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Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

measure %grade

Old 11-12-05, 10:51 PM
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Snicklefritz
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measure %grade

What's the least expensive cyclecomputer I can get that has a function for measuring %grade?
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Old 11-12-05, 10:55 PM
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They have a cyclecomputer that measures grade?
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Old 11-12-05, 10:57 PM
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Several bike computers measure % grade, but their accuracy is somewhat suspect over short distances. Over longer distances, you can just use a topo map and calculate grade yourself.
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Old 11-12-05, 11:19 PM
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Delorme TOPO 5.0, is a nice mapping software.
My "grade" system is usually broken down to: flat, easy, time to shift to smaller ring, what am I doing on this hill, Damnit I hate this hill.
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Old 11-13-05, 09:48 AM
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Originally Posted by UmneyDurak
Delorme TOPO 5.0, is a nice mapping software.
Many of the altitude features are not accurate, however. Especially suspect are grade over short distances and cumulative elevation gain over a long route.
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Old 11-13-05, 09:58 AM
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Or you could get one of these:




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Old 11-13-05, 10:07 AM
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Originally Posted by Snicklefritz
What's the least expensive cyclecomputer I can get that has a function for measuring %grade?
Well for the cheapest...you can make a homemade inclinometer with a cd case and some pennies or something.

What I suggest is finding a good deal on a ciclosport 434M, might be the 436 now, from looking at nashbar. The one without memory is around 100, but you should definitely get the one with memory for about 130-140 or so. There's nothing better than being able to look at your ride in detail, figure out exact grades of climbs and your climbing rate up each. It's not 100% accurate, because its only based on barometric pressure, but I find it is almost never wrong by over a hundred feet when calibrated at the beginning, and that's including rides with 200+ miles and 16000+ ft of climbing. It's also MUCH more accurate than accumulated elevation gain figures that software like TOPO gives you. They always seem to exaggerate climbing by a large amount.
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Old 11-13-05, 10:16 AM
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https://www.paloaltobicycles.com/gradeslocal.html

I think that grades over short distances are not very important, except to help you choose your gearing.

More important is the average grade over 1 mile sections of a hill and also the total elevation gain. That information will help you pace yourself up a hill or to plan your attacks.
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Old 11-13-05, 10:31 AM
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(portable version of ^^)


https://www-graphics.stanford.edu/~lu...ade.html#Build

I agree on the issue of grade over very short distances. Actually even over longer distances, knowing what the grade is doesn't really a huge amount except for bragging after the fact You still gotta choose the right gears and pedal.
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Old 11-13-05, 12:31 PM
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Hehe, that's a good one.
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Old 11-13-05, 05:32 PM
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I have the ciclosport and got it via ebay pretty cheap. I've had it for a year and find it to be very reliable and accurate. The steepest grade I've measured? 21% on a short section of a climb in the mountains of NC. Based on comparisons with other folks models I've found it to be 95% accurate which is ok with me.
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Old 11-13-05, 05:44 PM
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Originally Posted by 'nother
Or you could get one of these:



I second the SkyMounti. Paid $25 (shipping included) for mine. Works great for measuring the actual grade at any given point. Easy to read. The trick is to find a level surface to calibrate it. I used my living room floor after I took a carpenter's level to confirmed that it was level.

Doesn't work for average grade. For that you will need either a mapping/topo program or a high end computer with an altimeter.

Last edited by cc_rider; 11-13-05 at 05:49 PM.
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Old 11-13-05, 07:27 PM
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I had a Vetta V100A, cost about $100. It didn't do a good job of measuring %Grade at all and I returned it for a full refund. Now I use a Cateye and get speed/cadence, and to hell with %grade. It's a hill.
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Old 11-13-05, 08:58 PM
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LOL! Now Jessica wants one of those Sky Mounti things.
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Old 11-13-05, 10:25 PM
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LOL indeed. That was a joke, actually
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Old 11-14-05, 07:30 AM
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Originally Posted by 'nother
LOL indeed. That was a joke, actually
No joking. The SkyMounti is a great gadget.
Totally unnecessary, and probably a waste of money, but fun to have.

With it I found out the hill someone kept claiming was 15% was less than 12%
And another short, steep hill really was 20%

Last edited by cc_rider; 11-14-05 at 07:50 AM.
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Old 11-14-05, 08:45 AM
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Originally Posted by cc_rider
No joking. The SkyMounti is a great gadget.
Totally unnecessary, and probably a waste of money, but fun to have.
There's no reason it wouldn't work, other than it might be hard to read on a hard climb while you're out of the saddle, rocking the bike back and forth. Or riding on a very rough surface.

I googled the thing and they're $25+ shipping. Jess wants one bad.
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Old 11-14-05, 10:54 AM
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Specialized Turbo Pro. 'round $99.
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Old 11-14-05, 11:37 AM
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Some of the Polar cycling HRM's have an altimeter function (measures temperature and atmos. pressure to estimate altitude). If you're good about calibrating it to a known elevation before each ride -- easy if you have a gps unit or know how to read a topo map -- they work quite well. Not SUPER accurate, but more than acceptable. I always upload my workout data into Polar's training software, and the elevation profiles of my most common routes are remarkably consistent. Percent grade is simply a matter of noting the elevation change and the mileage change between given points. Can do it in your head on the fly or later the software does it automatically. Very disappointed to learn that a local hill I find quite challenging only averages about 4% grade (with a few stretches of 7+%). Darn.

Polars aren't the cheapest solution, but given the fact that these things also measure heartrate, bike speed, mileage, etc., the cost-per-function really isn't bad. It's become a toy -- er, tool -- I can't live without.
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Old 11-14-05, 02:29 PM
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lol, I just ordered a Sky Mounti from the LBS for Jessica. Now she can see how non-steep the hills are that she suffers on.
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Old 11-14-05, 06:50 PM
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The GPS unit I have (Garmin Forerunner) does grade, though - again - its probably not much more accurate than using a map. But, at least it gives you something while you're riding, and I suspect its more accurate the longer the hill is.

Also: Perhaps this goes without saying, but those bubble levels are useless unless you're completely stationary. But, if you want to stop and take a measurement, they work...
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Old 11-14-05, 07:25 PM
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Originally Posted by coclimber
Also: Perhaps this goes without saying, but those bubble levels are useless unless you're completely stationary. But, if you want to stop and take a measurement, they work...
Not so. Unless you are mashing really hard on a climb and bouncing a lot, or riding over a very rough patch of road, the bubble level is very stable. The curved tube keep the bubble together and steady. Very easy to read.

Don't mean to sound like an advertisement, but I'm happy with my toy.
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Old 11-14-05, 07:30 PM
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Google Earth.....
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