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SS/FG extended climbing tips?

Old 10-14-11, 09:56 AM
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Evoracer
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SS/FG extended climbing tips?

Posted this in another thread, but would like opinions of some LD ss/fg riders as well.

I mostly mtb, ss and geared but have had a number of fg's for around town. I recently built this...



...for longer road rides. My question is for long extended, sometimes steep climbs. Is is better to try and stay on top of the gear and risk blowing up at some point? Or, slow the pace down and mash through it? Currently running 71 gear inches.
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Old 10-15-11, 05:01 PM
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Rowan
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If you ride FG frequently around town, I don't think, with the GI you have, you should have too many problems on moderately steep hills by standing and mashing..

I rode a FG on a year's worth of Century a Month, completed 400+km of PBPp in 2007 (other issues, not the FG, forced the DNF), did 50km return shopping trips, and toured on it with a 39-17 set-up. I am reasonably old, but I was able to cope with up to 15 or 16% grades before thinking that getting off was the better part of valour.

As to the lowish gear and riding downhill, yes, I used to get up to 130+rpm cadence, but I also used my brakes to moderate things. I never bothered with braking through the pedals... I value my knees too much.

Last edited by Rowan; 10-15-11 at 05:04 PM.
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Old 10-16-11, 05:50 PM
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Pretty much what Rowan said.

In general, I think you're best off staying on top of your gear so long as you don't go anaerobic. If that's going to happen, then stand and bring the cadence down slow enough so that you remain aerobic. The gear you're running should keep you out of the red zone on all but the steepest climbs.

I did the Last Chance and the Gold Rush on 72", and I ran 70" at PBP (which was the lowest gear among the Americans riding fixed). Seventy inches still got me 'round in 80 hours, though. Had to stand for a few of the lumpy bits going into some of the towns, but that was it. I've done 600s in 74", and have run as high as 94" for centuries. Typically I ride around town in anything from 70" to 90", depending on my mood.

P.S. -- gorgeous bike!

Edited to add:

re: Long climbs.... I leared the hard way (climbing all 4 routes up Mont Ventoux in one day, fixed) that the ideal climbing gear for truly long climbs is a gear that'll let you alternate between standing and sitting on the climb. Changing positions helps keep you rested, fresh, and moving at a steady speed up the mountain. Note that a gear that lets you do a whole HC climb from the saddle is going to make for a tuly ugly and painful experience on the descents (even with two brakes). I ran 70" up Ventoux, which I pulled off, but it wasn't pretty. I'd have been quite a bit quicker on a lower gear.

Last edited by The Octopus; 10-16-11 at 05:57 PM.
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Old 10-16-11, 07:46 PM
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I "walk" up hills when I can't (or don't want to) stay on top of a gear while climbing. This is very low cadence out-of-the-saddle pedaling, which amounts to little more than extending the leg and letting your body weight push the crank through. It's a technique I was taught decades ago, for use in fairly low gears, as a way to ride up hills on recovery days without really exerting yourself at all. In bigger gears, it takes a little more effort of course, but is still quite effective.

Oh, and I might actually go insane if you don't post some more pictures of that bike.
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Old 10-17-11, 04:17 PM
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Thanks everyone for the help and guidence from such seasoned riders.
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