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Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

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Old 01-14-07, 06:51 PM   #1
crypticlineage
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Getting out of Saddle going uphill on wet road = Bad Idea!!!

Last saturday, I had this frightening experience. It was Saturday club ride and it had rained the night before and since we ride in the country, there was no traffic to take the wetness away from roads.

So about 10 miles into the ride, we hit this steep (by my standards, perhaps 6-8% grade) hill. About halfway into the hill, I am out of breathe and get out of saddle so I can go a bit faster and finish the climb, BAD IDEA. My rear wheel starts slipping/spinning, freaks me out. That did not fortunately make me fall, because my left cleat got released and I was able to land safely on ground.

This was with a mountain bike with slicks on it, I wonder what would have happened if I was riding my roadie.
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Old 01-14-07, 06:58 PM   #2
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Hey wait a minute...

Almost crashed today
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Old 01-14-07, 07:41 PM   #3
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If you had your roadie, you probably won't slip given reduced contact area.
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Old 01-14-07, 08:44 PM   #4
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The only time I noticed a significant slippage in the rain was a 20% grade... sounds like the road was greasy. Scary!

Once, I was riding up an indicated "9.6%" grade in a strong downpour. It was freaky because the water was rolling down the hill so fast and so deep. Sort of made you dizzy.
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Old 01-14-07, 09:01 PM   #5
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That's what probably kept Pantani from winning the World Championship road race in what, '94 or '95? He tried to attack but couldn't stay out of the saddle on the wet roads.

I've had the slipppage a number of times on wet, steep pitches. It's scary if you don't expect it but if you're ready for it, no biggie, sit your arse down again.
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Old 01-14-07, 09:19 PM   #6
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A lot of that has to do with how smooth your pedal stroke is. If you are producing power through the whole pedal stroke, it will slip less. This is tougher to do when standing than when sitting, but can be done.
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Old 01-14-07, 10:09 PM   #7
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Scoot forward on the saddle, find a smaller gear, hands on hoods, and spin.

Try it. Post results here.
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Old 01-15-07, 07:26 AM   #8
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+1 to pedal stroke. It's trainer season so you have an excellent chance to fix it. Pedal so that the hum is stable and doesn't tone up or down. On the road, ride uphill with one leg while trying to maintain constant torque.
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Old 01-15-07, 07:39 AM   #9
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Also keep the weight loaded towards the rear of the bike. Dropping pressure would also help.
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Old 01-15-07, 08:41 AM   #10
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I've had my rear wheel spin on a wet, steep hill when I wandered over onto the lane markings. Not enough traction on the paint. It caught me off guard. Fortunately, I was able to keep my balance.
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Old 01-15-07, 12:51 PM   #11
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Did you get scuff marks on your helmet from your front tire?

Maybe you're hanging over the bars too much? I can't ever recall spinning the rear tire on a climb, and there have been some steep SOB's.

??

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Old 01-15-07, 01:27 PM   #12
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awesome!! i did that once on my road bike coming around a corner getting out of the saddle to start a climb. rear slipped out with every stroke.

i felt like i was backing it into the corner!!
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Old 01-15-07, 01:33 PM   #13
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I regularly (like every morning) go up a hill that is loose rock standing up. They are right, it is about shifting your weight, and keeping the stroke smooth.

You can put just as much weight over your rear tire standing as sitting - unless you have invented anti-gravity and aren't telling us - but, you do have to make sure you don't lean too far ahead. The biggest issue is that you can really hammer the pedals - which causes you to break free. Work at smoothness and you can do it. I start off slower and slowly increase speed.

Clutchy, if you are slipping on every stroke, it indicates that your stroke is uneven - otherwise you would just keep slipping.

just my dos colones
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Old 01-15-07, 01:44 PM   #14
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Mtn biking is excellent for learning to control your stroke while maintaining forward momentum. Slippage is a constant enemy going up hill on dirt.
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Old 01-15-07, 01:55 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EventServices
Scoot forward on the saddle, find a smaller gear, hands on hoods, and spin.

Try it. Post results here.
Sorry but scooting forward unloads the rear wheel (he was standing anyway) which leads to more rear wheel slippage not less. You need to shift your hips rearward, crypticlineage, and center your weight over the bike.

Another thing to do is to take the slicks off your mountain bike, put on some meaty knobbies, and go ride trails. Mountain biking teaches you better bike handling skills than road biking does. Rear wheels that spin are a fact of life for mountain biking. You learn very quickly how to shift weight to help keep traction...especially if you ride a hardtail.
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Old 01-15-07, 03:39 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crtreedude

Clutchy, if you are slipping on every stroke, it indicates that your stroke is uneven - otherwise you would just keep slipping.

just my dos colones

you're totally right. It was when i had just jumped out of the saddle and was throwing alot of power down... obviously not even, but the slides(only 3) coincided with my downstrokes.
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Old 01-15-07, 04:47 PM   #17
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When was the last time you changed your tires?

Just like car tires, most of the grip comes from the compound, not the tread pattern. Road bike tires start losing grip in 1-2K miles, at most.
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Old 01-15-07, 05:07 PM   #18
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Be careful out there! Reminds me of a time I pulled out of the driveway of the local coffee shop in the rain. I turned left, stood to accelerate and peeled the **** out! Did a complete 180 degree powerslide before I managed to put my foot down . Wheel slip is something you get used to on bikes with looong chainstays. Expect when you don't expect it.

I wouldn't suggest pedaling one-legged uphill. Maintaining even power all the way through the pedal stroke is biomechanically impossible, and trying to change that could actually slow you down or even hurt you. If it works, it'll work by reducing your peak power output. I'm not sure how that's a good thing.

It's probably best to ride some trails and work on your f/r balance, like a couple people have suggested. If you have any old Biopace chainrings lying around, they can help with this by smoothing out your power delivery without any bizarre training shenanigans on your part. Otherwise, work on downshifting and spinning, and if you do stand, upshift a gear or two first.
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Old 01-15-07, 05:22 PM   #19
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Your gearing was probably too low and produced too much torque which caused slippage. Gear up a cog or two when getting out of the saddle.
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Old 01-15-07, 05:26 PM   #20
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What, you don't like doing donuts under human power? What a wimp
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Old 01-15-07, 05:33 PM   #21
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Those one-legged standing climb drills are brutal!
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