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How steep is steep... with Pics

Road Cycling It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle. -- Ernest Hemingway

How steep is steep... with Pics

Old 05-30-05, 06:37 AM
  #151  
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When people say "going backwards" about climbing, they don't literally mean going backwards, right? Does it mean like going slower than other riders, so it seems like going backwards? I've seen this in a couple of threads about climbing but never heard it defined.
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Old 05-30-05, 10:07 AM
  #152  
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That is (probably) the Gemmi Pass in Switzerland, near the Rhone valley.
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Old 05-30-05, 03:28 PM
  #153  
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Originally Posted by Csson
That is (probably) the Gemmi Pass in Switzerland, near the Rhone valley.
Thats the www site !! go to photos ,gallery 3.
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Old 05-30-05, 05:05 PM
  #154  
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my58vw, when you were talking about that TT hill, you meant it was 200ft high at that 14% grade ya? I went for a ride around here today and took a pic of a hill I do regularly. If this is how it was, I can understand why you'd have difficulty with it, especially with a 42T smal ring.


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Old 05-30-05, 05:10 PM
  #155  
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For extended peiods of climbing 11-15% is my highest with a 21% top out on one corner (almost fell over, mostly in shock)...and I wished the whole climb that I had my bike with the compact instead of doing it all in a 39-26.
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Old 05-30-05, 05:12 PM
  #156  
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It's all making sense now.. In a separate thread he states that the Santa Ana river trail has steep little hills.. Ok the Santa Ana river trail is dead flat and this steep little hills are not steep at all.. You usually carry enough momentum to carry you more than half way up these little bumps.. When I rode there yesterday it means going from your 53x17 on the flats to a 53x18 or 53x19 on the "steep little hills".. These are bumps in the road..
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Old 05-30-05, 05:41 PM
  #157  
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Hey my58, I'm curious as to why you have such an intense gearing setup for TT's. I don't know what kind of cassette you have, but don't you think 53 is big en... YIKES.. (huge thunderstorm here) ....big enough? I can't imagine you would need anything bigger than a 53/39 with a 11-21, and even that I think would be really big (for me I would probably setup a TT bike with a 52/39 and an 11-21).

That said I'm a big supporter of the idea that modern bikes (yes I know I'm only 19...) have way too many gear inches for most people. Now, granted I like to sprint and spin (my sprints top out at like 115-120 rpms, which I think is pretty normal) but I run a 12-25. I sprint in my 13t and even if I hit my top speed ever in a sprint I still have a few RPMs to go. The only real use for the 12t is downhills - but in practicality i find it pretty useless because on most downhills i have to slow to the point where a 12t is too high for getting out of the corners and when I'm not cornering, above 30mph its faster to not peddle and to just tuck in and get really aero.
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Old 05-30-05, 07:15 PM
  #158  
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Originally Posted by greywolf
got these pics of a UK roughriders web site a while ago
That's un-real!
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Old 05-30-05, 10:46 PM
  #159  
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The Bridge to Bridge ride in North Carolina (102 miles) gains 1000' in the last two miles, most of it in the last 1.5. It's a real nut buster. I just returned from Italy and found some really steep stuff right outside of Florence. Lots of 14% and up. The most difficult part was coming down. One part of me wanted to just let her fly but the other realized that 1. I don't know these roads and, 2. Lots of fast cars taking up most of the road.
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Old 05-30-05, 10:55 PM
  #160  
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Originally Posted by socalrider
It's all making sense now.. In a separate thread he states that the Santa Ana river trail has steep little hills.. Ok the Santa Ana river trail is dead flat and this steep little hills are not steep at all.. You usually carry enough momentum to carry you more than half way up these little bumps.. When I rode there yesterday it means going from your 53x17 on the flats to a 53x18 or 53x19 on the "steep little hills".. These are bumps in the road..
Agreed... I usually ride a 53-16 or 53-17 on the trail, the just power over the tops. We were doing a 24 MPH paceline through those today, no big deal. They can be steep though, just really short (I think I called those things underpasses. These are not the same type of "hills" as on the tt route, completly different scinerio...

The beach trail is a relativly flat trail that runs down to Hunington Beach in So Cal. The challenges include the little steep underpass things and the technical nature of the trail... plus it is multiuse. Many racers train out there and today was no exception.
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Old 06-02-05, 01:22 PM
  #161  
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Originally Posted by terrymorse
The only only thing that I know works to keep yoour heart rate down on a hill is to ride slowly enough. If you don't have the gears to let you go slowly enough, you're stuck.
I've experienced the same thing.

There is a fundamental minimum power required, which is proportional to vertical speed. There's no escaping this, it's the cost of doing vertical business in a gravity field. Neglecting inefficiencies, the value of this lower limit works out roughly as:

Code:
power(W) > total_weight(lb) * vertical_speed(ft/min) / 44.25
vertical_speed = rolling_speed * sin(atan(slope))
So, the power required is proportional to vertical speed. For a given grade, vertical speed is proportional to rolling speed, so this minimum power is also proportional to rolling speed. (As it turns out, vertical speed varies roughly linearly with the grade for reasonable biking values, say <= 30%.)

