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Rolling Hill Technique(7 posts)

Rolling Hill Techniquekyvdh
May 21, 2001 11:10 AM
A question about technique when riding in rolling hills. Yesterday my son and I were out riding and another cyclist came by us. He was riding a bit faster than us so we matched his pace for awhile and did fine while we all climbed a brief hill. But as soon as he crested the hill, he was gone (took a little ego hit because he looked older than me, should have know by the size of his calves). My son and I usually push pretty hard up hills and then coast down lightly spinning to recover. Is it more efficient to spin up hills and keep HR down a bit and then crank heavier down hills and on flats, maintaining a more steady effort in terms of power expended?
re: Rolling Hill Techniqueamflyer
May 19, 2001 3:19 PM
You might be surprised at what a little extra effort might produce. By this I mean, push just a little once you crest the hill, and run through the gears as you do. Although it might feel a little better just to let off and spin, using this method will have you up to a higher speed in no time. I find that I still recover pretty much the same too. Might as well carry a bit extra speed down the good side of the hill, which will be carried into the next roller.


re: Rolling Hill TechniqueMrCelloBoy
May 21, 2001 12:32 PM
What I've learned, and apply, is to spin comfortably going up (say 70% effort) then I up-shift a gear or two and stand the last 10-20 yards to power over the top into the descent.
re: Rolling Hill Techniquevram
May 21, 2001 12:37 PM
This is how I approach rolling hills:
Go as fast as I possibly can on the downhill (no coasting) on a 53x11/12 if necessary. As I hit the bottom of the hill, I have accumulated good momentum which I carry over the uphill section. I keep downshifting to maintain my cadence and just before the crest I move to a higher gear, rise from my saddle and power my way up. I keep shifting up as I go downhill. I usually never need to get out of the big ring on rolling hills.

This works for me. I never go beyond my lactate threshold since the downhill section allows some degree of recovery. Coasting isn't as efficient in flushing lactic acid build-up than pedalling at a high cadence. Also, if you coast you need to work harder on the uphill section since you don't have as much momentum...
Momentum bomberMrCelloBoy
May 21, 2001 2:52 PM
This technique REALLY rocks on a tandem. Two-fers are able to rage the descent into the next roller and carry twice the momentum into the upgrade! Nothing like eating up those singles on little uphills. Really pisses them off sometimes.
Optimized for DownhillJerry near St. Louis
May 21, 2001 2:33 PM
As others have said, don't quit at the top of a hill. Just a few extra pedal strokes past the crest can increase your momentum down the hill.

Did you notice if the other rider was heavier? Did he happen to get down into a really aero position? I weigh 205 lbs; scoot back on the seat; grab the drops; put my chin near the handlebars; and squeeze the top tube between my knees while coasting downhill. Catch me if you can!

Anyone who believes that two items of different weights fall at the same speed hasn't dropped a feather and bowling ball at the same time in air. My frontal area isn't much larger than my 140lb son's so I pass him downhill and he passes me uphill on rolling hills.

Optimized for DownhillJz
May 22, 2001 2:00 AM

I see what you are saying but the feather vs bowling ball thing is a terrible example. Gravity is gravity, but wind resistance is another thing altogether, which of course is why it takes that damn feather so long to fall. Maybe I misunderstood you? As a side note, didnt they do this experiment on the moon?