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What type of climb do you prefer

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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
View Poll Results: What type of climb do you prefer
Long at a fast pace ie: 5-7% for 10+ miles
64
59.26%
Short and steep ie: 10%+ for 3-5 miles
44
40.74%
Voters: 108. You may not vote on this poll

What type of climb do you prefer

Old 09-05-09, 07:06 PM
  #1  
n8tron
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What type of climb do you prefer

Long at a faster pace ie: 5-7% and 10+ miles

or

short and steep ie: 10%+ for 3-5 miles
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Old 09-05-09, 07:08 PM
  #2  
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Long 20+ mile climbs, but the short steep ones are also fun in that they're more challenging but are over faster
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Old 09-05-09, 07:08 PM
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Your second choice would surely kill me.
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Old 09-05-09, 07:17 PM
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i rode today through a park and there was a hill greater than 5% but it was real short. It was definitely the greatest incline that I have ever ridden on my road bike. It felt weird to be on my road bike and climbing such a steep section of path.
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Old 09-05-09, 07:38 PM
  #5  
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I'm in the midwest, so all we get are the short and steep variety. I'm not sure there are many hills that climb for even 3 miles though! My favorite hill to ride is about 2 blocks long and a 20% grade with a ~4 mile loop for hill repeats.
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Old 09-05-09, 07:44 PM
  #6  
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I would enjoy either. Living in the mountains, that's a good thing.
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Old 09-05-09, 07:55 PM
  #7  
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yeah i live in michigan (I believe that is the midwest) its pretty flat out here I have the wife drive me 15 miles away so I can go and do hill repeats up down turn around up down turn around repeat repeat repeat and so on and so on and so on. I wish I had 5 mile climbs. I <3 climbing.
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Old 09-05-09, 08:03 PM
  #8  
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Originally Posted by n8tron View Post
Long at a faster pace ie: 5-7% and 10+ miles

or

short and steep ie: 10%+ for 3-5 miles

You meant .3 to .5 miles right? A road with an average or constant grade of just 10% for 3-5 miles is hard ,ore than that the it is really hard. Not many places in the US have those. That means the road will climb half a mile in 5 miles.
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Old 09-05-09, 08:11 PM
  #9  
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A 10-mile grade at 7% is a 3700' continous climb. A 5-mile grade at 10% is a 2640' climb. I doubt I've ever experienced either; such epic climbs are extremely uncommon, especially in the US.

- Mark
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Old 09-05-09, 08:15 PM
  #10  
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im glad im not the only one that seems to think these climbs sound a little ridonculous. iv never ridden a 7% grade at a "fast pace". certainly not for 10 miles
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Old 09-05-09, 08:20 PM
  #11  
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I should add my favorite climb is my avatar.
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Old 09-05-09, 08:27 PM
  #12  
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Originally Posted by genius1265 View Post
yeah i live in michigan (I believe that is the midwest) its pretty flat out here I have the wife drive me 15 miles away so I can go and do hill repeats up down turn around up down turn around repeat repeat repeat and so on and so on and so on. I wish I had 5 mile climbs. I <3 climbing.

Depends were you are in the state, I cant find a flat road. Most are short and steep but that is what I prefer. Give me a 1-4 mile climb that averages over 10% and hits 20% and that is what I like
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Old 09-05-09, 08:38 PM
  #13  
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Originally Posted by STEVEtheEMT View Post
im glad im not the only one that seems to think these climbs sound a little ridonculous. iv never ridden a 7% grade at a "fast pace". certainly not for 10 miles
The most I have near me is about an 8% for .5 miles . I'd have to drive for 45+ minutes to get to any decent climbs, which I am not normally willing to do.
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Old 09-05-09, 08:48 PM
  #14  
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There are a few of the kind of climbs that you suggest for option 2 here in the bay area, here's Garmin data for Sierra Rd, ~3miles of 9-10% average gradient. I probably prefer longer slightly shallower climbs, but something about the steep climbs is tough to resist. I don't always want to ride them twice though.

