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How to benefit from standing?

Old 09-16-19, 09:03 AM
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rbrides
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How to benefit from standing?

I seldom pedal while standing because I always quickly get more fatigued than when I stay seated. The only exception is if I'm in a high gear and need a quick acceleration for 20-30 yards, like after turning a corner onto another road. Usually I will have downshifted before the turn and I stay seated. Many folks I ride with stand to climb hills but I stay seated and occasionally fall off the back just a little (but catch up over the top) but often keep pace with all but a few. I've tried various techniques like shifting gears, getting body weight forward onto the handlebars, get body weight back onto the rear wheel and other suggestions but I feel the burn in my legs quickly and sit; usually keeping pace.


I don't know if this is physiological, psychological or just a training deficit. One thought is "what does it matter?", if my pace is generally good while staying seated then enjoy the ride. But I'm always curious if I would benefit from being able to stand. I'm 59, weight 175 lbs, comfortably ride 45-65 miles with 2800-4500+ elevation @ 18-19 pace and occasionally do century rides. I ride many times a week but don't enter races. If I slimmed down to 150 lbs it seems obvious I would not fatigue as quickly. Everyone's body is different but I'm curious how others stand for much longer distances without the greater fatigue I feel.


Standing seems to be beneficial to others' climbing and speed but with less fatigue. How do I get that benefit?
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Old 09-16-19, 09:12 AM
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From everything Iíve read and my own experience, standing is less efficient than smooth seated pedaling, so what youíre experiencing isnít unusual. I stand to give other muscles or my butt a break, or sometimes when in a group and we attack a short hill or accelerate out of a turn. Itís a good way to get the heart rate up as a form of interval. Yesterday several times on our ride the lead guy stood up to attack some short hills. I chose to stay seated, pedaled smoothly and stayed with him. I would have been more out of breath if Iíd stood.
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Old 09-16-19, 09:53 AM
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Originally Posted by rbrides View Post
Standing seems to be beneficial to others' climbing and speed but with less fatigue. How do I get that benefit?
Do it more, of course! Riding fixed-gear forces the issue, which is part of why it was so valued for winter training back in the day.
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Old 09-16-19, 10:04 AM
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At 175 pounds, if you're much under six feet tall, there might not be much benefit to standing for you. Standing and climbing works best for skinny riders. Alberto Contador said that he would often stand while climbing for half an hour at a time during training rides. At 68 years old, at 5' 8" and 125 pounds, I can climb standing far longer than heavier riders.
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Old 09-16-19, 10:07 AM
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Like all pedaling styles, standing needs training and practice.

On a steady climb, click up two gears, stand and pedal for 20-30 revolutions, then sit and gear down. Your standing cadence should be no more than 60.

Repeat this every 5 minutes.

After riding like this for a couple of weeks, your leg burn while standing should be gone.
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Old 09-16-19, 10:35 AM
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Originally Posted by Trakhak View Post
At 175 pounds, if you're much under six feet tall, there might not be much benefit to standing for you. Standing and climbing works best for skinny riders. Alberto Contador said that he would often stand while climbing for half an hour at a time during training rides. At 68 years old, at 5' 8" and 125 pounds, I can climb standing far longer than heavier riders.
Correct me if I'm wrong, but we're discussing training benefits here, not whether it would help the OP win the Tour.
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Old 09-16-19, 12:13 PM
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The higher your VO2max/body weight, the better one can take advantage of climbing standing. See Armstrong, Lance when he was on the good stuff. Light runner types often do well standing. For most of us however, there's no advantage, except that standing does change what fires when and what's tensed and what relaxed. So it's a nice change. On a long climb, I'll stand as long as it's comfortable every 10 minutes by the clock. Actually, I try to do that even on the flat if I remember. Helps with back and butt pain.

Of course the way to get better at standing is to do a lot of it. There's a guy on here who rides mostly on the flat who will stand continuously for a mile or two. My guess is that it's helpful or he wouldn't do it. OTOH I'm just not that motivated to work that hard for small gains. I should be, but I'm not. Oh well. I can tell that I'm really in shape if I can climb standing for several hundred vertical feet without blowing up, though I seldom stand to climb for long, being a low VO2max animal.

