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best bike for £1000 for hill climbing

kaz285kaz285 Posts: 17
edited August 2010 in Road beginners
Im new to cycling, I have a saracen morzine road bike but are useless at hills I converted it to a triple, not sure what the middle is but the top is 52 smallest 30. I dont want speed just the ability to climb hills without panicing and wondered if a new bike would help, I know practise makes perfect but maybe a lighter low geared bike would help!!! Or a small engine on the back!
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  • squigssquigs Posts: 149
    I thought exactly the same when I started, but it really is down to keep doing the hills. In 6 months you will wonder why you asked the question. Converting to a triple just adds more weight where a compact would really still have given you the same options. I do hills as easily on my compact as the triple if not easier.
    Sirrus Comp 2010 (commuting)
    Roubaix Pro SL Sram red (Weekend sportives)
    Certini Campagnolo Mirage (Turbo trainer)
  • How long have you been cycling?

    I dithereed about changing my setup for so long I ended up getting fit enough to manage the hills on my commute anyway.
  • retrobike007retrobike007 Posts: 215
    Stick with it, I have been road riding for about 3 weeks now and the hills are starting to easier already 8)
  • TwilheimerTwilheimer Posts: 189
    Definately stick with it. If you spend 1K on a new super light bike, you'l end up no fitter, or better at hills. Theres no achievement in spending money, but there is in seeing improvement without spending. Invest in your skills mate, not the bike! Good luck with the hills.
  • kaz285kaz285 Posts: 17
    Thanks, suppose the only way to tackle a hill is to go as far as possible without stopping but I presume dont be afraid to stop then next time try get up with less stops until I can do it fully, I live in West Yorks so they are pretty tough, my head gives out before my legs and I keep telling myself I cant do it and I panic.
  • Buckled_RimsBuckled_Rims Posts: 1,648
    If you are struggling with a 30t front ring then maybe you are very unfit. I'll assume you have a 30 front and 25 rear cassette. If this is the case, no matter how much or light a new bike will be you'll still have the same problem.

    The lowest practical gearing available is front30-rear28, after that it's a whole new ball game. You can get lower, but to be really honest, you'll be walking quicker then you can pedal.
    CAAD9
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  • rick_chaseyrick_chasey Posts: 61,055 Lives Here
    Climbing hills never gets easier, you only get faster.

    Hurts just as much.
  • PostieJohnPostieJohn Posts: 1,105
    kaz285 wrote:
    Thanks, suppose the only way to tackle a hill is to go as far as possible without stopping but I presume dont be afraid to stop then next time try get up with less stops until I can do it fully, I live in West Yorks so they are pretty tough, my head gives out before my legs and I keep telling myself I cant do it and I panic.
    The proven technique for hills as per some pro's article I read ages ago, goes a follows:-

    - Long before climb make sure you are properly hydrated.
    - Before climb sort out your breathing, failing a climb is usually due to lack of oxygen, so regular steady 'lungfuls'.
    - At foot of climb get into the gear you will use, (sounds like that will be your lowest)
    - Maintain breathing.
    - Should you want to 'push on' and get out of saddle, go up a couple of cogs first.

    Starting from the bottom of your cassette and working upwards (or just staying were you are) is better than going down to the lowest, and having nothing left.
  • ShaunLShaunL Posts: 91
    You'll find the majority of the problem is psychological.

    Any bike around a grand will be light enough to be a good climber.

    The heaviest thing is always you so no point nit picking over miniscule diffrences, go for a bike you like, feels comfortable and wil be proud to ride.

    Thne get out there and do the hills, you'll be knackered the first time you crest it without stopping but once you have done it you'll do it again and again and it will get easier.

    In a few weeks you'll be hititng them faster and climbing them better.

    You'll lose weight as you cycle regularly, I lost 3 stone commuting and went through the pain barrier of the long climbs around here.

    Soldier on :-)
  • sfichelesfichele Posts: 605
    When I first started hill climbing I used to fail because I went at it too quickly at the start and would blow-up soon after. The trick is to go quite slowly when first starting out and keep slowly grinding.
  • rolf_frolf_f Posts: 16,015
    kaz285 wrote:
    Thanks, suppose the only way to tackle a hill is to go as far as possible without stopping but I presume dont be afraid to stop then next time try get up with less stops until I can do it fully, I live in West Yorks so they are pretty tough, my head gives out before my legs and I keep telling myself I cant do it and I panic.

