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Extended climbing tips?

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Extended climbing tips?

Old 10-14-11, 09:51 AM
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Evoracer
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Extended climbing tips?

I mostly mtb, ss and geared but have had a number of fg's for around town. I recently built this...



...for longer road rides. My question is for long extended, sometimes steep climbs. Is is better to try and stay on top of the gear and risk blowing up at some point? Or, slow the pace down and mash through it? Currently running 71 gear inches.
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Old 10-14-11, 10:10 AM
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Do what your body tells you, everyone climbs differently. There are too many factors to really give you a straight answer on how you should climb.
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Old 10-14-11, 10:13 AM
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Originally Posted by Jaytron View Post
everyone climbs differently
I even climb differently hill-to-hill depending on size/grade. Its all about how you feel while doing it.
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Old 10-14-11, 10:20 AM
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do each for a short period.

that ride is awesome.
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Old 10-14-11, 10:28 AM
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You can "rest" while climbing by slowing to a low cadence, pointing your heel down, leen forward, and just use your body weight. I can't climb very fast at all, so I rely on that method a lot when I dont have gears.
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Old 10-14-11, 11:12 AM
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I've done a fair amount of hilly but not mountainous fixed centuries (meaning, you're already tired, and that mile or so of climbing is really wearing you down). I ride about the same gear inch that you listed for centuries when I know there are climbs. When riding fixed, there's no way you can "stay on top of the gear" during climbs. You simply need to get in there and learn technique (comes by doing it) and build that particular type of stamina. Those above who mentioned switching between in and out of saddle are correct. You need/want to employ both.
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Old 10-14-11, 11:23 AM
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All the tips given are pretty spot on. It's all about doing what feels right at the given moment. Since different parts of your body will fatigue depending on your technique, it's good to vary it up. Here are some tips for mixing it up:

1. Always, always, always switch between climbing in the saddle and out of the saddle.

2. When climbing in the saddle, you may need to sit further back in the saddle.

3. Keeping your heels down will work different muscles than your natural pedal position

4. Don't forget your upper body. Pulling up on the bars will help force that front pedal downward.

5. Tight Zig-zagging will help if going straight is impossible due to your gear ratio. Zig-zag with each pedal stroke.

6. When you start fatiguing, try not to arch your back forward, especially if you're on a long ride. Keep it arched outward, like a bridge. Your lower back can really take a punishing on a long mountain climb.

7. Lastly, mental fortitude. It's amazing how much you can squeeze out of your body when your mind isn't in the way.
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Old 10-14-11, 11:26 AM
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66.6 GI works for me for climbing FG... anything bigger and i have to creep
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Old 10-14-11, 11:36 AM
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Originally Posted by jdgesus View Post
66.6 GI works for me for climbing FG... anything bigger and i have to creep
Gearing of the Beast.
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Old 10-14-11, 11:44 AM
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redpear, i dont know about that sixth tip.
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Old 10-14-11, 12:05 PM
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I guess what I should have said is strengthen your core and lower back so that your trunk doesn't flex like a wet noodle.
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Old 10-14-11, 12:20 PM
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Thanks all for the tips so far. It seems time on the bike/learned technique is key.
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Old 10-14-11, 03:41 PM
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There's one hill at the end of my ride to class that always kicks my ass. When approaching, I try to really hammer down so that my momentum will help up to about 1/4 of the way up. From there I just have to mash until I reach the top.

I might try that zig-zagging mentioned above. I feel like that would help alot.
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Old 10-14-11, 03:46 PM
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Stay loose and find a comfortable cadence suitable for you.
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Old 10-14-11, 08:18 PM
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I just noticed this for me. When I climb hills, usually my knees stick outwards while sitting down and pedaling (both on road and fixed bikes). Lately, I've been keeping my knees close to the frame and it's helped a lot. That's just me though. I'm weird like that
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Old 10-14-11, 09:43 PM
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I am the slowest climber in the world but I feel better when I see dweebs WITH GEARED BIKES walking their bikes up the same hill. Reminds me of Ron Weasley complaining about being outstripped by passing butterflies while riding his Shooting Star so he had to get a new Cleansweep Seven. Sigh.
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Old 10-14-11, 10:26 PM
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Originally Posted by pylea View Post
Reminds me of Ron Weasley complaining about being outstripped by passing butterflies while riding his Shooting Star so he had to get a new Cleansweep Seven. Sigh.
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Old 10-14-11, 11:14 PM
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Originally Posted by redpear View Post
2. When climbing in the saddle, you may need to sit further back in the saddle.
just to add,
You can scoot yourself around to engaged different muscles so that way you don't burn out in one position.

