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Grade = incline, decline website comparing cities

Old 11-30-21, 09:32 PM
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Befitter
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Grade = incline, decline website comparing cities

Hello Everyone,

I have 2 single-speed, non-fixie bicycles, they have different gear ratios. I would like to allocate 1 bike to Rosarito, Baja California, Mexico and the other bike to Liege, Wallonia, Belgium.

Does anyone know of at least 1 website that shows the grade percentage of a city, compares 2 cities?

Last edited by Befitter; 11-30-21 at 09:33 PM. Reason: Typing mistake
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Old 12-01-21, 06:01 AM
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You could probably get an idea from Strava Heatmap. FWIW, it's not too difficult to change the gearing if it doesn't suit the roads you actually ride.
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Old 12-01-21, 06:07 AM
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Topographic maps have been doing that for centuries.

​​​​​​https://en-us.topographic-map.com/maps/q7cx/Rosarito/

​​​​​​https://en-us.topographic-map.com/maps/wfcb/Li%C3%A8ge/
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Old 12-01-21, 08:11 AM
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Originally Posted by Befitter View Post
Hello Everyone,

I have 2 single-speed, non-fixie bicycles, they have different gear ratios. I would like to allocate 1 bike to Rosarito, Baja California, Mexico and the other bike to Liege, Wallonia, Belgium.

Does anyone know of at least 1 website that shows the grade percentage of a city, compares 2 cities?
Couldn't tell you about Rosarito, but the hills around Liège (Luik in Flemish) on both sides of the Meuse (Maas) river are sporty on a geared bike, some of the climbs average 10% with sections pitching up to near 20%. What kind of grades are you accustomed to climbing already?
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Old 12-01-21, 09:03 AM
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I can't imagine how the average grade for something like a city would be useful. Nor do I know where that might be published. Averages might never be encountered.

Like others, I just suggest you look at the possible routes you might want to ride on RideWithGPS, Strava, Garmin Connect, MapMyRide and many other places that let you create your own routes. They'll show you both the average grade of that route and the maximum grade you'll encounter. And there'll be a elevation profile of the ride that you can look at to show you everywhere that you might have an easy time pedaling or a hard time pedaling.

If you don't know where to ride in those places, then they also have heat maps that show you where others ride. Or you can just browse routes and rides of others that have made them public.
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Old 12-01-21, 10:00 AM
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There are websites/apps (such as gmap-pedometer.com — https://www.gmap-pedometer.com) where you can click and create a route virtually anywhere on the planet and it will give you the incline/elevation info fr that route. But it’s only on the route you create…not an average for the area.

Dan
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Old 12-01-21, 10:04 AM
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^ Agreed. Average is the wrong concept. More of a histogram that shows distribution about the median grade on the independent (horizontal) axis, and the steepness of the grade in % on the dependent axis. The grade length would need to be fixed for measurements, because a rolling average would round off the steeper/more-rapidly changing sections. So, it'd be distribution function of grades relative to other grades. This would give a picture of the roadways within a city. It'd be a lot of measuring to do, though.
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Old 12-01-21, 10:42 AM
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Are you talking about short trips just riding around each city, or the surrounding topography?

John
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Old 12-01-21, 11:27 AM
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You could do this in ArcGIS Pro - load the DEM/Topo/whatever into spatial analyst
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Old 12-01-21, 11:31 AM
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Originally Posted by Badger6 View Post
Couldn't tell you about Rosarito, but the hills around Liège (Luik in Flemish) on both sides of the Meuse (Maas) river are sporty on a geared bike, some of the climbs average 10% with sections pitching up to near 20%. What kind of grades are you accustomed to climbing already?
I was thinking the same thing. Having driven through Liege a few years ago, I have the impression that it’s a city best experienced on a geared bike. With a single speed, I’d want something like 39x18 or 42x20 gears. You can always coast down hills (fixed gear would not be recommended there).

I’m not aware of a website that gives average slope figures for a given city, and certainly not one that compares two cities in this way. It would be cool, though.

A few other places I would want a geared bike: Glasgow, Scotland and Seoul, ROK. Single speeds and fixed gears work in places like Miami, Houston, or Cologne (Köln), Germany.

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Old 12-01-21, 12:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Elvo View Post
You could do this in ArcGIS Pro - load the DEM/Topo/whatever into spatial analyst
This is the right idea, but will require a high level of technical expertise.

