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Old 07-17-07, 07:35 AM   #1
slyjackson
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Going up hills, Do you Spin or Mash ?

I know this may have been asked before, but I want to get a good idea of which to do. On a fairly steep hill which combo would you use, 30/25 , 42/25 or 52/25 ? or should I be using a 23 or 21 instead?

I tried the first combo of 30/25 and it just burned me out "spinning like crazy" and going no where fast. I figure it may be best to just "Mash" em and get it over with than to sit there "spinning" and prolonging the agony.So there has to be formula to this and I want to know what you guys use as a combo to get up those steep hills. Thanks in advance
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Old 07-17-07, 07:51 AM   #2
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When sitting down 42-30 or 42- 26 when standing up 52-23 or 52-20
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Old 07-17-07, 08:00 AM   #3
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Thanks, this is the type info I'm looking for. I need to get a base line to work from.
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Old 07-17-07, 08:05 AM   #4
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With moderately steephills, I generally alternate spinning and mashing. anythin very steep, I go for the spin.
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Old 07-17-07, 08:17 AM   #5
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Depends on the grade, my mood, and my energy level.

While climbing in the mountains I try to spin. From time to time down in the city I will mash but I generally spin
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Old 07-17-07, 08:56 AM   #6
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I have a triple. Sitting down I tend to spin (small front, large rear). But I enjoy standing so leaving the rear gear where it is I shift to middle front.

I never mash, I'm too afraid of knee injury.
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Old 07-17-07, 09:46 AM   #7
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Depends on the where the hill is in my ride. on my commute, the hills are at the end, so I generally try and keep the same cadence I do on the flats. Sometimes that means gearing down a lot. Other times just a little.
The little street my house is on is very steep and at the end of my commute on a tough day I'm mashing in the lowest gear.
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Old 07-17-07, 10:22 AM   #8
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I usually try to spin. If I get tired, I'll mash--but in the same gear, so I can sit and just spin slowly.

It almost sounds like your gear is low. Can you shift on the fly? that is, this isn't a SS, right? Unless if you are going a) racing, or b) 100+miles, pick the gear that feels good, and pedal. Popular opinion indicates that spinning is less tiring than mashing; but it's still the same amount of work (hauling your butt up the hill) ultimately. As long as you're not hurting your knees, just pick what feels good.
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Old 07-17-07, 11:13 AM   #9
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I have mashed, but generally prefer spinning. Once is a while though, on a long (4 mi) climb, the spinning gears turn into mashing gears.
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Old 07-17-07, 11:30 AM   #10
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mix it up

but so much depends on the pitch/length
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Old 07-17-07, 12:15 PM   #11
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Depends on what you consider steep or even a hill. My thoughts are that if you can ride a 42 or 52 up a hill, it aint a hill. On this ride, I shifted down to my 39/25 and climbed the hill!


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Old 07-17-07, 12:57 PM   #12
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One would ideally want to spin at their most efficient cadence but that's sometimes hard to do. Depending on your fitness level and how steep the climb is, you may simply run out of low gears and most likely have to resort to mashing.....even on your lowest gear.
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Old 07-17-07, 05:41 PM   #13
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One would ideally want to spin at their most efficient cadence but that's sometimes hard to do. Depending on your fitness level and how steep the climb is, you may simply run out of low gears and most likely have to resort to mashing.....even on your lowest gear.

I had this feeling you'd show up here!...But then again, you're one of the few crazy guys crazy enough to ride GMR with a 42 (was it?) or a 44!
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Old 07-17-07, 06:19 PM   #14
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short steep hills = mash
long hills = spin
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Old 07-18-07, 05:44 AM   #15
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I try to spin but usually end up mashing. Damn gravity!
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Old 07-18-07, 06:19 AM   #16
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Well I try to be a spinner but in the end I am always mashing at the top...so I guess I am a masher?
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Old 07-18-07, 06:53 AM   #17
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That whole gear ratio stuff seems rather unnecessary, I'm lost on what numbers you all use. Why not just say mash or spin, high or low gear, fast or slow?

p.s. I mash everywhere. I should get into the habit of higher spin rate, but what can I say? I'm addicted to the mashingness. (I still don't go below 70rpm though)
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Old 07-18-07, 09:15 AM   #18
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Spin. My knees can't take mashing. I've had one knee replacement and the other one is starting to give me trouble. I try to take it easy on my knees.
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Old 07-18-07, 04:10 PM   #19
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I try to spin as much as I can whenever and wherever I can.

That said, if the granny gear is still too high to spin up the hill with, then I will mash. I will also mash if I'm riding a singlespeed, but that's blatantly obvious.
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Old 07-18-07, 04:45 PM   #20
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Since we don't have any long climbs here (longest is only about a mile at the most, and not very steep then, maybe 3-5% average). I always mash these days. My legs are able to sustain significantly more power at low cadences. 20-60 RPM.
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Old 07-18-07, 05:42 PM   #21
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I alternate back and forth on long climbs. My guess is that I usually spin about 85% of the climb and stand up to get a break.

Well now I live in north dakota so I don't climb at all.
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Old 07-18-07, 05:51 PM   #22
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My legs are able to sustain significantly more power at low cadences. 20-60 RPM.
That's funny, cause I thought it was supposed to be the exact opposite.
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Old 07-18-07, 05:56 PM   #23
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Not for me. I'm much, MUCH faster uphill in lower cadences. But it took a singlespeed bike to discover that. I used to think spinning was faster until then...
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Old 07-19-07, 10:37 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by slyjackson View Post
I know this may have been asked before, but I want to get a good idea of which to do. On a fairly steep hill which combo would you use, 30/25 , 42/25 or 52/25 ? or should I be using a 23 or 21 instead?

I tried the first combo of 30/25 and it just burned me out "spinning like crazy" and going no where fast. I figure it may be best to just "Mash" em and get it over with than to sit there "spinning" and prolonging the agony.So there has to be formula to this and I want to know what you guys use as a combo to get up those steep hills. Thanks in advance
There is no formula.

If you ride at a high cadence, you will tax your cardio system more and get out of breath.
If you ride at a low cadence, you will tire your legs out and have to slow down.

Based on your strength, your aerobic condition, and the hill, there is a perfect cadence that lets you get up without totally killing your legs.
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Old 07-20-07, 01:19 AM   #25
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Spin, because I'm a fat old man. But I'm a fearsome beastie on the way down.
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