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What is your opinion?

Old 08-17-18, 11:55 AM
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Helderberg
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What is your opinion?

I ride a flat bar and most of the people seem to be drop bar people but, what do you dread most. A long gradual hill, 1/2 to 3/4 mile, or a steep short hill, 1/4 to 1/8?
For me and the way my bike is geared I will take the short steep hill any day over the long grinder. That said there is also the long steep hill but that is for another post.
Frank.
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Old 08-17-18, 11:59 AM
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What does the flat bar vs drop bar have anything to do with dreading hills?
I fear all hills. But I fear not doing anything at all even more.
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Old 08-17-18, 12:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Helderberg View Post
I ride a flat bar and most of the people seem to be drop bar people but, what do you dread most. A long gradual hill, 1/2 to 3/4 mile, or a steep short hill, 1/4 to 1/8?
For me and the way my bike is geared I will take the short steep hill any day over the long grinder. That said there is also the long steep hill but that is for another post.
Frank.
I love riding in hills.

The hills I like the least: Long (miles, not fractions of a mile), straight hills that head off to the horizon ... typical for desert alluvial fans. They can be deceptively steep and looking at the asphalt going off to infinity is demoralizing. Riding them is like riding on an asphalt conveyer belt ... it looks like you're getting nowhere. IMHO, they are also not a lot of fun to descend. Like kissing your sister.

Hills I like the best: Switchbacky hills with varying pitch. You bite these off a little at a time, and the switchbacks keep it interesting. They are also oodles of fun to descend, but I like technical descents.
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Old 08-17-18, 12:10 PM
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Long gradual climbs are easy to underestimate short steep can take you’re breath. Flat or drop bar doesn’t matter. Both climbs are great for training, personally after a long steady climb I feel like a accomplished something and earned the nice cruise down the other side.
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Old 08-17-18, 12:11 PM
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reminds me what I enjoy. climbing a slow grade, & accelerating!
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Old 08-17-18, 08:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Helderberg View Post
I ride a flat bar and most of the people seem to be drop bar people but, what do you dread most. A long gradual hill, 1/2 to 3/4 mile, or a steep short hill, 1/4 to 1/8?
For me and the way my bike is geared I will take the short steep hill any day over the long grinder. That said there is also the long steep hill but that is for another post.
Frank.
My opinion ...

My handlebar choice has nothing to do with how I feel about hills.


On any of my bicycles, when I'm running, and when I'm walking/hiking ... I prefer gradual hills and do not like steep hills.

Put me on a 10 km 2-4% grade and I can settle in and ride.

Stick a 0.5 km 15%+ grade in front of me, and I'll be tempted to find another route.
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Old 08-18-18, 08:14 AM
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Originally Posted by Biker395 View Post
... typical for desert alluvial fans.
A man who knows his geology!

My nemesis... the dreaded terminal moraine.
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Old 08-18-18, 11:20 AM
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People,I wasn't trying to make any kind of statement saying that I ride a flat bar bike other than that is the kind of bike I ride. I did not try to start any kind of problem. Please accept my apology if I stepped over any line.
Frank.
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Old 08-18-18, 11:50 AM
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Well fine then.

I enjoy long grinders. The most fun on a bike I’ve ever had was going from the Dillon Reservoir to the top of Vail Pass. Around 20 miles or so (I forget) of oxygen-deprived goodness.

It was also fun to come back down, which took 20% of the time to climb up, but anyone can go with the flow.
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Old 08-18-18, 02:53 PM
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If forced to choose I'd take the less steep grade. It's easier on my knees. Actually, either hill is preferable to a 15 mph headwind. Some days it seems to be in your face whichever way you turn.
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Old 08-18-18, 02:53 PM
  #11  
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Hills

I love rollers on a nicely paved, lightly travelled country road. My largest challenge is a long, steep hill if I am not riding one of my Trek x20's, or my Voyageur. (All have grannie rings). Am 55yo, never been fast. I am working on speed and hills. I figure get the average speed up, and don't walk up hills = pretty good riding!!
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Old 08-18-18, 03:16 PM
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It all depends. I do a lot of utility cycling, and hills often just get in the way.

Long steep hill?

How are you defining steep vs "grinder"?

2%, 5%, 10%, 20%, 30%?
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Old 08-18-18, 03:43 PM
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I hate hills at the very beginning of a ride. It takes me a long time to get my legs and lungs right.
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Old 08-18-18, 04:44 PM
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I like drop bars and rollers.
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Old 08-18-18, 05:04 PM
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The handle bars may not mean much on the climb, but they will impact the descent. With that wind resistance on the way down I have to pedal my flat bar to keep up with the guys coasting in their drops.
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Old 08-18-18, 05:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Gerryattrick View Post
I hate hills at the very beginning of a ride. It takes me a long time to get my legs and lungs right.
I used to commute over a hill... almost the entire commute was either climbing or descending.

The first half mile was flatish, but once I hit that hill, there was never a day that was too chilly.
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Old 08-18-18, 08:09 PM
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Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post
It all depends. I do a lot of utility cycling, and hills often just get in the way.

Long steep hill?

How are you defining steep vs "grinder"?

2%, 5%, 10%, 20%, 30%?
For me, a hill becomes steep at 10%.

A "grinder" would be up to about 5%.

The bit between 5% and 10% ... depends on how I feel that day.



