climbing hills

bigbeezer
bigbeezer Posts: 80
edited March 2010 in Road beginners
Hi folks,

i am 15 stone and 5 ft 10 and when i come to any steep hill i am fucked,i always end up in my lowest gear of my double chainring, what can i do to improve/make it easier for me untill i shift a bit of timber?

also,

my back wheel,although tightly on has a little wobble in in and you can move it from side to side,any ideas what could be causing this? loose bearings or something?

cheers
«1

Comments

  • Pross
    Pross Posts: 42,211
    You can look at either replacing your chainset with a compact (if you currently have a standard double) and / or getting a rear cassette with larger sprockets. A triple is also an option but you would have to change other components too such as front shifter. Other than that just keep riding them and you eventually get more used to it.

    Is your wheel actually wobbling or has it just got a slight buckle resulting in it rubbing against the brakes once on each rotation? If the latter then it probably just needs a few spokes tightening to make it true again otherwise it could be a loose cone.
  • bigbeezer
    bigbeezer Posts: 80
    cheers,

    it's not a buckle,i can push it from side to side when im off the bike mate.

    im sure it is a compact i have already :oops:
  • will3
    will3 Posts: 2,173
    bigbeezer wrote:
    cheers,

    it's not a buckle,i can push it from side to side when im off the bike mate.

    im sure it is a compact i have already :oops:

    Sounds like the bearings need adjustment to me.
  • iain_j
    iain_j Posts: 1,941
    will3 wrote:
    bigbeezer wrote:
    cheers,

    it's not a buckle,i can push it from side to side when im off the bike mate.

    im sure it is a compact i have already :oops:

    Sounds like the bearings need adjustment to me.

    +1

    As for climbing? Just keep at it. Start easy and in a low gear, get your breathing in control, and the rest will follow. If it takes bottom gear to get up the hill, so be it - keep riding the hill in that gear til you can manage it comfortably, then try it in the next highest gear.
  • bigbeezer
    bigbeezer Posts: 80
    cheers folks,

    i just feel like a total plumb in the bottom gear :oops:
    i can power along the flat no problem, it's just those pesky hills,
    i have tried to go fast at the bottom and change down gradually as the hill gets steeper,and have tried to take it easy all the way up,but it's always the bottom gear i end up in,

    ah well i suppose rome wasn't built in a day :P
  • bigbeezer
    bigbeezer Posts: 80
    also,
    would you say it was better to do say 25 vmiles every other day and a 50 miler at the weekne as opposed to cyclung every day?
  • robmurr2000
    robmurr2000 Posts: 166
    Like others have said,the more you climb hills the easier it should become. I never used to like hills,but now I they don't bother me,I just relax my upper body,select a gear that I feel comfortable with and go between sitting and getting up off the saddle.Once a week I try to do hill training only,whereas I will go out and purely select some climbs to take on,once I get to the top,turn around and go back to the bottom and do it again and so on,this seems to be working for me,don't know if what I do will give you some ideas.Keep going and enjoy.
  • MikeWW
    MikeWW Posts: 723
    Re the wheel. Souns like the cones need adjusting. You will need some cone spanners and have a look for instructions on the park tool web site

    Climbing gets easier
    1) The lighter you are
    2) The more you practice


    You might want to think about getting a heart rate monitor as well as you need to put some real effort in if you are going to get quick up the hills.
  • craker
    craker Posts: 1,739
    Are you finding you can't keep the cranks turning fast enough on the big hills? You need better gears. A couple of extra teeth on the big gear at the back can make all the difference. Otherwise maybe you're trying too hard. Just go easy and get out of the saddle once in a while.

    I do enjoy MTB gearing once in a while. You'd hardly know you were moving ...
  • Just keep at it. Hills never get easy, just easier.
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  • rick_chasey
    rick_chasey Posts: 74,490
    “Climbing mountains on a bike is not fun. So, to do it properly, you need to accept this fact and get on with it. I see so many people looking for that secret technique or training method that will make climbing painless and suffer-free. This will never happen. Training and techniques will make you suffer slightly faster up hills, not suffer any less. Climbing is painful, period. The sooner you just accept that and stop looking for ways around it, the better you will learn how to climb. Let the suffer-meter serve as your internal tachometer, letting you know how close to your limit you are. Accepting and really allowing yourself to feel that pain will make you a better rider. Trying to ignore it will distract you from the task at hand and make you ride slower.”

    Says Vaughters.
  • bobtbuilder
    bobtbuilder Posts: 1,537
    Keep at it fella.

    You could do some hill repeats, or just time yourself up certain hills, and try and beat your PB on future rides.

