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Struggling with Hills

Old 08-30-19, 08:02 PM
  #51  
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Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
I’m going to disagree with you and others about fitness. Most of this discussion is of the HTFU kind of advice (Look it up, bygeorge). I, too, do loaded touring and I have for decades. There is nothing wrong...and everything right...with having gearing that is low. It’s not a sign of weakness to have low gears nor to use them. This bike


IMG_3144 by Stuart Black, on Flickr

now has a 44/34/20 crank with an 11-36 cassette. It’s not “fitness” but “smartness” when it comes to gearing that matters. That gearing came in handy here


Untitled by Stuart Black, on Flickr

My touring bike and my dual suspension mountain bike both have similar gearing and it comes in handy a lot of the time.

bygeorge: Go ahead and get lower gearing. From the information you’ve given, I suspect you cranks have 104/64mm bolt circle diameters. You should be able to put a 22 tooth gear on both cranks. You can work on fitness and have smart gearing at the same time.
I totally agree. I pack a lot of tools and even a chainsaw on occasion for clearing trails. I love the 22/34 gearing and use it frequently. I may be old, but I've passed many a younger folk on both roads and trails (sometimes just to prove to myself that I can). I've been a masher since I started riding but I still love them low gears.
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Old 08-31-19, 02:27 AM
  #52  
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Originally Posted by terrymorse View Post
Ullrich used about an 80 cadence in the Alps d'Huez 2004 TT. 80 is a higher than average climbing cadence for a Euro pro in a stage race, which is about 70.

His 80 cadence only looked slow when compared to Armstrong, who used a 100 cadence.
Any reason these beginner needs advice threads need to degenerate into debates about racing tactics?
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Old 08-31-19, 03:03 AM
  #53  
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Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
I’m going to disagree with you and others about fitness. Most of this discussion is of the HTFU kind of advice (Look it up, bygeorge). I, too, do loaded touring and I have for decades. There is nothing wrong...and everything right...with having gearing that is low. It’s not a sign of weakness to have low gears nor to use them. Thisy touring bike and my dual suspension mountain bike both have similar gearing and it comes in handy a lot of the time.

bygeorge: Go ahead and get lower gearing. From the information you’ve given, I suspect you cranks have 104/64mm bolt circle diameters. You should be able to put a 22 tooth gear on both cranks. You can work on fitness and have smart gearing at the same time.
I disagree with the premise--it's not htfu or "shame", just skepticism that the gearing would solve the issue. I came back to riding after about a decade off, and tried it several times when I was unfit, so the contrast between unfit and fit riding is relatively recent for me. Their gearing is low enough at this point that it is likely that dropping it further won't address the problem they're having-- it's more likely that it's the inability to stay aerobic while performing enough revolutions to conquer the slope rather than not generating enough power to overcome the resistance. Lowering the gears at this point would just increase the number of revolutions needed, and make the problem worse. I don't think there's any" shame" in saying that a beginner needs to work on the legs and heart before they can expect any major improvement in climbing ability. My advice was distinctly not of the htfu variety, but was quite the opposite. Focus on doing more flat riding because they will likely enjoy that more and consequently do more of it at this point, and as the legs and cv system improve as a result, come back to the hills later. I can tell you from personal experience that trying to do too much at the beginning can be quite discouraging. I had a lot of false starts coming back to cycling because it was so discouraging struggling to do stuff I had formerly found so easy. I actually had to get fit in a gym before I could really do hills again.

At this point, I'd say I'm a good climber for New England--I don't race, but riding solo, I pass a lot of group riders going up hills. I'm sure it would take me a while out there before I felt like I was a good climber for Colorado.
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Old 08-31-19, 04:57 AM
  #54  
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Originally Posted by terrymorse View Post
Everybody mashed the climbs back when Lemond was racing. They had to—the gearing was huge.
Yes. The point I was trying to make is that you don't have to spin to be a strong climber. And, as you point out, guys like LeMond, Hinault, Pantani, Merckx, etc. were not spinners.
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Old 08-31-19, 05:14 AM
  #55  
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Thought this was interesting......
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Old 08-31-19, 07:57 AM
  #56  
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For those new to cycling difficulty to climb hills has more to do with experience then fitness. It takes time for us to adapt to any new activity. A weight lifter who jogs too but hasn't biked in 10 years Is likely very fit, Both aerobically and strength wise. But is unlikely to do well competing with a group of our racing members. The hardware may be there, But the software to properly utilize it needs updating. With perhaps 3 - 4 months of training it would be a whole different story.

