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Suggestions to keep up on the hills?

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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

Suggestions to keep up on the hills?

Old 05-16-22, 08:30 AM
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I didn't read everything above, but from the photo I'll ask the following:
Have you had a proper and full bike fit?
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Old 05-16-22, 09:20 AM
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OP, as noted by many, there must be some diff. in your weight to the guyz you're comparing with.
Power relative to what is being lifted.
as Trakhak noted, starting in the front and slowly drifting back through the group is a long used plan to get thru climbs where you're 'close', but not quite at the level of those you're with.
As for HR, yes, it can vary for each individual over the range of effort; but ultimately once in the higher reaches, HR levels and limits are fairly equal.
Once in the mid-high 170's and 180s' the vast majority of 'fit' cyclists are redlining... age , fitness, efficiency all to be considered.
There are so many things which impact watts/kg, including and very important, is how well/much O2, your VO2, you can process is a key indicator.
https://theconversation.com/the-scie...-12-to-21-2063
A lot of these indicators can only be reasonably measured in-lab, and are at best, estimates from other markers.
IE - I would do on-road AT tests 3-4 times a year, and vary the test method to make sure I wasn't mindset into 'method' and outcome.
A 1X testing of AT/LT is really not worth much...
lotta good comments from all on things to consider.
how fast you go up any hill, depends on what you can do to maximize advantages and minimize loses.
you know the 'rides' on which all this transpires... why not get out there and try different approaches to 'riding' those sections?
170 lbers can be good climbers, they're just gonna work quite a bit harder...
Ride On
Yuri
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Old 05-16-22, 10:07 AM
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Is that you on the bike in the pic? Can't really say from the pic, but is your saddle too low and too far back? I climb hills in my saddle and do best when in the drops. I also am pedaling a cadence in the 80 - 90 rpm range when I do them at my best effort. Not saying I'm great at it, but I'm not shabby either.

How is your speed coming into the hill? If your group gets bunched up going into the start of the climb and you are at the rear and have to slow down for that, then you'll spend a lot of energy just trying to accelerate back to the speed you had before it bled off.
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Old 05-16-22, 11:11 AM
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Another thought - make sure your bearings and brakes are properly in-tune. I imagine, on flats, you're probably cruising at much less than peak power, so a little bit of extra crunchiness in your BB or wheel bearings, or a little bit of drag on your discs, might go unnoticed from a performance perspective - ie, you can keep up with everyone else with just a little more power. Once you start hitting those half mile climbs, an extra bit of drag will slow you down. Making sure everything is clean, aligned, properly lubricated and adjusted can go a long way. You may even have wheel-rub on the frame. I know that the OEM tire that came on my Lynskey was actually too wide for the frame in that it would rub against the chainstay when I put down some bigger efforts (read: going uphill). Putting a tire on that fit properly saved me 5 mins over my PR (set the previous week) on a 49mi ride.
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Old 05-16-22, 11:54 AM
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speaking as a bigger rider (6'3", 185lbs), to keep up with folks who can climb, you're gonna need to put down in the high 200s or low 300s average power to make up for the weight. ~.5 mph difference is all weight, even just a few pounds.

I spent the ride spiking up the hills and then catching up to the draft then resting then repeating on the next hill until I am eventually dropped.


this is a clue to your fitness, and where to focus. (over/unders, sweet spot, threshold intervals)
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Old 05-16-22, 12:07 PM
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Originally Posted by oik01
Background: Im 34 not naturally fit especially poor aerobic tolerance and a demanding job. Ive been cycling more regularly for two years now. Maybe 4 months of regular training last year but lots of zwift and solo rides otherwise. This year Im getting back into regular training. FTP is somewhere between 210 and 230 is my best estimate but when I do workouts I can usually complete trainerroad with a setting of 230 ftp with minimal incompletes.
Work on FTP. Zwift has more than a couple programs that'll do it, but the biggest gains I saw on Zwift was doing group rides and a race or two. You'll be at/over threshold much more than during workouts. I've found that it takes 3000mi a year at a minimum to be in decent cycling shape, at least the kind of shape that leads groups to the tops of hills. I'll also echo the comment that it takes a while to develop cycling legs but also cycling form --it's an efficiency thing. If you're wasting watts due to poor fit or inefficient stroke, you're already handicapping yourself. My tip? Buy some rollers for this winter. And do spend the money on a bike fit (even if you're comfortable now) --talk to your fitter about your goals on the bike and that will help get things dialed in.

