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I just got my first road bike, a Spec. Roubaix Comp Double. I did a 21 mile ride yesterday at lunch to get a feel for the bike, handling, etc. So today I decided to head into the canyons here in Boulder, CO for a climbing session.

I've been riding these canyon roads for the last several months on my 29lb, nearly 6" travel Yeti 575 with big 2.35 tires on it. I've been steadily improving my times as my fitness has increased and my winter weight has started to drop.

But today I was suffering mightily trying to turn a 39x25 gear up these roads. The climb I was doing is about 4 miles long, average grade around 7-8% with some short sections in the 14% range. I never have to stop on my mountain bike, and usually climb in the middle ring (32x34). I had to stop about 1/2 way up the climb and take a breather as I just couldn't push that gear up the hill any more.

After the break, I got back on and ground my way up to my turnaround point, where I took a quick stop, had a drink and headed back to town with my tail between my legs. I figured I would need a compact crankset, but I didn't realized how bad I'd suffer. I'm going to give it a week or two and see how things "take" on the road bike, but I think I'm going to have to invest in a compact double to make these climbs. A humbling experience not being able to continuously climb this climb on my 18lb road bike when I can do it on my 29lb dual squish mountain bike. Gearing is certainly on my side in the mountain bike, but rolling resistance and weight sure aren't.
 

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SenorBlanco said:
I just got my first road bike, a Spec. Roubaix Comp Double. I did a 21 mile ride yesterday at lunch to get a feel for the bike, handling, etc. So today I decided to head into the canyons here in Boulder, CO for a climbing session.

I've been riding these canyon roads for the last several months on my 29lb, nearly 6" travel Yeti 575 with big 2.35 tires on it. I've been steadily improving my times as my fitness has increased and my winter weight has started to drop.

But today I was suffering mightily trying to turn a 39x25 gear up these roads. The climb I was doing is about 4 miles long, average grade around 7-8% with some short sections in the 14% range. I never have to stop on my mountain bike, and usually climb in the middle ring (32x34). I had to stop about 1/2 way up the climb and take a breather as I just couldn't push that gear up the hill any more.

After the break, I got back on and ground my way up to my turnaround point, where I took a quick stop, had a drink and headed back to town with my tail between my legs. I figured I would need a compact crankset, but I didn't realized how bad I'd suffer. I'm going to give it a week or two and see how things "take" on the road bike, but I think I'm going to have to invest in a compact double to make these climbs. A humbling experience not being able to continuously climb this climb on my 18lb road bike when I can do it on my 29lb dual squish mountain bike. Gearing is certainly on my side in the mountain bike, but rolling resistance and weight sure aren't.
The same thing happened to me on my new Cannondale Six13 Team 1 vs my 10yr old Klein MTB that climbs like a mountain goat (44/32/22 & 11-28)- I'm going to a compact tomorrow (50/34 & 12-27 cogs) + I need more Wheaties!
 

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Inga Thompson humbled me permanently

Shortly after I moved to Reno, I was cruising on a local loop, feeling pretty strong, and where two roads came together, I wound up riding next to a striking woman with a long blonde pony tail. Of course I acted like an ass, pretending I wasn't about to hurl, trying to carry on a conversation. She rode along for a couple of miles, chatting amiably...then shifted up, said, "Have a nice ride" and took off toward California. She was putting at least five miles an hour on me. I was shocked, stunned, demoralized. . .
A few days later I ran into her in a bike shop and realized it was Inga Thompson, a racer in the '80s, two- or three-time Olympian, who was born here. It gave me an awareness of the gap between me and a real cyclist that I'm still recovering from.
 

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Cory said:
A few days later I ran into her in a bike shop and realized it was Inga Thompson, a racer in the '80s, two- or three-time Olympian, who was born here. It gave me an awareness of the gap between me and a real cyclist that I'm still recovering from.
Ha, I went through something similar last weekend. Rode in the San Clemente challenge and there was a timed climb. Made it up the hill (1/2 mile or so, 10% average grade) in about 3 1/2 minutes and was feeling pretty good. When I saw the standings and someone 10 years my senior did it in 2:22, I about passed out.

Turned out it was Wayne Stetina. 10 time US Champion, Olympian, etc. etc. etc. Made me feel a little better, but I still hate getting dropped ;)
 

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just keep riding it...

hill repeats in that gear, over time, will become much easier. I know the feeling, and it took me a little while to at least keep up with my wife on hills, she used to smoke me on them all the time, and I wasn't that bad of a MTB hill climber... but the gears make a huge difference.

stick with the gears you got, once you get in better road shape, if you go to lower gearing, you'll want the higher gears back. I just changed my gears on my SS commuter since the hills were OK, but the flats were way too easy... the hills now suck (for only a short section) but I know I'll get there soon.
 
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