Advertise on Bikeforums.net



User Tag List

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 28
  1. #1
    Senior Member Richard Cranium's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    Deep in the Shawnee Forest
    My Bikes
    LeMond - Gunnar
    Posts
    2,786
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Freaky climbers - how much climbing is enough?

    Certainly there is a strong training emphasis on climbing for racing cyclists. Typically, you either climb well or you never make the break-away or finish with the first part of the peloton.

    And of course some people are more or less suited to climbing or flat-road riding by their physique. But for all the those "normal" cyclists, how does one determine the best training mix?

    Do most people spend enough time riding the "flats" by default? Are there people in hilly areas that actually "need" to find more flat ground to motor along evenly during training?

    Obviously a case by case decision, but what would be the answer for the "general cycling population?"
    Does general interest in cycling suffer in extremely hilly areas?

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    SoCal
    Posts
    1,247
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    In San Diego we have the choice of flat rides with more traffic along the coast, and hills and mountains to the east. Inland is warmer than the coast, so climbing Mount Palomar (the last stage of last year's TOC) is not a common choice this time of year.

    If you are really serious about climbing, you need to ride enough to get close to your genetic and available training time limit AND get very lean, as in say 10% body fat for men. At 15% your family and friends will think you have cancer, at 10% you will look much worse

  3. #3
    Zoom zoom zoom zoom bonk znomit's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    New Zealand
    My Bikes
    Giant Defy Composite,Trek 1.7c, Specy Hardrock, Nishiki SL1, Jamis Commuter
    Posts
    2,941
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Cranium View Post
    Obviously a case by case decision, but what would be the answer for the "general cycling population?"
    Does general interest in cycling suffer in extremely hilly areas?
    I live on the edge of a flood plain. I almost always head for the hills. Plains are boring.
    Kiwi Randonneurs Gran Turismo series. March 1-8 2015
    Ride a Super Randonneur series in eight days in the scenic NZ South Island and qualify for Paris-Brest-Paris.
    https://www.kiwirandonneurs.org.nz/rides/gt

  4. #4
    Keep on climbing
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Marlborough, Massachusetts
    My Bikes
    2004 Calfee Tetra Pro
    Posts
    2,074
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Why would anybody choose to ride on a flat road when there's a nice hilly one available?

    Central Massachusetts isn't insanely hilly -- a typical century will have about 6,000 feet of climbing -- but any long stretch of flat road is pretty rare. I have to ride east -- towards Boston and civilization -- to get extended flat roads. Too much traffic, too many intersections, etc. I'll stick to the hills.
    "There is more to life than increasing its speed" -- Mahatma Gandhi

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    6,241
    Mentioned
    2 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Being as I'm not being paid for this, I ride wherever I feel like riding. Often that's in the mountains. Often it's not. Of course, I don't "train" at all, preferring to enjoy cycling instead, so am probably not qualified to answer the question.

  6. #6
    Uber Goober StephenH's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Dallas area, Texas
    Posts
    10,733
    Mentioned
    2 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I suspect for most people, it just involves riding countryside typical of their home area. If you live where it's very hilly or mountainous, a lot of your riding is going to be hilly or mountainous anyway, and there's your training. If you live where it's totally flat, and want to go ride the Rockies, that's where you have problems.
    "be careful this rando stuff is addictive and dan's the 'pusher'."

  7. #7
    Banned. Mr. Beanz's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Upland Ca
    My Bikes
    Lemond Chambery/Cannondale R-900/Trek 8000 MTB/Burley Duet tandem
    Posts
    20,031
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    1 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by merlin55 View Post

    If you are really serious about climbing, you need to ride enough to get close to your genetic and available training time limit AND get very lean, as in say 10% body fat for men.

    I tested on a hand held unit that put me at 30% Does that mean that I can't complete a ride like Palomar? Should I stick to the flat rider trail rides?

    AT 230 lbs, should I avoid rides like Breathless Agony and Ride Around the Bear?
    Last edited by Mr. Beanz; 07-28-09 at 03:19 PM.

