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Old 05-06-14, 08:39 PM   #26
Dudelsack 
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BTW, my granny gear is a 30X32 on a 26" wheel, so it's plenty low. I have the leg strength but not the aerobic capacity to "spin like crazy" before I blow chow.

This thread is getting me all worked up for some hill repeats tomorrow.
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Old 05-06-14, 09:10 PM   #27
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Don't look up. The Hill psyches you if you look to the top.
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Old 05-06-14, 09:38 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by Dudelsack View Post
Spinning like crazy is really hard but I think that's the way to do it.
Spinning gets easier with practice. There are lots of threads about cadence, as you know, and one point made over and over again is that you can get your average or tolerable cadence up quite a bit if you work at it. That may not be much help on the steepest hills, but if your legs are used to 100+ RPM, then going to a low gear and spinning up a hill becomes easier.
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Old 05-06-14, 11:40 PM   #29
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I always visualize going up hills much faster than I actually can go up them. Rest while you climb sounds crazy, but try consciously taking a deep breath and relaxing. Another trick I do is throw an imaginary lasso around that tree up ahead and pull myself up then go to the next tree and so on.
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Old 05-07-14, 05:41 AM   #30
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I gotta agree here.. Often on massive climbs I am in the lowest gear that I have, wishing I had 3 or 4 lower options as I plug, plug, and plug away.. There is absolutely no spinning whatsoever going on...
Heck, I'm not even old enough for this forum, only 42 but I am finding a lot of relevant content for my plight in cycling. It doesn't even have to be a massive climb and I'm in the lowest that I have (26/34 I think) and I'm plugging away. I don't have any long hills, but most of them seem to be in the 4-6% range and one in particular is 6-8% but only half a mile long. That is my "massive" climb which seems wouldn't make the rest of Bike Forums bat an eye, but I'm grinding up it at 3 mph in my 26/34.

I lack in both leg strength and fitness as I've just started riding hills this spring and don't have many rides. Most of the hills I am grinding away at while feeling my heart rate nearly exploding, LOL.
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Old 05-07-14, 05:50 AM   #31
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Ride with a HRM and learn your limits. Then, apply them to the hill. Learn to pace. With your gearing and not being overweight, climbing this hill is all about pacing.
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Old 05-07-14, 06:09 AM   #32
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1.3 miles is really short and 3% is doable for the untrained too. Just keep it easy on the 3% grades and the last 0.3-0.5 mile or so of 'steep' gradient, just get a spinning gear, stay seated and never start getting out of breath.

Should be a piece of cake.
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Old 05-07-14, 06:14 AM   #33
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Personally I like to always have at least "one more gear" that I can drop into if I really need it. I think of it as a psychological crutch ... I've been there where I'm riding a hill and go to shift to a lower gear and there isn't one. I hate that. Like the others have said, try and ride it, see what happens and repeat "I love hills, I love hills".
On many climbs, I've tried to shift one more easier gear, to find that nothing happens, I'm already at the lowest. Gee, it sure didn't seem like I was already at the lowest gear!

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Heck, I'm not even old enough for this forum, only 42 but I am finding a lot of relevant content for my plight in cycling. It doesn't even have to be a massive climb and I'm in the lowest that I have (26/34 I think) and I'm plugging away. I don't have any long hills, but most of them seem to be in the 4-6% range and one in particular is 6-8% but only half a mile long. That is my "massive" climb which seems wouldn't make the rest of Bike Forums bat an eye, but I'm grinding up it at 3 mph in my 26/34.

I lack in both leg strength and fitness as I've just started riding hills this spring and don't have many rides. Most of the hills I am grinding away at while feeling my heart rate nearly exploding, LOL.
Many years ago, when I was in my 40s, I didn't ride much. My "epic" ride was 8 miles each way to Ault Park in Cincinnati. I was in my lowest mountain bike gearing, going very, very slow up a similar half mile climb.

Now, with 3000 to 4000 miles a year on my road bike, I'll ride past the park when I ride to the start of the evening group ride, part of 45 miles for the evening. The hill just seems like a typical hill now. I would never have expected to be able to do this.


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1.3 miles is really short and 3% is doable for the untrained too. Just keep it easy on the 3% grades and the last 0.3-0.5 mile or so of 'steep' gradient, just get a spinning gear, stay seated and never start getting out of breath.

Should be a piece of cake.
Not nearly a piece of cake, but certainly doable. 450 feet is taller than any climb in the SW Ohio area--we top out at about 350 feet. A 6% average hill, with 9% parts near the top, is a challenge for many riders, even if they regularly ride hills.

Last edited by rm -rf; 05-07-14 at 06:44 AM.
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Old 05-07-14, 06:22 AM   #34
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wrong thread
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Old 05-07-14, 12:29 PM   #35
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I like this video on climbing technique. Cycling Survival 1 - How to cycle in the mountains - Climbing Technique - YouTube The thing that stays with me is how relaxed the cyclist is with no wasted energy. Of course, it is easy to be relaxed when in your 20's and putting out a big effort but I try to keep that image in mind.
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Old 05-07-14, 03:28 PM   #36
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Don't look up. The Hill psyches you if you look to the top.
This. Do not focus on what lies up ahead, focus on your spinning and breathing learn to ignore the hill and you will have conquered it in no time.
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Old 05-07-14, 04:00 PM   #37
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I'm completely new to cycling, only been at it a few weeks so I have no idea what any of the stuff about gear ratios and what not means.

