Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Fifty Plus (50+)
Reload this Page >

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 07-06-12, 03:01 PM
  #51  
Dudelsack 
A might bewildered...
 
Dudelsack's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Loovul
Posts: 6,529

Bikes: Bacchetta Giro ATT 26; Lemond Buenos Aires

Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 80 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
I don't climb very well but my male member is truly mas.....aw, never mind.
__________________
We are on earth to help others; what on earth the others are here for I donít know.
Dudelsack is offline  
Old 07-06-12, 03:23 PM
  #52  
bruce19
Senior Member
 
bruce19's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Lebanon (Liberty Hill), CT
Posts: 6,230

Bikes: CAAD 12, MASI Gran Criterium S, Colnago World Cup CX & Guru steel

Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 835 Post(s)
Liked 73 Times in 48 Posts
I don't really know what the grades are around here. I just know that everyone thinks of my town as "hilly" and on rides from my house I'm always climbing to get home. My speed varies from 5 mph to 10 mph on the "rises" in the area. I have a 17.4 mi. TT with 1200 ft of climbing that I am doing at 16.5 mph. But basically, like so many others, I suck at climbing. I think it has something to do with the 187 lbs on my 5'9" frame.
bruce19 is online now  
Old 07-06-12, 03:36 PM
  #53  
PAlt
The guy in the 50+ jersey
 
PAlt's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Davidson, NC
Posts: 715

Bikes: Specialized S-Works Roubaix, Litespeed Tuscany Road, Specialized Allez Epic lugged carbon frame Road,Giant Anthem 29'r, Klein Hardtail

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Best test was last year on Death Ride...764...We'll see what this year brings.
PAlt is offline  
Old 07-06-12, 03:47 PM
  #54  
mapeiboy
Senior Member
 
mapeiboy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Toronto , Ontario , Canada
Posts: 542

Bikes: Colnago EP with Campy chorus

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 22 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
When I climbed a hill yesterday , a female runner ran pass me half way up . I just shook my head and said to myself I am really bad when it comes to hill climbing .
mapeiboy is offline  
Old 07-08-12, 07:46 AM
  #55  
cyclinfool
gone ride'n
 
cyclinfool's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Upstate NY
Posts: 4,051

Bikes: Simoncini, Gary Fisher, Specialized Tarmac

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Last June (2011) when I was in shape my VAM for a 3500' 8 mile climb was 715. This year I could not manage that and with my current schedule doubt I will be able to next year either - after that I can start working on climbing again. It takes a lot of time and effort to be good on the hills, particularly the long ones.
cyclinfool is offline  
Old 07-08-12, 11:03 AM
  #56  
OldsCOOL
Senior Member
 
OldsCOOL's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: northern michigan
Posts: 12,424

Bikes: '77 Colnago Super, '76 Fuji The Finest, '88 Cannondale Criterium, '86 Trek 760, '87 Miyata 712

Mentioned: 15 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 414 Post(s)
Liked 7 Times in 7 Posts
Originally Posted by mapeiboy View Post
When I climbed a hill yesterday , a female runner ran pass me half way up . I just shook my head and said to myself I am really bad when it comes to hill climbing .
You must have a triple chainring.
OldsCOOL is offline  
Old 07-08-12, 12:16 PM
  #57  
woodway
Squeaky Wheel
 
woodway's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Newcastle, WA
Posts: 1,532
Mentioned: 6 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 32 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Looking at my recent Strava results, the best I see is 951.

http://app.strava.com/rides/10051210#177619613
woodway is offline  
Old 07-08-12, 12:40 PM
  #58  
Homeyba
Senior Member
 
Homeyba's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Central Coast, California
Posts: 3,370

Bikes: Colnago C-50, Calfee Dragonfly Tandem, Specialized Allez Pro, Peugeot Competition Light

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by OldsCOOL View Post
You must have a triple chainring.
does that have to do with how fast you can climb???
Homeyba is offline  
Old 07-08-12, 02:22 PM
  #59  
Dudelsack 
A might bewildered...
 