Originally Posted by pylea View Post
I am the slowest climber in the world but I feel better when I see dweebs WITH GEARED BIKES walking their bikes up the same hill.
Don't be so quick to judge. Some times I struggle on hills with my geared bike that I might do fairly well on with my fixed gear. Not having the option to shift gears, and the thought not even entering your mind, really affects performance.
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Old 10-14-11, 11:56 PM
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keep pedaling.
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Old 10-15-11, 12:43 AM
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I just did the 508 as half of a two person fixed team and I think we both had pretty similar climbing styles-- basically try to stay on top of the gear.

We practiced a bunch on local mountains, me in a 68 and my partner in a 74 (I weigh about 180, she's about 120, and she's generally a masher anyway, and wanted the bigger gear for descending). We live on a road where it's uphill 8-10% for a block to go anywhere, and uphill to get back (figure that one out...). On my street I'll start out straight up, and then switch to traversing when I get to the steep end. I don't even keep the traverses tight-- I make them long and maybe 30-45 degrees off straight.

I don't think there's anything on GMR or on the 508 where I had to traverse, and only a small part of Townes pass where she traversed. On some of the steeper climbs I'd either stay out of the saddle the whole time, or switch back and forth from standing to sitting. It was pretty much get on top of it out of the saddle, sit and pedal, and when it started to drag stand up again. The shallower climbs I'd just stay seated the whole time. If you get too far behind the gear, you pretty much have to traverse or stand up to get back on top of it or you'll eventually stall you out.
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Old 10-15-11, 06:32 AM
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Don't know if this is applicable to your situation, but I have a rather hilly ride to work everyday. One in particular is a real PITA on a tired morning, a deep valley with a steep decline and incline with a bloody traffic light in the middle. Must time that light. When I first started commuting, I would hit the decline at full steam, trying to gain as much momentum as possible to push me up the other side. After a season of doing this same route (no reasonable way around this valley) I've learned in this situation it's better to let gravity do it's thing for the way down, let your legs go through the motions, but just chill until you begin to climb back up the other side. I rarely get out of the saddle now until the very top of the hill, when the legs start burning.

"I am the slowest climber in the world but I feel better when I see dweebs WITH GEARED BIKES walking their bikes up the same hill" ----bad form

Don't forget that these dweebs might have health concerns or might be just starting out. It's easy to feel superior sometimes for riding fixed and passing other geared cyclists (guilty as charged), but at the end of the day, it's one less motorist who feels superior to you.
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Old 10-15-11, 12:22 PM
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A nice tall glass of...

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Old 10-15-11, 01:08 PM
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Originally Posted by seau grateau View Post
A nice tall glass of...

That's really what it boils down to. You'll figure out which technique works the best for you for a given hill.

I like a gear in the upper 60's for long fixed or single speed road rides. I just got back from a 74 mile ride on my single speed cyclocross bike, 1/3 of which was gravel. Spun along with 67 gear inches with CX tires, and it's flat as a pancake here.

By the way, nice bike!
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Old 10-15-11, 07:49 PM
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Use a bullhorn or better yet, a moustache bar.
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Old 10-15-11, 10:33 PM
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Originally Posted by pylea View Post
I am the slowest climber in the world but I feel better when I see dweebs WITH GEARED BIKES walking their bikes up the same hill.
Its worth remembering that, if your gear is reasonable for the climb, climbing on a fixed gear is considerably easier than climbing on a freewheel bike.

Geared bikes obviously have more bail-out gears, but your fixed drivetrain pulls your feet through any dead spots in your pedal stroke.

A fixed gear rider will be doing less work and fatiguing fewer muscles than a geared rider using the same ratio.
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