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Is 7% Steep?

Matlock4068Matlock4068 Posts: 14
edited September 2010 in Road beginners
After work today I had a go at a hill signposted at 7% (from the River Plym up towards Estover in Plymouth if you know it) - and I had to stop twice! In bottom gear! So, is that a particularly steep hill, based on peoples knowledge and experience? If I can't manage that am I barking up the wrong tree in taking up Cycling proper? Honest answers are ok!
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  • nferrarnferrar Posts: 2,511
    7% isn't very steep but if it were the average for the hill you might have been struggling on a steeper section
  • AnonymousAnonymous Posts: 79,667
    How long is it? If it was a few miles long then yes, if you are relatively unfit. If not then no, not steep at all.
  • a_n_ta_n_t Posts: 2,011
    not really. 27% is steep, 7% is more than likely a bridge :lol:
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  • freehubfreehub Posts: 4,257
    If it goes on for 200 meters and you try hold 16+mph on it then it's rather steep.

    I did this hill out of a place called Otley yesterday, only 2.5 miles long and around 700ft ascent, but it started off at like 5%, a section then shot up to 15-17% and it was up and down from there, what a censored it was.
  • brinbrin Posts: 1,122
    I wouldn't regard 7% being steep, nor would i suggest you were 'barking up the wrong tree'
    give it a few more goes you'll soon flatten it out, then try another one a bit steeper, the more you try/conquer the more confident you will become.
  • AnonymousAnonymous Posts: 79,667
    When I first started riding with any intent to do something more than nip to the shops, I thought I was a hero when I could ride up the 600m 6% hill back into my village and not need to stop at the top. That was 3 years ago.
    I've got a lot better since then...
  • Chip \'oylerChip \'oyler Posts: 2,323
    freehub wrote:
    If it goes on for 200 meters and you try hold 16+mph on it then it's rather steep.

    I did this hill out of a place called Otley yesterday, only 2.5 miles long and around 700ft ascent, but it started off at like 5%, a section then shot up to 15-17% and it was up and down from there, what a censored it was.

    What hill/road was that then?
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  • Mate, good on you for doing it. Good on you for the perseverance after two stops. I would have given up. Any hill seems steep when it's you first time doing it. Keep at it and you'll get better. 7% is not steep, but it's not flat either. Just keep at it.
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  • dennisndennisn Posts: 10,601
    I've climbed a few hills in my day and can say that 7% is gonna FEEL really steep after, oh, say 4 or 5 miles and you're still going up. 7% may not sound like much but if it's pretty constant and long you'll definately find yourself in a bit of hurting before it's over. Especially if you're at altitude(Alps, Rockies). Gasping for air isn't much fun either.
  • pomtarrpomtarr Posts: 318
    @ the OP - there's always the chance it says 7% but is actually steeper - UK gradient signage is not always that accurate IMO.
    "Difficult, difficult, lemon difficult"
  • squiredsquired Posts: 1,153
    Anything steeper than 7% seems to be too difficult for Bradley Wiggins..... :wink:
  • squigssquigs Posts: 149
    After work today I had a go at a hill signposted at 7% (from the River Plym up towards Estover in Plymouth if you know it) - and I had to stop twice! In bottom gear! So, is that a particularly steep hill, based on peoples knowledge and experience? If I can't manage that am I barking up the wrong tree in taking up Cycling proper? Honest answers are ok!

    Its a nightmare when you first start, before long you will be flying up forder valley hill.
    I am in Saltash so im used to hills now, and learn to love them.
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  • antflyantfly Posts: 3,276
    Any hill feels steep at first but it also depends how low your gears are.
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  • freehubfreehub Posts: 4,257
    freehub wrote:
    If it goes on for 200 meters and you try hold 16+mph on it then it's rather steep.

    I did this hill out of a place called Otley yesterday, only 2.5 miles long and around 700ft ascent, but it started off at like 5%, a section then shot up to 15-17% and it was up and down from there, what a censored it was.

    What hill/road was that then?

    It was Newall Carr Rd.

