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Perpetual Three
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Why is it that some guys can get out of their saddles on climbs for extended periods of time, but when I get out of my saddle, I can only do it for mostly short efforts before it wears out my legs? I get to the top of the climb at about the same time as those climbers, but I do it almost all seated, and only stand for brief power or even to drop a few gears and rest my legs. (that's actually sorta funny, because when I stand to rest everyone thinks I'm about to attack, but really it's because I'm tired)

Are some riders physiologies more tailored to climbing standing up? Does body weight have a lot to do with it? I notice the smaller guys seem stand more. I'm 175.

I used to be a mountian biker, and we stayed seated on most climbs for traction's sake, so maybe it's just trained into my legs to stay down.

???
 

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steve_e_f said:
Why is it that some guys can get out of their saddles on climbs for extended periods of time, but when I get out of my saddle, I can only do it for mostly short efforts before it wears out my legs? I get to the top of the climb at about the same time as those climbers, but I do it almost all seated, and only stand for brief power or even to drop a few gears and rest my legs. (that's actually sorta funny, because when I stand to rest everyone thinks I'm about to attack, but really it's because I'm tired)

Are some riders physiologies more tailored to climbing standing up? Does body weight have a lot to do with it? I notice the smaller guys seem stand more. I'm 175.

I used to be a mountian biker, and we stayed seated on most climbs for traction's sake, so maybe it's just trained into my legs to stay down.

???
I'd say weight, position, habit all are part of it. I also think that it's probably a good thing that you don't stand up except for short bursts.
 

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All I wanted was a Pepsi!
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I'm 135 and I prefer to stand when climbing. I could probably climb for miles standing, but seem to tire more quickly seated. Like you, I tend to stand to rest my legs. I think I just bring more weight to bear on each pedal rev instead of using all muscle; so I'm not really going any faster, it's just easier for me.
 

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Apa kabar?
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same as you, steve

steve_e_f said:
Why is it that some guys can get out of their saddles on climbs for extended periods of time, but when I get out of my saddle, I can only do it for mostly short efforts before it wears out my legs? I get to the top of the climb at about the same time as those climbers, but I do it almost all seated, and only stand for brief power or even to drop a few gears and rest my legs. (that's actually sorta funny, because when I stand to rest everyone thinks I'm about to attack, but really it's because I'm tired)

Are some riders physiologies more tailored to climbing standing up? Does body weight have a lot to do with it? I notice the smaller guys seem stand more. I'm 175.

I'm the same way as you, I tend to only stand to give a short burst, or to rest my legs a little. I also feel that standing helps me stretch out some and work a little bit different muscles. I'm 205 lbs, so maybe you're on to something with the weight thing, or maybe just coincidence. How about everyone else...weight/climbing preference...
 

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Moderatus Puisne
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Jan: stays mostly seated, stands occasionally, and goes absurdly fast
Lance: stays mostly seated, stands sometimes (a bit more often than Jan), and goes absurdly fast +2%

Um, do which what with who?
 

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To each of his own. Obviously Lance better uses his huge aerobic engine by spinning his way to the top. I did a experiment couple years ago when I started racing. I kept getting dropped on climbs during races. Probably my lack of fitness was to blame , but I found that I was using too low of a gear. I was trying to spin my way to the top but I was better served by using a higher gear spinning at a lower rpm. I achieved a lower heart rate going up at same speed. I still got dropped but I was hanging in there a little longer.

I prefer standing to sitting. I cant stand sitting and grind away. I feel like I can't put power in my legs when I am sitting. I need to put my weight over my legs. I have a short and stocky build, weighing in at 140lbs.
 

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Uphill

I tend to stay seated and try to wedge the back of the seat into the insides of the backs of my legs for leverage. If the climb is pretty long I'll stand up for a change of position for short periods. I'm overweight and stay seated for the most part....don't know of theirs a corelation there or not. Mostly I just try to get to the freakin top any way I can though!
 

