Advertise on Bikeforums.net



User Tag List

Results 1 to 12 of 12
  1. #1
    Newbie
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    3
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Mentallity Of Cycling

    Starting to get into cycling again, this time in a much more serious manner than the cruising around the neighborhood I previously did. Reading about cadence and aerobic vs anaerobic, I now shift down before hills and spin up them. HOWEVER, is this supposed to make me tremendously slow? As in a depressing drop from the flats before? If I am in fact doing this right, as I build up to higher gears on higher grades, how do I keep myself motivated as I spin in a manner that makes me think it would be faster to walk the hill?

  2. #2
    POWERCRANK addict markhr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    North Acton, West London, UK
    Posts
    3,783
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Hill climbing requires practice - attack more hills, ride harder and keep spinning.

    Increasing your fitness should also increase your speed. Eventually, you'll need to add in things like hill sprints and intervals but initially fitness improvements happen relatively quickly.
    shameless POWERCRANK plug
    Recommended reading for all cyclists - Cyclecraft - Effective Cycling
    Condor Cycles - quite possibly the best bike shop in London
    Don't run red lights, wear a helmet, use hand signals, get some cycle lights(front and rear) and, FFS, don't run red lights!

  3. #3
    Pat
    Pat is offline
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Location
    Orlando, FL
    My Bikes
    litespeed, cannondale
    Posts
    2,795
    Mentioned
    2 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    The point to riding up hills is to get up them. It is better to use a method that lets you climb the hills than a method that does not. Of course, if you have really low gears and just gear way down and creep up hills, you probably are not increasing your fitness much. It depends on what you want to accomplish.

    When I first started riding, I had trouble with hills and was frequently way behind the group. In a couple of years, I was barely noticing hills that I used to struggle up.

    Each hill is different and coming up with a strategy on how to climb them as you approach is part of the fun. On long hills, often the trick is to find a sustainable pace so you don't blow up before you reach the top. On short hills, you can red line them because you will reach the top before your body gives out. Of course, sometimes, one misjudges these things and that is part of the fun.

  4. #4
    Cycle Dallas MMACH 5's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Land of Gar, TX
    My Bikes
    Lucinda--2010 Jamis Aurora Elite & a few others
    Posts
    3,358
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I used to struggle on hills. It helped me to get a cyclometer with cadence.

    I always start the hill in whatever gear I was using on the flat. As I lose momentum, I start stepping down the gears, so I may hit the hill doing 20mph but I'm down to 11mph, by the time I get to the top. However, my cadence stays between 90-110rpm.

    And just as markhr said, the more you practice climbing hills the more you will increase your efficiency.
    That's gonna leave a mark.

  5. #5
    Two H's!!! TWO!!!!! chephy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Toronto, ON
    Posts
    4,165
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    No one says you can't have pedal resistance when riding uphill. If you end up going up a hill faster in a harder gear, you can leave it in a harder gear and "attack" the hill. However, if the gear is too hard, you'll end up turning the pedals very slowly and thus riding slower than you would have if you'd spun. So the key is to find that happy middle ground that works for you.
    Stomping as lightly as I can...

  6. #6
    Aphoticism.
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    53
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    When I go up an incline, I ride the highest gear physically possible. I find that I not only have more strength, I get places faster.

  7. #7
    Senior Member deraltekluge's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    My Bikes
    Kona Cinder Cone, Sun EZ-3 AX
    Posts
    1,195
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by QuantumTurk View Post
    HOWEVER, is this supposed to make me tremendously slow?
    No, it's supposed to make you faster while doing less damage to your knees. There's an optimum gearing. That's a mathematical principle...too high a gear and you don't get anywhere, too low a gearing and you don't get anywhere, so there must be a point in the middle that works best...that optimum. Try to find it.

  8. #8
    Two H's!!! TWO!!!!! chephy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Toronto, ON
    Posts
    4,165
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by JYPC View Post
    When I go up an incline, I ride the highest gear physically possible. I find that I not only have more strength, I get places faster.
    I used to ride in the highest gear physically possible all the time, not just uphills. After breaking that habit I found that I get places faster.

    This is not to say that attacking hills in higher gears is a bad tactic per se. If that's the optimal strategy for you speedwise - good for you. Doesn't work for all people and all hills though.
    Stomping as lightly as I can...

  9. #9
    freddled gruntbuggly
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    My Bikes
    Giant XTC Composite '06 :: Giant FCR C '08 :: Honda SH125i-08 :: Ford Mondeo TDCi 2.0 Zetec
    Posts
    40
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Riding up hills = pretending pain isn't real - I actually quite enjoy psyching myself up for the really big ones

  10. #10
    Senior Member Timtruro's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    North Truro, MA
    My Bikes
    '12 Salsa Casseroll...Pepé.
    Posts
    1,546
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Keeping the cadence about the same as you woul on the flat would mean expending about the same amount of energy, but that does mean a lower gear and therefore, loss of speed.

  11. #11
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Location
    England
    Posts
    12,254
    Mentioned
    2 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Your power output is pretty fixed. If you ride at a constant power output, the variable is speed. You cant ride at constant speed because you run out of power.
    Gearing is used to match your power delivery to the conditions.
    You can select the pedalling force and cadence you want to use and select a gear which permits this combination. Too much force can damage your knees, too little will waste energy.

    I used to climb a lot of steep hills and really enjoyed it. Forget about how fast you go and concentrate on how much work you are doing. See how gearing and pedalling force can distribute the work between your legs and cardio system. If your legs get tired, gear down and spin up to work your heart and lungs more.

    Generally my climbing cadence is slower than on the flat and the pedalling force is higher but I like to make good use of the lower gears.

  12. #12
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Posts
    1,941
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by QuantumTurk View Post
    Starting to get into cycling again, this time in a much more serious manner than the cruising around the neighborhood I previously did. Reading about cadence and aerobic vs anaerobic, I now shift down before hills and spin up them. HOWEVER, is this supposed to make me tremendously slow? As in a depressing drop from the flats before? If I am in fact doing this right, as I build up to higher gears on higher grades, how do I keep myself motivated as I spin in a manner that makes me think it would be faster to walk the hill?
    It is supposed to make you slow when you first start doing it. You're doing something that your body isn't used to, and it will take a while to get more efficient at it.

    My advice is to work on cadence separately from climbing. You will get more benefit from it, and you will be less frustrated. Start at a reasonable cadence (for you), spend 30 seconds speeding up until you get to your maximum comfortable cadence, hold it for 30-60 seconds, then spin down. Repeat this 3 or 4 times. If you start to bounce in the seat, slow down until you stop. Doing that for the last few years has taken me from a max comfortable cadence of 105RPM to somewhere in the 130s (with peaks around 150). I now have a much higher range of cadences to use, and more importantly, I can ride at a lower heartrate at a given cadence.

    As far as speed goes, you will generally be faster on a single hill at a lower cadence, though you will stress your knees and legs more, and on a long ride, you may burn out your legs and get much slower.
    Eric

    2005 Trek 5.2 Madone, Red with Yellow Flames (Beauty)
    199x Lemond Tourmalet, Yellow with fenders (Beast)

    Read my cycling blog at http://riderx.info/blogs/riderx
    Like climbing? Goto http://www.bicycleclimbs.com

Posting Permissions

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