Road bike that climbs

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  • Road bike that climbs
  • Premier Icon beej
    Subscriber

    In theory, light ones. In practice, those with a light rider who generates reasonable power.

    Premier Icon Vortexracing
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    I can assure you a fat bloke on a light bike doesn’t climb well πŸ™„

    Being 85kg/ 5’6″ and riding a 2008 Boardman comp I believe both could be improved upon.

    My usual routes are Holmfirth/ Holme Moss/ Snakes Pass/ Strines.

    The other Holmfirth/ Greenfield/ Standege/ Huddersfield.

    I’m only really interested in climbing- the flat runs bore me.

    The boardman is awful, anything over 30mph downhill and I get a wobble of doom on.

    Kitz_Chris
    Member

    The boardman is awful, anything over 30mph downhill and I get a wobble of doom on.

    So you want a bike that climbs well or descends well? They’re often mutually exclusive.

    You’re going to have to spend crazy money to notice a significant difference from you Boardman going uphill, and if you’re spending that money there isn’t much between the top frames anyway.

    Can I give you the standard STW response of “Try upgrading the wheels first?”

    ron jeremy
    Member

    Oh oh oh I know this one…..

    “What tyres for……..”

    Which road bikes/ frames climb well?

    Also what makes a good climing bike?

    I’m considering a frame upgrade/ new bike

    rewski
    Member

    New kenesis race light is designed for powerful climbing, looks awesome too.

    Kenesis racelight

    swiss01
    Member

    I have a couple of mates with this very bike and they don’t have a wobble problem whatsoever whether they’re sprinting on the flat or coasting on the way down. obviously you’ll have consulted the googlemachine but if not this is as good a starter as any

    http://www.roadbikerider.com/advanced-skills/speed-wobble

    Premier Icon Bez
    Subscriber

    Get one with an engine. Or upgrade the current “engine”. Otherwise, it’s pretty much just weight, but unless you’ve forgotten to take a pair of panniers off, the differences are going to be marginal.

    Something cheap, stiff and aluminium or expensive and plastic. Either one powered by strong legs, heart and a good set of lungs.

    But…..but…what size wheels?

    Premier Icon beej
    Subscriber

    Yeah, the Canyon is maybe 2kg lighter than your current one, saving you about 2% in overall bike+bottles+rider+clothing weight.

    Some mountain bikes are better climbers due to geometry, suspension tech etc. With road bikes it doesn’t really come into it, unless the geometry is really odd.

    The road bike industry is to busy gearing it’s self up for disk brakes to worry about wheel sizes. The re-inventing of the wheel will come when electrics and hydraulics are the standard.

    IanW
    Member

    Dont you know..Its not about the bike! πŸ˜‰

    Thanks for the good advice. I’m just wanting something fresh, not looking at spending heaps of money, the boardman didn’t cope very weel with the snow and is going to get restridted to winter/ commute useage. I was just wondering what too look out for in a climber, I guess as I won’t be shedding out loads of money its irrevelant.

    tinribz
    Member

    Would have thought longer chain stays would be top of the list, longer wheelbase so the front wheel stays on the ground. Most climbers tend to have longer stems. Not sure about seat tube, would imagine further forward would be better, head tubes tend to be slacker on MTBs.

    So logically >42cm chainstays, 74deg seat tube, 72deg head tube, shortish top tube?

    Sounds a bit like a cyclocross frame only they have higher bottom brackets that muck things up. Perhaps an audax frame or Genesis Eq?

    oldgit
    Member

    Now I’ve always thought bikes with short chainstays climb better. Something you can get over the front of.

    I like the idea of a cyclocross frame to give me the option of off road however they seem to have shorter top tubes, not ideal for climbing.

    mickolas
    Member

    a stretched, tall cockpit (relatively)? one of my bikes has higher bars than the other (both set to ‘comfort’ rather than ‘speed’) and I find standing up climbing easier on the taller one. I soon adjust when riding the other but I do notice the difference.

    crikey
    Member

    As noted above, there are no ‘climbing’ bikes other than the stripped down things that get used for hillclimb events.

    The only thing that might make a difference is having low handlebars, so when you stand up and climb you can straighten your arms to reduce the strain on your triceps.

    avdave2
    Member

    Being 85kg/ 5’6″ and riding a 2008 Boardman comp I believe both could be improved upon.

    I’m 5’6″ and 55kg and have ridden a boardman, I think you’ll find “it’s not about the bike”. πŸ™‚

    Premier Icon DezB
    Subscriber

    I’ve always thought bikes with short chainstays climb better.

    I agree. My old Coppi road bike was a faster climber than the lighter ones which followed it. Down to those short, straight stays I reckon.

    michaelmcc
    Member

    Which road bikes/ frames climb well?

    Which ever bike has a rider who can climb well! πŸ™„

    Premier Icon igm
    Subscriber

    Wobble over 30mph?

    Have you had the wheels balanced?

    Premier Icon DezB
    Subscriber

    Which road bikes/ frames climb well?

    Which ever bike has a rider who can climb well

    I guess he means: which road bike would the SAME RIDER find is the best climber. Or is that too logical? πŸ™„

    JoB
    Member

    so you want a cheap road frame that climbs well but doubles up as a ‘cross bike?

    scuttler
    Member

    Holmfirth? Orange Five! Or is this place going downhill….