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I got an interesting piece of advice last summer. I was standing on climbs, and someone pointed out that I was putting a lot of weight on my hands, and therefore on the front wheel, which was increasing restriction without benefit. I question the truth to that, but I have worked on sitting and spinning up the hills. Spinning a big gear that is. I find the fastest way up the hill to be to leave the shifters alone, and just focus on maintaining my cadence. I'm sure that has limits, and if I were in a hillier place it may not work. Riding fixed gear seems to be improving my climbing as well. At 225 lbs hills are a challenge, so that's where I'm focussing my efforts.
 

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Two more thoughts.

Out-of-the-saddle riding brings more muscles into play than seated riding. With a limited amount of muscle fuel available when riding beyond the purely aerobic, you'll hit your limit earlier when standing than if you would have remained seated. What compensates for this is that you usually ride just a little faster standing than you do seated, so you may actually have gained a few feet on a seated competitor before hitting your "standing limit."

Many riders don't differentiate enough between a standing jump and standing climbing. Standing climbing requires a completely different position and mindset than a standing jump. It's an attempt to find an upright, calm, rhythmic way to climb efficiently. The standing jump is a short-term, forward-leaning, full-out power move. I see riders all the time who climb well seated, then go into the "jump mode" when getting out of the saddle. Invariably, they blow up just seconds later.
 

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Agreed....IMETIS.... Fixed Gear rocks

imetis said:
I got an interesting piece of advice last summer. I was standing on climbs, and someone pointed out that I was putting a lot of weight on my hands, and therefore on the front wheel, which was increasing restriction without benefit. I question the truth to that, but I have worked on sitting and spinning up the hills. Spinning a big gear that is. I find the fastest way up the hill to be to leave the shifters alone, and just focus on maintaining my cadence. I'm sure that has limits, and if I were in a hillier place it may not work. Riding fixed gear seems to be improving my climbing as well. At 225 lbs hills are a challenge, so that's where I'm focussing my efforts.
Usually on group rides, as we are approching the bridge, everyone goes 53 - 12 to lower the heart rate as much as possible b4 we start climbing. When Climbing, (standing up for most) we keep the cadence steady (53 - 15 or 16). If its more of a competition thing, and someone passes you, still keep it steady.. and increase your cadence slightly. Anything too radical will spike your heart rate. By the time we reach the top, their will be some muscle fatigue, but at least we are not out of breath. Keep the legs moving during the down hill and you should be fine.

During training rides I simply love Fixed Gear road bikes b/c it forces you to keep pedaling, improves your cadence, and climbing ablilty. Currently I'm on a 48 - 15 and switch to 13 if I feel like superman that day (not too often). Try it out for 1 week, then go back to your regular road bike...you'll feel the difference, heck... even on the first day.
 

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Moderatus Puisne
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It's pretty brutal sometimes, but I love my fixed gear. Makes me climb out-of-the-saddle a lot more, since I can't downshift, even with my little 63" gearing (42 x 18). Last friday, I did half a dozen repeats up this 1 mile, 9% climb mixed in a 50-mile ride, and my calves still feel it just a bit, from pulling up to get up the steep corners (the climb has 3 switchbacks, must be 15-20% there), and then leg-braking back down. Ouch. Good training.
 

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Perpetual Three
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
wim said:
Out-of-the-saddle riding brings more muscles into play than seated riding. With a limited amount of muscle fuel available when riding beyond the purely aerobic, you'll hit your limit earlier when standing than if you would have remained seated. What compensates for this is that you usually ride just a little faster standing than you do seated, so you may actually have gained a few feet on a seated competitor before hitting your "standing limit."

Many riders don't differentiate enough between a standing jump and standing climbing. Standing climbing requires a completely different position and mindset than a standing jump. It's an attempt to find an upright, calm, rhythmic way to climb efficiently. The standing jump is a short-term, forward-leaning, full-out power move. I see riders all the time who climb well seated, then go into the "jump mode" when getting out of the saddle. Invariably, they blow up just seconds later.
hmm... that's really interesting info. I'll try to pay more attention to staying rythmic and see what that's like.
It doesn't sound like there is a specific need to stand for extended periods while climbing from what I've read here, it's just a presonal preference thing...(?)
 

