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Optimal gear for hills ? Lower or highest?

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Optimal gear for hills ? Lower or highest?

Old 07-09-22, 06:13 PM
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Originally Posted by m.c.
If this is legitimate I would be a bit concerned that he doesn't know how to get on in life by himself.

The post about an uncomfortable saddle in which he referred to "sperm tubes" leads me to think there is some trolling taking place.

Trolling is always a possibility, but he just told me in the golf club thread that he thought trying to hold the golf club without starting a thread first "sounds dangerous". I'm no shrink, but that sounds like a phobia or some ocd thing.
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Old 07-09-22, 06:38 PM
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I've often wondered if I were a mod would I feel any responsibility to direct help toward these individuals. Unhinged, drunk and dementia, we've seen it all here. A little sleuthing should ID a family member or responsible adult who could be made aware. Providing a stage to parade their derangement seems unhelpful as well.
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Old 07-09-22, 06:45 PM
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Originally Posted by CheGiantForLife
I might do an A/B experiment.
A: Do entire hill in gear 1
B: Do entire hill in gear 3

Compare heart rate and time elapsed.
This experiment has been done.

For a fixed power output, the cadence with the lowest heart rate was about 60.

But you may not be interested in the cadence that produces the lowest heart rate, but the cadence that leaves you the least exhausted at the top of the climb.
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Old 07-09-22, 06:49 PM
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Originally Posted by datlas
Hi! What’s this thread about?
Attention.
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Old 07-09-22, 06:50 PM
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Originally Posted by 79pmooney
Actually 42-24. The nice symmetry. Lowest gear you can get with time honored classic 144 BCD crankset, 1/8" chain and proper fix gear cogs. (Of course, there are hills where your legs will scream for 42 gear inches. not chainring teeth. Don't listen to them. They're just legs and not very smart.)
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Old 07-09-22, 11:57 PM
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Originally Posted by CheGiantForLife
Yes, the implication was seated hill climb.
So, there is no conventional wisdom on gear choice?

I might do an A/B experiment.
A: Do entire hill in gear 1
B: Do entire hill in gear 3

Compare heart rate and time elapsed.
It depends on the individual as many other have already told you.

But if you want proof, just watch TdF races on Giro d' Italia stages. You'll see some of them like spinning easier gears seated entirely, some like to stand for long period on harder gears, and still some like to do both - alternate periods of seated easy gears and harder gears standing.
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Old 07-10-22, 08:27 AM
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I would think the ideal gear is the biggest gear you can push.

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Old 07-10-22, 08:54 AM
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Originally Posted by 70sSanO
I would think the ideal gear is the biggest gear you can push.
Unless you're concerned about leg muscle fatigue.
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Old 07-10-22, 08:58 AM
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What, me worry?

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Old 07-10-22, 10:17 AM
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Originally Posted by terrymorse
Unless you're concerned about leg muscle fatigue.
Or destroyed knees.
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Old 07-10-22, 11:27 AM
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Originally Posted by 70sSanO
I would think the ideal gear is the biggest gear you can push.

John
This is often the correct answer for me. The hill gets too steep.....and I end up walking, pushing the bike.
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Old 07-11-22, 05:00 AM
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Originally Posted by terrymorse
Unless you're concerned about leg muscle fatigue.
Originally Posted by phughes
Or destroyed knees.

On a 5 minute ride?

BTW, the blown knee thing is basically a myth.
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Old 07-11-22, 07:04 AM
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Originally Posted by 70sSanO
I would think the ideal gear is the biggest gear you can push.
Originally Posted by terrymorse
Unless you're concerned about leg muscle fatigue.
The essence of my question!

Low gear is easy but requires many revs.
High gear is harder but requires fewer revs.
Which is optimal ?
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Old 07-11-22, 07:25 AM
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Originally Posted by livedarklions
On a 5 minute ride?

BTW, the blown knee thing is basically a myth.
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Old 07-11-22, 07:41 AM
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Originally Posted by livedarklions
BTW, the blown knee thing is basically a myth.
Except for people who've injured a knee pushing too hard on too big a gear. Funny how, if I catch it early (knee starts twinging on a ride) and shift to a lower gear, I don't have the "OMG I can't walk!" reaction I get if I ignore it and keep pushing.
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Old 07-11-22, 07:43 AM
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Originally Posted by phughes

It's basically trainer lore with virtually no medical studies supporting it.

