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It is okay to walk up steep hills

Old 10-14-22, 11:17 AM
  #76  
ofajen
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Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post

I think standing on the pedals is really the equivalent of running, and your muscles are definitely capable of producing more watts than the simple application of gravity. Not sure how much bracing against the handlebars is responsible for this, I think it's the leaning forward like we tend to do when we run.
I know that getting pedal force just up to my body weight can require a lot of power, depending on the slope, gearing and speed.

Still you can, in principle, go above it at least somewhat. In a simplified view of the force diagram, as long as the downward pull of your weight plus the downward reaction force of the handlebar resisting your pull equals the reaction force of the pedal pushing you up, you can stay on the bike.

This sort of thing happens when I ride steep hills in taller gears than I should, which is all too common. I really cant say, but I would be surprised if the handlebar pull was ever much more than a third of my body weight, at least when standing. I think the geometry indicates the bar force could be higher when pedaling lifts you out of the saddle, because the pedal force is less vertical.

Otto
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Old 10-16-22, 07:24 AM
  #77  
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Originally Posted by adlai View Post
I feel like so much engineering goes into making it faster to climb hills. From ebike systems to lightweight frames, to the gearing drive train systems.

It's okay to just walk up the hill. If you are pedaling up a hill you're also fighting the rotational force backwards so oftentimes it makes more sense from a physics perspective to just walk up the hill.
Im 84 and I still never have walked up a hill. This is especially true now that I mainly ride my trike. I can go to the lowest gear and ride as slow as needed with out having to worry about falling over.
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Old 10-16-22, 01:24 PM
  #78  
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You can do what you want, but for me it's not OK.

I walked a section of deep gravel where paving was being done once, and have walked some offroad bits- particularly downhill singletrack on a CX bike,

but in general not since I first mail-manned my way up the steep hill to my house on a three speed in the fifth grade.
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Old 10-16-22, 01:42 PM
  #79  
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No, it's against the rules!!
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Old 10-19-22, 01:55 PM
  #80  
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I'll just add: If nobody sees you walk the hill, it didn't happen!
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Old 10-19-22, 07:11 PM
  #81  
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As a 3-time former covid contender (survivor), and a few weeks away from my 55th birthday, I find that there's absolutely no shame in walking up that (more than) occasional hill that I'm unable to crest. Riding ebikes has made it doable though, but there's nothing like the feeling of topping a hill on fatboy power alone.
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Old 10-20-22, 09:45 AM
  #82  
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Originally Posted by rydabent View Post
Im 84 and I still never have walked up a hill. This is especially true now that I mainly ride my trike. I can go to the lowest gear and ride as slow as needed with out having to worry about falling over.
The rule that I'm coming to s that if you're on a hill that requires constant pedaling and one that is so steep that when you stop pedaling you do not coast but immediately go backwards....that hill is okay to walk up.
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Old 10-20-22, 06:59 PM
  #83  
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it's not whether it's ok or not..it's whether its necessary or not, and occasionally it is
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Old 10-20-22, 08:22 PM
  #84  
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I walked my first paved hill, at London Edinburgh London, this year. I ended up walking three. It was also my first ever DNF.

In that case, it was not okay. Being indicative of my lack of conditioning for the challenge.
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Old 10-20-22, 08:44 PM
  #85  
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Originally Posted by adlai View Post
The rule that I'm coming to s that if you're on a hill that requires constant pedaling and one that is so steep that when you stop pedaling you do not coast but immediately go backwards....that hill is okay to walk up.
With or without a pizza?

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Old 10-20-22, 10:05 PM
  #86  
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My wife and I still averaged over 50 miles a day for 74 consecutive days, but that was when we were young. I was only 64 at the time

Appalachians

Last edited by Doug64; 10-20-22 at 10:19 PM.
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Old 10-23-22, 10:05 PM
  #87  
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Originally Posted by xroadcharlie View Post
The lowest gear on my comfort bike is 21 gear inches. That equates to about 5 kph @50 rpm. At this speed it takes about the same effort, perhaps less to just walk the bike. But the gravel hill that's most challenging for me only has short sections steep enough to require high effort, so it's better to just muscle through it until it eases up where 8 - 10 kph can be sustained.