I was finishing off my cycle on Sunday, I had 52km done and turned down a road I had never been on before. I went around a bend and came to what turned out to be a hill very similar to what you're talking about. 2km-ish long, very steep and the wind picked up as I reached the bottom. There was no way I wasn't going to beat it though so I just went for it. It was a serious struggle, my legs were wobbling, I was struggling to breath by the top, I stood up, I sat down and I made it. Just go for it, you'll figure it out as you go along.
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Old 05-07-14, 04:09 PM   #38
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You can do this. Stop overthinking this and just go try it. If you end up off the bike you will have learned something for the next attempt.
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Old 05-07-14, 10:06 PM   #39
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New personal record, 24.8% grade at the steepest point during last Friday's ride (data from Map Bike Rides with Elevation Profiles, Analyze Cycling Performance, Train Better. Ride With GPS). If I can do it ... you can too!
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Old 05-13-14, 09:45 AM   #40
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include the hill on a regular commute. you will eventually figure it out.
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Old 05-13-14, 09:57 AM   #41
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Don't overspin you will become anaerobic quickly and that's is your biggest enemy. Find a gear you can pedal at your normal rate and go up the hill. Remember to pull up the back side of the stroke also. When you get to the top you will be King of the Mountain.
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Old 05-14-14, 08:50 AM   #42
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I have friends who like to weave back and forth to take out some of the steepness. I never liked that. I used to prefer the tallest possible gear I could still push --because super-low starts to feel like I'm not moving. That was a bad approach.

Consequently my nemesis hills used to defeat me the first time --until I figured out how low to gear down (because being stuck in a too-tall gear requiring huge leg strength just to barely crank usually makes it impossible to shift lower --for me anyway)

So my advice is to gear low enough to keep a steady cranking pace --and don't worry about how slow you are going. Just resolve to defeat that hill slow and steady.
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Old 05-14-14, 09:46 AM   #43
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I watch my cadence going up hills. My level ground cadence is 80-90. On a hill I drop down gears and try to maintain 90-100 until I run out of gears and then just mash. I have a hill that I hit on every ride that is about a 1/4 mile long at 12-14%. Rinse and repeat.
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Old 05-14-14, 01:11 PM   #44
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Things you need to know about hills

1. Always approach a hill with an air of confidence. If the hill senses weakness, you're toast.
2. Make it a practice to attack hills. By mid-summer, they will learn to recognize you, and lie down in submission at your approach.
3. Hills are talented in that they can lie down for you but avoid doing so for your buddy who is riding alongside you. Or vice-versa.
4. Hills have short memories; so if you take the winter off, you will have to train them (see #2 ) all over again.
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Old 05-14-14, 02:04 PM   #45
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[QUOTE=Altair 4;16734393
The Bike - Aluminum hybrid with ..... 700x35 tires. With fenders, rack, etc, I'll bet it weighs in excess of 35 pounds.

...I'm looking for some kind guidance. ... What do you recommend?[/QUOTE]

Get a 15 lb. road bike. Seriously. Use the right tool for the job.

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Old 05-14-14, 03:24 PM   #46
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My favorite quote- You cannot conquer a hill by contemplating it from the bottom, you must reflect from the top.
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Old 05-14-14, 03:29 PM   #47
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Take it very easy on the initial flatter part, so that you have some legs and lungs left when the grade increases.

Spin/low gear, mash/medium gear, stand/high gear - that's for you to experiment, find what suits you personally.

Eventually that hill will be too easy. Then you will find yourself doing hill repeats, going faster, choosing smaller cogs. You will also find that your pedaling is smooth and almost casual, your bike and body still and quiet. You'll look like you're casually loafing at 15 mph on a flat road.

Then one day you will see a cyclist ahead of you, and he will be riding in reverse as you sweep him up and spit him out.

You'll smile, remembering back to when this hill seemed so fearsome.
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Old 05-14-14, 06:51 PM   #48
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Make it a practice to attack hills. By mid-summer, they will learn to recognize you, and lie down in submission at your approach.
But not all of them give up so easily. Just when you get complacent and cocky because they seem to cower in fear at your approach on several rides in a row, it is then that they become desperate and call on their comrade in arms - Mister Headwind - to gang up on you.
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Old 05-14-14, 10:28 PM   #49
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In your spare non riding time do squats and burpies. These will strengthen your legs and help build your cardio. Celebrate the victory with some pie and ice cream.
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Old 05-16-14, 12:07 PM   #50
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BTW, my granny gear is a 30X32 on a 26" wheel, so it's plenty low.
From my vantage point, I don’t consider 30/32 gearing via a 26” wheel “plenty low”, as it is 24.375 gear inches and not nearly low enough for the long steep ascents on my long distance rides.

I have two mountain bikes whereby one provides 18.8382 gear inches while the other provides 18.7647 gear inches, but there are individuals on this forum that employ the use of lower gearing than mine by several gear inches.

At best, “plenty low” is a relative term per one’s perception of low gearing.
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