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What kinds of grades do you guys climb?

Old 08-10-22, 12:46 AM
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sw20
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I live in the Surrey Hills so have been fortunate or unfortunate to have ridden all of these, the top 10 and the ones that didn't make the list! Some great climbs and views! https://www.broleur.com/top-10-tough...rrey-pyrenees/

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Old 08-10-22, 12:53 AM
  #27  
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Originally Posted by CheGiantForLife View Post
I think cyclists are the best conditioned athletes on the planet.

Today, I rode up a 10% grade for 3 minutes and was maxed out.
Had to switch back a few times. Fully winded and legs burning.
It was like .2 or .3 miles at the most.

I can not fathom how people do this for several miles !!
What do they do for Tour de France?
What kind of distances grades durations do you tackle?
What is your lowest gear?

Mine is 34-32.
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Old 08-10-22, 01:51 AM
  #28  
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Depends what bike I'm riding. On my road bike the steepest I generally tackle is probably 10%. On the mountain bike 22% is not uncommon. The steepest I climb I can tackle and be pretty certain I won't have to walk is 18%. The thing is, though, the mountain bike has 32 front 51 rear gear. The road bike has 36 front 28 rear.

I live in the Surrey Hills so anywhere I cycle I'm pretty much guaranteed a reasonable bit of climbing somewhere. One of my favourite rides takes me over Box Hill; it's mostly at around 5% with brief bursts up to 8% but it's a good long run of about 15 minutes for me. There are plenty of steeper rides around here but Box Hill gives a good workout and I know that however tired I am I won't have to walk any of it. In fact, now that I'm riding the area regularly, I have to be pretty knackered to even need my lowest gear.
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Old 08-10-22, 02:22 AM
  #29  
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i live at the corner of a street with a +/- 20% grade. most directions i go, iíll hit grades in the 15-20 range within a few blocks, but there are a handful of useful routes that keep it to 8% max.

when i head out to ride for fun, a few times a week, iíll typically hit one or two or three long-ish sustained climbs, around 6 percent average for up to a couple miles, steepest bits in the 12% range, up to 2000í feet bottom to top.
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Old 08-10-22, 03:06 AM
  #30  
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I am in flatland south-coastal Delaware and the only "hill" within many miles is the Indian River Bridge. It has about a 4% grade and the span is about 1/2 mile long, 1/4 each side. I would have to ride back and forth on the bridge approximately 75 times to get to 1 mile of elevation gain. That is certainly doable, though boring, even with the terrific views of the Atlantic, Indian River and bay, and the surrounding landscape. It has been a few years since I have ridden anywhere with climbing involved.
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Old 08-10-22, 03:57 AM
  #31  
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I'm a complete wimp, with dodgy knees so I have half an excuse.
Also my lowest gear is 42/28.

But I did just find a mapping site that shows road gradient: https://gb.mapometer.com/cycling
My training route hits a massive 4.4%.
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Old 08-10-22, 04:01 AM
  #32  
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10-15% range but typically 10-12% everyday. Usually 48x34 but sometimes I mount a different cassette with a 39 cog.
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Old 08-10-22, 06:00 AM
  #33  
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Most of my climbing is done on the southern end of the Blue Ridge Parkway and, like most of the Parkway, the climbs are 6.6 % or less. This, for me, is just about right. I use 34/28 on my Domane (I have a 32 if I need to use it) and can use one of my single speed bikes geared
quite low (42/23) but keep the distances shorter.

There are a few spots along that 486 mile road that can exceed that grade, usually short sections jumping up into pull offs and such.
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Old 08-10-22, 06:37 AM
  #34  
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I live in a flat part of a very flat state. Hills are few. Occasional overpasses are probably the steepest things I encounter.

I used to live in Peoria IL and most bike rides meant going up or down in/out of the river valley. I had a few particular roads I used to minimize steepness and/or vehicle traffic.
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Old 08-10-22, 06:51 AM
  #35  
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Originally Posted by bykemike View Post
Most of my climbing is done on the southern end of the Blue Ridge Parkway and, like most of the Parkway, the climbs are 6.6 % or less. This, for me, is just about right. I use 34/28 on my Domane (I have a 32 if I need to use it) and can use one of my single speed bikes geared
quite low (42/23) but keep the distances shorter.

There are a few spots along that 486 mile road that can exceed that grade, usually short sections jumping up into pull offs and such.
I took the BRP handout on cycling climbs a few years back and built a spreadsheet with the grades by mile. IIRC the steepest parts are in the first 20 miles or so climbing out of Cherokee, and then the road gaps the Parkway crosses; max was about 8%.