    I only averaged 11.8mph up it :oops: This lead me to believe my hill performance was off par.

    http://www.google.co.uk/maps?ie=UTF8&ll ... 8,,0,19.46

    Looks alot flatter but that bit is actually hitting 15%.

    http://connect.garmin.com/activity/46105730

    That's the route, really nice round there, another climb coming up to a large mast, dunno what it was, was not bad only hitting 10%.
  • rick_chaseyrick_chasey Posts: 65,400 Lives Here
    Col d'Aubisque from the western side averages 7.2% and that felt pretty bloody steep when I was riding up it.
  • anto164anto164 Posts: 3,500
    freehub wrote:
    freehub wrote:
    If it goes on for 200 meters and you try hold 16+mph on it then it's rather steep.

    I did this hill out of a place called Otley yesterday, only 2.5 miles long and around 700ft ascent, but it started off at like 5%, a section then shot up to 15-17% and it was up and down from there, what a censored it was.

    What hill/road was that then?

    It was Newall Carr Rd.

    I only averaged 11.8mph up it :oops: This lead me to believe my hill performance was off par.

    http://www.google.co.uk/maps?ie=UTF8&ll ... 8,,0,19.46

    Looks alot flatter but that bit is actually hitting 15%.

    http://connect.garmin.com/activity/46105730

    That's the route, really nice round there, another climb coming up to a large mast, dunno what it was, was not bad only hitting 10%.

    You should add in the climb from bingley up to eldwick in there! it's pretty constant, with a 17pc ramp up at the end :lol:
  • jthefjthef Posts: 226
    Another influence on how steep a hill is how heavy you are?
    I have a mate who is under 10 stone but I was 15 stone It will take a lot more power from me to get up that hill from me than him. So I may say 7% is not easy but very doable. keep going and they do get easier honest.
    I hill I have not managed to get up with out stopping before I managed for the first time yesterday :)

    the hill was at Roby mill
    http://maps.google.co.uk/maps?hl=en&ie=UTF8&ll=53.565523,-2.723058&spn=0.000394,0.001206&t=h&z=20&layer=c&cbll=53.565523,-2.723058&panoid=V5qvOQ1N8IJHDZonyRFbgw&cbp=12,192.7,,0,-11.01

    So Don't give up and enjoy it :twisted:
  • AnonymousAnonymous Posts: 79,667
    Col d'Aubisque from the western side averages 7.2% and that felt pretty bloody steep when I was riding up it.

    As I side, if it goes on for miles it's bloody hard!
  • GarzGarz Posts: 1,155
    I tend to find 10% or greater starts stressing my CV system.
  • PaulS77PaulS77 Posts: 48
    pomtarr wrote:
    @ the OP - there's always the chance it says 7% but is actually steeper - UK gradient signage is not always that accurate IMO.

    I've often wondered about the accuracy of sign posts. There's a hill near where I live that's posted as 15% but it's definitely wrong, it shows on Bikehike as about 6% and at a guess I'd say that's about right.
  • AnonymousAnonymous Posts: 79,667
    15% will be the steepest section, 6% will be the average...
  • PaulS77PaulS77 Posts: 48
    There's nothing even close to 15%, it's about a mile long and the steepest section on Bikehike shows 6%.

    Original post wasn't clear on that, sorry.
  • freehubfreehub Posts: 4,257
    anto164 wrote:
    freehub wrote:
    freehub wrote:
    If it goes on for 200 meters and you try hold 16+mph on it then it's rather steep.

    I did this hill out of a place called Otley yesterday, only 2.5 miles long and around 700ft ascent, but it started off at like 5%, a section then shot up to 15-17% and it was up and down from there, what a censored it was.

    What hill/road was that then?

    It was Newall Carr Rd.

    I only averaged 11.8mph up it :oops: This lead me to believe my hill performance was off par.

    http://www.google.co.uk/maps?ie=UTF8&ll ... 8,,0,19.46

    Looks alot flatter but that bit is actually hitting 15%.

    http://connect.garmin.com/activity/46105730

    That's the route, really nice round there, another climb coming up to a large mast, dunno what it was, was not bad only hitting 10%.

