Online list of hills that have been categorised? where are all the cat1s?

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  • Online list of hills that have been categorised? where are all the cat1s?
  • Premier Icon somouk
    Subscriber

    There are a couple of cat 4s over at Wyre Forest but never seen anything above 4 on Strava.

    jekkyl
    Member

    So over cat 4 is rare in the UK?
    (I’ve never much paid attention to this before, forgive my ignorance)

    What about the lakeland high passes, what does strava categorise those as?

    Premier Icon 40mpg
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    Who decides the parameters for the categories? Is this just a strava thing?

    The parameters used in the grand tours are not fixed and vary between event (ie a Giro cat1 may be harder than a Tour cat1) so I wouldn’t expect to be able to compare to what the pro’s are racing up.

    lemonysam
    Member

    what does strava categorise those as?

    You see that explore link at the top of the page on Strava? give it a whirl…

    General guidelines for classification are as follows:
    Hors Category (HC) – the hardest, climbs of 1500m+
    1st Category – climbs of 1100-1500m
    2nd Category – climbs of 600-1100m
    3rd Category – climbs of 300-600m
    4th Category – the lowest category, 100-300m

    Which puts the lakeland passes arround 3 or 2. But there’s a lot of scope for tweaking them, Alpe D’Huez for example is HC, but isn’t as big a climb as some of the other famous ones, but the corners make it difficult and it’s usualy at the end of a stage.

    It’s basicly the organisers discretion and based on how hard the riders will percieve the climb. Often fairly big hills go uncategorised and there’s plenty of stories of Pro’s not studdying the route book carefully enough and losing races on climbs they hadn’t spotted.

    Premier Icon somouk
    Subscriber

    You see that explore link at the top of the page on Strava? give it a whirl…

    That worked, seems there are a few in the more mountainous parts like Snowdonia.

    jekkyl
    Member

    Does anyone know of online list of hills that have been categorised for cycling?
    There’s a cat 4 hill (Strava told me) around my area that I go up from time to time, from Stone to Rough close if you’re local to Staffs. How can I find out where the other categorised hills are? so I can use them as to find places I haven’t cycled before and have a go at them. Keen to try my hand at a cat 1 hill, both up & down of course 😉

    Thanks

    Premier Icon igm
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    Isn’t the story that originally the category was the gear required to drive up the climb.

    Hors couldn’t be done even in first and had to be reversed up.

    Clearly this is no longer true, even if it ever was, but it’s a nice story.

    jamiea
    Member

    Isn’t the story that originally the category was the gear required to drive up the climb.
    Hors couldn’t be done even in first and had to be reversed up.
    Clearly this is no longer true, even if it ever was, but it’s a nice story.

    For the Tour climbs a 2CV I believe it was.

    Cheers,
    Jamie

    bigbeard
    Member

    I’ve heard that story lots of times and I’ve always thought it doesn’t make sense. Most of the big european climbs aren’t that steep, they are just long.

    It would make short steep climbs (e.g cobbled Belgian bergs) a higher cat than Ventoux.

    jekkyl
    Member

    What an awesome bit of trivia.

    whatnobeer
    Member

    You’ll be lucky to find any Cat 1 (road) climbs in the UK. There’s a few cat 2 climbs kicking about if you live somewhere hilly. It’s a bit of a fudge applying the ratings to the UK as a lot of our smaller steeper hills wont make a certain grade because they’re not long enough. The bealach na ba is, I think, the longest/highest (one or other) climb in Scotland at around 6 miles long and 600m ascent. It’s a cat 2.

    warton
    Member

    I’ve heard that story lots of times and I’ve always thought it doesn’t make sense. Most of the big european climbs aren’t that steep, they are just long.

    you try climbing alpe D’Heux in a 1910 car, on a muddy track…

    Premier Icon kcal
    Subscriber

    from segments I’ve created, at least one is Cat 3. I wouldn’t take that as gospel though.

    Plenty others Cat 4, just do an explore that will give Cat rating.

    What warton said, it was based on the gearing of cars at the time not an Octavia turbo diesel… The same climb can have a different category in different years, pretty sure I heard specific TdeF and Vuelta climbs discussed this year on commentary with different cats to earlier tours.

    bokonon
    Member

    http://www.strava.com/segments/952845- Cat 1 off road climb…I think it’s a footpath, and it looks like they walked it, there are a few climbs off road round that way that Strava Classes as Cat 2. Then there is Helvelyn – http://www.strava.com/segments/952845 which is also classed by Strava as Cat 1 – with some more sensible looking times.

