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Are you good at climbing?

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

Are you good at climbing?

Old 04-22-08, 03:00 PM
  #151  
munkyv22
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I am 6'4" and 190Lbs. No, I am not a climber, but I will win a sprint almost every time.
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Old 04-22-08, 05:44 PM
  #152  
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I am a very strong climber. Did Mt. Hamilton, ~19 mile ascent w/ 3800' elevation in 1:25. It was a blast passing lots of other guys on the ascent.

Personally, I very much enjoy climbing. It used to be much harder - I learned to spin and keep momentum up. These are very important.

It is very important to pace. Never go to hard in the beginning of the climb. Gear down as constantly as you go up.

Also, you are always more efficient when climbing seated, at 70-80 rpm. Standing for a long-term climb much increases the cardio load, and results in a longer climbing time.

I love climbing because it is a great equalizer. Drafting and other strategies are less important than raw fitness and guts when climbing.
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Old 04-22-08, 05:50 PM
  #153  
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Originally Posted by milchad View Post
I'n not much of a climber, but I climbed Pilot Mountain last year without clipping out. Here she is:

That mountain, going up, was the bane of my existence when I lived out in that neck of the woods.

The descent may be one of the most fun things I've ever done.
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Old 04-22-08, 06:18 PM
  #154  
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6-4
220#
No!
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Old 04-22-08, 08:05 PM
  #155  
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I'm a climber and a sprinter but not good at endurance.
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Old 04-22-08, 08:35 PM
  #156  
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I love climbing but suck at it, thanks for reminding me.
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Old 04-22-08, 09:01 PM
  #157  
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Originally Posted by caloso View Post
Come to Sacramento. We have all the flat you'd ever want.

Way, way, way back in the previous century, when I was an undergrad I would ride my trusty Schwinn World Sport between campus and Dwight Derby (or Clark Kerr as they call it now), usually with 20 lbs of textbooks in my backpack and a triple cap from Cafe Roma in one hand and a Top Dog in the other. The lowest gear I had was a 42-25. Apparently, Durant Street was much flatter then because when I was there in the fall for a football game, it's gotten much, much steeper.
I know! Sacramento's great for biking, because it's flat, but I kinda wish we had hills too ... just not too many of them. Best hill I know of is all the way out in Fair Oaks (from the bike trail across the bridge and up ... probably only half a mile).

I think I might be good at climbing (at 165 lbs and 5'11") but there aren't many hills to try on ...
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Old 04-22-08, 10:44 PM
  #158  
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When I started doing some group rides several years ago we often would come to a decision point and many riders would argue for a flatter route. I always stuck with the harder route group and am better for it. Sometimes embarassing to be slogging up the hill in twice the time it took others but 3 years later I am at least not bringing up the rear on steep climbs.
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Old 04-22-08, 10:46 PM
  #159  
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Originally Posted by Terror_in_pink View Post
my advice...
the biggest thing: slow down don't attack the climb and don't worry about being fast, you will get faster over time- maintain a speed you know you can handle for the long haul, even if the grade gets super steep. This where monitoring your HR helps. Get to know your limits, I know i can hang climbing at 180 for a long time, so try to keep my HR in that range. Force your breath under control by taking in slow, deep rhythmic breaths.


that is all. happy climbing it is totally my favorite thing now.
This is great advice - thanks TIP for reminding me about actually being helpful....I completely agree with this, I've been spending more time on hills trying to slow my breathing down and get my heart rate to something feeling reasonable, while keeping cadence at a reasonable rate (>60, preferably 70-80). Much more so than mashing the biggest gears possible - bigger gears come slowly after you address the first parts of the equation. Still couldn't begin to entertain nose breathing tho'
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Old 04-22-08, 11:25 PM
  #160  
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I enjoy climbing, but I still have the "Oh crap" moment when I see even smaller hills for some reason. Then when I get on them I realize, oh this isn't so bad.

