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20

I try to put out a constant amount of effort no matter what slope I'm on: A constant 'cadence' of 60 to 90 RPM (that's how fast you spin the pedals) A constant force on the pedals The useful energy you put in is proportional to a product of the force multiplied by the cadence: spinning faster at the same force results in more energy input. To keep my ...


19

As has been mentioned, the actual categories are fairly subjective. Things such as the fame of a climb as well as how the organizers feel about giving out King of the Mountain points on a given stage will affect rankings. That said, there are some general rules of thumb if you want to get an idea of how your local climb rates up to a given ranked climb in ...


18

As noted above, part of the ranking of a climb depends on its placement within a stage: usually, the ending climb of a stage gets "bumped up" by a category. You can see that in the plots below, which show climbs as categorized by the organizers of the Tour de France itself for the 2012, 2007, 2005, and 2004 editions of the Tour, and plotted by the length of ...


17

I ride both SS/FG and approach climbing hills much of the same way I would if I were on a geared bike with one very big exception...MOMENTUM. When on a heavily geared SS/FG I gain as much speed as possible going into the hill and push hard to maintain it throughout the climb. Basic climbing tips: Slide back on saddle and drive heels through the bottom of ...


13

@GuyZee covers most of the technique side, but I'd like to add that if you're experiencing difficulty climbing hills, you should also use a lower gear. Faster cadences are a great way to build up your endurance and help with the hill climbs to boot. Spinning is winning!


11

Hills can be frustrating. 'Jedi Mind Tricks' as well as common sense cycling should help you avoid that frustration and allow you to get more out of your ride. Go as straight up the hill as you go down it. Keep your handlebars pointing in the direction you are heading, plot a course that avoids the bumps and try not to let the front wheel weave from side ...


11

Presuming you are doing a standing start and coming to a complete stop at the top of the hill. The simple requirement is you need energy to move your from the bottom to the top. Most of the energy required will be to raise potential energy of the payload (you and the bike). Essentially you will be creating kinetic energy (moving the bike) by converting ...


11

For someone who hasn't been riding much, this climb will be brutal. But you'll be surprised at how quickly you'll make progress. Even though you might fail the first time you go up, this ride seems like a great challenge. Last year I coaxed a friend to start riding again. After a half dozen easier rides, we attempted a mountain climb similar to the ride ...


10

Will you damage components? Probably, if this is a repeated pattern, yes. When standing to climb you will be in a higher gear than when seated climbing. This means the cadence of your legs and pedals is slower. Add to the slower cadence the fact that you are powering down hard to accelerate uphill and there is significant power going through the chain and ...


9

Move your weight further forward to keep the front wheel weighted. Shuffle forwards on your seat and bring your chest closer to the bars. Standing can help for the steepest parts, but can cause your rear wheel to slip on loose surfaces. The front wheel is lifting as when your bike is on a slope the wheelbase is effectively shortened, bringing your weight ...


8

Basically whatever works. If you're trying to conserve energy it's foolish to push yourself going downhill, since energy lost per mile to wind resistance increases with the square of speed -- just take advantage of the "free ride" on a reasonably steep hill. Going uphill depends a lot on your physical condition and how steep the hill. You first need to ...


7

There are various web sites that might help. I use one called http://ridewithgps.com. You need to register on it but you can get quite a lot from a free account. Does your GPS device output GPX files? If so, I think Ride With GPS can suck them in. If not you might have to put your route into the site manually (but this is easy enough). But what you do get ...


6

As you have guessed, it is better to work harder on the uphill and rest on the downhill. And as others have mentioned, whatever works for you on the uphill in terms of balancing high cadence and mashing is best. However, there are a few guidelines that you can follow to approach each situation in the most efficient manner possible. Downhill: Since wind ...


6

Mountain bikers regularly run these low cadences for very short periods, often at much higher power output. The issue as to causing damage to knees is more about the duration of the climb and how strong your stabiliser muscles are. (Too much time mushing causes chronic overuse problems, while weak stabiliser muscles can allow injury to happen), however they ...