Originally Posted by Phil_gretz View Post
... be a lot of measuring to do, though.
Not really; not with the right tools, anyway. The availability of the data may be another story. The USGS maintains the 'US NED', or National Elevation Dataset; I'm not sure if such data is as readily available for the rest of the globe. The roads data, even with Open Street Maps, may further require a bit of advanced manipulation.
​​​​​​​
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Old 12-01-21, 12:30 PM
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Get a SA X-RD 3. Does 10% hills for me and I certainly don't have now the lowest GIs, 48 to 84.
I did 3 mile centuries in 2 weeks last Sept. on a 42 lbs + load old CCM, EASY.

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Old 12-01-21, 12:33 PM
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My limited experience, from a car, of the road from Tijuana down to Rosarito, and a day spent around Rosarito, is that the area is generally pretty flat and could easily be negotiated on any fixed gear bike. Strava seems to bear this out, with no categorized climbs inside the downtown area, and shortish, gradual climbs (</=2km, </=6%) to the uphill areas to the north. It definitely seems from other responses that Liege would have the greater need for lower gears.
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Old 12-02-21, 12:05 AM
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Originally Posted by Leinster View Post
It definitely seems from other responses that Liege would have the greater need for lower gears.
And at least one rider with a bit of experience...unless the OP is intending to ride up and down the river (which is possible, and then a SS or FXD would work fine).
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Old 12-02-21, 01:22 AM
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I rode the Rosarito-Ensenada ride a couple of times in the 1970s-'80s and it was mostly rollers, nothing too steep or long. Pretty much like my area in north central Texas. Strava will probably have some segments mapped out with reliable terrain/gradient estimates.

And, FWIW, the Mexicali-San Felipe ride on the Gulf coast side of Baja is pretty much pancake flat. Huge differences in terrain and economy from the Pacific coast side of Baja, at least back then. Haven't been back in decades though.
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Old 12-03-21, 04:16 AM
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Happy Holidays 2021

Hello Badger6,

I am accustomed to riding up to 30% grades. I figured out which bicycle will go where :0) I hope Rosarito & Liège will have the parts I need, if not then hope eBay can deliver there.
Merci, gracias, thank you

Originally Posted by Badger6 View Post
Couldn't tell you about Rosarito, but the hills around Liège (Luik in Flemish) on both sides of the Meuse (Maas) river are sporty on a geared bike, some of the climbs average 10% with sections pitching up to near 20%. What kind of grades are you accustomed to climbing already?
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Old 12-03-21, 04:31 AM
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Merci, Gracias, Thank You Everyone

I figured out which bicycle will go where :0) I hope Rosarito & Liège will have the parts I need, if not then hope eBay can deliver there
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Old 12-03-21, 08:22 AM
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Originally Posted by Befitter View Post
Hello Badger6,

I am accustomed to riding up to 30% grades. I figured out which bicycle will go where :0) I hope Rosarito & Liège will have the parts I need, if not then hope eBay can deliver there.
Merci, gracias, thank you
No worries. The steepest parts of the area are the climbs from the river, after that it is just a lot of gently rolling with the occasional wall ("muur"). It is very windy here, less so in Liège, but not by much. That may actually be worse than the grades.
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Old 12-03-21, 09:36 AM
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Originally Posted by canklecat View Post
I rode the Rosarito-Ensenada ride a couple of times in the 1970s-'80s and it was mostly rollers, nothing too steep or long. Pretty much like my area in north central Texas. Strava will probably have some segments mapped out with reliable terrain/gradient estimates.

And, FWIW, the Mexicali-San Felipe ride on the Gulf coast side of Baja is pretty much pancake flat. Huge differences in terrain and economy from the Pacific coast side of Baja, at least back then. Haven't been back in decades though.
I have also completed that ride a few times Rosarito Ensenada
It has a 300m climb with grades that reach like 8% for a few of the 80k route
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Old 12-03-21, 07:58 PM
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Originally Posted by joesch View Post
I have also completed that ride a few times Rosarito Ensenada
It has a 300m climb with grades that reach like 8% for a few of the 80k route
I had to read some recent descriptions of the Rosarito-Ensenada to refresh my memory, and, sure nuff, they do describe a couple of sorta steep-ish hills a couplafew hundred yards in length. I barely remember any hills.

Although I do remember Bill Walton steadily chugging past me on a hill, riding his ridiculously tall bike. That was the season he was mostly recuperating from injuries and surgeries while he was with the Clippers. I didn't want to be an annoying fanboy so I didn't say anything, but I remember being impressed by how well he climbed for such a big guy.

But that's the difference between being 64 now and, back then, 20something in top physical fitness. I also played a lot of racquetball (because Southern California in the 1970s, natch), boxed amateur (not a sport to be approached casually, since the consequences of doing it badly are never casual), and cycling around 100 miles a week between commuting and recreational riding. So I didn't notice hills that would leave me huffing and puffing now, even though I work harder now to retain a semblance of fitness.