But I have no problem walking up some hills too, Even if I can ride them. I often walk my bike on flats like in parks anyway, Or as a change of pace after a long ride.
Aren't the biggest hills in Windsor the overpasses over the 401/expressway?
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Old 10-23-22, 10:24 PM
  #88  
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Originally Posted by rydabent View Post
Im 84 and I still never have walked up a hill. This is especially true now that I mainly ride my trike. I can go to the lowest gear and ride as slow as needed with out having to worry about falling over.
Rydabent is such a chad
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Old 10-23-22, 11:08 PM
  #89  
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Winds this weekend were steady 20-25 mph with gusts to 40 mph, straight from the south. I explored a new route that was a fun 40 mph downhill blast with a tailwind, but I knew it was gonna cost me on the return leg.

The undulating uphill grade back into the headwind averaged only 4% but had some double digit sections of 10-12%. My go-fast bike Saturday has a 12-23 cassette. With a 39T small ring, dead legs and that combination of hill and wind, I was crawling at 5 mph on the steepest section for about a quarter of a mile.

I thought of those old school hardmen of the 1940s-60s, grinding up climbs so slowly that fat old men carrying wine bottles and baguettes were able to jog alongside the cyclists.

Not today, Alfonso. Not today.

I was pretty close to getting off and walking, but Look Delta and Shimano SPD-SL cleats are terrible for walking. I'm not embarrassed to admit I veered off the street and pedaled up a narrow sidewalk for about 100 yards, at which point it became a proper wide, freshly paved multi-use path. Brand new housing development, hardly anyone out here yet. No witnesses to my shame.

Sunday wind was even worse. This time I took my old faithful steel bike with relatively comfy 50/38 chainrings and 13-28 freewheel. And I'm considering switching that bike to an 8- or 10-speed wheelset with 12-32 cassette for just such occasions.
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Old 10-24-22, 07:51 AM
  #90  
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Originally Posted by canklecat View Post
Winds this weekend were steady 20-25 mph with gusts to 40 mph, straight from the south. I explored a new route that was a fun 40 mph downhill blast with a tailwind, but I knew it was gonna cost me on the return leg.

The undulating uphill grade back into the headwind averaged only 4% but had some double digit sections of 10-12%. My go-fast bike Saturday has a 12-23 cassette. With a 39T small ring, dead legs and that combination of hill and wind, I was crawling at 5 mph on the steepest section for about a quarter of a mile.

I thought of those old school hardmen of the 1940s-60s, grinding up climbs so slowly that fat old men carrying wine bottles and baguettes were able to jog alongside the cyclists.

Not today, Alfonso. Not today.

I was pretty close to getting off and walking, but Look Delta and Shimano SPD-SL cleats are terrible for walking. I'm not embarrassed to admit I veered off the street and pedaled up a narrow sidewalk for about 100 yards, at which point it became a proper wide, freshly paved multi-use path. Brand new housing development, hardly anyone out here yet. No witnesses to my shame.

Sunday wind was even worse. This time I took my old faithful steel bike with relatively comfy 50/38 chainrings and 13-28 freewheel. And I'm considering switching that bike to an 8- or 10-speed wheelset with 12-32 cassette for just such occasions.
I was out in flat farmland yesterday with the same winds ... I thought about walking a few time to avoid being blown over in the crosswinds!
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Old 10-24-22, 08:00 AM
  #91  
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Somewhere around 3 mph, walking seems faster and easier than riding.

If I am carrying some weight, a very steep hill costs me about 280 watts to go 3 mph.

I find on a very long ride that getting off and walking is a nice rest to the cycling muscles.

Jan Heine is one of the fastest randonneurs in the world, he walks some steep hills, too.
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Old 10-24-22, 08:18 AM
  #92  
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Originally Posted by tds101 View Post
As a 3-time former covid contender (survivor), and a few weeks away from my 55th birthday, I find that there's absolutely no shame in walking up that (more than) occasional hill that I'm unable to crest. Riding ebikes has made it doable though, but there's nothing like the feeling of topping a hill on fatboy power alone.
there are hills even on my Bosch mid drive are so hard. this guy tops out at 22% grade. to get the max out of my motor I had to keep the rpms at 70rpms or above I had to put out 520 or so watts and thats a lot for me for 2 blocks. now if I can only keep the rpms around 40 like usual they I can do it at 450 watts but it feels harder.
one of my big complaints about e bikes is the gearing is now low enough for steep hills.


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Old 10-24-22, 11:55 AM
  #93  
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As I mentioned earlier, my bent bike and trike has a triple in front, and with 30 and 34 sprockets in the rear, I have never had to walk up a hill. This late move to just one BB sprocket seem kind of dumb to me, since it may force some out of the saddle to walk up a hill.

