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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 03-28-08, 02:12 AM
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s4one
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Are you good at climbing?

Climbing is my weakest link, I have always tried to conquer a local mountain near my house but it is seriously hard as hell, for me that is. I attempted 3 - 4 times but I always turn back and practice riding the hills on the bottom of the mountain.

Its really pathetic, I probably ride a quarter mile up and I am burnt out of energy.

Mountain climbing is my future goal.

Are some people just naturally better at climbing? As if their body is meant for it?

Last edited by s4one; 01-17-09 at 02:14 PM.
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Old 03-28-08, 02:19 AM
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i weigh 230 pounds, what do you think? haha.
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Old 03-28-08, 02:30 AM
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i'm okay. i can climb any of the mountains around here, but a lot of my buddies can climb any of the mountains around here faster than me.

Originally Posted by s4one View Post
Are some people just naturally better at climbing? As if their body is meant for it?
low body weight + long legs + good physical condition = better at climbing (typically)
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Old 03-28-08, 04:16 AM
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I suck at climbing, but I'm probably better than you.

Welcome to cycling.

P.S. We're all too fat for this sport. Put down that Twinkie.
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Old 03-28-08, 04:21 AM
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Yes, I love climbing - the flats get boring for me way too quickly I would venture to say that climbing is my strength and where I do exceptionally well. On the flats, I'm average at best. Definitely not a sprinter, either.

As far as being natural at climbing? I have no idea for certain, but I think that there is a possibility that some people are more naturally inclined to be climbers. (No pun intended)

Part of it is training, part of it is learning how to climb successfully, and part of it is a mentality.
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Old 03-28-08, 04:23 AM
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260 and love to climb/remember gears!

THERE is know doubt there are naturals amoung us Lance comes to mind as a climber but I think its more preference,I dont like tar or down hill. And the only traffic I want is an occasional logging truck on the stud mill rd./Ken
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Old 03-28-08, 04:50 AM
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I really like climbing, I'm probably just fair at it. We don't have mountains, just a lot of hills the longest of which is 4mi. @5.2% and I usually average somewhere around 7MPH. Like prendrefeu said "flats are boring"

Last edited by redirekib; 03-28-08 at 07:19 AM.
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Old 03-28-08, 07:14 AM
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for a 40 year old lummox i'm actually not bad at hills. this is because where i live, you can't ride more than a mile without running into an incline, and some of them are quite heinous.
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Old 03-28-08, 07:17 AM
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Originally Posted by s4one
Are you good at climbing?
I'm OK.
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Old 03-28-08, 07:20 AM
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I suck at climbing, pitiful on the flats and brake too late on descents. I climb to satisfy my ego (and to get to work) and cruise BF to escape the truth.
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Old 03-28-08, 07:21 AM
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The only way to improve at climbing hills is......ALL TOGETHER NOW........Climb more hills.
I am a pretty fair climber. I have learned NOT to attack hills until I know how long they are. Keep within yourself and take your time until you have a good reading on the situation then up your output. Once you blow up your done.
ALSO.....Your body can take more pain then your brain thinks it can....HTFU and quit quitting.
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Old 03-28-08, 07:32 AM
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Weight has something but not very much to do with climbing ability.

Okay, I admit, at 190+ (and still 5'7", 5 years ago) I climbed horribly. Lasted 2-3 minutes in a race with a 150 m hill (one lap).

At 170-175 lbs (now, 40 yrs old) I still climb horribly but it takes more than 150 meters to get dropped. Maybe 500 meters.

At 133 lbs (27 yrs old) I could climb okay on training rides and crits (by definition climbs were 300-400 meters max since it was hard to make a course with a longer hill in a 1 mile long loop), but in road races I made it to the second climb instead of the first. By a "climb" in a road race, anything over 0.8 miles (1.2 km). This was my peak fitness.

At 112 lbs (21 yrs old) I couldn't make it past the second climb in road races as a 3.

At 103 lbs (17 yrs old) I couldn't it make it past the first climb, but I was racing some insanely strong juniors (Hincapie was the strongest, another one won Master Cross in his age this past winter). So maybe it doesn't count. But I couldn't climb with pack fodder Cat 4s on training rides.

