Road bikes: what makes a good climber?
Effort and weight aside, no-one’s mentioned gearing?
On my Kaffenback I run a 53-39 double and a 12-26 block to make my relatively flat commute harder up the hills to improve my fitness. If I switched to a compact/triple and a bigger block it’d be less painful.
I read somewhere that Wiggo runs a lower MTB block on his TdF climbing bikes.Posted 5 years agozilog6128Subscriber
On my Kaffenback I run a 53-39 double and a 12-26 block to make my relatively flat commute harder up the hills to improve my fitness.
Is that stomping though or pedalling smoothly? The latter is more efficient obviously so will be faster. As long as you are spinning the biggest gear you can sustain (with proper technique) it doesn’t matter how you achieve it surely?Posted 5 years agosmiththemainmanMember
Talking to a past very good local cyclist about a recent trip over Hardknott “what did u use to climb it” “34-29” “you soft git” “why what did you use” “42-21” “what” “it was either that or if you were a girl 42-24” said it was just a case of pedaling halves or even quarters til you summit, so pretty much mental, Ive used 25 then 28 now 29 on my bikes and it aint any easier!!!!I can climb much quicker and stay down the gears much longer if I decide to tail one of the better climbers, if i`m alone its up the gears as soon as I start and spin away. As others say very much in the head in my opinion.Posted 5 years agofinbarMember
Talking to a past very good local cyclist about a recent trip over Hardknott “what did u use to climb it” “34-29” “you soft git” “why what did you use” “42-21” “what” “it was either that or if you were a girl 42-24” said it was just a case of pedaling halves or even quarters til you summit, so pretty much mental, Ive used 25 then 28 now 29 on my bikes and it aint any easier!!!!I
I agree, more or less. Riding a compact decreases my climbing speed with no perceptible decrease in effort – with the exception of on ludicrously steep climbs like Hardknott or Winnats.Posted 5 years agodirtygirlonabikeMember
IMO, weight loss to improve power – weight (on you, not the bike), better fitness and leg strength, choosing the right gear, good wheels and tyres, plus mental determination – love the pain. Also breathing is important – sounds silly but my weakness last year was climbing hills at 19+mph. Deep breaths rather than short shallow ones lowered my HR by around 5bpm, taking me out of the feeling sick zone into “hurts but i can survive” zone.Posted 5 years agocheers_driveMember
I’m convinced that ‘climbing wheels’ are a category dreamed up by marketing departments. Weight is weight once at a steady speed, it only matters during acceleration and even then only really at the rim and tyres. I guess when your at the top level those lighter wheels would help you do a Contador style climbing attack but wouldn’t be so use to a Wiggins diesel style climber.Posted 5 years agouponthedownsMember
Have you ridden the same climb under the same conditions on each bike within a day or two of each other? Sounds like you rode the CX last year when you were fitter, and have now moved everything to the road bike? You might benefit from a more direct comparison
Exactly. Do some better quality testing then get back to us. I bet there’s practically no difference as long as you maintain the same effort for each bike.
Weight will not be an issue as 1kg will only cost you 1 minute up Alpe-d’Huez- and it doesn’t matter if that kg is on the frame or wheels. Stiffness matters even less so.Posted 5 years ago
This is interesting, well maybe if you get past a page or two.
Ever wondered how much difference it would make if you made your bike lighter? I guess most serious riders once in while have concerns about their bikes whether they are light enough. As previously described the bike weight has impact on performance – especially during climbing.
Thus, I thought it was interesting to find out how much difference it makes if you ride a heavier bike up alpe d’Huez. This little trial was performed by the best rider I coach as a part of his preparation for Tour de l’avenir (U23 Tour de France) in September 2008.
In this experiment he had to ride up Alpe d’Huez four times with different setups. He was supposed to keep a pace around 275w on all four rides. The test bike was a Pinarello Prince equipped with Shimano Dura Ace and SRM crank:
1. Normal bike + 1.8L extra water in tyres(!)
This setup was quite interesting and got quite a lot of attention the day before when he had a puncture..! It was possible to fill 900ml into each tyre. Reducing weights on wheels is more important than reducing weight on non-rolling equipment e.g. bike saddle.
2. Normal bike + 1,8L extra water on bike.
This setup also got some serious attention because he rode a relative fast pace compared to most riders visiting Alpe d’Huez. Thus, when he performed the trial, well-trained riders were trying to keep up with his pace because this setup looked so extreme.
3. Normal bike
This setup was a completely normal bike.
4. Normal bike, reduced tyre pressure only 3 bars.
The last setup was ridden with reduced tyre pressure to 3bars. This was a tough finish on the last ride up Alpe d’Huez this day.
1. 52.01, 275w
2. 51.34, 277w
3. 49.40, 278w
4. 50.38, 273w
1,8L extra weight costs 1.54min up Alpe d’Huez. This is a remarkable test that shows us how important weight savings are when you are riding on steep hills. Also it shows that weight savings on wheels might be more important than weight saving on non-rolling equipment. These trials were only possible because of his SRM Crank that made it possible to compare each ride up the hill. You can make similar trials to test your bike setup if you want to optimize your bike equipment. These tests can be extremely helpful for e.g. time trialists if you don’t have wind tunnel in the neighbourhood.Posted 5 years agomrmoMember
Is that stomping though or pedalling smoothly? The latter is more efficient obviously so will be faster. As long as you are spinning the biggest gear you can sustain (with proper technique) it doesn’t matter how you achieve it surely?
efficient yes, faster, no.Posted 5 years ago
All you have to do is turn the cranks round and round and get the bike to move forward as fast as possible. For some this means lower gear fast, others bigger gear a bit slower.davidtaylforthMember
Dales_rider – Member
So allegedly is this, but I cant get it to work
Stem’s to short and bars are to high. Possibly.
Best climbing bikes for me have had short stays, long top tubes, long stems and low bars. Thats for out of the saddle climbing though, and I’m pretty tall.Posted 5 years agochiefgrooveguruMember
Putting water in tyres is just about the most stupid way of analysing the effect of increased rotating weight – you’d simultaneously increase rolling resistance through decreased tyre compliance and add extra losses through the water’s viscosity when moving within the tyre. Faux science at its best (worst)…Posted 5 years ago
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