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Hill climbing capabilities.

AnonymousAnonymous Posts: 28,799
Hi.

I'm wanting to improve my hill climbing performance, but I don't know if there is any right and wrong way about it, or is the best way to do that just find as many hills and go up em and go up lots of hills as often as possible?


Thanks
Will.

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  • whyamiherewhyamihere Posts: 7,333
    Increase power, reduce weight.

    Step 1: The search button...
  • softladsoftlad Posts: 3,587
    willhub wrote:
    or is the best way to do that just find as many hills and go up em and go up lots of hills as often as possible?

    exactly right.
  • AnonymousAnonymous Posts: 28,799
    whyamihere wrote:

    Step 1: The search button...

    That's right, every single post on these forums now, go tell them to use the search button, as everything everyone asks has been answered..... :roll:
  • Are you aiming to do hilly races or sportives?
    "A cyclist has nothing to lose but his chain"

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  • redddraggonredddraggon Posts: 10,862
    Are you aiming to do hilly races or sportives?

    Just go faster than a guy on a Cannondale SuperSix I think
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  • Richie GRichie G Posts: 283
    Well i'm no expert, but i just try and do hilly rides - maybe picking a particular climb and riding it 2 or 3 times. Experiment with different gears and cadences - that way you work out what works for you. I became a lot better at climbing after a trip to the Peaks where there were climbs of 2-3 miles. I started to learn how to pace myself better, rather than pushing too hard and blowing. I guess there must be some decent hills in North Yorkshire? Sorry this is isn't the most scientific answer, but it seems to work for me.

    Cheers
    Rich
  • I think it was Jaques Anquetil who when asked what training regime he persued he answered "I ride my bike, I ride my bike, I ride my bike".

    I think that is the answer to your question Willhub. Ride as many hills as you can.

    Going back to my footballing days, I could train as much as I wanted but playing matches is the most effective way to "hone" fitness.
    Tail end Charlie

    The above post may contain traces of sarcasm or/and bullsh*t.
  • Just ride as much as you can anyway. I haven't hit a hill since september, but this weekend we tried going over Bullamoor (near Northallerton) and I flew up it, and I felt much stronger than I did last year. At the start of the winter I was told by my team to drop the hills, ride flat fast rides and the climbing will follow naturally, and all I can say it's worked.
    "A cyclist has nothing to lose but his chain"

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  • Harry BHarry B Posts: 1,239
    drop the hills, ride flat fast rides and the climbing will follow naturally.

    That's an interesting theory and hopefully one that works. I hate hills but am just startingto do 125 miles of commuting during the week (5 miles in the morning and 30 on the way home) again now that the weather is getting better. Its nearly all flat but I do try and push my speed and keep my heart rate up to level 4 on the Garmin (60 -75%?).

    I will add a longish hillier ride at the weekend to this and I am hoping that this will improve my dire hill climbing abilities and get me through the Chiltern Hundred Gran Fondo :?
  • redddraggonredddraggon Posts: 10,862
    Harry B wrote:
    to drop the hills, ride flat fast rides and the climbing will follow naturally.

    That's an interesting theory and hopefully one that works.

    In theory it works. If you train to generate the power on the flat, the power should be there on the climbs (unless for some reason you use a totally different position on the flat compared to climbing) - the only drawback would probably be a mental one, for me at least seeing the speedo at 6 or 7mph can demotivate me - so for me to get better at climbing I need to climb.....
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  • dennisndennisn Posts: 10,422
    Since I live in the flattest part of the world the only "hill" training I can come up with
    is going out and pushing a fairly big gear into a good strong headwind for 10 or so miles at a lower cadence. Sure seems like climbing.

    Dennis Noward
  • markos1963markos1963 Posts: 3,724
    I would definatly recommend hill repeats and tempo riding in big gears. We don't get many big hills around here but since changing my training routine my hill climbing has got a lot better. All I need to do now is loose 10kg to get to the front of the pack on the club run :wink:
  • Harry B wrote:
    to drop the hills, ride flat fast rides and the climbing will follow naturally.

    That's an interesting theory and hopefully one that works.

    In theory it works. If you train to generate the power on the flat, the power should be there on the climbs (unless for some reason you use a totally different position on the flat compared to climbing) - the only drawback would probably be a mental one, for me at least seeing the speedo at 6 or 7mph can demotivate me - so for me to get better at climbing I need to climb.....

    Yup that's the theory. Hence why some exceptional climber come from the flat areas of Luxembourg, Belgium, Holland etc. If you're slight of stature you have to be incredibly strong to ride into constant head/side winds.
    "A cyclist has nothing to lose but his chain"

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  • BronzieBronzie Posts: 4,927
    Harry B wrote:
    Its nearly all flat but I do try and push my speed and keep my heart rate up to level 4 on the Garmin (60 -75%?).
    Level 4 is just sub lactate threshold and would typically be in the region of 85-90% of your maximum heart rate - the sort of effort you would be able to hold for a 1 hour time trial.
  • liversedgeliversedge Posts: 1,002
    interesting. I pretty much exlusively ride hills. even on the turbo my frnt wheel is raised to simulate hills climbing for most of my workouts. I can kick out an AP of 320w+ over most hills taking 5-15 mins to climb. I cannot hit those numbers on the flat even when really motivated to do so.

