his output which relieves his hands of pressure. Maybe the OP just needs to raise his power output on the flats.

If anyone watched the Vuelta today, Alberto Contador gave a clinic in how to ride with high output on flats/gentle grades. His hands were often just sitting in front of his bars as he rested his forearms on the handlebars and rolled along at over 50 km/hr. Why waste energy gripping the handlebars when none of that is translated into momentum?
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Old 09-06-12, 05:14 AM   #6
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I enjoy hills but probably for the wrong reason. I am slow up them but no hill has defeated me for several years. I look on them as a challenge. Among my group there are several fit and fast riders that finish behind me after the 4th. hill of the morning and is one way I can repay then back for the speed they get up to on the flats. I suck at speed- unless gravity is the right way and hilly rides are the only place I can get them back.---But it has to be the 4th hill and after that I make them sweat.
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Old 09-06-12, 06:04 AM   #7
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The best thing about climbing hills is reaching the top, and then going down the other side.
+1
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Old 09-06-12, 06:28 AM   #8
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The best thing about climbing hills is reaching the top, and then going down the other side.
Not always. All the hills I have I are down, then up, then flat or somewhat inclined. Still, I purposely have changed my route a few times in order to get more climbing as to improve. Unless flats are the only thing you can ride, avoiding some type of climb, even short ones like mine, and avoiding hills to just ride flats could be boring.

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Old 09-06-12, 08:39 AM   #9
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There is nothing I dislike about climbing hills, except perhaps in some cases long bumpy descents can get tedious.
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Old 09-06-12, 08:47 AM   #10
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The best thing about climbing hills is reaching the top, and then going down the other side.

YUP...plus the satisfaction of knowing that you can do it...
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Old 09-06-12, 11:38 AM   #11
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So if you look hard enough you can find something good about just about anything.
How about 'when you're over the hill, you pick up speed.'

Personally I often push the bike up hills. I like the change instead of just doing the same repetitive thing over and over again. But also I don't do a lot of walking. I probably should get out more for that.
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Old 09-06-12, 11:55 AM   #12
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His hands were often just sitting in front of his bars as he rested his forearms on the handlebars and rolled along at over 50 km/hr. Why waste energy gripping the handlebars when none of that is translated into momentum?
That's the "IAB", for Invisible AeroBar, position. It's gets you into an aero tuck, with your arms inside the line of your body and your weight supported by your arms on the bars, much as real aerobars do. It takes training to be able to do it for extended durations, as it can be hard on the arms, and uses some seldom used muscles to hold your arms in position on the bars. Some people even put padding on their bars to make it easier to lock their arms in and to avoid bruising. But anyway, the reason behind it is to get aero and thus save power when you are on (or off) the front in a road race or crit.

Some time when you are cranking along at a constant pace on level ground, try playing around with positions. If you grab your bars near the stem, getting your arms inside your the line of your body, you will notice a definite increase in cadence/speed for the same effort. Go into the IAB, and you will see a further increase. The racing side of our sport is very much about avoiding wind resistance.
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Old 09-06-12, 12:15 PM   #13
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All seriousness aside , the thing I do like about climbing hills is the sense of power and accomplishment. Followed by the downhill, of course.

B.M., you need to move. (You actually have hills in Newport News? Lemme guess, they're all bridges, right? And you live in the middle of a bridge.)

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Old 09-06-12, 01:13 PM   #14
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Hills are what make the ride interesting. On a fixed gear bike, you need hills so that you can get out of the saddle and your posterior does not become numb. Hills are also nice on cold days; they help you warm up. Downhills on a fixie are also OK, as long as they are not too steep. And steep uphills are a challenge, but I eventually get over them.

Where they lose their enjoyment is when the organizer puts too many into an event. I thought this year's Motherlode Century in Lotus, CA just had too many steep hills (even on the shorter route), but then I was doing it on a fixie. My riding partner, on a carbon & titanium road bike with a triple, got a ride back in with two other women!

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Old 09-06-12, 02:15 PM   #15
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Maybe not. Of the five points of attachment, the less you put on your feet, by maintaining a low output, the more you will have on the hands and bum. As he says, climbing the hill forces him to increase his output which relieves his hands of pressure. Maybe the OP just needs to raise his power output on the flats.
This is an interesting point that is often missed by people critiquing fit.

If you have a high cadence, generally you will move forward on the saddle (watch the time triallists and track sprinters when their cadence gets high), and the pressure on your pedals is minimal.

That means the weight has to go somewhere, and that means butt and hands. The split between the two will depend on core strength and toughness of the butt and comfort of the saddle.

I like hills. i didn't for a while. But I set out to challenge myself on various hills in my home city -- cradled between a mountain and a river -- and it did wonders for my climbing strength and skills. Then I took up randonneuring, and as Luis implied, there is a devious desire by many rando organisers to set the toughest courses they can find. My home state was a classic example of many hills, not necessarily high, but nevertheless constant and consecutive.

The pinnacle of all this was the 7 Peaks Challenge we did last Australian cycling season. I did stop along the way, but I didn't walk an inch, either.
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Old 09-06-12, 02:33 PM   #16
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Most of what we euphemistically call a hill in coastal Florida is where a creek, stream or river has cut down the land over the centuries. The only way you go into an uphill is to start at the bottom of one of turn into it from a side road. I just finished my ride and as usual if you use the power you build up on the downhill section and time the uphill correctly and have your shifts right making these hills is just letting physics work for you.

