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Hills

Discussion in 'Beginners' started by Lone Rider, 8 May 2008.

  1. Lone Rider

    Lone Rider Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Costa Daurada
    Why do I get so tired going up hills? Well, it's not really tired, it's more like lacking energy. Is there a secret technique, or is it just practise?
     
  2. dodgy

    dodgy Veteran

    Location:
    Wirral
    Gravity, it sucks.

    Dave.
     
  3. marinyork

    marinyork Resting in suspended Animation

    Location:
    Logopolis
    You get tired because of the component of the force due to gravity working against you. If there is a secret technique please let me know!

    I still find hills tiring but I think I actually faster up them now (still slow) although I don't cycle with a computer so can't really say for sure. When planning routes if I'm going for a lazier ride I try and plan routes with moderate hills 150ft-200ft with perhaps a quarter of a mile recovery time before the next hill. For me this is a different sort of challenge to a medium hill of say 400ft+ at 1 in 10.
     
  4. Lone Rider

    Lone Rider Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Costa Daurada
    Good pun.
    However, gravity seems to affect some people more than others.
     
  5. dodgy

    dodgy Veteran

    Location:
    Wirral
    It applies more to those with a lower strength to weight ratio. Get stronger or lose weight, or both to increase your power to weight ratio.

    Dave.
     
  6. Paulus

    Paulus Getting older by the minute

    Location:
    Barnet,
    There's no secret about it. Practise, practise practise. As your fitness improves climbing will get easier. Start at the bottom of the hill in a nice easy gear and twiddle away. If it seems too easy change down and keep going. As time goes by attempt a hill in a slightly bigger gear, but not one that you end up grinding up the hill in pain, this is also bad for your knees. It does get easier, really.
     
  7. Chris James

    Chris James Über Member

    Location:
    Huddersfield
    Practice and fitness. But practice is more important in the short term.

    There are a LOT of hill around here, and although I wouldn't say I am the greatest climber in the world I have little choice but to be reasonable on them, if not particularly quick.

    My main suggestions for long hills (i.e. not those you can get out of your saddle to and blast up for less than a minute) are:

    Settle back on your saddle
    Select a low gear
    Relax your shoulders - in fact relax as much as possible
    Concentrate on smooth energy efficient cycling
    Don't look too far forward ahead - particularly don't dwell on how far away the summit is.
     
  8. thePig

    thePig New Member

    Location:
    London
    I find it helps if I consciously try to use the same amount of energy as what I was using on the flat. I think most people try and go too fast up hills, rather than selecting a very easy gear prior to the start of the hill and going at a comfortable speed - the hill isn't going anywhere so whats the rush.

    I have written a short post on this over at my blog: http://www.cyclepig.com/archive/cycling-up-hills-made-easy/
     
  9. fossyant

    fossyant Ride It Like You Stole It!

    Location:
    South Manchester
    All down to training and fitness (and of course power/weight) and ability to tollerate the pain..... Breathing rhythm is very important on long climbs, as is maintaining a good cadence (pedalling rate). Personally, I'm a bit of a grinder/honker, so in and out the saddle on climbs - helps me maintain a good pace, and gives the muscles a short break.

    Doesn't get any easier, as you tend to climb much faster when fitter -
     
  10. Tynan

    Tynan Veteran

    Location:
    e4
    what the others said

    starting out though, set a really comfortable gear/cadence early on but stick to it the entire climb, the classic problem is to be brave early on and knackered later on, determined all the way is the thing

    and save something for the bit after the hill (still working on this one myself on my biggest commute hill, I'm sure the long flay bit afterwards is still uphill)
     
  11. Lone Rider

    Lone Rider Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Costa Daurada



    I enjoyed the article and feel identified with the cyclist lying by the side of the road.

    The general message seems to be to take it easy and keep practicing. Hopefully it gets easier.
     
  12. dodgy

    dodgy Veteran

    Location:
    Wirral
    Welcome to the boards by the way Lone Rider :ohmy:

    Dave.
     
  13. Fab Foodie

    Fab Foodie hanging-on in quiet desperation ...

    Spot-on.

    Welcome Lone rider
     
  14. HJ

    HJ Cycling in Scotland

    Location:
    Auld Reekie
  15. HJ

    HJ Cycling in Scotland

    Location:
    Auld Reekie
    Not so sure it gets easier, but you do get a lot faster...