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How fast do you climb?

Fifty Plus (50+) Share the victories, challenges, successes and special concerns of bicyclists 50 and older. Especially useful for those entering or reentering bicycling.
View Poll Results: What is your VAM?
Greater than 1067
7
10.00%
915 to 1066
11
15.71%
763 to 914
16
22.86%
610 to 762
20
28.57%
457 to 609
7
10.00%
305 to 456
1
1.43%
Other
8
11.43%
Voters: 70. You may not vote on this poll

How fast do you climb?

Old 04-17-12, 02:18 PM
  #26  
BikeWNC
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Originally Posted by ericm979 View Post
I can do 1100 for 20 minutes when I am going well. I usually assume 900-950 for all day climbing rides, a little less once above 8000' altitude.
Wow, 3000' an hour on an all day ride is really quite good.
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Old 04-17-12, 02:36 PM
  #27  
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Only been on Strava for a short bit so most of my rides are low effort since I did not know about segements etc. After a 7 mile 6% climb, I decided to push myself on the final 1 mile segment on strava. Only a mile long but 6.25 minute VAM was 761.

Not bad for a 260 lb clyde. If I can get back down to my normal weight of 230, my numbers will go way up. With this extra weight I am losing 10-15 mintues on my 8 mile climb time. This strava is a good motivating tool, time to get back on my horse.

I'm getting smoked but plenty of these riders are litterally half my weight.

I'm only 49 so I have a year to improve then post back.
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Old 04-17-12, 06:51 PM
  #28  
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On Strava, some of the smaller segments have bad elevation data. For instance, this bridge over the Ohio is at most a 50 foot climb, probably closer to 40 feet total. But it shows the lower elevation as 196 feet, which is almost 300 feet below the river water level. So the leaders show VAMs of 6000 to 8000. That's funny.

Here's another segment with bad elevations. It's 80-90 feet, not 337 feet.

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Old 04-18-12, 09:21 AM
  #29  
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Originally Posted by BikeWNC View Post
At my best, a few years ago I did a local climb of 4.4 miles and 1850' in 33 minutes for a VAM of 1025. Now I was lighter and training then and life has gotten in the way of that kind of riding. That climb was part of a longer ride so it wasn't even a full out effort. More recently, this weekend's ride had a 6.4 mile 2147' climb I did in an hour for a VAM of 655. That climb came at mile 43 with 3000' of climbing already in my legs. I'm at least 18# heavier than I was in full training so that really drags on the hills. I'm working at lowering the weight and improving my power so I can climb better.
I knew you were a climbing stud and now I know why you want another power meter.

Originally Posted by ericm979 View Post
I can do 1100 for 20 minutes when I am going well. I usually assume 900-950 for all day climbing rides, a little less once above 8000' altitude.
I figured this thread had your name all over it. I have to give you credit for inspiring my previous climbing thread. I recall in a post or email that you said you could climb 3000 fph all day long. I decided that 3000 fph or 914 VAM was the gold standard for climbing similar to a 1 hour 40K TT. Hey this is my thread and my rules. I wanted to poll to see how many could achieve that standard. Congrats on the VAM and being a great climber!

Originally Posted by Mr. Beanz View Post
Only been on Strava for a short bit so most of my rides are low effort since I did not know about segements etc. After a 7 mile 6% climb, I decided to push myself on the final 1 mile segment on strava. Only a mile long but 6.25 minute VAM was 761.

Not bad for a 260 lb clyde. If I can get back down to my normal weight of 230, my numbers will go way up. With this extra weight I am losing 10-15 mintues on my 8 mile climb time. This strava is a good motivating tool, time to get back on my horse.

I'm getting smoked but plenty of these riders are litterally half my weight.

I'm only 49 so I have a year to improve then post back.
We love clydes. I like it when the big men trounce the skinny beanpoles even if it is for a short period of time. BTW, as a suggestion when you are climbing with skinny guys, save your power for the steeper sections.

