standing up climbing..why is it so hard

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Monty Dog
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Re: standing up climbing..why is it so hard

Postby Monty Dog » Fri Nov 16, 2012 20:46 pm

You generate more power standing so if you don't conserve your energy it's easier to 'blow'. Recent research that there's only a minor difference in efficiency so the key difference is how hard / fast you want to go? The key is training to work on your threshold and know what's sustainable - if you wanna ride hills better, ride lots more.
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nolight
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Re: standing up climbing..why is it so hard

Postby nolight » Sun Nov 18, 2012 09:52 am

I also have the same problem of standing up climbing! However it may have something to do with my lack of confidence in standing (climb or no climb) anyway so I need practise.

Some things I need to learn:
Is it easier or more difficult to stand up when in clipless pedals vs platform pedals? I am in platform at the moment but may change to clipless.

How do you balance yourself when standing? I always worry I may fall down. Should I shift my weight forward?

Getting in the right gear when standing. Currently I am using the constant cadence strategy, so I shift to easier gear when climbing. This is not the correct way for standing right? What is the ideal gear to be in for standing relative to the same gear when sitting (2 gears higher maybe)?

Should I be standing up and at the right gear already before starting the climb? Because once I am sitting and on the hill I find so difficult to stand up, feels very tired and lazy. Or it is just lack of practice and core strength?

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

Postby elderone » Sun Nov 18, 2012 14:46 pm

nolight wrote:I also have the same problem of standing up climbing! However it may have something to do with my lack of confidence in standing (climb or no climb) anyway so I need practise.

Some things I need to learn:
Is it easier or more difficult to stand up when in clipless pedals vs platform pedals? I am in platform at the moment but may change to clipless.

How do you balance yourself when standing? I always worry I may fall down. Should I shift my weight forward?

Getting in the right gear when standing. Currently I am using the constant cadence strategy, so I shift to easier gear when climbing. This is not the correct way for standing right? What is the ideal gear to be in for standing relative to the same gear when sitting (2 gears higher maybe)?

Should I be standing up and at the right gear already before starting the climb? Because once I am sitting and on the hill I find so difficult to stand up, feels very tired and lazy. Or it is just lack of practice and core strength?

Can,t answer all your questions but for me sitting or standing on hills im already in the lowest gear which on my bike is 34-26 so not the easiest gear.I had a go yesterday on ahill by me which is steep enough to lift the front with the effort required.On this section i tried standing and tried different positions and i found that with my hands in the drops i got a position where i was standing and most important to me,my heart rate didn,t go up higher.I will try this a lot and see how it goes.
As an aside i,ve watched dozens of utube clips,from hard knott pass,mow chop.dragon sportive etc etc and I observed most on long steep climbs were sitting.food for thought.
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Trev The Rev
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Re: standing up climbing..why is it so hard

Postby Trev The Rev » Mon Nov 19, 2012 14:24 pm

It is nothing to do with core strength or bike stiffness or pedals. It is all to do with sustainable power to weight ratio. If you stand you are probably putting down more power so run out of steam sooner than if you are sitting. If people go up the hill faster than you it is because their power to weight ratio is better than yours. Fast twitch muscle fibers do tire sooner than slow twitch which is why I said 'sustainable' power to weight ratio.

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

Postby Trev The Rev » Mon Nov 19, 2012 14:25 pm

Trev The Rev wrote:It has little to do with core strength or bike stiffness or pedals. It is all to do with sustainable power to weight ratio. If you stand you are probably putting down more power so run out of steam sooner than if you are sitting. If people go up the hill faster than you it is because their power to weight ratio is better than yours. Fast twitch muscle fibers do tire sooner than slow twitch which is why I said 'sustainable' power to weight ratio.


Sorry was trying to edit.

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

Postby tincaalot » Tue Dec 04, 2012 06:31 am

I've only got into cycling about 2 years ago having done little for 10yrs or more. Even before then I didnt stand up having oodles of gears on my old mountain bike to chose from. However, buying my 1st racing bike in 35+ years(one of those approaching age 50 moments) changed things somewhat. This hasnt been helped by living up the top of a hill -you either do the walk of shame or you ride it, in the latter case impressing the neighbours with your lobster-like appearance on arrival.
When I started I hated hills and couldnt get the hang of standing up. I cant say now that I love climbing, but 3 things improved my technique. Firstly, a few days spent cycling in the Isle of Wight. Now I'm not suggesting fellow newbies rush down to the Isle of Wight ferry,but it was the short sharp nature of the hills(and plenty of them) there that gave me plenty of practice in getting me out of the saddle and ultimately gave me more confidence when I returned back to S.Wales. Around here, hills tend to be longer and steeper. So basically pick your routes with a similar topography and hopefully that may help.
Secondly, I also got around to joining a cycling club who have an insane habit(at least to me) of picking routes with the steepest climbs they can find-the ones with names! In this respect I cant say they've taught me anything only that if I dont go a little faster, I wont be joining them for a slice of cake at the next stop, so I've had to improve.
Finally-and probably the biggest influence on my climbing- is my cycling club's winter spinning classes. Over the last 2 winters, I've really seen a difference to my confidence in the technique. The 1hr classes get you standing up consistently and since you cant get left behind, that bit of pressure is taken off you. They are definatly worth a try in the winter months at your local leisure centre.

