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Riding slowly uphill

Old 11-22-22, 02:03 PM
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Riding slowly uphill

So I was experimenting by shifting to my lowest gear and pedalling slowly up hill. I'm guessing my cadence is that of a jog. I can feel my heart pumping as I'm still breathing heavily. So I'm wondering if I walked or jogged up this same hill carrying the same load as cycling, would I be feeling the same as I do cycling?

As I'm riding uphill, not only am I moving my body weight up but also the weight of the bicycle and what's in my bag. So that could be about 30 plus 10 to 20 pounds for a max of about 40 to 50lbs.

I haven't tried jogging up that hill with a 40lb pack yet.

What do you think? Equivalent exertion of physical energy?
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Old 11-22-22, 02:29 PM
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Walking with 40 pound pack might be comparable if you ride really slowly. With a bit of speed, though, you're going to be lifting a lot of weight getting your feet off the ground as you run or jog. "Equivalent exertion" might require a pack with a fraction of your bike load, or no pack at all.

IOW, it depends.
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Old 11-22-22, 03:39 PM
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I can climb at about the same rate on the bike on 6%-7% grades as on foot on a 15% mountain trail, with a pack about the same weight as the bike, which is about 20 lbs. That's for climbs of over 1000, for which I have good records. However I think I can keep it up longer on the bike. Appropriate hiking trails for fast altitude gain are about 15%. Good climbing roads around here are 6%-7%. I don't have appropriate gearing for multi-thousand foot 15% climbs on the bike, besides there aren't any around here.

My favorite cross training for cycling is hiking and backpacking once a week in summer. Helps.
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Old 11-22-22, 04:40 PM
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fwiw - when I’m climbing I try not to move anything but my legs. & since a bike is a machine that accomplishes work, I’m guessing it’s more efficient to ride than to walk
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Old 11-22-22, 04:46 PM
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For the same distance, walking or running is usually a bigger expenditure of energy. However for the same time, you can go faster and farther on a bike so the energy expenditure is very close to the same. I'm sure we can find instances where the comparison will favor one over the other depending on how hard the effort.

I don't really have an answer for your question though. However pedaling slowly is not something I see as a benefit for anything. Shift to that lowest gear and pedal fast.

You've reminded me of a very old looking man that was coming toward me up a hill the other day on his bike. I was very impressed as he was doing it right... IMO. He only appeared to be going up that hill about 5 mph, yet he had a good 80 to 90 rpm cadence going. Along with a big smile on his face and a pleasant relaxed demeanor. I'm hoping I'm still doing that when I'm his age. But I'll miss going up that same 5.5% hill at the the 21 mph or better that I average going up it currently.

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Old 11-23-22, 04:54 AM
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Originally Posted by Daniel4
So I was experimenting by shifting to my lowest gear and pedalling slowly up hill. I'm guessing my cadence is that of a jog. I can feel my heart pumping as I'm still breathing heavily. So I'm wondering if I walked or jogged up this same hill carrying the same load as cycling, would I be feeling the same as I do cycling?

As I'm riding uphill, not only am I moving my body weight up but also the weight of the bicycle and what's in my bag. So that could be about 30 plus 10 to 20 pounds for a max of about 40 to 50lbs.

I haven't tried jogging up that hill with a 40lb pack yet.

What do you think? Equivalent exertion of physical energy?
You are not supporting the weight of your bike when riding. Or even supporting your own bodyweight if you are riding seated. For example pushing your bike up the hill would be a lot easier than carrying it on your back.
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Old 11-23-22, 06:53 AM
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A big factor is the steepness of the grade, for every one percent increase in steepness there has gotta be a huge increase in exertion for the cyclists. For illustration, just watch the TdF when the riders are in the mountains. You got the healthiest cyclists in the world with fat, drunken fools running beside them and sometimes those drunk fools even give the cyclist a push.


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Old 11-23-22, 08:07 AM
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Originally Posted by Daniel4
So I was experimenting by shifting to my lowest gear and pedalling slowly up hill. I'm guessing my cadence is that of a jog. I can feel my heart pumping as I'm still breathing heavily. So I'm wondering if I walked or jogged up this same hill carrying the same load as cycling, would I be feeling the same as I do cycling?

As I'm riding uphill, not only am I moving my body weight up but also the weight of the bicycle and what's in my bag. So that could be about 30 plus 10 to 20 pounds for a max of about 40 to 50lbs.

I haven't tried jogging up that hill with a 40lb pack yet.