    I live in West Yorks and know how you feel! I started riding less than a couple of years ago and the hills scared the hell out of me and my heavy steel mountain bike. Got up them (on my commute) by counting pedal strokes to a hundred or thinking about complicated things. By the time I had got to a hundred, I was usually near the top! Try not to stop but, if you do, rest and restart. Walking up a hill won't help at all. Thing to remember is you won't be suffering for long - most hills are only 10 minutes of work and there are very few more than 20.

    You just have to work at it - now hills are what I like. There is nothing like beating a new hill to give a sense of achievement. I've even got up Hardknott Pass in the Lakes and there isn't much harder than that here.
    Faster than a tent.......
  • Ad HynkelAd Hynkel Posts: 17
    There was a good article in Cylcing Plus last year (October 09 maybe) with some tips (already some of these covered by other posters) and there is a series of posts somewhere on t'web called Zen and the Art of Climbing, which I seem to remember had some good words of advice. Though since doing the Sportive I was training for I have forgotten much of the advice. But concentrate on your breathing to stop you panicking was a biggie that still sticks (and works!)...count the breaths.
  • bill57bill57 Posts: 454
    ShaunL wrote:
    Any bike around a grand will be light enough to be a good climber

    Didn't somebody say "It's not about the bike"?
  • kingrollokingrollo Posts: 3,162
    Buy the bike !

    It will give you a new motivation - don't be ashamed to want a new bike - a lighter, better fitting, modern bike, will help you - it won't convert you into Alberto Contador - but it will help.

    My tips for hill climbing (not that I am a great climber)

    Stay seated, hands on the top of the bars - get a smooth pumping action\rhythm going.

    Once you have 'survived' the hill a few times perhaps you can think about how might improve you time :-

    Could you muster an out of the saddle effort for the last few feet on the hill ?

    Could you drop down a gear - and get out of the saddle on section od the hill ?

    Most remember, that however slow you are getting over the hill, you are getting over it - that more than most couch potatoes \ car drivers can do !
  • TwilheimerTwilheimer Posts: 189
    I used to panic too, with clipless pedals it was a bad combination. I then started concentrating on breathing rather than the challenge, and I got faster.
  • kaz285kaz285 Posts: 17
    You've all given me so much inspiration im going to do exactly what you said and conquer them and try not to be scared, its weird cos im walking fit but cycling must be totally different muscles, last month I did 100mile walk in 36 hours with 13500ft of ascent (showing off a bit there) but cycling up a hill...your right if I can mentally overcome it thats half the battle. When I walked the 100 they said to me its 90% in your head 10% in your legs, I thought...scallops... but its true, dont think its quite the same cycling but I dont want to panic anymore.
  • PostieJohnPostieJohn Posts: 1,105
    edited July 2010
    If all of my original post looks alien to you, you will relatively comfortably get up hills that have beaten you, before. (no one ever said it was going to be easy)
    As many have said, get your breathing right and the rest will eventually fall into place.

    Keep us posted, I for one would love to know which bits work for you, and what doesn't.
  • lfc_westylfc_westy Posts: 87
    its about gearing like people will have said but most of all HARD PRACTICE !!!! the bike only does so much, you do the rest
    It Never Gets Easier, you just get Faster and luckier.

    UEA Road Captain

    Planet X SL pro carbon - sram rival
  • CiBCiB Posts: 6,098
    Just to add to this, I upgraded last Autumn to a lighter better specced bike and didn't expect to magically suddenly be able to climb hills at twice the rate. My expectations were fully met - my favourite hills were and still are hard to get up. It's not the bike, it's the rider.

    The difference between my wieght then and my current weight is much greater than the differrence between the new bike over the previous one. The gear ratios are the same; change a bit more sweetly on Ultegra and the bike is nicer to ride, but ti's still my poor legs that have to shovel 13½ stone of me plus a bit of bike up a steep hill. Fun though. That's the constant. A lighter bike won't make a worthwhile difference.
  • Ben6899Ben6899 Posts: 9,545
    Where in West Yorkshire are you?
    Ben

    Bikes: Donhou DSS4 Custom | Condor Italia RC | Gios Megalite | Dolan Preffisio | Giant Bowery '76
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  • kaz285kaz285 Posts: 17
    cleckheaton
  • Cleat EastwoodCleat Eastwood Posts: 7,508
    edited July 2010
    You could have a bike made of angel wings but if your legs aint got it you'll still struggle up them hills.

