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  1. #1
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    Speed in lowest gear at 90 rpm cadence?

    I measured my speed and cadence in my lowest gear and it's around 10-10.5 mph at 90-95 rpm. This old bike only has 6 gears in the back.

    I want to bike up this. Mount Lemmon is one hell of a climb and I don't know if that cog will do it for me.

  2. #2
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    Thats a brutal climb!

    Some riders could do that on a standard crank and a short range cassette. I certainly couldnt (and wouldnt want to even try!). Its more about you and your fitness level. Do you think you can make it up that with your existing gear range?

  3. #3
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    Probably not right now. I mean, I got a couple of months to get in decent shape for it. I think if I do a lot of standing time and strengthening of my legs I could do it in that gear, but I dunno. We'll see. I'm just going to do it every weekend and try to beat my previous distance each time I do it. By doing that I should be able to follow a pattern like 1 mile, 2 miles, 5 miles, and then all the way because once you get to past 5 miles that's when you're using an indefinite lasting source of energy. Plus I've been losing weight pretty quick and my goal is to get down to 3% body fat as to get rid of any extra weight.

    I'm going to do leg and core lifting that gets my nerves in shape for the hill.

    And why not try? You should try some climbs like that. Go to Colorado or come down to Tucson! Go up the mountains and get in the best shape of your life.

  4. #4
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    3%?

    Quote Originally Posted by Alkan View Post
    I've been losing weight pretty quick and my goal is to get down to 3% body fat as to get rid of any extra weight.
    Essentially no healthy person is at 3% BF. 5% is pretty radical, and anything under 10% is "very lean." You need a more realistic goal or you are going to damage your health.

  5. #5
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    You sure? Okay, 6-8% then. I need a low percentage to save weight. Just looked up athletic body fat percentage and was under the misconception that it's around 3-5%.

  6. #6
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    If you measured right and I calculated right, that gear would be about 37 inches, or 39x27. That climb is not extraordinarily steep most of the way (a little worse at the top) but it's long. That first long haul before the dip looks to be about 20 miles continuous climbing, with about 5000 feet elevation gain, averaging a little under 5%.

    I could climb that in that gear, but It would get rough because of the length. You'd want a lower gear for a break occasionally.

    To climb it in the gear you've got, you'd have to change position a lot, and get comfortable with climbing out of the saddle at low rpm for long stretches -- good skill to know, but I wouldn't want to have to rely on it for an hour at a time.

    Frankly, I'd want a triple crank to ride that climb, just to have some real bailout gears available. I ride steeper hills that that all the time with gears no lower, but they're nowhere near that long..

  7. #7
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    Yep, I've ben developing riding out of the saddle. I used to not be able to do it for more than 10-30 seconds. Now I can kind of cruise. It does ease up the load on some muscles and increase the load on others.

    I think the problem with riding out of the saddle for a lot of beginners is that they don't support their body weight enough on the handle bars.

  8. #8
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    The only way to find out if you can do it on your current gearing is to try it. If you crack and can't go on, just turn around.

    i love long climbs like that. We have a similar climb here, 4200' in 20 miles, so it's about 2/3 of a Mt Lemmon and very slightly steeper (4% average counting the interim descents vs 3.8%). I usually use the 34x17 on the steeper parts, 34x19 the second time up it.

    If you need lower gearing, IRD makes 6 speed freewheels.

  9. #9
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    I did lemmon two months ago. It was hot and the wind was in my face a lot going up. I used a 34x28 the entire ride up. I tried to keep my heart rate down and wanted to make sure I made it to the top especially when you see women coming down as your going up. I bonked very hard just past the ski resort. but did make it up to the observatory in a dazed state. I did not eat enough and had too many gu's.

    When I do it again, I would try a 34x22 or 34x25, then eventually go to a 34x28 if I need it. It was a tougher than it looks on paper when I did it.

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