  8. #8
    Gears? CliftonGK1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Philadelphia, PA
    My Bikes
    '08 Surly Cross-Check, 2011 Redline Conquest Pro, 2012 Spesh FSR Comp EVO, 2009 Spesh Singlecross
    Posts
    11,348
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Beanz View Post
    I tested on a hand held unit that put me at 30% Does that mean that I can't complete a ride like Palomar? Should I stick to the flat rider trail rides?

    AT 230 lbs, should I avoid rides like Breathless Agony and Ride Around the Bear?
    If 10% were the cutoff for "serious climbers" than many of the riders with SiR would be out of luck. Funny thing is, most of the riders I know who've completed very hilly, very long rides like the Cascade, GRR, or PBP aren't wispy little lightweights.

    The upcoming SiR 300k has a 24.5mi, 4100' climb starting at mile 35... but I'm not serious about climbing, or riding for that matter. I have too much fun on my bike to take it very seriously.
    "I feel like my world was classier before I found cyclocross."
    - Mandi M.

  9. #9
    Faster than yesterday
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Evanston, IL
    Posts
    1,503
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    also, those hand-held doodads are not accurate. at all. just convenient. i did one once that said mine was 3%. very, very unlikely. i'm lean, but 3% is just silly.

    if you want to actually know your body fat% to a fair degree of accuracy, get a good skinfold measurement. better yet, get a DEXA. but the skinfold measurement can be plenty accurate.
    Last edited by tadawdy; 07-28-09 at 04:26 PM.

  10. #10
    Senior Member iamsomeguy's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Posts
    163
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    does anyone know of a chart that has height weight definitions ? im 6 foot 6 and seem to hover around 210 no matter what i do , id like to loose twenty pounds though to help me climb bettre ( i suck at climbing though i love it)

  11. #11
    just another gosling Carbonfiberboy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Everett, WA
    My Bikes
    CoMo Speedster 2003, Trek 5200, CAAD 9, Fred 2004
    Posts
    8,574
    Mentioned
    5 Post(s)
    Tagged
    1 Thread(s)
    Would you believe a serious answer? It depends on age and time in training. If we want to climb our best, we train to our individual limit. It's easy to monitor that - just stay a bit below the overtraining point. Overtraining is mostly brought on by intervals or very hard, hilly riding. High HR for extended periods on too many days is the recipe. But the likelihood of overtraining is reduced by having a large base at lower HRs.

    So it's pretty simple: Ride enough intervals or hills to bring you to the point of exhaustion here and there. At the same time, ride the weekly volume you need to comfortably finish the rides you have planned on your schedule. Each person will have a different mix of hills and flats to meet both those goals.

    In my mid-fifties, I could pile up an hour or two of LT-and-over on the weekend and still do intervals midweek. The other weekdays I rode on the flat. A decade later, almost all my midweek riding has to be flat, or I can't do the LT-and-over volume on the weekend.

    In my 20's and 30's, I obviously could have done a lot more hard riding, though I remember in college getting overtrained from doing too much hard hilly mileage on XC skis. At the time I knew I was getting slower, but didn't know why. That was back in the days when coaches told you not to drink anything during a game or event for fear of getting stomach cramps. So always question the conventional wisdom of the day!

  12. #12
    Senior Member iamsomeguy's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Posts
    163
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    ok here goes , hopefully my response doesnt make me sound like too much of an idiot , just lookin for help


    well my base mileage is around 200-300 miles for the week , i usually do intervals on tuesday and friday for an hour , the legs have been getting there but i still have 5-10 pounds of gut that i want to get rid of. not only that but i SUCK at climbing i get dropped every thursday on our group ride (lot of fast guys average 20-30 for about 25 miles then the hills start)
    however from the beginning of this year in feb (texas) ive gone from 265 to floating around 205-210

    i dunno , im trying to get serious and get conditioned after being off the bike for 3-4 years and this is my first season back on the bike
    not sure what im doing wrong , im 25 if that helps any ?

    how does hitting hills help you climb , is it just from the sheer force required to get up them or is there some other training secret that im missing here ?

