Climbing a 32% grade!

I’m going to try this! First on my MUni, then my coker, probably with 152mm cranks. Although it looks insanely steep, it’s more so in person! And I can’t wait to try it! :smiley:

You’ll notice all the bikers are zig zagging their way up in lowest gear. I want to try it in a straight line, but that may be wishful thinking!

As far as I’m concerned there is little point to seeking out a steep road just to lower its effective gradient by zig zagging. The problem is that most bikes do not have low enough gearing for such climbs.

I think a trials uni would give you the best chance.

Most bikes would likely be passed by a good climber on a uni. I think I could probably make it on a trials, but I want to try at least my 24" Muni, then would really like to see if I could do it on my 36er! I’m sure it would be a standing-on-pedals-half-revving thing most of the way up, but whatever technique gets you to the top is all that matters!

Here’s another famous LA street not far from Fargo St in Los Angeles. This one is 33% grade, and longer! As usual. these streets are a lot steeper in person, but even these pics look pretty intimidating! In any case, I’ll be there bright and early tomorrow morning to give it a go! :slight_smile: (And film it as well)

Here’s a bus that got stuck on Baxter!

And here’s a guy running up both Baxter and Fargo. Gives you a pretty good sense of the severity of the 33% grades! :astonished: I read that Prefontaine trained on these hills.

They’re both located in the Silverlake district of Los Angeles, CA.

Wow. I struggle up a 20 percent grade road that’s paved (24" with 167 cranks). I can’t even imagine a 32 percent grade. Do they allow zig-zagging in the competition? It would be “fun” to try. This morning’s ride was really fun. The hill climbs were much easier than usual. I had my dogs pulling me uphill. I wonder if they would consider that cheating :p?

Terry, will you have handlebars on your 24"?

This will be far and away the steepest ascent I’ve ever attempted…at least on a smooth paved road. I won’t use a handle bar just a lift handle on both 24 & 36er for the climb. I think zig zagging is ok as long as you don’t dismount and keep going uphill. It is timed, so the straighter your line going up-if you can make it-the faster you will summit the hill.

This should put the insane steepness of a 33% grade into clear perspective! It’s second from the top. Anything even around 1:5 is plenty challenging. :astonished:

I admit my ignorance. Is a “lift handle” the seat handle or something different?

Pffftt…zig zagging?

Tony Melton rides up the Worlds Steepest Street on the SINZ Unitour:

I’ve ridden a uni up a 48% grade… that was 10 feet long:p

Oh, the since of achievement, the pride, ahhhh, ahhh :roll_eyes:


I’ve run hills like that. It’s intense training, for sure.

EDIT: GismoDuck, HTML won’t work :roll_eyes:

Ouch, I can’t seem to embed a youtube video

Looks like a trials uni in the pic, which would make climbing the real steep stuff a lot easier, than on a 36er, for sure! Did Tony ever make the climb on a 36er? But that still looks like a challenging climb on any uni. Do you know the stats on the grade and length?

Gilby has it programmed so that you can just post the link and it automatically puts the right tags to embed it.

It’s kind of annoying sometimes, since you can’t post a raw link without putting the #related/whatever extensions that Youtube uses.


nvm, he changed it back so that the url tags work

I’ve ridden up a 13% grade hill on my coker, it was a little bit hard, but easily do-able(with 144mm cranks). I can’t believe a 33% grade hill!

Fixed! Thanks :stuck_out_tongue:

Muni-addict- I don’t think any of us made it up on a 36’er.

I think it will be possible on a 29" though, with a stiff handle, long cranks, clipless pedals, and a bit of zig-zagging.

When I lived down the road from Baldwin Street, I used to ride up there all the time on the MTB. Before that, Roadies used it as a training ride to see who could grind up there on a RoadBike. It was a lot easier on a MTB than on a 20" Uni! But a runner would beat a bike anyday.

Roland and I climb a really steep hill for training on our Cokers, but it still only maxes out at 23% grade or something.

MuniAddict, $25 says you can’t climb it straight up on a 36er. It’s just too steep. I’ll bet $10 on a 29er, $5 on a 24", and for a 20", I’ll wager $2. Take the $2 - easy money! (Not! - That hill is gonna be hard, dude.)

Ken: I’ll also bet US$10 to any bloke who makes your NZ Steepest in the World on a 29" or bigger wheel. Tony is a world-class unicyclist, strong, lightweight (a key in hill climbs), and most importantly, he’s gnarly. He was barely turning the 20" over half rev at a time. I’d venture a 29 wouldn’t be possible.

You’ve given me a challenge to live up to :smiley:

Actually, the problem for many of us was the fact that we were not using our own Uni’s. We only had 36’ers for the SINZ tour, so many of the attempts were on borrowed 20" Unis. Some were ok, some were flexy with no handle and squishy tyres. I’m pretty sure Tony made it up on a 24".

Simple: 20" with 260mm cranks. :roll_eyes:

I can see the fun of doing this as a race/time trial, or maybe for charity, but other than that I’m not sure. The world is full of unpaved hills that are as difficult or even more so. Then again, I bust a gut to do a local straight line hill, just because it was there, so who am I to say?

Go for it.:slight_smile:

The steepest I rode was 16% gradiant, and that was difficult. Mind you, I was on a 36er with 114mm cranks…