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Old 08-17-11, 10:23 PM   #1
xfimpg
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How would you calculate the effort ratio between rides?

Let's say that you have a standard ride of 15 miles with 1000 feet of climbing. That becomes your baseline, for comparison purposes.

Now you have a newer ride that has 25 miles with 3500 feet of climbing.

If you wanted to calculate how much more effort the newer ride is compared to the baseline ride (is it 1.5 times harder, 2 times harder?, 4 times harder? etc), how would you calculate that?

The idea here is that we're planning a trip out west and trying to get an idea of how much more effort those rides are going to require.

Thanks for your statistical ideas because I'm out of them!


EDIT: My original equation was to multiply the distance by the ascension for both, then divide the baseline into the new ride.

= (25 * 3500) / (15 * 1000)

Would be about 5.8 times harder, but that number seems to be too high.


EDIT: May also have to factor in elevation as we'll be riding in the Rockies.

Last edited by xfimpg; 08-18-11 at 07:09 AM.
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Old 08-17-11, 10:47 PM   #2
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I think that I would start with calculating the work required for each ride and comparing those.
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Old 08-17-11, 11:02 PM   #3
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Easiest way is with a power meter but I'm guessing you know that and were looking for a "simple" equation instead, non?
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Old 08-17-11, 11:27 PM   #4
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There would have to be more details on the courses. 1000 feet over 15 miles is easy. 3500 over 25 could be tough if it's a 12.5 up then 12.5 down. Some riders may never make it to the top of the climb.

If it's 3500 spread evenly over the 25 miles, that could add up to a consistent 4% grade (guessing). Not tough but a serious climb for those that don't frequent hills.
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Old 08-18-11, 01:29 AM   #5
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Why worry about numbers? Just ride!
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Old 08-18-11, 06:32 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by HokuLoa View Post
Easiest way is with a power meter but I'm guessing you know that and were looking for a "simple" equation instead, non?
Yes, an equation if possible. It's to give folks an idea of what they're facing.

My original equation was to multiply the distance by the ascension for both, then divide the baseline into the new ride.

= (25 * 3500) / (15 * 1000)

Would be about 5.8 times harder, but that number seems to be too high.

Any ideas?

Last edited by xfimpg; 08-18-11 at 06:36 AM.
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Old 08-18-11, 07:04 AM   #7
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Don't forget to factor in the altitude gain depending on where out west is.
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Old 08-18-11, 07:07 AM   #8
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Don't forget to factor in the altitude gain depending on where out west is.
Yes, very good point.

I really need a good statistician for this one!
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Old 08-18-11, 08:30 AM   #9
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Cyclists I know say that altitude makes a difference at around 7,000 feet.
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Old 08-18-11, 09:55 AM   #10
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Cyclists I know say that altitude makes a difference at around 7,000 feet.
Thanks for that information because I was under the impression it was 9000ft. That 2000ft difference is significant because most of the rides vary from 6000-7000 ft and make their way up to 9000-10000 ft.
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Old 08-18-11, 10:35 AM   #11
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The problem is that there are soooo many variables involved that it may be next to impossible to calculate in any meaningful but simple fashion. Personally, I don't know the answer. I'd love to see some mathematically elegant equation that approximates "accurate" but that seems really tough without cherry picking conditions. As for person to person comparison it is probably even tougher since everyone has a different riding style and approach to varying grades of climbing. I'd imagine the "harder" component is largely dependent on gear selection and fitness level (ie ability to handle higher cadence without going anaerobic).
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Old 08-18-11, 11:11 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by HokuLoa View Post
The problem is that there are soooo many variables involved that it may be next to impossible to calculate in any meaningful but simple fashion. Personally, I don't know the answer. I'd love to see some mathematically elegant equation that approximates "accurate" but that seems really tough without cherry picking conditions. As for person to person comparison it is probably even tougher since everyone has a different riding style and approach to varying grades of climbing. I'd imagine the "harder" component is largely dependent on gear selection and fitness level (ie ability to handle higher cadence without going anaerobic).
If this equation can be kept simple, because the purpose is just to get an idea of the effort required, I would take into consideration only distance and ascension. I may take the elevation factor in at a later time.
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