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training for steep climbs(4 posts)

training for steep climbsgromit
Apr 23, 2001 8:22 AM
Which is better for improving climbing ability on short (1mile), steep (up to 20% gradient) climbs:
a) high geared (37x26), light, stiff, roadbike - low cadence, hurts!
or
b)granny geared, heavy (28lbs), mountain bike - higher cadence, but more effort. (A lot less fun going back down!).
The aim is to be able to climb up them hills over and over on the road bike without feeling like death at the top.
Ideas?
re: training for steep climbsjbd
Apr 23, 2001 12:30 PM
Use your road bike. If your lowest gear is 39x26 and that is the gear you usually climb in do some hill repeats one or two gears higher. Go as far up the climb as you can before you downshift to a lower gear. Try to keep your cadence up and use good technique ie: loosen your grip on the bars, relax on the bike and slide back a little on your saddle. Try to climb seated with about 15-20 seconds of standing mixed in every 2-3 minutes. When you stand let the bike rock from side to side with each pedal stroke. After a few weeks of this kind of training you will build more strength and when you climb that mile hill you will be able to spin that 39x26 gear quicker and you will climb faster and easier.
Thanks...gromit
Apr 23, 2001 11:27 PM
I'll try building some more strength with higher gears.
Variety in climbingMass Biker
Apr 24, 2001 5:53 AM
I second what jbd said. I would also encourage you to find a long steady hill (say, 4 minutes long at 4-5% grade). Do repeats in a big gear (say, 53x19 or 53x17) at low RPM. Your HR will not get too high doing this sort of work. Try to stay in the saddle and muscle the gear up the hill (obviously, if you have bad knees, avoid this drill). Alternate repeats on this kind of climb with repeats on a steeper climb that has to be done in a very low gear (say, 39x21 or 23). Try to spin up the steep climb, standing only when you have to. The big gear work will help you build your climbing power. The small gear work will improve the biomechanics of spinning up a climb. Another thing to think about is to actively engage your hamstrings when you are climbing - i.e. imagine that you are scraping mud off your shoe when you are the bottom of your pedal stroke. Strengthening/using your hamstring will do wonders for your climbing.