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  1. #1
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    two twins climbing same hill

    Hi, I have a training question. To keep it simple I will use an imaginary situation.

    Suppose you have two twins, same bike same weight etc. If one of them can climb a hill at say 18 km/h at a heart rate of 162bpm and the other climbs at the same speed but needs a heart rate of 169bpm, what causes this diference and what is the best way to get the heart rate down, so you can do more for less?

  2. #2
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    Different fitness levels would cause the difference in HR.

    Get fitter, and HR would go down for the same speed up the hill. For anyone. Doesn't happen overnight though.
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  3. #3
    LMN
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    One has trained longer and in a more effective manner.
    "The best pace is suicide pace, and today is a good day to die." Steve Prefontaine

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    Or one just has a naturally higher/lower heart rate. Lower HR does not automatically mean better fitness. Some people just have a lower max or higher max. You really can only compare yourself to yourself.

    J

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jake21
    Or one just has a naturally higher/lower heart rate. Lower HR does not automatically mean better fitness. Some people just have a lower max or higher max. You really can only compare yourself to yourself.

    J
    I think the 'twins' thing was sort of supposed to eliminate that factor
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    Twins

    What if they're fraternal twins? Just kidding!

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    "so you can do more for less?"

    You want to do more for less, first you have to have to work hard so that you can do more than you can do now. Then what you are doing now is less % of the whole effort you can do, and by comparison, you'll do "less" while doing "more".

    If both twins are putting out 300 watts to go 18kph up that hill, it would seem that the 162twin might produce a max 500 watts and the 169 twin might only produce a max 490 watts. Thus the 300 watt effort is easier for the twin that can produce 500 watts vs the weaker 490 watt twin. But really 162vs169 is about the same HR.

    Maybe the 169 twin is carring the extra bottle for the 162 twin?

  8. #8
    LMN
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    Quote Originally Posted by cabbgage
    what is the best way to get the heart rate down, so you can do more for less?
    To simplify it "ride lots".

    Of course there is a hell of a lot more to it than that, but that would be the best starting point.
    "The best pace is suicide pace, and today is a good day to die." Steve Prefontaine

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    Thanks for your answers.
    I train a lot, put in base miles in winter and intervals at this time of year, but my restriction when racing always seems to be my heart rate, and I seem to be puffing and panting more than anyone else.

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    Maybe your puffing and panting is keeping you from seeing that everyone else is puffing and panting too

  11. #11
    mnoutain bkie rdier
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    more time in that saddle..

  12. #12
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    I actually know a pair of twin mountain biker brothers. One is definitely quicker than the other, but apparently they do similar amounts of training. I'll ask them next time for details.

    ...and yes, they do the creepy twin thing. Low talking, eye contact, head nods (*shudders*)
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    Having problems with your breathing is something that you can concentrate on specifically to try and make it less of an issue.

    Race Breathing

    If you have two twins who are equally fit and on the same bikes then there are several physiological reasons why they may have different exercise heart rates whilst riding at the same 18km/h speed uphill. Comparing heart rate between different riders (even twins) has lots of limitations.

    One non-fitness related reason for a difference in effort could be that one twin is pushing a big gear at a low cadence whilst the other twin is spinning at a higher cadence in a lower gear. They could both be riding at 18km/h but using a different climbing technique and gearing in order to achieve that speed.

    Different combinations of gearing and cadence can make a big difference sometimes. On long or very steep climbs in particular using a lower gear at a higher cadence can work quite well and result in a more comfortable feeling for the entire climb. It can often be faster overall than if you started off going hard in a higher gear at the bottom but faded and slowed down before the top.

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    I wrote the question because this season I seem to be racing at a higher heart rate, and thus suffering a bit. I had a good base building winter and in theory should be no less fitter than last year.
    Interestingly i have changed to a 29er which has forced me to use a bigger gear up hills, so that could be a factor.

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    You can calculate the relative gearing of your current bike and previous bike using the Sheldon Brown gear calculator. 29er is just another name for 700c wheels.

    http://www.sheldonbrown.com/gears/

    If you were to use exactly the same sprocket and chainring combination climbing on your 29er as on a 26" wheeled bike then you would be pushing a much higher gear on the 29er because of the larger wheels.

    The current trend for double chainrings doesn't help either as that usually takes away some of your lowest gears when compared to a triple chainset.