As has been pointed out in many posts, The Op and his partner need that experience, Maybe 2 - 3 moths biking 3 days per week for about an hour each. Some of that riding should with moderately strong effort. Perhaps intervals. Or just regular riding, But include at least some power riding. Also there is a steep learning curve. It may be by the first month we attain 60 - 70% of our potential. That may be enough to get up those hills with much less effort.

DON'T over due. If we become discouraged, Not only does it take the fun part away, But the unsatisfying experience will make it less likely we will try again for some time.

I understand mashing being necessary on steep hills without the proper (as in 20 - 30 gear inch) gearing and/or trying to go fast. But neither spinning or mashing is necessary on most hills with the right gears, Which the OP's 2 bikes have. I neither mash or spin. And my 21 gear inch low gear, is pretty much the same as OP's 2 bikes, I use the same cadence and effort for hills I use for strong wind or fast cruising. And I can get up some pretty steep hills that way. Not fast mind you, and it may not be easy, But it isn't particularly hard either. And I do make up for it on the descent.

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Old 08-31-19, 09:25 AM
  #57  
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Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
I disagree with the premise--it's not htfu or "shame", just skepticism that the gearing would solve the issue.
That skepticism that gearing would solve the issue is part and parcel of the “you just have to suffer through it” argument. Gearing discussions almost always devolve into a “you’re not strong enough to hang with the big dogs” or, more insultingly, “you are weak” argument even for people like me who are particularly “weak”. Gearing solves a lot of issues. Think of it this way: would you suggest bygeorge limit their higher gears because they are strong enough to go 20 mph on a flat road? I’ve never had anyone suggest limiting the high gears on a bike but I’ve read lots and lots of suggestions that low gearing is unnecessary.

Their gearing is low enough at this point that it is likely that dropping it further won't address the problem they're having-- it's more likely that it's the inability to stay aerobic while performing enough revolutions to conquer the slope rather than not generating enough power to overcome the resistance.
That’s backwards. If the problem is with aerobic conditioning, higher gears require more effort and will kick people above their aerobic limit quicker than lower gears will. A lower gear isn’t about generating more power but putting the power that is being generated to better use. Again, lower gearing is about being smarter with what you have rather then just trying to muscle your way through it.

Lowering the gears at this point would just increase the number of revolutions needed, and make the problem worse.
The limit isn’t the number of revolutions but the amount of power available. More revolutions at a lower power output is easy to maintain. Fewer revolutions at a higher power output is much more difficult.

I don't think there's any" shame" in saying that a beginner needs to work on the legs and heart before they can expect any major improvement in climbing ability. My advice was distinctly not of the htfu variety, but was quite the opposite. Focus on doing more flat riding because they will likely enjoy that more and consequently do more of it at this point, and as the legs and cv system improve as a result, come back to the hills later.
Yes, of course beginners need to develop more fitness but saying to them to just “tough it out” or “it will get better” or even “you don’t need lower gears, just better fitness” or suggesting that they just stick to flat trails is not good advice. The world isn’t flat. We have no idea where bygeorge lives and rides. In my experience...having ridden in 48 or the 50 states....there are few places where you can ride on flat trails for any significant distance without encountering hills. Rather than “wait” until you stronger, why not use the gearing on the bike to make it so that you can ride hills sooner. Riding hills is the best way to make the rider stronger.

I can tell you from personal experience that trying to do too much at the beginning can be quite discouraging. I had a lot of false starts coming back to cycling because it was so discouraging struggling to do stuff I had formerly found so easy. I actually had to get fit in a gym before I could really do hills again.
I have no personal experience with “starting over”. I haven’t been off a bicycle in over 40 years. I do, however, have lots and lots and lots of experience with climbing hills and even mountains. I long ago put low gears on every bike I own and my gearing is lower than you’ll find anywhere. I use them all the time in lots and lots of situations. I also get told by a lot of people that I don’t “need” gears that low. Their argument is that I just need to be “stronger”.

By the way, here is what going to a 22 tooth chainwheel on the crank would do to the gearing for bygeorge and his wife’s bikes. 5 gear inches may not feel like much but in my experience it certainly is. This is the gearing on my bike above. Going from the 20/32 to the 20/36 is only a 2” difference but it is significant.
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Old 08-31-19, 09:29 AM
  #58  
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Originally Posted by JonathanGennick View Post
Why not attack on both fronts? Lower gearing might make riding more fun while you work to build fitness. Are your bikes nine-speed? Then it might be an easy option to run 36-tooth rear cassettes. There are also 22-tooth granny rings that can be had in the front. Best would be to visit a bike shop and speak to a mechanic, because none of the options is quite as straightforward as one might think.

