Short and hilly, or long and flat - how to compare for effort?

Discussion in 'General Cycling' started by Adam Lea, Jul 8, 2011.

  1. Adam Lea

    Adam Lea Guest

    If you know the gradient on a hill and its length, is it theoretically
    possible to be able to calculate a flat cycling equivalent i.e. how far
    would you have to cycle on the level to equal the energy expenditure of
    the hill climb?

    The motivation for this is that when cycling from Guildford to work, I
    have a choice of two routes. Route 1 is 10.6 miles with 1175 ft of
    ascent. Route 2 is 13.1 miles with 870 ft of ascent. Which route is
    likely to be easier?
    Adam Lea, Jul 8, 2011
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  2. Adam Lea

    MJP Guest

    This may be of some use.

    MJP, Jul 9, 2011
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  3. Adam Lea

    PhilD Guest

    Please excuse the ignorant question, but if you're starting and
    finishing at the same place, then isn't the overall climb the same?
    That means that one route is either gentler, or the other has more/
    longer/steeper downhill bits.

    PhilD, Jul 9, 2011
  4. In uk.rec.cycling.moderated on Sat, 09 Jul 2011 13:09:16 +0100
    Consider a triangle.

    On one side of the triangle is a hill. You start at one corner of the
    triangle, go up the hill, down the hill, end up at another corner of
    the triangle.

    The other 2 sides of the triangle skirt the hill. They have a little
    climb at one point, but nothing like the hill.

    Is the overall climb the same?

    Zebee Johnstone, Jul 9, 2011
  5. Adam Lea

    Adam Lea Guest

    I'm not starting and finishing at the same place.

    I am currently on jury service in Guildford and when it finishes mid
    afternoon I travel to work to do a couple of hours before heading home
    (work is roughly half way between home and Guildford). It is this
    Guildford-work leg that I am inquiring about. My workplace is on the
    southern edge of the Surrey hills and Guildford is to the north west
    hence I am interested in the route of least effort through the hills.
    Adam Lea, Jul 9, 2011
  6. Adam Lea

    Marc Guest

    Over Mnt Blanc or through the tunnel? Which has the more climb?
    Marc, Jul 9, 2011
  7. Adam Lea

    thirty-six Guest

    Depends on the wind and how much each route is protected. Go the long
    way if you can get the wind on your back though.
    thirty-six, Jul 9, 2011
  8. Adam Lea

    thirty-six Guest

    Or a pub, or an ice-cream seller etc.
    thirty-six, Jul 9, 2011
  9. Adam Lea

    thirty-six Guest

    Rather interesting that you are divulging such information, you seem
    rather approachable. Imagine you were selected for a heavy duty
    criminal case, fancy a grand, or a hole in your knee?
    thirty-six, Jul 9, 2011
  10. Adam Lea

    Rob Morley Guest

    One route could have 100m climb and 90m descent, the other just 10m
    climb, so no they're not the same at all.
    Rob Morley, Jul 9, 2011
  11. Adam Lea

    Rob Morley Guest

    To over-simplify you're comparing 2.5 miles horizontal with 300ft

    2.5 miles on the flat at 15 mph takes 10 minutes, guess it's using
    200W so it takes 120kJ

    The energy needed to raise 90kg 90m is 90*9.81*90 = 80kJ

    So you're better off on the short hilly route. Maybe.
    Rob Morley, Jul 9, 2011
  12. Adam Lea

    Adam Lea Guest

    There is nothing illegal about stating I'm on jury service. How exactly
    do you think I let my boss know, for example?
    Adam Lea, Jul 9, 2011
  13. Adam Lea

    thirty-six Guest

    I was not questioning the legality but the wisdom in it when you don't
    need to tell the world.
    thirty-six, Jul 9, 2011
  14. Adam Lea

    Marc Guest

    If you don't mind hills.
    Marc, Jul 10, 2011
  15. Adam Lea

    Clive George Guest

    We've discovered we don't like long flat stretches :) Hilly riding
    gives lots of changes of pace and position, flat is sitting in the same
    way at the same speed. (Mountainous is also same way at same speed, only
    lots slower, but not really available in the UK :) )
    Clive George, Jul 10, 2011
  16. this isn't twitter, it's usenet....

    Roger Merriman, Jul 10, 2011
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