And before someone jumps me on this post, yes I have railed against the ever increasing number of gears in the rear. IMO 8 or 9 in the rear with a triple in front is just about right. 24 or 27 gears pretty much will keep everyone riding up a hill instead of walking.
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Old 10-24-22, 01:34 PM
  #94  
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Originally Posted by LarrySellerz View Post
Rydabent is such a chad
Having a 7" low gear helps too.
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Old 10-24-22, 01:55 PM
  #95  
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Originally Posted by adlai View Post
The rule that I'm coming to s that if you're on a hill that requires constant pedaling and one that is so steep that when you stop pedaling you do not coast but immediately go backwards....that hill is okay to walk up.

If you can manage the go backwards bit, that's a pretty neat trick.

I don't think this is a rule anyone is looking for.
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Old 10-24-22, 05:15 PM
  #96  
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Suit yourself. It's your ride.

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Old 10-24-22, 05:17 PM
  #97  
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I wouldn't be able to ride with myself if I ever walked up a hill.
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Old 10-24-22, 07:44 PM
  #98  
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Originally Posted by rydabent View Post
As I mentioned earlier, my bent bike and trike has a triple in front, and with 30 and 34 sprockets in the rear, I have never had to walk up a hill. This late move to just one BB sprocket seem kind of dumb to me, since it may force some out of the saddle to walk up a hill.

And before someone jumps me on this post, yes I have railed against the ever increasing number of gears in the rear. IMO 8 or 9 in the rear with a triple in front is just about right. 24 or 27 gears pretty much will keep everyone riding up a hill instead of walking.
Dude you have never ridden up a hill. You have bragged in other threads about how all your riding ins on a perfectly safe, perfectly maintained, perfectly flat MUP loop ......

What bugs me here isn't that you have never tried a 22% hill as was featured in @fooferdoggy's post, but that you are trying to both be super-macho and pretend that somehow it is because you can ride slower on a trike.

For people who have actually ridden hills--sometimes on fully-loaded diamond-frames, while Not staring at the front tire .... going slowly enough to fall over is not the issue. The issue on really steep hills is simply putting out enough power in a single stroke to move that load up that hill. Sometimes the hill is so steep and the rider so tired that even lifting his/her entire body weight and thrusting down with all available power and gravity too, won't be enough to keep the bike moving .... and you won't be able to rise up and come down again fast enough on the other side to maintain momentum. You just grind to a halt.

I doubt I am the only guy who had to roll back downhill a little to do a quick U-turn, trying to maintain a little momentum to get the pedals turning again .... and I doubt I am the only guy who, on some days, still couldn't do it.

I started as a paperboy around age 8 or so, and lived in a per of the country where hills are steep and frequent. despite riding all around for fun and transport and also carrying a big load of papers seven days a week, which didn't hurt my cycling ability .... there were some days where I had to walk some parts of some hills.

if you never have, then no matter how old you are, you haven't challenged yourself.

Come back with some GPX files (Ride With GPS or Strava) showing you riding your trike up a long 20-30 % grade ..... and keep doing that grade, because even if you rode up that grade for 30 hours straight you'd never have to walk, right? because you are so strong and because .... Trikes Are Magic.

So .... yeah, whatever ..... my Cannondale tourer has a 28-38-48 with a 14-34 in back .... there are hills too long and too steep form me to ride, and not because ai lack balance. My Cannondale MTB has like a 22x36 low gear ... and I am pretty sure there are still hills too long and too steep for me.

You might be a stronger rider than i, and I am cool with that .... i can even tolerate you bragging, because at 84, just riding anything is pretty good .... (Notice I refrained from joking how his Depends were more comfortable on a 'bent? Big of me, eh? )

But I do wonder how long it has been since you tried that trike up a 22% slope, or climbed for an hour at 15% average .....

You might me macho man in your 80s, from the '40s, but it ain't the trike getting you up those hills .... if you are riding them at all .....

Anyway .... when are we going to see pics of the trike?
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Old 10-24-22, 07:53 PM
  #99  
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Originally Posted by Maelochs View Post

I doubt I am the only guy who had to roll back downhill a little to do a quick U-turn, trying to maintain a little momentum to get the pedals turning again ....
Heh. Riding across the country loaded I did just that near the summit of Brandon Gap in Vermont. My cycle computer literally read 0 mph for a second, but I never walked. When I got to the top some tour participants were waiting. I said I need a hug.
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Old 10-24-22, 07:55 PM
  #100  
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lol
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