And above all else, keep riding. Good luck--
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Old 05-16-22, 03:28 PM
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"Suggestions to keep up on the hills?"

Careful choice of grandparents.
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Old 05-17-22, 01:10 AM
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Originally Posted by cyclezen
OP, as noted by many, there must be some diff. in your weight to the guyz you're comparing with.
Power relative to what is being lifted.
as Trakhak noted, starting in the front and slowly drifting back through the group is a long used plan to get thru climbs where you're 'close', but not quite at the level of those you're with.
As for HR, yes, it can vary for each individual over the range of effort; but ultimately once in the higher reaches, HR levels and limits are fairly equal.
Once in the mid-high 170's and 180s' the vast majority of 'fit' cyclists are redlining... age , fitness, efficiency all to be considered.
There are so many things which impact watts/kg, including and very important, is how well/much O2, your VO2, you can process is a key indicator.
https://theconversation.com/the-scie...-12-to-21-2063
A lot of these indicators can only be reasonably measured in-lab, and are at best, estimates from other markers.
IE - I would do on-road AT tests 3-4 times a year, and vary the test method to make sure I wasn't mindset into 'method' and outcome.
A 1X testing of AT/LT is really not worth much...
lotta good comments from all on things to consider.
how fast you go up any hill, depends on what you can do to maximize advantages and minimize loses.
you know the 'rides' on which all this transpires... why not get out there and try different approaches to 'riding' those sections?
170 lbers can be good climbers, they're just gonna work quite a bit harder...
Ride On
Yuri
Max heart rate is very much an individual thing and definitely varies considerably more the the 10bpm that you say from person to person.
Regardless of how fit or unfit they are.
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Old 05-17-22, 04:06 AM
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Originally Posted by cyclezen
OP, as noted by many, there must be some diff. in your weight to the guyz you're comparing with.
Power relative to what is being lifted.
as Trakhak noted, starting in the front and slowly drifting back through the group is a long used plan to get thru climbs where you're 'close', but not quite at the level of those you're with.
As for HR, yes, it can vary for each individual over the range of effort; but ultimately once in the higher reaches, HR levels and limits are fairly equal.
Once in the mid-high 170's and 180s' the vast majority of 'fit' cyclists are redlining... age , fitness, efficiency all to be considered.
There are so many things which impact watts/kg, including and very important, is how well/much O2, your VO2, you can process is a key indicator.
https://theconversation.com/the-scie...-12-to-21-2063
A lot of these indicators can only be reasonably measured in-lab, and are at best, estimates from other markers.
IE - I would do on-road AT tests 3-4 times a year, and vary the test method to make sure I wasn't mindset into 'method' and outcome.
A 1X testing of AT/LT is really not worth much...
lotta good comments from all on things to consider.
how fast you go up any hill, depends on what you can do to maximize advantages and minimize loses.
you know the 'rides' on which all this transpires... why not get out there and try different approaches to 'riding' those sections?
170 lbers can be good climbers, they're just gonna work quite a bit harder...
Ride On
Yuri
I would agree that most people are redlining at 180+ bpm, but some guys are also redlining in the 150 or 160 range for the same perceived effort. That's why you can't compare your personal "redline" against someone else. So we can say the OP is on his limit (I think he stated that he was going full gas), but it's not obvious whether or not his mates are. They could just have diesel engines and be close to their own limits at 20 or 30 beats less. I see this often across our riding group. I just happen to be on the high revving side of the spectrum. I can ride for a solid hour at 180 bpm, so I wouldn't call that redlining. That's where your assumption falls over and why generic max HR formulae are useless.
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Old 05-17-22, 04:17 AM
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Originally Posted by Bogey Speedwell
Word of caution. The following comment comes from a newbie, who would probably be better served by shutting up.

