Out Of Saddle Or In Saddle On Climbs?



JamesAA

New Member
Aug 10, 2013
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What's harder, cycling in the saddle or out on climbs (climbs with maybe a 6-10% slope/grade)? For me it seems my HR gets higher faster out of the saddle (as opposed to sitting, in which case I can keep my HR at a slightly lower bpm).
 

Damien Lee

Active Member
May 16, 2015
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I tend to cycle in the saddle for minor slopes, it seems to be less tiring. For steeper slopes, I will often cycle off the saddle but I don't come across too many of these in my area. I've also noticed that my HR also bumps up a bit and I do need to keep it as a stable as possible as I'm getting on in years. I'll try to get some cycling done this upcoming weekend, perhaps I'll head farther out of town where there is a greater amount of hillside.
 

JamesAA

New Member
Aug 10, 2013
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Don't know how old you are but it's great that you are still riding and keeping active. Godspeed to you sir!
 

BikeBikeBikeBike

Well-Known Member
May 19, 2015
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I find I lift out of the saddle when I'm on really though climbs, I'll pop up a gear or two and stand up. Gives me a nice little boost but I can feel it's a little more taxing on the body.
 

jhuskey

Moderator
Oct 6, 2003
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You can derive more power out of the saddle but it does use more energy. A combination of standing for a minute or so and then sitting seems to be the most efficient method for faster climbing. That being said I sit most all the time.
 

limerickman

Well-Known Member
Jan 5, 2004
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Jan Ullrich school of climbing suggests that staying in the saddle is the best method.

At the stage, and given the deterioration in my climbing, standing or sitting makes no improvement in my case!
 

jhuskey

Moderator
Oct 6, 2003
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I hear Jan is riding a lot now. Of course he is not driving so the necessity has increased.
 

Uawadall

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Jun 14, 2015
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I'm 3 months in (a relative newbie), but I thought I'd give my experience from a week ago. I did a 33 mile group ride and stood up during nearly every climb, it felt great and I went through the climbs relatively fast. Nothing was crazy steep, but some were decent. The next day I went for another 30 miler and started climbing a very steep hill at the 20 mile point(1.2 miles at a 6% grade). I started seated and when I tried to stand, my legs were very fatigued and my energy seemed to be sapped right out of me. I had to sit the entire climb, slower, but got the job done. From now on, I will use standing climbing for minor climbs and towards the end of climbs.
 

JamesAA

New Member
Aug 10, 2013
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That seems logical to me.

Uawadall said:
I'm 3 months in (a relative newbie), but I thought I'd give my experience from a week ago. I did a 33 mile group ride and stood up during nearly every climb, it felt great and I went through the climbs relatively fast. Nothing was crazy steep, but some were decent. The next day I went for another 30 miler and started climbing a very steep hill at the 20 mile point(1.2 miles at a 6% grade). I started seated and when I tried to stand, my legs were very fatigued and my energy seemed to be sapped right out of me. I had to sit the entire climb, slower, but got the job done. From now on, I will use standing climbing for minor climbs and towards the end of climbs.
That seems logical to me.
 

GemmaRowlands

Member
Aug 3, 2015
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This is a good question, actually, and one that is best answered yourself - because only you know which feels the best for you while you're out cycling. For me, I find that standing out of saddle can help me with difficult hills, as I can use my weight to turn the pedals rather than just relying on the muscles in my legs on their own. This is incredibly helpful, and can certainly change the way that your body is able to cope with a journey, which can only be a good thing. You should test it out and see which you find easier, and then remember that for future reference.
 

Khatib22

New Member
Aug 4, 2015
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Climbs are definitely the hardest. There is nothing more challenging than going against gravity. Just ask any flying animal (it's a bad joke, I know.) But for me, I hate climbs. Luckily, I live in the relatively flat state of Michigan where climbs are pretty rare, but when I do find one, I hate it.
 

elvisish

New Member
Aug 1, 2015
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I tend to sit when riding steep climbs. I live in Lincoln UK and although there is lots of flat area in the countryside, if you go into town its a really steep grade to get back to where I live! All the hills up are a pretty good climb so when doing that I do tend to stay in the saddle, just find it easier personally.
 

sunshiney

Member
Aug 19, 2015
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Toronto
I'm usually out of saddle on long climbs.
I'm still working on building my strength and some hills I just can't stay in saddle for, I need the extra momentum of my weight on the pedals to get me over the peak.
Little by little it's improving though. I try to stay in saddle for as long as I can and then stand up to give myself that burst of energy when I need it.
There are lots of rolling hills where I cycle and I typically alternate between in saddle and out throughout the course of a ride. Sometimes it's just about working my muscles in a slightly different way for a minute to give my legs some relief.
 

Mr. Beanz

Well-Known Member
Aug 18, 2015
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I'm a saddle guy. I prefer a seated consistent rhythm. I've done timed events, 100 miles with 10,000 ft gain and only stood up once or twice to make chamois adjustments. :lol:
 

maydog

Well-Known Member
Feb 5, 2010
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If the climb is relatively short, standing can allow you generate greater torque at the same rpm, more power, to shoot over the top. Sometimes its just a good excuse to stand up for a minute.

Longer climbs that are performed closer to threshold power are better tackled in the saddle - unless it is so steep and you run out of low end. Try an hour climb out of the saddle and tell me how it went.