Attempting Mt Buller (my first "real" climb) .. Level of fitness needed and any other insights/expectations

looseleftie
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Attempting Mt Buller (my first "real" climb) .. Level of fitness needed and any other insights/expectations

Postby looseleftie » Wed Nov 07, 2018 9:32 pm

Hello,

I am wishing to push myself that little further , and attempt a HC climb of Mt Buller.. Have not done any real serious climb before, and middle aged bloke (in good nic :) ) albeit..

Have done the Dandenongs (1 in 20 and onto the summit) and Arthurs Seat.. Have decent, or at least reasonable fitness, riding a Giant with an 11-28 cassette..

What should I expect? Can u recommend either a basic fitness training program, or at least some guidelines for what to expect, or any other insights into how to tackle one of the 7 peaks... What climbs might aid in training for Mt Buller?

Very keen, but have limited time, usually ride around 200km a week..

Any thoughts and opinions are most sincerely appreciated.
Cheers

chriso_29er
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Re: Attempting Mt Buller (my first "real" climb) .. Level of fitness needed and any other insights/expectations

Postby chriso_29er » Wed Nov 07, 2018 9:59 pm

I haven't riden it myself, but looking at the climb profile would be a reasonably basic one to climb. Nice and steady the whole way up. Just need the right gearing and then the training to do a sustained effort for a good hour and a half.

I recently rode hotham which has a couple of very steep points one being particularly taxing as its right at the end of the climb. For training I did repeats of climbs like the 1/20 and Devils elbow and then eventually did a crucifix which is a climb of Mt Dandenong from all 4 sides in one ride. 1/20, The Wall, Devils elbow and Inverness rd.
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Derny Driver
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Re: Attempting Mt Buller (my first "real" climb) .. Level of fitness needed and any other insights/expectations

Postby Derny Driver » Wed Nov 07, 2018 11:02 pm

looseleftie wrote:.... Have decent, or at least reasonable fitness, riding a Giant with an 11-28 cassette..

Cassette choice is very important on a climb. Really important. When I raced Tour of Bright in the late 90s the final stage was up Mt Buffalo. After the first year of alternating between the 21 and the 19 tooth cog the whole way up, I returned the following year with a cassette I'd made up with a 20 tooth cog. These days the Tour of Bright final stage is Hotham. My brother made a frankenstein cassette from a Junior cassette, it was 16-29 or something like that. Gave him heaps of gearing choices on the climb provided he could get to the base of the climb in the 53-16, which he did as the bunch didnt go too mad on the way out.
Its beyond me why manufacturers sell bikes to middle aged men of average fitness, set up with 11 tooth cogs on the cassettes. I raced A grade for many years and the chain went on the 12 tooth cog just a handful of times ...downhill with a tailwind in a fast bunch I think. Won dozens of bunch sprints using the 14 and 13 cogs. Anyone who says they need a 53-11 needs to get their hand off it.
Miche make a 12-29 Shimano compatible cassette. And Campag make a 12-29. Its only 1 tooth but I think you will need a 29 so that you can stay seated for most of the climb.
It takes 2 and a half minutes to swap a cassette. Smart cyclists have a variety of options, and run the cassette that suits the terrain. Why would you ride around the flatlands on 11-32 with huge gaps between gears when a 12-23 is all that is needed. Or try to ride up a mountain on a 12-25 because that was what was on the wheel when you bought it?
Have some options. 6% climb like Buller, 29 granny gear. 8-10% climb, a 32. Flat terrain with a few undulations, 25. Time trial, 21 cog max.
My son will be riding the Tour of Bright this year on a custom Miche Primato cassette for the hill finish stages:
14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 20, 22, 24, 26, 28, 30
Looks good hey.