  13. #13
    Senior Member ericm979's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Santa Cruz Mountains
    Posts
    6,170
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    How much climbing you do depends on your training goals. I like long races with a lot of climbing, and I like climbing in general, so I do a lot of it in training. Not to mention that I live on the side of a mountain among other mountains. If I go for a ride from home there is going to be a lot of climbing involved. If I want to do a recovery ride, I have to drive down to the valley. Last year I did over 750,000 feet of climbing and I averaged over 100ft of climbing per mile for the whole year.

    However, there are times that I can feel my flat ground ability, which isn't all that great anyhow, suffering. I have to work on it if I want to be able to handle rides/races with significant flat ground. If I raced criteriums I'd have to put in some time on the flat doing interval and sprint training.

    I wasn't riding when I moved here. It took me a number of years of training before I could ride all the way up the main road (2 miles @ 10%) and the road to my house (1/3 mile averaging 16%, max 23%) without stopping to let my heart rate go back down before attacking the next pitch. There is no casual cycling among my neighbors- even the one guy who rides an old MTB down to the mailboxes to get the paper has a dinner-plate sized cog on the back, and he's working real hard to come back up the road.

  14. #14
    crazy bike girl msincredible's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    CA Central Coast
    My Bikes
    '07 Orbea Onix, '07 Birdy Yellow, '06 Cannondale Bad Boy (stolen)
    Posts
    3,324
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    In one direction I climb ~3500' in the first 11 miles, the other direction is a rolling ~500' in about 8 miles.

    Typically I am averaging ~100' per mile over my rides.
    Countries I've ridden in: US, Canada, Ireland, UK, Germany, Netherlands, France, China, Singapore, Malaysia
    States I've ridden in: Illinois, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, California, Nevada, Missouri, Colorado

  15. #15
    pedo viejo
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Northern Colorado
    My Bikes
    Specialized Allez, Salsa Pistola
    Posts
    538
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by znomit View Post
    I almost always head for the hills. Plains are boring.
    +1. I'll do a flat route if I want to do a fast century/metric, but I find flat routes dreadfully dull. I'd much rather ride at a slow crawl up a hill and enjoy the view.

  16. #16
    just another gosling Carbonfiberboy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Everett, WA
    My Bikes
    CoMo Speedster 2003, Trek 5200, CAAD 9, Fred 2004
    Posts
    8,574
    Mentioned
    5 Post(s)
    Tagged
    1 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by iamsomeguy View Post
    ok here goes , hopefully my response doesnt make me sound like too much of an idiot , just lookin for help


    well my base mileage is around 200-300 miles for the week , i usually do intervals on tuesday and friday for an hour , the legs have been getting there but i still have 5-10 pounds of gut that i want to get rid of. not only that but i SUCK at climbing i get dropped every thursday on our group ride (lot of fast guys average 20-30 for about 25 miles then the hills start)
    however from the beginning of this year in feb (texas) ive gone from 265 to floating around 205-210

    i dunno , im trying to get serious and get conditioned after being off the bike for 3-4 years and this is my first season back on the bike
    not sure what im doing wrong , im 25 if that helps any ?

    how does hitting hills help you climb , is it just from the sheer force required to get up them or is there some other training secret that im missing here ?
    I don't think you're doing anything wrong! You'll get better with time and continued weight loss. The only advice I can give you is to be consistent. Ride year-round. Keep the mileage up over 150 miles/week all winter. Time and effort will bring success.

    Riding hills helps you climb better due to the principle of specificity: you get better at what you do. Simple as that.

  17. #17
    Commuter Choccy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Hoddesdon, UK
    My Bikes
    Handsome Dog Titanium (Work) Santa Cruz Superlight (Play) Kona Stinky (Real Play)
    Posts
    256
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by ericm979 View Post
    How much climbing you do depends on your training goals. I like long races with a lot of climbing, and I like climbing in general, so I do a lot of it in training. Not to mention that I live on the side of a mountain among other mountains. If I go for a ride from home there is going to be a lot of climbing involved. If I want to do a recovery ride, I have to drive down to the valley. Last year I did over 750,000 feet of climbing and I averaged over 100ft of climbing per mile for the whole year.

