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Double Chainring and hills..

badflawbadflaw Posts: 32
Hello I am training for the Delottie ride of britain (1000 miles ,9 Days) Just bought my first road bike with double chain ring and struggling up hills over 10 percent.

Im 29,10.5 stone, 5ft 11-ride a compact chainset 34t f 25 t back lowest gear. Im new to this road malarky, but normal go mountain biking and 20 mile runs a couple of times a week so im used to using the granny ring at high cadance!

In road trainiing Ive been riding 50 miles at about 14 miles an hour.(click link for a log of my ride with altitude -

Ive been struggling on steeper hills havign to stand to keep the pedals turning ive even had to walk up some - something i would never , ever do on my mountian bike) I struggle on anything more than ten percent ( I can stay seated on a 12percent though im at a very low cadence and it doesnt feel right)
I wonder if I should drop the size of the middle ring to enable me to ride long distances (bearing in mind the event im training to do) or wether I should do some specific training to overcome the problem?



  • emxemx Posts: 164
    badflaw wrote:
    or wether I should do some specific training to overcome the problem?

  • shmoshmo Posts: 321
    Putting a 12-27 or 28 cassette on the back would help make the gearing a bit more comfortable, but might not make a huge difference.

    That'd be the easiest thing to change anyway.
  • amaferangaamaferanga Posts: 6,789
    I hope you've been doing more miles than you've got logged on Edmondo :wink:

    Think you just need to stick at it. If you're not comfortable standing up on hills then keep doing it and it will get easier. If you have a compact chainset (34/50) then you could only change down to a 33 anyway and that'd give you an even more unpleasant jump between chainrings.
    More problems but still living....
  • At your age/height/weight that gearing should get you up anything.

    The rest is down to hard work and practice.

    There is a big step up in fitness required and the only way to bridge the gap is through getting out and putting in the miles.

    Hills will then become a welcome challenge and not something to dread.
  • Ahh but what you do not know is that the OP is a stickleg mutant who will crush your souls and horizons in the same way as one of his many nocturnal conquests......
  • jocksyboyjocksyboy Posts: 135
    as uphillstruggle says.

    At 10.5 stone you should fly up everything but the steepest climbs.
    Patience and hard work will win through.
    How hard are you actually pushing yourself on the climbs?
    When I see an adult on a bicycle, I do not despair for the future of the human race. ~H.G. Wells
  • thiscocksthiscocks Posts: 549
    Just get used to standing. I pretty much have to stand up most hills
  • cyco2cyco2 Posts: 593
    Your weekly mileage is far to low and needs to be increased in quantity or in quality. Commuting is a good way to increase it but maybe you should try a turbo because 10miles on that in a low gear with some resistance will give you the quality. If you were able to do that every day for say a week then increase the resistance slightly with the same cadence you'll find yourself climbing better when on the road.

    If you want to be a strong rider you have to do strong things.
    However if you train like a cart horse you'll race like one.
  • Badflaw get some serious training in and you will be fine. You should do lots of hills in training as there are plenty of hills to conquer in the RAB. I did it last year and it was really enjoyable but.......only if youve put the training miles in. I think they will give you an option to bypass the Long Mynd this year only about 20 out of the 600 riders managed to get up it last year. I'd advise you to bypass it if you have the option. You need to be fit enough to do 100mile plus days with plenty of hills day after day after day after day.

    One of the best things I did in training was a hilly 190mile ride a few months before the event. After that a 130mile day seemed very do-able.

    Hope the weathers kind to you and you have a fantastic time. The route is amazing it was the highlight of my cycling year in 2010.
  • GarzGarz Posts: 1,155
    At your age/height/weight that gearing should get you up anything.

    The rest is down to hard work and practice.

    There is a big step up in fitness required and the only way to bridge the gap is through getting out and putting in the miles.

    Hills will then become a welcome challenge and not something to dread.


    I am 5'6" and 12 1/2 st and seem to get up most gradients. Last year I scaled many tough hills including wrynose pass with the 23 as my lowest. Your height/weight are a great base to build upon I think you just need to get more mileage in.
  • mz__jomz__jo Posts: 398
    If you are coming from mountain-biking then it is not surprising that the sensations are not the same on the road. On the road you use bigger gears because there is not the same potential need to control the bike on the tricky technical stuff and the effort is much more regular. The road rider can use upper body power where the mountain-biker sometimes cannot. On the other hand road sessions need to be longer than mtb sessions (the rule I have heard is 2 1/2 hours mtb= 4 hours on the road). I would agree with all the other posters; you need to train longer and harder.
    Do not get trapped into thinking that lower gears will necessarily make life easier (and faster); I did this for a number of years and went steadily worse and worse until I rediscovered riding a fixed wheel last year and my hillclimbing improved radically.
  • Ron StuartRon Stuart Posts: 1,242
    Swap the 25 cassette for either a 27 or 28; you are now nearly geared as low as a race triple, which is low enough given your statistics. Keep the 25 cassette for when you get stronger and/or the event doesn't have the very steep stuff.
    After this, just get out and get those miles in, train on hills if you can but not all the time, remember you get fit by working and resting.
    Firstly try a medium hill on a regular route and time your ascent, make sure your not tired before the climb. Then go away and train, come back a few weeks later (not tired) and repeat the circuit and timing the hill again bearing in mind conditions (head wind or tail wind) after several checks you should start to see an improvement.
    Don't get to involved with trying to go to fast early in the climb and ignore what others are doing, it's like weight training work with small weights and the correct technique is better than big weights and bad technique. As you get stronger you will find your pace will improve naturally.
    So try the 27/28 get on a hill and try and work within yourself bearing in mind technique and breathing as in lifting weights (because that's what your doing), try not to hold your breath and strain.
    Core exercises are good for hill repeats, try a gym, talk to an instructor and work on those arms as you climb but try and isolate the upper body as the engine room and the legs as the pistons.
    Mentally picture one of your favorite riders a similar build to you and when you are climbing imagine you are him, what his posture would be like, try and be him relaxed and in control.
    You will get there, with your build you have a head and shoulders start.

    ps. I'm twice your age 5'-7", 10st-6lb, and usually leave at lot of the young-uns behind on
    Ah!........ to be 29, 5'-11" and only 10st-7lb :roll: Oh well at least I can beat the last one. :D
  • ColinJColinJ Posts: 2,218
    Sorry, but it's a fitness thing not a gear thing, and I'm saying that as someone who likes low gears for climbing!

    I got pretty fit when I was 45, but I was still a stone heavier than you. Despite the extra weight, I had no problems getting up 10% climbs in 39/23. I had a granny ring on the bike but I didn't need it that year.

    I'd say that I averaged about 500 very hilly miles a month then. I was averaging 16.5 - 17 mph on those rides.

    Just get the miles in and the rest will follow! Give yourself time for recovery between hard rides. Either take a day off between them, or ride slow and easy on your recovery days.
  • cougiecougie Posts: 22,512
    How many times are you running your 20 mile runs each week ? That'll tire you out far more than a 50 mile bike ride.

    Your weight is low, and the gears are low enough too. For a 1 in 10 - most people would be out of the saddle - theres nothing wrong with that. Practice Practice !
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