You might end up deciding to stand pat, but there's no harm in visiting a shop and talking through your options.
I certainly agree. Far too often people look at gearing and fitness as a binary choice. You can have both.
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Old 08-31-19, 09:30 AM
  #59  
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Originally Posted by terrymorse View Post
Everybody mashed the climbs back when Lemond was racing. They had to—the gearing was huge.
If I remember, back in those days, if you couldn't climb mountains on a 42/21 you couldn't cut it in the pro tanks.
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Old 08-31-19, 10:43 AM
  #60  
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Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
That skepticism that gearing would solve the issue is part and parcel of the “you just have to suffer through it” argument. Gearing discussions almost always devolve into a “you’re not strong enough to hang with the big dogs” or, more insultingly, “you are weak” argument even for people like me who are particularly “weak”. Gearing solves a lot of issues. Think of it this way: would you suggest bygeorge limit their higher gears because they are strong enough to go 20 mph on a flat road? I’ve never had anyone suggest limiting the high gears on a bike but I’ve read lots and lots of suggestions that low gearing is unnecessary.



That’s backwards. If the problem is with aerobic conditioning, higher gears require more effort and will kick people above their aerobic limit quicker than lower gears will. A lower gear isn’t about generating more power but putting the power that is being generated to better use. Again, lower gearing is about being smarter with what you have rather then just trying to muscle your way through it.



The limit isn’t the number of revolutions but the amount of power available. More revolutions at a lower power output is easy to maintain. Fewer revolutions at a higher power output is much more difficult.



Yes, of course beginners need to develop more fitness but saying to them to just “tough it out” or “it will get better” or even “you don’t need lower gears, just better fitness” or suggesting that they just stick to flat trails is not good advice. The world isn’t flat. We have no idea where bygeorge lives and rides. In my experience...having ridden in 48 or the 50 states....there are few places where you can ride on flat trails for any significant distance without encountering hills. Rather than “wait” until you stronger, why not use the gearing on the bike to make it so that you can ride hills sooner. Riding hills is the best way to make the rider stronger.



I have no personal experience with “starting over”. I haven’t been off a bicycle in over 40 years. I do, however, have lots and lots and lots of experience with climbing hills and even mountains. I long ago put low gears on every bike I own and my gearing is lower than you’ll find anywhere. I use them all the time in lots and lots of situations. I also get told by a lot of people that I don’t “need” gears that low. Their argument is that I just need to be “stronger”.

By the way, here is what going to a 22 tooth chainwheel on the crank would do to the gearing for bygeorge and his wife’s bikes. 5 gear inches may not feel like much but in my experience it certainly is. This is the gearing on my bike above. Going from the 20/32 to the 20/36 is only a 2” difference but it is significant.
You're mixing in so many issues and putting words in my mouth that I didn't say that I almost don't want to bother, but I will try to clarify for you. You really don't have any experience with having an out of shape cardio system,and I think that limits your perspective, as does the fact that you are hauling loads in mountains. You're quite wrong about the load on the CV system imposed by extra cranking. It's been studied, slower cadence higher gear is more efficient from a CV standpoint, the problem is that it requires more muscle strength which a beginner may not have. I accept that it is entirely possible that op lives somewhere hilly, and I realize even if not they may not be able to avoid hills entirely, I just suggested they focus on maximizing their flatland riding, and the moral spin you're putting on that suggestion is entirely your ridiculous creation.

You don't remember what its like to get winded from trying to spin too much too fast. It's been a few years, but I do. It takes a little work to get past that. You want to turn that observation into some form of immoral condescension, fine, but I am not going to play along.
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Old 08-31-19, 11:14 AM
  #61  
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Originally Posted by bygeorge View Post
We are new riders and want advice as to weather we should consider lower gears or just a matter of not physically fit enough to do hills? I have counted the teeth on our bikes and hope to receive some advice.

George
Cassette 32 x 11. Rings. 48 x 36 x 26

Lois
Cassette 34 x 14 Rings 48 x 38 x 28
Assuming no injuries or conditions (ie, arthritis in knees that preclude hard pedaling, or damage to tendons/muscles that limit strength), I agree with most of the other posters: it's likely a basic fitness question.

Of course, at 72yrs of age there's no shame in installing the appropriate gearing for the type of hills you have.