    Premier Icon glenh
    Subscriber

    The categories (now at least) are arbitrary and decided by race organisers.

    You can call your hill whatever catagory you like.

    In my personal experience, some of the (strava) cat 3 hills near my house are quite a bit harder* than Alpe d’huez.

    *like all hills, they are to some extent as hard as you make them

    bokonon
    Member

    I think the distinction needs to be drawn between Strava classifications – which are absolute – they are based on a formula of incline and distance, and give a fair baseline indication of the type of climb something is, and the classifications used in the Grand Tours etc. – which include a subjective element – a “borderline” hill might end up the classification above if it is later on in the stage, or is particularly historic or whatever – and can end up with climbs being given different classifications year to year.

    FunkyDunc
    Member

    There are a couple of cat 4s over at Wyre Forest but never seen anything above 4 on Strava.

    Thats because you dont have hills down south! There are a few 3’s where I live, it tends to be the length of the hill that makes it a 3 as opposed to the steepness (on Strava) ie the Cow & Calf is a 4, and bloody steep, but Norwood is a 3 and not as steep.

    It does say some where on Strava about how they calculate the Category. Its their own calculation and not an international standard or some such like.

    jekkyl
    Member

    Just searching my local ones,
    Winnats pass near castleton is a Cat3 and
    The Killer mile at Mow cop is also Cat3.

    Somebody must have done a list of cat4s and above in the UK?

    Premier Icon ransos
    Subscriber

    In my personal experience, some of the (strava) cat 3 hills near my house are quite a bit harder* than Alpe d’huez.

    My experience is the exact opposite. I’ve done climbs all over the UK, and have never found ones remotely as difficult as HC Alpine climbs.

    Premier Icon glenh
    Subscriber

    Well, everyone has their own preferences, but most HC alpine climbs don’t go over 25%, like the two ‘cat 3’s that I did on my ride at the weekend….

    Dibbs
    Member

    According to Strava there’s 3 Cat 4 and 5 Cat 3 segments within a couple of miles from me, no wonder I’m always tired 😉

    Down sarf BTW.

    Premier Icon ransos
    Subscriber

    Well, everyone has their own preferences, but most HC alpine climbs don’t go over 25%, like the two ‘cat 3’s that I did on my ride at the weekend….

    That’s true, but 25% climbs in the UK never go on for very long. I reckon a lot more fitness is required to get up an 8% average climb that lasts for 14km (AdH).

    jekkyl
    Member

    Snake pass near Glossop is Cat2! That looks like the worst near me.

    Maybe a new thread with a better title is needed for everyone on here to list up their local hills, for future reference. There’s got to be a Cat1 somewhere in the north of England.

    ransos – Member

    In my personal experience, some of the (strava) cat 3 hills near my house are quite a bit harder* than Alpe d’huez.

    My experience is the exact opposite. I’ve done climbs all over the UK, and have never found ones remotely as difficult as HC Alpine climbs.

    That’s what I thought. I mena you can pootle up the Alp D Huez, but if you’re trying to go quick then it’s really tough cos it’s getting on for an hours worth of climbing. Whereas Wrynose pass will be over in not too many minutes, evern thoguh it is 25%

    There’s no such thing as an ‘official’ categorised climbs. Even the TdF ones are subjective guesses by the race organisers.

    The way Strava calculates is gradient x overall length of segment with arbitrary cut offs. For that reason there are very few (if any?) HC climbs on Strava in the UK but plenty on bigger hills in France etc. Of course there are still plenty of challenging climbs in the UK. Maybe look at the Tour of Britain and what they classify?

    FunkyDunc
    Member

    Snake pass near Glossop is Cat2!

    Is that because you run the chance of being killed by traffic if you dare to ride up it??

    To be honest I cant recall any steep sections on the Snake Pass, its just goes on for a little longer than most.

    Dibbs
    Member

    I’ve just been searching Strava and for some reason Porlock Toll Road http://app.strava.com/segments/894936 is Cat 2 (4.1 miles 5.5%) but I wouldn’t class that as very hard at all Porlock Hill http://app.strava.com/segments/847912 is Cat 3 (1.6 miles 11.7%)and a much harder but shorter climb.