5

If I on one ride add 1 kg of weight to the bike, how much slower (in time) will I be? Assuming that you and your bike mass 100kg (in round numbers), an extra 1kg causes a 1% increase in weight, i.e. a 1% increase in the potential energy associated with climbing the hill. If your power output is constant, that implies a 1% increase in time. However ...


5

A cadence of 70 RPM while climbing is not unusually low, so switching to a lower gear may just encourage you to slow down instead of making you more efficient. But the only way to know for sure is to try it and measure the difference. There isn't necessarily a right cadence. The article Technique - Pedal like a pro reports that seven pro cyclists (a small ...


5

I have cycled to Holland from London and to Ireland and am about to cycle again to Holland, through Belgium and into France. I agree strongly with Frank. Conditioning is what it's all about. The only thing I would add is; Going up hills on a SS - keep your breathing constant and powerful - work the lungs. Push hard into the climb and then stand when you ...


5

Get a Sky Mounti inclinometer: Not terribly accurate, and not much use on rough pavement, but it gives you an immediate readout that doesn't "smooth over" the ups and downs the way that maps will. (I should state that it has a problem on level ground -- the faster you go (especially on rough pavement) the higher it reads. But get on a grade over 4-5% ...


4

The tour organizers rank them subjectively based on their steepness, length, and also where they occur in the stage (climbs near the finish garner a higher ranking). Another criterion which seldom makes a big difference is road condition. Some people feel that the ratings have been inconsistent over the years, or have been inflated in recent years. In ...


4

The only thing that will work for everyone in all situations is to wear a heart rate monitor and ride right at your aerobic threshold. Otherwise, it will be mostly personal preference, for loose meanings of "shortest amount of time possible".


4

I would suggest that your bike is not set up correctly and your centre of gravity is too far back. The first thing to consider is what is the predominant terrain you are riding? If its mostly flat consider using a technique such as alex has suggested in his answer to cover pinch climbs and small hills. If your doing a lot of climbing (sitting on the ...


4

You can work on a pedal stroke that applies pressure for a larger portion of the rotation of the pedals. That will reduce the peak force that is causing the wheel to lift.


4

The general advice is that we should aim at 90 for an average cadence, and pushing slower than that can produce knee pain and injuries, and back pain and injuries. However, everyone has their own best cadence. For example, I have not raced and find 110rpm is good for me on a flat-ish ride. My brother who has raced stays at around 120rpm on the same terrain. ...


3

I was in the same situation as you when I bought my racer a year ago. I struggled a lot in the hills, and my cadence would drop below 80 pretty fast. I had the same thought as you, that a bigger gear would only slow me down. I rode it out, and have improved my climb-times alot the last year. I still ride the lowest gear, but I can manage to keep a high ...


3

Personally I changed my riding out of the saddle habits when I bought a speedometer. Rarely did I notice an increase in speed when out of the saddle, typically getting a 1 - 1.5 mph drop even if I felt I was going faster. Dancing on the pedals clearly has its place on very steep hills and competitive situations, but, for general riding, for me, staying ...


3

The gradient and length of your hill will influence how you handle it. Generally speaking it is good to maintain your momentum for as long as you can. Standing up is fine if you're intending to power up a short hill. If you're in it for a long slog, it is good to stay seated, put your hands on the flats, breath deeply and keep the upper body as relaxed as ...


3

It's a personal choice. If you're going to run the same tires, then just go with a spare cassette. It's pretty easy to swap them out, so I don't see that as a big deal. However, If you're going to have different tires and a different cassette, then I'd probably opt for the different wheelset. If you need a more durable wheelset for touring, you might also ...


3

Apparently i can't just write Dauphiné Libéré because that's not enough letters to constitute a proper answer on StackExchange


3

IF my hills are in the 4% or greater category, it is always going to take me longer to get up than to come back down. Example, a hill I ride frequently is about 4 - 5% and I ride it at about 7-8 mph and it takes me ~7 minutes to get up there. If I ride back down the same hill, I easily maintain 23-24 MPH and it takes me about 3-4 minutes to get down. If I ...



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