Hills Hills, Best bike, type of bike for uphill- Mtbr.com
Results 1 to 24 of 24
  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Posts
    258

    Hills Hills, Best bike, type of bike for uphill

    Where I live in Morris County, New Jersey, there are many hills everywhere. So this is my primary concern when buying a bike, something that is good for uphill, as there are not many mile long stretches of flat area and those that exist are merely rest till the next series of hills.

    Here are hills that I have to always go down or up to get home or go downtown and there are trailing hills that lead into these also:
    Liberty street top view, looking down:

    Liberty street bottom view, looking up:

    Penn Avenue top view, looking down:

    Penn Avenue bottom view, looking up:


    Questions:
    1) What posture is more bio-mechanically efficient for uphill, the more horizontal posture of a racing bike or the more upright posture of a mountain?
    2) Some have advised me that a mountain bike is easier for hills because it has more gears and specifically more lower gears, but others have said this is actually a hindrance because most the enormous gear range is useless for climbing hills on road. So what is it exactly?

    I already went to two local bike stores, but I will not write about my experiences there to get a fresh perspective here. The problem is that trying a bike near a bike store parking lot, or trying a used one found in a Craigslist ad, does not tell me what I really need to know, the sustained hill climbing capabilities I would need in my locale.
    So, what is the best type of bike for uphill climbing?


    -- Thanks for reading, Nicholas

  2. #2
    AZ
    AZ is offline
    banned
    Reputation: AZ's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Posts
    19,198
    For pavement use I would opt for a road bike with a triple crankset .

  3. #3
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Posts
    128
    you want the stretched out- "classic" fitment for climbing.

  4. #4
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Posts
    87

    Bike for hills

    Are you riding on roads only or trails and roads? I took my old Raleigh 4000 mtn. bike and put 26" slicks on it, alot easier than knobbies for mostly road use. And for trails I got a Santa Cruz Superlight because it is super light (22+ lbs.) w/ full suspension because I have alot of hills over on this side of Morris county too.

    Rockaway Twp.
    Bill

    '95 Raleigh 400, STX-RC (road, touring)
    '00 Santa Cruz Superlight, XTR (Cross Country Mtb)
    Northern N.J.

  5. #5
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Posts
    88
    If you have a road bike and a mountain bike with the exact same gearing, the roadie will generally be easier to get up the hills because of its weight (lighter) and smooth tires (less friction).


    If all you are looking to ride is "on road" a roadie with "mountain" gearing would be your best option. As AZ said above, a roadie with a triple crank is your best bet.

  6. #6
    is buachail foighneach me
    Reputation: sean salach's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Posts
    6,589
    Quote Originally Posted by Jayphus
    you want the stretched out- "classic" fitment for climbing.

    +1 Ideal for climbing and descending steep hills will be a bit long from seat to handlebar, and handlebar probably a little bit lower than saddle. Don't let them sell you a comfort bike for those hills. The enormous gear(out back) on them will suck on hills as steep as Dover has. If you end up getting a mountain bike, don't be afraid to roam. Jefferson and Mine Hill both have rally good trail systems within range of where you are.

  7. #7
    mtbr member
    Reputation: shenny88's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    571
    assuming you want a mtb, gary fishers usually have a more stretched geometry, good for climbing.

  8. #8
    Hi.
    Reputation: jtmartino's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    3,860
    Quote Originally Posted by shenny88
    assuming you want a mtb, gary fishers usually have a more stretched geometry, good for climbing.
    That's not entirely true. Assuming you're talking about the G2 geometry Fishers, they have a slightly shorter top tube (than a normal hardtail) to compensate for the increased fork offset. G2 geometry bikes are more stable at high speeds, but not necessarily better climbers than a regular hardtail.

    The bottom of this page explains what I'm talking about:

    http://fisherbikes.com/bike/model/hoo-koo-e-koo

    To the OP - If you're sticking to the streets, get a road bike with a triple up front (as everyone has already stated.)

  9. #9
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Posts
    128
    if you are new to cycling i recommend a mountain bike with smooth tires over a road bike.

