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    Default Question for the cyclists

    So I've been back out on the bike for the last few weeks, cycling everywhere around and about. I've also been doing a circuit each day, it's not long about 6 miles which requires me to cycle up a hill for two miles that gets steeper as you climb. Did the circuit twice this morning in just over an hour.

    The hill is a killer when I haven't been cycling and so I use it to get fitter. Question is, how should you cycle hills?

    When it gets to the point where my legs start to burn I ease off into a very easy gear and trundle up. I dear say I could walk it quicker. Is this right? Or should I be standing and giving IT max until I'm gasping for air?

    How should you tackle hills?
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    I had a similar thing when I used to cycle - route to work was undulating, 4.3 miles, up hill and down dale, except for this killer last stretch, short but fecking steep, I never managed it without getting off, and it was too steep to get going again so I had the ignominy of pushing the bike up the rest of the hill, looking at the chain like there was something wrong for the benefit of passing colleagues in cars.....

    The ride back was a breeze, literally, once I hit said hill downwards I could coast almost all the way home at silly speeds, hair streaming back since there were no helmets then. Or hi-vis. and like 5 gears and not 24 like on my current bike. Who needs 24 gears FFS?

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    1. You need to know if you are a spinner or a grinder first, that will dictate the best hill technique you have.
    2. look at your bike setup suitability for hills.
    3. Get in your hurt locker

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    I get out the saddle a lot and muscle it but you really should spin seated

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    TPAFKAk2p2

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    MTFU.

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    Have you got a flat tyre impending progress?

    Or possibly a spare tyre?

  7. #7

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    'sit and spin' is what I was told by somebody who does this pretty seriously. Apparently the ideal cadence (that's how fast you pedal) is 90rpm, though I find that tires me out too much. So yes use the gears and change down as soon as it starts to get hard. That's what I do.

    BTW this guy overtook me up a hill and said "raise your seat dude and you'll climb better". He was right. I've now got the seat about an inch and a half above where Halfords said it should be and I'm finding hills a lot easier.
    Will work inside IR35. Or for food.

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    Quote Originally Posted by VectraMan View Post
    'sit and spin' is what I was told by somebody who does this pretty seriously. Apparently the ideal cadence (that's how fast you pedal) is 90rpm, though I find that tires me out too much. So yes use the gears and change down as soon as it starts to get hard. That's what I do.

    BTW this guy overtook me up a hill and said "raise your seat dude and you'll climb better". He was right. I've now got the seat about an inch and a half above where Halfords said it should be and I'm finding hills a lot easier.
    Yes, lots of new cyclists have their seat too low. Top of the crack of the arse when you stand over your bike is a good starting point.

  9. #9

    TripleIronDad

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    I remember DaveB saying most cyclists do not change down early enough. And I think he is right!

    Don't hurt your knees. Take it easy. When I am in lowest gear and I am about fall off, I get out of the saddle!

    However, I would recommend trying a few techniques yourself, then do the one that suits you.

    And well done for getting out there! Great fun isn't it?
    Katy Perry - don't be afraid to catch feels. Taylor Swift - feels $1 a go.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by BrilloPad View Post
    I remember DaveB saying most cyclists do not change down early enough. And I think he is right!

    Don't hurt your knees. Take it easy. When I am in lowest gear and I am about fall off, I get out of the saddle!

    However, I would recommend trying a few techniques yourself, then do the one that suits you.

    And well done for getting out there! Great fun isn't it?
    Yay, I have it in wiring

    Whatever your comfortable cadence is, aim to use the gears to maintain that going up the hill. If you want train harder on the hill then stay one gear higher and push it but no more than that or you will knacker your knees and end up struggling to change down and maintain momentum.

    If you feel up to getting out of the saddle and honking it, remember you should be one or two gears up from what you would be in if you were seated, otherwise the low resistance will throw you off balance and screw with your rhythm. One option is to stay seated as long as you can, then stand up as long as you can before you have to change down. This takes a bit of confidence and the coordination to change down a gear while standing on the pedals going up hill. The trick is to change down just as your arse hits the saddle and maintain your cadence. Not as easy as it sounds.


    PS. Rule 5

    And Brillo, in the words of Greg Lemond - "It never gets easier, you just go faster."
    Last edited by DaveB; 21st June 2015 at 18:39.
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