View Full Version : suggestions for climbing hills

02-05-2007, 09:30 AM
I am shopping for a new road bike . I am not great at getting up hills , I get up them , but slow .
I currently have a Specialized Sirrus Elite .
What are the best cranks or cassettes for climbing ? Do I need a triple .

I plan on using this new bike for long weekend rides .


02-05-2007, 04:33 PM
I'd get a triple chainring crankset, from the sounds of it. Combine a 50/40/30 chainring setup with a 13-26 or 14-28 cassette and you'll have more than enough gearing to get up whatever hill you care to climb.

Another option you might want to check out is the so-called "compact" crankset. These cranks feature a smaller, more compact bolt circle diameter than a standard crankset. This in turn enables a smaller chainring to be installed. A typical set up has a 50 tooth big ring and a 34 tooth small. The effect is basically like adding two more cogs to your cassette. The advantage of such a crankset is that you can keep your derailleurs and cassette, thus lowering your cost and complexity. The gearing won't be a low as a triple. But if you like your current bike, you might want to consider this option before buying a new one.

But, if you're buying a new bike regardless, probably getting a triple is your best bet.

02-05-2007, 10:37 PM
compact gearing is better than a triple. you lose two gears, but you will have far less chain cross tension. all you have to do is get a compact crankset and possibly a new front deralleur to handle the 16 tooth jump. standard cranks have a 14 tooth jump. you can also try a 12/27 road cassette, or if you really want more gears, run a 14/34 mountain cassette with an XT deralleur. either way, the compact cranks and mountain cassette/ deralleurs are far lighter and easier to ride and maintain than running a triple. the mountain cassette and deralleur is what a lot of hard core bike tourers use.

02-06-2007, 12:14 PM
Work on climbing with a higher cadence. A slow cadence forces your legs into an anarobic state wich builds lactic acid, causing pain and fatigue. A higher cadence allows you to stay in an arobic state wich converts oxygen and calories much more efficiently, in turn keeping you below your lactic threshold and preventing the pain associated with it. The higher cadence also relieves the stess on your knees. Cycling coach, Chris Carmichael tells his riders to "use your heart, not your legs" when climbing. Your heart is designed to pump through your whole life, it won't bonk like your legs.