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low cadence uphill advice?


kosmonooit
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hi here's one for those sports science boffs here ..

 

Okay I could be fitter and weigh less and get shorter cranks BUT on my road bike which I am just starting to use, and given that I am used to slipping into something more comfortable on a mtb, hitting a hill of a certain gradient, things go into slow motion and cadence falls to about 50

 

Whats the best way to power up such  a hill: to sit and power each stroke with your leg muscles, or stand up and use your weight? Tried a few options at SB yesterday but reached no conclusion.

 

Thanks in advance.   
kosmonooit2010-03-04 06:21:18
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Try select a easy gear to spin more at a higher cadence.

Sitting will use less energy and your HR will remain a bit lower.

Standing uses more energy and your HR will increase a bit. Standing has more power but at the expensive of energy used. You will get tired from standing up all the climbs.
The best is to mix the two. Sit for a bit and then stand for a bit. Then sit again. You will use slightly different muscle so then your muscles can rest a bit. When you stand change to a heavier gear. When you sit again try keep that momentum and gear instead of changing.
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thanks - the situations arises on steep hills when I have run out of gears but will take your tip about mixing the two, also changing gears under such load is a bit tricky without losing momentum

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I commute on hectic gradients each day and sitting is the best. I keep my cadence at 80 and adjust my gears for that.

 

I just got my HRM and yes, standing pushes your HR to the max where with sitting you just touch the power zone. My HR averages at 154 when sitting and this morning I went 190 while standing (my max is suppose to be 186!)

 

As for fitness, I find that sitting keeps me fitter as standing cause me to bomb out very early, strain my legs and then leave me feeling *** for the rest of the day.

 

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I struggled with the same thing when I bought my first road bike. turns out it had an 11-23 which I changed to an 11-25 and that helped but it still took a long while to develop the strength to push road gears up gradients above 5%.

 

 

 

The higher your cadence the more you shift the work load from your legs to your cardio vascular system. The lower the cadence the more sheer leg power comes into play. Try not to let the cadence go below 50. SBR may not be the best place to be when not used to hills on a road bike.My wife hurt her knees there and I got into trouble from the physio for taking her there before she was ready.

 

 

 

Sitting will be better to train the muscle power but stand for some muscle relief when you have to.

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Mixing the too works for me. SBR is a hard place to ride. You just got to survive as best you can and take each hill as it comes. But I love it there and Indigo Kid and Kieran can confirm that.

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Thanks for the replies. I dont have a hrm as yet, dont know if I really need one given that I am Joe average fun rider.

 

I made the full circuit at SBR from the Protea Hotel in three hours, it was my first time so was just sussing it out, but loved it there and will be back. I went there to try to get used to the gears on a roadie, which I dont normally use except in races/rides. I use an mtb almost everyday on the roads here commuting or exercising.
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That is a good time for your first ride there!

Now that you know the route you can work out where to push a bit harder and where to save yourself for. Lately I have been doing a bit of MTB'ing and found that I can spin more on my road bike because of it. Of course cadence will still be a bit slower compared to the mtb bike because of the gearing.
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