For me, this power requirement seems to totally dominate on steep ascents (>= 15% grade); speeding up just a little bit beyond my nominal speed sends my HR through the roof, while shifting up or down a gear but maintaining the same speed has less effect. My knees prefer the lower gears, of course. There's also a limit on the torque that my legs can supply, but my gearing is low enough that I run into the power limit first.

On climbs which are too steep for me, I end up in my lowest gear, my heartrate screaming unsustainably out of control, and the bike rolling so slowly that I can barely balance it. At that point, something's got to give... and it isn't the hill.

-JAB
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Old 06-02-05, 01:38 PM
  #162  
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I've only put in 300 miles this year, so I'm not up for any truly steep hills. But, we were close enough to the steepest grade hill in Southern Indiana (Floyd & Clark Co's) last weekend, that I went ahead and "attempted" it. The name of the hill is Pixley Knob in Floyd Co.

It is only 1150 feet in length, but it averages 14.8% grade. I made it about 75% in a 39/25 ... and had to unclick. I am about 15lbs overweight and do NOT have a triple or the miles under my belt. Walking up that DASDAF#@!$#@$!@ hill was hard enough in look cleats!
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Old 06-02-05, 01:47 PM
  #163  
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Originally Posted by woodcycl
I've only put in 300 miles this year, so I'm not up for any truly steep hills. But, we were close enough to the steepest grade hill in Southern Indiana (Floyd & Clark Co's) last weekend, that I went ahead and "attempted" it. The name of the hill is Pixley Knob in Floyd Co.

It is only 1150 feet in length, but it averages 14.8% grade. I made it about 75% in a 39/25 ... and had to unclick. I am about 15lbs overweight and do NOT have a triple or the miles under my belt. Walking up that DASDAF#@!$#@$!@ hill was hard enough in look cleats!
haha, you need to post here more often brian. this is the second post of yours in 5 mins, where I almost spit all over my computer
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Old 06-02-05, 01:51 PM
  #164  
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Originally Posted by Ziggurat
haha, you need to post here more often brian. this is the second post of yours in 5 mins, where I almost spit all over my computer
Glad I could give you a good laugh on a boring work day!! Man ... if i could get paid to sleep ... I'd be doing that today. It's cold (65) and raining all day long here in Kentuckiana! But, I guess burning up the last hour or two on discussion forums is close enough!
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Old 06-02-05, 02:18 PM
  #165  
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What about Old Priest Grade. It has been a long time since I last climed it. I ended up falling over on a real steep section and almost got run over by an ambulance that was trying to avoid traffic on the new road that replace OPG.
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Old 06-02-05, 05:09 PM
  #166  
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It was awhile if the "other road" was new!!! ;-)

OPG sucks in an SUV, I could not imagine climbing it on a bike...
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Old 06-02-05, 11:05 PM
  #167  
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I just drove OPG last week, up and down...I love that road.
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Old 06-03-05, 08:03 PM
  #168  
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Originally Posted by Stealthman_1
I still don't get it...200ft of asphalt, 12.6% grade...that's approx 25 feet of verticle rise. Hitting that at 20mph you should almost be able to carry it without peddling. Me thinks your distance challenged.
The 200 feet is the vertical, not the length of road traveled. I think that this implies 1600 feet of road, or 0.3 miles (500 meters, climbing 63 meters).
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Old 06-03-05, 08:10 PM
  #169  
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Well 58vw think about it this way, you will ahve made one of your longest threads ever!
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Old 06-03-05, 11:48 PM
  #170  
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Ya and please let it die!

Going out to conquor the hills again after my "race pace" group ride tomarrow... bunch of cat 1 - 3 guys... rumored to be 32+ MPH pacelines... we will see how long I last
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Old 06-12-09, 04:44 AM
  #171  
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Okay, I'll toss a few at 'ya.

"Snake Alley" Burlington, IA



Chillkoot Hill - Stillwater, MN



A few general hills here in Wisconsin. Not the biggest by any means.

This one was in the State Champ RR - 14%



Just another mother in a RR - Circuit of Sauk (Sauk County WI)



Next week will be a first time ever race on the proposed Olympic Road Race course
if Chicago get's the 2016 summer Olympics. 2200ft of climbing per 21 mile lap.
Tour of America's Dairyland
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Old 06-12-09, 05:17 AM
  #172  
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We have a hill in Pittsburgh with a 37% grade. And it is Cobblestone

Here are some pictures from the annual 'dirty dozen' race, which does 13 of the steepest hills in pittsburgh.

the last two are the 37% grade. I haven't been brave enough to try the race yet...





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Old 06-12-09, 06:16 AM
  #173  
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Originally Posted by hnsq View Post





Masochists!
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Old 06-12-09, 06:29 AM
  #174  
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You know it's a steep hill when the sidewalk is steps.
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Old 06-12-09, 06:37 AM
  #175  
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Originally Posted by hammond9705 View Post
You know it's a steep hill when the sidewalk is steps.
Yes... and other riders are going back down carrying their bikes.
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