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Old 07-18-2010, 07:15 AM   #1
retromike3
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Best chainring size for hill climbing

I have been trying to clime some pretty steep hill in my neighborhood and the gears I seem to have on my road bike just don't seem to have it. I am running a 35 in the front chainring and a 32 rear cog. Do you think that's low enough or am I just way too out of shape? A friend of mine seems to walk away from me when he drops it into his front 24.

Mike



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Old 07-18-2010, 04:44 PM   #2
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Mike, this is a trick question, right? Depending on your crankset, you can certainly get a smaller chainring. Without knowing the BCD, I can't tell you how small though. But no one here can answer the out of shape part, besides you.

How do your legs/lungs feel on climbs? Do you have a heart rate monitor? Do you want to throw hill-climbing into your weekly rides to build on that, or are you content to sit at the back while everyone waits for you? Personally, I hate hills. Because of that, I never trained for them. So when I was in my best shape ever, I could kill it on the flats but would get dropped on long or steep grades.



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Old 07-18-2010, 08:22 PM   #3
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Hack really hit on your fitness....and he is right, only you can answer that one. I like hill climbing, just not the brutally steep stuff. I try to stay away from anything above 12% grade if possible. That being said, I have a bike with a double and one with a triple. Through training, there are hills I climb now in my double that I could only do on my triple in the smallest ring just a few months ago. Basically, your fitness will truely decide what grades you can climb and how fast.

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Old 07-18-2010, 11:48 PM   #4
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Who's this guy that is stalking me and agreeing with all my posts?

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Old 07-19-2010, 02:39 AM   #5
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the hills ect

It was not a "trick" question The crank I currently have is limited but I have a few different possibilities if I choose to. I used to love hills but I have been having some problems lately.

I try to do a hill set at least twice a week. Maybe Ill do it every day until I feel more comfortable.

mike

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Old 07-19-2010, 03:29 AM   #6
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You need to give yourself recovery time. Make it every other day.

My comment about this being a trick question arose because we don't know your fitness level.

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Old 07-19-2010, 03:53 AM   #7
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recovery sounds good

Maybe I will try an "easy" day with a little less hill and a "hard" day with a bigger hill. When I was a kid I knew I was starting to get in shape when I could make it over my local hill without stopping. I am not up to that pace yet, but I am going to work my way up to it.

mike

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Old 07-19-2010, 10:42 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Industry_Hack View Post
Who's this guy that is stalking me and agreeing with all my posts?
Well stop making sense, and I will gladly disagree with you!!!!
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Old 07-19-2010, 10:44 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by retromike3 View Post
I used to love hills but I have been having some problems lately.
When you say you have been having problems lately, are you referring to your fitness or are you suffering some type of abnormal pain when you climb? About a year ago I found myself staying away from hills because I had a little knee pain. Turns out I just needed to adjust my bike to relieve my knee pain and I was back on the hills again.

Also, not to agree with Hack again, (its becoming a bad habit) but recovery time is very important. If you are blasting up hills every day, even with good to great fitness; your climbing will suffer until you give your body a chance to recover.
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Old 07-19-2010, 12:34 PM   #10
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the hill and I

Grated I am older and fatter than I used to be, but up until last year I was able to get up a certain hill with a bigger gear. I think my fitness is definitely the case. No my hart monitor no longer works(batteries dead) but when I really push it physically I know when I have gone to far and I try to keep it below that threshold. I went though some operations on my feet this spring and was ordered off my bike for two months

So after about three weeks I went back slowly mainly riding on my 66 cc motor assist bike(its a 1994 Giant mountain bike I converted over for road use and it has a 34 single front chainring with a eight speed cassette on the back that's a 11-30. When I go into "stealth mode" I peddle the bike like normal. When I have to get there quick I let out the clutch and I am gone. I still pedal it and it does have two completely separate drive systems.

Now I am trying to get to the point were I was last year when I was in better shape. and I now am trying to ride my road bike up that dreaded hill again.

used to do a steep hill in my Neighborhood every week to "test" my fitness. Lately I have been doing the hills with a buddy of mine from way back. I set up his mountain bike as a road bike by going with the 1.5 tires 80 psi and a 42 inner chainring. he still has a 24 for a low and a 48 for a high in the front and in the back he has got a eight speed cassette. with a 11-28
I changed over my red road bike a little to by dropping the 52-45 that was stock on that old Campy Grand Sport and dropped a 35 in that place so I have a usable two step. if I jump down off of the 52 to the 35 then I have to up shift the upshift cogs two notches to cover the gear range. it really likes to clime with that set up .
But now I hav a chance to make a nother



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