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Thread: Climbing speed

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    Climbing speed

    Does anyone have any idea how fast do the riders climb up tough hills?

    For instance,

    - Armstrong v. Pantani Ventoux 2001 (?)
    - Contador Angliru 2008
    - Contador THAT ATTACk 2009

    And it would be great if anyone knows the gradients and gearing used. And of course, other examples too!

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    Seņor Member kimconyc's Avatar
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    This was one of the climbs on Stage 9. The peloton was getting paced up at over 14 mph (Eurosport feed showed this). Thus, the break was going faster since they didn't get caught.

    Remember, there were no serious attacks on that climb yesterday in the peloton and it didn't look like any of the main GC guys were suffering.

    Furthermore, this climb came after about 80km of racing.





    So, in short, they ride fast.

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    Wow...

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    Seņor Member kimconyc's Avatar
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    Have you ever wondered how you would compare to Pantani?





    "The Giro's Plan di Montecampione ascends 4,900 feet in about 12 miles for an average grade of 7.7%. Italian climber Marco Pantani won the stage in 49 minutes for an average climbing rate of 100 feet per minute. (Realize this is 14.7 mph, uphill, for 12 miles!)"


    http://www.squarewheels.com/bikestuff/pantaniclimb.html

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    Seņor Member kimconyc's Avatar
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    Forgot to add this from the article:

    'But remember, Pantani averaged that pace for 4,900 vertical feet.


    But that's not all! Pantani's time in the Giro
    1) came at the end of a 150 mile stage with 17,000 total feet of climbing;
    2) was on the third day in a row of tough mountain stages; and
    3) took place at the end of the third week of the stage race.


    So, what do all these numbers mean? Simple: Keep your day job.'





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    Has anyone gotten off his bike, changed his shoes, and ran up the hill with his bike and won? Haha

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    if you are a decent (non-racer) climber, i'd say pros are pretty much twice as fast as you are... i avg 7mph up mt baldy which is comparable to alp d'huez on which the top pros are doing at 14-15mph. another way i like to think of it, which may or may not be accurate, is that i can climb a 5% grade as fast they can climb a 10% one. in any event, its best not to make any comparisons with pros because it will only blow your mind... better to try to compare yourself against those fast cat club guys that always kick your arse as well.

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    Crank Crushing Redneck SamDaBikinMan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lowlife1975 View Post
    if you are a decent (non-racer) climber, i'd say pros are pretty much twice as fast as you are... i avg 7mph up mt baldy .
    Good pace!

    Thats a ball buster (Mt. Baldy) if there ever was. I rode up it in 2000 while in Ontario on business a couple of times on my mountain bike. If I had been on my road bike I would have been wishing for another gear on some of the steeper sections. Especially that swithchback section just before the little town on the way up. The trip down the mountain was excellent!
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

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    staring at the mountains superdex's Avatar
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    And then they show generic noncontender with a heart rate of 140, putting out 340w on those 7% sections. Unreal.

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    Unbelievable. I ride alone over a 9 km roundtrip on a singlespeed bike on the flats and avg. 23 km/h (62 gear gear inches) - stopping legally for all traffic lights and intersections.

    These guys climb the mountains as fast as I can cycle on the flats!!!

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    Senior Member icelemmings's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by puppypilgrim View Post
    Unbelievable. I ride alone over a 9 km roundtrip on a singlespeed bike on the flats and avg. 23 km/h (62 gear gear inches) - stopping legally for all traffic lights and intersections.

    These guys climb the mountains as fast as I can cycle on the flats!!!
    Yeah, it's absurd. My sustained sprint speed across a flat for twenty minutes is just over how fast they would be riding on an attack up the above climbs. Incredible.

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    "if you are a decent (non-racer) climber, i'd say pros are pretty much twice as fast as you are... i avg 7mph up mt baldy which is comparable to alp d'huez on which the top pros are doing at 14-15mph. another way i like to think of it, which may or may not be accurate, is that i can climb a 5% grade as fast they can climb a 10% one. in any event, its best not to make any comparisons with pros because it will only blow your mind... better to try to compare yourself against those fast cat club guys that always kick your arse as well."

    The dominant energy term when climbing is m*g*h, that's mass times acceleration of gravity times the height you climb. Convert that to power by dividing by the time the climb takes. So, in the mountains, the time on the course is -linearly- proportional to the time it takes to complete the climb. If a pro rider produces twice as much power as a decent amateur (and they weigh the same), he'll go twice as fast. On the flats, speed is proportional to the square root of the power, so the same pro rider will only be 1.41 times faster.

    Tours are decided on the climbs because of the linear relationship of power to speed. It's a little more complicated because these guys go so fast even on climbs that you can't entirely neglect air resistance, but the mgh term still dominates.

    If I could DO this as well as I understand the math, I'd be faster .

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    Senior Member raptor3x's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chuckb View Post
    On the flats, speed is proportional to the cube root of the power, so the same pro rider will only be 1.26 times faster.
    Fixed.
    The best part of being a mad scientist is never having to ask yourself, "Should I really be doing this?"

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    Quote Originally Posted by SamDaBikinMan View Post
    Good pace!

    Thats a ball buster (Mt. Baldy) if there ever was. I rode up it in 2000 while in Ontario on business a couple of times on my mountain bike. If I had been on my road bike I would have been wishing for another gear on some of the steeper sections. Especially that swithchback section just before the little town on the way up. The trip down the mountain was excellent!
    baldy is still definitely the hardest climb that i have ever done... the length, steepness and heat just combine to make you miserable. really strong climbers can do the baldy route in about 1.5 hours or about 8.5+mph, cat 1/2 guys probably a bit faster... my avg just gets completely washed out once i make the turn at icehouse canyon to the switchbacks... from there i'm doing 5mph and riding the outside of all the hairpins!