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I prefer to sit when climbing. I weigh 173lbs, so when I stand I put too much of a load on my legs. I immediately feel the burn in the front of my quads and resume sitting.

Proper training may help me but I would still prefer to sit when climbing.
 

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Lexicon Devil
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At 6' and 156 lbs, I'm pretty light for my height (and I'm trying to lose about 10 more lbs). I prefer to stand on almost any climb, and especially if I'm racing or at race pace. I think this is partially due to the fact that I ride a fixed-gear about 50% of the time and I'm accustomed to standing in order to power up and over a hill.

I recover pretty quickly too, even at a hard effort over a long climb.
 

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I'll try to pay more attention to staying rythmic and see what that's like.
I benefited greatly by practicing a calm transition from seated to standing.

I had developed a bad habit of stupidly waiting until I could climb seated no longer, then jumping off the saddle and try to salvage the situation with some last-gasp standing efforts. A very good rider from Luxembourg told me to instead transition smoothly from seated to standing at a reference point outside of pain and suffering. The solitary training drill is to climb seated up a steep hill, pick an object (rock, tree, beer can etc.) at which to transition, then execute the transition as you reach that object without missing a pedal rep.

You're right about the personal preference thing. Some riders aren't meant to climb standing and really do better seated. It's hard to believe when you're being passed, but initially slower, seated riders often are able to chase down riders who have stood for too long on the lower part of a long climb.
 

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I CAME I SAW I CONQUERED
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I climb better seated and will stand on longer climbs to keep the blood flowing
around the boys. But I'd like to add that when I first got into climbing I let my
breathing get out of control and that's bad. I learned that keeping my breathing
under control made all the difference. Now if I find myself starting to breath to
hard I'll back off enough to keep my breathing in check before I'm gasping for air.

I live in the rolling hills but on Saturdays we drive for two hours to the mountains
for a day of climbing. Oh man do I love it!!! The pain of your burning legs just gets
in your blood like a drug.

Good day - Veni Vidi Vici
 

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I'm 5'3, 124 lbs. I prefer sitting on climbs. I do feel light on the pedals most of the time when standing, but I tend to get tirder quicker. I feel as if I'm resting more when sitting.
 

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It seems to be a mattter of personal preference, but it seems that many of the classic pure climbers tend to climb out of the saddle when they are attacking -- "dancing" on the pedals. Its common for bigger riders and all rounders to stay seated longer.
 

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wim said:
Out-of-the-saddle riding brings more muscles into play than seated riding. With a limited amount of muscle fuel available when riding beyond the purely aerobic, you'll hit your limit earlier when standing than if you would have remained seated. What compensates for this is that you usually ride just a little faster standing than you do seated, so you may actually have gained a few feet on a seated competitor before hitting your "standing limit."

Many riders don't differentiate enough between a standing jump and standing climbing. Standing climbing requires a completely different position and mindset than a standing jump. It's an attempt to find an upright, calm, rhythmic way to climb efficiently. The standing jump is a short-term, forward-leaning, full-out power move. I see riders all the time who climb well seated, then go into the "jump mode" when getting out of the saddle. Invariably, they blow up just seconds later.


Well said. This is exactly how I feel while learning out of saddle climbing.
To add, rider push for this out of saddle thing eventually improve the fuel
capacity and thus lead to better performance. But the benifit of this technic
does depend on rider's weight.
 

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weight over front wheel....

imetus makes a relevant point. if your weight is out over your arms, there is some imbalance created on the bike. with so much weight over the front of the bike, rolling resistance increases. i am about 180lbs and the combination of my torso/arm/leg lengths led to a natural position that was more forward. i received similiar advice from a similiarly built rider. the goal was get more of my weight / center of gravity over the pedals. at first i made the effort to get my butt to brush the nose of the saddle, a bit exagerated. over time my body found the position more comfortable. with all the mountains we deal with around here, this small change in my position was very helpful in being more efficent and faster whether getting out of the saddle for a rest or an acceleration.
 
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