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How much out of saddle climbing do you do?

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Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway
View Poll Results: How often do you come out of the saddle?
I come out for most hills
13
24.53%
Maybe half
16
30.19%
Very few
21
39.62%
Never
3
5.66%
Only in races
0
0%
Voters: 53. You may not vote on this poll

How much out of saddle climbing do you do?

Old 10-26-05, 08:33 AM
  #1  
tekhna
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How much out of saddle climbing do you do?

I am curious because there are some fairly significant hills on my rides and rather than come out of the saddle I have been shifting down to tackle them. This seems to have built up my leg strength as I am now progressively more able to tackle hills in higher gears and keeping my cadence up. This is on training rides, so do people come out of the saddle primarily in races, or in other contexts too?
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Old 10-26-05, 08:55 AM
  #2  
'nother
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I voted very few because most of the climbing I do is longer grades (over 1 mile). Being out of the saddle for those the whole time would suck the life out of me too early. On those climbs I do come out of the saddle periodically, but more for giving the "down there" region a little rest.

I do come up for some very short/steep rises if I want to keep my speed up or keep up with a group or something but I don't really consider those "climbs".
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Old 10-26-05, 09:33 AM
  #3  
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the only time i ever ever stand is if i need to inject some pace in.
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Old 10-26-05, 09:43 AM
  #4  
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I think I only stand in desperation.
I've notice that I can focus on the climb and what I need to sustain to get through it when I'm in the saddle and transferring energy through my muscles.
When all else begins to fail, I leap. And attempt to hammer my way to the crest.
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Old 10-26-05, 09:47 AM
  #5  
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Good question...my answer is "it depends". Certain climbs, I'll stand all the time. Others will be most always seated. Some are a combination of both. It depends on the pace.

One example I'm thinking of is a regular climb we used to do that went up a mountain valley into a low pass, maybe 1000ft vertical and the first of 3 or 4 others higher up...Seated up the valley in a 53 x 19, 39 x 15 through a tunnel and a bit more incline seated, 39 x 19 standing on a steep bit for about 3/4 of a k to keep pace with the 65 kg guys, sit down and start accelerating back down to the 39 x 17, then a quick stand up and acceleration back onto the 53 x 19 or 17...then seated and standing up the rest of that grade in the 53 x 19, 17 through the tunnel at the top accelerating through the cogsetover the crest until the 53 x 12.

That's in good shape. Did the same climb this spring very out of shape in the 39 x 21 standing for the steep part, and 39 x 19 sitting for the rest of it until the crest!

I vote for "all of the above"!
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Old 10-26-05, 09:48 AM
  #6  
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With long climbs, staying in the saddle is more efficient. 2 basic reasons to stand during a long climb: 1) for a break, getting different muscles involved, or 2) to attack in a race.
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Old 10-26-05, 10:09 AM
  #7  
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I screwed up my knee about mile 35 of a long (century) ride in early September. I found that if I climbed pretty hard sitting down it was painful, but standing was pain free. Needless to say, although it wasn't a particularly hilly ride, I stood up for all but the flat sections and found that I was really liking it. My knee is back to normal now, but there was about a month when I was in this mode. As a result I stand a lot more lately, although on a long climb I think I would blow up more quickly. For me, it has been good to spend some time standing, as I used to never stand except for very short distances previously.
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Old 10-26-05, 10:27 AM
  #8  
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I rarely stand on climbs unless it's a short, steep hill or just to do it for a change of pace. Very rarely to pass.
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Old 10-26-05, 10:30 AM
  #9  
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I always climb out of the saddle, and stay out of the saddle unless I'm taking a drink. I started doing this to save my knees and ended up realising that out of the saddle and low cadence is the best for my physiology (skinny, fast twitch prevalent).

After quite a bit of training I can stay out of the saddle on long climbs for over an hour.
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Old 10-26-05, 10:35 AM
  #10  
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I am another "it depends".

