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Old 12-10-04, 11:06 AM   #1
incipit
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Out of the people I ride with I keep the slowest uphill Cadence, I hate a really LOW gear on an uphill climb... I always seem to feel as if I'm wasting alot of power and always seem to be consistantly slowing down, while pedalling my a$$ off. I just feel more effective grunting up the hill even though it may not be the case. I also fear that I'm putting MUCH more stress on my BB, Chain, etc. Am I just not willing to change to something that feels unatural to me even though it is better, or am I not alone and for my fitness style and ability, I'm just better off powering my way up and letting the chips fall where they may, Component wear wise. I was thinking, maybe I'm just not fit enough for high cadence to feel good and therefore I should train myself in high cadence... Like doing long rides at low speed in a low gear...

Just something I have noticed.
I was riding (XC) behind a guy from my friends job who is in great cycling shape and races road, in club events and has been riding for years. I was on his tail and we hit a short steep uphill and where my speed slowed to a crawl, he kept the same freakin' speed up the hill... he didn't slow a bit and seemed to just pedal up the hill like it was nothing, not even coming off the seat. Then again I'm 270lbs! I was astonished none the less. When I commented to him about his performance at the next stop, he said "it's all in the gear selection"
I was in the highest cadence gear I feel comfortable using.

Last edited by incipit; 12-10-04 at 05:25 PM.
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Old 12-10-04, 11:11 AM   #2
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You riding the greenway trail system. I love the ride out to Bethpage park from my inlaws place. Damn nioce trail and a pleasant surprise being out on LI.

Trust me, the faster cadence will tax your body less on seriuosly long climbs.

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Old 12-10-04, 11:32 AM   #3
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I've never tried the greenway, now I definitelly have to check it out...
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Old 12-10-04, 11:36 AM   #4
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It has some good challenging single track as well as steep but short climbs in some places. If you do not mind the frequent road crossings you will have a load of fun. Then when you get out to Bethpage there are so many little trails to ride you will probably get lost.
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Old 12-10-04, 12:19 PM   #5
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Keep you cadence at around 80 on climbs. You need to get used to that because otherwise you will burn out on long climbs if you power your way up.

I can see why a 270 lbs person is more comfortable with brute strenght, but strength only works on short climbs. Anything longer than about 15 seconds requires a good gear selection.
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Old 12-10-04, 12:23 PM   #6
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Anything longer than about 15 seconds requires a good gear selection.
Absolutely.
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Old 12-10-04, 12:33 PM   #7
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I agree! Even my big butt will pedal pretty fast in a high gear otherwise me knees start to feel like someone lit them on fire and they turned into jello.
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Old 12-10-04, 01:23 PM   #8
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I keep a 100-110 uphill cadence on my road bike.

I do not have a computer on my geared mountain bike, but it is probably similar.

It is much slower on my SS (34:20).

If you are real comfortable powering up climbs, you sound like you might be a good candidate for dropping some weight (on your bike) by losing some gears.

I have found that my single speed makes me ride faster overall; though I have not taken it on rides longer than an hour and a half.
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Old 12-10-04, 05:37 PM   #9
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I was on my MTB and climbed this steep hill like 200ft long or so(road) I was the only one that made it but I was moving at the same speed as my friend was walking his mount as he was cheering me on not to give up... At that point I was relying completely on my weight to power me up by standing on the power pedal on each stroke... I thought I was going to die but, I was damn proud that I made it, when everyone else had failed especially being the fattest out of shape mother F----R there! haahaa!
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Old 12-10-04, 06:32 PM   #10
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Just like on the road bike, if I see a big hill coming I'll ass into it on the downhill or flat to get some momentum, and then gradually keep downshifting as required to keep my cadence around 80. I stay seated unless absolutley necessary to keep the front on the ground or if the climb is super steep and technical.
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Old 12-10-04, 07:17 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by incipit
..I hate a really LOW gear on an uphill climb... I always seem to feel as if I'm wasting alot of power and always seem to be consistantly slowing down, while pedalling my a$$ off. ...or am I not alone and for my fitness style and ability, I'm just better off powering my way up and letting the chips fall where they may, .

I used to spin high cadence on climbs, and the more experienced riders in my group told me to drop a gear or two. We're typically climbing single track and some fire roads, maybe 30 minute climbs. My spinning mentality may be from my road days. They advised me to drop a gear and use more leg power. I've trained myself to do such and find that it's actually easier to climb rough sections since I can smoothly speed over these areas. With high cadence, the jerky body motions seem to add to instablity.

I don't have a reliable way to measure cadence, so I can't tell you how fast I'm spinning.
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Old 12-11-04, 02:34 AM   #12
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I agree that 80-90 cadence is probably best on longer climbs... you don't want to over-spin to the point where you end up wearing yourself out from spinning too much, but you don't want to "mash" a gear too steep and tear up your knees. It's a fine line and I guess you just have to go with whatever feels most comfortable. I myself very seldom use my granny gear anymore; I mostly stay on the middle ring. Lately I've found myself not even climbing on the 32/32 (front/rear) combo, I've been doing 32/28 more often as it seems to give me more power up the hill.
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Old 12-11-04, 07:08 AM   #13
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A high cadence is more efficient for the human system. You're body is better able to maintain it's muscle glycogen/ATP stores and deal with lactic acid production. High cadance is well founded in both science and practice (Lance Armstrang, for example). It gets down to the issue of using more of your slow-twitch muscle fibers which are more efficient users of fuel.

The better science resources are: Bicycle Science, third edition, by David Gordon Wilson (MIT Press) and Food for Fitness by Chris Carmichael.

Al
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Old 12-11-04, 09:40 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MudPie
I used to spin high cadence on climbs, and the more experienced riders in my group told me to drop a gear or two. We're typically climbing single track and some fire roads, maybe 30 minute climbs. My spinning mentality may be from my road days. They advised me to drop a gear and use more leg power. I've trained myself to do such and find that it's actually easier to climb rough sections since I can smoothly speed over these areas. With high cadence, the jerky body motions seem to add to instablity.

I don't have a reliable way to measure cadence, so I can't tell you how fast I'm spinning.
Whoever trained knows well. In technical stuff, spinning will simply leave you spinning. You need to be in a torque gear If it is flat or a road, I try to spin....technical I ride my torque gear.
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