On thing to notice: Check your speed or power seated, then stand. Try not to increase your speed or power while standing. Most folks have a tendency to increase speed substantially, which obviously makes those stands much shorter. It's a good trick to get your standing pedaling perfected so that you can do that. I don't think standing fixed is the same thing at all. On a freewheel bike, the pedals don't come over the top without your assistance, like they do fixed. To check out the difference, pedal one-legged on a gym spin bike which are all fixed, then try it on your bike on a trainer. Big difference. It's the same issue standing, but with slightly different muscles.
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Old 09-16-19, 03:24 PM
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Thanks for the suggestions.
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Old 09-16-19, 04:17 PM
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I ride fixed gear bike on the road and singlespeed MTB off road. I spend tons of time standing on the pedals and riding out of the saddle. I have no choice, if I don't stand up I won't be able to climb hills...It's all about practice, the more you do it the better and more efficient you will become.
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Old 09-17-19, 09:07 AM
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No hills/climbing here in SW FL so I just get up and stand "whenever." 105 miles this morning and a number of times I just went to 50/12 and stood up and rode for a half mile. Too hot and humid for longer standing but when it's cooler I will stand for the 2 to 3 mile straight roads. I get a good work-out for muscles not normally used. I've ridden Six Gap 3 times and my prep-training was standing 10% of all rides. Today's 105 miles had 131ft gain and Six Gap has around 11,000' for the 103 miles.
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Old 09-17-19, 09:38 AM
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Originally Posted by OldTryGuy View Post
No hills/climbing here in SW FL so I just get up and stand "whenever." 105 miles this morning and a number of times I just went to 50/12 and stood up and rode for a half mile. Too hot and humid for longer standing but when it's cooler I will stand for the 2 to 3 mile straight roads. I get a good work-out for muscles not normally used. I've ridden Six Gap 3 times and my prep-training was standing 10% of all rides. Today's 105 miles had 131ft gain and Six Gap has around 11,000' for the 103 miles.
Well, there ya go, how to do it. What's your BMI?
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Old 09-17-19, 08:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
Well, there ya go, how to do it. What's your BMI?
BC or Before Cancer (PCa that's Prostate Cancer) when riding "with the boys" both literally and anatomically, 5' 8.5" and 136lbs

Now up to 145lbs. and feeling it.
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Old 09-17-19, 08:59 PM
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Originally Posted by OldTryGuy View Post
BC or Before Cancer (PCa that's Prostate Cancer) when riding "with the boys" both literally and anatomically, 5' 8.5" and 136lbs

Now up to 145lbs. and feeling it.
So you've gone from a BMI of 20.4 all the way up to 21.7. Light riders climb and ride much more easily OOS. Lance was around 23 or so at his lightest.
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Old 09-18-19, 03:54 AM
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Did someone say standing ?
On the trail
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Old 09-18-19, 05:30 AM
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Originally Posted by Foxonabike View Post
Did someone say standing ?
On the trail
Hemorrhoids ????
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Old 09-18-19, 09:03 AM
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Originally Posted by OldTryGuy View Post
Hemorrhoids ????
There was a guy on here some years ago who had some sort of butt procedure so he couldn't sit on a saddle. So he removed it and rode anyway. Said it took him quite a while to get used to it, but eventually he could do 50 miles. Made him a better rider after his butt was OK again. I bet it did.

So there's an idea - how to benefit from standing? Do a heckuva lot of it. And good for you for doing that. Everything is trainable.
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Old 09-18-19, 03:15 PM
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It's definitely a good leg workout.
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Old 09-18-19, 03:40 PM
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Whats the deal with that bike? I mean why no seat? I'm sure there is a purpose, just not 100% sure.
If I had to guess, it is, so you are forced to stand up, or for some kinda tricks, so seats not in the way.

46 Now, when I was a kid, we had BMX bikes, set up for Racing or Freestyle, Banana Seat/Ape Hanger bikes and 10 speeds..
Now we have like 12+ different kinds of bikes.



Originally Posted by Foxonabike View Post
Did someone say standing ?
On the trail
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Old 09-18-19, 04:49 PM
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It's a SUB, homemade from a 24" MTB because I could, It's in Alt Bikes forum.

Some Elliptigo blurb https://www.elliptigo.ca/stand-up-cycling/


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Old 09-18-19, 05:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Foxonabike View Post
It's a SUB, homemade from a 24" MTB because I could, It's in Alt Bikes forum.

<snip>
Obviously there are vector issues under hard braking which are much more extreme than with the usual safety bicycle.
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Old 09-19-19, 07:13 AM
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I think a good workout if you want to improve that is the GCN show "random HIIT" workouts. Instead of spinning at 100+ rpm for the random "hiit" in their videos........stand to climb instead. It's like 2min at SS then a 15 second "hiit" for a total of like 8min per set. Like 3 to 4 sets.

It's exactly the scenario you'd run into. Steady riding at some level of difficulty with a few short harder efforts in there. Just choose to climb out of saddle for the harder effort instead of spinning fast like they say in the video.

I do the SS at like 85-90% power and the hiit's at 140%+.

Here:
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Old 09-23-19, 09:38 AM
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Excellent. Thanks. I've watched several GCN videos before but I must have overlooked these.
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Old 09-27-19, 08:26 AM
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The Sufferfest videos always have standing sections too, with both fast spin and slow spin. There's a 4% hill in Prospect Park that I do stand and mash in a very high gear, stand and spin in a lower gear, and sit and spin, usually one of each on a 3 loop ride. Every now and then I just throw it into a really low gear and take it easy, usually by the 5th loop I've had enough, but I almost never make it the the 5th anyway it is just too boring.
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