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gradients...how do you know?

hi all,
back from a business trip and here again to bore you all with newbie questions!
here's the one for today: how on earth do you 'measure' gradients? there are all those training programs and drills in mags talking about gradients but i have no idea how to know what gradient i am on at any given time...
btw does anyone know what gradient is the pentonville road from king's cross to angel? that would at least give me an indication...
a mag also suggested getting a feel of different gradients on a gym bike but the ones at my gym are from the flintstones' years so they don't show gradient...
maybe there are bike computers that calculate your gradient as you ride?


  • Jack HughesJack Hughes Posts: 1,262
    How many along, how many up - how much you go up in a given distance.

    If you go forward 4 metres and up 1, that is 1 in 4. Nowadays in is expressed as a percentage - 1/4 = 25%. That is a steep hill If you have to go forward 10 metres, before you go up 1, that is a lot less steep. 1/10 is 10%.

    SOHCAHTOA baby!
  • shadowone1shadowone1 Posts: 1,408
    Ah the old triganometry equations!!! numbers!!! I like numbers!!!

    Or if you know a land surveyor get him to bring along his total station and gps. He can then tell you very quickly how big a gradient is!
  • TrisurferTrisurfer Posts: 228
    If you go 'map my run'

    it tells you gradient on there. just mark the hill in question and go to tools I think.
  • risris Posts: 1,002
    i usually refer to mapmytri (same place as mmrun), although i have noticed that it seems to aggregate the gradients or something like that that i don't know the words for. this means that if you map out a 30mile ride that takes in a 12% hill it comes up as shallower than mapping the same hill over 2miles.

    my garmin allegedly picks up gradients and i can view them alongside the elevation graphs in sportstracks. i have no idea if it is correct or not, it looks like some sort of voodoo.
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