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Thread: Hill Speed

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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Posts
    4

    Hill Speed

    Hello,

    I'm Katie and I am new here. I have been cycling on and off for a few months now.I have gotten my average ride up to 24 miles but I am still HORRIBLE on hills. I have found that they don't wear me out quite as much but sometimes I am only averaging 4 mph up some. I am just wondering if I am really that much out of shape or if that is not bad considering? The grades are not that bad, maybe between 6% and beyond. What is everyone averaging? Am I really that bad?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Newport, RI
    Posts
    3,834
    That's great! Whatever speed you can get up this hill at is the perfect speed. If you can get to the top without puking, you're golden.

    My motto is "rest on the hill". I always think it when I'm starting to huff and puff. Calms me right down.
    '02 Eddy Merckx Fuga, Selle An Atomica
    '85 Eddy Merckx Professional, Selle An Atomica

    '10 Soma Double Cross DC, Selle An Atomica

    Slacker on wheels.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    4,713
    Don't worry about it. Speed depends on so many things, not just grade and your physical fitness. There are some hills I'm lucky to make it up, regardless of speed.
    At least I don't leave slime trails.
    http://wholecog.wordpress.com/

    2009 Giant Avail 3 |Specialized Jett 143

    2013 Charge Filter Apex| Specialized Jett 143
    1996(?) Giant Iguana 630|Specialized Riva


    Saving for the next one...

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Northern California
    Posts
    102
    I watched my hill speed today, funny this subject would come up. I love this site. My average speed on a mediocre hill that was about .5 miles long was 8.5mps. Now if your hill was steeper than mine, then I could see how your speed may vary a lot from mine.

    I think everyone is right. If you make it to the top and you can continue to ride with no problem, then that is the right speed.

    I do wonder about standing your bike. I see a lot of people do it and I have tried. I find it exhausting. I do better gearing down and just going for it. Which way is right?
    “Experience is simply the name we give our mistakes.”.
    ~Oscar Wilde

    Type One Diabetes
    currently using Medtronic MiniMed
    Revel 723 with CGMS

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Chicago suburbs
    Posts
    1,244
    We don't have very many hills in my area, but of the ones that I do ride often I would say the average grade is around 4-6%...my speed is generally somewhere between 7-10mph...depending on how long the hill is. I'm not an efficient hill-climber...never was, never will be. If it were up to me, I would avoid hills...period. Unfortunately, the two other people I ride with happen to LOVE EM', so I often don't have a say in the matter.
    2012 Seven Axiom SL - Specialized Ruby SL 155

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    I'm the only one allowed to whine
    Posts
    10,576
    Quote Originally Posted by RubyTuesday View Post

    I do wonder about standing your bike. I see a lot of people do it and I have tried. I find it exhausting. I do better gearing down and just going for it. Which way is right?
    The way that gets you to the top of the hill.
    "If Americans want to live the American Dream, they should go to Denmark." - Richard Wilkinson

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Denver
    Posts
    1,972
    Hills are always going to make you hurt. It's the nature of hills. Don't worry about your speed, because you'll always feel slow when you're chugging away. You got up the hill, didn't ya (one way or another)? There you go!

    I will say that it helps me to remind myself to pedal in circles, rather than just mashing the pedals. Kind of eases up on my legs and gives me a little burst of speed when I've been just plodding along.

    "I never met a donut I didn't like" - Dave Wiens

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Katy, Texas
    Posts
    1,828
    As long as you aren't falling over like the old man on the trike on laugh in, your speed up a hill is just what it should be.
    marni
    Katy, Texas
    Trek Madone 6.5- "Red"
    Trek Pilot 5.2- " Bebe"


    "easily outrun by a chihuahua."

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    where ARE we?
    Posts
    435
    Quote Originally Posted by RubyTuesday View Post

    I do wonder about standing your bike. I see a lot of people do it and I have tried. I find it exhausting. I do better gearing down and just going for it. Which way is right?
    For me it depends on the hill, and how I am feeling right then. I actually like hills. Anyway, some I just sit there and work my way up, others it just feels good to stand up and get over it in a few strong strokes. I'm more likely to stand if it's been a longer hill/I need a change of position/the grade increases closer to the top.

    It IS exhausting. I can't do it for a long climb or I may not make it up the next hill.
    2009 Fuji Team

    My blog - which rarely mentions cycling. It's really about decorating & food. http://www.crisangsteninteriors.com/blog

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Ohio
    Posts
    46

    Talking

    I keep reinforcing with myself that hills are my friend (don't know that I'm thoroughly convinced yet). My average speed, depending on the hill can be anywhere between 5 mph up to 10 mph. Seems I hover around 6-7 mph, depending on the hill.

    The weekend of July 30th, I encountered a hill that was the mother of all hills. It was probably about a 10% grade and it went on for over a mile. I was riding as a crew for the Susan G. Komen 3 day 60 mile walk. My bike was loaded down with gear for the 3 days and it was heavier than usual. There was no way I was going to make it up that hill. I ended up about a quarter of the way and had to stop. Of course, it was in the high 80s to low 90s and the heat index was somewhere around 105. I had no choice but to walk my bike up the rest of the hill. Sweat was literally pouring off of me. Walkers were having difficulty going up that hill and here I am, with a bike & extra gear on the bike, along with my camel pak, with extra stuff in it walking up that hill. I made it but I swear if the 3 day is on this side of town again next year, I am going to ride that hill somehow (even if I have to hold on to a car ).

    I read a few weeks ago on Team Estrogen that someone suggested "boobs to the tube." How appropriate for the 3 day and I kept repeating that saying to myself when climbing hills (except for the mother of all hills). I made it up everyone while chanting "boobs to the tubes."

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Rochester, MN
    Posts
    14
    There is this one hill on my 16 mile route that's been a struggle all summer. I think it's probably 6-7% grade just shy of a 1/2 mile long. I've managed to go from 4mph to 5mph, not a big improvement, but a little bit. I chant, "I love hills" and alternatively "du hast mich" (cause the song has been stuck in my head lately).
    Anyway, hills get better. Just keep working on them.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    NW Ohio...for now
    Posts
    125
    Quote Originally Posted by new2ride View Post

    I read a few weeks ago on Team Estrogen that someone suggested "boobs to the tube." How appropriate for the 3 day and I kept repeating that saying to myself when climbing hills (except for the mother of all hills). I made it up everyone while chanting "boobs to the tubes."

    LMAO...How did I miss this the first time through?!?! I'm going to use this often, you can bet on that
    Don't cross the river if you can swim the tide...

    2011-Cannondale Synapse Alloy5 WSD with 105 and BB30!

 

 

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