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Hills !

aw1808aw1808 Posts: 91
After a bit of help ....

Been training a lot and dropped 7kg and still coming down . When climbing short steep hills I'm getting dropped by my mates but on shallower long drags (3-4%) I have no issue and often drop them.

How can I improve my climbing on the short sharp climbs ?
I may be slow going up but i will pass you going down !

Posts

  • markhewitt1978markhewitt1978 Posts: 7,614
    What's your limitation on those hills where you're getting dropped, leg strength or heart and lungs?

    To get up faster you're going to have to spin your legs faster, and (possibly at the same time) turn higher gears, and the only real way to get better at that is practice!
  • aw1808aw1808 Posts: 91
    It's a bit of both with gears and heart rate . On the steeper climbs I'm on the 28 t and just keep getting dropped .

    More hill repeats seems a sensible answer and loose more weight !
    I may be slow going up but i will pass you going down !
  • DeVlaeminckDeVlaeminck Posts: 6,326
    Are we talking 20 second power climbs or longer? I think for the short ones out of the saddle is often the way to go try and hit them with momentum so accelerate before the hill and carry it - for slightly longer the technique may vary but the key thing is practice - like anything it can be trained though your natural strengths and weaknesses will always play a part in how good you can be.
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  • imposter2.0imposter2.0 Posts: 11,013
    As above, train yourself to tolerate a higher level of effort.
  • aw1808 wrote:
    IOn the steeper climbs I'm on the 28 t and just keep getting dropped .

    Is that a 53x28 or 39x28?
    I'm sorry you don't believe in miracles
  • aw1808aw1808 Posts: 91
    The shorter climbs are about 0.5 of a mile long and around 9% average but pitch up to over 15% in places on the climb. A few of the white horse climbs in Wiltshire if you know them.

    I can get into a rhythm and spin but still getting dropped , is this just a combination of needing more power and dropping weight or that I just suck ;-)
    I may be slow going up but i will pass you going down !
  • aw1808aw1808 Posts: 91
    aw1808 wrote:
    IOn the steeper climbs I'm on the 28 t and just keep getting dropped .

    Is that a 53x28 or 39x28?

    Compact is my friend :-) only been cycling for a few years and not quite ready for man gears yet !!
    I may be slow going up but i will pass you going down !
  • t4tomot4tomo Posts: 2,643
    your going to have to practise climbing them in a higher gear at similar cadence, this will build up your leg power, or catch your mates up as the slope slackens off! Spinning up on a 28t is fine, a possibly the thing to do on a long ride as that will take least out of you, but it will never be fast.
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  • drlodgedrlodge Posts: 4,824
    You're probably in a similar boat to me. I'm 5' 8", 77 KG (12 stone and a smidge), been riding nearly 2 years and I'm a lot stronger on hills that I used to be. I would say the biggest impediment to hills is weight, the folks speeding up hills ahead of me are (a) lighter (b) younger and (c) fitter. I might keep up with them on short hills but then I'm knackered and suffer the rest of the ride. Just train harder if you want to go faster, and lose more weight to get your power/weight ratio up.
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  • imposter2.0imposter2.0 Posts: 11,013
    t4tomo wrote:
    your going to have to practise climbing them in a higher gear at similar cadence, this will build up your leg power,

    What do you mean by 'leg power' ?
  • drlodgedrlodge Posts: 4,824
    Imposter wrote:
    t4tomo wrote:
    your going to have to practise climbing them in a higher gear at similar cadence, this will build up your leg power,

    What do you mean by 'leg power' ?

    "Leg Power" in this context means ability to push harder on each stroke.

    Two ways of increasing power: push harder on each stroke, or push more often (increase cadence).

    What the OP could try is to attack on a hill to keep up with the rest, and see how far he gets up the hill before dropping back. That will give him some practice at higher power outputs and help "strengthen" his legs. Hopefully over time he will keep up with them for longer.
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  • drlodge wrote:
    I would say the biggest impediment to hills is weight,

    Not cardiovascular fitness?
    I'm sorry you don't believe in miracles
  • DeVlaeminckDeVlaeminck Posts: 6,326
    I don't think you want easier gears, try harder gears if anything. Someone will no doubt call this macho bullshite but I found last year when I came back from the Alps and left the 36*29 bottom gear on I was getting dropped on a fast training group on some 1 in 6 ish climbs. After a road race I left a 12-23 cassette on and I was staying with the front group because the option to sit and spin wasn't there I had to mix grinding with out of the saddle.

