Looking to start doing a few more hills

bluezelos

Active Member
Location
North West
Pretty flat where I am so I am going to venture further afield to get up some hills on my road bike. Created a few routes on Komoot and Ride With GPS and the latest one has an 18 degree incline, it doesn't go on for too long, but will this be manageable for me? I have done a few hills but nothing on the size of the ones on this latest route are quite steep. Will I be able to get up? Pardon the pun.
 
Location
Cheshire
Yeah no problem
 

slowmotion

Quite dreadful
Location
lost somewhere
It's just a matter of practice......and a fair bit of suffering. My feeble advice is to try the hill in the lowest possible gear. The next time, try it with a gear to spare. Then another one to spare.
 

delb0y

Guru
Location
Quedgeley, Glos
Yep, gears are the answer. As I get older and heavier(*) I compensate my lowering my gears, and I can still get up most hills.

(*) To be fair, it's the bike that's getting heavier, rather than me, as I keep adding bits to it.
 

Globalti

Legendary Member
If you've got gears on your bike and you know how to use them you should be able to climb any hill with no more difficulty than going very fast on the flat.
 
18 degrees is 32.5% Gradient. Good one to get up.
 

hoopdriver

Guru
Location
East Sussex
I think you must mean 18% gradient, not 18 degrees - as noted above that would be staggeringly steep, only slightly less steep than Baldwin Street, in Dunedin, New Zealand which is in the record books as the steepest street in the world (although there is a street in Harlech, Wales, that is challenging that)
 

nickyboy

Norven Mankey
How long is the 18% section? If you're reasonably fit a couple of hundred metres should be no problem to force yourself up, regardless of what gearing you have. Much further and you will need sensible gearing (up to you what that is. I use 36/28).

To give an idea I live on a hill about that gradient and is 200m long. I'll happily get up it in 36/19 as a short effort but much longer and I'd struggle
 

Globalti

Legendary Member
Something I only discovered recently is the value of a good grip on the brake hoods while climbing; I was sweating my way up The Struggle, average 8% and maximum 22% and I realised my sweaty mitts were allowing my hands to squirm around on the brake hoods, reducing my ability to grip the bars firmly. Stopped half way and removed the mitts and I was amazed at the improvement in climbing efficiency.
 
OP
bluezelos

bluezelos

Active Member
Location
North West
Oops, yes 18% gradient, not degrees thanks to the ones for pointing that out. The stretch is not that long. I did a few climbs in North Yorkshire a few weeks ago so I know whats ahead of me.

The bike has Shimano 105 11/32 gearing (what does this actually mean, and will it be enough?)
 

ColinJ

Puzzle game developer
The bike has Shimano 105 11/32 gearing (what does this actually mean, and will it be enough?)
It means that the smallest sprocket on the cassette has 11 teeth and the largest has 32. The 32 is the one of interest here - the bigger it is, the easier pedalling will feel. That is for a given size of chainring at the front. The rule works the opposite way round there - smaller = easier.

You probably have a 36 or a 34 on your bike, in which case your lowest gear would be 34/32 or 36/32, both of which are pretty low but not super-low. I have a 28/30 on my bike and would happily use that on anything steeper than about 10-12%!
 
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