Most of my climbs are long too, so I stand more to change muscles than any other reason. And I often stand for short periods crossing bridges, etc., to get a change and to avoid shifting.
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Old 10-26-05, 10:36 AM
  #11  
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I never sit down, even on flats. Why do you think I can ride on any saddle?
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Old 10-26-05, 10:42 AM
  #12  
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Much like some of the other posters, I stand for a change of pace or power, depending, or just a change of form.I am not looking to be Rasmussen,or break any records, I just want to keep a solid cadence and complete the hill confidently, so I am not destroyed for the rest of my ride.
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Old 10-26-05, 10:49 AM
  #13  
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What gmason and others said...depends. I do a lot of standing when I ride mostly out of preference more than a performance advantage. It just feels good to upshift, stand and mash using my considerable weight...like riding a stair climber It doesn't really tire me out to stand as some report....just less conducive to shifting because hard to soft pedal...so if in the wrong gear, I sit, shift and then stand some more. Really helps for good circulation to the important parts as well.
On short steep climbs...I love to stand and rip them. Trick is getting in the right gear judging the terrain which takes some practice.
George
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Old 10-26-05, 10:50 AM
  #14  
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Maybe for 5% or less of the time I'm on a hill. For very short hills maybe more, for example as very short steep hill I may not even shift down for and power up it.
Al
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Old 10-26-05, 10:54 AM
  #15  
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I think I only stand in desperation as well, so like 65% to 75% of the time!! HA HA HA
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Old 10-26-05, 10:56 AM
  #16  
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It is entirely dependent on what I'm trying to accomplish when climbing.

And Cyde, when I used to prowl the road on my mtn. bike, all the padding was ripped off the seat, so I'd stand up 100% of the time, even going downhill. Not much fun when you can't lock out your front suspension!
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Old 10-26-05, 10:59 AM
  #17  
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I currently stand very little. I used to never stand. In the past week or so, I've been learning to stand on hills, and I find that it's helpful for a little more power and speed. And it works different muscles, which lets different muscles relax. It was a surprise to me on Sunday that on a hill near the end of the ride, I was (as usual) a bit tired spinning up the hill, but I could feel fresh when standing. I guess that means I don't stand enough. I'm working on it.
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Old 10-26-05, 11:00 AM
  #18  
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Hey Penguin, I tried more out of saddle climbs. It actually seems more effective when you can control it. I practiced a bit on the shorter hills and some climbs on Topanga

Yesterday I went over Sepulveda and stayed out of the saddle ~65% of the time. My back was killing me but after you get used to it, it seems much easier to keep a higher speed than sitting.

I have to keep trying to see what works for me, I also need to get to my weight goal(170)
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Old 10-26-05, 11:02 AM
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Originally Posted by PenguinDeD
And Cyde, when I used to prowl the road on my mtn. bike, all the padding was ripped off the seat, so I'd stand up 100% of the time, even going downhill. Not much fun when you can't lock out your front suspension!
rofl, that must've sucked. My full suspension mountain bike bites the big one while standing as well. It's like riding a pogo stick with wheels.
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Old 10-26-05, 11:50 AM
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Less than half, but more than very few. I've been forcing myself to remain seated on steepish hills to build some leg and back strength and hopefully raise my LT. Hill repeats with successively bigger gears each climb....nasty. My cadence tells me I'm spinning, but my exploding lungs and cooked thighs towards the top of the climb claim otherwise. Same hill standing, I can select a bigger gear and climb faster, and notice that my legs feel ok but aerobically I'm similarly toasted. No triple here, so if it gets REALLY steep, I must stand or die.
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Old 10-26-05, 11:58 AM
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I often find my self seated and spinning past other riders who are standing up hills. The only time I find spinning up hills slower is when folks stand up approaching to the crest of a hill for the final KOM sprint.

Al
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Old 10-26-05, 12:11 PM
  #22  
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I noticed that people standing move faster than me when I am sitting...Even when my cadence is up and I am giving a good effort in.

But it all depends on the rider
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Old 10-26-05, 12:52 PM
  #23  
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I will often resort to standing towards the end of climbs. It just makes sense to me that being able to allow body weight to contribute the the pedal turning process is an advantage as your muscles begin to tire.
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Old 10-26-05, 01:01 PM
  #24  
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There are two seperate instances . Sprinting and Climbing. When you get up to climb shift up a few gears and drop your cadence by about 20 rpm. Set yourself a maintainable pace and you should be able to go for quite awhile. Dont forget to pull on the upstroke . Altenate between sitting and standing and you will keep yourself fresh.
Standing and sprinting is a completely different animal
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Old 10-26-05, 01:23 PM
  #25  
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I would like to never get out of the saddle to climb. It is so much harder to spin up those hills, and that will just help my leg strength. So most of the time i will sit and spin wiht my leggs burning. But when i get to the end of my route, I am just so tired i might get out of the saddle and mash.
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