However, at all those weights, I could sprint pretty well and I won field sprints, sometimes for wins, at all but the 190+ pound weight (I did win a field sprint at 188 though, and uphill to boot). I just suck at sustained efforts. Weight helps but it doesn't magically transform you into something you're not.

cdr
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Old 03-28-08, 07:34 AM
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spin.

spin.

spin.

and love the pain.
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Old 03-28-08, 07:36 AM
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I am very good at climbing.... except compared to everyone else

Last edited by umd; 04-21-08 at 10:58 PM.
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Old 03-28-08, 07:37 AM
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Originally Posted by kesa101 View Post
spin.

spin.

spin.

and love the pain.
Not necessarily. Many people, myself included climb better relying on a lower cadence to help keep HR under control. I may shift to an easier gear for a minute or two to give my legs a rest but then I will usually gear back up again. You just have to try different techniques and see what works for you.
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Old 03-28-08, 07:38 AM
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Originally Posted by s4one View Post
Are some people just naturally better at climbing? As if their body is meant for it?
I think so. I loves me my hills. They've never been a problem. Spin, stay relaxed, control breathing, and voila! You're there.

My goal this year is climbing my favorite hills in the biggest gear I can, attacking all the way. Get up faster, not more comfortably.

Do you do any weightlifting? That can help leg strength tremendously.

Keep at it. Never give up, never give in.
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Old 03-28-08, 07:39 AM
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I'm 6'2", 240. I'm a disgusting, bloated, fat f@ck. I don't climb particularly well, but for some reason, I love to do it. I recently signed up for the 3 state, 3 mountain challenge. I imagine it's going to hurt.
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Old 03-28-08, 07:44 AM
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Originally Posted by carpediemracing View Post
Weight has something but not very much to do with climbing ability.
When I started road cycling, I weighed 145ish, and could climb the local "TT" climb (1200 feet in just under 3 miles) in 28 minutes. Fairly quickly I got down to 26 minutes, then got a new bike and it was like 25 minutes. After about a year I lost about 20-30 pounds but was never able to do much better than the low 20-minute range. Then I had some health issues and gained all the weight back (and then some), but through training was able to do 18:16 in an all out effort once. Since then I bested that by about 15 seconds, and regularly ride it in the mid-19 minute range, despite being around 150. I'm carrying a little extra in the gut, so I'm sure I have about 5-10 pounds I could lose and still retain the same power, but just as likely I would lose power too.

Edit: Under 17 minutes is not uncommon for several cat 4 guys I know, and the fastest hammerheads in town (pro/1/2 level can do it well under 15)
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Old 03-28-08, 07:44 AM
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I've gotten to the top of every climb I've tried without getting off the bike or stopping, so I would say yes, I'm good at climbing.

... can I do it faster than the next person? Don't really care.
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Old 03-28-08, 07:51 AM
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I'm 205-210 and 54 next month. I still love to climb, although I'm usually the slowest one on group rides.
Like others have said, learn your body and stay within yourself. If I chase those skinny ***** all day, I feel shot for 2 days, but if I ride my own speed on the same hills, I feel a lot better.
Find a long, gradual climb and work on figuring out your breathing and cadence.
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Old 03-28-08, 07:52 AM
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If I were any worse, I'd only be going downhill.
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Old 03-28-08, 07:57 AM
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I'm 6'3 and 178 lbs. I'm built for sprints. I hate climbs and climbs hate me. I do them anyway.
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Old 03-28-08, 07:58 AM
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I beat my daughter up our neighborhood hill once. She was asking for it though.
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Old 03-28-08, 07:58 AM
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Originally Posted by s4one View Post
Are some people just naturally better at climbing? As if their body is meant for it?
I feel like I am, in that my body might be "meant for it." I'm 5'5", 125-130lbs, and I have long legs (32 pant length) and a short torso (men's extra small or children's large shirt size, my suit came out of the kid's department). So my thighs are just kind of "there," while my calves are so developed from years of skateboarding and climbing the big hill that my house was on that they dangle off my legs.

Anyway, I feel like climbing is definitely the aspect of cycling that I do "naturally," while I struggle with basically everything else.
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Old 03-28-08, 08:00 AM
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Originally Posted by substructure View Post
I beat my daughter up our neighborhood hill once. She was asking for it though.
Just the once though?
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