    However, there are times that I can feel my flat ground ability, which isn't all that great anyhow, suffering. I have to work on it if I want to be able to handle rides/races with significant flat ground. If I raced criteriums I'd have to put in some time on the flat doing interval and sprint training.

    I wasn't riding when I moved here. It took me a number of years of training before I could ride all the way up the main road (2 miles @ 10%) and the road to my house (1/3 mile averaging 16%, max 23%) without stopping to let my heart rate go back down before attacking the next pitch. There is no casual cycling among my neighbors- even the one guy who rides an old MTB down to the mailboxes to get the paper has a dinner-plate sized cog on the back, and he's working real hard to come back up the road.
    Oh mate I've just googled Santa Cruz Mountains and they are great. I'd love to live somewhere like that.

    I think hills are one of those things like Marmite, you either love it or hate it.

    Choccy...

  18. #18
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Dorchester, MA
    My Bikes
    Blue Competition
    Posts
    304
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by ericm979 View Post
    Last year I did over 750,000 feet of climbing and I averaged over 100ft of climbing per mile for the whole year.
    wow

  19. #19
    Seņor Member USAZorro's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Carlisle, PA
    My Bikes
    1954 Hetchins M.O., 1959 Viking Severn Valley, 1970 Raleigh Pro, 1972 Fuji "The Finest", 1974 Raleigh Superbe&Comp, 1976 Raleigh Team Pro, 1994 Trek 830 MTB, 2000 Bob Jackson Arrowhead, Unicycle
    Posts
    13,034
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I was made for the flats - and descents. I get impatient when I start going too slow.
    The search for inner peace continues...

  20. #20
    Senior Member Richard Cranium's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    Deep in the Shawnee Forest
    My Bikes
    LeMond - Gunnar
    Posts
    2,786
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Very interesting replies- and in sum - probably the answer to my questions.

    Clearly, almost all bicyclists, no matter whether they are competitive or not will gravitate to the type of riding they enjoy. And this results in "climbers" riding lots of climbs and flat-landers riding the flats.

    In respect to goal-specific cyclists, they often, but not always, adjust their ride selections to meet training program requirements.

    In contrast, since this is a bike forum, populated with enthusiasts, there's no way to determine the effect of truly hilly terrain on entry level cyclists or undecided persons considering cycling as a recreation. Obviously there is reason Beach Cruisers are more popular on the coasts.

  21. #21
    Administrator CbadRider's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    On the bridge with Picard
    My Bikes
    Specialized Allez, Specialized Sirrus
    Posts
    5,843
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by iamsomeguy View Post
    ok here goes , hopefully my response doesnt make me sound like too much of an idiot , just lookin for help


    well my base mileage is around 200-300 miles for the week , i usually do intervals on tuesday and friday for an hour , the legs have been getting there but i still have 5-10 pounds of gut that i want to get rid of. not only that but i SUCK at climbing i get dropped every thursday on our group ride (lot of fast guys average 20-30 for about 25 miles then the hills start)
    however from the beginning of this year in feb (texas) ive gone from 265 to floating around 205-210

    i dunno , im trying to get serious and get conditioned after being off the bike for 3-4 years and this is my first season back on the bike
    not sure what im doing wrong , im 25 if that helps any ?

    how does hitting hills help you climb , is it just from the sheer force required to get up them or is there some other training secret that im missing here ?
    What kind of gearing are you using to climb hills? The most efficient gearing is one that lets you spin your legs. If you mash in a heavy gear you will acually go slower up the hill and tire your legs out.

