climb gain ratio

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foxyrider
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climb gain ratio

Postby foxyrider » 9 Feb 2019, 8:01pm

So I was musing while I was out today as one does, the sun was out, the wind, whilst strong, mostly helpful on the way home. Anyhow I digress. There were a couple of bits of road of the 12/14% signed nature, others equally steep not signed but it got the ol' grey cells sparking.

Now whilst I don't go searching for climbs, riding in the eastern Pennines you can't help but do a bit of upward riding. Now I sometimes run a quick calculation when I get home to see the climb rate (metres gained / distance), so today for instance it came out at 14.8m/km (1567m/106km). Obviously this doesn't represent the real climb effort as it includes the down bits as well.

On a 'circular' ride where metres gained And lost are almost the same it would be reasonable to suggest the real climb rate would be equal to metres gained divided by half the distance (1567m/53km) so 29.5m/km gain. But it becomes more complicated on point to point rides.

Other than dissecting the whole ride, is there a method that will give a ball park figure on these rides?

Alongside the calculation business, where does the line come re how tough it is? 5m/km, 10m/km, 20m/km?

Discuss
Convention? what's that then?
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thelawnet
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Re: climb gain ratio

Postby thelawnet » 9 Feb 2019, 9:43pm

I'm not sure there are easy calculations, save that say 5m/km is very flat.

I wouldn't try to claim twice the climb ratio on the basis of things being downhill, unless you had literally climbed up a mountain and then cycled down. For example, one of my Strava buddies lives around 20km from the base of a mountain, he cycled up to 1600m ASL and then down again. In this case he has basically 20km of flat, 80km of ascent and then the reverse. So it's 100km at 16m/km, and then 100km downhill/flat.

But that is in Indonesia and there aren't many roads to choose from.

In the UK if I do 80km I might do three climbs each with descent in between as well as flat bits. Though some are a bit steeper than others, I'd say that my 1000m of climbing is 12.5m per km based on 80km total. I don't think I could argue anything else, because it's not up then down, it's flat, up, down, flat, up, down flat, etc.

If you wanted you could exclude the down bits (only the down bits) from your calculations but I don't know why you would

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The utility cyclist
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Re: climb gain ratio

Postby The utility cyclist » 9 Feb 2019, 9:59pm

Always elevation gain over total distance (in whatever units you want to use), this works for loop and point to point, I don't see how your start and end elevation makes a difference, you have to go xx feet up in total over xx miles, if that's more ft per mile then that means the ride was technically harder - though I accept that some people prefer shorter sharp/steeper inclines to long slogs with a lower gradient and vice versa.

most of my local rides are 45-55ft per mile, that's North Herts/Central Beds/bits of a Cambs, that for me makes it an enjoyable and not gut wrenching ride, BP/Audax rides I'm not looking for really hilly routes either, I'm 15.5st/98kg now, have been nr.17st/107kg and I was already 13st 10 by time I was 16/17 as an aspiring rugby league forward so I've never been a fan or any good at dragging myself up mountains or hill after hill after hill, even touring I prefer not to have a really taxing route (for me) so I can enjoy the scenery, chill for a chat and go see some sights/take pics etc.

A 100ft/mile was considered to be a significantly hilly route though some will obviously say that's nothing, some posters will describe rolling routes as 'pan flat' as they have previously on here :roll:

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Mick F
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Re: climb gain ratio

Postby Mick F » 10 Feb 2019, 12:19pm

100ft-ish per mile here is normal.
Often done 120ft per mile.

Average for this year so far is 97ft per mile, which is the same for the whole of last year.
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Bmblbzzz
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Re: climb gain ratio

Postby Bmblbzzz » 10 Feb 2019, 12:24pm

1000m per 100km is pretty standard, above that might be considered hilly.

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Mick F
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Re: climb gain ratio

Postby Mick F » 10 Feb 2019, 1:06pm

Bmblbzzz wrote:1000m per 100km is pretty standard, above that might be considered hilly.
What's that in real money?


3,281ft in 62.1miles = 53ft per mile.
Not much at all.
I wouldn't say that above that would be considered hilly. Maybe 75ft per mile, and above THAT might be considered hilly.
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thelawnet
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Re: climb gain ratio

Postby thelawnet » 10 Feb 2019, 3:46pm

Mick F wrote:
Bmblbzzz wrote:1000m per 100km is pretty standard, above that might be considered hilly.
What's that in real money?


3,281ft in 62.1miles = 53ft per mile.
Not much at all.
I wouldn't say that above that would be considered hilly. Maybe 75ft per mile, and above THAT might be considered hilly.