    I had assumed it was about muscle groups - so training on the flats for hills is possibly sub-optimal? (except for out the saddle perhaps)
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  • AnonymousAnonymous Posts: 28,799
    I'd say my performance atm is better on hills compared to on flats compared to some of the people I've seen, faster than me on flat but not on hills, or can be other way round, I want to be flying up hills though and be able to do 20% gradients at like 8mph, I'm down to 4 or so mph on a 20% gradient atm.

    I remember climbing rosedale chimney on the 33% sections!!, was on my 34-25 rings doing about 2.5mph :(
  • willhub wrote:

    I remember climbing rosedale chimney on the 33% sections!!, was on my 34-25 rings doing about 2.5mph :(

    That's completely normal I assure you :lol:
    "A cyclist has nothing to lose but his chain"

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  • oldwelshmanoldwelshman Posts: 4,733
    willhub wrote:
    I'd say my performance atm is better on hills compared to on flats compared to some of the people I've seen, faster than me on flat but not on hills, or can be other way round, I want to be flying up hills though and be able to do 20% gradients at like 8mph, I'm down to 4 or so mph on a 20% gradient atm.

    I remember climbing rosedale chimney on the 33% sections!!, was on my 34-25 rings doing about 2.5mph :(

    8mph on 20% good luck :D
    For a 80kg (rider and bike) rider, on 20% incline you would require between 570 and 580 W !!
  • AnonymousAnonymous Posts: 28,799
    I bet I could get like 13mph even now on a 20%, allthough it'd only be a burst then I'd have to get off and rest :lol:

    On a 17% I can do about 5-6mph atm, is that good or bad? Thats on a 34-25, well 34-26 atm since I have a 26 cassette atm.

    I remember going up a 17% climb once, I was doing between 8 and 10mph, but that was using 34-32 rings when I first started cycling and I was so out of breath and had to get off for a couple of seconds.
  • I dont know about the 'training on the flat to get better in the hills' theory.

    My experience is that in the hills, especially the longer climbs, the back muscles are more involved while on the flat it come more down to pure leg power.

    So training on the flat does improve my climbing to a certain extent but to train those back muscles i still need to ride up those hills. over and over again
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  • phreakphreak Posts: 2,137
    A workout I found was to find a hill that takes approx 5 mins to get up and split it into three sections. Sprint the first, sit down the second, and sprint over the peak. Get your heart rate down, and do that again 5 times, trying to keep the same time (or better) each go.
  • willhub wrote:
    On a 17% I can do about 5-6mph atm, is that good or bad?

    The way I think of it is if you are doing x mph up a 1-in-x hill, then you'll be knocking out around 5 watts per kilo of bodyweight, which ain't too shabby at all. 17% is near enough 1-in-6, so if you can do 6mph up that and weight 80kg congratulations! You're developing around 400 watts (a lot!).
  • holmeboyholmeboy Posts: 674
    Anybody think the gym (leg curls, pushes etc) helps, I've recently increased weights and I feel stronger although hard to say if I'm getting any faster for longer on the hills. 8)
  • DomProDomPro Posts: 321
    As long as I stay on the bike whilst going up a hill, i consider that a successful hill climb. Its purely psychological.
    Shazam !!
  • Just ride hills, that way you will get over any mental blockages. I went up the steep side of Bwlch y groes at 4 mph, nearly killed me, but got to the top. Next time you come to North Wales you want to give Bwlch Pen Barras a go, the old route. Also another one is the Horseshoe Pass from Llangollen again the old route. These will either make or break ya. I went up Bwlch Pen Barras (old route) this afternoon, it does not get any easier no matter how many times you do it.
  • dilemnadilemna Posts: 2,277
    It was Eddy Merckx nicknamed the Cannibal greatest cyclist of all time who was from the flat of Belgium and a champion climber.
    Pantani il pirate was a good climber until the drugs got him. He weighed in at 59kg.
    I think any riding whether on the flat cycling into a 30 mph headwind, going up Whinlatter pass or the Galibier at 25mph will build stamina and power which is what you need for serious climbs.
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  • edhornbyedhornby Posts: 1,780
    dilemna wrote:
    ........r the Galibier at 25mph will build stamina and power which is what you need for serious climbs.

    er.... Galibier at 25mph and that's a training ride ???? what are you training for mate ???


    :)
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  • phreakphreak Posts: 2,137
    I do 25mph up the Galibier on a fixed wheel, just to make things a bit harder. You boys men or mice? :lol:
  • dennisndennisn Posts: 10,422
    I dont know about the 'training on the flat to get better in the hills' theory.

    I tend to agree with you. You want to be a good climber head for the mountains(a lot).
    However, not all are blessed by having even a decent, mere, hill around so we do what we can.

    dennis noward
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