hill riding position

Discussion in 'Cycling Training' started by mogse, Sep 6, 2007.

  1. mogse

    mogse New Member

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    i've been experimenting with my hill training lately being new to cycling.
    i use a fairly steep hill 11% at a guess to train its about half a mile in length. i normaly ride up this hill standing up on the pedal outof the saddle. Recently instead I kept my bum on the seat and powered up the hill and managed a slightly faster time. I had more of a burn in the quads indicating to me i was getting a better work out.
    do any of you train on hill by staying in the saddle as long as possible to work the quads more? or is this a bad technique for getting up hills fast.
    it worked for me once but might of been just a fluke
     
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  2. frenchyge

    frenchyge New Member

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    I'm usually in the saddle while climbing, but I don't think it's a better (or worse) workout than standing. It's all about the amount of power you can generate during the climb.

    In a race, I would expect there to be serious attacks on an 11%, half-mile hill, and that everyone would be forced to stand and climb very hard in response. May as well get used to it in training.
     
  3. 5MinuteMajor

    5MinuteMajor New Member

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    I found a hill riding technique that is extremely fast and seems kind of efficient.
    Heres what I do...
    I stay in my saddle but rather than assume the aerodynamic position I sit tall, with my back straight, this allows me to generate good power. I usually shift to a low gear to keep my cadence rather high, I havent really measure my RPM's but I use higher cadence up hills than on flat ground. At the top of the hill I usually quickly shift up a couple gears and stand up to give me an extra boost over the hill. This technique seems to work great, as I am consistantly passing people up the hills.
    Heres the Problem (with me at least) ...
    The technique has great results but I often get tired extremely quick, at the top of the hill my legs are tired and my breathing is heavy. I feel that If I slow down I will lose efficiency and I really want to continue to pass people up hill. I would hate to abandon the technique all together but I am just getting so tired...what do you suggest I do? Train more or develop a new technique?
     
  4. chloroflexus2

    chloroflexus2 New Member

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    A friend of mine said that he has been playing around with using a power meter and watched it as he switched from out of the seat climbing and seated. He was amazed at the amount of power he lost whent his cadence went down from rising out of the saddle. I remember reading once that climbing out of the saddle was only effective if you have a really low body weight, e.g. Marco Pantani. Does anyone else know this cutoff or if I just dreamed it up?
     
  5. Vanquish

    Vanquish New Member

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    I have also been given advice on hill climbing position and after trialling a seated position, weight right over the back of the saddle hands on the flat bar maintaining a straight back - i was absolutely blown away by the speed i could maintain and added endurance, so no more stand up or hoods for me.
     
  6. Halcyon1

    Halcyon1 New Member

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    I have read (no idea where) that standing on the pedals uses something like 10% more energy than sitting. I like to sit and spin. I think that a more upright position is better as it allows for more efficient breathing.
    Halcyon
     
  7. tt1106

    tt1106 New Member

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    I believe staying seated is more efficient and has better oxygen utilization, but I sometimes stand, because I can use momentum and body weight to get me over the top. This is especially helpful when my quads are torched.
     
  8. bing181

    bing181 New Member

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    I'm in Europe, and in a recent French bike mag, they had the results of tests that purported to show that above about 75% of MHR, standing was no more or less efficient in terms of oxygen utilisation than sitting. I'm not sure what the protocol was, but it seemed fairly thorough. I was pretty surprised myself, but I find standing pretty comfortable so I've been less reluctant to not do it of late.
     
  9. oldbobcat

    oldbobcat Well-Known Member

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    I'm not surprised. It's difficult to pedal round when your standing, and you have to support your weight with your arms, which is hard work, especially for a larger rider. For me, standing is for powering over short rises, stepping up the pace, or resting the muscle groups used when sitting.
     
  10. ecandl

    ecandl New Member

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    I spend most of my time in the saddle with a higher than usual cadence. When I need to bridge a gap or when I just need a change of position I will stand after shifting up one or two gears. My HR seems to increase but when I sit down again, my legs feel a little rested. (as well as my butt and hands) Must be using the muscles a little differently.
     
  11. jsirabella

    jsirabella New Member

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    I can give you my little story and you can see what it is worth for you.

    I used to do most of my hills seated and switch to a lower gear and burn out the cadence but I like many others did not have the capacity to recover over the hill and on long hills I would burn out.

    I experimented last week and I think you should as everyone is different but I find that as I approach the hill and begin to climb I do not shift gears but instead stay in a the higher gear, no seat movement but move heel down with more force as if you are trying to scrape the ground with your heel. As I feel the cadence drop I move back on the seat and more on the hoods of the bike, grab hard the hoods and begin to use upper body muscles but the moving back on the bike gives me a better angle to apply more force through the heels to the pedals. Last when hitting the very top if I feel cadence drop again I get full out of seat, upper body swinging and move body and knees foward right over pedals and only at this time I may shift down the gears if too much for me to maintain.

    I have found that while may cadence is not that high because I am in a high gear, I maintain good speed. But the other product is that I do not get that feeling of out of breath and can come over the hill and keep accelerating.

    This weekend another rider was using me as a fox to catch up a series of hills I was doing a tempo ride and each time we approached a hill, he would fall off and than wait till I was mid hill and than chase me up the hill. Well I decided what is good for him is good for me, I used a low gear higher cadence and he caught me each time. But when I stood in my high gear and used the method above...bye bye baby, see you on the next hill. He caught me on one but right after he ran out of the park...

    Last night a really strong rider was doing a really nice paced tempo ride and she was ride the same bike as me. So again the same results...when lower gear and high cadence, very hard to catch but when high gear and method above, caught her every time. Yes she was a woman and she was one damn good rider...I have met my share of woman who can hold a pace better than most of the guys out there...

    -Js



     
  12. threaded

    threaded New Member

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    Cadence and power are generally proportional, and standing up generally means a lowering of cadence, but an increase in power due to leveraging that body weight. Many I see though lose cadence to a point where they produce less power than they win by standing, so overall lose power.

    Hence if you can keep the smoothness to the pedalling motion whilst stood, and therefore keep the cadence up, I feel that is the key. But it never feels 'right', look at a video of Pantani, it would appear to be fantastically painful even when you're the best at it.
     
  13. Afausto_A

    Afausto_A New Member

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    FWIW, sitting closer to the nose of the saddle also gives the muscle groups a temporary break when you're doing a climb with your buttocks over the rear of the saddle. This method is also helpful for shorter, steep sections as more weight is moved over the front wheel to help keep it on the ground.
     
  14. Mr. Bill

    Mr. Bill New Member

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    I agree: I've been riding a long time but only had my road bike a few months, and recently discovered that I climb best with my hands on the flats of the bar and maintaining an upright posture. Others with different body geometry might have different results. I've got short legs but strong quads, and an upright postures favors the quads over the hamstrings. Riders with stronger hamstrings might climb better on the hoods or drops. I also breathe better in an upright position.
     
  15. coneofsilence

    coneofsilence Member

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    I've found that using the flats of the bar, i'm a lot more comfortable when climbing. Thats what you need to be when climbing, as comfortable as possible.
     
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