The Dirty Dozen - A 37% Grade Hill Climb!

J.R.

Well-Known Member
A big cycling event takes place every year in Pennsylvania following Thanksgiving and part of the event includes the steepest public street in the world, Canton Avenue. Canton Avenue is a 37% grade hill and is one of thirteen hills in the Dirty Dozen bicycle competition. The event did contain just 12 hills, but they found one more to make a baker's dozen.

I know, we hear it all the time, "I ride a 40% grade hill and I need a 2000 watt ebike!". Well not true! There aren't any 40% grade streets in the world.

The first video is a professionally made documentary and a bit long at 27 minutes, but very well done and worth the time to watch while sitting in your warm easy chair, digesting all that turkey and stuffing.

A teaser pic of Canton Ave.:




Just your average Saturday afternoon bike rideo_O:confused:

Yes I live in Pennsylvania and no I've never taken part in this event:)

For the fatbike lovers:

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A shorter professional, promotional video, 4 minutes:


You know a street is steep when the sidewalk is stepped with a handrail!
 
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JoePah

Well-Known Member
I know my single speed wouldn't work.... Canton ave on my 10 speed sounds like a challenge.. But 13 hills? NFW!
 

J.R.

Well-Known Member
I know my single speed wouldn't work.... Canton ave on my 10 speed sounds like a challenge.. But 13 hills? NFW!
I live on a 2.2 mile 800 foot climb with the most severe part being 18% grade and it can't compare to Canton! But I know what you mean about a challenge! I'm old enough to know better, but young enough to do it anyway:rolleyes:
 

J.R.

Well-Known Member
37% grade is crazy steep. I think the most I can do without assistance is about a 16% grade. And it's frankly hard, even with a 21 speed bike. And your Canton Ave has cobblestones too...:eek:
Yeah cobblestones... slippery even when dry!

I seriously doubt ebikes are allowed on race day, I have been on the lookout for a video of one doing this course though. We have some hills here, this one is in my township.
 

EddieJ

Well-Known Member
I thought that Baldwin Street in New Zealand was in the Guinness book of World Records for being the steepest street in the world.

Crazy steep whatever. :)
 
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J.R.

Well-Known Member
I thought that Baldwin Street in New Zealand was in the Guinness book of World Records for being the steepest street in the world.

Crazy steep whatever. :)
The hill issue was addressed by the two links in the opening paragraph of this thread. Baldwin St, 35% and Canton St. 37%. I didn't think it worth going into because Canton St. isn't really the toughest hill in this event, just notable. There are several 30% grades that are much longer and include switchbacks. As you say, crazy steep!
 

Temecularider

New Member
I know my single speed wouldn't work.... Canton ave on my 10 speed sounds like a challenge.. But 13 hills? NFW!
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Well, maybe not a street, but for sure a paved public road is the Waipio Valley access road in Hawaii, and its right at 45 degrees! Only low range 4wd vehicles allowed, but it IS a paved road used by the public to access the beautiful beach at its base. I suspect NO bicycle has climbed it.

I have been up and down it, and its scary for sure. I would likely not walk it now on a dare.
 

J.R.

Well-Known Member
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Well, maybe not a street, but for sure a paved public road is the Waipio Valley access road in Hawaii, and its right at 45 degrees! Only low range 4wd vehicles allowed, but it IS a paved road used by the public to access the beautiful beach at its base. I suspect NO bicycle has climbed it.

I have been up and down it, and its scary for sure. I would likely not walk it now on a dare.
A noteworthy hill for sure, but it's officially listed as a 25% grade. Often gradient and degree are mixed up, a 45 degree hill would be 100% grade.

I would guess the views are much better in the Waipio Valley than in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, but that's just a guess;)
 

Temecularider

New Member
A noteworthy hill for sure, but it's officially listed as a 25% grade. Often gradient and degree are mixed up, a 45 degree hill would be 100% grade.

I would guess the views are much better in the Waipio Valley than in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, but that's just a guess;)
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I've been on the hill, its very very steep, and some of it is WAY steeper than Fargo St., which I have also been on. I didn't mention grade nor the view, you did. Don't let Google be your source of "education" against folks with firsthand knowledge.
 

EddieJ

Well-Known Member
J.R. Switzerland produced some pretty significant off road steep climbs, but the only hill that has defeated my e-mtb was the one below, which is here in the UK. The grass was damp, and I got halfway up, then lost traction, and even on foot kept sliding down it. It took me nearly 20 minutes to climb the hill which was only about 100 metres long. What you can't see is the cliff drop of a couple of hundred metres. I won't be doing that one again. :)

ebr steep.jpg
 
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J.R.

Well-Known Member
J.R. Switzerland produced some pretty significant off road steep climbs, but the only hill that has defeated my e-mtb was the one below, which is here in the UK. The grass was damp, and I got halfway up, then lost traction, and even on foot kept sling down it. It took me nearly 20 minutes to climb the hill which was only about 100 metres long. What you can't see is the cliff drop of a couple of hundred metres. I won't be doing that one again. :)

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Eddie (I think your real name is Peter Pan!), my days of trying that are likely done with! Love your pics, keep them coming...