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Need help climbing
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I have a tri-bike with a 53/39 and an 11/27 cassette. I live in total flatland - only "hills" are bridges and the longest are 1/3 mile up and only about 3.3% max grade. I'm signed up for IM Mont Tremblant. It's a lot of climbing, averaging 3.4% grade with 20.3% max in short bursts. I suck at the bridges. I'm overweight (working on it, but there's only so much I can do in 90 days) and really suffering on the bridge so I'm wondering if there's any chance that a compact crank and/or a climbing cassette will help. And if so, what should I be looking at? This is not my first IM - I've done IMCdA and IMLP and IMAZ, in that order, but gained the weight over the past 2 years thanks to "the change". Help?
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Re: Need help climbing [sjlinley] [ In reply to ]
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The Cobb compact crank set really helped me quite a bit in the deceptively hilly IM Cabo San Lucas. I bought the equipment off the banner ad that should be rotating at the top of this forum.

DFL > DNF > DNS
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Re: Need help climbing [sjlinley] [ In reply to ]
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A compact crank (50/34) would help alot on hills. You can find a gear that will let you spin up instead of grind up and save your legs for the run.

Also, if your speed really starts to drop, don't be afraid to sit up out of your aerobars and pull on the bullhorns as you push. You may find yourself going faster with less effort bc you can put power out more easily if you are sitting more upright. Also if the going gets really steep, I sometimes grab the bullhorns and even stand to get myself over the steeper stuff.

Your rear casette sounds like it would be fine if you swap to a compact.
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Re: Need help climbing [sjlinley] [ In reply to ]
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X3 on the compact crank. Your cassette seems like it will be good, but if it makes you feel more comfortable, go for it!

Keep practicing on the bridges and whatever inclines you can find. For me, climbing is far more mental than anything. The more I get out and do it, the better race day seems to go.

I'd also add some resistance high intensity intervals on the trainer, if you can't travel someplace that is similarly hilly to IMMT. We have no shortage of hills in Seattle, so I'm trying to imagine what I'd do if I lived someplace flat.

M

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Re: Need help climbing [sjlinley] [ In reply to ]
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Definitely go for the compact crank. My wife is also doing Tremblant but isn't even sure whether or not she'll run her tri bike or road bike with clips ons for that course since she climbs better on her road bike (most people do). Fortunately we live about four hours away so she's planning on testing the course with both bikes well before the race. The road bike (if you have one) may not be a bad idea if you struggle on hills.
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Re: Need help climbing [sjlinley] [ In reply to ]
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Thanks so much to those who responded. I'm taking all the advice and I'm going to go with the compact crank AND a climbing cassette. I will need to put in a lot of work to maintain adequate speed to make the bike cutoff, but being optimistic about that, I'll also need legs for the marathon and maybe having the extra gears will give me more to work with for both bike and run. Oh, and I lost 5 lbs over the past 4 weeks so that's bound to help. Again, thanks for the suggestions and feedback. And cerveloguy I'm interested to hear how your wife finds the course. My BF is planning to head up with his road bike but his tri-bike is down in flatland with me so he won't be able to do a comparison run. I don't have a road bike and that seems just a little too much money for one race!!
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Re: Need help climbing [sjlinley] [ In reply to ]
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"And cerveloguy I'm interested to hear how your wife finds the course."

She rode the course this weekend on both bikes and has decided to go with the tri bike for the race. We're going to ride the course together in July. I'll let you know if she changes her mind, but I'd suspect not.

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