    I used to mash up hills and then I rode with a stronger rider and wondered how he could climb so fast. I watched his feet and his cadence really didn't change when he climbed the hills from when he was on the flats.
    Last edited by CbadRider; 07-30-09 at 09:40 AM.
    Quote Originally Posted by toddles View Post
    So Tom only hires people that are nutty? Is part of the requirement to be a moderator on this site is that you have to be nuts??
    Forum Guidelines *click here*

  22. #22
    just another gosling Carbonfiberboy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Everett, WA
    My Bikes
    CoMo Speedster 2003, Trek 5200, CAAD 9, Fred 2004
    Posts
    8,574
    Mentioned
    5 Post(s)
    Tagged
    1 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Cranium View Post
    Very interesting replies- and in sum - probably the answer to my questions.

    Clearly, almost all bicyclists, no matter whether they are competitive or not will gravitate to the type of riding they enjoy. And this results in "climbers" riding lots of climbs and flat-landers riding the flats.

    In respect to goal-specific cyclists, they often, but not always, adjust their ride selections to meet training program requirements.

    In contrast, since this is a bike forum, populated with enthusiasts, there's no way to determine the effect of truly hilly terrain on entry level cyclists or undecided persons considering cycling as a recreation. Obviously there is reason Beach Cruisers are more popular on the coasts.
    Yes there is. Just look at bike populations and bike club memberships as a function of terrain. Sounds like you're thinking about opening a bike shop or something.

    Seattle has AFAIK the largest bike club in the country. The Bay area also has a lot of riders. Just thinking about that, it seems obvious that a mix of entry level terrain and challenging terrain produces high bike populations, i.e. valleys with population centers surrounded by hills. Bike commuters are a valuable pool for the recreational community - some riders start with hybrid commuters and then purchase a road or MTB. There are many areas in the country which are undeveloped from a biking perspective. It's my observation that among recreational riders, lefties outweigh righties by at least 3:1, so that might be another factor in the variation of biking populations with geographic area.

  23. #23
    pedo viejo
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Northern Colorado
    My Bikes
    Specialized Allez, Salsa Pistola
    Posts
    538
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
    It's my observation that among recreational riders, lefties outweigh righties by at least 3:1, so that might be another factor in the variation of biking populations with geographic area.
    Erm, did you mean outweigh or outnumber? Either way, it's a bit of a head-scratcher.

  24. #24
    Senior Member iamsomeguy's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Posts
    163
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by CbadRider View Post
    What kind of gearing are you using to climb hills? The most efficient gearing is one that lets you spin your legs. If you mash in a heavy gear you will acually go slower up the hill and tire your legs out.

    I used to mash up hills and then I rode with a stronger rider and wondered how he could climb so fast. I watched his feet and his cadence really didn't change when he climbed the hills from when he was on the flats.


    i try to keep my cadence consistent as well , usually shifting into my smaller ring and working my way down in the back as needed
    Yep, it's sad. Local cycling around here does deserve better. But there's always that "not invented here in Texas" inbreed attitude to deal with as well which stops progress.

  25. #25
    www.ocrebels.com Rick@OCRR's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Whittier, CA
    My Bikes
    GT Edge Titanium, Mercian Vincitore, Masi Gran Criterium, GT Zaskar, Hercules 3-Speed, KHS Flight Team
    Posts
    5,423
    Mentioned
    3 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by CbadRider View Post
    I used to mash up hills and then I rode with a stronger rider and wondered how he could climb so fast. I watched his feet and his cadence really didn't change when he climbed the hills from when he was on the flats.
    Good advice Cbad,

    I've seen you climb on the Grand Tour double and you really go well on "moderate climbs!" Yeah, a little bogged down on Potrero, but everyone else was too .

    I've also ridden with "Richard Cranium" and I remember his advice to me was "Rest on the Hills!"

    Oh, and speaking of Freaky Climbing, I just got back from the Mt. Tam double, which was supposed to be 15,000 ft. of climbing, but after a re-route was actually 16,500. Yikes! My overall time was 17:45.

    Rick / OCRR
    Last edited by Rick@OCRR; 08-03-09 at 02:35 PM.

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Posting Permissions

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