pedaling while standing.........power vs wasted energy

Discussion in 'Road Cycling' started by Realdean, May 8, 2003.

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  1. Realdean

    Realdean Guest

    Can someone comment on pedaling standing up vs sitting down. It's my understanding that for taller
    people (that are typically above 2.3 pounds of weight per inch of height) it takes more energy and
    is less efficient to pedal while standing up. However, even though it is more wastful in terms of
    energy conservation, does standing up enable a rider to generate more power per pedal stroke? I
    would imagine it must. Why else would riders stand while climbing hills or when attacking. Has
    anyone ever calculated or estimate the increase in power (perhaps measured in wattage)that is
    generated by standing up vs sitting down?......................dean
     
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  2. Robert Chung

    Robert Chung Guest

    "realdean" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > Can someone comment on pedaling standing up vs sitting down. It's my understanding that for taller
    > people (that are typically above 2.3 pounds of weight per inch of height) it takes more energy and
    > is less efficient to pedal while standing up. However, even though it is more wastful in terms of
    > energy conservation, does standing up enable a rider to generate more power per pedal stroke? I
    > would imagine it must. Why else would riders stand while climbing hills or when attacking. Has
    > anyone ever calculated or estimate the increase in power (perhaps measured in wattage)that is
    > generated by standing up vs sitting down?......................dean

    It's almost surely less efficient from a thermodynamic perspective, and it increases your aero drag,
    too. (Aero drag is less important on hills, though, since you're going slower). However, power is
    pedal velocity * pedal torque so if you can increase torque more than the loss in pedal velocity
    you'll net to the good; if you can't, you won't. I suspect that, within normal ranges, fatigue is
    more sensitive to increases in torque than increases in cadence so standing up to increase your
    torque (and power) is not something that you can do forever. You can do it for sprints and you can
    do it for a little while on a hill, but it isn't sustainable in the long-run or else you could get
    rid of your seat (note to Father Guido: get rid of the seatpost, too) and stand all the time.

    If you have data from a power meter you can figure out pedal velocity, pedal torque, and gearing
    used. I looked at gear usage and power for a hillclimb here:
    http://mywebpage.netscape.com/rechung/wattage/sbhc/sbhc.html where it's possible to see where the
    rider was standing in order to get more power. Using the same data, I examined the separable
    components of pedal velocity and torque here:
    http://mywebpage.netscape.com/rechung/wattage/components/components.html.

    As an aside, the torque-pedal velocity-power relationship may be different for a hillclimb, a flat
    TT, a crit, and a road race, even for the same rider, because of gearing choices and the different
    way that power scales with speed.
     
  3. "realdean" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    >Has anyone ever calculated or estimate the increase in power (perhaps measured in wattage)that is
    >generated by standing up vs sitting down?

    I was pointed to this reference very recently - some researchers measured the difference at
    around 5%.

    http://tinyurl.com/ba4u

    --
    ==================
    Kraig Willett www.biketechreview.com
    ==================
     
  4. Robert Chung

    Robert Chung Guest

    "Kraig Willett" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    >
    > "realdean" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > news:[email protected]...
    > >Has anyone ever calculated or estimate the increase in power (perhaps measured in wattage)that is
    > >generated by standing up vs sitting down?
    >
    > I was pointed to this reference very recently - some researchers measured the difference at
    > around 5%.
    >
    > http://tinyurl.com/ba4u

    It would have been interesting if they had let the riders change position if they so desired during
    the test. And while the fatigue levels didn't look different, that was only for a 30 second test.

    BTW, Kraig, were you standing, sitting, or going freely from one to the other during these:
    http://tinyurl.com/azfr ?
     
  5. "Robert Chung" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    >
    > "Kraig Willett" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > news:[email protected]...
    > >
    > > "realdean" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > > news:[email protected]...
    > > >Has anyone ever calculated or estimate the increase in power (perhaps measured in wattage)that
    > > >is generated by standing up vs sitting down?
    > >
    > > I was pointed to this reference very recently - some researchers
    measured
    > > the difference at around 5%.
    > >
    > > http://tinyurl.com/ba4u
    >
    > It would have been interesting if they had let the riders change position
    if
    > they so desired during the test. And while the fatigue levels didn't look different, that was only
    > for a 30 second test.
    >
    > BTW, Kraig, were you standing, sitting, or going freely from one to the other during these:
    > http://tinyurl.com/azfr ?
    >

    For the short ones (first four, IIRC) I was standing the whole time, but the longer one(s) I sat
    down at some point - don't ask me when, though!!

    --
    ==================
    Kraig Willett www.biketechreview.com
    ==================
     
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