Any chance it could be a bike fit issue? Meaning no disrespect, your probably way past the fitting stage, But to my untrained eye the bike looks a bit small and perhaps its inhibiting you from delivering your power? It almost looks like you may not get enough extension in your legs.

ok everyone forgive my ignorance if Im way off.
Probably not the primary issue, given that he has at least 2 power meters that appear to correlate. Looks more like a power/weight issue at face value. Not that the OP is over-weight, but strong 6ft climbers need to either look like living skeletons or have massive power. Lilke a 76 kg pro is likely to churning out close to 500W on a punchy climb, while a lightweight pro could be nearly 100W lower for the same result. That's why the big guys are often in the Gruppetto on mountain stages.
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Old 05-17-22, 05:32 AM
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A new power meter is not going to get you up the hill faster. Hills don't lie. Your buddies simply have a 6-7% power to weight advantage. Lose 3% of weight and gain 3-4% in anaerobic power and you will stay with them on those hills. Just do some intervals midweek
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Old 05-17-22, 08:50 AM
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With the OP only claiming to have been riding for maybe a little over two years, this might just be a matter of expecting too much too soon.

More miles more often while riding on their own or with one or two other friends will help them get to where they wish to be more than likely. As will picking some hills and flats or false-flats to go all out on during those rides done outside the big group.

No HR or PM necessary. Though it is nice to be able to document through data the improvement.
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Old 05-17-22, 09:10 AM
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I will chime in and say that people might be underestimating the power advantage of being light and having a good bike setup. I'm pretty light (135lb race weight) and my bike/position are really optimized. I usually end up doing 50-100W less than my competition over the course of a race.

It's all marginal gains from here, I think. Watts are watts though. If you think you can do it, optimizing your fit (especially your shoe fit + cleats) and training (strength training, intervals etc) can go a very long way.
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Old 05-17-22, 11:10 AM
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Someone already mentioned, PM reading might be off. I know mine is probably under reading my power, and often on climbs I'm a good 20% lower than the guy right next to me. Yes, I'm slightly lighter, but not 20% lighter, or on a long ride with a group, guys who are the same weight will average 20 watts more than me, and who haven't taken a single pull.
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Old 05-17-22, 05:20 PM
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Never heard back to see how the bike fit is, and from the photo, it looks too small, with a saddle possibly too low. A low saddle drops power, especially during seated climbing, by not including the glutes' major kick in the power stroke.
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Old 05-18-22, 02:37 AM
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Id wager a lot of it is not following a wheel as well as others and having choppy bursts of power, drafting matters quite a bit on short or not so steep climbs
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Old 05-18-22, 03:51 AM
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Originally Posted by Miles2go
Never heard back to see how the bike fit is, and from the photo, it looks too small, with a saddle possibly too low. A low saddle drops power, especially during seated climbing, by not including the glutes' major kick in the power stroke.
This line of reasoning only applies IF the power meter is reading way too high - which is possible, but probably not the most likely explanation - especially as his trainer also indicates the same power output. The OP is really asking why he's losing time while apparently producing more power than his mates (how he produces that power is kind of irrelevant). We need to know how much his mates actually weigh before moving on to other scenarios.
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Old 05-18-22, 06:03 AM
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Ultimately it's about physical strength and aerobic/anaerobic conditioning. Training properly improves these. Training properly isn't fun or easy while doing it but feels better when you see the improvements over time and effort.
Weight to strength ratios are valid but I've seen big riders that are very strong overcome the ratio and gravity while on short climbs...the longer the climb the less the impact and the smaller riders that are also stronger physically and aerobically/anaerobically ride away from the bigger rider.
Numbers are for guidance and they all should be taken into consideration but no one set of numbers dominating all others exclusively.

To improve climbing increase strength to weight ratio, increase aerobic and anaerobic abilities, learn how to climb...in the saddle, when to stand, how long to stand, etc., it matters.

