Standing Up and Riding... Harder??



I have only been cycling for several months now and have heard that you waste a lot of energy when you come out of the saddle. Well I don't know any better so I have been sitting down on most of my rides, even on the really tough up hills. I use a HRM sometimes and I notice that when I do stand up my HR increases dramatically.
Well after watching the Tour over the past several weeks I noticed that the Pros come out of the saddle quite a bit. Is there some secret to riding out of the saddle that I don't know about to help you stay relaxed and not waste energy??
Any help would be great. Thanks
Cycling standing up is less efficent (i.e. you us more energy) because you use a greater muscle mass. However at times (e.g. on hills, starts, sprints, etc.) it can be more effective as it allows you to produce a higher power output for a little while. Therefore you need to find a balance between riding efficntly and effectivly.

You'll need to start practicing riding out of your saddle, perhaps the best way to do this is to rise out of your saddle at the same time as your training partners. For an efficent out of the saddle technique keep your body as still as you can.
Standing up also rests the muscles you use when seated - standing up for a minute or two makes you feel a bit more comfortable.
standing and riding is an explosive way of riding , but it can also be used in a restful way. first rule when you come out of the saddle relax unless sprinting dont pull the bike from side to side let your legs do that. i find it easier to come out the saddle and drop two gears so as not to let my legs run away.if your climbing dont tense at all and try remain constant and get in to a rythmn also very important ride with a push and a pull on the pedals standing or not it always helps. ;)
Pedalling out of the saddle can help to give you a short burst of power (perhaps over a particularly steep hill or something), but it's very hard to sustain for a long period of time. Ergo, I spend most of my rides in the saddle, but occasionally get out of the saddle when I feel the need to.
Riding out the saddle is a good way to "rest" the leg muscles on the climbs. You use slightly different muscle groups and you are using your bodyweight to help turn the pedals. the reason your HR increases is that you do produce more power out of the saddle but also because you are using chest, arms and shoulders too.
Another big help in standing is upper body strength. I started doing some workouts for my upper body in the gym and after this found that standing while riding was (1) much easier and (2) my HR was lower.
A strong upper body is a must on really steep short climbs, its also important to pedal the full pedal stroke rather than just push down.
For the fully researched answer:
Just to summarise that for everyone:<br /><br />
  • HR and energy expendature is higher standing at low gradients (4%).
  • HR and energy expendature is the same when standing or seated at high gradients (10%)
  • VO2 max is the same when standing or seated.
<br />Remember though this study was perfromed on a treadmill not the road! Take from it what you will.<br /><br />I'd like to see a standing VO2 max test perfromed. Oh, and by the way what gradient was that performed at? I would assume given their other results at 10% there would be no difference between standing and seated VO2 max, but on the flat or at 4% a higher VO2 max would be acheived when standing!<br /><br />Sorry Animal, there is not really enough info to describe this as 'fully researched'. ;)