Dudelsack's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Loovul
Posts: 6,529

Bikes: Bacchetta Giro ATT 26; Lemond Buenos Aires

Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 80 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
Originally Posted by Homeyba View Post
does that have to do with how fast you can climb???
My triple is geared really low: 30x34, which means in my smallest gear I spin out at 4-5 MPH. A runner would easily be able to drop me. That's what I think he was talking about.
__________________
We are on earth to help others; what on earth the others are here for I donít know.
Dudelsack is offline  
Old 07-08-12, 02:29 PM
  #60  
bruce19
Senior Member
 
bruce19's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Lebanon (Liberty Hill), CT
Posts: 6,230

Bikes: CAAD 12, MASI Gran Criterium S, Colnago World Cup CX & Guru steel

Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 835 Post(s)
Liked 73 Times in 48 Posts
Today I hit a 10% climb and I was VERY slow.
bruce19 is online now  
Old 07-08-12, 03:22 PM
  #61  
chasm54
Banned.
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Uncertain
Posts: 8,651
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by Dudelsack View Post
My triple is geared really low: 30x34, which means in my smallest gear I spin out at 4-5 MPH. A runner would easily be able to drop me. That's what I think he was talking about.
You spin out at 4-5 mph? How small are your wheels?
chasm54 is offline  
Old 07-08-12, 03:59 PM
  #62  
Phil85207
Century bound
 
Phil85207's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Mesa Arizona
Posts: 2,262

Bikes: Felt AR4 and Cannondale hybrid

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by VNA View Post
Slowly but surely.
I an with VNA. My segments on Strava only shows one VAM out of umpteen segments. Whats with that? Some of those segments were long hard climbs, at least for me they are.
Phil85207 is offline  
Old 07-08-12, 04:04 PM
  #63  
Hermes
Version 3.0
Thread Starter
 
Hermes's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: SoCal
Posts: 11,341

Bikes: Too Many

Mentioned: 283 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 563 Post(s)
Liked 62 Times in 47 Posts
To get VAM on all the climbs, one has to purchase a subscription to Strava. Otherwise, they offer select VAM calculations on some popular segments.
Hermes is online now  
Old 01-19-19, 03:01 PM
  #64  
canklecat
Me duelen las nalgas
 
canklecat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Texas
Posts: 9,069

Bikes: Centurion Ironman, Trek 5900, Univega Via Carisma, Globe Carmel

Mentioned: 157 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2771 Post(s)
Liked 141 Times in 115 Posts
Interesting. I never heard of VAM until recently when Emma Pooley set an unofficial record for ascent speed in a GCN video challenge. I had to look it up to see what they were talking about, and this old thread on bike forums came up on the Google hits.

I don't use a power meter, Strava guesstimates are iffy and not particularly useful or accurate when trying to account for head/tail wind effects. And I knew I was a weak climber so I wasn't sure I even wanted to know anything about my VAM.

But the Elevate browser extension adds some interesting info from our Strava logs, so what the heck.

Turns out my VAM has improved from around 540 this time last year to 690 now. Still not a strong climber, but I'm pleased to see some progress. I don't feel like I'm any faster on climbs, but apparently over distance I am. I'm just paying too much attention to micro-data, how I do on those short, steep climbs of a couple hundred yards or half a mile around here. We don't have any long sustained climbs. But since resuming cycling in 2015 I've improved from dead last on every climb to middle of the pack on most and managed a few top tens that were heavily tailwind assisted.

Now I'd like to see Strava adopt some way to reliably factor in head/tail wind effects. There is a site that can analyze our Strava logs to estimate wind handicaps, but it doesn't seem to be maintained or updated now.
canklecat is offline  
Old 01-19-19, 04:29 PM
  #65  
freeranger
Senior Member
 
freeranger's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Kentucky
Posts: 1,177

Bikes: 06 Lemond Reno, 98 GT Timberline mtn.bike

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 36 Post(s)
Liked 21 Times in 14 Posts
Depends on the day. The local MUP has a pretty good hill, sometimes I can keep a decent pace (I don't have fancy gizmos to measure pace, whatever), sometimes not. The good thing is: I never met a hill I couldn't walk up!
freeranger is offline  
Old 01-19-19, 06:33 PM
  #66  
CliffordK
Senior Member
 
CliffordK's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: Eugene, Oregon, USA
Posts: 22,420
Mentioned: 166 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 8520 Post(s)
Liked 77 Times in 69 Posts
Hmmm... I haven't paid much attention to it.