No idea what steepness or length of hills you need to handle.

Myself, I have old leg injuries that force an absolute upper limit on the amount of power one of my legs can generate. (I'm a good candidate, probably, for a e-assisted bike, based on that.) For me, given the occasional 1500ft long 10% inclines I need to handle, a 9spd 28/38/48T with a 12-36T cassette is just barely (but not quite) enough. Half the time, I have to walk up, when I can't maintain cadence above about 40rpm. For me, the best gearing (in gear inches) would be about 14-15g.i. or so, given the leg power issue.

Leg strength exercises in the gym can help. As can doing bike cardio stations at the gym, set to a level of difficulty where you're really boosting your leg muscles' strength. Try using a decent cardio bike set on a difficulty that gets you a solid oh-I-worked-out-yesterday type leg stiffness (no idea what level that is, for you, but sufficient to challenge the strength in your legs).

Using 9spd as a reference ... Assuming your crank supports the change, you might consider going to 22-32-42T rings (or, at least something lower-geared than 28-38-48T).

Using the gear calculator @ BikeCalc.com:

  • On a 26x1.9" wheeled bike, 12-34T cassette and 28-38-48T chainrings: "low" = 21 gear-inches. (Few tourers who have long climbs with loaded rigs consider 21 gear-inches anywhere near low enough. Nor would someone with injury, condition or fitness issues.)
  • On a 26x1.9" wheeled bike, 12-34T cassette and 22-32-42T chainrings: "low" = 16.7 gear-inches.
  • Additionally going to a 12-36T cassette (on that 22-32-42T chainring combo): "low" = 15.7 gear-inches.
  • If 10spd or 11spd, there are some cranks out there that'll support chainring as small as 20T. Say, 2x11spd with 20/34T. With a 12-42T cassette, that'll give you: "low" = 12.3 gear-inches. Ought to be plenty low, even with damaged legs, weak legs, loaded-up with stuff on panniers/racks ... even to the point of going as slow as one could walk up the same hill.
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Old 08-31-19, 07:03 PM
  #62  
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Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
Any reason these beginner needs advice threads need to degenerate into debates about racing tactics?
People have conversations, the topic naturally drifts.
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Old 09-01-19, 01:29 AM
  #63  
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Originally Posted by terrymorse View Post
People have conversations, the topic naturally drifts.
When it always "drifts" the same way, it's more a matter of serial threadjacking.
There's plenty of threads about racing, and other forums as well. No need to take over ones for beginners to whom these finer points could not be less relevant.
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Old 09-01-19, 06:51 AM
  #64  
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I read this as “struggling with bills” and thought you and me both brother/sister
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Old 09-01-19, 07:31 AM
  #65  
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One thing to consider is what defines a steep hill. I had an old friend in northern Ontario that lived atop a very steep hill that I'm sure most folks couldn't ride up no matter how low you gear your bike. You couldn't ballance and would tip over in a low enough gear.

Before accessing our ability to climb, We should observe how others do and on what. Nothing wrong with walking it up one short steep hill we encounter on our ride.

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Old 09-01-19, 08:57 AM
  #66  
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Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
You're mixing in so many issues and putting words in my mouth that I didn't say that I almost don't want to bother, but I will try to clarify for you.
I quoted you and don’t feel I put any words in your mouth. Those are your words.

You really don't have any experience with having an out of shape cardio system,and I think that limits your perspective, as does the fact that you are hauling loads in mountains. You're quite wrong about the load on the CV system imposed by extra cranking. It's been studied, slower cadence higher gear is more efficient from a CV standpoint, the problem is that it requires more muscle strength which a beginner may not have.
I have a cardio-vascular system and I use it quite a lot. I know how it works and I know how other ones work. Occasionally, I hit points where my cardio-vascular system reaches its limit which is similar to what people experience with less trained system. When I do reach those limits I also know that pedaling slower in a higher gear isn’t going to be easier or more efficient​​​​​​. ​

Cite those “studies” please. I ride a bike. I know what lower gears do. I’m not going to go anaerobic as quickly in a low gear as I would if I tried to climb the same hill in a higher gear. If things worked the way you say they do we should motor up all the hills in the highest gear we have. Good luck with trying that.

I accept that it is entirely possible that op lives somewhere hilly, and I realize even if not they may not be able to avoid hills entirely, I just suggested they focus on maximizing their flatland riding, and the moral spin you're putting on that suggestion is entirely your ridiculous creation.
What “moral spin”? The best way to learn to ride hills is to ride hills. The best way for someone to ride a hill is in a low gear. As you pointed out I’m a long way from having an out of shape cardio-vascular system but even I know that low gears are helpful in climbing hills. I’m not doing to avoid hills but I’m not going to climb them in a 52/11 gear combination.