    It'll never get easier though - you just get faster :D
  • brin
    brin Posts: 1,122
    bigbeezer wrote:
    cheers folks,


    i have tried to go fast at the bottom and change down gradually as the hill gets steeper,and have tried to take it easy all the way up,but it's always the bottom gear i end up in,
    you will find it easier to start in bottom gear at the foot of the hill, and if possible move up a gear as hill gets easier. The more often you climb those hills the flatter they will become.
  • crumbschief
    crumbschief Posts: 3,399
    Sounds like you are doing fine to me,every other day is good if you are comfortable with it,rest days are needed,on rest days i still walk or do a light trundle on the mtb/racer just to loosen up.It's best to just enjoy yourself,although not easy sometimes i have found it best not to compare or worry about others out on the road,just enjoy what your doing and work on that.You need to tighten the cones up as well so there is little to no play in the bearings to stop the wobble.
  • bigbeezer
    bigbeezer Posts: 80
    thanks for all your info/help,

    re the heart monitor,
    i have one of those and im 33 so what would be my high and low and a good average for me be?

    one of my mates said work it out for a guy 10 years younger than yourself so you get fitter?

    cheers
  • bigpikle
    bigpikle Posts: 1,690
    bigbeezer wrote:
    thanks for all your info/help,

    re the heart monitor,
    i have one of those and im 33 so what would be my high and low and a good average for me be?

    one of my mates said work it out for a guy 10 years younger than yourself so you get fitter?

    cheers

    every other day riding would be ideal IMHO - you get stronger/fitter during rest NOT when on the bike. No rest = no gains.

    That is TERRIBLE advice regarding heart rates. EVERYONE has unique heart rate zones that have sod all to do with their age. I know people far older than me with far higher max heart rates and vice versa. Some aspects of heart rate are linked to fitness and some are linked to your physiology and cannot be altered.

    There are many threads here on HR training, and try a google search, as you could spend the rest of the week simply reading stuff about how to train with a HR monitor. Most importantly is that using standard age related calculations to find your training zones is a total waste of time and you need to spend a little time doing a few personal tests to work out how YOUR body works. Its well worth it though as its a very intelligent way to train IMHO.
    Your Past is Not Your Potential...
  • carrock
    carrock Posts: 1,103
    You will get to a bit of a plateau where you get fit and used to hills but battle against physics, ie your weight

    I am 17 stone, and did coast to coast , and managed it carrying all my own luggage, with a rebuilt leg full of metalwork, and diabetes. I managed Hartside but had to push part way up Crawleyside

    But I have to say if I was 12 stone it would have been a lot easier

    Try to lose a stone, and see how much easier the hill becomes

    Then lose another, and so on.

    At 5 10 you really need to be below 13 stone

    12 would be ideal
  • ex-pat scot
    ex-pat scot Posts: 939
    HR is individual.
    The advice you had is terrible.
    You will need to identify from trial and error your max and resting HR
    Then when climbing, note the rise in HR and gauge that against your absolute "balls out" HR when riding to exhaustion.

    There's also a simple (if not easy) way to be a much better climber.
    You are carrying a lot of excess weight. There's no way around that.

    I don't want to sound like your mum, but you really want to think about losing a few stone. Being 15 stone means any hills are a real struggle.
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  • Ride every hill you can, when you can. 8)
  • Lose weight. More climbing. Bobs yer uncle. You'll get there, it just takes time.

    HR is a very individual thing, as is every heart!
  • bigbeezer
    bigbeezer Posts: 80
    thanks again lads,
    regarding the 15 stone,
    that's why im going out on the bike,to lose some of it,im also a postman so i get a lot of walking doing that,need to cut out the junk food and i shoudl be ok,i really like cycling and im going to stick to it!
    how long do you think the weight will take to start shifting? i have noticed trousers feeling looser but my weight seems to be staying the same just now.

    cheers
  • Ben6899
    Ben6899 Posts: 9,686
    I wouldn't focus on weight, but rather on body shape and how clothes fit you. You'll notice t shirts begin to hang better as well as your trousers becoming too big on the waist/arse.

    One thing I have noticed is that cycling melts the weight off. I was slim before taking up cycling and soon realised I need to eat more than I did (when mainly running) if I'm throwing down 100/200 miles a week and want to stay the same weight.

    Ride all summer and you'll be pleasantly surprised come Christmas.
    Ben

    Bikes: Donhou DSS4 Custom | Condor Italia RC | Gios Megalite | Dolan Preffisio | Giant Bowery '76
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  • ExeterSimon
    ExeterSimon Posts: 830
    carrock wrote:
    You will get to a bit of a plateau where you get fit and used to hills but battle against physics, ie your weight

    I am 17 stone, and did coast to coast , and managed it carrying all my own luggage, with a rebuilt leg full of metalwork, and diabetes. I managed Hartside but had to push part way up Crawleyside

    But I have to say if I was 12 stone it would have been a lot easier

    Try to lose a stone, and see how much easier the hill becomes

    Then lose another, and so on.

    At 5 10 you really need to be below 13 stone

    12 would be ideal

    Not necessarily. I take it you've used the outdated and useless BMI charts for that figure?