    Junkyard
    Member

    There’s got to be a Cat1 somewhere in the north of England

    as there are no hills over 1100 m no there will not.

    I am sure some will feel like it though in the lakes say up Skiddaw but that s not 1000m for example

    taxi25
    Member

    There’s plenty of Strava cat 2 climbs local to me in S.Wales. The Blorenge ( tumble ) is one of the toughest, over three miles with plenty of 10%+ parts. With tired legs its a challenge just to get up without stopping.

    http://www.strava.com/segments/994117

    iolo
    Member

    That worked, seems there are a few in the more mountainous parts like Snowdonia.

    No shit Sherlock.

    trail_rat
    Member

    my local hundred mile loop takes in cabrach , the lecht , gairnsheil 1 and 2 and if im not yet fecked the COM

    i thought i could climb – anyone that knows those hills know they are harsh.

    but as said above – none of that prepared me for france – did alpe dhuez a few times in a few days then glandon , telegraph and galibier in a day

    wrecked. nothing in the uk prepares you for that not even the wildcat grimpeur audax.

    bealach na ba is a piece of piss – i was significantly underwhelmed by it

    Premier Icon ac282
    Subscriber

    There is no standard for categories. It is completely arbitrary and depends as much on the significance of the hill to the race as its difficulty.

    Even in the tour there aren’t many 1500 m climbs, Alpe d’Huez is only a bit over 1000 m.

    Strava categorization

    To decide the category of a climb we multiply the length of the climb (in meters) with the grade of the climb in percent. If that number is greater than 8000 then it is a categorized climb. The minimum percent grade must be 3% or higher. So, for a 4% avg grade climb, it has to be 2km at least to be categorized. Cat 3 = 16000, 2 = 32000, 1 = 64000, HC > 80000.

    I believe that this equates in strava terms to
    Cat 4 80m climb
    Cat 3 160m climb
    Cat 2 320m climb
    Cat 1 640m climb
    HC 800m climb
    all must be min 3% gradient.

    Premier Icon fathomer
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    I live in Leicester, finding a Cat 4 on Strava is tough 😀

    Premier Icon ransos
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    as there are no hills over 1100 m no there will not.

    689m is the highest I can find: http://www.climbbybike.com/climb.asp?qryMountainID=7380

    That’s what I thought. I mena you can pootle up the Alp D Huez, but if you’re trying to go quick then it’s really tough cos it’s getting on for an hours worth of climbing.

    You’d be going well to climb AdH in much less than an hour. Even the best climbing pros take 40 minutes.

    (Can you tell I just missed out? Did it in 1.02 earlier this year!)

    Premier Icon ransos
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    but as said above – none of that prepared me for france – did alpe dhuez a few times in a few days then glandon , telegraph and galibier in a day

    wrecked. nothing in the uk prepares you for that not even the wildcat grimpeur audax.

    Yep. I did La Marmotte which had Glandon, Telegraph, Galibier and AdH. It was a different order of magnitude to anything I’ve done in the UK.

    jekkyl
    Member

    just reading this thread and on the right I have advertised:
    100 Greatest Cycling Climbs: A Road Cyclist’s Guide to Britain’s Hills

    Coincidence? lol.

    You’d be going well to climb AdH in much less than an hour. Even the best climbing pros take 40 minutes.

    (Can you tell I just missed out? Did it in 1.02 earlier this year!)

    My mate big ringed it in about 50 minutes, although there was a chapn on our campsite who’d done under 50. I found it alot harder than last year having lost fitness and put on about 2 stone!

    Premier Icon ransos
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    My mate big ringed it in about 50 minutes, although there was a chapn on our campsite who’d done under 50. I found it alot harder than last year having lost fitness and put on about 2 stone!

    That’s very, very fast. The fittest guy I know did it in 56.

    😆 I know, it’s all in the genes – think his brother is hoping to run in the Olympics in Brazil. Wish he’d train properly, he could probably have been a pro if he’d started early.

    Premier Icon ransos
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    I know, it’s all in the genes – think his brother is hoping to run in the Olympics in Brazil. Wish he’d train properly, he could probably have been a pro if he’d started early.

    People like that are just irritating!

    Premier Icon glenh
    Subscriber

    Altitude acclimatization probably helps.

    I’ve only ridden the Alpe once but found it fairly easy in around a hour, but I had just spent 2 weeks climbing at much higher altitudes.

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