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Two skinny J's
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Discussion Starter #1
I really do suck at hills! I can ride them and I have NEVER pushed a bike up a hill yet! I loose so much momentum going up though it just kills me! The guy I normally ride with eats me up on the hills and I'm tired of it :D

Is the only way to burn the hills up to bite the bullet and just find a nice long hill and do repeats until I puke?

The irony is the fact I used to beat Andy up the hills but he has become a freak on a bike and rides ALL the time now and I just keep up with his mileage, is that part of it as well? I notice when I can ride consistently i can recover much faster and get back to a gear to get moving again.

I used to sit and try and use as much gear as I could to turn each pedal stoke into power and then I found myself spinning a lot more but that doesn't work cuz then there is nothing left at the top...at least for me.

Recently the most comfortable and easiest, not the fastest, is standing with my hands on top of the bars. I've tried the drops, and hoods but the bar tops just feel good. I've also started leaning back just a skosh so I'm not so far out over the front wheel.

I'm just getting eaten up on the hills. I've tried charging the hills and 1/2 way or so the gear change just kills me. Carrying speed into a hill doesn't seem to help me much.

Guess I've worked myself the way back around to repeats hu? Any other advise?
 

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Some of the E-bikes, you can hardly tell. The battery hides in a seat bag and the tiny motor behind the cassette. PM vibiker for details.

Yes, you need to ride more. You are exceptional fast for an occasional rider. :thumbsup:
 

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I've found tilting my head up helps. Instead of staring down at the ground, keep your chin up. I can't say for sure that it makes me faster, but it seems to provide a psychological boost.

Spend half of the time seated, half standing. Never ride in the drops on a climb. Don't rock the bike side to side excessively, but do not expend energy resisting the natural rocking motion.

Let some air out of Andy's tires when he's not looking and put some rocks in his seat bag.
 

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Not to worry. You are now a true descender.:D

I find climbing in the hoods to be the best position for your upper body. Being in the hoods allows you to transfer to and from standing to sitting easily. It also is the most stable grip to prevent your bike and self from swaying.

When approaching the hill I start out by shifting into my desired gear before I need it. I remain seated and keep my cadence steady once my cadence begins to drop I pop out of my saddle and increase my cadence. When my cadence begins to drop I down shift and drop back into my saddle repeating over and over until I crest the summit of the climb.

I like the idea of deflating Andy's tires to slow him down but would also suggest that when he gets off his bike recalibrate his cycloputer so he tones down his training.
 

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When approaching the hill I start out by shifting into my desired gear before I need it. I remain seated and keep my cadence steady once my cadence begins to drop I pop out of my saddle and increase my cadence. When my cadence begins to drop I down shift and drop back into my saddle repeating over and over until I crest the summit of the climb.
First off let me say, I love hills! :D Last year I took a hill climbing class at this cycle outfit in Seattle and this is what I learned.
1-Repeats. Find a hill and climb it often. This is the only way.....
2-Like what Davero said, keep a steady cadence, however, before standing up and dancing in the saddle, as they like to call it, shift up to a higher gear. You'll be standing so you'll generate more power. Also, rock the bike in a controlled tempo with your pedal stroke. Then shift back down when you sit unless you can keep up the cadence in that gear.
3- When sitting, sit back on the saddle with hands on top of the bars and keep the cadence steady. This is how I mostly climb and I try to sit as high as I can to keep a steady flow of oxygen into my lungs. Also, they said when you're coming over the top on your pedal stroke act like you're scrapping the dog crap off your shoe.
4-When descending, be in the drops.
5-Work the core! As with everything else nowadays, the core is important.

Most importantly remember this mantra.....
I am an athlete
I am a climber
I welcome the challenge of big hills
I ride up hard hills and descend with confidence and speed
I work hard and always give my best
I was born to climb!

The mantra was part of the curriculum but it really does help when ascending tough hills.

Hope this helps.
 

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Two skinny J's
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Discussion Starter #8
1-Repeats. Find a hill and climb it often. This is the only way.....
2-Like what Davero said, keep a steady cadence, however, before standing up and dancing in the saddle, as they like to call it, shift up to a higher gear. You'll be standing so you'll generate more power. Also, rock the bike in a controlled tempo with your pedal stroke. Then shift back down when you sit unless you can keep up the cadence in that gear.
3- When sitting, sit back on the saddle with hands on top of the bars and keep the cadence steady. This is how I mostly climb and I try to sit as high as I can to keep a steady flow of oxygen into my lungs. Also, they said when you're coming over the top on your pedal stroke act like you're scrapping the dog crap off your shoe.
4-When descending, be in the drops.
5-Work the core! As with everything else nowadays, the core is important.

Most importantly remember this mantra.....
I am an athlete
I am a climber
I welcome the challenge of big hills
I ride up hard hills and descend with confidence and speed
I work hard and always give my best
I was born to climb!