    You should add in the climb from bingley up to eldwick in there! it's pretty constant, with a 17pc ramp up at the end :lol:

    Is that on a road called Park Rd/ Park Side? If so it's abit censored , over 0.87 miles and it's be a huge detour brinding my route in at over 100 miles, hardly worth it :p
  • GavHGavH Posts: 933
    After work today I had a go at a hill signposted at 7% (from the River Plym up towards Estover in Plymouth if you know it) - and I had to stop twice! In bottom gear! So, is that a particularly steep hill, based on peoples knowledge and experience? If I can't manage that am I barking up the wrong tree in taking up Cycling proper? Honest answers are ok!

    Keep trying it and you'll be surprised how easily you get up without stopping. The main thing is not to avoid it.

    I went up a short 13% hill yesterday which was only 4 miles in to my ride but with over 800ft of ascent already up. Whilst it was still an effort, my HR only got to 87%. Contrast that with a few months ago when the same hill saw me hit 100%. :oops:
  • McBoomMcBoom Posts: 78
    After work today I had a go at a hill signposted at 7% (from the River Plym up towards Estover in Plymouth if you know it) - and I had to stop twice! In bottom gear! So, is that a particularly steep hill, based on peoples knowledge and experience? If I can't manage that am I barking up the wrong tree in taking up Cycling proper? Honest answers are ok!

    I had a look for the hill and plotted it on mapmyride. Is this it? http://www.mapmyride.com/route/gb/plymouth/325128320819118115

    If it is then when you tick the "show elevation" you can see that the hill is far steeper than 7%, and actually hits a max of 20% at one point, which is a pretty serious gradient! I also looked on streetview and saw that the gradient sign (at the top) actually says "1 in 7" and not 7%. 1 in 7 is the equivalent to a 14.3% gradient.

    In conclusion I would say that 7% isn't very steep, but the hill you rode is (assuming that's it)!
  • AirwaveAirwave Posts: 483
    I did a hill the other day,started off at 10% then 13% i thought this ain't too bad.Then i saw the bend up ahead.It was bit of a ramp 20% section then 25% only a car width wide but luckily no cars.But it leveled off pretty quickly,good job as i as i was blowing steam outa me head.That was 460ft in 0.9 of a mile.So far that's the best/worse hill i have ridden in Dorset,excluding Gold Hill(Hovis ad).
  • rolf_frolf_f Posts: 16,015
    freehub wrote:
    It was Newall Carr Rd.

    I only averaged 11.8mph up it :oops: This lead me to believe my hill performance was off par.

    http://www.google.co.uk/maps?ie=UTF8&ll ... 8,,0,19.46

    Looks alot flatter but that bit is actually hitting 15%.

    Quite a nice road - I use it quite a lot. You could also try Farnley Lane (to the right of Newal Carr Road on your map). The climb out from Lindley Wood reservoir is nicely described in Simon Warrens book on 100 best cycle climbs.
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  • ProssPross Posts: 34,850
    A road signed 7% 'should' be 7% maximum rather than average but as someone else said above the signs can't be relied on. It's a fair gradient although not steep to experienced riders and can be quite a challenge for a new rider. A lot of the issue with climbing is in the head though. Your head tells you it's hard and wouldn't it be easier to get off rather than keep riding - your body is probably more than capable of doing it though if you ignore those little voices.
  • 7% is not steep but if you're starting out any rise in the road is ugly.

    Keep at it. You get better at it; soon you'll enjoy it then you actively look for something steeper.

    If it's too much at the moment ride to a point before you have to stop then try a repeat (maybe after a ride somewhere else first).

    No rule says you have to make it to the top of every hill first try. I just got taught that a while ago; not smart to learn it by myself.
  • thegibdogthegibdog Posts: 2,106
    Are gradients less than 10% signposted? I would've thought it must have been 1 in 7 or 17%.
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