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Triathaletes climbing hills

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

Triathaletes climbing hills

Old 10-01-07, 09:05 AM
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mihlbach
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Triathaletes climbing hills

I did my first triathalon this weekend. The bike course (56 miles) was pretty hilly which was fine with me, since I have more of a roadbiker kind of mentality rather than a triathalete mentality. I was amazed how slow these triathalete people climb. I was even taking it easy on the climbs..even using the climbs to recover somewhat. For the hills, I put it in a small gear, sat upright, and spun my way up and I was passing gobs of people going up hills. Most of the others were trying to pound up the hills in a big gear, going 6 mph IN THE AERO POSITION!?!. Even a lot of guys who I had a hard time catching on the flats just totally lost it on the smallest of hills. What the hell were all these people thinking? I mean, they basically didn't seem to know what they were doing when the slope was more than 0 degrees.
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Old 10-01-07, 09:08 AM
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triathlete climbing 'skills' -

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Old 10-01-07, 09:08 AM
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So...you won?
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Old 10-01-07, 09:10 AM
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Originally Posted by Shnuddy View Post
So...you won?
Um...no. I'm sure the guys that I never even saw were climbing faster.
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Old 10-01-07, 09:15 AM
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hey botto.. i'm pretty sure the first dude in your montage is on a roadbike with aerobars...
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Old 10-01-07, 09:16 AM
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Notice the one guy thats not falling down (red jersey) has a road bike with no aerobars.
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Old 10-01-07, 09:21 AM
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You should see 'em in a crit...
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Old 10-01-07, 09:24 AM
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even rocky had a montage!
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Old 10-01-07, 09:33 AM
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We had a training ride with some roadies & some triathletes a few weeks back. One woman tri was having difficulty keeping up on the climbs, and I tried offering friendly advice that if she got out of the saddle here & there, she could get a bit more power to bridge the gap, or prevent the gap in the first place. I was told thet "Triathletes aren't supposed to get out of the saddle" Another triathlete guy on the ride confirmed this "fact" ........ Eventually we roadies went ahead and set a nice hard paceline on the flats, and went steady on the hills ...
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Old 10-01-07, 09:36 AM
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Wow, another bored forum member.

They were probably tired carrying those guns. Muscle mass has a lot of weight you know.
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Old 10-01-07, 09:44 AM
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Originally Posted by mihlbach View Post
Most of the others were trying to pound up the hills in a big gear, going 6 mph IN THE AERO POSITION!?!.
Much of the educated, "scientific" writing on triathlon/time-trial geometry says that you either climb in the aero position (or standing), but not sitting up. Not because you need an aero advantage at 6 mph, but because of the angles/(in)efficiencies of sitting up on a steep bike.
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Old 10-01-07, 09:50 AM
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Originally Posted by Homebrew01 View Post
We had a training ride with some roadies & some triathletes a few weeks back. One woman tri was having difficulty keeping up on the climbs, and I tried offering friendly advice that if she got out of the saddle here & there, she could get a bit more power to bridge the gap, or prevent the gap in the first place. I was told thet "Triathletes aren't supposed to get out of the saddle" Another triathlete guy on the ride confirmed this "fact" ........ Eventually we roadies went ahead and set a nice hard paceline on the flats, and went steady on the hills ...
"Bridging the gap" is irrelevant to a triathalete since they don't draft or ride in packs, but getting up a hill fast and efficiently is not irrelevant. Staying in the saddle can be a good thing if you want to conserve energy and go for an overall average speed, but its absurd to treat it as dogma, especially for a steep climb, or on a training ride. If you are going to ride with a group, then ride like a roadie, not a time trialist.

Last edited by mihlbach; 10-01-07 at 10:08 AM.
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Old 10-01-07, 10:03 AM
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Originally Posted by eriksbliss View Post
Much of the educated, "scientific" writing on triathlon/time-trial geometry says that you either climb in the aero position (or standing), but not sitting up. Not because you need an aero advantage at 6 mph, but because of the angles/(in)efficiencies of sitting up on a steep bike.
Thats true in some instances. Scooting way forward onto the very tip of the saddle and pulling up hard on the aerobars using a big gear will get you up shallow hills really really fast. But it doesn't work on steeper inclines, where low gears and faster cadences are just more effective.
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Old 10-01-07, 10:11 AM
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A good rider can climb on any frame. I believe you noticed these bikes because of the type. I'm pretty sure a slow rider is gonna be slow on a 10k dollar ride.