Beautiful riding!
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Old 08-10-22, 07:23 AM
  #36  
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It's the super steep >20% bits within a climb which are bloody murder, especially on road bike gearing (even modern 11-30 or 11-32 cassettes).
This one is nearby and it's about what I'd voluntarily do again to myself on road bike gearing; it's not the 10.3% average for 2.17km what is the problem but two stretches of >25% where it feels too steep/unstable to get out of the saddle and grinding it in the saddle is just horrible.

https://www.strava.com/segments/16532332

Conversely, this one is pretty pleasant, despite being 3.3km long at 9.5% average - the steepest parts are maybe 15% which is far less daunting - just get out of the saddle and go:

https://www.strava.com/segments/10824496
​​​​​​
However, mostly my favourite training climbs are a constant 6%-ish. Oh, and if you're ever in Croatia, I highly recommend doing this one:

https://www.strava.com/segments/9475334

Itís a decent climb (1750 elevation gain), but it's mostly a constant 6-ish% with a slightly steeper bit only at the very end and a flatter bit around the middle. The view is stellar when it's a clear day.​​​
​​
I currently run a 50-34 with a 11-30 which I find to be a happy compromise on 11 speed for the local hills, when I convert to 12 speed it's probably going to be a semicompact and a 11-32.
​​​​
​​

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Old 08-10-22, 08:00 AM
  #37  
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Originally Posted by Aardwolf View Post
I'm a complete wimp, with dodgy knees so I have half an excuse.
Also my lowest gear is 42/28..
Around 1987 I had a 42-28 low gear which I used on various bikes for some time. Standard double cranks came with 52/42 rings but I could take the 7 speed cassettes apart and put a 28 in there. I did club rides in the mountains and climbed everything with those gears and I was over 220# then. I still don't know how I did it.

Now I have a 34-29 low gear and sometimes want lower. I'm also 20 pounds lighter and old age is catching up. Every ride here involves climbing.
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Old 08-10-22, 08:20 AM
  #38  
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Originally Posted by big john View Post
Around 1987 I had a 42-28 low gear which I used on various bikes for some time. Standard double cranks came with 52/42 rings but I could take the 7 speed cassettes apart and put a 28 in there. I did club rides in the mountains and climbed everything with those gears and I was over 220# then. I still don't know how I did it.

Now I have a 34-29 low gear and sometimes want lower. I'm also 20 pounds lighter and old age is catching up. Every ride here involves climbing.
All of my bikes still have 52-42/40 cranksets....................with a 28 or 30T granny attached. I have to shift to a lower gear to get over a speed bump.
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Old 08-10-22, 08:29 AM
  #39  
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Originally Posted by seypat View Post
All of my bikes still have 52-42/40 cranksets....................with a 28 or 30T granny attached. I have to shift to a lower gear to get over a speed bump.
When I bought this bike 10 years ago it had a standard crank with 52/39 and a 25 out back. I rode it like that for a while and it was fine for rolling hills and small climbs. Even did some club rides in the 70 mile range. But I go into the mountains a lot and I have to have lower so I had to change the crankset and the cassette.
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Old 08-10-22, 08:43 AM
  #40  
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When I got my bike about a year back it had the original 1982 gearing: 52/42 on front and 14-19 on the back.
I bought exactly the same model new in 1983 and rode it round London for 10 years, including the 'hills'.

Now I'm a bit older and know a bit more I've got a 13-28 7 speed freewheel on the back.
Sunrace also do a 13-34 but it's not chrome plated.
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Old 08-10-22, 09:03 AM
  #41  
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Originally Posted by big john View Post
Around 1987 I had a 42-28 low gear which I used on various bikes for some time. Standard double cranks came with 52/42 rings but I could take the 7 speed cassettes apart and put a 28 in there. I did club rides in the mountains and climbed everything with those gears and I was over 220# then. I still don't know how I did it.

Now I have a 34-29 low gear and sometimes want lower. I'm also 20 pounds lighter and old age is catching up. Every ride here involves climbing.
Yes, we're getting older. But maybe using those lower gears means we're not getting weaker, but smarter.

I've been working to get back in shape since the beginning of last month, and my favorite training ride is Mt. Hamilton, with extended sections of 5-7%.

20+ years ago, I would do most of that ride on a 19 rear cog, dropping down to a 21 cog in the steeper spots.

Recently, I'm spending most of the time in the 21 cog, dropping down to 24 when I feel the need.

But here's the fun part: I'm not substantially slower, I'm just spinning a higher cadence. And my legs feel less spent at the end of the ride.

Seems smarter to me.
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Old 08-10-22, 09:04 AM
  #42  
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Originally Posted by CheGiantForLife;[url=tel:22604925
22604925[/url]]5 miles at 9% is insane!
What is 2ft gear?
2ft gear = unassing bike and pushing
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Old 08-10-22, 09:26 AM
  #43  
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Our town has the edge of glaciation just to the north and a major river to the west and south with a bit over 200 feet of elevation difference. So there are flat places and also lots of hills where the routes tumble down towards the streams that connect to the river.

Still itís hard to find a hill with much over 150 feet of elevation. So our steep climbs tend to be short. If you can do 300 watts for three minutes (and recover) you really have not much to worry about, even on a single speed, which is what Iíve ridden most of the last two years.

