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inclinometer available(22 posts)

inclinometer availableDougSloan
Apr 30, 2003 9:30 AM
This gadget, while a bit "freddish", would certainly put to rest claims of 20% climbs done in the big ring:

Might be fun for training rides, just to see how your favorite routes measure up.

re: Have a customer with oneteoteoteo
Apr 30, 2003 9:45 AM
She bought it last year and was obsessed with the thing. She was trying to emulate TdF climbs in Austin which made me smile. I told her if the climbs get really hot she'll whip everyone.....
sounds fun....allezrider
Apr 30, 2003 9:54 AM
I have always wondered what some of my hills here in nashvegas are and this would be a fun toy to take along and find out how small my climbs are.....

it will really burst what little ego I have.......
I've always wanted to know just what a hard climb is...purplepaul
Apr 30, 2003 9:59 AM
though I'm afraid of how pathetic the incline may turn out to be. But when they give the inclines of various mountain climbs in pro races, I have no idea what that translates to in my rides. In other words, would pro racers just sprint up a hill that I find almost impossible to huff up?
Some added perspective...teoteoteo
Apr 30, 2003 10:14 AM
Sounding a bit Nick-ish here I will say that I have always climbed well but Austin features steep short stuff--much steeper than I see on Alpe D' Huez for instance. Before I make my trips I can do 3-4 hours of leg breaking hills and still not be ready for the length. Combined with the altitude it really works you over.

If I go 100% on a HC climb in the Alps I may only last a kilometer or two before I "pop" and have to sit up. It becomes very easy to see why attacking in the mountains can be suicide. It almost feels like your going backwards. To make it worse they have markers on the road every kilometer. Depressing when you are worked over and only halfway up.
Some added perspective...purplepaul
Apr 30, 2003 10:20 AM
Well, I have a riding buddy who, because he's from Europe, feels he is an authority over me on riding. And there are some pretty hard, but relatively short hills on our rides. Oddly, he claims that the ones that feel particularly difficult to me are less steep than the ones I have less trouble with. So, that little gizmo would be handy, even if it is right said fred.
I know what you mean...teoteoteo
Apr 30, 2003 12:06 PM
There are some hills around here that I struggle with alot more than others and I know some of the ones that bug me don't bug other guys and vice versa. I have always thought that was wierd....
re: inclinometer availableCurtSD
Apr 30, 2003 10:15 AM
I have one, and it's kind of cool in a gee whiz sort of way. You need to be careful when comparing your measurements with published numbers from the TDF, etc. - these are usually average grade, while this device measures the grade at a particular point. I'd expect the average to be quite a bit less, since it's natural to check the inclinometer when the grade feels particularly steep.
How 'bout a USGS quad map and a scale? nmMel Erickson
Apr 30, 2003 10:43 AM
or an altimeter and a odometer (nm)laffeaux
Apr 30, 2003 10:55 AM
sort of cumbersome, isn't it?DougSloan
Apr 30, 2003 1:00 PM
I have Delorme Topo USA, which is good for the big picture, but not reliable for any particular point on a road.

Delorme is not USGSMel Erickson
Apr 30, 2003 7:45 PM
Figure it out at home, in your easy chair. Sure, if you want to know if that 100 ft. stretch of road is really 12% you need an inclinometer (by the way, this is just a repackaged surveyors/contractors instrument from the 1960s) but are we really that anal? Good USGS maps do account for the road cuts and graded flats, not the Delorme stuff. Sure, it's only 10 or 20 ft. contours but isn't that good enough? Do we have to know we're going 20.23mph?
Doesn't always work ...Humma Hah
Apr 30, 2003 1:07 PM
... that's OK for mountains, not the short stuff around here, and the USGS maps don't account for the fact that many roads are heavily graded to reduce the steepness that the topo maps show. Like Doug, I've used Topo USA, and it will sometimes show a lot of ups and downs on a climb that you know is very steady: Topo tracks the original topology, often cutting thru ravines, etc, where the actual grade is highly modified.

I have an altimeter cyclocomputer, but mine only indicates mileage in tenths. There is supposedly one that calculates grade, but the AT-100 does not.

Neither one will help on the occasional short steep hill around here, where the singlespeed effort at the point of maximum grade is the killer.
Works great for the short stuff where I liveMel Erickson
Apr 30, 2003 7:50 PM
The contours on the maps follow the actual contours of the roads just fine. For more detailed info visit your counties planning and development department. They've probably got orthophotos with two foot contours accurate to about six inches. That should be good enough for anybody.
Specialised Computer computes inclineGeoCyclist
Apr 30, 2003 9:39 PM
My Specialised wireless bike computer (wired cadence) computes percent grade. I find this function very informative when riding some of the longer grades (is it really getting steep, or am I just about to bonk?).

Ride On!
I NEED one of those, but ...Humma Hah
Apr 30, 2003 1:01 PM
... it only goes to 21%, so I don't think that's enough for you!

Thanks for posting. Sure beats the protractorish carpenter-tool contraption I've used occasionally in the past.
yes, only 21%, but you could cheatDougSloan
Apr 30, 2003 1:18 PM
If you don't care about the descents as much, you could effectively recalibrate it by rotating it forward; go to a road that shows 5%, then rotate it until it zeros; thereafter, add 5 to the setting. Shouldn't that work?

Another simple solution iscoonass
Apr 30, 2003 1:33 PM
using TopoUSA mapping software, just highlight the hill/route and select "Profile" details of your favorite leg-burner.....
Both Doug and I do that ...Humma Hah
Apr 30, 2003 2:09 PM
... in fact, he introduced me to it. We've both noticed the route profiles are often "bumpier" than the actual route. I finally realized why on one climb: Topo belives the road is placed on the original topology, and does not recognize the effect of earth-moving equipment on grading roads. Topo showed three large dips on this one perfectly straight 800-ft climb in San Diego Co. Topo missed the fact that bridges spanned the ravines and the ridges were shaved off.
errors always in our favor, thoughDougSloan
Apr 30, 2003 2:21 PM
Yes, the program just isn't reliable for small sections of road. On the Big Creek 2,000 foot climb, lots of it is around 20%. I know there's an error in the program showing a descent in one area; if there were a descent, I would sure as heck know it.

However, when it shows a 24% section, I know darn well that's accurate.

I've certainly used it to good effect ...Humma Hah
Apr 30, 2003 3:00 PM
... I actually traced out the entire Solvang Century route on it before the ride. Of course, they changed it around Vandenberg.

I like to claim the climbing distance the AT-100 recorded. That's ALWAYS higher than actual on a long ride.
May 1, 2003 4:48 AM
Freddish is hanging a plumb line from the handlebars against a duct taped protractor... ;)