Anyway, thats my contribution.
"Think about gearing"

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Duck!
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Re: Attempting Mt Buller (my first "real" climb) .. Level of fitness needed and any other insights/expectations

Postby Duck! » Wed Nov 07, 2018 11:21 pm

Mt Donna Buang is the closest biggish climb to Melbourne and similar to what you'll find at Mt Buller. Both climbs are about 17km in length, although the vertical gain on Buller is about 200m more, so slightly steeper on average. From memory Buller is a more consistent gradient, while Donna is a bit more variable; it kicks initially out of Warburton, before settling a little for several km before another kick up to the halfway point at Cement Creek where the Donna Buang road turns off fom the Acheron Way. There's a dead flat for a few hundred metres either side of the turn off before the climb resumes, fairly steady for 8-odd km, then it gives one final kick for the last km.
I had a thought, but it got run over as it crossed my mind.

Cyclophiliac
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Re: Attempting Mt Buller (my first "real" climb) .. Level of fitness needed and any other insights/expectations

Postby Cyclophiliac » Thu Nov 08, 2018 8:26 am

looseleftie,

From what you described of your previous rides, you should be able to handle Mt Buller with no problems.

Regards,

Victor.

madmacca
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Re: Attempting Mt Buller (my first "real" climb) .. Level of fitness needed and any other insights/expectations

Postby madmacca » Thu Nov 08, 2018 12:08 pm

looseleftie wrote:Hello,

I am wishing to push myself that little further , and attempt a HC climb of Mt Buller.. Have not done any real serious climb before, and middle aged bloke (in good nic :) ) albeit..

Have done the Dandenongs (1 in 20 and onto the summit) and Arthurs Seat.. Have decent, or at least reasonable fitness, riding a Giant with an 11-28 cassette..

What should I expect? Can u recommend either a basic fitness training program, or at least some guidelines for what to expect, or any other insights into how to tackle one of the 7 peaks... What climbs might aid in training for Mt Buller?

Very keen, but have limited time, usually ride around 200km a week..

Any thoughts and opinions are most sincerely appreciated.
Cheers


[url]theclimbingcyclist.com[/url] is an excellent guide to the climbs themselves. https://www.ridehighcountry.com.au/7-peaks/ also is a good guide and has some basic training tips.

If you are riding 200 km a week, you should have the basic fitness necessary to climb Buller. It just then comes down to pacing and gearing. I don't think I could put the gearing issue better than Derny above. As for pacing, don't go out too hard - try to keep it in zone 3-4 all the way.

As an intermediate step, I'd recommend doing 2 x 20 minute climbs. If you have done the 1 in 20, continue on to Monbulk, then back via The Wall. The Wall is slightly steeper, and the 2nd climb will expose any errors in pacing. If you can do that successfully, then you are ready for Buller.

looseleftie
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Re: Attempting Mt Buller (my first "real" climb) .. Level of fitness needed and any other insights/expectations

Postby looseleftie » Thu Nov 08, 2018 12:38 pm

Thank you all for taking the time to answer my original post... Sincerely appreciated!

I will keep devise a training program that will feature more verticals to complete a couple days per week..

Will also look into a new cassette maybe 32, as my existing one does need to be replaced pretty soon.. Makes sense to me at least.

djw47
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Re: Attempting Mt Buller (my first "real" climb) .. Level of fitness needed and any other insights/expectations

Postby djw47 » Thu Nov 08, 2018 12:42 pm

looseleftie wrote:Hello,

I am wishing to push myself that little further , and attempt a HC climb of Mt Buller.. Have not done any real serious climb before, and middle aged bloke (in good nic :) ) albeit..

Have done the Dandenongs (1 in 20 and onto the summit) and Arthurs Seat.. Have decent, or at least reasonable fitness, riding a Giant with an 11-28 cassette..

What should I expect? Can u recommend either a basic fitness training program, or at least some guidelines for what to expect, or any other insights into how to tackle one of the 7 peaks... What climbs might aid in training for Mt Buller?

Very keen, but have limited time, usually ride around 200km a week..

Any thoughts and opinions are most sincerely appreciated.
Cheers


You'll be fine, Buller is actually one of the easier climbs in the Victorian HCs. It's only in the last 500m or so that it gets steep - once you reach the village, up til that point it's a relatively steady gradient with some false flats. I like riding it because of the numerous hairpins and switch backs - you can see the progress you're making by looking down onto the road you've just come up.

Fitness-wise, if you're riding 200km a week, it'll be easy, just take it steady, don't go out too hard at the start and keep something in the tank for the last pinch.

