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Does a more upright position give more power?

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Does a more upright position give more power?

Old 03-13-17, 05:57 AM
  #26  
coominya
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Originally Posted by NYMXer View Post
For reasons discussed in the replies here, I think everyone should try mtb riding. There are a lot of skills learned via mtb riding that would help a roadie,
Definitely. The best motorcyclists I have ever met started out on enduro/trials bikes. When you flog around in the bush, in the dirt, you learn the true limits of a bike. How far it can lean before you washout and the warnings you often get, how to recover in a slide, how to put the front wheel back down. The best aspect of all this is it gives you a lot more confidence on the road among the cars.
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Old 03-13-17, 11:00 AM
  #27  
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Originally Posted by dabac View Post
There's power - as in watts - and there is force - as in how hard you push.
They're not the same.
Power, as in watts is calculated using force (how hard you push) multiplied by velocity.


They are the same unless you push with the brakes on.
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Old 03-13-17, 11:16 AM
  #28  
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IMO a person that sits pretty much at a level of the crank on a recumbent bike can probably exert more power. Even standing a cyclist can only exert his weight, plus what force he can add by pulling up on the handle bars. On a bent he can apply power greater than his weight by wedging his leg between the pedal and the back of his seat. Pretty much like sitting on the floor and pushing against a refrigerator to move it.
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Old 03-13-17, 11:32 AM
  #29  
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Here's my two cents.
I stand while climbing when using my hybrid or road bike, but I prefer the flat bars when standing. I think it's because they feel more stable as they are a little wider. I never ride in the drops and most people I see are seldom in the drops. The aerodynamic advantage is only when you're in the drops.
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Old 03-13-17, 11:58 AM
  #30  
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I hate it when people say that standing on the pedals "uses gravity" to climb. While I know what they're trying to say, using gravity to go against gravity is nonsense. Nothing is for free, you have to raise your body up before you can use its weight to help push the pedals down.
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Old 03-13-17, 12:02 PM
  #31  
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It makes little difference as to your positioning if the force is the same and after that it's gearing.
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Old 03-13-17, 11:42 PM
  #32  
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i have two varsities and they came with drop bars With the hills around here they were useless IT was when I took them off and put on cruiser bars were I am siting up and have WAY more power going up hills Today for the life of me I do not under stand the drop bar thing every biker I ask that has them tell me they HATE THEM
I also found that I am way faster in the up right
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Old 03-13-17, 11:56 PM
  #33  
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Originally Posted by stingray66 View Post
i have two varsities and they came with drop bars With the hills around here they were useless IT was when I took them off and put on cruiser bars were I am siting up and have WAY more power going up hills Today for the life of me I do not under stand the drop bar thing every biker I ask that has them tell me they HATE THEM
I also found that I am way faster in the up right
You can put me down as the first to tell you that I prefer drop bars. I have a bike with flat bars and a bike with drop bars. The flat bar bike is OK for fooling around down at the beach but serious riding has to be done with drop bars.
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Old 03-14-17, 12:03 AM
  #34  
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Originally Posted by stingray66 View Post
i have two varsities and they came with drop bars With the hills around here they were useless IT was when I took them off and put on cruiser bars were I am siting up and have WAY more power going up hills Today for the life of me I do not under stand the drop bar thing every biker I ask that has them tell me they HATE THEM
I also found that I am way faster in the up right
Right.

Well ... guess what ... I just did a 100 km ride on the weekend with flat bars. I'll be changing them to bullhorn bars or drop bars.

I like drop bars.

So while "bikers" might not like drop bars, "cyclists" do like them.
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Old 03-14-17, 12:53 AM
  #35  
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Originally Posted by rydabent View Post
IMO a person that sits pretty much at a level of the crank on a recumbent bike can probably exert more power. Even standing a cyclist can only exert his weight, plus what force he can add by pulling up on the handle bars. On a bent he can apply power greater than his weight by wedging his leg between the pedal and the back of his seat. Pretty much like sitting on the floor and pushing against a refrigerator to move it.
Those who ride both styles of bikes with power meters would disagree with you. There's more to producing power than how much force can be exerted.
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Old 03-14-17, 03:54 AM
  #36  
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When I see the road cyclist climbing hills, It reminds me of the last salmon run a salmon makes lol. Gotta get to the top quicker than the rest of em. That stuff is a little too cumbersome for me lol. Ill stay in the lake where its safe lol
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Old 03-14-17, 04:58 AM
  #37  
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Originally Posted by EnjoyinTheRide View Post
When I see the road cyclist climbing hills, It reminds me of the last salmon run a salmon makes lol. Gotta get to the top quicker than the rest of em. That stuff is a little too cumbersome for me lol. Ill stay in the lake where its safe lol
Best not try to taste that fly skipping on the surface.
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Old 03-14-17, 05:04 AM
  #38  
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Originally Posted by stingray66 View Post
i have two varsities and they came with drop bars With the hills around here they were useless IT was when I took them off and put on cruiser bars were I am siting up and have WAY more power going up hills Today for the life of me I do not under stand the drop bar thing every biker I ask that has them tell me they HATE THEM
I also found that I am way faster in the up right
Good for you. What ever floats your boat to make things right for you.
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Old 04-14-21, 03:49 PM
  #39  
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Originally Posted by CrankyOne View Post
On flat you should be able to get a fair amount of power unless you're on a beach cruiser or something where the seat is too far back. A key to Dutch bikes is the geometry that aligns your body properly and places it so that your own weight does much of the work.
On a Dutch upright bike, your legs do all the work because your entire weight is placed on the saddle.

