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The other day I went on a non-homo stroll with Alphamale, I was able to keep up with him from W. 1st Ave up Quebec towards E. 14th (slight hill climb.) But until I hit the stop signs (mandatory 4-way stop) I slow down and struggle to keep up with him. I lost all that momentum and for me to keep up with the guy, it's almost impossible.
I noticed that this is becoming a reoccuring trend, particularly when I did the Prospect Point Hill Climb. That bend just before the exit towards Lions Gate Bridge, I struggle because I slow down to make the turn around the corner and my speed goes to shit.
Any tips? I'm a heavier set guy, 5'8 and 200lbs. #Firstworldproblems
Edit: I know the obvious answer is to lose more weight (duh!) but there has to be other ways hahaha (I used to be 240lbs last year!)
I climbing, so I'll take a stab at it :P Prospect Point Climb is a perfect example, because there are 2 spots where the grade increases, one spot is right before the lions gate exit turn off is, and one spot is right after the exit where the road bends for the second time.
Q1: Are you using a bike computer on your stem? Do you know what cadence you're spinning at while you ride? What cadence are you climbing at?
Me: Throughout prospect point climb I keep my cadence pinned at 100, minimum. Cadence will be a personal thing, so you may be comfortable at 80-90... Just depends. Everyone is different. I can't remember seeing a computer on your stem when we rode before, and your recent pic doesn't show one.. Having a computer showing you your current cadence relative to your speed is HELLA important to seeing the changes in your gearing vs. current speed. There are times when you can shift to a bigger cog in the back (lower gear) and go faster than when you are pushing a smaller cog (higher gear). You won't be able to tell your speed increasing or decreasing without a computer on your stem.
When I'm riding regardless of flats or hills, I spin a higher cadence. I'm able to preserve my legs for a longer duration by not relying on pushing a higher gear, but rather being in the correct gear for the correct grade / speed.
Q2: What's your climbing style? Always seated? Mostly seated but you stand to attack the hill prior to the grade increasing? You switch between seated and standing because you get tired? Always standing?
Me: Im mostly seated during my climbs, but I will stand up to attack the hill PRIOR to the grade increasing to keep my speed and cadence up. Prior to me standing up, I will shift down 1 or 2 gears (higher gear/smaller cogs), keep my cadence at 100 by increasing my effort. I'll attack at max effort to get over the increase in grade, once thats over I sit down and shift 1 gear up (lower gear/bigger cog). That gear shift back up will allow me to retain my cadence and give me some respite.
I only stand up to attack. I find that I am much slower climbing out of the saddle b/c of the inconsistent power i put out while standing.
Q3: Do you adjust your hips and hand position while climbing? Or are you pretty much sitting in one spot on your saddle? Where are your hands?
Me: I use the entire length of my saddle and will bring my hips forward and back and adjust during the climb. When I'm more forward on the seat, I put more force into my pedals using different groups of leg muscles. I will micro adjust so i dont burn out one set of muscles. I will also switch from 80% downward force and 20% pulling up as i pedal, to 50/50%. Again, not trying to burn out my legs. My hands are on the top of my bars, almost dead center. Sometimes they're so close I can overlap my thumbs on top of the stem. I'm not gripping the bars, only resting my palms. Arms completely relaxed to where it's like an L shape. Shoulders relaxed. Back is completely straight, I sit tall with my chest out so that I can breathe easily.
Q4: Do you know what Ankling is? If not, google some videos. It's a technique I use.
Q5: Whats your gear ratio?
Me: Mines a compact so 50/34 front, and 12-27 rear cassette (12,13,14,15,16,17,19,21,24,27).
Q6: Are you in the correct gear / cadence prior to reaching the hill, or are you compensating once you reach the hill / incline?
Me: Before the grade of the hill even increases, I make sure that I'm in the correct gear and cadence. I use that momentum to power me up. If you're already at the incline of the hill, in the wrong gear and trying to compensate then you are losing momentum and losing speed. Couple that with a long road ahead, increasing grade, you will continue to lose speed and use up your legs. You have to be in the right gear and cadence to be efficient.
Pro Tip: Don't look down at your feet or chainrings when you are climbing. The more you look down, the more you suffer. It's a mental thing. Look FORWARD. Look where you want to go. It's the exact same thing people do when they get tired while doing pushups. The natural body reaction is to look down because you're tired. Train yourself to keep your head up. It's totally mental. Cycling is getting through those mental barriers. Keep your head up and you won't feel as bad.
There are a lot of good videos on youtube giving tips on climbing. But the points above were the tips I was given by my tri-buddy. It was the small adjustments that were a game changer for me.
Are you using your gears to your full advantage? If you can't generate the power to keep your cadence up (yet), you need to use the gears to allow you to maintain the momentum in your spin which will translate to forward momentum on the bike. Part of it too is knowing what gear you will need at a given speed and incline and shifting into it before you lose your momentum and can't shift at all
Think about it as a 1.6L VTEC motor vs. a V8. If the torque isn't there, you need to maximize your gearing.
+1 for computer It's really helpful to know your stats.Since I've had my 500 I keep a cadence on hills of 86. Usually I just watch the HR monitor/cadence now so I can tell when I'm pushing too hard, or not hard enough. I find some times during a grind up I raise my HR to 185+ which is pretty high IMO.
Mostly though don't let one poor hill performance let you down. There is lots of other factors like nutrition, energy, sleep, weather, bicycle mechanics that could allot for a slower or faster time. Last Prospect hill climb I was super slow, because it was wet, my muscles were relativity cold and I didn't have a full nights rest. I almost got dropped by a girl with a backpack and flat bars
Just try and grind it out and figure what factors you have control of to help you get to the top faster.
just checked my status for the wheels, just shipped today!
in regards to the climb, sometimes i dont put too much effort into looking at the gps for stats, just ride and get it over with, for me, somtimes when i am too conscious about the time, it makes it worst for me, i just ride freely and check the numbers after.
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will pretty much nailed it on the head! those inconspicuous grade changes get me as well. my main tips are to "know" the hill so you can budget your stamina accordingly to keep a pace up the thing. This goes in line with what will said about keeping your head up so you can constantly gauge where the hill ends and how much power you have left.
every time i'm climbing i have will's voice in my head "keep your head up, bro!". not sure why. no homo. maybe a bit. wat?
Keep the cadence up and don't burn yourself during the beginning of the climb. Keep it steady and keep pushing. That's all I've got. Will gives some good advice on hand position and having an upright torso for the climb. Your ability to breathe is much easier, even though I never follow this advice. Hah Posted via RS Mobile
In terms of "guy off the street" price - pretty standard, in according to most LBS rates but I've never seen him charge full price (unless somebody's being a douche.) Then there's the "Mike referred me" rate. Best to give John a call. He's opened tomorrow.
Cash talks and gets the best deals.
How do I get in contact with John?
Not familiar with the store name, Pms bike? Posted via RS Mobile