  10. #10
    mtbr member
    Reputation: One Pivot's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Posts
    8,065
    a low gear combo make it easy to just crawl up the road. look for a mountain bike with a 34 tooth rear cassette, and pick yourself up some nice light city tires.

    for hills like that, dont worry about geometry or anything. you'll be alright, getting some time on the bike and getting your endurance up will matter more than the bike layout (assuming you're getting a basic xc/entry level bike).

  11. #11
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Posts
    258
    Before I even created this thread, I was leaning toward either a Cyclocross(definitely not considering a road) or a Hardtail Mountain bike with lockout forks.

    Mostly, I am looking to be more carbon neutral, fit, stop watching too much Popcorn Hour(downloaded movies and tv content), use alot less internet and get the hell outside. I was thinking that instead of using the car all the time for local groceries and such to try to bike for these local runs, at least 1/4 or so of the time. I would like to be able to go on trails, at least gravel or moderate ones since Morris County has excellent ones. I can easily bike to the extensive trail system of Randolph and can walk to Heden Park(mostly for hikers but there are lots of trails hikers never use) since I live in Dover near the Randolph border.

    I Pm'd "sean salach" to not divert the topic of this thread and he told me of some other trails that are also in bike riding distance in Mine Hill, Wharton, etc. and this has sold me more on a mountain bike. I am leaning toward the:
    Motobecane Fantom Trail Mountain Bike $595.95
    It seems better than I can get on most Craigslist deals and much better than any LBS offering. Back when I was a teenager I used to ride bmx all the time and do all my own maintenance with my brother, never using a bike mechanic. My mom's boyfriend and his son are also both auto mechanics, and may be able to help me out with problems, since they can figure out much more complicated cars.

    What do you guys mean by "classic" fit?
    Will a 29" benefit road climbing as well? (I tried one at a LBS but I did not like it because when turning, the tire hit my shoes alot. Seems dangerous, especially if it happens going down these monster hills.)
    Last edited by RoyFokker; 04-21-2010 at 02:18 PM.

  12. #12
    pants on head retarded
    Reputation: yurtinus's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    256
    As a car replacement, a cyclocross bike is an excellent choice. MTBs with suspension will typically rob you of some energy from the increased weight, knobbie tires, and tendency of your pedalling to activate the suspension.

    However, if you want a "do it all" bike... Well there's still a lot of choice :P Suspension fork MTBs to full rigid Cyclocross bikes will all do town riding and trail riding, with an emphasis on one end of the spectrum or the other. I think what they mean by "classic" fit is a bit longer top tube to be a bit more stretched out while riding (the cyclocross bikes and road bikes will be like this). Mountain bikes have been becoming more "slacker" which pulls the handlebars in more and has you sitting more upright.

    29rs are a personal choice really - hitting your shoe is just your feet being on the wrong spot of the pedal and it's something you'll learn not to do really quickly. 29rs are a good balance between road and offroad - usually a tire swap is all that's needed to set it up for excellent commuting or excellent trail riding.

    Motobecanes are good bikes if you can tolerate the risk of not fitting yourself on it first. Look at the Fantom and the Fantom 29r. The Fantom Cross is a good call if you think you'll be on the road more.

  13. #13
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Posts
    639
    Roy,

    What problems did you have at your LBS out of curiousity?

  14. #14
    Disgruntled Peccary
    Reputation: dysfunction's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Posts
    867
    Quote Originally Posted by AZ.MTNS
    For pavement use I would opt for a road bike with a triple crankset .
    Or a 10spd compact.. but yea.. I concur, roadie for the road is just much more efficient anyway.. check with your LBS, most around here will allow you a pretty long distance test ride if you ask.
    mike

  15. #15
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Posts
    128
    Quote Originally Posted by RoyFokker
    What do you guys mean by "classic" fit?
    like this:



    like this:



    not this:






    like this:




    not like this:


    like this:





    like this:



    not like this:



    not like this:


  16. #16
    AZ
    AZ is offline
    banned
    Reputation: AZ's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Posts
    19,198
    Sometimes refered to as "NORBA" geometry , nice stretched out , balanced position .