I need to visit some mountainous areas and struggle and suffer up real hills before I even know what is good about making it up a real challenge. Still I work with what I have here and I'm making the local pilgrimage to the University of West Florida to ride the entrance form the east side. Six mile loop for one lap that has some challenge to it and two laps will let us flat land dewllers know we have worked for a living that day. Used to run this course every day as an undergrad and grad student and twice a year for road races. Trained my cross country runners, as a coach here, too.

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Old 09-06-12, 02:36 PM   #17
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Bill, do you guys have multi-storey car parks in Florida?
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Old 09-06-12, 02:40 PM   #18
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Rowan,
The real cities have them, been in a few. Pensacola has a few 3 or 4 story parking garages that I know of, we built a 4 story for a hospital as the pre-stressed contractor. Not too much in that way and they run bicyclist and skateboarders off with the security guards. Liability concerns I suppose. Those would be great for a hill workout with the ramps. Kind of like running stadium steps for football practice.

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Old 09-06-12, 02:44 PM   #19
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Yeah, that's what I was thinking... but those security dudes could be scary.

I have heard on the rando lists that there are actually quite some hills in the panhandle (?) part of Florida. They've caught out a few who've gone south for a 1200 event.
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Old 09-06-12, 02:49 PM   #20
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I live in the far NW panhandle and when you get towards Tallahassee there are some hills I can go work out on. Good idea, thanks for the reminder Rowan!

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Old 09-06-12, 03:37 PM   #21
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Maybe not. Of the five points of attachment, the less you put on your feet, by maintaining a low output, the more you will have on the hands and bum. As he says, climbing the hill forces him to increase his output which relieves his hands of pressure. Maybe the OP just needs to raise his power output on the flats.

If anyone watched the Vuelta today, Alberto Contador gave a clinic in how to ride with high output on flats/gentle grades. His hands were often just sitting in front of his bars as he rested his forearms on the handlebars and rolled along at over 50 km/hr. Why waste energy gripping the handlebars when none of that is translated into momentum?
+1 I have posted on this point numerous times in climbing and sore butt / hands threads. In addition, posture is important. Ones shoulders should be down and the lower back muscles engaged slightly/ Leaning forward is done by bending from the pelvis not arching ones back. This will result in a lighter touch on the handlebar whether climbing or riding flat. My butt and hands can get sore if I am riding easy noodling around in bad posture. I do not feel my butt or hands in a road race.

As far as sprinting and pursuiting on the track, the same is true. I slide forward and rotate my entire body toward the handlebars. I am virtually standing on the pedals at high power and cadence even though I am in an aero position each pedal stroke unweights my arms/hands and butt.

Getting the right posture and position on the bike and executing pedal strokes is analogous to the golf swing. A poor swing results in golfers elbow and sliced shots into the woods. The problem on the bike is that there are no observable "bad" pedal strokes. Otherwise cyclists would be going down the street wanting Mulligans every pedal stroke.
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Old 09-06-12, 03:59 PM   #22
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"They" say that climbing hills will make me stronger. So, I've made an extra attempt to not avoid hills on my rides. So far this year, I have climbed just over 92,000 feet.

I think "they" are pulling my leg. I cannot climb any faster and hills still suck. Yeah, going downhill is fun, but it's over way too soon after the time and effort of getting to the top.
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Old 09-06-12, 09:06 PM   #23
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+1 I have posted on this point numerous times in climbing and sore butt / hands threads. In addition, posture is important. Ones shoulders should be down and the lower back muscles engaged slightly/ Leaning forward is done by bending from the pelvis not arching ones back. This will result in a lighter touch on the handlebar whether climbing or riding flat. My butt and hands can get sore if I am riding easy noodling around in bad posture. I do not feel my butt or hands in a road race.

As far as sprinting and pursuiting on the track, the same is true. I slide forward and rotate my entire body toward the handlebars. I am virtually standing on the pedals at high power and cadence even though I am in an aero position each pedal stroke unweights my arms/hands and butt.

Getting the right posture and position on the bike and executing pedal strokes is analogous to the golf swing. A poor swing results in golfers elbow and sliced shots into the woods. The problem on the bike is that there are no observable "bad" pedal strokes. Otherwise cyclists would be going down the street wanting Mulligans every pedal stroke.
If your'e talking about someone at your level, this would be true. If the OP were at your level, he wouldn't be making the post. His bike doesn't fit or he's is such poor shape that it doesn't matter. (Sorry Jim P - you can PM me observations on my ancestry, etc.)

Very few of us are ever struck with the thought "I'm more comfortable on my bike than I am in any chair I've ever sat in." I've been there. Right now, I'm much more comfortable sitting in a chair. Yes. it's a nice chair, and there's a large TV in front of it with the Pitt/Cincinnati game on, but a chair none the less.

Must get back to the game now.

Oh. I rode once this week. I'm beginning to hate Strava. And professional cyclists in their early 20's.
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Old 09-06-12, 09:15 PM   #24
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Very few of us are ever struck with the thought "I'm more comfortable on my bike than I am in any chair I've ever sat in."
Interesting premise. I confess I've never thought about it. However I have a few bikes I am pretty comfortable on, and I know of almost no chairs that I'd want to sit in for 8 hours at a stretch!
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Old 09-07-12, 06:13 AM   #25
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I am a weak rider and over the years as my strength and endurance has increased I have noticed that the weight on my seat has reduced and the weight on my hands has reduced but the weight on my feet has increased.

I know that when I am really putting out some power that there is hardly any weight on my hands and often my rear will be very light on the seat.

I think that our individual strength and overall health has a great deal to do with how a bike should be fitted.

I have never had the opportunity to ride in flat lands and I can understand how some might want to have some hills to climb. However from what I have heard you flat land riders get to contend with steady head winds that are just invisible hills.

Thanks for all the interesting responses.
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