Originally Posted by CrankyOne View Post
Going up hill changes things a bit. Similar to a seat that's too far back, your weight is now back behind the pedals instead of over them. Leaning forward helps to place your weight over the pedals again. Generally though, if you lean too far forward you actually loose a bit of power. However, if you lean extremely far forward (so that your back begins to arch) then you get it back and then some (E.G., you're riding similar to on a drop bar road bike).
You can't lean forward on a Dutch upright bike because the handlebars are too close in front of you and will be pressing against your chest, again due to upright Dutch geometry.
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Old 04-14-21, 04:02 PM
  #40  
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Originally Posted by satrain18 View Post
On a Dutch upright bike, your legs do all the work because your entire weight is placed on the saddle.



You can't lean forward on a Dutch upright bike because the handlebars are too close in front of you and will be pressing against your chest, again due to upright Dutch geometry.
Zombie thread.
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Old 04-15-21, 08:13 AM
  #41  
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satrain18 This thread is 4 years old. The poster you have quoted as well as others may not be active any longer. Check the date on thread before posting and keep this point in mind when responding to or reopening old threads.
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Old 04-15-21, 10:05 AM
  #42  
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You get the best power transfer by optimizing your centre of gravity on the bike. There are tons of factors varying from person to person. Ideally you want to get as low as possible while maintaining an ideal centre of gravity. With this in mind, no, being upright doesn't result in better power trasnfer.

I'm 6ft3 with a 34.5 inch inseam. When I weighed around 220 I had a hard time fitting onto bikes comfortably. I always wanted an upright riding position. I weigh just under 190lb and have went from a 40mm stem, to 80mm, 100mm, and now will be buying an installing a 130mm stem on my road bike. I'm increasing my reach gradually in order to adapt to a more aggressive riding position as effectively as possible. Now that I'm lighter, I have to be more Conscious about keeping weight on the front axle while riding loaded and accelerating hard from low speeds. This is exactly what I focused so much on avoiding when I was carrying an excess amount of weight in my abdomen.
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Old 04-15-21, 01:54 PM
  #43  
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Hip angle as a result of bike fit stack, reach, inseam, etc... definitively affects power.

To what extent depends on what we're talking about. If we're talking going from a MTB to a really wide and high stack drop bar gravel bike.......I'd say no change. Slammed road bars, probably. TT setup, definitely.
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Old 04-16-21, 09:32 AM
  #44  
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Thank goodness for wide range cassettes with low gearing to allow us to sit down and spin up steep loose gravel and sand. As for wheelies, not a problem when you're older...
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Old 04-16-21, 01:23 PM
  #45  
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Quick question: are you guys imagining the body weight doing work on the pedals when you're in the saddle?
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Old 04-16-21, 02:39 PM
  #46  
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I wonder about that too. My Giant Sedona has the shortest reach and tallest stack of every bike they make and I find myself climbing steep challenging hills without even getting off the saddle.

We are certainly using muscle groups in different proportions on a comfort bike then a road bike. My guess is the average recreational cyclist would find an upright bike climbs easier then a road bike while seated. I can transfer nearly all my weight over the pedals and remain seated. On a road bike I would need to pull up on the handlebar to get anywhere near that kind of power.

That said, I think with a road bike or mountain bike an athletic rider can generate more max climbing power by pulling up on the handlebars.

Last edited by xroadcharlie; 04-18-21 at 10:27 AM.
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Old 05-22-21, 08:05 AM
  #47  
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Originally Posted by satrain18 View Post
On a Dutch upright bike, your legs do all the work because your entire weight is placed on the saddle.
Sort of. Your weight is mostly on the saddle but it is also partially over your legs so provides weight leverage. Unlike with leaning forward at lower speeds/effort (below about 260 watts) you are not wasting energy supporting your body. Leaning forward is very inefficient at lower speeds/effort.

Originally Posted by satrain18 View Post
You can't lean forward on a Dutch upright bike because the handlebars are too close in front of you and will be pressing against your chest, again due to upright Dutch geometry.
Don't tell that to the millions of Dutch, Danes, Swedes and others, including myself, who do it routinely.
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Old 05-22-21, 01:51 PM
  #48  
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Originally Posted by dabac View Post
There's power - as in watts - and there is force - as in how hard you push.
They're not the same.
Your body weight alone will generate the most force when your center of gravity is right above the pedal.
And just like a weight lifter striving to have the bar close to his body, you'll be able to push the hardest when your body is as straight as possible between what you brace against and what you're trying to move.

Power is a different thing, basically composed of how strongly you can make a certain move AND how fast you can repeat it.

With geared bikes, the strongest push isn't always that interesting.
If you can do do the same move at half the strength but at 1/3 the time, that'll make more power than the slow-and-hard.

On a properly sized MTB you bend at the hip/waist, stretch your arms a bit and only lean your upper body forward. This keeps your center of gravity pretty much right above the pedals anyhow.

Leaning your full body forward will unweight the rear wheel and seriously hurt your ability to climb on loose surfaces.
Several different writers on fitting road bikes, as well, place your center of gravity over the bb while in a leaned forward position.
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Old 05-22-21, 02:09 PM
  #49  
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Originally Posted by Road Fan View Post
Several different writers on fitting road bikes, as well, place your center of gravity over the bb while in a leaned forward position.
Obviously you choose to ignore the part I wrote about ”leaning your FULL body forward”.
And the part about ”bending at the hip”.
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Old 05-22-21, 02:14 PM
  #50  
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Originally Posted by 69chevy View Post
Power, as in watts is calculated using force (how hard you push) multiplied by velocity.


They are the same unless you push with the brakes on.
Exactly. Merely pushing hard doesn’t guarantee anything. To make power, there also has to be motion.
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