standing up climbing..why is it so hard

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elderone
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standing up climbing..why is it so hard

Postby elderone » Fri Nov 16, 2012 01:45 am

Why is it so much harder to climb hills standing rather than sitting.I have had trouble with this since i started road riding 3 months ago.To be fair i havn,t had to get off and walk a hill yet but have been down to 5mph on some steep bits with a heart rate at 95% of max.(this was horse shoe pass climb and if any one has ridden it they know its a serious climb).
As soon as i stand up my legs ache like hell and my heart rate increases for no gain in speed or ease of climbing.
Im a short ars* at 5ft6 and find it easier to sit down and climb.
My question is,do i need to stand to improve over all or can i just plod along sitting on my butt.I have no intention of racing but my aim is a 100 mile sportive.
cheers
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smidsy
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Re: standing up climbing..why is it so hard

Postby smidsy » Fri Nov 16, 2012 05:53 am

Sitting is generally accepted as being more efficient but standing tends to produce more power for short bursts (helpful to keep the momentum going or engage different muscles etc).

In answer to your question it is harder standing as you are taking all your weight through your legs as well as using the muscles to turn the pedals.

Pedalling out of the saddle (up hills or not) also shows up any lack of core strength as this helps to keep your body position as the bike moves under you.

Its like anything the more you do it the easier it will get.

If you have only been going three months I 'm guessing your base fitness and core strength could be bettter, so keep turning the pedals and try out of the saddle pedalling now and then.

Core strength can be helped by off the bike excercises too.
Yellow is the new Black.

Pigtail
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Re: standing up climbing..why is it so hard

Postby Pigtail » Fri Nov 16, 2012 07:10 am

Practice- I'm better on the flat than climbing, partly because of my weight, but I can spend a lot of time up out of the saddle. I probably do too much of it, but it certainly didn't come without practice.

Its now become second nature, spin for a while, when it gets tougher, kick up a couple of gears stand up, weight quite far forward, arms reasonably relaxed and use a steady rhythm. It helps me to recite something to keep timing, though I don't always do it, or I may start to get going then not need it. So in my head I go "a-one, a-two" or more recently "a-one, two, three, four" and repeat.

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ddraver
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Re: standing up climbing..why is it so hard

Postby ddraver » Fri Nov 16, 2012 07:48 am

The truthful answer to this is MTFU, it ll come soon enough.... ;)
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MartAstur
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Re: standing up climbing..why is it so hard

Postby MartAstur » Fri Nov 16, 2012 07:51 am

If it's any reassurance I have the same issue (I was even going to post about it). I started cycling about three months ago and haven't been out of the saddle once properly. I climb a lot of hills but if I stand up my legs just burn so I sit straight down. I figured that it was simply a case of core strength in my legs and that in time I might find it easier. At the moment my legs are giving everything they have got to get up the climbs and the additional power needed in the standing position just simply isn't there.
It is something I would like to work on so I have decided to forget about standing on any significant climbs but concentrate on standing whenever I come to a little rise in the road or any really short little climbs (20 to 50meteres). I'm hoping in time I will build up significant core strength in my legs to stand whenever an extra boost is needed but think it might take quite a while.
Keep plugging away at it. At least sitting is the most efficient way of getting up the hill and we should just be proud of the fact we are getting up them at this early stage :)

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ALIHISGREAT
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Re: standing up climbing..why is it so hard

Postby ALIHISGREAT » Fri Nov 16, 2012 08:11 am

Half of climbing out of the saddle is technique.. not pushing too big a gear, not letting heels drop etc.

Bozman
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Re: standing up climbing..why is it so hard

Postby Bozman » Fri Nov 16, 2012 08:22 am

Some folk sit and some stand it's down to what you find comfortable and easier.
I sit on the inclines and stand on the steeper hills, if i stay seated on the steeper hills i get really bad lower back ache, i had to cut my ride short yesterday because i'd spent more time in the saddle due to some really greasy roads.
I've lost strength in my legs since i've been trying this spinning lark, a mate commented that i seemed to be lacking something on the steeper hills and i had to agree that i felt that it wasn't as easy, i'd been climbing one way for years without a problem but i changed to see if it was easier and it wasn't for me.

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ride_whenever
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Re: standing up climbing..why is it so hard

Postby ride_whenever » Fri Nov 16, 2012 08:54 am

It is noticably less efficient standing up, however once you get the hang of it it's terribly satisfying. Just keep chipping away at it until you're good!

I've been riding my fixed gear bike now the weather is getting worse and the only way up the hills is to stand up, bloody murder at first but you get tougher and adapt to it.

alfablue
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Re: standing up climbing..why is it so hard

Postby alfablue » Fri Nov 16, 2012 09:06 am

Doing a spin class at the gym once a week has dramatically improved my standing ability, I could probably manage it throughout a whole ride now. In the spin class (45 minutes) we tend to spend about a third of that time standing, sometimes high resistance, low cadence and vice versa, sometimes trying to keep the body still, just moving legs (very hard to do at first), and some of it is with one or other arm up in the air! Must work, anyway.