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    pan y agua merlinextraligh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by superdex View Post
    And then they show generic noncontender with a heart rate of 140, putting out 340w on those 7% sections. Unreal.
    I can do the 340 watts. Its the wieght part of the w/kg equation that kills me.
    You could fall off a cliff and die.
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    Quote Originally Posted by merlinextraligh View Post
    I can do the 340 watts. Its the wieght part of the w/kg equation that kills me.
    Same here. Now, if I only weighed half of what I actually do...........
    Birth Certificate, Passport, Marriage License Driver's License and Residency Permit all say I'm a Fred. I guess there's no denying it.

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    Average accent speed

    I'm just curious if anyone knows the average speed of some of these professional cyclists on say a 6-10% grade?

    I was just curious because I was pretty discouraged by my ride this morning through the hills to work. I have a 32 mile ride one way to work. First 10 are in a valley and are relatively flat. Then it is a 2000+ ft accent with small relief decents along the way up the foot hill. My average speed with a decent head wind was in the 14.5 for the ride in.

    Not that I really care if I'm fast or slow. I know I'll never be in the same range as professional riders, nor do I care to be. It is more out of curiousity.

    I'm sure their attacks on the mountains are probably well over 20MPH. At least I would think so. I have a hard time breaking 12 for a sustained period of time on an 8% grade.

    Thankfully I'll average the mid 20's on the way home!

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    Do a search. This was asked a couple days back.
    i may have overreacted

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    Armstrong won the '04 Alpe D'Huez TT at an average speed of 23.4 kph (14.5 mph). I believe that climb averages 8%. Pretty sick.

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    Want the thread title fixed? Otherwise you might hear people telling you how many words per minute Phil and Paul deliver.
    The search for inner peace continues...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rideforroswell View Post
    I'm sure their attacks on the mountains are probably well over 20MPH. At least I would think so. I have a hard time breaking 12 for a sustained period of time on an 8% grade.
    If that's true, you are a stud.

    Earlier, at the Tour of Califonia, peloton sustained stady climbs 6-9% grade at about 12-13 mph.

    My nearest mountain has 4,500 ft at roughly 6% average and 24 miles long. On a good day I can crack it at exactly 2:00 hrs going at 9-10 mph ( I'm an average climber)

    I can only dream of averaging 12 there. Hats off to you pal.
    res firma mitescere nescit

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rideforroswell View Post
    I'm just curious if anyone knows the average speed of some of these professional cyclists on say a 6-10% grade?

    I was just curious because I was pretty discouraged by my ride this morning through the hills to work. I have a 32 mile ride one way to work. First 10 are in a valley and are relatively flat. Then it is a 2000+ ft accent with small relief decents along the way up the foot hill. My average speed with a decent head wind was in the 14.5 for the ride in.

    Not that I really care if I'm fast or slow. I know I'll never be in the same range as professional riders, nor do I care to be. It is more out of curiousity.

    I'm sure their attacks on the mountains are probably well over 20MPH. At least I would think so. I have a hard time breaking 12 for a sustained period of time on an 8% grade.

    Thankfully I'll average the mid 20's on the way home!
    It's sounds to me like your climbing is pretty good. I think the reason your total ride average is so low is because you are not riding down the mountain on the same ride. Try combining your ride to work and your ride home to get the total average. It will be more reflective of the pro mountain stages where they ride both up and down the majority of the mountains.

    My guess is that the pros would be riding about 14-17 mph in situations were you are doing 12 mph.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rideforroswell View Post
    I have a hard time breaking 12 for a sustained period of time on an 8% grade.
    I would hope so. If you way 157lbs it takes over 400W to climb at 12mph. That's impressive to sustain for 20 minutes.

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    Senior Member socalrider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lowlife1975 View Post
    baldy is still definitely the hardest climb that i have ever done... the length, steepness and heat just combine to make you miserable. really strong climbers can do the baldy route in about 1.5 hours or about 8.5+mph, cat 1/2 guys probably a bit faster... my avg just gets completely washed out once i make the turn at icehouse canyon to the switchbacks... from there i'm doing 5mph and riding the outside of all the hairpins!

    Good Cat 1/2's would be able to hold 10-11mph on baldy for an average speed.. The record for the TT which is 12.6 miles is 58 minutes, only 2 people have ever broken an hour.. It is honestly one of those climbs that you keep praying for an extra gear when you hit the switchbacks and the last stretch to the top of the ski parking lot is dead straight so you can see the top, can be a little demoralizing..

    Baldy would be a true MTN top finish for a Tour of California stage.. Wonder if it is has ever been considered.
    Last edited by socalrider; 07-16-09 at 12:01 AM.

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    Sorry, I need to clarify my definition of a sustained period! When I say a sustained period I just mean 15-30 second bursts of going 12 mph. Using the lap function on my computer I checked my average on the way in. I averaged 9.4 on the 3 climbs.

    Hezz- my average for both rides was 18.2, but it wasn't a true metric century since I had to work 8 hours in the middle.

    I tell ya, there is nothing like hills to kick the crap out of your legs. I did a 105 mi. ride last week with a friend and my legs weren't even sore. I can feel it when I walk up stairs this morning.

    BTW-sorry if this question was just posted. I didn't see it.

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