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What do you consider a "tough" hill?

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What do you consider a "tough" hill?

Old 08-11-08, 03:55 PM
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dunningrb
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What do you consider a "tough" hill?

There's an argument going on in the A,B,C thread about who has the toughest hills.

What grade and distance do people consider a "tough" hill?

The typical hill I face is between 2% and 4%, and extends between 0.25 and 0.50 miles. I consider these reasonably difficult hills, in that they force me to come off the big ring to conserve energy for long rides. An 8% or steeper hill usually forces me onto my smallest ring (I have a 53/42/30).

It's just too difficult to turn over the 42 on a very steep hill. Am I weak?

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Old 08-11-08, 03:59 PM
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You're either weak or fat. Work on it.
Or just a really big dude naturally, but u can still work on it.


OK to make it simple I will omit any climb that I consider a 'mountain' and post the toughest 'hill' in my area:
1.72 miles,
10% grade with almost no variation.

It's a good hill to test yourself on or work out on because it is so consistent.
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Old 08-11-08, 03:59 PM
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uke
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Any hill I have to drop to crank one for is a tough hill. Either that, or a hill I'm too tired to climb in crank two.
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Old 08-11-08, 03:59 PM
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with my 39/23, 10% is pretty tough and I can barely turn the cranks on 18%
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Old 08-11-08, 04:01 PM
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yeah i think 10% is tough to, and im a light dude (135 lbs) thats in good shape.
I'm almost glad there are no 18% hills in close proximity cause id force myself to do them all the time.

Sometimes I like to leave the CF bike at home and take the steel shimano 600 dt shifter centurion up my local 10% 1.72 miler. I usually try to spend the whole thing 42/15 and out of the saddle- just burn all my matchsticks at once.
Its like exactly 12 miles from my house so it makes a nice short ride day with EZ spinning warmup+cooldown and 1 hard effort.

Last edited by TMonk; 08-11-08 at 04:04 PM.
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Old 08-11-08, 04:03 PM
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i consider them all tough, some just tougher than others.
are you weak? only compared to some.
it's all relative, you know what I mean?
as for the 42 up front, it all depends on what you've got in the back. a 42x36 might be fine, while a 42x23 will probably be tough, but that's why you've got a triple.
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Old 08-11-08, 04:04 PM
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I don't think any hill is tough. The rider makes it tough. I can take it pretty easy up a 20% grade by weaving back and forth. I can also completely obliterate myself on a flat road.
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Old 08-11-08, 04:05 PM
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Tough hill is all relative.

I always hear people talking about omg that hill is just relenting. Personally I believe that a hill that gives no respite is actually easier than a hill that goes up then flat, then up again. The flat only screws up your rhythm.

With the 42, it depends what your biggest rear cog is. 8% and 42 anything that is available in a normal cassette is not that easy. I am a firm believer in easy gears up very long hills. IMO you do not want to mash or stand up for SO long. Too much wasted energy. Nothing wrong with that 30 really.
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Old 08-11-08, 04:07 PM
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we call this a tough climb around here

https://www.bikely.com/maps/bike-path...-of-California

and

https://www.bikely.com/maps/bike-path...ilton-and-back

edit: my knees are jacked, I use 34/27 all the way up.

Last edited by jinws; 08-11-08 at 04:10 PM.
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Old 08-11-08, 04:07 PM
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we have a hill just south of Abilene...its called "steamboat mountain" (its certainly NOT a mountain...but close for west texas) Its steepest grade is 22% for about 800m's....thats what i call a tough hill.
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Old 08-11-08, 04:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Surferbruce View Post
i consider them all tough, some just tougher than others.
are you weak? only compared to some.
it's all relative, you know what I mean?
as for the 42 up front, it all depends on what you've got in the back. a 42x36 might be fine, while a 42x23 will probably be tough, but that's why you've got a triple.
I have a 12-25 nine speed on the rear. I can turn over the 42x25 on a steep (~8%) hill, but not at a fast cadence.

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Old 08-11-08, 04:08 PM
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did a 22% (one-block) stretch of roy street yesterday, with 39x27 gearing. that was tough.

i went in straight line, no side-to-side for this rider! granted, i was doing all of 5-6 km/h.. but still. it was tough.

i think anything over 10% is "tough."
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Old 08-11-08, 04:11 PM
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Originally Posted by dunningrb View Post
What do you consider a "tough" hill?
Don't get me started...

It is all relative...
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Old 08-11-08, 04:12 PM
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Did a ride full of tough climbs yesterday. Many many miles of unrelenting 6 to 10%. And my smallest is 39/23. I need a bigger cassette.... The first 30 miles had 4500 feet of climbing.
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Old 08-11-08, 04:15 PM
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2-4% is not a "hill"
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Old 08-11-08, 04:16 PM
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What is it?
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Old 08-11-08, 04:18 PM
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False flat...
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Old 08-11-08, 04:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Hammertoe View Post
Don't get me started...

It is all relative...
It is not relative. Minimum criteria:

1. >4%, <4% is a false flat no matter how long it is.

2. Must be greater than 1 mile in length for a hill.

3. To be considered mountainous you must be climbing a mountain (relative relief >1000m).
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Old 08-11-08, 04:20 PM
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The hill I'm thinking about is not a "false flat." I have to look up to see the top of it.
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Old 08-11-08, 04:23 PM
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Originally Posted by pjcampbell View Post
Tough hill is all relative.

I always hear people talking about omg that hill is just relenting. Personally I believe that a hill that gives no respite is actually easier than a hill that goes up then flat, then up again. The flat only screws up your rhythm.

With the 42, it depends what your biggest rear cog is. 8% and 42 anything that is available in a normal cassette is not that easy. I am a firm believer in easy gears up very long hills. IMO you do not want to mash or stand up for SO long. Too much wasted energy. Nothing wrong with that 30 really.
100% agreed. I actually enjoy long, steady hills (as long as they're not ridiculously steep) -- I can get my groove on.
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Old 08-11-08, 04:26 PM
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This is my ride yesterday:



The climbs at 12.5 mi and 26-ish mi were "tough" for sure. Most of that was in the 7-10% grade range, with a very short 25% once or twice.
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Old 08-11-08, 04:28 PM
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Originally Posted by peterot View Post
It is not relative. Minimum criteria:

1. >4%, <4% is a false flat no matter how long it is.

2. Must be greater than 1 mile in length for a hill.

3. To be considered mountainous you must be climbing a mountain (relative relief >1000m).
Disagree...







Try to equate climbing to weightlifting (give me some leeway)...

If you try to squat huge amounts of weight your Muscular Endurance will only allow you so many reps...

However, if you use less weight you will be able to lift more total weight...



Gearing is key with climbing...
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Old 08-11-08, 04:34 PM
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Changes in grade that don't allow you to stick to a rhythm make one hill tougher than another that stays consistent, in my opinion.

I don't think any hill is tough. The rider makes it tough.
+1, so long as your gearing isn't completely out of bounds...
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Old 08-11-08, 04:34 PM
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depends where you live. The toughest hills I can find in my area are probably considered speed bumps by those living in hilly areas.
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Old 08-11-08, 04:36 PM
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Any hill that goes downwards steeply (my only bike is fixed)
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