These days I have rear gear clusters on both bikes, but I still often do single gear 42/16 only rides just to make sure I have the strength to manage all the hills. But using the 42/18 on hills is both easier and usually faster. Iíve lost the patience to use a gear lower than that, it seems.

Otto

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Old 08-10-22, 09:51 AM
  #44  
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Originally Posted by jgwilliams View Post
Depends what bike I'm riding. On my road bike the steepest I generally tackle is probably 10%. On the mountain bike 22% is not uncommon. The steepest I climb I can tackle and be pretty certain I won't have to walk is 18%. The thing is, though, the mountain bike has 32 front 51 rear gear. The road bike has 36 front 28 rear.

I live in the Surrey Hills so anywhere I cycle I'm pretty much guaranteed a reasonable bit of climbing somewhere. One of my favourite rides takes me over Box Hill; it's mostly at around 5% with brief bursts up to 8% but it's a good long run of about 15 minutes for me. There are plenty of steeper rides around here but Box Hill gives a good workout and I know that however tired I am I won't have to walk any of it. In fact, now that I'm riding the area regularly, I have to be pretty knackered to even need my lowest gear.
I like to do Box Hill after Barhatch Lane, makes Box Hill seem flat
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Old 08-10-22, 10:20 AM
  #45  
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Originally Posted by big john View Post
Around 1987 I had a 42-28 low gear which I used on various bikes for some time. Standard double cranks came with 52/42 rings but I could take the 7 speed cassettes apart and put a 28 in there. I did club rides in the mountains and climbed everything with those gears and I was over 220# then. I still don't know how I did it.

Now I have a 34-29 low gear and sometimes want lower. I'm also 20 pounds lighter and old age is catching up. Every ride here involves climbing.
Itís the inversion principle. I likewise rode 42/28 for a long time.

Iím still riding a 28t. However, its position in the drivetrain has changed.

Some days I think about the gearing I used to ride on the same climbs and it baffles me how much Iíve lost. But then the downhills come and all is well.

John
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Old 08-10-22, 10:25 AM
  #46  
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Originally Posted by sw20 View Post
I like to do Box Hill after Barhatch Lane, makes Box Hill seem flat
I used to be at school at Cranleigh so I used to do Barhatch Lane quite often. I tend not to go out that far these days but there are plenty of other roads in the area that make Zig Zag Road seem flat, including some up to Ranmore, just the other side of the A24 from Box Hill. Zig Zag Road is just a nice, steady climb that gives me a bit of a work out without being too taxing. I'm looking forward to doing it soon; my road bike has been off the road for over a month so I've been clocking up the miles on my mountain bike. The climb up Box Hill via Broadwoods Folly is the one that reaches 18%, that I mentioned above. The church group that I often go out with call that climb 'The Walkie-Talkie' as that's what we so often do.
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Old 08-10-22, 10:28 AM
  #47  
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Massive steep grades on Zwift

I know my own neighborhood better so can generally steer around the hills
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Old 08-10-22, 10:35 AM
  #48  
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Originally Posted by pdlamb View Post
I took the BRP handout on cycling climbs a few years back and built a spreadsheet with the grades by mile. IIRC the steepest parts are in the first 20 miles or so climbing out of Cherokee, and then the road gaps the Parkway crosses; max was about 8%.

Beautiful riding!
It is beautiful riding and the ride north from Cherokee is real nice, long steepish climbs and great views. My favorite stretch is between Maggie Valley and Devils Courthouse with incomparable Waterrock knob being my hands down favorite.

Wait until 1:38 then the riding really starts.


Not me!
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Old 08-10-22, 12:36 PM
  #49  
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Originally Posted by terrymorse View Post
Yes, we're getting older. But maybe using those lower gears means we're not getting weaker, but smarter.

I've been working to get back in shape since the beginning of last month, and my favorite training ride is Mt. Hamilton, with extended sections of 5-7%.

20+ years ago, I would do most of that ride on a 19 rear cog, dropping down to a 21 cog in the steeper spots.

Recently, I'm spending most of the time in the 21 cog, dropping down to 24 when I feel the need.

But here's the fun part: I'm not substantially slower, I'm just spinning a higher cadence. And my legs feel less spent at the end of the ride.

Seems smarter to me.
There is a canyon here which is 12 miles with a descent in the middle. The second part of the climbing is steeper than the first. I climbed it with a woman I have ridden with a lot. On the first climb I can stay with her and maybe go ahead a little. On the second, steeper section she pulls away with her 34x34 gear. I don't have trouble climbing it but I can't spin up it like she does. It makes me wonder if I could climb it faster with a lower gear. Of course, she's 10 years younger and at least 50 pounds lighter than I am.

The best climbing woman I know is a masher. She runs a standard double but I don't know what her cassette is. Her watts per kilo must be very high, she grinds those big gears and drops a lot of people. She finished 3rd woman and 36th overall in the Circle of Doom race, which is 9500 feet in 75 miles. She's going to be 50 next year, I wonder if she will consider a gear change.
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Old 08-10-22, 12:51 PM
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