Anyway, that leads me to this ...

When I look at a randonnee to decide whether or not I can do it in the time limit, I use the following calculation (and yes, I know there are variations/simplifications of it) ...


(Metres of climbing/Metres of distance)* 100.

So ...

800 metres of climbing over a 100 km ride would be ...

(800/100000)*100 = 0.8


For me, a ride under 1, is a relatively flat ride and is doable within the randonnee time limit.

A ride up to 1.2 is more challenging but can be doable within the randonnee time limit ... just.

Over 1.2 the rides start to become more difficult for me ... my time increases and I'd rather not cover much distance. A 30 km 1.7 can leave me feeling pretty wiped out.

Over 2 ... those rides need a lot of training and preparation.


YMMV
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Old 08-18-18, 08:13 PM
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Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post
I used to commute over a hill... almost the entire commute was either climbing or descending.

The first half mile was flatish, but once I hit that hill, there was never a day that was too chilly.

If I were to commute, it would be up a 14% grade right out the door, then a tiny bit of flat just enough to get the HR under 170, then another more gradual climb (maybe 8%), then a steep descent, then about 1 km of relatively flat, then a long steady climb for about 10 km, then a breath-taking descent (amongst relatively heavy traffic) into the city.

I've cycled it on several weekends to try it out, but have never done it as a commute.



Taken from the top of the hill before the final descent into the city ...

Last edited by Machka; 08-18-18 at 08:51 PM.
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Old 08-18-18, 08:34 PM
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My riding is just for the exercise and enjoyment and addiction to the high intensity level I ride at. Not that I'm fast or anything, but I do pretty much ride close to what would be considered my peak effort for the length of the ride.

I don't have but a few hills I can call long grinders. Wish I did have some really long ones. I guess the only things I'd call concerns, not really fears, is not having the gearing to let me comfortably churn out 80 rpm or better for the duration of the climb. I'm quite comfortable if I can spin in 85 to 95 rpm for any portion of the ride. If I was to encounter a climb where my cadence dropped below 80 for more than a few minutes, then I'd have to consider if I need to change the gearing on my bike or get another bike with the appropriate gears and use it for that route that includes that or those climbs.

Another concern is speed on climbs. The more my speed drops below 12 mph, I start notice the evaporative cooling of my sweat is just not helping any more. So on hot days, long climbs at slow speeds, the heat can really sap my energy. Shady climbs help.
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Old 08-18-18, 09:11 PM
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I suck at climbing hills and fighting the wind. Just makes me want to drop a gear..or two. But I still love going fast when it's easy- like with a strong tailwind or downhill. Love to see 30MPH on the old Cateye computer!
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Old 08-19-18, 07:04 AM
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I like about an 8 to 10 percent grade, including two near work, including Pacific Coast Highway 101 southbound through Torrey PInes, for those familiar with the La Jolla / Del Mar CA area. If it is longer than a few km, an occasional leveling out provides a welcome respite. Watch those false summits, such as bends to the right (for right-hand-drive countries). One encounters one of those about 2/3 of the way up the Torrey Pines grade, only to discover that there is still more grinding ahead.

If I am getting tired on a long climb, I set short goals for myself, such as the next streetlamp. I also find that interspersing in-saddle and out-of-saddle work can help on a particularly difficult climb, and this is where handlebar choice does become relevant. I hated the flat bars on my mountain bike until I fitted them with short perpendicular end extensions to provide the neutral forearm rotation naturally afforded by drop bars.
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Old 08-19-18, 08:16 AM
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Originally Posted by Helderberg View Post
I ride a flat bar and most of the people seem to be drop bar people but, what do you dread most. A long gradual hill, 1/2 to 3/4 mile, or a steep short hill, 1/4 to 1/8?
For me and the way my bike is geared I will take the short steep hill any day over the long grinder.
Interesting question. I actually have this choice going east from where I live. I think what I favor is a climb that I can punch through continuously without having to stop at intervals and gasp for breath. I probably favor shorter and steeper as long as I can get up the climb in one go. That said, I'm ever and always a bundle of inconsistencies, and some days I'm just not "feeling it" and will take the easier and longer routing.
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Old 08-19-18, 09:22 AM
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I enjoy the long climbs which is good since that is a requirement for riding most of the terrain in these parts. I am trying to get back into shape for some of the steeper climbs; what I term as beyond my sustainable grade. I am never in the drops going up but they are nice for the descents. I suspect many people riding in the flatter terrain tend to ride the shorter hills much faster than I would.

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Old 08-19-18, 09:56 AM
  #24  
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I suck at hills or mountains but I love hills and mountains.
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Old 08-19-18, 10:30 AM
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I wasn't going to chime in, since my impression of "hills" around here are just the shorter punchy ones, but checking the big one on my commute I have one stretch of 138 feet over 1 mile, all uphill, so I guess that qualifies after all. I ride this fairly frequently, when I don't take the less direct Greenway. Maybe hundreds of times over the years?

I'd have said that it's harder than a series of shorter hills because I remember plenty of times when it was a struggle, but in all seriousness I sometimes get to the top and wonder where the hill went. It's not that I got stronger, nor the equipment since it's usually on a fixed gear, but I think it's when I'm not paying that much attention and just take it easy. I'm more inclined to say now, that it just doesn't matter much whether they're short and steep or long slogs, not as much as how you take them. And whether you're feeling lazy


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