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Old 09-05-09, 09:03 PM
  #15  
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Both are fun, but you asked for a preference, so I opted the longer, faster. Mostly just because they're longer. And faster.
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Old 09-05-09, 09:03 PM
  #16  
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Originally Posted by n8tron View Post
Long at a faster pace ie: 5-7% and 10+ miles

or

short and steep ie: 10%+ for 3-5 miles
Very few riders anywhere have access to climbs of that size. I vote neither; I'm not sure you understand how long and steep your first option is, let alone the second. 3-5 miles is not short. A 5% 5-mile climb will take a very strong amateur at least 15-16 minutes to climb. That distance at 10% would take more than twice as long.
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Old 09-05-09, 09:14 PM
  #17  
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I'm climbing one tomorrow. It's 5-7% for something like 8 or 9 miles. Then 9-10% for a few, then back to 5-7%. After the 12 or 13 miles, there's this headwall that hits 20%. But it's only about 500m long.
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Old 09-05-09, 09:17 PM
  #18  
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Originally Posted by logdrum View Post
You meant .3 to .5 miles right? A road with an average or constant grade of just 10% for 3-5 miles is hard ,ore than that the it is really hard. Not many places in the US have those. That means the road will climb half a mile in 5 miles.
Your right, I may have been a bit over zealous with the 3-5 miles. But if you're near mountains you can usually find 10% grades for about 3 miles. I just did Las Flores near Malibu this morning which prompted this thread. Its about 5 miles total, but during the middle section of about 3 miles I don't think I saw the grade go below 12% much at all, it was hovering from 14-17 for most of that time, with the 1 mile at the bottom and the top of the climb hovering around 8-10%. Yes I suppose they are rare, but they are out there. It certainly killed me!

Originally Posted by grolby View Post
Very few riders anywhere have access to climbs of that size. I vote neither; I'm not sure you understand how long and steep your first option is, let alone the second. 3-5 miles is not short. A 5% 5-mile climb will take a very strong amateur at least 15-16 minutes to climb. That distance at 10% would take more than twice as long.
Near mountains sustained 5-7% climbs are all over the place! I'll admit again that the second option is a bit long. And heck, a 5 mile 5% grade would take me a probably take me more than 20mins. But they are still a lot of fun!

[edit] sorry, i am terrible at math, make that more than 30 mins [/edit]

Last edited by n8tron; 09-06-09 at 08:45 AM.
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Old 09-05-09, 09:18 PM
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Originally Posted by grolby View Post
Very few riders anywhere have access to climbs of that size. I vote neither; I'm not sure you understand how long and steep your first option is, let alone the second. 3-5 miles is not short. A 5% 5-mile climb will take a very strong amateur at least 15-16 minutes to climb. That distance at 10% would take more than twice as long.
His second option would take me at least 45 minutes. There's a climb near the BRP that we do at training camp, that averages 11% for 3.5 miles or something, and that takes me about 35 minutes.
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Old 09-05-09, 09:19 PM
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I LOVE CLIMBING. period!!
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Old 09-05-09, 09:20 PM
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Originally Posted by n8tron View Post
Near mountains sustained 5-7% climbs are all over the place!
Not ones that are 10+ miles, unless the mountains in question are the Rockies, Alps or whatever those mountains in California are called.
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Old 09-05-09, 11:15 PM
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What type of climb do you prefer?

I prefer the flat kind.

But if I can't have that, I prefer short rollers. Short rollers are the type of hill where you can coast down one side and make it almost all the way up the next hill on that coast. Two or three pedal strokes take you over the top of that hill, and you coast down the other side, and make it almost all the way up the next hill on that coast ... etc. That type of terrain is fast and fun to ride!!
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Old 09-05-09, 11:50 PM
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any type of climb, as long as im the first one to the top
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Old 09-06-09, 12:07 AM
  #24  
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Originally Posted by logdrum View Post
You meant .3 to .5 miles right? A road with an average or constant grade of just 10% for 3-5 miles is hard ,ore than that the it is really hard. Not many places in the US have those. That means the road will climb half a mile in 5 miles.
I did a group ride a couple of weeks ago on a forest service road in Washington State.

The climb portion was 22 km long, with a dip in the middle.

Over the 22KM, we climbed 1300 metres in elevation and according to Ascent, 69% of the total 22km was at a grade of 6% or above, the max grade recorded was 17.3%, minimum was 5.4 %

That was a fun ride, but my average speed was a whopping 13 kmh.
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Old 09-06-09, 12:10 AM
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Originally Posted by grolby View Post
Not ones that are 10+ miles, unless the mountains in question are the Rockies, Alps or whatever those mountains in California are called.

I frequently go over to the foothills of the rockies and spend 2 or 3 days riding the passes. It is quite common to find climbs that are 25 km or more, nice roads to ride, and nice climbs.

The good news is that it is only a 5 hour drive for me.
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