How to hillstart on a steep lane

General cycling advice ( NOT technical ! )
tatanab
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Re: How to hillstart on a steep lane

Postby tatanab » 31 Aug 2018, 5:20pm

It is a matter of pride that a clip or toeclip is picked up within the first half a rev of the pedals. OK, sometimes that fails. A lot of modern riders seem to need to freewheel while they clip in the loose foot, possibly needing to turn the pedal over.

Solution - pedal on with one foot unclipped which may not be ideal but it will work until you have enough speed to do whatever you have to do (I doubt this works well with big sticking out "road" cleats), ride with double sided pedals (assuming SPD type) or learn to pick up the clip quickly. Or, as others have said, have a little walk.

thirdcrank
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Re: How to hillstart on a steep lane

Postby thirdcrank » 31 Aug 2018, 5:26pm

I wonder if there are some differences creeping in about what is a steep hill and what is a log gear. I don't see how a rider who is struggling in their lowest gear could stop then hope to restart in a higher gear. :? OTOH, Somebody twiddling away prioritising comfort might well have the spare power to start in a higher gear.

I was a bit surprised by the suggestion to apply the brake before starting but having thought it through, I think it's natural and I hadn't thought about it. It's probably the only way to keep everything under control before restarting. I can only remember something like this happening to me once on a quiet Sunday morning on a very minor road in North Yorkshire when the driver of a BMW saloon gave me a blast on his horn. I stopped and he had to stop too because there was so little room. My comment was something like "Big hill, old man, tired legs." while pointing to the hill, myself and my legs. He said something fatuous like "I was alerting you to my presence" while the lady passenger looked as though she wished she had stayed at home. On reflection, I should have carried on riding: we'd have both reached the top a lot sooner.

=====================================================================================
learn to pick up the clip quickly


+1

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mjr
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Re: How to hillstart on a steep lane

Postby mjr » 31 Aug 2018, 5:36pm

Mick F wrote:Hills are a way of life, and people who don't understand what it's like living in a place with steep narrow lanes, will never understand the issues of day-to-day life as a cyclist in rural Devon and Cornwall.

You write like Devon and Cornwall have a monopoly on steep narrow lanes, yet Somerset has plenty of 25+% lanes steeper than most in D&C, even Bristol has a 40% (depending on the line you take), the Lakes have loads and Wales has much more but spread over a bigger area.

And the Condroz/Ardennes region I was pedalling last weekend was seriously lumpy, although not that much was both narrow and steep.
MJR, mostly pedalling 3-speed roadsters. KL+West Norfolk BUG incl social easy rides http://www.klwnbug.co.uk
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mjr
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Re: How to hillstart on a steep lane

Postby mjr » 31 Aug 2018, 5:37pm

tatanab wrote:have a little walk.

...do a little dance...
;-)
MJR, mostly pedalling 3-speed roadsters. KL+West Norfolk BUG incl social easy rides http://www.klwnbug.co.uk
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LollyKat
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Re: How to hillstart on a steep lane

Postby LollyKat » 31 Aug 2018, 6:02pm

thirdcrank wrote:I don't see how a rider who is struggling in their lowest gear could stop then hope to restart in a higher gear.

I have occasionally done this - a very short rest gives the lactic acid a chance to clear and the lungs to recover, so restarting isn't so hard. Changing up a gear or two gives me a chance to get my balance and my other foot back on the pedal as it goes round more slowly. Double-sided pedals with strapless toeclips also help.

PH
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Re: How to hillstart on a steep lane

Postby PH » 31 Aug 2018, 6:20pm

Mick F wrote:Only way of doing this successfully is to stop and lean or hold on to something.

Every time I read there's only one way, I know it's wrong :roll:
I can turn a higher gear for a single revolution than I can continuously* for the duration of most hills. All I'm looking for is enough momentum to get started with both feet on the pedals, hence
4) change down again.