No VAMS on one 1/2 mile segment that I had pushed pretty hard on.

But, it looks like for a couple of longer hills, I'm hitting 500 to 700 VAMS Just riding along (JRA).

There are a few anomalous readings, but I don't think I'm riding up 152% grades.

https://www.strava.com/segments/732548?filter=overall

Ok, going back to one PR that I pounded on a bit.

130 feet climbing, 2:01, 13.2 MPH, 0.44 miles. 6% average.

VAM = vertical meters per hour.

So, calculating that out comes to about 1180 VAM.

But, definitely not done in a steady state.

Hmmm, second half of that climb, I was going about 11 MPH, with a VAM of about 1125

It looks like I need to knock off about 10 seconds to take back the KOM (not a lot of riders). I haven't tried a hard climb on the hill for about a year.
CliffordK is offline  
Old 01-20-19, 12:59 AM
  #67  
GuessWhoCycling
Banned.
 
Join Date: Apr 2018
Posts: 398
Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 95 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
Last month I did a climb up a mtn road. 1 mile segment, 9% grade at 821 VAM according to Strava. Not sure if that is good for a 260 Clydesdale.

I haven't climbed much in the last couple of years.

3 years ago the same climb was 999 VAM.
GuessWhoCycling is offline  
Old 01-20-19, 12:08 PM
  #68  
fietsbob 
coprolite
 
fietsbob's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: NW,Oregon Coast
Posts: 41,666

Bikes: 8

Mentioned: 188 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6836 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 215 Times in 179 Posts
One foot at a time..
fietsbob is offline  
Old 01-21-19, 12:25 PM
  #69  
scozim 
Ellensburg, WA
 
scozim's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Ellensburg, WA
Posts: 3,394

Bikes: See my signature

Mentioned: 56 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 186 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 2 Times in 2 Posts
At this point in my life I don't really care about all these different measurements (VAM, power output, etc). I focus on my cadence (higher is better for me) and pedal stroke. I still climb considerably faster than anyone else I ride with so typically ride by myself because I hate having to slow down on hills. Shoot, I don't even ride with computers, gps anymore. I'm not out to race anyone but just stay in shape and have fun.
__________________
1984 Gitane Sprint; 1984 Gitane Tour de France; 1982 Trek 610; 1968 Peugeot PL8; 1982 Nishiki Marina 12; 1972 Peugeot PX-10; 1987 Trek 800 Antelope (touring/commuting set up); 1993 Trek 950 mtb; 1997 Klein Pulse Comp mtb; 1989 Peugeot Limestone hybrid (for touring); 1975 Gitane Olympic; 1983 Vitus 979; 1989 Spectrum Titanium:
scozim is offline  
Old 01-21-19, 01:43 PM
  #70  
srode1
Gravel Rocks
 
Join Date: Dec 2018
Location: Ohio
Posts: 172

Bikes: Trek Domane and Crockett, Niner RLT9

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 71 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
Clingmans Dome 2.5 hours 590. A local 1.3 mile hill my best was 960, both according to Strava. I'm 62 now, both those were just before turning 60.
srode1 is offline  
Old 01-21-19, 04:28 PM
  #71  
Hermes
Version 3.0
Thread Starter
 
Hermes's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: SoCal
Posts: 11,341

Bikes: Too Many

Mentioned: 283 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 563 Post(s)
Liked 62 Times in 47 Posts
Originally Posted by canklecat View Post
Interesting. I never heard of VAM until recently when Emma Pooley set an unofficial record for ascent speed in a GCN video challenge. I had to look it up to see what they were talking about, and this old thread on bike forums came up on the Google hits.