I'm 5'10 and 148+/- 2lbs. I'm a decent climber, but I wish that there were longer climbs in the area. The best one I know is an average of 7% for a mile, but it's not all that bad. I'll have to do repeats of it for a while for fun. There are a few longer climbs, but I'm not 100% sure exactly where those are. I'll ask the LBS at some point and probably either ride there or drive there for intervals (so I can go super hard and then drive back without being scared that I'm going to pass out if I exert myself anymore).
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Old 04-23-08, 12:26 AM
  #161  
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I'm 6'3" and 150 Lbs

I like climbing, which is tough because everyone I ride with avoids it like Pcad avoids humility
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Old 04-23-08, 12:31 AM
  #162  
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I'm not particularly good, but hope to make some progress this summer. I climbed Redwood Gulch Road today. It started about an hour into my ride, and there is already some climbing to get there. Even though it is short, at one point, it gets hard. I probably should have skipped it because it was cold, windy, and I started out tired.

Today was the fourth time I've climbed it, and I made it without upclipping, but twice before I had to unclip at the 18% grade point (both times because I was about to have a heart attack!).
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Old 04-23-08, 09:02 AM
  #163  
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Originally Posted by notajetta View Post
I'm 6'3" and 150 Lbs

I like climbing, which is tough because everyone I ride with avoids it like Pcad avoids humility
Your build is pretty conducive to climbing as well.

I weigh a few lbs less than you and I'm 5'10.
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Old 04-23-08, 09:30 AM
  #164  
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Its about power... increase your FTP and you will climb faster. You dont need hills to train on to become a good climber
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Old 04-23-08, 09:46 AM
  #165  
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Originally Posted by wfrogge View Post
Its about power... increase your FTP and you will climb faster. You dont need hills to train on to become a good climber
Training on hills makes it easier to pace yourself and they're more conducive to going harder
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Old 04-23-08, 10:22 AM
  #166  
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I live in FL and when ever i manage to get upto GA i love doing the brass town bald climb. I would say i am a natural climber at 142 pounds and 5" 11' but I really wish I lived some place where I could climb every day. Maybe it is the wind the helps my training here but the only thing that i can do for hills is climb the bridges over and over.
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Old 04-23-08, 10:28 AM
  #167  
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The website for a local store has some tips that helped me a lot.
http://www.chainreactionbicycles.com/hills.htm

Don't grip the bars too hard. I used to never wear gloves but now use ones with a decent amount of padding on them. Changing hand positions from on top of the hoods, just in front of the hoods and as close to the center of the stem helps as well.

Bend elbows. I had a bike fitting not too long ago and as a result have the stem flipped up. Big effin whoop. I can't touch my toes, never could and the new position on the bike has brought a huge level of comfort for me. I also don't look like a dog waiting at it's food bowl from having the elbows locked out.

Breathe independently of the pedals. I make a conscious effort to not sync my breathing with how fast or slow the legs are moving. It really does help to keep the heart rate down. Having the heart rate monitor is a big help as I can separate the rhythm of breathing and spinning to keep from maxing out in Zone 5 on difficult climbs (like Redwood Gulch and Bohlman On Orbit).

Pull back across the bottom of the pedal stroke. I keep in mind the motion of scraping gum off the bottom of the shoes. This has been the most difficult muscle group to train for me but it has also helped the most in increasing the speed up the climbs.

Just like anything else, if you want it bad enough you'll put in the appropriate amount of time training to get better. Simply wanting it will not get it done.
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Old 04-23-08, 12:25 PM
  #168  
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Originally Posted by BIGPAKO View Post
That's exactly what I'm training for, I def wanna do Mt. Diablo this year. I've been training in and around the Folsom-El Dorado Hills, believe it or not there are some great climbs there.

Any advice as to where to park and ride from for the Mt. Diablo climb?

Thanks,
What is cool about the Mt. Diablo Challenge as a goal, is the mountain is visible from so many places. There you are in Folsom, and you look to the Southwest and there it is, awaiting you.

There will be a thread on the Mount Diablo Challenge before the event, at which all will be discussed. You park at the High School, and ride your bike about a mile to the start at Athenian School.


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Old 04-23-08, 12:33 PM
  #169  
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The Mt. Diablo Challenge is an "A" event for me this year. I just missed the hour mark last fall and it's been haunting me ever since.