You don't remember what its like to get winded from trying to spin too much too fast. It's been a few years, but I do. It takes a little work to get past that. You want to turn that observation into some form of immoral condescension, fine, but I am not going to play along.
Of course I know what it is like to get winded. But, in my experience, that is not from spinning too fast but from trying to mash a high gear up a hill.

You, by the way, are the one putting words in others mouths now. I’m not sure what you really mean by “immoral condescension” or where you got the idea that what I am saying is somehow “immoral”. I just saying that telling people to just “tough it out” so that they won’t have to endure the shame of having low gears is wrong and bad advice...whether that person is a newbie or experienced.
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Old 09-01-19, 09:44 AM
  #67  
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Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
You're mixing in so many issues and putting words in my mouth that I didn't say that I almost don't want to bother, but I will try to clarify for you. You really don't have any experience with having an out of shape cardio system,and I think that limits your perspective, as does the fact that you are hauling loads in mountains. You're quite wrong about the load on the CV system imposed by extra cranking. It's been studied, slower cadence higher gear is more efficient from a CV standpoint, the problem is that it requires more muscle strength which a beginner may not have. I accept that it is entirely possible that op lives somewhere hilly, and I realize even if not they may not be able to avoid hills entirely, I just suggested they focus on maximizing their flatland riding, and the moral spin you're putting on that suggestion is entirely your ridiculous creation.

You don't remember what its like to get winded from trying to spin too much too fast. It's been a few years, but I do. It takes a little work to get past that. You want to turn that observation into some form of immoral condescension, fine, but I am not going to play along.
It's a matter of training, which is what you're getting at. I had the same argument with someone concerning fixed gears, the other guy saying that any ride is "25% harder" than riding with gears because of the extra spinning and me saying "no way". There is some increased load on your CV system from spinning faster. I think you are correct in both:

1. slower cadences (self selected from 60-80 specifically) have been shown to be more efficient than higher cadences
2. Cadences higher still (have been shown to be less efficient at the same power outputs. Sprinting, sustained, etc.

I think these differences are mitigated (perhaps eliminated) by training adaptations at given cadences.
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Old 09-01-19, 10:27 AM
  #68  
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Originally Posted by Clyde1820 View Post

Using the gear calculator @ BikeCalc.com:

On a 26x1.9" wheeled bike, 12-34T cassette and 28-38-48T chainrings: "low" = 21 gear-inches. (Few tourers who have long climbs with loaded rigs consider 21 gear-inches anywhere near low enough. Nor would someone with injury, condition or fitness issues.)
  • On a 26x1.9" wheeled bike, 12-34T cassette and 22-32-42T chainrings: "low" = 16.7 gear-inches.
  • Additionally going to a 12-36T cassette (on that 22-32-42T chainring combo): "low" = 15.7 gear-inches.
  • If 10spd or 11spd, there are some cranks out there that'll support chainring as small as 20T. Say, 2x11spd with 20/34T. With a 12-42T cassette, that'll give you: "low" = 12.3 gear-inches. Ought to be plenty low, even with damaged legs, weak legs, loaded-up with stuff on panniers/racks ... even to the point of going as slow as one could walk up the same hill.
This was interesting, I have never thought to figure out what my bikes gear inches work out to be. So my 32,48 chainrings with 11-34 cassette gives my just under 26 gi in lowest gear. I do not really use the highest gear, I don't have that kind of strength, and I find when out in the woods and on some short but very steep hills on the road I would like a lower gear. Maybe a winter project.
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Old 09-01-19, 12:08 PM
  #69  
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Crank it out

Just keep going!! It gets easier every day
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Old 09-01-19, 05:37 PM
  #70  
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Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
I quoted you and don’t feel I put any words in your mouth. Those are your words.

You, by the way, are the one putting words in others mouths now. I’m not sure what you really mean by “immoral condescension” or where you got the idea that what I am saying is somehow “immoral”. I just saying that telling people to just “tough it out” so that they won’t have to endure the shame of having low gears is wrong and bad advice...whether that person is a newbie or experienced.
I'm not bothering talking to you any more because frankly I don't think you argue in anything approaching a civil manner, but I can't help but point out how hilarious the stuff I quoted above is. The intellectual dishonesty of claiming you didn't put words in my mouth and impart a moral spin then doing just that in your closing sentence is simply astounding.