What do you think? Equivalent exertion of physical energy?
I do understand your heart rate being elevated, but not breathing heavily.
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Old 11-23-22, 11:19 AM
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There are a lot of factors, another one I just thought of is how much your body is accustomed to running vs cycling. If you're a fairly proficient cyclist but never run/jog or do it only occasionally, then it's difficult to make a comparison between exertion felt while running vs cycling. This is because fitness to perform a certain task goes beyond just cardio -- your musculoskeletal system must be conditioned for that activity as well.

It's been my experience that building up the musculoskeletal system for a particular activity is a much long endeavor than building up simple cardio.

However, it would be kind of interesting if I were to try and compare the exertion level I run a local hill in my area vs riding at a given speed. In my part of Florida we don't have hills per se, but we do have bridges that go relatively high and I run them regularly to keep me somewhat in shape for various types of running. It's a popular saying in the running community:

Hills pay the Bills



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Old 11-23-22, 01:53 PM
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Apparently runners suck at cycling and this article explains why https://iancorless.org/2015/08/06/cy...cycle-quickly/

Excerpt:

CYCLING for RUNNERS – ‘Why can’t runners cycle quickly?’

The answer to some extent lies in the way we test cyclists and runners. People who visit us for VO2 testing will follow a set protocol, based on whether it’s a run or bike test. The run test starts by running on a treadmill at a slow speed and every minute the speed gets faster until they either jump off or they are ‘fired off’ the back of the treadmill. As the treadmill gets quicker, they have to move their legs faster. Their ‘cadence’ is increased to allow them to stay on the treadmill, but the ‘resistance’ doesn’t really change. When you are running, the resistance is pretty constant, you have to lift the weight of your leg and push your body weight forwards, not a great deal changes as the treadmill gets faster, you just need to move more quickly.

The cyling test is different. We start by asking people to cycle at 90 revolutions per minute and they must maintain that throughout the test (unlike running the cadence / leg speed does not change, it stays the same). Each minute we increase the resistance and it gets harder to turn the pedals, so unlike the run test, the resistance is increasing throughout the test. The test ends when they are no longer able to maintain the 90 revolutions per minute. In some ways, it’s almost like doing a strength exercise such as the ‘leg press’ and as each minute passes, we add a little more weight until they can’t keep going.

What can we draw from the above?

There is an element of strength involved in cycling that isn’t required for running. You can call it strength or ‘muscular endurance’ (call it whatever you like), but the basic fact is that you have to work against high levels of resistance during cycling that don’t apply to running.

What about gears and cadence?

And apparently this test upheld that observation


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Old 11-23-22, 05:55 PM
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AFAIK, the hour record for cycling ascent is by Pantani on a Giro climb, about 6000'/hour. The record for running a vertical kilometer is 28'. so that's pretty close. I don't know of a record for cycling a vertical k.

I've ridden with a runner on a long climbing ride. He did great, beat me and hung with the fastest members of our group. He climbed much better OOS than seated which is not the norm for cyclists. He was a fairly light guy, like most runners, probably the best BMI of any of us.

On any normal cycling climb, a person on a bike will outclimb a person on foot who is not carrying a pack, not even close. It is NOT faster to get off and walk the bike up the hill. A 4' mile on the flat is of course 15mph. TdF pros average 13.8 on climbs and for considerably longer than a mile..
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Old 11-24-22, 01:16 AM
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Energy expenditure at threshold pace is really similar between the two and there's a lot of carry over between running and cycling. That's why triathletes run fast despite running, by runner standards, not very much. Similarly, whenever I rode a bike together with someone who can run a sub 18 minute 5k, well, they weren't slow, and some were blazing fast. For me it's a bit skewed in favour of cycling because I do much, much more of it (my running amounts to one or two one hour runs at a talking pace per week) and my morphology is the antithesis of what makes an efficient runner, and maybe I don't dig as deep when running because of simply not being used to it - which seems to be the case looking at heart rate.

Running my 5km flat out pace is 4:13 for around 21 minutes time, over a slightly hilly course, which equates to about 910-950 kcal/hr depending which source we take, at a HR of about 165. Cycling, the best power I can do for the equal amount of time (so 21 minutes) is 290W, which equates to about 1040-1050 kcal/hr, with a HR of 169. Over longer distances, I can run a half-marathon over a hilly course in 1:43, which amounts to about 850 kcal/hr. Cycling I've done 254W for that duration, which is 910 kcal/hr. This is all not counting BMR.

That's really not that much of a difference and understandable given the massive difference in the amount of cycling and running I do (and again, short but muscled legs is not what you'd consider a runner's physique). On a cycling ramp test runners might do more poorly than you'd expect, but that's partially an artifact of how testing is done - it increases the force required, while on the road, we have gears and for most climbs they're adequate.
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