    Premier Icon Bez
    Subscriber

    So, I see thus far we’ve had recommendations for:

    – long chainstays
    – short chainstays
    – high front end
    – low front end
    – long reach
    – short reach

    It’s almost as if (a) the bike’s not really all that important, and/or (b) STW advice is on a par with flipping a coin πŸ™‚

    samuri
    Member

    Also, gearing. 52/36 and a race block might sound great when you’re trying to impress people on internet forums but point the bike up the hardknott and it’s a different story no matter how powerful you are.

    Premier Icon psling
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    the boardman didn’t cope very weel with the snow and is going to get restridted to winter/ commute useage

    I’d say the STW advise so far makes total sense Bez… πŸ˜• 8)

    Premier Icon roverpig
    Subscriber

    Personally I’d say that stiffness, particularly around the BB and chainstays, is the key to a good climbing road bike. Weight obviously matters as you are fighting gravity, but it’s overall weight that matters (including you, kit etc) and I wouldn’t sacrifice stiffness just to save a pound or two.

    Premier Icon aracer
    Subscriber

    Something cheap, stiff and aluminium or expensive and plastic

    Or cheap and plastic. Which (relatively speaking) is what my road bike frame is, on a bike which is probably lighter than most of yours. Though it’s really all just about power to weight, provided you’ve got your position on the bike sorted to enable you to put maximum power down. How would any other factor come into it?

    Would have thought longer chain stays would be top of the list, longer wheelbase so the front wheel stays on the ground.

    Do you often have problems with keeping the front wheel on the ground on road climbs?

    Premier Icon BadlyWiredDog
    Subscriber

    Gearing? Alternatively try riding a cross bike up the same climbs on knobbly tyres then go back to your road bike. It’ll suddenly seem to be climbing a lot better… works for me.

    My bike climbs well, heres part of the reveiw:-

    “This all adds up to a remarkably light package; at 7.17kg for the complete bike it’s within a couple of hundred grams of the UCI limit. That’s impressive for a bike with this level of kit, but not unexpected when paired to the ****** frame, which shaves plenty of weight through some clever touches like the use of carbon dropouts and even a carbon fibre front mech mount.

    The ****** wears its racing heart on its sleeve, with a shallow head-tube and long top-tube combined with a slacker than standard seat-tube leading to a shorter wheelbase. Out on the road the ******’s racing prowess is very evident. That long top-tube and the layback seatpost put you over the rear and in the prime position to really get on top of the standard 53/39 gearing. The low overall weight makes climbing almost fun and despite the standard double we never felt the need for lower gearing, even on the hills on our test route where we’re normally reaching for them.

    You’d expect a frame with such little weight to be found wanting when it comes to sprints, but it’s worth remembering that a certain **** ********* made his name winning aboard an ******. The Manx Missile didn’t have any issues with it on his way to his multiple stage wins, and neither do we, especially with the way it responds under power. In fact we absolutely love the way it reacts. The shorter wheelbase and sharp steering makes it easy to throw around, yet the long reach and over-the-rear weight make descending a joy too.

    So there you see what makes a climbing bike, trouble is it doesnt appear to work for me when climbing πŸ™
    However the descents thats a different story πŸ™‚

    Premier Icon igm
    Subscriber

    Getting the seat height right makes a huge difference to seated climbing – an inch too low can rob you of 20% forward motion for the same effort in my own unscientific experience. Less so if you generally climb out of the saddle of course.

    Obvious perhaps but try edging the saddle up and down to maximise the transfer of your effort to the road (it’s free).

    Premier Icon Bez
    Subscriber

    52/36 and a race block might sound great when you’re trying to impress people on internet forums

    A 36 is going to impress no-one, fella πŸ˜‰

    mrchrispy
    Member

    85kg/ 5’6……loose 10kg you bloater and you’ll be much faster up the hills.

    mickolas
    Member

    also try shifting the saddle forward a little (just 10mm or so at a time) to put your weight back over the crank when climbing seated. may have adverse effect when not climbing.

    I don’t get how low handlebars could possibly help when climbing on the road, seated or standing. and I like to be able to breathe freely when standing on the pedals.

    oldgit
    Member

    Because on a steep climb high bars will be up by your chest so your upper body will be forced back. Low bars mean you can get over the front when standing.
    When seated (the way I was dragged up) is bum on the back of the saddle and push the bars from the centre.

    trailmoggy
    Member

    Mine was literally built for them

    Premier Icon nickc
    Subscriber

    Loose 10kg, you’ll climb better

    ajc
    Member

    At 5′ 6″ and 85 kg you should be able to loose a lot more than 10 kg. more like 20.
    if you are fat then frame type is going to be pretty irrelevant for climbing.

    Premier Icon Bez
    Subscriber

    Because on a steep climb high bars will be up by your chest so your upper body will be forced back. Low bars mean you can get over the front when standing.

    But on the other hand, highish bars may mean a more comfortable reach, a less stressed lower back, and less rocking when standing. Different things may work for different people. I’m 11″ taller than the OP (though only a couple of kilos heavier πŸ˜‰ ) so what applies to one may not apply to the other.

    mickolas
    Member

    so low bars are useful in as much as they allow one to get over the front when climbing? so would it be fair to say that this is only an issue if you have problems with the front end popping up on steep climbs? (not a prob I have but the roads on my commute only go up to 1:8.) perhaps longer chainstays would allow a taller front end then?

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