Have fun !
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Old 05-18-22, 08:11 AM
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Originally Posted by PeteHski
This line of reasoning only applies IF the power meter is reading way too high - which is possible, but probably not the most likely explanation - especially as his trainer also indicates the same power output. The OP is really asking why he's losing time while apparently producing more power than his mates (how he produces that power is kind of irrelevant). We need to know how much his mates actually weigh before moving on to other scenarios.
I get where you're coming from, but for my response, I don't care what power he and others are generating. My response was to this alone:

"Suggestions to keep up on the hills? So I did a group ride today and had a tremendous amount of difficulty keeping up on the hills."

I suggest he get a bike fit, and make sure his saddle isn't low.
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Old 05-18-22, 10:50 AM
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If the OP is not entering the segment at the same speed as the riders in the other examples provided, then the power values for the segment will be different even if rider weight and all else is the same.

Those entering the segment at a faster speed and completing it with about the same average speed or final speed for the segment will have a lower power for that segment than someone entering the segment at a lower speed that has to accelerate to achieve that same average or final speed for the segment.

If the OP entered the segment at a very slow speed, it's possible they he may not even reach the average speed or final speed of the others and still have put out more power than the others that climbed the hill faster.

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Old 05-18-22, 03:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Iride01
If the OP is not entering the segment at the same speed as the riders in the other examples provided, then the power values for the segment will be different even if rider weight and all else is the same.

Those entering the segment at a faster speed and completing it with about the same average speed or final speed for the segment will have a lower power for that segment than someone entering the segment at a lower speed that has to accelerate to achieve that same average or final speed for the segment.

If the OP entered the segment at a very slow speed, it's possible they he may not even reach the average speed or final speed of the others and still have put out more power than the others that climbed the hill faster.
Unlikely to be signficant given the length of the segments and that he was only dropped going into one of them.
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Old 05-20-22, 04:47 PM
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Old 05-20-22, 07:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Iride01
If the OP is not entering the segment at the same speed as the riders in the other examples provided, then the power values for the segment will be different even if rider weight and all else is the same.
Those entering the segment at a faster speed and completing it with about the same average speed or final speed for the segment will have a lower power for that segment than someone entering the segment at a lower speed that has to accelerate to achieve that same average or final speed for the segment.
If the OP entered the segment at a very slow speed, it's possible they he may not even reach the average speed or final speed of the others and still have put out more power than the others that climbed the hill faster.
maybe.. sometimes... in a big peloton... and a really steep early rise...
but looking at the first charts of all... they all show the same entry levels... and we're talking .5 mile or longer, so not a hump you can big ring over (at 6+%)...
Hill A is .56 mi and is 6% with some steeper sections...
OP - some simple math - Hill A - you're averaging 10ish mph for the climb - quite good for 6% climb ! The other guys are just a hair faster...
stick with it, find you're best combo for gear/cadence. Besides climbing a great way to add power/fitness with limited time is - Intervals - not much fun, but very productive.
Ride On
Yuri
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Old 05-21-22, 12:02 AM
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Originally Posted by oik01
Hill A : 0.56 miles 6.2% with some higher gradients at times:
My output: 258 Watts 3:35

Hill C: 1.1 miles 1.9%, flatish beginning.
My output: 291W 3:30 sec.
You actually output more power in the flats and lose significant amount of power on climbs. It can be caused by few things. Not pacing your effort, too low heart rate for the climb (insufficiently warmed up), and bike fit. A bike fit that is "super" comfortable for cruising in the flats tend to work less well on climbs. The typical adjustment for climbs is moving the saddle forward and maybe tilting the saddle a little bit downward, nose down and everything else the same.

You'll need a different "warm up" for climbs. You wrote you feel effortless on the flats. That's not good for climbs. You'll need to put a bit of effort before a climb. Enough to make you breathe harder but not too hard you start feeling the burn on your legs. Hold that effort for a few minutes before a climb, move closer to the front of the group to get less draft and work your legs harder.
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Old 05-23-22, 01:24 PM
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4w/kg at 75 is 300w
4w/kg at 70 is 280w

That's 20w difference on a very typical group ride difference in weights. Not even likely the largest difference.

I ride with folks sometimes where the difference is going to be more like 10kg's from myself to the largest rider. With that in mind the math becomes:

4w/kg at 70 is 280w
4w/kg at 80 is 320w

A 40w difference.

I'm guessing here several riders are in the 5 to 10kg lighter range.
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