The only thing I could find that systematically studied it said that basically bicycling is at very low risk for causing repetitive injury to the knee, and that the rates of it between cyclists who used high gears was just slightly higher than low gear spinners. In other words, it's very rare for both groups.

I think there's a lot of confirmation bias involved here, people will now start doing the anecdote thing, and anecdotes prove nothing. We remember the ones that fit our scenario and forget or ignore the ones that don't.
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Old 07-11-22, 07:47 AM
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Originally Posted by pdlamb
Except for people who've injured a knee pushing too hard on too big a gear. Funny how, if I catch it early (knee starts twinging on a ride) and shift to a lower gear, I don't have the "OMG I can't walk!" reaction I get if I ignore it and keep pushing.

If your knee is already injured, obviously you may need to adjust, but there's no way of knowing whether the gear push actually caused the original injury.

We had a guy who had blown out his knee by some non-cycling activity, and he reported that he could push a high gear more comfortably than he could spin a low one. It's a really weird joint with a lot of variation in injury.
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Old 07-11-22, 07:56 AM
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Originally Posted by livedarklions
It's basically trainer lore with virtually no medical studies supporting it.

The only thing I could find that systematically studied it said that basically bicycling is at very low risk for causing repetitive injury to the knee, and that the rates of it between cyclists who used high gears was just slightly higher than low gear spinners. In other words, it's very rare for both groups.

I think there's a lot of confirmation bias involved here, people will now start doing the anecdote thing, and anecdotes prove nothing. We remember the ones that fit our scenario and forget or ignore the ones that don't.
I was simply laughing at the 5 minute ride comment. As for knees, yes it is anecdotal, but for me personally, mashing up the hills in Western PA, and in the Ozarks in Southern Missouri when I commuted there, gives me knee pain, whilst spinning does not. Using a gear slightly higher than gears a spinner uses does not qualify as mashing in my book. I would expect not great difference between the two in that case, as you state the study found.
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Old 07-11-22, 08:04 AM
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Originally Posted by CheGiantForLife
Low gear is easy but requires many revs.
High gear is harder but requires fewer revs.
Which is optimal ?
Optimal for you? Why don't you tell us?
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Old 07-11-22, 08:09 AM
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Originally Posted by phughes
I was simply laughing at the 5 minute ride comment. As for knees, yes it is anecdotal, but for me personally, mashing up the hills in Western PA, and in the Ozarks in Southern Missouri when I commuted there, gives me knee pain, whilst spinning does not. Using a gear slightly higher than gears a spinner uses does not qualify as mashing in my book. I would expect not great difference between the two in that case, as you state the study found.
Oh yeah, the 5 minute thing makes it pretty comical.

No question, knees are not standard issue. If something is causing you pain, you definitely should do something different. I just don't believe the horror stories about the guy whose knee was just fine, he continued to mash comfortably for years, and then one day his knee exploded for no other reason.
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Old 07-11-22, 11:19 AM
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I think this is the ideal gear for you...



John
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Old 07-11-22, 11:35 AM
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Originally Posted by CheGiantForLife
Low gear is easy but requires many revs.
High gear is harder but requires fewer revs.
Which is optimal ?
There is no one right answer. Just keep shifting until you find the one that is comfortable!
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Old 07-11-22, 11:36 AM
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Originally Posted by CheGiantForLife
The essence of my question!

Low gear is easy but requires many revs.
High gear is harder but requires fewer revs.
Which is optimal ?
What part of "it depends on the rider" is eluding you?
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Old 07-11-22, 02:21 PM
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Originally Posted by CheGiantForLife
The essence of my question!

Low gear is easy but requires many revs.
High gear is harder but requires fewer revs.
Which is optimal ?
Yes.
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Old 07-11-22, 02:26 PM
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Originally Posted by CheGiantForLife
I keep left gear on 2 (out of 1-2-3)
I have a hill that I can either ride up with right gear switch at 1 2 or 3
At 1, it's easy, but move revs for my legs. At 3, harder, but less revs.
So, it looks like you are talking about chain rings on a triple crankset.

What are you doing with the gears in back?
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