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  1. #1
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    how high BPM is safe?

    I ride a fs mountain bike and i do steep climbs and long downhiling. I usually don't need to stop to rest (i usually go 20-60km) but when i am climbing very steep paths, my heart rate is very high, like 180bpm (i am saying about continuous climb from 500m altitude to 1100m). I do not feel "tired" (i mean, i can continue without having to stop, but my bpm is high in steep climbs). Is this normal?

  2. #2
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    Not a problem, Heart will keep ticking. I've never used a HRM so I can't talk from experience, but the other week a friend of mine averaged 185 for an hour race. You won't have any problems until you hit your MHR at which point you can't go any faster and you'll probably pass out. You obviously are no where near that.

  3. #3
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    I saw...

    Quote Originally Posted by witcomb
    Not a problem, Heart will keep ticking. I've never used a HRM so I can't talk from experience, but the other week a friend of mine averaged 185 for an hour race. You won't have any problems until you hit your MHR at which point you can't go any faster and you'll probably pass out. You obviously are no where near that.
    195 BPM once on a hard climb when I was hammering to keep up with a group. I was nearly about to pass out, and had to stop on the trailside and chirp out my breakfast.

    There is a formula flaoting around of 220 minus your age, but that is not exactly accurate. I'm no doctor, but FWIU, you will cramp and/or pass out before your ticker explodes, assuming you have no real cardiac or blood pressure issues.

  4. #4
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    Hit MHR last week

    Quote Originally Posted by stavpal
    I ride a fs mountain bike and i do steep climbs and long downhiling. I usually don't need to stop to rest (i usually go 20-60km) but when i am climbing very steep paths, my heart rate is very high, like 180bpm (i am saying about continuous climb from 500m altitude to 1100m). I do not feel "tired" (i mean, i can continue without having to stop, but my bpm is high in steep climbs). Is this normal?
    It depends on what is your maximum heart rate (MHR) is, but will not be unusual if your MHR is 190 or higher. I have been riding seriously for about 1 year now, last week I was in a race in the sport class. On the last strech there was a gradual climb and then a long flat trail before the end of the race. I knew that there was a rider before the climb behind me so I sprinted as fast as I could up the hill, then I looked behind me and the rider was getting closer to me in the flat area. I sprinted again to the end of the race to maintain my position. Once I passed the finish line, I felt I was going to pass out and had to stop on the side of my truck and hold myself for 5 minutes. It was a hot (92F) and humid day, my friend had to put water over my head to cool me down. When I looked at my heart monitor max it had reached 190 bpm, my prior MHR that I had achieved was 183. During the race I have seen the bpm go up to 182 in the climbs.

  5. #5
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    Safe depends on the person's unique physiology

    Quote Originally Posted by stavpal
    I ride a fs mountain bike and i do steep climbs and long downhiling. I usually don't need to stop to rest (i usually go 20-60km) but when i am climbing very steep paths, my heart rate is very high, like 180bpm (i am saying about continuous climb from 500m altitude to 1100m). I do not feel "tired" (i mean, i can continue without having to stop, but my bpm is high in steep climbs). Is this normal?
    Everyone is different, and as such everyone will have a unique capacity to work at various HR's, and under various activities. I race 2x/week - once a week in a 30km road time trial, and once a week in a 12km MTB race. In the road time trial my average HR is usually 185ish, with a max of 190-192. The MTB race is a different story though...it is common for me to have an average HR of 192-195, and my max HR's are always over 200. I've maxed out at 207 this year.

    I'm 32, and in good (not fantastic) shape. Using the 220-age formula, my max should be 188, but I quite often go 200+. The formula is obviously a loose estimate, and doesn't take into account lung volume, ability to buffer lactic acid, or efficiency in which your body transfers and utilizes oxygen. Some people may pass out working at HR's of 185 because their body is running into an oxygen debt. I can ride above 190 for a few hours without going anaerobic. I don't consider myself to be in great cardio shape, but somehow my body is good at transporting and utilizing oxygen...must be genetic, because it's not from hard work!!!

    My wife is in incredible shape (triathlete and marathoner), and has a genetically large lung volume which lets her work at high heart rates before going anaerobic. In a MTB race she will often reach HR's of 195-200, with averages between 185-190.

    Different people have different buffering capacities, and therefore can work at different heart rates before going anaerobic, and consequently passing out or having to stop. A major indicator of this efficiency is not just how high you can work at, but how quickly your heart rate returns to normal.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Viento
    It depends on what is your maximum heart rate (MHR) is, but will not be unusual if your MHR is 190 or higher. I have been riding seriously for about 1 year now, last week I was in a race in the sport class. On the last strech there was a gradual climb and then a long flat trail before the end of the race. I knew that there was a rider before the climb behind me so I sprinted as fast as I could up the hill, then I looked behind me and the rider was getting closer to me in the flat area. I sprinted again to the end of the race to maintain my position. Once I passed the finish line, I felt I was going to pass out and had to stop on the side of my truck and hold myself for 5 minutes. It was a hot (92F) and humid day, my friend had to put water over my head to cool me down. When I looked at my heart monitor max it had reached 190 bpm, my prior MHR that I had achieved was 183. During the race I have seen the bpm go up to 182 in the climbs.

    You have not truly found your max heart rate. If you wish to find your max heart rate you need to ungergo a stress test (which is a test that forces you to ride to absolute exhaustion in about 20 minutes of continuously increased effort). Your MHR is most certainly above this 190 your achieved. Maximum Heart Rate is the absolute highest beats per minute your heart is capable of achieving.

  7. #7
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    well, sometimes when i climb it reaches above 190-200 (i don;t have a heart monitor but i measure it roughly). I don;t need to stop climbing, just go slower. I mean, i do not feel like i'm gonna pass out, but sometimes i feel it's very fast (>200). But i can continue without stopping (my max is 85km mountain biking and 7.5 hours - non stop). So i guess it's ok.

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