The mantra was part of the curriculum but it really does help when ascending tough hills.

Hope this helps.
Short of the repeats that's pretty much what I do. I love a 90 ish cadence and on the hills I slow it to 60-70 ish.

I saw not born to climb but I'm gonna learn if it kills me! Oh wait...that's a distinct possibility :D

I have two hills that I loath so i guess it's repeat time. Pete and repeat were sitting on a fence...aww never mind :)
 

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Heres is s proven method we use with our riders to conquer hills and blow PRs through the roof:
1) Single leg strength training
2) Single leg bent over rows
3) 20 min hill repeats x 3 on the weekends
4) 3-5:00 repeats 1/week at VO2 max pace
5) Optimize neuromuscular coordination
6) Learn how to spin uphill
7) Recovery week every 4-5 weeks, meaning NO RIDING.

Climbing depends on a few factors to be successful:
1) Seated:
- how straight is your spine? If it is rounded in any segment, you will lose power.
- bike fit, can't emphasize this enough.
- all the riding in the world WON'T matter if you are trying maximize performance with poor posture.
- do you bob up and down or do you have a quiet trunk?

1.5) Standing
Are you pulling up on the bars at the same time you are pushing down on the pedals? Is your spine straight and not wavering back and forth? Are you feeling the pull on the bars through the abs/glutes/low back muscles? Are you heavy on your hands, or is your weight over the bottom bracket?

2) How open is the chest/how are you breathing?

3) Are you climbing with your quads or glutes? If you are mashing with the quads, you're not maxing out your lower body power potential. Are you pulling up at the same time as you push down on the opposite pedal? If your aren't feeling the tib anterior pulling up (shin area), you're not doing it right.

4) As your foot pushes the pedal out away from you, are your lats engaging to pull the bike into your center of power? This extremely important, and will instantly give you more power.

5) Where are your hands?
Top of the bar, if so, are your elbows flared out externally rotated elevating your shoulders sending tension down to the rest of the body? If your elbows internally rotate, you can engage you lats a lot more, keep your spine straighter and use your hips/trunk much more effectively.

On the hoods, are your thumbs on top with middle finger in the arc of the levers? This is the most effective power pull position when you climb.

6) How strong is your trunk? How well do you optimize your neuromuscular coordination? Meaning, how well can you coordinate the movements of your elbows/knees, shoulders/hips, ankles/wrists? If one of these movement segments is off, you won't climb as well.

7) How stable are your joints?
You can only lay down the amount of power your joint stability allows. The less stable you are, the less power produced. This is why power meters measure joint stability not power.
 

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Forgot to add, use the Carmichael 30/90 rule:
:90 of seated climbing, with :30 standing until you complete the climb.
 

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Two skinny J's
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Discussion Starter #12
I gota admit I like the idea qms has and just use an e-bike for the hills :D All joking aside some good info from you guys! Got some stuff to try and work on!
 

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Two skinny J's
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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
I did a 1/2 heated search to what kind of gearing the TDF guys might be using for the past stage 12 and the Col de la Madeleine and couldn't find much. I did find this from last year and not form the TDF but it did answer my basic question of what they are doing.

It also answered another burning question about tyre selection I like the fact the bike has Conti tires on it :D

HTC mechanics said that most of the team will switch to compact cranks and, on the steepest stages, will use 12-28T cassettes. In contrast, many SRAM equipped riders are expected to use WiFLi long cage derailleurs (Rival level, but branded as non-series components with just a SRAM logo) and cassettes with low ranges up to 32-teeth.

As I post this I seem to recall this being discussed somewhere last year about this time.

From this article:
Pro Bike: Mark Cavendish’s HTC Specialized McLaren Venge
 

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Yesterday tired old man, Today retired old man
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I was going out for a ride, but after reading that, I think I am too tired to ride :eek: ;) :D
One thing I will add breathe right
 

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Two skinny J's
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Discussion Starter #15
Andy? Andy who? Andy Hampsten? Yeah, he'll kill you on the hills.Might as well go fishing instead.
Andy WHO?( just kidding of course )You mean Andy Smith!! And yes he kills me on the hills :D
 

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Two skinny J's
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Discussion Starter #17
Forgot to add, use the Carmichael 30/90 rule:
:90 of seated climbing, with :30 standing until you complete the climb.
I'm afraid I don't understand the numbers :eek:

Missed this, funny since I used to predominantly sit and now predominantly stand.
 

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Two skinny J's
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Discussion Starter #19
90 seconds seated, followed by 30 seconds standing, then 90 seconds seated, 30 seconds standing, etc.
Ohhh, I feel stupid now :eek: makes perfect sense. I thought it was a percentage thingee :eek:
 

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qmsdc15 said:
90 seconds seated, followed by 30 seconds standing, then 90 seconds seated, 30 seconds standing, etc.
You are correct sir, YES!
 
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