Dunno

Where I am in Indonesia if I leave my house and go out for an hour, then it's a steady downhill one way than steady uphill the other. It appears flat though, as it's a very steady gradient of 1%

It works out at 71 feet per mile.

But if you drive along the road you would think it's flat

OTOH if I go out in Surrey I can make a point of going up some very obvious 10% hills and end up with considerably less climbing per mile because much is pancake flat.

So I don't think you can talk about climb per mile quite so easily as it depends on terrain

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Mick F
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Re: climb gain ratio

Postby Mick F » 10 Feb 2019, 4:13pm

thelawnet wrote: .......... I don't think you can talk about climb per mile quite so easily as it depends on terrain
I reckon you're correct, though up until a couple of weeks or so ago, I would have said climb per mile was the be-all-and-end-all of riding.

I was out riding to the parish churches of Cornwall (as is my task at the moment) and did a set of them recently. The climb per mile wasn't huge, but felt like it. It was a 40mile ride but only 3,900ft of climbing, but felt very difficult indeed. Far more hilly than the profile suggests.
14 parish churches.
Camborne Churches.jpg


I can only think that the hills were short and steep without much let-up from them.
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thelawnet
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Re: climb gain ratio

Postby thelawnet » 10 Feb 2019, 4:56pm

Here's my route. Same in both directions (reversed)

Screenshot_20190210-164842.png


Over 70 feet per mile averaged over the out and return, but the average gradient is 0.5% one way, -0.5% the other without ever having a 'climb'.

Bmblbzzz
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Re: climb gain ratio

Postby Bmblbzzz » 10 Feb 2019, 5:24pm

Yes, the gradient and frequency of climbs is just as important to consider as the total climb. And then you've got surface and a whole load of factors.

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andrew_s
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Re: climb gain ratio

Postby andrew_s » 10 Feb 2019, 6:33pm

Back in the earlier period of Audax UK, before AAA points, an event got "grimpeur" status at 15 m/km, and "super grimpeur" status at 22m/km.
Translate that to "hilly", and "very hilly".
10m/km is normal, and 5m/km is flat.

The numbers were for contour counts - i.e. climbs smaller than 10 m don't count as proper climbs, and aren't included. This makes a significant difference - iirc the Elenith 300k went from 3500 m on a contour count to ~4500 m when climbing started to be taken from GPS tracks, with the only route changes being at the flat Kidderminster end.

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Re: climb gain ratio

Postby Bmblbzzz » 10 Feb 2019, 7:01pm

Mick F wrote:
Bmblbzzz wrote:1000m per 100km is pretty standard, above that might be considered hilly.
What's that in real money?


3,281ft in 62.1miles = 53ft per mile.

Approximately 500 sazhen in 100 versts.

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Re: climb gain ratio

Postby NATURAL ANKLING » 10 Feb 2019, 8:16pm

Hi,
Mick F wrote:
Bmblbzzz wrote:1000m per 100km is pretty standard, above that might be considered hilly.
What's that in real money?


3,281ft in 62.1miles = 53ft per mile.
Not much at all.
I wouldn't say that above that would be considered hilly. Maybe 75ft per mile, and above THAT might be considered hilly.

I would say above 75 foot/ mile to start to notice it, 100 Foot per mile definitely starts to feel it.
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Mick F
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Re: climb gain ratio

Postby Mick F » 11 Feb 2019, 9:53am

andrew_s wrote:Back in the earlier period of Audax UK, before AAA points, an event got "grimpeur" status at 15 m/km, and "super grimpeur" status at 22m/km.
Translate that to "hilly", and "very hilly".
10m/km is normal, and 5m/km is flat.

The numbers were for contour counts - i.e. climbs smaller than 10 m don't count as proper climbs, and aren't included. This makes a significant difference - iirc the Elenith 300k went from 3500 m on a contour count to ~4500 m when climbing started to be taken from GPS tracks, with the only route changes being at the flat Kidderminster end.
This sounds a bit suspect to me.

What happens if the "smaller than 10m" is 9.5m and that climb is a 25% one, followed by a series of them?
Why wouldn't they be counted?

22m per Km = 72ft per 0.62miles = 115ft per mile? Have I done my arithmetic correctly?
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Re: climb gain ratio

Postby Bmblbzzz » 11 Feb 2019, 10:31am

I think andrew means they wouldn't be counted unless the road crosses a contour, because it was calculated by literally looking at an OS map and counting contours.