    Try doing a ride on the flat in a higher gear so you build up your leg muscles.

    TRy also, on a smaller slope, spinning as fast as you can till the legs burn, this in cases your threshold.

    And heres some advice from a forumer who's name I've forgot, and this does work, find a pace up the hill you're comfortable with.....lay off a bit...and then reduce it by 5%. You'll find not only do you progress at a steady rate but it actually feels like you're conquering the hill.

    Good luck and build up those muscles .
    The dissenter is every human being at those moments of his life when he resigns
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  • Ben6899Ben6899 Posts: 9,545
    kaz285 wrote:
    cleckheaton

    Some decent hills around those parts!
    Ben

    Bikes: Donhou DSS4 Custom | Condor Italia RC | Gios Megalite | Dolan Preffisio | Giant Bowery '76
    Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ben_h_ppcc/
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  • Try to concentrate on directing all you energy to your legs and keep the top half of your body totally releaxed.

    It sounds easy but takes pratice.
  • furragfurrag Posts: 481
    I find pulling back on the bars helps me transfer a lot more power through the pedals.
  • Being new to road riding, but haven ridden MTB's for years, I can olny agree with Rick Chasey. Hill climbing never gets easier you just get up there faster than last week but your body still feels the same.

    My mates think Im barmey as I genuinely love riding up hill, I feel it defines you as a rider as it requires both physical and mental strength. Descending at speed aslo requires concentration and awarenss but you do get the assistance of gravity.....lol.

    But dont invest in equipmet yet to get you up the hill faster, it will feel easier and you might be faster but that is because its new and shiney and you feel differently about it.............Ive been there. Concentrate on the climbing by tuning and preparing your body then when you 100% happy with that it becomes a constant then start to look at your equipment for those extra few fractions fo a second.

    Again i am only speak from my experiece with MTB riding, but you often find the limitations on performance are down to the individual and not his equipment.
  • rolf_frolf_f Posts: 16,015
    Furrag wrote:
    I find pulling back on the bars helps me transfer a lot more power through the pedals.

    On Yorkshire hills that technique usually results in you wheelying off the back of the bike :lol:
    caddison wrote:
    Being new to road riding, but haven ridden MTB's for years, I can olny agree with Rick Chasey. Hill climbing never gets easier you just get up there faster than last week but your body still feels the same.

    I'd disagree totally with that! People say it a lot but it honestly isn't true! The speed increase does offset some of the increased power you gain with practice but after a while you find that many hills that once killed you are barely noticed anymore. OK, a serious climb remains a serious climb but I can tell the difference at the top even if I am suffering on the climb. Nothing like getting to the top of a big climb and immediately feeling ready for the next one. But I do like the climbing.......
    Faster than a tent.......
  • I fully agree you do see a significant reduction in required recovery times once your fitness level increases but does climbing really become easy, blips in the road yes, as you stated an overall increase in speed will make the barely noticalbe. But a propper climb like jacobs ladder in the peak district (MTB sorry) never becomes truley easy. I think we are trying to get at the same point but maybe I should have expanded on the statement a little more.

    I like going uphill too.......................is that normal?
  • fnegronifnegroni Posts: 794
    I would like to add my 2 pence worth.

    Bike geometry and most importantly, posture, will also establish a better climibing experience.

    A TT bike is hardly the right choice for hill climbing, although it can be done, it won't be comfortable and it is only really a compromise.

    Also, you might benefit from a better pedalling technique. For me for example, the simple push down movement doesn't cut it. I try and ensure I fire as many muscles as possible to relieve some, and also try and reduce the dead spots, by for example, clawing back with my foot at the bottom of the stroke using my calf muscle more.

    This is all very relative and individual, but what I am trying to say is that you should not be afraid to experiment and you might find hills not easier, but certainly less painful or uncomfortable.
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