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Canton Avenue

This topic contains 13 replies, has 9 voices, and was last updated by  RustyRed 10 mos, 1 week.

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Shut_Up_Legs

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Feb 7 2014 at 3:31pm #

Is it possible to ride up Canton Avenue in the saddle the entire ride up? Has anyone ever attempted or actually done it? Curious…

  • This topic was modified 10 mos, 2 weeks ago by  Shut_Up_Legs.

richierich

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Feb 7 2014 at 4:01pm #

I do, because I use a touring bike with very low gear and standing isn’t necessary. Never tried Canton standing, but I imagine if you are able to sit it’s easier to stay stable and maintain traction on both wheels. Just like climbing on a mountain bike (IMO), you sit back and lean forward over the bars to keep the front wheel down. Sitting also allows you to use the butt muscles, which are big and strong.

I’ve always viewed standing to climb as a last-resort kind of thing, though. It may be a personal preference to a point.


Shut_Up_Legs

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Feb 7 2014 at 5:55pm #

I’ve always viewed standing to climb as a last-resort kind of thing, though. It may be a personal preference to a point.

Hey Rich thanks. Me too. But I guess if you are in a race situation (like the Dirty Dozen) you stand to get up it quickly? I’ve watched videos of peeps cycling up that hill and it seems like there are very few who actually sit the entire way up (harder to gain speed I imagine?) Dunno–I seem to prefer riding seated uphill as well but Canton is just so dang steep I wasn’t sure what the best process was… Thanks again for your feedback!


Marko82

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Feb 7 2014 at 6:16pm #

Here’s some reading:
Should You Sit or Stand When Riding Uphill?


Drewbacca

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Feb 7 2014 at 7:16pm #

I used to have a mountain bike, a Gary Fisher Piranha, I hated it because if I would remain seated while going up small hills and the weight distribution would cause me to wheelie with no effort. I don’t know if this is normal for mtbs but it drove me crazy since I don’t tend to stand up for hills.

I guess my point is, to answer the OP, it depends on the geometry of the bike. With the right gearing, most hills are doable from a sitting position in my opinion. If you don’t have a long enough chainstay/wheelbase, that can be an issue of the bike decides to have a mind of its own such as my GF did.


Andrew

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Feb 7 2014 at 10:06pm #

Think I would fall over if I tried to sit on canton. Have climbed it several times and it seems like sitting would be a ridiculous idea. But I guess I don’t have a low enough gear for the sit and spin up canton.


HiddenVariable

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Feb 8 2014 at 2:01am #

during my first dirty dozen attempt, which ended with me riding along with my friends filming it for a documentary, i watched and later saw video (ok, i found it here) of a woman sitting and spinning up canton. so yeah, it can absolutely be done. she was on a hybrid with, one imagines, incredibly low gearing.

the reason everyone (including me) stands when going up canton is that we simply don’t have the gearing required; standing is a must, in order to generate the downward force to turn the pedals over (while pulling up on the handlebars, and also leaning forward, and trying to maintain balance at near-zero speed, and also trying to pick the perfect line with virtually no control–canton is fun and you should try it sometime!).

the downside of sitting is that it becomes much more difficult to distribute your weight forward enough to maintain traction (just ask @reddan, who as tried it many times on a recumbent). at the same time, though, if you can distribute your weight forward enough to maintain traction, sitting is actually much better than standing because you can maintain a consistency of force on the pedals and thus the rear wheel on the ground.

the hard part of canton, for me, is that it’s so difficult to not slip out and lose your momentum. when you’re going up that steep a grade, losing your momentum generally means immediately falling over. being able to maintain a constant force on the pedals, such as you might while sitting up a lesser hill that is slippy from ice or leaves or some such, gives a great advantage.


Shut_Up_Legs

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Feb 8 2014 at 7:52am #

Great article, Thanks Mark!

Drew, Andrew, HiddenVariable, How low is the low gear of which you speak? I am going to try to ride up Canton and I want to be sure I am equipped with as much knowledge before my initial attempt so I can get a good grasp on the best way to get up it w/o biting the bricks…

And thank you all for some really great advice. I do sincerely appreciate it in my efforts to become a better cyclist. Your expertise is much obliged.


steevo

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Feb 8 2014 at 8:30am #

Out of the saddle, in the drops. 20 minutes at a time.


Shut_Up_Legs

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Feb 8 2014 at 8:36am #

Yeah, but can they climb Canton? ;)

Thanks Stevo. Incredible. Will watch this vid many times. Wish I had legs like that. Wouldn’t have to tell mine to “shut up” so often. :)


edmonds59

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Feb 8 2014 at 8:53am #

Spectacular.

But, as usual, it makes me want to Taser spectators in the balls.


Drewbacca

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Feb 8 2014 at 5:28pm #

Shut_Up_Legs wrote:Drew, Andrew, HiddenVariable, How low is the low gear of which you speak?

Without specifically trying to ride sitting down on Canton, I don’t know off hand. I’m more than happy to find out next time I’m in town though. :)

I would certainly be in my 30t up front and somewhere between 25-32 in the back. Unloaded and just carrying my excess body weight (195# at this time of year), I’ve yet to hit a hill that I’ve needed to bail on due to not enough gearing… there have been times where I’ve stood up though, and I’m not sure where my gradient limit is without an empirical study.

1:1 has been good for me, and I’m spin-happy. Whatever the case, I’ll do some testing next time I’m in PA (in IL at the moment), and give you a more specific answer.


Shut_Up_Legs

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Feb 8 2014 at 6:27pm #

Thanks bro! Appreciate it!


RustyRed

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Feb 8 2014 at 7:14pm #

edmonds59 wrote:Spectacular.

But, as usual, it makes me want to Taser spectators in the balls.

Holy crap. Agreed. That race is half ‘race’ and the other half is surviving the weaving motorcycles, team vehicles and spectators jumping in your way.

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