You'll be fine on 11-28.
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nemo57
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Re: Attempting Mt Buller (my first "real" climb) .. Level of fitness needed and any other insights/expectations

Postby nemo57 » Thu Nov 08, 2018 9:40 pm

Derny Driver wrote: Cassette choice is very important on a climb. Really important. When I raced Tour of Bright in the late 90s the final stage was up Mt Buffalo. After the first year of alternating between the 21 and the 19 tooth cog the whole way up, I returned the following year with a cassette I'd made up with a 20 tooth cog. ...


Gordon Hill tells me that he put together climbing gear for Bulldog Besanko: 12-20. You hard men ...

ausFred
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Re: Attempting Mt Buller (my first "real" climb) .. Level of fitness needed and any other insights/expectations

Postby ausFred » Thu Nov 08, 2018 10:20 pm

djw47 wrote:
You'll be fine, Buller is actually one of the easier climbs in the Victorian HCs. It's only in the last 500m or so that it gets steep - once you reach the village, up til that point it's a relatively steady gradient with some false flats. I like riding it because of the numerous hairpins and switch backs - you can see the progress you're making by looking down onto the road you've just come up.

Fitness-wise, if you're riding 200km a week, it'll be easy, just take it steady, don't go out too hard at the start and keep something in the tank for the last pinch.

You'll be fine on 11-28.


This advice is spot on. Did it on my Surly LHT in runners and shorts this past Autumn, only the last 500m hurt me. I had 36,32 gearing and do about 150ks a week with very little climbing. You'll be fine.

lone rider
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Re: Attempting Mt Buller (my first "real" climb) .. Level of fitness needed and any other insights/expectations

Postby lone rider » Fri Nov 09, 2018 12:33 am

If you are doing Arthur's Seat on a 28 your gearing will be fine. Take a jacket for the descent.

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g-boaf
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Re: Attempting Mt Buller (my first "real" climb) .. Level of fitness needed and any other insights/expectations

Postby g-boaf » Fri Nov 09, 2018 6:01 am

looseleftie wrote:Hello,

I am wishing to push myself that little further , and attempt a HC climb of Mt Buller.. Have not done any real serious climb before, and middle aged bloke (in good nic :) ) albeit..

Have done the Dandenongs (1 in 20 and onto the summit) and Arthurs Seat.. Have decent, or at least reasonable fitness, riding a Giant with an 11-28 cassette..

What should I expect? Can u recommend either a basic fitness training program, or at least some guidelines for what to expect, or any other insights into how to tackle one of the 7 peaks... What climbs might aid in training for Mt Buller?

Very keen, but have limited time, usually ride around 200km a week..

Any thoughts and opinions are most sincerely appreciated.
Cheers


Sounds like 11-28 will be fine. Just do more repeats of hills and if you have a trainer, do multiple long intervals (say 2x30min) not at absolute full intensity but enough that they feel hard near the end. Let enough rest happen for recovery and you'll do okay.

That is what I do to prepare for riding HC climbs overseas- especially given we don't have anything like them close to where I live.

Calvin27
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Re: Attempting Mt Buller (my first "real" climb) .. Level of fitness needed and any other insights/expectations

Postby Calvin27 » Fri Nov 09, 2018 9:12 am

Duck! wrote:Mt Donna Buang is the closest biggish climb to Melbourne and similar to what you'll find at Mt Buller. Both climbs are about 17km in length, although the vertical gain on Buller is about 200m more, so slightly steeper on average. From memory Buller is a more consistent gradient, while Donna is a bit more variable; it kicks initially out of Warburton, before settling a little for several km before another kick up to the halfway point at Cement Creek where the Donna Buang road turns off fom the Acheron Way. There's a dead flat for a few hundred metres either side of the turn off before the climb resumes, fairly steady for 8-odd km, then it gives one final kick for the last km.


Cheers, Done donna a few times, just never tried Buller - might give it a shot this season.

On a side note though, I rekon hill repeats can only help so much. My first real climb was macedon and I don't think hill repeats helped as much as I would have liked as the downhill gives a short but restorative rest for the next repeat. On longer climbs you don't get that rest lol.
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