Cycling - hill climbing, standing vs sitting

Discussion in 'Triathlon' started by Mark J, Jun 3, 2003.

  1. Mark J

    Mark J Guest

    The tri that I am training for has a 26 mile bike, on a mostly flat course. Two climbs, one about
    100 vertical, the other about 600 vertical, both pretty steep.

    I can ride both hill either seated or standing. Both techniques are pretty slow, about 7-9 mph.
    Speed on these climbs is not too important.

    I would like to save some leg strength for the run. With this in mind, is standing or sitting more
    leg efficient. In other words, which muscles are used/not used for the run, the cycling standing, or
    the cycling sitting muscles?

    Thanks
     
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  2. Dambox

    Dambox Guest

    I read an article last week on this topic - not specifically muscle groups, however the conclusions
    were that everything was equal - speed, watts used etc , the only difference seen was that heart
    rate was higher for the standing position. They did also conclude that if the hill was very steep -
    standing is probably the only option.

    On 3 Jun 2003 07:51:36 -0700, [email protected] (Mark J) wrote:

    >The tri that I am training for has a 26 mile bike, on a mostly flat course. Two climbs, one about
    >100 vertical, the other about 600 vertical, both pretty steep.
    >
    >I can ride both hill either seated or standing. Both techniques are pretty slow, about 7-9 mph.
    >Speed on these climbs is not too important.
    >
    >I would like to save some leg strength for the run. With this in mind, is standing or sitting more
    >leg efficient. In other words, which muscles are used/not used for the run, the cycling standing,
    >or the cycling sitting muscles?
    >
    >Thanks

    --------------
    David, England
     
  3. Old Timer

    Old Timer Guest

    Interesting question, but I'd guess all of the tinkering you might do over the answer won't make a
    hill of beans difference. Save your legs throughout the entire bike ride and you'll have more for
    the run. In other words, what you do for the majority of the bike will affect your run more than a
    single or a couple of hills will.

    I'd do it the way you train for it - if you're a stander, stand. See how you feel when you get
    there. If you are fresh, get on it and get it over with! If you're tired, sit back and spin.

    I tend to use different percentages of effort at a given time based on race distance. For an olympic
    race (which I hate doing by the way) I wouldn't mind if I had a little lactic acid pain in the legs
    for the bike ride. For a sprint I would expect to be going hard enough that my legs hurt, and for a
    1/2 - little or no pain, and at Ironman - if I'm feeling pain at anything other than a big long hill
    I'm going too fast. What I'm trying to say is to not go so hard throughout the bike that you have
    much pain in your legs. That will make, at least for me it does, for a better run.
     
  4. Mark Hickey

    Mark Hickey Guest

    [email protected] (Mark J) wrote:

    >The tri that I am training for has a 26 mile bike, on a mostly flat course. Two climbs, one about
    >100 vertical, the other about 600 vertical, both pretty steep.
    >
    >I can ride both hill either seated or standing. Both techniques are pretty slow, about 7-9 mph.
    >Speed on these climbs is not too important.

    It's more important than you think. At that speed, putting in 25% more effort means you'll go 25%
    faster for the time you're climbing. On the flat, putting in 25% more effort might get you a 10%
    increase in speed. Therefore, you're using your energy more effectively climbing faster than you
    will riding the flats faster.

    >I would like to save some leg strength for the run. With this in mind, is standing or sitting more
    >leg efficient. In other words, which muscles are used/not used for the run, the cycling standing,
    >or the cycling sitting muscles?

    Generally sitting is more efficient in absolute terms, but due to the fact you can recruit different
    muscles when climbing out of the saddle, it's important to be able to do both. I've found that it's
    not hard to develop an "active rest" climbing method by climbing in a tall gear, and putting
    pressure on only the front pedal. If you get the cadence right, you'll be able to hold this for a
    long time (I sometimes climb Usury pass - about 4.5 miles - out of the saddle this way). But don't
    wait for race day to work on your climbing technique
    - practice different cadences up similar hills - when you get it right, it will be obvious.

    Mark Hickey Habanero Cycles http://www.habcycles.com Home of the $695 ti frame
     
  5. Topdog

    Topdog Guest

    [email protected] (Mark J) wrote in message
    news:<[email protected]ting.google.com>...
    > The tri that I am training for has a 26 mile bike, on a mostly flat course. Two climbs, one about
    > 100 vertical, the other about 600 vertical, both pretty steep.
    >
    > I can ride both hill either seated or standing. Both techniques are pretty slow, about 7-9 mph.
    > Speed on these climbs is not too important.
    >
    > I would like to save some leg strength for the run. With this in mind, is standing or sitting more
    > leg efficient. In other words, which muscles are used/not used for the run, the cycling standing,
    > or the cycling sitting muscles?
    >
    > Thanks

    If you can ride seated and keep a reasonably high cadence level, that would be your most efficient
    option. Try not to stand unless you need the extra power.
     
  6. Mark J wrote:
    >
    > The tri that I am training for has a 26 mile bike, on a mostly flat course. Two climbs, one about
    > 100 vertical, the other about 600 vertical, both pretty steep.
    >
    > I can ride both hill either seated or standing. Both techniques are pretty slow, about 7-9 mph.
    > Speed on these climbs is not too important.
    >
    > I would like to save some leg strength for the run. With this in mind, is standing or sitting more
    > leg efficient. In other words, which muscles are used/not used for the run, the cycling standing,
    > or the cycling sitting muscles?

    If you watch a bicycle race, e.g., the Giro D'Italia that just ended, going through the mountains,
    you'll generally find the smaller riders stand more. For most riders most of the time sitting is
    more efficient if you've practiced your seated climbing. I'm relatively light and I love to climb
    standing as much as I can, which means I'll tackle most short climbs standing, but for longer climbs
    you need to sit most of the time.

    -S-
     
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