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The LA Wheelmen cycling club has been around forever -- it was one of their members who first got me interested in riding -- so I though it would be great to show up for their hill climb event and give it try. Plus, I live on top of this hill, and I've always wanted an excuse to give it a try...
I put the ride info and link to the wheelmen site in the ridazz "Ride Calendar" -- the wheelmen site has pics and ride details once you click on the ride calendar link on the top bar, and navigate down to March 16.
I too attempted this hill last year and failed.
I tried tacking back and forth but lost my (poor) balance.
I think I can do it if I go straight up and just muscle the mother.
I also thought tilting my saddle down might help too, to keep my weight over the rear wheel.
Anybody have any success stories?
I'd really like to do this to salvage my pride, but I'd hate to fail again.
some of the guys that go up 40+ times in a day (i think the current record is 92x) use very custom gearing -- tiny little chainrings modified from rear granny gears (25's, 28's and smaller) The back cog is around a 20?
That photo looks like a 20x28 or 20x30, but it is easy to get 20x32 gearing at the low end of a mountain bike. 20 tooth chainrings are easy enough to come by (22 is standard on the smaller ring) and XTR cogsets have been 12-32 for more than a decade. I think it might even be posible to find a 12-34 cassette. My mountain bike is 20x32 in lowest gear. I've never even seen this hill, but if I were to attempt to climb it, that's what I'd do it on. I've certainly gone up some crazy steep (but fairly short) sections of singletrack with it over the years.
Yeah, Rollers. You are correct. I made a mental note last year to move the saddle forward and tilt down to move my weight closer to the front wheel, which I had trouble keeping from bouncing.
I did use my Mt. bike, but not sure what the gearing is. I'll have to go out and count teeth! At any rate that bike has the lowest gearing of my rides.
So, is this that type of hill that gives you the "fall over backwards-wheelie" type of feeling?
If so, then my Hummer would be able to deliver in this case.
Hell, I'll even try it on my recumbent.
The leg positioning and the gearing should also serve me sufficiently on a test like this.
So far, the steepest I've done on the recumbent was that one street that lead up to the state capital building in Salt Lake City, UT.
I actually felt like I was going to flip over going up that one.
The LA Wheelman are a super friendly group and this event is always fun. It's never been a competition of how many times one could ride up it, but a day for many people to attempt it.
It's also Feel My Legs hill number six.
smallest cog -- I think I saw a 17 -- hand cut and where the chain ring should be. the back was pretty small too. This was a pretty silly setup as 1/2" pitch chain starts becoming less efficient when bent around anything smaller than a 20t cog.
just got back from the hill climb. i was the only fixie out there. i was planning on riding but i had my bike with me so i gave it a shot. i was running 47 X17 and after four attempts, i only made it about a third of the way up. i'll prepare for next year.
"This was a pretty silly setup as 1/2" pitch chain starts becoming less efficient when bent around anything smaller than a 20t cog"
Umm, every road bike I've seen in the last 20 years has an 11 tooth cog in the back. There's no way that racers would be running the cogsets they do if half of their gears were subject to excessive chain drag. I'm reasonably certain that 11t is the lower limit of chain bending, given that no one makes a 10t cassette.
I was there first thing this morning and spoke with Eveltwin (Dave..I think). He's the last rider on the video I shot below. He conked out about 1/4 of the way. That's a crazy ass hill. the guy on the yellow bike in the video is the record holder.....He was on #27 I think when I was shooting video. He'd ride to the top, come down a back street and go right back onto the hill. ..Limited music on this computer so hope you like Run DMC.
11t is the limit cause less that 11t won't clear a cassette. until shimano redesigned their cassettes for 9speeds, 12 was usually the smallest. --source is "the dancing chain" a history of the derailleur.
the sub 20t on 1/2" pitch chain is from a table in Bicycling Science 3rd edition by David Gordon Wilson -- which is an awesome book if you are a bike nerd. Also compares rusty dirty chain to a clean oiled one -- guess what? Rusty one was almost as efficient as the oiled one!
I was out there... I took my normaly fixed bike, and threw a 22t freewheel cog in the back and a 38t chainring. I made it past the manhole cover near the top but not to the one at the top! My second go was a bust and I only made it about half way. I didnt think it was that hard, a little more focusing on hills prior to the ride and a little better warm up on the day of and it would go down.
I will say that there are some silly tactics being employed by many people! the gearing is ridiculous! if people spent as much time riding their bikes as they do trying to make easy to get to the top, more people would have been successful!
My friend made it first try on a road bike with a standard compact double: 34/25
The steepest hill we got here that is publicly accessible is the hill leading from Hesperia Rd up to Victor Valley Comm. Hospital.
I always pound pavement up this one, with a full-load, but then I'm usually waiting for my friends at the top.
I've really got to get down there and see if I could tackle this one as well.
Oh, and the gully leading to my stepdads place in Oak Hills is kinda steep.
Nearly tumbled over on a few, occasions.
The Wheelmen (people?) are celebrating the 50th anniversary of their Grand Tour double century(and triple AND quadruple!) in June. It's a great first double. Alex Thompson himself did it in running pants in 2005.
"I will say that there are some silly tactics being employed by many people! the gearing is ridiculous!"
I know it's still hard on special gearing, but perhaps there should be an asterisk if you did it on a bike you wouldn't ride on the street otherwise, e.g. stripped bare single-speeds with twice as many teeth on the cog than on the chainring. The climb should be about your will and your legs and not your tinkering abilities.
Once upon a time it was kind of a big deal just for anyone to make it up. Now with all these "Fargo Specials" you have a bunch of guys trying to see how many times they can do it in a day. (There's some kind of Viagra parallel here if I could only figure it out . . .)
I think they should start having a prize for the fastest time up; that would put a whole new slant on the thing.
I'm just the opposite. If you start to differentiate between modified and what is street, you run into alot of gray area. That means alot of judging and officiating. As long as it's pedal powered, I would say it's legal. The one limit I would put on if it isn't already stated is stored energy. No stored energy.
Yeah fastest time up should be a category. I never been to this, figured they must have had this distinction by now.
I would say that at the event everyone is quite aware of who is on a "Fargo Special" and who is not. Just peddling around at the base on my Iro set up with a common low gear for a road bike and many people were interested. Once I started up the hill I had my own cheering section of people I had just met. Many just called me single speed guy! and yelled support. sharp contrast to the muffled comments when the guy with the 60t (or more?) rear cog went tooling up the hill with legs that resembled a humming birds wings, and i heard giggles when he bailed before the half way point.
I suppose if that gearing gets you in the ballpark of the 101 ascents record it might be worth a go.... but if thats what you need to attempt one pass......