  17. #17
    Fat-tired Roadie
    Reputation: AndrwSwitch's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    18,453
    A mountain bike with slicks is a pretty good transportation bike. They're pretty stable under load, and you get a ton of low gears. You may run out of gears on a descent, but whatever. If you want to ride trails, all you have to do is swap tires and you have a purpose-built off-road bike. You can also get a second set of wheels for street riding. A 26" mountain bike frame will usually accept 700C wheels with 28mm or smaller tires, giving you the same rolling resistance as a road bike, a more stable geometry and lower gearing (but not the low air drag or quick handling.) A rigid mountain bike is a lot better on the street, IMHO, than one with a suspension fork and at low speeds there's not much difference in off-road performance. At high speeds, a suspension fork really helps.

    I'd advise against a 'cross bike if you think you're going to start riding trails. They're great for cyclocross racing and I think they're okay on the road, but they're basically adapted road bikes. Riding trails on them takes a lot of finesse and they're not very forgiving.

    Don't worry too much about riding position. Just get what's comfortable for you. When mountain bikers get low on climbs, its more about front wheel traction than power output. When I'm climbing on the road, I usually sit up straighter, actually. The only thing you really want to avoid is a bike that wheelies too easily.

    A roadie will have no trouble passing you on any of the above setups, but it sounds like you're dead set against a road bike.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  18. #18
    Religion = Non-thinking
    Reputation: louisssss's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    2,146
    i wouldn't even want to take my MTB with slicks on those hills, if you suddenly lose momentum, its going to be hell climbing that in the upright position of a MTB with a 2" clearance (meaning that it will and should fit "small" relative to a road bike's fit.) i'd take my road bike on those hills, should be lots of fun.
    RH SL Pro

  19. #19
    mtbr member
    Reputation: One Pivot's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Posts
    8,065
    ^ what? steeper hills are easier to climb on a mtb. my 30+lbs 140mm travel bike with knobby tires climbs easier than my 19lbs roadbike when it gets stupid steep. its slower, but its much easier.

    smaller tires and a 22/34 granny means you can grind straight up a wall. even a road triple doesnt have gearing that low.

  20. #20
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Posts
    258
    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Z
    Trail Tested – 26 vs 29er Single Speed Mountain Bike Comparison – Which is Better?
    ...
    Steep and technical climbs on the limit of singlespeedability (Yay, new word!) are where the big wheels really shine. Cleaning the Canyon Link was undoubtedly easier on the 29er, despite a 3 pound weight penalty.
    ...
    But that was an offroad comparison. I would rather have something that climbs better on road and I am not sure if a 29er will win there.

    I found this article informative:
    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Kifer
    Cycling Cadence and Bicycle Gearing
    ...
    Gearing is achieved by having chainrings on the front and cogs on the rear with various numbers of teeth. Let us suppose that you are riding a bike, and the chain is on a 30-tooth sprocket on the front and a 30-tooth cog on the rear. At this point you have a 1 to 1 drive. What gear size is it? The gear that you're in at this point is the same as the tire size on the rear wheel. If you have a 27-inch wheel or 700 C wheel, you are in 27-inch gear. If you have a 26-inch wheel, you are in 26-inch gear, and so on. Now let's shift gears until the sprocket in front is twice the size of the one in the rear, say a 52 chainring in the front and a 26 cog in the rear. What gear is that? Well, 52/26 X 27 = 54, so if you have 27-inch wheels, you are in 54 inch gear. This gear is the equivalent of having a direct drive bike (such as the old high wheeler) with wheels 54 inches in diameter. If you then change gears in the back, so that you are on a rear cog of 13 teeth (the equation is 52/13 x 27 = 108), you now have the equivalent of wheels 108 inches in diameter. Gear inches are proportional and are not an equal distance apart: thus a shift down from a 25 inch gear to a 20 inch gear is equivalent to a shift down from a 100 inch gear to an 80 inch gear, and the difference between an 11 inch gear and a 33 inch gear is the same as the difference between a 33 inch gear and a 99 inch gear. Two other terms are also used instead of gears or gear inches. Gear ratios refers to the ratio between the front sprockets and back cogs; this term is seldom used correctly. Development refers to the distance traveled when the cranks are rotated 360; usually this is measured in meters because development is favored over gear inches in Europe, where the metric system is used.
    ...
    How Many Gears?