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    I have the same gearing as my 26 I.E. lowest gear is 34-22, and a ball park figure i'm told is about 10% bigger gearing for a 29er. When i'm riding I haven't really noticed, but it could be the reason for the extra puffing up the hills.

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    If you're finding the hills harder this year then it could be because your lowest 34T gear sprocket is approximately one gear higher than it was last year on your 26" wheeled bike. This difference in gearing is even more pronounced when you start comparing the mid range and top gears on the larger chainrings where the increase in gear ratio becomes larger still. Along with a higher bottom gear you'll be pushing a higher gear in the 44x34 and 32x34 combinations which will make climbing on larger chainrings feel harder too. You'll find that you need to change down onto a smaller chainring sooner as a result.

    You could consider changing your gearing to a cassette with a 36T largest sprocket if you're running out of low gears on the climbs.

    Pictured below: Gear Ratio comparison using a 9 speed 11-34 Shimano XT cassette (11-13-15-17-20-23-26-30-34) and 44/32/22 chainrings depending on wheel size. With larger 29" wheels the same gear is higher than it would be on a bike with 26" wheels.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails two twins climbing same hill-26-29er_gear_ratio_comparison.jpg  

    Last edited by WR304; 04-06-2011 at 03:33 PM.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by cabbgage
    I have the same gearing as my 26 I.E. lowest gear is 34-22, and a ball park figure i'm told is about 10% bigger gearing for a 29er. When i'm riding I haven't really noticed, but it could be the reason for the extra puffing up the hills.
    I doubt that is the reason, if your pushing a bigger gear on your 29er but going the same speed (assuming both your speedos are calibrated correctly) as when your on on your 26"
    then your cadence has to be lower on the 29er which in turn would yeild a lower heart rate.

    Don't believe me? try riding a decent hill twice at the same speed once at ~75rpm in a big gear and second time at ~105rpm in a smaller gear, HR will be much higher pushing a smaller gear at a faster cadence even though power out put and speed will be the same,

    So me thinks that: either your fitness has dropped despite the base you say you have done and without power data from all your racing and training last year we have no way of telling.
    or one or both of your speedos are not set correctly.

    or you have a new position on your 29er which you either havn't addapted to yet or is in someway hindering your performance and elevating your HR.

    or you have a lingering illness, taking medication, using new supplements, caffine, warmer clothing, different time of year, time of day or temperature, slightly dehydrated, overhydrated, heavier bike or equipment, gained weight or a small combination of any of the above 5 paragraphs.
    A power meter is the best tool to help satart eliminating some of these possibilities
    Last edited by aussiebullet; 04-06-2011 at 07:33 PM.

  19. #19
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    I feel a lot happier now, I think i have found the problem. I don't need to change the gearing, I just need to get 10% fitter to push the bigger gear!!
    I have actually gone to a 2x9 (22-36) on the front which I like a lot, but may not help matters.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by aussiebullet
    I doubt that is the reason, if your pushing a bigger gear on your 29er but going the same speed (assuming both your speedos are calibrated correctly) as when your on on your 26"
    then your cadence has to be lower on the 29er which in turn would yeild a lower heart rate.

    Don't believe me? try riding a decent hill twice at the same speed once at ~75rpm in a big gear and second time at ~105rpm in a smaller gear, HR will be much higher pushing a smaller gear at a faster cadence even though power out put and speed will be the same,

    So me thinks that: either your fitness has dropped despite the base you say you have done and without power data from all your racing and training last year we have no way of telling.
    or one or both of your speedos are not set correctly.

    or you have a new position on your 29er which you either havn't addapted to yet or is in someway hindering your performance and elevating your HR.

    or you have a lingering illness, taking medication, using new supplements, caffine, warmer clothing, different time of year, time of day or temperature, slightly dehydrated, overhydrated, heavier bike or equipment, gained weight or a small combination of any of the above 5 paragraphs.
    A power meter is the best tool to help satart eliminating some of these possibilities
    Trying to compare heart rate between rides is really hard to do. Your examples of why heart rate can vary are all good ones.

    Comparing climbing split times or wattage figures is usually a better way of evaluating your performance than heart rate. Keeping records of times up key local climbs is an easy way to keep track of whether you're going faster or slower uphill than the year before.
    Last edited by WR304; 04-07-2011 at 03:59 PM.

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