This year I'm bringing a 27, if only for the last 200m.
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Old 04-23-08, 01:13 PM
  #170  
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Originally Posted by caloso View Post
The Mt. Diablo Challenge is an "A" event for me this year. I just missed the hour mark last fall and it's been haunting me ever since.

This year I'm bringing a 27, if only for the last 200m.

There is no particular shortage of Mt Diablo participants haunted by just missing the hour mark. 148 riders were less than an hour, 124 between 1:00 and 1:03:59.

Unbeknownst to me, my front derailleur was cracked, and my chain fell off twice. It probably cost me about 1-2 minutes.

I'll go to Kreuzotter, and plug in numbers. My weight 175, bike weight 16, and calculate wattage of 275. If I drop 2 lbs from my bike (Lews?) , lose 7 lbs. and get my wattage to 283, I'll be sporting a t-shirt!

For my hill climbing, I have a stealth triple, with a compact crank, and a 13-29 rear cassette. I amaze people on group rides, on the steeps everyone is mashing away, but my legs are working like a Singer sewing machine. On the descent, I am behind, having spun out at about 30 mph, however I am limited there more by cowardice than lack of propulsion.

Last edited by Ritterview; 04-23-08 at 01:19 PM.
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Old 04-24-08, 09:57 AM
  #171  
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Interesting thread here. I'm 32, 5'10 and 205. I've dropped 15 pounds since January, and hope to be below 200 by summer. I love climbing, as I love the thrill of getting to the top of really tough hills. There's quite a few shorter hills on my regular routes, and it's awesome to see how you progress from one ride to the next. On some of the longer hills that require a little more spinning, I find myself singing "Stairway to Heaven" in my head. The slow parts of the song seem to help me relax my breathing a little bit by trying to stay in rhythm with the song. My goal one day is to do the 3-State-3-mountain challenge in my hometown of Chattanooga. Perhaps next year I'll be in good enough shape.

I'm curious what gears you all are running when climbing? I ride a vintage Schwinn with a standard 53-39 up front and a 13-32 (5 spd) in the rear. Most climbs in southeast ohio are manageable, but I wind up alternating between sitting and standing on longer climbs. I only ask because I'm looking at eventually getting a lighter, newer bike, and I'm having trouble with gear selection (standard, compact, or triple).
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Old 04-24-08, 10:20 AM
  #172  
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30/39/50 up front and 12/27 in back

I use my smallest gear ALL THE TIME when i'm climbing.
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Old 04-24-08, 10:29 AM
  #173  
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Originally Posted by Ritterview View Post
There is no particular shortage of Mt Diablo participants haunted by just missing the hour mark. 148 riders were less than an hour, 124 between 1:00 and 1:03:59.

Unbeknownst to me, my front derailleur was cracked, and my chain fell off twice. It probably cost me about 1-2 minutes.

I'll go to Kreuzotter, and plug in numbers. My weight 175, bike weight 16, and calculate wattage of 275. If I drop 2 lbs from my bike (Lews?) , lose 7 lbs. and get my wattage to 283, I'll be sporting a t-shirt!

For my hill climbing, I have a stealth triple, with a compact crank, and a 13-29 rear cassette. I amaze people on group rides, on the steeps everyone is mashing away, but my legs are working like a Singer sewing machine. On the descent, I am behind, having spun out at about 30 mph, however I am limited there more by cowardice than lack of propulsion.

Yep. Subtract 5 minutes (I was in group 2) and I was right in that haunted group.

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Old 04-24-08, 01:42 PM
  #174  
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I'm 55yrs and weight 190 lbs. Climbing hurts so much but I can't go up any climb riding easy. If there is someone riding with me I begin to "half wheel" or just take off even if I'm ready to explode. At a workout last night with about 15 other riders, doing 4 x 2.1 miles @ 4.5%, I usually finished 6th or 7th expect the last one when only 3 guys beat me. While riding the workout I did wonder who my son, who smoked everyone on every climb, got his "climbing genes" from.
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Old 04-24-08, 03:44 PM
  #175  
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[QUOTE=Ritterview;6571124]

For my hill climbing, I have a stealth triple, with a compact crank...QUOTE]


Triple?

If I can't do Mt. Diablo on a "double" I'd rather not at all.
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