Whilst seated climbing is usually best, the advantage of a standing climb is that you can use your whole body weight on the steepest bits. I tend to switch between both on longer hills just for variety and I suppose it uses muscles differently so may to some extent, rest some muscles, a little bit.
Last edited by alfablue on Fri Nov 16, 2012 10:54 am, edited 1 time in total.

Trev The Rev
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Re: standing up climbing..why is it so hard

Postby Trev The Rev » Fri Nov 16, 2012 10:45 am

I found I 'blew' sooner climbing standing than sitting. It was only when I used a power meter that I learned I was producing more watts standing than sitting.

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amaferanga
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Re: standing up climbing..why is it so hard

Postby amaferanga » Fri Nov 16, 2012 11:10 am

The reason you find it hard is because you never do it. Climbing out of the saddle in the right gear is at worst marginally less efficient than being seated, but anyone claiming that it's noticeably less efficient is either doing it wrong or just doesn't climb enough out of the saddle to have adapted to it.
More problems but still living....

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thegreatdivide
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Re: standing up climbing..why is it so hard

Postby thegreatdivide » Fri Nov 16, 2012 11:48 am

I’ve kind of evolved over the past couple of years from a sitter to a stander. I now find it much more comfortable to get into a good cadence in an applicable gear at the foot of a climb and just do the thing out of the saddle. If I sit down at any point it hurts like hell and I find it hard to stand up again – and then I lose my rhythm and have to churn up the rest of the hill swearing like a trooper. For longer climbs of for example three or four miles at 6% average I’ll sit down and tap away, but round here we have some big steep bugg3rs of a mile or so that I’ll just batter into out of the saddle.
"Crevaison sur les paves..."

saprkzz
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Re: standing up climbing..why is it so hard

Postby saprkzz » Fri Nov 16, 2012 13:36 pm

I think you use less engery sitting, but I personally enjoy standing and finding momentum. On a long hill i will alternate keeping the same pace, this seems to work well for me.

MartAstur
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Re: standing up climbing..why is it so hard

Postby MartAstur » Fri Nov 16, 2012 13:50 pm

Wiggins does it sitting down. :)

Dashik
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Re: standing up climbing..why is it so hard

Postby Dashik » Fri Nov 16, 2012 14:05 pm

JTL stands but he's part mountain goat so that's no surprise......

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elderone
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Re: standing up climbing..why is it so hard

Postby elderone » Fri Nov 16, 2012 14:14 pm

thanks for the replies chaps and it seems to back up what i was thinking anyway.Like i said my biggest concern is the way my heart rate goes up when standing and i sit again because of that more than not pushing my legs.
I am new to cycling but not training or hard work as for 20 years in my younger days i competed in my fave sport at international level so even though the body isnt what it was the mind set still is.
I love the mtfu coments even when tongue in cheek and to be fair i learned that as a teenager yomping across the falklands so manning up to cycle is in my mind not that manly at all.
What is good about asking advice in any sport is you can learn from your peers and thats what asking in this section is all about.
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Slack
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Re: standing up climbing..why is it so hard

Postby Slack » Fri Nov 16, 2012 15:16 pm

As others have said, just keep practising at it. It's only natural to want to stand on some climbs, just to get out the saddle and break the monotony, change the pressure points for a half a minute etc....In time, you will find and refine what works for you.

As a side note, I've only seen the lighter framed riders riding out of the saddle efficiently for extended periods.
Plymouthsteve for councillor!!

ktuludays
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Re: standing up climbing..why is it so hard

Postby ktuludays » Fri Nov 16, 2012 18:27 pm

i have a weak core which my physio is helping me with and try to stay seated as long as i can but i do find it quite satisfying standing as i climb. there is a 0.2 mile 13% hill near my house which i can only get up without stopping by standing all the way. it hurts like hell but sure feels good afterwards.

the way i see it is that if it is difficult then it is doing the legs and other muscles some good from a strength point of view.

no pain no gain!

tiredofwhiners
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Re: standing up climbing..why is it so hard

Postby tiredofwhiners » Fri Nov 16, 2012 18:45 pm

Because when you sit down its easy to pedal 'in a square' than when you are standing up. If you want to 'pull' on the upstroke of the rotation, it kind of helps when you don't have all your weight bearing down at the same time.

dai_t75
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Re: standing up climbing..why is it so hard

Postby dai_t75 » Fri Nov 16, 2012 19:21 pm

I have only been cycling a few weeks and I don't know if I'm different to others, but at the moment I much prefer being out of the saddle when climbing a hefty hill. Now I'm sure my technique is all over the place at the moment, but I'm hopeful that will improve with time.

I just don't seem to get enough power in the saddle and it just seems to drain me more. Although the legs do burn a lot more when standing. I think I would rather deal with the burn than the lack of energy/momentum when seated. Just shows we are all different... I am 6ft and quite slim if that makes a difference!


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