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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hey all. I've recently got back into mtbing after a forced 6 year layoff. I'm in Central California (San Jose / Morgan Hill) and I'm getting out a couple times a week.

It seems every ride I tackle lately nets about 3k feet of total ascent, be it over a 5, 10 or 15 mile ride. For example, last weekend I hit Wilder and over a seven mile loop we climbed almost 2800ft. The weekend before was Quicksilver and over almost 12 miles we climbed nearly 3100 feet.

I'm not complaining. Its all good and I love the challenge. But I'm starting to wonder is this just what I can expect when I go out? Is that sort of climbing par for the course? Or have I just picked a few particularly hilly trails? Or on the other hand, maybe I haven't seen nuthin yet?

I guess I'm looking for a little perspective. Thanks guys.
 

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ummm....your computer is off.....way off....

a standard loop at QS is roughly 1500 footies...and i don't know if it's possible to do a 7 mile loop in Wilder close to 3K'....

but if you want other trails to seem less 'hilly' go riding at Henry Coe for a few weeks...that's a place where you can hit those total ascents in short mileage :eek: (i'm not kidding...totally serious)...then all other trails seem flat in comparison...

EDIT - i just read that you are reading your total elevation change (which is up + down).....as a general rule when posting footies during a ride it's the 'total ascent'.....sooooo, to answer your question, yes....these types of climbs are par for course.....fun isn't it!

JasonWilliam said:
Hey all. I've recently got back into mtbing after a forced 6 year layoff. I'm in Central California (San Jose / Morgan Hill) and I'm getting out a couple times a week.

It seems every ride I tackle lately nets about 3k feet of elevation change, be it over a 5, 10 or 15 mile ride. For example, last weekend I hit Wilder and over a seven mile loop we climbed almost 2800ft. The weekend before was Quicksilver and over almost 12 miles we climbed nearly 3100 feet.

I'm not complaining. Its all good and I love the challenge. But I'm starting to wonder is this just what I can expect when I go out? Is that sort of climbing par for the course? Or have I just picked a few particularly hilly trails? Or on the other hand, maybe I haven't seen nuthin yet?

I guess I'm looking for a little perspective. Thanks guys.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hi Chum. Thanks for the reply. I did mean to say total ascent. I'm using a Garmin Forerunner. Check it out:

(click it)


It sounded like a big number to me too. But the thing has never been off before. Does that look right to you?
 

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JasonWilliam said:
Hi Chum. Thanks for the reply. I did mean to say total ascent. I'm using a Garmin Forerunner. Check it out:

(click it)


It sounded like a big number to me too. But the thing has never been off before. Does that look right to you?
no....that number still sounds way big for Wilder in 7 miles....like 2X big.....although it prolly feels like 3K' ascent ;)

maybe someone else can chime in with better numbers.....i removed all gadgets from my bikes after i stopped racing....so i'm going by memory/feel
 

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How are you measuring elevation change, and total climbing, and how should you?
Elevation change could be high elevation minus low elevation, but total climbing would be the sum of every elevation gain throughout the ride. And if you end where you start, total climbing should equal total decending, right?
I have found that what people say about total climb varies greatly, I suppose because of the way their computer or GPS calculates it. Topofusion gives many options for climbing analysis, bilinear interpolation (huh?), disregarding changes of less than 10 feet (or whatever size change you choose), using the GPS data or the map data, etc.
I have found that 2500 foot total climbing based on my GPS and topofusion, can be listed by someone elase as being 10,000 feet (on singletracks.com). I have no idea how it could vary that much, but obviously when you talk about it, you have to be clear about what you mean.
 

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Jason,

Which forerunner are you using? Some have a barometric altimeter, which is much more accurate than the satellite derived elevation changes computed by the non-barometric models.

-D
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Hah true that regarding Wilder. Felt more like 5k :p
CHUM said:
yah - this one is definitely around 1500' total ascent - it was my after work 'workout' ride....i've done that loop bazillions of times....
Ok now that is weird. Looks like this guy is more inline with what my numbers say: http://www.mtbguru.com/trip/show_static/4199-quicksilver

Makes sense too because we did a few up down's on top there that might account for the additional ascent I show.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Diesel~ said:
Jason,

Which forerunner are you using? Some have a barometric altimeter, which is much more accurate than the satellite derived elevation changes computed by the non-barometric models.

