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  1. #1
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    how to increase climbing ability??

    hey guys,
    i've been riding with the school team on sundays for the last 3 weeks and also one sunday (yesterday). i really don't have a good benchmark because i've only ridden 4 times and each entailed very different riding groups, but i've found that even though i can keep pace in a paceline at a good clip (17-20mph), i totally lag if the incline goes past an estimated 2 degree incline. it's kinda embarrassing lol. granted, i was riding on a bad drivetrain which kept skipping teeth 20 miles from civilization and was recovering from a 75 mile yesterday...

    basically, how do i go about improving my climbing quickly? i hate being dropped and i'm on a triple which is even more embarrassing

    melloboy

  2. #2
    Stegosaurus Crunkologist's Avatar
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    If you want to get better as soon as possible, then I would think that climbing would help improve your climbing. Do hill repeats.

  3. #3
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    well,
    is there a known optimal situation that i should repeat? say if i did repeats of 3 miles of 6% climb, will that help with other climbs? or should i do varying degrees of climbs?

    melloboy

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    An idea to improve:
    Ride hills solo 90% of the time (to go your own pace) to start, and ride hills a couple days a week. You are in my area, so ride a route that has shorter climbs, undulating terrain, to start. When you breathe, take deep breaths, quick until you get into a rhythm, then steady. Alternate standing with sitting, and after reaching the top recover on anything that you can (downhill, flat).
    Then try Romona grade, Lake Wolford, Old Castle, hills that are 2 to 3 miles and not too steep.
    Recover days after a hard day.
    After a month or so, try Palomar Mt. The thing is you work up to it; lose weight if you need to, keep good form on the bike, look at your position-have someone that knows look at it.
    You will get better, but unless you are "born" with it, you can only go so far. Maybe it's not your forte, that's the beauty of cycling. You are good at something else, rolling the flats, sprinting, or even downhill.
    Above all, cycling can become a part of you. Let it become a part of you. You'll love it.
    You say the hill's too steep to climb...you say you'd like to see me try...-Pink Floyd

  5. #5
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    VintageSteve,
    I was thinking of doing a few hill climb repeats of Torrey Hill or Torrey Pines hill (about 3 times per day maybe?) every other day or so (the one a bit north of Torrey Pines golf course) to begin with...what do you think? that hill's kind of convenient as I can take off after work, ride north 1/4 of a mile, and i'm already at the top of the hill...descend, climb, u-turn, repeat

    melloboy

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    I need to work on my hill climbs also.....I lag so much on hills.

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    do some hill intervals to start. find a 1/4 to 1/2 mile hill at whatever slope you think is right and ttry to make like a 1 mile loop (or short loop) where you ride up the hill at a hard pace, then finish the loop at an easy pace, then repeat for however many times you feel comfortable doing. as you get stronger at those, then i would reccomend moving up ot a longer climb, like the 3 mile one you were talking about

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    Quote Originally Posted by MelloBoy
    VintageSteve,
    I was thinking of doing a few hill climb repeats of Torrey Hill or Torrey Pines hill (about 3 times per day maybe?) every other day or so (the one a bit north of Torrey Pines golf course) to begin with...what do you think? that hill's kind of convenient as I can take off after work, ride north 1/4 of a mile, and i'm already at the top of the hill...descend, climb, u-turn, repeat

    melloboy

    Good start, but be warmed up before, easy riding 1/2 hr. min. Try:
    Do Torry Pines hill (the park road with tight turns) sitting whole way. Ride back down (watch for walkers) and repeat standing and sitting. You can use the same gear whole way, except as you go over that last hump just before the parking at the top, shift into a higher gear, or if doing it again, use this area to recover (same gear).
    Pedal on way down but apply no pressure, just spin to keep legs moving.
    Try different hand positions, next to stem, on hoods.
    Do these repeats for 30min. then ride easy for 30min. apx.
    To do good on the hills, you have to like them. The better you get, the more you will. Look forward to them.
    You say the hill's too steep to climb...you say you'd like to see me try...-Pink Floyd

  9. #9
    Name's Ash ...housewares Doctor Morbius's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MelloBoy
    hey guys,
    i've been riding with the school team on sundays for the last 3 weeks and also one sunday (yesterday). i really don't have a good benchmark because i've only ridden 4 times and each entailed very different riding groups, but i've found that even though i can keep pace in a paceline at a good clip (17-20mph), i totally lag if the incline goes past an estimated 2 degree incline. it's kinda embarrassing lol. granted, i was riding on a bad drivetrain which kept skipping teeth 20 miles from civilization and was recovering from a 75 mile yesterday...

    basically, how do i go about improving my climbing quickly? i hate being dropped and i'm on a triple which is even more embarrassing

    melloboy
    Climbing is all about your power to weight ratio. Here's an article from Bicycling Magazine online. You can find it here ... http://www.bicycling.com/article/0,3...ategory_id=363

    Cruise Intervals

    "To become a better climber, you can either improve your power or decrease your weight, or both," says Applegate. "For many cyclists, especially big guys, it's easier to improve power than it is to lose weight." For that he recommends increasing your lactate threshold, because the longer you can stay at or below the point where you go into the red, the more likely you are to make it to the top at the front of the pack. Start with 5- to 6-minute intervals riding, on a perceived exertion scale of 1-10, at about an 8, the point at which your breathing is somewhere between hard/even and labored/gasping. Recover for 2-4 minutes; repeat for a set of 4-6. Work up to the point where you can do two 15-minute cruise intervals with 5-10 minutes of rest in between.

    Hill Attacks

    Climb a hill at a pace that's close to your threshold, about a 9 on a scale of 1-10, then attack and push as hard as you can for 10 pedal strokes. Recover to your original-pace effort; repeat 4-5 times. "This is an excellent drill for developing the reserve to win close climbs," says Applegate.

    High-Cadence Climbs

    On your next hill ride, do all uphill grades in an easier gear than you normally would, aiming to keep your pedal cadence above 90 rpm. If that's too difficult, aim to do high-cadence climbing for 5-minute stretches with 3-5 minute recoveries in between, suggests Applegate. "High-cadence climbing puts less stress on the muscular system but targets the aerobic system, so it trains you to be more efficient," he says. "It's natural that your heart rate will soar the first few times you do this. As you get used to it, your heart rate should come down as your speed stays the same. That's how you know it's working."

    Big-Gear Drills

    High-cadence climbing (above) goes hand in hand with big-gear drills, says Applegate. This time, do your regular hill ride, but climb the uphill grades in a harder gear than usual, aiming to keep your pedal cadence at about 50-60 rpm. "This helps you build stronger muscles to push a big gear," says Applegate. "Combine this with high-cadence drills and you can push a bigger gear but spin it faster--the best of both worlds for optimum climbing."

  10. #10
    Senior Member sparks_219's Avatar
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    Besides all other recommadnations, I find doing Interval training on a stationary bike really helped my climbing. Basically, you got really hard for 50 seconds, and then 20 seconds off. Repeat for 1/2 hour. This rountine really helps with muscle endurance.

    Ming

  11. #11
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    Mello, another hill you could practice on is Mt. Soledad. Not too steep and the climb is a decent length.


    BTW where do you work? My uncle rides up torry pines everyday to get to UCSD. He rides a Dean w/chorus components a huge GPS computer on his handlebars(looks like a green cell phone) a red/black camelbak and regular black riding shorts. Maybe you'll see him some day, I noticed not too many people out there ride Deans, so he stands out a bit.

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