I agree, telling them to "tough it out" and that there's a shame in using lower gears is bad advice. Good thing I didn't do that.

Have a good holiday. I'm out.
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Old 09-01-19, 06:16 PM
  #71  
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Originally Posted by wphamilton View Post
It's a matter of training, which is what you're getting at. I had the same argument with someone concerning fixed gears, the other guy saying that any ride is "25% harder" than riding with gears because of the extra spinning and me saying "no way". There is some increased load on your CV system from spinning faster. I think you are correct in both:

1. slower cadences (self selected from 60-80 specifically) have been shown to be more efficient than higher cadences
2. Cadences higher still (have been shown to be less efficient at the same power outputs. Sprinting, sustained, etc.

I think these differences are mitigated (perhaps eliminated) by training adaptations at given cadences.
The reason for the inefficiency of spinning is obvious if you remember that lifting legs essentially produces no power. The leg lifts take the same amount of energy whether or not your pushing a high or low gear, while you're transmitting more power to the wheel on your downstrokes in a high gear than a low gear, the trade off being that each downstroke on the lower gear is against less resistance, so takes fractionally less energy.

I'm an outlier as I cruise in a very high gear--in fact, I was so annoyed with a certain other poster today that just because I wanted to see if I could do it, I went up a moderate hill in 53x11 and I actually did pretty well. But here's the point I have noticed as a result of my riding habits: In the gears I ride, I can run in the low 20 mph range with a cadence of about 70 rpm. Somebody spinning at 100 rpm to go the same speed has to perform 60 leg lifts per minute more than I do, plus an additional 60 downstrokes. It doesn't take a lot of math to figure out there needs to be a really huge difference in the amount of energy and the cv load I'm expending per downstroke to make up for that.

Before I get accused by someone (not you, of course!) of advocating htfu, the 53x11 hill thing is a definite "don't try this at home" stunt. I have mutant leg strength, and I just put the 11t cog on my bike and am playing around with it. I did it in the middle of a 75 mile ride today after an 125 mile ride yesterday so it didn't do me harm, but it's definitely not going to become a climbing method I'll do often.I

I agree that spinning well requires a lot of cv adaptation. My "method" , such as it is, also requires adaptation in the form of developing muscle strength.

Last edited by livedarklions; 09-01-19 at 06:26 PM.
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Old 09-01-19, 07:41 PM
  #72  
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Originally Posted by wphamilton View Post
I think these differences are mitigated (perhaps eliminated) by training adaptations at given cadences.
I don't think they're mitigated or eliminated, they're just not important for most people. In bike racing you don't win anything if you're more efficient than the next guy. Being less efficient is not a problem if you can put out more power, you just have to eat a little more.
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Old 09-02-19, 07:01 AM
  #73  
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I think we lost the OP about four pages ago
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Old 09-02-19, 08:16 AM
  #74  
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Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
I'm not bothering talking to you any more because frankly I don't think you argue in anything approaching a civil manner, but I can't help but point out how hilarious the stuff I quoted above is. The intellectual dishonesty of claiming you didn't put words in my mouth and impart a moral spin then doing just that in your closing sentence is simply astounding.

I agree, telling them to "tough it out" and that there's a shame in using lower gears is bad advice. Good thing I didn't do that.

Have a good holiday. I'm out.
You have a very interesting take on “civility”. As far as I can tell...and I review what I say often...I have not said anything that you could even remotely assume to be insulting. I disagree with you but I haven’t been disagreeable. But if you feel that I’ve been insulting, you are free to report me.

But, in an effort to smooth the waters a little, I’m not saying that fitness isn’t important. And I wasn’t picking on you in particular. You, and a lot of others, suggested that fitness is most important and that’s what bygeorge should concentrate on. I’m saying that to develop fitness, bygeorge and his wife need to ride hills and the best way to do that is to get lower gearing. With low gears, they can climb hills better which helps them develop fitness to climb hills better. Just riding flats or struggling up hills doesn’t help them develop fitness as quickly are riding hills in comfortable gears would.

I said it above: don’t ride harder, ride smarter.
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Old 09-02-19, 09:42 AM
  #75  
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Originally Posted by gregf83 View Post
I don't think they're mitigated or eliminated, they're just not important for most people. In bike racing you don't win anything if you're more efficient than the next guy. Being less efficient is not a problem if you can put out more power, you just have to eat a little more.
When my main limiter is oxygen uptake, better efficiency improves my sustainable power.
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