    Assuming that we have decided on a high of 100 and a low of 20, now comes the hard step. How many gears are needed between 20 and 100? I experimented with a good variety of cogsets and chainrings, the cogsets from 14-21 to 14-36. What I discovered was that a 10% change between these gears seemed the most natural. In fact, my son's bike was set up with a 12% change, my touring bike with a 10% change, and my around town bike with an 8% change, so I have had lots of time to test these assumptions. Here's what happens: if the gear range is too wide, I'm wanting to shift gears when no gear is available, and when the gear range is too narrow, I tend to skip over them. The perfect gear change seems to me to be 10% while my son prefers his wider setup. I am sure that anything wider than 16% would be too wide.
    ...
    but do not know what to make of it, it is quite technical, complex and confusing.

    The bike I am eyeing so far the 2010 Motobecane Fantom Trail has a "Crankset SA DYNA-DRIVE 22/32/44T with Powerdrive" with 27 speed, but I have a feeling alot of the gears on that will be useless changes and nowhere near the 10% change range.
    Last edited by RoyFokker; 04-27-2010 at 01:02 AM.

  21. #21
    Fat-tired Roadie
    Reputation: AndrwSwitch's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    18,453
    What, exactly, are you trying to do here? Are you giving up your car? Have you been riding bikes for the last couple years and now you want to add a utility bike to the stable? Is this your first bike in a while?

    In any case, don't worry so much about the difference between gear ratios on the bike. On an 11-32 cassette, jumps vary from 9.1% to 16.7% for the two biggest shifts. (http://www.sheldonbrown.com/gears/) So it really only bothers the guy who wrote that article on two out of eight shifts. If you find it bothers you, you can get another cassette for $30 or so with a smaller range. Unfortunately, smaller jumps and an easier granny are mutually exclusive.

    My experience, though, is that large jumps only really bother me if I'm working at a really high effort level, like racing, doing speed work, or trying to keep up with faster teammates on a training ride. For casual riding purposes, if I make a shift that's too big, I just let my cadence slow down to where I'm comfortable, and go a little slower. My mountain bike has a slightly wider range cassette and my commuter has a 2x6 drivetrain with a smaller range but larger jumps.

    If you think the Moto Fantom will be a good bike for you, read some reviews of their frames and customer service and if you're still comfortable with the idea, buy it.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  22. #22
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Posts
    258
    AndrwSwitch, this is gonna be my first bike in a long ten year stretch. It is hard to say what I am gonna be doing till I have a bike for a while and establish a routine with it emphasizing certain things and ignoring others, but in my mind I gave an overview of how I planned to use it in post 12 of this thread.

    I am kind of having second thoughts on the Fantom Trail after almost resolving to order today and am thinking maybe I should pony up more for the Fantom Comp $795 since it has a much better RockShox TORA 302 instead of the Rockshox Dart 3(on the Trail) that mtbr'ers pilloried in their reviews. They say that the Dart 3 often leaks oil, it stops locking out(which is something really bad for my usage profile since I do not plan on keeping a bike just to drive it around in a car to trails), freezes at low temp, etc. But then again I notice that a lot fork reviewers on this site also complain about forks not being able to handle 6 ft or more drops. The one thing I do not like is the "better" hydraulic brakes on the Comp, I prefer more the mechanical disc of the Trail that are supposed to be easier maintenance. Another example is this pic a mtbr'er posted at a local park near where I live:


    Should a "normal" person take the credence of such "freaks"(no offence to present company) who are probably using the equipment in extreme ways and hope for the best, or take heed of it and future proof by spending a bit more?

