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Climb catagories...(10 posts)

Climb catagories...Emspilot
Apr 17, 2002 5:15 PM
How are climbs put into catagories? I have a local hill I like to ride that is 1200 feet in elevation change over 2 miles with an average grade of 12. What catagory would this hill be?
Pretty steep (nm)mwood
Apr 17, 2002 6:52 PM
Pretty steep (nm)Emspilot
Apr 17, 2002 7:38 PM
Yeah, I know it's steep...
But I see climbs on the TDF etc. as Cat. 1 or Cat 4 etc.
Where would this one fall and how do they determne the Cat?
Pretty steep (nm)mwood
Apr 17, 2002 8:18 PM
Sorry, didn't mean to be a smart axx or give a glaring glimpse of the obvious...I was just joshing around. I also would be curious to know the criteria of categories.
A number of our rides in the California Bay Area have sustained 8-10% grades for multiple miles with a few 16-22% pitches thrown in for fun and I would be curious to know how they compare to the climbing stages in TDF etc.
No problemEmspilot
Apr 18, 2002 2:24 AM
I did'nt think you were being an axx, just wanted to make sure my question was clearly written.
Difficult to say...entropy
Apr 18, 2002 2:44 AM
... since there are several points that go into the classification of a climb in the Tour. For one thing, there is a general classification that everything above 1500 m elevation gain is high category, from 1100-1500 m it's category 1 and category 2 is 600 - 1100 m.
Then average and maximum grade are also taken into account as well as length of the climb (or else Alpe d'Huez would be between categorys 1 and 2).
Just some examples:
Col du "Haut de la Côte" (1.5 km at 6.3%): category 4
Côte de Mauvezin (3 km at 6.7%): category 3
Col du Frêne (2.1 km at 8.6%): category 3
Col de Coudons (10.9 km at 5.5%): category 2
Col de Menté (11.1 km at 6.4%): category 1
and so on.
So for your hill it's a little bit difficult to say because it's rather short and steep. I would guess it's a category 3 (not because it is so easy but rather because it won't cause a hugh splitting of the peloton with only 2 miles length).
Another variable in the rating system is...Ray Sachs
Apr 18, 2002 4:21 AM
... where the climb occurs in the stage. The same climb may be rated Categorie 1 or 2 if it comes up fairly early in the stage and Hors Categorie if the stage finishes there. It's harder if you've already ridden 200 kilometers than if it's 60-70 k into the stage.

Anyway, that makes it a little tougher to categorize a climb, since there's no racing context. But I'd agree tht any climb that keeps you consistently over 10-12% for two miles without any real rest periods is pretty tough. I myself like to climb, but it's only really FUN for me up to about 8-10%. Those I can climb for a long time. When it gets into the 12-15% range (except for the short sections you can sprint over), it starts feeling too much like work for me. I did a climb in Nova Scotia on the Cabot Trail once that was about 4+ kilometers of constant 12%+ with no breaks at all (it's a 5 k climb, but there's a long flat part right before the final rise, so the really tough part is about 4 k). I made it using my granny touring gears, but it still nearly did me in. No part of that was fun except the finish. I can't even imagine what climbing Mt. Washington would be like.

-Ray
Thanks for the inputEmspilot
Apr 18, 2002 6:31 AM
Thanks guys, I appreciate the input. And yeah, it is a tough little climb, kicks my azz but I love it.
Check this web site...biknben
Apr 18, 2002 6:57 AM
http://www.komcycling.com/

Should be able to provide more than you need regarding climb rating systems.
how did you like the cabot trail?Krypton
Apr 18, 2002 1:20 PM
I'm going to Nova Scotia this august and I'm planing on riding alot...how is cycling in general down there?