Speaking for myself, it is easier on the flatter sections and I can go faster. However, it is really easy for the skinny guys so I let them lead. I try to hide and conserve energy knowing they are going to punish me on the steeper sections. If I find myself in the lead setting tempo, I slow the pace. And sometimes it is better to lead superior climbers since I am riding at a pace I can hold versus trying to hang on. On rare occasions, there is magic in the air and I can prevail or a least hand out some punishment.
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Old 04-18-12, 09:37 AM
  #30  
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Originally Posted by Hermes View Post
I knew you were a climbing stud ONCE and now I know why you want another power meter.
Fixed it for ya.
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Old 04-18-12, 10:35 AM
  #31  
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Originally Posted by Hermes View Post
BTW, as a suggestion when you are climbing with skinny guys, save your power for the steeper sections.
Thanks, that is my strategy. Back when I was in climbing form, (220-230) I did plenty of climbing with OCRRick. I'd never try to pull away if I felt good. I'd climb more of a consistent pace saving energy for the steep painful sections. I actually beat him on a couple of 5,000 ft training rides through the mountains (maybe he had a couple bad days). But he'd always smoke me by 30 minutes on a timed century with 10,000 ft. But heck, I was happy with that, Rick is a monster rider.
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Old 04-18-12, 11:09 AM
  #32  
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Originally Posted by [B
Mr. Beanz[/B];14113956] But heck, I was happy with that, Rick is a monster rider.
No, wait Beanz . . . I can't have you spreading rumors about me. True I was slower when I was a micro-clyde @ 180 lbs. but now that I'm down to 160 I do climb better.

Plus, on that timed century noted above, we did have the same riding time and I only beat you because you kept stopping for Gina supplied bagel breaks!

See you on The Bear and Breathless Agony again this year?

Rick / OCRR
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Old 04-18-12, 11:20 AM
  #33  
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'Other' include no data, (don't own the widgets to gather it),
and it does not matter?,
if it's too steep, I get off and walk.

there is a half block on the way home, every trip.
that I switch back and forth on, using the whole width of the street.
or gear way down when there is other traffic ..

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Old 04-18-12, 12:53 PM
  #34  
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Originally Posted by Rick@OCRR View Post
No, wait Beanz . . . I can't have you spreading rumors about me. True I was slower when I was a micro-clyde @ 180 lbs. but now that I'm down to 160 I do climb better.

Plus, on that timed century noted above, we did have the same riding time and I only beat you because you kept stopping for Gina supplied bagel breaks!

See you on The Bear and Breathless Agony again this year?

Rick / OCRR
OK, you are smaller now but a BIGGER monster!
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Old 04-18-12, 05:33 PM
  #35  
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Well, alright. I did a set of hill repeats today and hit the high 700s and one 818. Granted, they were only 1.2 mile climbs (the biggest really close hill) but still, I'm sorta kinda slightly more happy.
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Old 04-18-12, 09:14 PM
  #36  
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Originally Posted by cccorlew View Post
Well, alright, I'm sorta kinda slightly more happy.
Excellent numbers Curtis! You're going to do great on the Devil Mountain Double. I put it on my list for next year.

Rick / OCRR
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Old 04-19-12, 09:28 AM
  #37  
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No idea.

Every time my wife & I talk about climbing a particular hill she says "I usually do it at so-and-so mile per hour, how about you?" and every single time I'm forced to remind her that it never even occurs to me to look at my speedometer when I'm climbing.
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Old 04-19-12, 05:45 PM
  #38  
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I have no idea. I live in FLA.

What's a hill?
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Old 04-20-12, 11:25 AM
  #39  
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Slowly but surely.
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Old 07-06-12, 08:45 AM
  #40  
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It's been nearly 3mos and here is my hillclimbing progress according to the first run of the season on this hell (ooops, SP) and last night on the same segment/hill. VAM 661.

Here is the first ride early in the season (Michigan):


http://app.strava.com/rides/5174397

Here is last night when I jumped from #9 to #7 with a 25sec improvement over the previous run made 10days earlier:

http://app.strava.com/rides/12599791
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Old 07-06-12, 08:54 AM
  #41  
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OldsCool, That VAM is not bad considering the grade of ~3.7%. Typically, steeper grades yield higher VAMs.
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Old 07-06-12, 09:06 AM
  #42  
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One of my training objectives for the last couple years has been to climb 4000 ft/hr (1219 m) for 15 minutes.
A couple weeks back I hit 1190m (while setting a PR on Kings Mt). So close.