Or you can run with your topic
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Old 10-01-07, 10:15 AM
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Originally Posted by botto View Post
triathlete climbing 'skills' -


They can climb better than I can swim.
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Old 10-01-07, 10:16 AM
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I remember riding with a strong rider on a tri-bike who kept up with me on the flats but immediately slowed down on a mile long climb as I passed him with little effort. It was a semi-steep climb and he rode it on the 53-12. Those tri-guys have a full throttle mentality. Very little consideration for energy conservation.
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Old 10-01-07, 10:31 AM
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Originally Posted by Ryleeryno View Post
Those tri-guys have a full throttle mentality. Very little consideration for energy conservation.
that's probably because, unless they're doing anything more than a sprint tri, they only have to ride about 15 miles at the most. in all fairness, asking a triathlete that normally races in sprint tri's to keep up with a group of roadies for 50 miles, is like taking a fish out of water...

actually, most of my tri friends are very good climbers, and most of them are very strong runners...

and i'm just curious about 2 things...

1. how did the people that were "pounding up the hills in a big gear, going 6 mph in the aero position" finish? just because someone doesn't do good in the bike leg, doesn't mean that they didn't finish well, because anyone that know anything about tri's knows it's all about the run...

2. how did YOU finish? just because you can pass people on the bike, doesn't mean that you're going to finish well, especially if you're a weak runner...

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Old 10-01-07, 10:37 AM
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Originally Posted by FIVE ONE SIX View Post
that's probably because, unless they're doing anything more than a sprint tri, they only have to ride about 15 miles at the most. in all fairness, asking a triathlete that normally races in sprint tri's to keep up with a group of roadies for 50 miles, is like taking a fish out of water...
for me the local triathletes I ride with are top notch and regularly finish Top 5 in the cat 2 races.
I think it is like any sport, some people train to complete a triathalon and some train to win.
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Old 10-01-07, 10:44 AM
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Originally Posted by marin1 View Post
I think it is like any sport, some people train to complete a triathalon and some train to win.
true, but some people don't have the time to train to win, so the just do them because it's their way of having fun. if they place in the top 3 in their age group, than great, but if they don't they're not going to lose any sleep about it...

and honestly, the guy on the SOFTRIDE looks like he's getting changed...
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Old 10-01-07, 10:46 AM
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Originally Posted by marin1 View Post
for me the local triathletes I ride with are top notch and regularly finish Top 5 in the cat 2 races.
I think it is like any sport, some people train to complete a triathalon and some train to win.
I find a couple of things about your statement a little...odd.

Primarily the fact that you have Cat2 races.
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Old 10-01-07, 10:58 AM
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I just want to say as a triathlete/roadie that I love you all. Group hug.
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Old 10-01-07, 11:03 AM
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I race in triathlons and i downshift and jump out of the saddle when climbing. Then again i'm racing on a road bike with clip-on aerobars. My cassette has a nice gear range too for climbing and flat/downhill portions.
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Old 10-01-07, 11:14 AM
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All my cycling freinds in OZ are strangely trithletes (or as they say...trying to be athletes) although I have no interest in the sport.

I remember a wonderful moment in a local crit race back a number of years.
It was the "Burleigh Worlds" and Jackie Gallagher was in the race along with Sara Carrigan. After the bell for the final three laps, Gallagher, grunting loudly as she always did, was a good 200m ahead of the peleton (which she was from the start of the race). In the straight to the finish line Sara shat past Gallagher like she was standing still.

I honestly believe many triathletes in their hearts think pounding away in high gear is the key in all instances when clearly it's not.
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Old 10-01-07, 11:20 AM
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Originally Posted by Duke of Kent View Post
I find a couple of things about your statement a little...odd.

Primarily the fact that you have Cat2 races.
I guess i could call them Cat 1-2 races but considering how many cat 1's show up i would say they are cat 2 races. Plus I'm in Alberta things may be a little different here.
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Old 10-01-07, 11:30 AM
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Originally Posted by giantcfr1 View Post
All my cycling freinds in OZ are strangely trithletes (or as they say...trying to be athletes) although I have no interest in the sport.

I remember a wonderful moment in a local crit race back a number of years.
It was the "Burleigh Worlds" and Jackie Gallagher was in the race along with Sara Carrigan. After the bell for the final three laps, Gallagher, grunting loudly as she always did, was a good 200m ahead of the peleton (which she was from the start of the race). In the straight to the finish line
Sara shat past Gallagher like she was standing still.

I honestly believe many triathletes in their hearts think pounding away in high gear is the key in all instances when clearly it's not.
Did she leave skidmarks?
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