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32

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 ...


25

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 ...


22

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 ...


21

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 ...


18

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 you'...


14

@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 ...


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 ...


9

For grades beyond 10% having a gear that you can spin at the rate you can climb makes a big difference. Only you can know exactly what gear that should be. If you can find a gear ratio tool that displays speeds for a given gear, wheel size and rpm. This one seems pretty good. http://www.bikecalc.com/cadence_at_speed Then think about your typical speeds ...


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

The difficulty of any climb will depend on its length, steepness, wind speed and wind direction, the total weight of you and your bike, and, of course, your fitness and your intended speed. Stephen Touset has thoughtfully provided a link that shows the elevation profile for the climb. The grade appears to be relatively even rather than a series of steeper ...


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 ...


7

Mountain bikers regularly run these low cadences for very short periods, often at much higher power output. The issue with 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 ...


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 ...


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

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 some ...


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% ...


5

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. ...


4

For Strava climbs there is an objective categorization that is length in meters times grade in percent, with this categories: score = length(m) * grade(%) Cat 3: score > 16000 Cat 2: score > 32000 Cat 1: score > 64000 Cat HC: score > 80000 For example Alpe d'Huez has a length of 13800m and average gradient of 8.1% (according to Wikipedia), giving a ...


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 short,...


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

Can you measure your cadence? (The answer to this is that you can, even if you have to resort to counting strokes and looking at your watch. But a computer will make it easier.) On the flat, try riding in a high gear and at a high cadence, as much as you are able. This should translate to lower gear / high cadence when climbing (which is what you want). A ...


4

Understand that the concern is not generally things like a muscle or tendon tear that can occur with, eg, extreme weightlifting -- off-road bikers might be susceptible to that sort of injury, but not a road biker. Rather, the concern is the injury that may be done to joint surfaces and structures due to repeated force, above some "tolerable" level, applied ...


4

You will not lose climbing strength if you work on your cadence; they are two different aspects of riding. My recommendation to increase cadence range is the following: 1) On a slight incline, choose a gear that is medium effort. 2) Over 30 seconds, increase your cadence until you are at your maximum smooth cadence (no bouncing). If your effort is too ...



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