    I'm 5 10 and if I was 12 stone I'd cut a very odd figure.
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  • Ben6899
    Ben6899 Posts: 9,686
    carrock wrote:
    You will get to a bit of a plateau where you get fit and used to hills but battle against physics, ie your weight

    I am 17 stone, and did coast to coast , and managed it carrying all my own luggage, with a rebuilt leg full of metalwork, and diabetes. I managed Hartside but had to push part way up Crawleyside

    But I have to say if I was 12 stone it would have been a lot easier

    Try to lose a stone, and see how much easier the hill becomes

    Then lose another, and so on.

    At 5 10 you really need to be below 13 stone

    12 would be ideal

    Not necessarily. I take it you've used the outdated and useless BMI charts for that figure?

    I'm 5 10 and if I was 12 stone I'd cut a very odd figure.

    We're all different.
    Ben

    Bikes: Donhou DSS4 Custom | Condor Italia RC | Gios Megalite | Dolan Preffisio | Giant Bowery '76
    Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ben_h_ppcc/
    Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/143173475@N05/
  • carrock
    carrock Posts: 1,103
    carrock wrote:
    You will get to a bit of a plateau where you get fit and used to hills but battle against physics, ie your weight

    I am 17 stone, and did coast to coast , and managed it carrying all my own luggage, with a rebuilt leg full of metalwork, and diabetes. I managed Hartside but had to push part way up Crawleyside

    But I have to say if I was 12 stone it would have been a lot easier

    Try to lose a stone, and see how much easier the hill becomes

    Then lose another, and so on.

    At 5 10 you really need to be below 13 stone

    12 would be ideal

    Not necessarily. I take it you've used the outdated and useless BMI charts for that figure?

    I'm 5 10 and if I was 12 stone I'd cut a very odd figure.

    Be interested to know what your weight is and your body composition

    Incidentally, according to the BMI charts 12 stone at 5ft 10 is borderline normal/overweight but yes they are outdated

    I'm 5 ft 11, muscular, and overweight.- about 16 stone 10 on a good day

    My lean body mass ( muscle and bone ) is 11 stone and a bit.

    My minimum healthy weight, with a reasonable amount of fat, 6 to 8%, is 12 stone

    I'd say this would be my ideal weight for cycling up hills. My goal weight, however, is 13 or under.

    Which or more or less what I said to the OP

    I'd be surprised to find anyone who'd be underweight at 12 stone and 5 ft 10, to be honest- unless he's a pro bodybuilder

    Armstrong pre cancer carried a lot of upper body muscle for a cyclist, due to being a triathlete, and was 5 ft 10 and 75kg = 12 stone IIRC
  • guilliano
    guilliano Posts: 5,495
    Armstrong et al are a little different to someone who cycles for fitness. They are professional endurance athletes and as such are quite skinny, just like distance runners.

    I'm with the people who'd say focus on body shape and muscle tone. I'd actually like to put on a bit of weight, but lose the wobbly bit round the middle at the same time..... that way I know my weight is muscle which looks better.

    FYI I'm 6'1 and 13st 10...... want to be 14st and lose 2 inches from my 33 inch waist
  • Speaking as a person of the larger persuasion (16 stone), all you can do with hills is to practise and find your pace. When I first started getting back into road biking, I would throw myself at the hill and try to stomp up it all the way. The result was, I'd go hard for about a minute and then be dead. Start the climb at a pace you are certain you can maintain for the whole way, then you can start increasing the pace from there.

    But yeah, it's all about power-to-weight ratio really and I know I need to drop a couple of stone. Wont manage that before the Dragon Ride though.
  • carrock
    carrock Posts: 1,103
    guilliano wrote:
    Armstrong et al are a little different to someone who cycles for fitness. They are professional endurance athletes and as such are quite skinny, just like distance runners.

    I'm with the people who'd say focus on body shape and muscle tone. I'd actually like to put on a bit of weight, but lose the wobbly bit round the middle at the same time..... that way I know my weight is muscle which looks better.

    FYI I'm 6'1 and 13st 10...... want to be 14st and lose 2 inches from my 33 inch waist

    Of course he's different- that's why I said IDEAL weight- ideal levels of muscle and minimal bodyfat for an all round athlete equals about 12 stone on a 5 10 frame

    Specialist climbers have minimal upper body muscle so are typically under 11 stone for the same height- the old rule about twice your height in inches should equal your weight in lbs for a climber.

    But many people have a bit too much fat, and not enough muscle

    As a contrast, Chris Hoy is 6 ft 1 and 14.5 stone- and even he is probably not great up hills
  • Just pace yourself better, are you entering the hill at these low gears you're exiting them at?

    Climbing strength...comes from climbing. If you want to get better at it then do it more often I suppose? Intervals will give you power up hills as well.

    But why are we being tangent to the real problem? Lose weight. Simple as - if you want to climb like a healthy cyclist then you need to be a healthy cyclist. Use the hills as motivation, every time you get your ass handed to you by a hill you can rethink the diet/whatever is causing the weight. The problem isn't the bike gears its you.
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