Now that I think about it, there were some steep hills around San Diego that taxed my abilities, even by the standards of my peak fitness years. I remember one particular climb along my usual commute that I *thought* was climbing at a pretty good clip. But one morning a fellow blew by me looking like he was just casually loafing up that double digit grade. He was more muscular and heavier, while I was built like a climber (5'11", 140 lbs back then) -- but I never really had a climber's lungs (some lung scarring from bouts with pneumonia as a kid).

But I've learned over the years that the muscular guys built like sprinters often do very well on short, steep climbs, although they'll slow down on steep climbs after about 1/4 mile, so if I persist I'll catch up and occasionally pass them even now in my 60s when I still keep my weight around 150. One local roadie group I've ridden with includes a former Olympic level sprinter who's still a phenomenal natural athlete, although he's at least 75 lbs over his optimal weight, maybe even 100 lbs overweight. But he's only in his 40s or 50s, hard to tell because he has that ageless kind of appearance. He'll fly by me on most short, steep climbs, but if the climb is continuous longer than 400 yards I'll catch him. But he still has incredible recuperative ability from years of sprints and interval work, so it takes him less than 30 seconds to get infinite second winds. What, me jealous? Yup. Dang right.
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Old 12-03-21, 09:42 PM
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Originally Posted by canklecat View Post
I had to read some recent descriptions of the Rosarito-Ensenada to refresh my memory, and, sure nuff, they do describe a couple of sorta steep-ish hills a couplafew hundred yards in length. I barely remember any hills.

Although I do remember Bill Walton steadily chugging past me on a hill, riding his ridiculously tall bike. That was the season he was mostly recuperating from injuries and surgeries while he was with the Clippers. I didn't want to be an annoying fanboy so I didn't say anything, but I remember being impressed by how well he climbed for such a big guy.

But that's the difference between being 64 now and, back then, 20something in top physical fitness. I also played a lot of racquetball (because Southern California in the 1970s, natch), boxed amateur (not a sport to be approached casually, since the consequences of doing it badly are never casual), and cycling around 100 miles a week between commuting and recreational riding. So I didn't notice hills that would leave me huffing and puffing now, even though I work harder now to retain a semblance of fitness.

Now that I think about it, there were some steep hills around San Diego that taxed my abilities, even by the standards of my peak fitness years. I remember one particular climb along my usual commute that I *thought* was climbing at a pretty good clip. But one morning a fellow blew by me looking like he was just casually loafing up that double digit grade. He was more muscular and heavier, while I was built like a climber (5'11", 140 lbs back then) -- but I never really had a climber's lungs (some lung scarring from bouts with pneumonia as a kid).

But I've learned over the years that the muscular guys built like sprinters often do very well on short, steep climbs, although they'll slow down on steep climbs after about 1/4 mile, so if I persist I'll catch up and occasionally pass them even now in my 60s when I still keep my weight around 150. One local roadie group I've ridden with includes a former Olympic level sprinter who's still a phenomenal natural athlete, although he's at least 75 lbs over his optimal weight, maybe even 100 lbs overweight. But he's only in his 40s or 50s, hard to tell because he has that ageless kind of appearance. He'll fly by me on most short, steep climbs, but if the climb is continuous longer than 400 yards I'll catch him. But he still has incredible recuperative ability from years of sprints and interval work, so it takes him less than 30 seconds to get infinite second winds. What, me jealous? Yup. Dang right.
Bill Walton was an all star NBA player and dominated college basketball at UCLA.
He is also an avid cyclist an has a custom Holland bike with a Greatful Dead paint job.
Joe Bell painting is also done Holland shop, some of the best bike paint jobs.
Bill would be a good draft, Id love to ride his side and chat some miles.

Here is another thread where I posted some pictures and more details on Bill Walton's bike and paintjob https://www.bikeforums.net/general-c...l#post22293544

Last edited by joesch; 12-04-21 at 08:08 AM.
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Old 12-08-21, 01:44 AM
  #22  
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^run across bill walton 2-4x a year...usually in the balboa park or la jolla area. pretty hard to miss as he's
anywhere from 6'9" to 7'0" after the dozens of surgeries and def stands out on the orange/yellow/holland bike.
he was emceeing the laguna (mtns) challenge in the local san diego mtns for a spell but that was before the giggle fest of the last two years.
awesome cycling ambassador.

https://vault.si.com/vault/1981/12/0...ll-as-on-court
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