    For that length of climb you should be able to mix in some out of the saddle for steeper sections of if you find a gap developing. Forget getting into a rhythm - you need to go as fast as the wheel in front for 2 minutes by whatever means then worry about being wrecked for the rest of the ride afterwards.
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  • drlodgedrlodge Posts: 4,824
    drlodge wrote:
    I would say the biggest impediment to hills is weight,

    Not cardiovascular fitness?

    Well its a mix of the two - given a certain level of cardiovascular fitness, weighing less means you will go faster. Of course being fitter also means you will go faster...so get fitter AND lose weight :wink:
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  • markhewitt1978markhewitt1978 Posts: 7,614
    And metal toughness, which I don't have, I often get defeated by a hill long before I even get to it!

    Always remember there's a local half mile long 7% climb which I go up fairly reguarly, but never as fast as when on a sportive I refused to let the guy ahead of me on a Boardman get away!
  • drlodgedrlodge Posts: 4,824
    And metal toughness, which I don't have, I often get defeated by a hill long before I even get to it!

    Always remember there's a local half mile long 7% climb which I go up fairly reguarly, but never as fast as when on a sportive I refused to let the guy ahead of me on a Boardman get away!

    Oh those weaklings on their plastic Halfords bikes eh? :wink:

    Mental toughness (or PMA) is needed too. I often balk thinking of Barhatch Lane, but then once I'm riding it, its not all that bad.
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  • aw1808aw1808 Posts: 91
    I have more HR to play with but even on a short ride this Sunday I was trying to save the legs a bit for what was to come .

    Better man up then and get some over geared hill repeats in and get rid of a bit more timber. :-)
    I may be slow going up but i will pass you going down !
  • imposter2.0imposter2.0 Posts: 11,013
    aw1808 wrote:
    Better man up then and get some over geared hill repeats in and get rid of a bit more timber. :-)

    Deliberately over-gearing is unlikely to help much. Just use the gears you would normally use to hit your required effort level. Specificity n' all that....
  • aw1808aw1808 Posts: 91
    Thanks for the advice .

    My thoughts on being over geared would be that it builds leg strength but also don't want to knackers my knees any worse than they already are after playing football for years .
    I may be slow going up but i will pass you going down !
  • imposter2.0imposter2.0 Posts: 11,013
    aw1808 wrote:
    Thanks for the advice .

    My thoughts on being over geared would be that it builds leg strength but also don't want to knackers my knees any worse than they already are after playing football for years .

    You don't need to build 'leg strength' - you need to build aerobic and anaerobic capacity.
  • BrandonABrandonA Posts: 553
    drlodge wrote:
    I would say the biggest impediment to hills is weight,

    Not cardiovascular fitness?

    I think the two can be improved in tandem with regular cycling. Last year due to cycling alone I lost over 2 stones. He more I rode the fitter and lighter I got. With the less weight I required less power to get up the climbs so was faster. I was also fitter so I experienced a double increase.
  • supermurph09supermurph09 Posts: 2,471
    Maybe your pacing is better for the longer climbs?
  • celbianchicelbianchi Posts: 854
    Imposter wrote:
    aw1808 wrote:
    Thanks for the advice .

    My thoughts on being over geared would be that it builds leg strength but also don't want to knackers my knees any worse than they already are after playing football for years .

    You don't need to build 'leg strength' - you need to build aerobic and anaerobic capacity.


    This is the answer here.
  • ai_1ai_1 Posts: 3,060
    drlodge wrote:
    I would say the biggest impediment to hills is weight,

    Not cardiovascular fitness?
    Obviously both are important but weight is probably more important than cardiovascular fitness once you get to a moderate level of fitness. Being heavier doesn't mean you've got a bigger heart and lungs. As you approach high levels of fitness your power output will plateau so increased fitness will make only small differences to climbing speed. However, if you've got a lot of weight to lose then this is probably where the biggest gains in climbing performance are to be had.
  • cyco2cyco2 Posts: 593
    Try to replicate your hill climb efforts on the flat. You can use a HR monitor but in time PE is all you'll need. Because you're on the flat it will mean using higher gears but at a 90+ cadence because it's important to keep your breathing rate high as well. Lots of pedal pressure for 5min+ at a time with progressively less recovery time. You don't need to do many of these sessions to understand you're ability. So, keep the session to about an hour, that way the recovery is such that you could very nearly do this every day. When you've done several sessions of these go out with your mates and try and blitz them in a low gear. :twisted:
    ...................................................................................................

    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.
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