    Edit: Also from email I learned that the frame does not have mount points on the seat stay portion of the frame for a rear rack, which is a bummer for me. I guess it is no deal breaker, though sub-optimal since they have ones that mount at the seatpost.
    Edit 2: On second thought I am thinking that I can always get the cheaper Fantom Tail and set up an ebay alert to scan for deals on forks and this will be cheaper and more logical. Because the Dart 3 might not be a problem for me at all.
    Last edited by RoyFokker; 04-28-2010 at 03:05 PM.

  23. #23
    Fat-tired Roadie
    Reputation: AndrwSwitch's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    18,453
    I guess if I sounded a bit snarky, it's because we have a stereotype here in Seattle of a person who phones a bike shop asking for something that can commute to work, do trails and dirt jumping, might do a little racing, and oh yeah, they're doing a triathlon. I don't think anything will do quite that range of activities well.

    It sounds like what you're looking for is a bike you can ride off-road, in the neighborhood, and to work. A mountain bike can totally do all those things, and I highly recommend one. A second set of tires or wheels will vastly improve the errand-running and commuting experience. Mountain bikes are also a lot easier to ride, and my experience of resuming after a long break is that it takes some getting used to. I got a sense that it might have been a while; I think a cyclocross bike would be a very frustrating piece of equipment to start with.

    From the reviews I've read, not having owned either fork myself, it seems that the Dart 3 is nicer than a Suntour or RST fork but still one that people replace. Toras, however, get moved from bike to bike and if/when you have the money and the desire, the 302 will accept the very well regarded Motion Control damper as an upgrade. All forks have a service life and leak oil if their seals are damaged, but I think you ought to be able to get at least a year between rebuilds. Coil forks are generally seen as requiring less attention, but I think air forks have gotten a lot better than they were when they first came out. Anyway, starting with the Tora will save you buying one later.

    As far as people dropping 6' and killing their fork... It's not the drop that does it, but the transition. The Tora and Dart are XC/Trail forks, and not designed to be up in the air a lot. So sooner or later, 6' drops to flat will kill them. But probably after your wrist or collar bone. If you generally keep your wheels on the ground and you stick to modest jumps and jumps with transitions, you should be fine. Suspension on a XC or trail bike is more for keeping the wheel on the ground than soaking up hits.

    Spending more initially tends to be financially smarter - the best deal you'll ever get on components is when they're part of a complete bike. You might still try some more local shops, though, because fitting is really important and if it's been a while, it's hard to do that without someone being able to see you on the bike.

    I don't really believe the car-free thing makes sense for most people, at least outside of cities like Manhattan. But if you can get out of your car for your daily commute, that'll make a huge difference in your carbon footprint, and probably your bills. I still own a car myself, but I mainly use it for days that I need to go someplace far away, or if I'll be getting off work at 3am and don't want to spend an hour, tired, riding my bike in the dark, or if I'm carrying too much stuff to put in a messenger bag. I guess I'm car-lite or something?
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  24. #24
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Posts
    258
    In-case anyone finds this thread from Google or whatever, basically I made a big fuss over nothing. There is a big difference between mountain bikes and the crappy bmx's I was used to for so long. I can get up the hills fine for the most part with no stopping (unless I am fatigued from miles and miles of riding for hours or from a hard work out), but I avoid going up any of the hills pictured. Instead I prefer to go up convoluted side streets to break up the climb into easier sections to handle psychologically.

    Eventually I just went a 2010 Trek 6000 from a bike store:

    Uploaded with ImageShack.us

    I use it for a little of everything like I said, on road, offroad and lately I have gone grocery shopping using my backpack for now(though I have a rear rack which I did not install yet). I took a stopwatch and timed myself going to the local A&P supermarket and it took about 5:52 to get there, I doubt you could beat that time with a car by much.

Members who have read this thread: 0

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

THE SITE

ABOUT MTBR

VISIT US AT

© Copyright 2019 VerticalScope Inc. All rights reserved.