I don't use a power meter, Strava guesstimates are iffy and not particularly useful or accurate when trying to account for head/tail wind effects. And I knew I was a weak climber so I wasn't sure I even wanted to know anything about my VAM.

But the Elevate browser extension adds some interesting info from our Strava logs, so what the heck.

Turns out my VAM has improved from around 540 this time last year to 690 now. Still not a strong climber, but I'm pleased to see some progress. I don't feel like I'm any faster on climbs, but apparently over distance I am. I'm just paying too much attention to micro-data, how I do on those short, steep climbs of a couple hundred yards or half a mile around here. We don't have any long sustained climbs. But since resuming cycling in 2015 I've improved from dead last on every climb to middle of the pack on most and managed a few top tens that were heavily tailwind assisted.

Now I'd like to see Strava adopt some way to reliably factor in head/tail wind effects. There is a site that can analyze our Strava logs to estimate wind handicaps, but it doesn't seem to be maintained or updated now.
I am not sure whether to thank you for resurrecting this thread or running for cover as you set off the next zombie acopcolypse.

FWIW, it is difficult to generate VAM on shallow climbs. So if you want larger VAMs climb steeper hills. I find it is pretty good for ccmparing how I am doing on a climb over time and of course on can always use time. And Garmin has a VAM readout metric on their Edge units so one could watch VAM instantaneously.


Hermes is online now  
Old 01-21-19, 04:40 PM
  #72  
Clyde1820
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2014
Location: USA
Posts: 743

Bikes: 2012 Trek DS 8.5

Mentioned: 6 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 151 Post(s)
Liked 14 Times in 14 Posts
Old injuries to legs, so very little climbing ability anymore, these days.

Sadly: 275 VAM, according to the suggested calculation. Which doesn't surprise me.

Roughly, back in the day I recall doing a ~300ft climb typically in 10mins or less ... or, 548 VAM. And longer climbs faster still, when pushing. Not great, even then, but these climbs were still post-injury.

Oh, to be young again, but with today's knowledge eh?
Clyde1820 is offline  
Old 01-21-19, 09:19 PM
  #73  
tigat
Senior Member
 
tigat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Colorado
Posts: 418

Bikes: 2018 Trek Domane SLR 9 (very green), 2016 Trek Emonda SL, 2009 Bianchi 928, 1972 Atala Record Pro

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 41 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 2 Times in 2 Posts
For grins, I went back and did a VAM calculation off a PR on a 13 mile, 3200 ft climb. The timing of the PR was a few months after a professionally done test at a cycling clinic. 930 VAM, based on a real world, hour long climb came out at almost exactly the same place as the earlier test (20 mins) in terms of FTP (280) and watts/kg (3.8). My sense is in the four hard years that have passed, I would have trouble hitting 75% of that mark. Oh well.
tigat is offline  
Old 01-21-19, 11:11 PM
  #74  
canklecat
Me duelen las nalgas
 
canklecat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Texas
Posts: 9,069

Bikes: Centurion Ironman, Trek 5900, Univega Via Carisma, Globe Carmel

Mentioned: 157 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2771 Post(s)
Liked 141 Times in 115 Posts
Originally Posted by Hermes View Post
I am not sure whether to thank you for resurrecting this thread or running for cover as you set off the next zombie acopcolypse.
Interesting thread, worth resurrecting.

Climbing has always been my weakness, so anything that helps, helps. VAM is a more useful metric -- within the context of wind assist or hindrance, road conditions, etc. -- than Strava power estimates, and less susceptible to vagaries -- other than the wind.
canklecat is offline  
Old 01-22-19, 01:20 AM
  #75  
BikingTech
Senior Member
 
BikingTech's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2018
Location: Idaho
Posts: 118
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 43 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Back in my prime as a competitive runner and avid cyclist, I used to train on the Lewiston grade and Bogus Basin. Guessing data using the wayback machine, I can safely say over 1000.
BikingTech is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service

Copyright © 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.