Anyone would think Cornwall was the only place with hills, it hasn't even got the steepest or longest, or the best views, it's only real claim to fame is the lack of choice :wink:
*EDIT - In much the same way as you'd change up a gear if you went from a sitting to a standing position, does anyone not do that?
Last edited by PH on 31 Aug 2018, 6:45pm, edited 1 time in total.

tatanab
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Re: How to hillstart on a steep lane

Postby tatanab » 31 Aug 2018, 6:36pm

Of course the sensible way to overcome this problem is to ride a tricycle. No unclipping necessary, simply proceed when you are ready. :P

Cyril Haearn
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Re: How to hillstart on a steep lane

Postby Cyril Haearn » 31 Aug 2018, 6:39pm

Fit even smaller gears
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531colin
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Re: How to hillstart on a steep lane

Postby 531colin » 31 Aug 2018, 6:57pm

NetworkMan wrote:Picture this. I am riding up a steep, narrow, Devon lane with brambles at one side and possibly grass up the middle. I am in my ~25" gear and struggling at perhaps 3-5 mph. A car comes up behind and because we are going slowly it starts to make threatening noises with it's engine as the driver repeatedly slips the clutch. The lane is too narrow for the massive 4x4 to get by even if I stop so we carry on for a while until eventually there is a farm gate or the road gets wider. I stop and he passes.
Trouble is I can't get started again. I lift one pedal, push firmly down and try to get the other foot into the clip but before I can do that I just stall. I can sometimes get moving with one foot clipped in, the other not, but then I can't always get it clipped in before stalling again. The 'scoot' start won't work either.
Any suggestions? I suppose I could try a higher gear with a firmer push but it's not easy to change since the bike isn't moving.


Double-sided SPDs. Just put your foot on it, and you're in.

Brucey
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Re: How to hillstart on a steep lane

Postby Brucey » 31 Aug 2018, 7:13pm

if there is any place to lean whilst on the bike, you can clip in to both pedals and make a start that way.

cheers
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thirdcrank
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Re: How to hillstart on a steep lane

Postby thirdcrank » 31 Aug 2018, 7:18pm

I'm by no means skilled at anything but I've never had much trouble getting a foot back in a toeclip or cleats clipped back in. I wonder if that's from a certain amount of experience in my formative years riding fixed? For several winters I used to ride fixed with toeclips and Bernard Hinault toeclip covers which caught the ground unless they were picked up immediately and before the pedal went round.

Some of the steepest roads I've found have been relatively new which have been constructed in connection with reservoirs - often no alternative but to go up the valley side.

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Re: How to hillstart on a steep lane

Postby Vorpal » 31 Aug 2018, 7:47pm

If I don't think I can get started again, I don't usually stop, and nevermind the idiots behind me. Of course if I thought a driver was going to lose it and run me over, I'd get out of the way, but probably not otherwise.

That said, once I have stopped, I'd likely just walk until I thought I could get going again.

Sometimes I can get going zig-zagging to and fro across the road,when I can't, headed straight up.
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[XAP]Bob
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Re: How to hillstart on a steep lane

Postby [XAP]Bob » 31 Aug 2018, 8:47pm

I’d be unlikely to stop if the hill was steep enough that restarting would be that difficult.
A shortcut has to be a challenge, otherwise it would just be the way. No situation is so dire that panic cannot make it worse.
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NetworkMan
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Re: How to hillstart on a steep lane

Postby NetworkMan » 31 Aug 2018, 9:21pm

Sometimes I can get going zig-zagging to and fro across the road

Some chance on the ones I'm talking about!

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Re: How to hillstart on a steep lane

Postby Vorpal » 31 Aug 2018, 10:40pm

NetworkMan wrote:
Sometimes I can get going zig-zagging to and fro across the road

Some chance on the ones I'm talking about!

It obviously won't work if they are growing greenery in the middle, but if it's wide enough for a car, it's wide enough to zig-zag enough to help!
“In some ways, it is easier to be a dissident, for then one is without responsibility.”
― Nelson Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom