Walking Vs Cycling Uphill.

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Ray Young
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Walking Vs Cycling Uphill.

Post by Ray Young » Sat Feb 27, 2021 10:50 am

Some of you may find this of interest. I must admit that I now walk hills far more frequently than I used to especially if I'm bikepacking over longer distances.
https://pedalchile.com/blog/uphill

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voodoo_simon
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Re: Walking Vs Cycling Uphill.

Post by voodoo_simon » Sat Feb 27, 2021 11:12 am

The penny dropped for me whilst out with a friend. Me on a singlespeed and him on a triple. Came to a steep slope and I had to get off and push, Tony carried on with his triple. I kept
up with him and could carry on talking whilst he was blowing out every hole :lol: He had the last laugh though (once he caught it!) as he cleared the section :lol:

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Mariner
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Re: Walking Vs Cycling Uphill.

Post by Mariner » Sat Feb 27, 2021 11:29 am

Interesting.
I use speed as my governing factor as I can see my speed over the ground on gps and I know my walking speed so sometimes it is quicker to walk. I know the hills round here and how far into the red I can go so I usually just dig in and grind it out. They also get more doable the more times I climb them.

I have been wondering about technique on hills and why an mtb configuration seems so much harder to pedal out of the saddle compared to a road bike. On the occasions I get out of the saddle I find it such a strange position and usually get cramp down the front of my thighs. The current technique is to get out of the saddle and pedal to increase speed for a few seconds then sit back down and try and maintain it. It also allows some blood flow back into the sitting area and get rid of that numbness and ache that builds up over time.

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Re: Walking Vs Cycling Uphill.

Post by redefined_cycles » Sat Feb 27, 2021 11:43 am

I reckon there's something about the efficiency becoming better once you get past a certain gradient and a true test would be hard to construct cos (maybe) you need an uphill cyclist who's as efficient as an uphill walker of the same 'whatever'. What I'm trying to say is that some people are better at walking uphill and some at cycling :???:

Anyway, Dan (the Ledburner man) let me know when you fancy our own little controlled test up that hill we met on on the last ride. You brings your bike and me mine. From the traffic lights we start walking+/-cycling. Then when the slope hits 12% we'll make sure we're neck on neck (distanced off course) and I'll continue cycling with you walking. :grin: Let me know if you're up for it...

I reckon that by the time we hit the 16% someone will need a rest?

Looking forward it...

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Re: Walking Vs Cycling Uphill.

Post by Moder-dye » Sat Feb 27, 2021 12:45 pm

I've certainly found it easier to push at times off road, even just on rough essentially trackless moor, rather than hills, where my mate will pedal relentlessly on his 27.5+ tyres and I'll push my 29er at the same speed.

In my case my clydesdale qualities probably make the rougher hillier stuff easier to walk with no significant loss in speed, but I'm not talking about racing, just compared to my mate.

Also gives some muscles a break for a bit too.

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Re: Walking Vs Cycling Uphill.

Post by Bearbonesnorm » Sat Feb 27, 2021 1:22 pm

I tend to view bikepacking as an exercise in energy conservation and blowing yourself up for a 3 minute climb while conducting a 3 day ride, seems quite short sighted. You generally don't get far by going fast, you get there by going for a long time. :wink:
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Re: Walking Vs Cycling Uphill.

Post by whitestone » Sat Feb 27, 2021 6:19 pm

Bearbonesnorm wrote:
Sat Feb 27, 2021 1:22 pm
I tend to view bikepacking as an exercise in energy conservation and blowing yourself up for a 3 minute climb while conducting a 3 day ride, seems quite short sighted. You generally don't get far by going fast, you get there by going for a long time. :wink:
Pretty much this. No point in winning a battle if you lose the war!

Does depend on what I'm doing or if it's a climb that I'm trying to clean. A quick blast around a known circuit I'll push things even if I redline/burn matches/whatever because I'm likely to be home in less than an hour. On a multi-day ride/race the extra couple of minutes taken by walking a hill isn't going to make much of a difference. Heck, on one ITT I even walked a descent I didn't feel comfortable on. When I checked Strava afterwards I lost all of 2 minutes to the fastest rider - they took four minutes, I took six. In the context of 35hrs of riding that's nothing.
Better weight than wisdom, a traveller cannot carry

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summittoppler
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Re: Walking Vs Cycling Uphill.

Post by summittoppler » Sat Feb 27, 2021 6:54 pm

There's nothing wrong with taking your bike for a walk :lol:

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thenorthwind
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Re: Walking Vs Cycling Uphill.

Post by thenorthwind » Sat Feb 27, 2021 10:25 pm

I know walking up a steep hill is more efficient. I know that even if it is faster, the time gained is lost later when I've destroyed my legs.

But you can't beat that satisfaction can you?*


*Within the context of riding a bike :roll:

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Re: Walking Vs Cycling Uphill.

Post by gairym » Sun Feb 28, 2021 6:36 am

As anyone who's ever ridden with me will know - I like a nice walk up a hill.

Any gradient that forces a cycling speed even nearing walking pace and I'm off the bike in a flash.

Steep gradients ruin my (already useless, weak and waiting for any excuse to kill me) lower back whereas walking stretches out all the muscles that are tightened via cycling.

Plus all the other stuff mentioned re: efficiency and sustainable energy use etc...

For me it's a no-brainer.

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Re: Walking Vs Cycling Uphill.

Post by htrider » Sun Feb 28, 2021 1:17 pm

I think if you can get up a hill without blowing out both ends then its less effort to ride than push, simply 'cos you'll be going quicker so it takes less time. Once you enter the overdraft zone its better to walk for sure, but I do like getting up a nice techy climb! Of course single speed tends to change the uphill game significantly.

Someone should calculate the extra effort dragging your bike over monster tussocks versus walking over them bike free....

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Re: Walking Vs Cycling Uphill.

Post by rudedog » Sun Feb 28, 2021 3:41 pm

You also reach a point when going slow up a really steep hill that you start to expend extra energy just maintaining balance on the bike, even more so when it’s a rough/rocky/loose surface

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Re: Walking Vs Cycling Uphill.

Post by whitestone » Sun Feb 28, 2021 3:55 pm

htrider wrote:
Sun Feb 28, 2021 1:17 pm

Someone should calculate the extra effort dragging your bike over monster tussocks versus walking over them bike free....
That's easy! It's a result of this equation:

"I'll f**cking kill Stuart!" + C sticks compared to "Fer f**kity f**k! f**k! f**k!"
Better weight than wisdom, a traveller cannot carry

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Jurassic
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Re: Walking Vs Cycling Uphill.

Post by Jurassic » Sun Feb 28, 2021 4:30 pm

I totally get the walking argument but I'm stubborn and love the challenge of getting up a climb (especially an awkward, techy off road granny gear climb) so it's a case of only as a last resort for me. I always feel like walking a climb is a bit of cop out, maybe I should have a rethink though especially when bikepacking or doing longer rides. A thought provoking thread.

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htrider
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Re: Walking Vs Cycling Uphill.

Post by htrider » Sun Feb 28, 2021 5:48 pm

Jurassic wrote:
Sun Feb 28, 2021 4:30 pm
I totally get the walking argument but I'm stubborn and love the challenge of getting up a climb (especially an awkward, techy off road granny gear climb) so it's a case of only as a last resort for me. I always feel like walking a climb is a bit of cop out, maybe I should have a rethink though especially when bikepacking or doing longer rides. A thought provoking thread.
As per what Bob said, it depends on the situation :lol: It is nice to stretch different muscles and get a breather. If my knees start giving me gyp a walk usually sorts them out.

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