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

Postby ALIHISGREAT » Tue Dec 04, 2012 14:39 pm

Trev The Rev wrote:It is nothing to do with core strength or bike stiffness or pedals. It is all to do with sustainable power to weight ratio. If you stand you are probably putting down more power so run out of steam sooner than if you are sitting. If people go up the hill faster than you it is because their power to weight ratio is better than yours. Fast twitch muscle fibers do tire sooner than slow twitch which is why I said 'sustainable' power to weight ratio.


But core strength, bike stiffness.. and pedals.. all play a role in climbing even if they are marginal gains (although going from a weak core to a strong core is much more significant than a marginal gain).

So you can't say its got nothing to do with those factors.

or you could do what you normally do and dig up some random research related to cycling a unicycle on flat roads and try and claim it supports your point?

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

Postby deswahriff » Tue Dec 04, 2012 16:19 pm

nolight wrote:I also have the same problem of standing up climbing! However it may have something to do with my lack of confidence in standing (climb or no climb) anyway so I need practise.

Some things I need to learn:
Is it easier or more difficult to stand up when in clipless pedals vs platform pedals? I am in platform at the moment but may change to clipless.

How do you balance yourself when standing? I always worry I may fall down. Should I shift my weight forward?

Getting in the right gear when standing. Currently I am using the constant cadence strategy, so I shift to easier gear when climbing. This is not the correct way for standing right? What is the ideal gear to be in for standing relative to the same gear when sitting (2 gears higher maybe)?

Should I be standing up and at the right gear already before starting the climb? Because once I am sitting and on the hill I find so difficult to stand up, feels very tired and lazy. Or it is just lack of practice and core strength?


...I've spent the last three months really working at this , after 2 years cycling, not unlike tincaalot, here's my thoughts in relation to the questions above...

..much easier in clipless pedals, second best is loose toe-straps if you're not ready for clipless. I'd imagine it would be very hard on platform pedals - if you choose too easy a gear your feet will tend to lift on the upstroke, and there's a danger your foot could slip under down stroke pressure..

..balance can be tricky at first, the bike is much twitchier and can swing what feels like violently, under pressure. I tend to lean forward but keep upright..sort of letting my weight fall on the down leg if that makes sense. Feeling secure in you pedals helps a lot. I still often sit back down when in traffic to avoid an excessive wobble...

...the right gear.....if I'm comfortable sitting down, I'll usually click up 2 gears for standing - most often its fine. With practise you get a feel for what is going to work, eg if its starting to ramp up a little while I'm sitting, one click will often be enough. If you're in too easy a gear when standing, it really makes is tough!...best to sit back and adjust and try again....I've never tried changing gear while standing.
I now find it becoming much more intuitive, I'll stand just for a change (maybe 20 revs standing, 20 sitting etc..I seem to find I get a boost when I sit back down ), when the gradient increases just to "power" up a steeper section of a longer climb, or just to blast up a very short climb (hump back bridge etc) without changing gear...

anyways, stick at it, find a favourite hill to practise on...3 months ago I never got out the saddle - now its added another dimension to my enjoyment of cycling and my Strava times have improved constantly.
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elderone
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Re: standing up climbing..why is it so hard

Postby elderone » Tue Dec 04, 2012 16:49 pm

thats a very good write up.cheers ^^^^^
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pride4ever
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Re: standing up climbing..why is it so hard

Postby pride4ever » Tue Dec 04, 2012 18:44 pm

If youve watched any mountain section of any road race you will see that all the best climbers do it out of the saddle....nuff said.

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

Postby elderone » Tue Dec 04, 2012 21:22 pm

pride4ever wrote:If youve watched any mountain section of any road race you will see that all the best climbers do it out of the saddle....nuff said.

Yes but im a beginner not a road racer so that doesn,t really say anything .Most road racers also go at a pace most on here only dream off and will never achieve.
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styxd
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Re: standing up climbing..why is it so hard

Postby styxd » Wed Dec 05, 2012 00:00 am

Climbing out of the saddle is something worth learning. You can probably sit and climb most hills, but its nice to mix it up as it uses different muscles to seated climbing.

It depends which 100mile sportive yo want to complete really. Something with steep hills like the Fred Whitton would be quite difficult to do completely seated, unless you had very low gears.

With a double, I find myself climbing most of the steep hills like wrynose and hardknott out of the saddle from bottom to top.