-D
Hmm good thought. I've got the 405 that does not have a barometric altimeter. Do ya think it could be an order of 2x off? I would expect a couple dozen feet, maybe, but not 1500feet? Strange for sure...
 

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The numbers on the chart don't seem to match the graph at all. Break it down by each mile and compare - they're almost double.
Try uploading the routes to Strava or Garmin Connect and see how they compare.
 

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JasonWilliam said:
Hah true that regarding Wilder. Felt more like 5k :pOk now that is weird. Looks like this guy is more inline with what my numbers say: http://www.mtbguru.com/trip/show_static/4199-quicksilver

Makes sense too because we did a few up down's on top there that might account for the additional ascent I show.
sorry...that guy is way off also....even if you account for the additional 4 roadie miles into Hacienda entrance....

the quicksilver loop you posted (the same as the link you provided) is pretty close to 1500' total ascent.

There is no way i could pop off multiple sub-hour laps there on my SS in a row* if it was 2800 footies per lap.....i believe i would have a couple sponsors.....:D

* when i was actually in shape....ugh....
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
twindaddy said:
The numbers on the chart don't seem to match the graph at all. Break it down by each mile and compare - they're almost double.
Try uploading the routes to Strava or Garmin Connect and see how they compare.
Good thought... I assume you're thinking I might be able to compare with other riders? I'll try that for the Wilder ride. 'Cause the chart and graph are screenshots from Garmin's Training Center overlayed on top of a screenshot of Google Earth.

Although just eyeballing it, say lap 3 for example, compare that with the chart between miles 2 and 3 and I'd buy the numbers. At least as they correspond with the graph.
 

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Numbers shmumbers.

Bottom line: Yes, you should expect climbs like that. (Or like CHUM said, if you go to Coe, expect more/steeper climbing.)
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
CHUM said:
sorry...that guy is way off also....even if you account for the additional 4 roadie miles into Hacienda entrance....

the quicksilver loop you posted (the same as the link you provided) is pretty close to 1500' total ascent.

There is no way i could pop off multiple sub-hour laps there on my SS in a row* if it was 2800 footies per lap.....i believe i would have a couple sponsors.....:D

* when i was actually in shape....ugh....
LOL I dunno man. You might be surprised. That 3k number jives with measurements taken by one of the other riders I was with, previously. Did you do the whole loop? Where you end up down by the reservoir then have to climb back out and up?
 

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Plim said:
Numbers shmumbers.

Bottom line: Yes, you should expect climbs like that. (Or like CHUM said, if you go to Coe, expect more/steeper climbing.)
i remember when i actually 'liked' Coe.....now it just plain scares me....
[as i shuttle off to eat a candy bar]
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Plim said:
Numbers shmumbers.

Bottom line: Yes, you should expect climbs like that. (Or like CHUM said, if you go to Coe, expect more/steeper climbing.)
Fair enough. And, given the heart rates shown on those two charts I posted, I think I'll avoid Coe for now. I've got some improving to do, before then :D
 

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JasonWilliam said:
LOL I dunno man. You might be surprised. That 3k number jives with measurements taken by one of the other riders I was with, previously. Did you do the whole loop? Where you end up down by the reservoir then have to climb back out and up?
yup....it's only 1500 footies....not 3000...sorry....

i have literally done that loop (both clockwise and counter-clockwise) around 100 times...

if you want to reach the 3000+ footie mark start a Hacienda entrance....climb to top and drop down into Sierra Azul (Woods Fireroad) - climb up and over Mt Sombrosa (close to that lil' box on the highest peak) and then make your way to Kennedy.....then back up and down Hicks (road) back to hacienda....
 

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That does seem like an "elevated" elevation. Sorry....that was a weak joke.
Here is a ride I did a while ago which was just over 7 miles and around 2000ft at Wilder. I have used both the 305 and now the 500 which both use built in barometers.

http://www.strava.com/rides/130277
 

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oops, sorry - my ride was a little longer than 7 miles and we did multiple loops inside the park in some places so yeah - that number is really high on your forerunner.
 
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