To put it in perspective, I calculate that the "non climber" pros in TdF mountain stages, the guys who are just trying to finish inside the time limit, do the last climb of the stage at 4000 ft/hr for 45 minutes to an hour.
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Old 07-06-12, 09:15 AM
  #43  
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Originally Posted by Hermes View Post
OldsCool, That VAM is not bad considering the grade of ~3.7%. Typically, steeper grades yield higher VAMs.
Thanx! It's been a fun season. The best part is this is only my second season of hard, deliberate hill work in all my road biking years. To this point I've only tolerated hills because they interrupted my love for the flats.

The first place guy is a beast and manages one of our 3 bike shops in our small town of 3500. But I'm going to make a go of it.
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Old 07-06-12, 09:44 AM
  #44  
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Garmin gave me a VAM on one ride of 1100, which I was skeptical of from the start. I think what happened was that I was riding a MUP along the Santa Ana River (SART), which is pretty flat, except where is crosses under major streets. Being Clyde, I hit it going down into the underpasses so I can be carrying enough inertia to sail out the other side at a reasonable speed, often as high as 20mph. I'm guessing some of these are 10%, or there abouts. Even though the total ride is pretty flat, it was reporting max VAM, which I was hitting for only100-200 ft horizontal, with the help of Issac Newton.

My fastest legitimate VAM was 416 on Torrey Pines Grade in San Diego. http://app.strava.com/activities/12313984#210491526
Age-56
Wt232 (240 at time of climb)
I'm hoping to be below 220 by Labor Day, when I will hit Torrey again.
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Old 07-06-12, 10:26 AM
  #45  
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Originally Posted by bobthib View Post
I have no idea. I live in FLA.

What's a hill?
Exactly!

I had to answer "Other" because "Not worth a damn" wasn't on the list of choices.
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Old 07-06-12, 10:37 AM
  #46  
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Originally Posted by Hermes View Post
OldsCool, That VAM is not bad considering the grade of ~3.7%. Typically, steeper grades yield higher VAMs.
I forgot to specify that I ride with clips/straps, zero kit (helmet and gloves, only...very light cargo's and t-shirt) and the bikes are both in the 22lb range. The Technium PRE is a nice changeup with the aluminum tubes but doesnt have the lower gearing that the Trek 460 has.

That Trek will have very light Vuelta Corsa wheelset by spring or later this season. That is going to be a fun difference if I can bust the piggy bank by mid-August when I'm in top seasonal condition.
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Old 07-06-12, 10:58 AM
  #47  
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Oldscool, At a 3.7% grade, the difference of 5 pounds of bike weight is negligible and at 11 mph aero drag is not a large factor so having loose fitting clothing is not material - it is a few seconds or a couple of VAM. Toe clips and straps are fine as long as the shoe has a stiff sole. I see a lot of cyclists riding in soft sole shoes and I can see the shoe sole deform as the press down on the pedal. I always think that must not feel great but they are not putting in much power.

As your power and speed increase, the benefit of cycling specific clothes, shoes and pedals begin make a difference since they will be more comfortable and allow better energy transfer and aerodynamics. If you increase the % grade and length of the climb, then the weight of the bike as well as body weight become more important in increasing VAM.
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Old 07-06-12, 11:12 AM
  #48  
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John Deere mowers pass me.
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Old 07-06-12, 12:44 PM
  #49  
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I'm not sure if I calculated this right or not. The number seems kind of high for me. I am definitely not a climber. These numbers are from when I was training for RAAM in 2010. I was probably 220-225lbs then.
The climb is Nacimiento-Furusson Rd.
Distance: 6.5 miles
Average grade: 7.6%
Total climbing: 2600ft
Time: 56:00
I believe the VAM calculates to 845?
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Old 07-06-12, 02:42 PM
  #50  
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Originally Posted by Homeyba View Post
I'm not sure if I calculated this right or not. The number seems kind of high for me. I am definitely not a climber. These numbers are from when I was training for RAAM in 2010. I was probably 220-225lbs then.
The climb is Nacimiento-Furusson Rd.
Distance: 6.5 miles
Average grade: 7.6%
Total climbing: 2600ft
Time: 56:00
I believe the VAM calculates to 845?
That's a good climb. We dont have that stuff around here.
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