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

Postby elderone » Wed Dec 05, 2012 01:35 am

styxd wrote:Climbing out of the saddle is something worth learning. You can probably sit and climb most hills, but its nice to mix it up as it uses different muscles to seated climbing.

It depends which 100mile sportive yo want to complete really. Something with steep hills like the Fred Whitton would be quite difficult to do completely seated, unless you had very low gears.

With a double, I find myself climbing most of the steep hills like wrynose and hardknott out of the saddle from bottom to top.

Well,just been watching some hardknott vids on utube and from what i,ve seen,your doing extremely well to climb out the saddle.
nice one.
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RoadMeridaBen
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Re: standing up climbing..why is it so hard

Postby RoadMeridaBen » Wed Dec 05, 2012 10:28 am

I find the opposite, find it much easier to climb out of the saddle even when I had just started cycling i found the same.
A few months ago i tried a strava segment twice within 20 minutes, once standing and once seated
went balls out on both attempts and actually recorded bang on the same time on both runs, although it took
40 watts more standing
10 mile TT pb - 20:56 R10/17
25 - 53:07 R25/7
Now using strava http://app.strava.com/athletes/155152

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

Postby elderone » Wed Dec 05, 2012 13:37 pm

Now that is interesting and tends to edge to the what suits individually side of the fence,which is what I have thought all along.
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limoneboy
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Re: standing up climbing..why is it so hard

Postby limoneboy » Thu Dec 06, 2012 00:04 am

Respect to you doing the horseshoe pass in one go after 3 months of riding.

Its a pretty hard climb for beginners ,i do it a lot as its round the corner from me ,tip on that climb would be to pace yourself ,if you try to hard just before the parking area before the cattle grid you will blow out before the actual horse shoe after that its a breeze. to be honest a lot of people miss out on the best of the horseshoe which is coming back down at 50+ mph it's a treat as you can see for miles further down the road . i do both standing and sitting but as all comments above make sure your in the correct gear and when standing control your breathing to keep the heart rate down.
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FlacVest
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Re: standing up climbing..why is it so hard

Postby FlacVest » Fri Dec 07, 2012 00:14 am

You have to find the right amount of upward force generated by the bike to match what you'd like to comfortably put down, if that makes sense. That's what we're always doing when we cycle through gears to find the right cadence.

It's the same thing. You shift up 2 or so gears so you can keep a preferred cadence that matches best with your body's ability to push down with enough force so that you aren't wasting energy and having to use your core to hold you up. If you shift too low, you'll use your core to keep upright. Too high and you have to pull hard on the bars for leverage.

If you do it right, you use virtually none of your core, and it's just like climbing stairs... but a bit more fluid.

Just mess around with it; mess around with what feels best for you, but you do have to be fit; you're going to use the muscles in your back along with your abdominal muscles a lot more, so if those are weak you're going to feel it. Because you're using more muscles, you're going to require more oxygen as well. So, again, if you aren't fit, you're going to tire.

The more you do it, the better you'll get at it. Find what's right for you; if it's a shallow hill, I'll put my hands in the hooks and get out of the saddle there. If it's steeper or longer, I'll put my hands on the hoods and stand up.

But you don't even need a hill; just shift up 3 or so times on the flat and pedal. No reason why you can't do it there.

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

Postby nolight » Sat Dec 08, 2012 06:32 am

I am getting more comfortable standing on flat land. But still very weak in climbing. Today I tried to stand up while climbing, my legs cramped and immediately I sit down again. There are times when I find a nice rhythm but normally that is on flat land.

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

Postby smidsy » Sat Dec 08, 2012 08:54 am

FlacVest wrote:If you do it right, you use virtually none of your core, and it's just like climbing stairs... but a bit more fluid. ... Really!
you're going to use the muscles in your back along with your abdominal muscles a lot more, so if those are weak you're going to feel it.


So that is your core is it not?

So back to my original position earlier in this thread. Good core fitness is essential for out of the saddle work. If your core is weak you loose a lot of energy swaying around.
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TakeTurns
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Re: standing up climbing..why is it so hard

Postby TakeTurns » Sat Dec 08, 2012 11:24 am

When I was a beginner to cycling, I would have to climb out of the saddle a lot. I'd notice my speed decreasing so I'd get out the saddle to try maintain it. At the time of being a beginner, my muscles had not yet adapted to such work load and therefore needed a slight break. Switching between sitting and standing allows you to engage different muscle groups. Especially if you come to a steep section on a hill, getting out of the saddle can help you power up that section easier than you would be able to whilst seated.

However, now that I'm a a better cyclist than I was back then. I can do majority of the hills seated. This doesn't mean it's the best way to climb them. I still get out the saddle on steep sections because it helps to get up and over them faster.

I agree with the comments about core strength being important. Ever since I've been doing cycling specific core workouts, my upper body feels a lot more solid on the bike. I've read that Wiggo was advised by his coach to work on his core in order to improve his power output. Although it added a slight bit of weight to him, it improved his performance.


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