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Clydesdales/Athenas (200+ lb / 91+ kg) Looking to lose that spare tire? Ideal weight 200+? Frustrated being a large cyclist in a sport geared for the ultra-light? Learn about the bikes and parts that can take the abuse of a heavier cyclist, how to keep your body going while losing the weight, and get support from others who've been successful.

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Old 08-13-11, 11:25 PM   #1
kookaburra1701
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Is there a secret to standing?

So, all of the books I have recommend alternating sitting and standing when you go up hills - the problem is I can't stand and pedal at the same time!

I remember doing it effortlessly as a kid, but now whenever I try to stand and pedal at the same time I wobble all over the road - last time I ended up in the culvert. I've tried moving the bike side to side, NOT moving the bike side to side...is there something I'm missing or does it just take practice?
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Old 08-13-11, 11:47 PM   #2
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If you have drop bars, where are your hands?
Hoods might be a good place to start. Also
try a harder gear if standing than what you
normally use seated. Sometimes it just takes
getting used to. Keep practicing and let us know
how it goes
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Old 08-13-11, 11:50 PM   #3
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My hands are usually on the tops, I only really go into the drops when I need to use the brakes. The hoods on my bike are not comfortable to rest on, I've tried to use them more, but they're so small that all my weight ends up on my thumbs. (And my hands are so small that small women's gloves are too big!)

I'm planning on going for a fairly rolling ride tomorrow, so I'll be trying to do more standing.
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Old 08-14-11, 12:00 AM   #4
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Tops on a roadbike may not give you the best leverage
for standing up. When you were a kid standing on a bike,
you probably had wide bars of some sort. If you can't use
the hoods, just try spreading your hands on the top as wide
as you can. You can even use the curve where the top starts
to bend down, the bull horns some might say.
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Old 08-14-11, 02:56 AM   #5
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What kind of pedal system are you using?
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Old 08-14-11, 04:34 AM   #6
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on a side note might consider moving the hoods slightly in a little so they feel better.
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Old 08-14-11, 06:44 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1nterceptor View Post
Tops on a roadbike may not give you the best leverage
for standing up.
When you were a kid standing on a bike,
you probably had wide bars of some sort. If you can't use
the hoods, just try spreading your hands on the top as wide
as you can. You can even use the curve where the top starts
to bend down, the bull horns some might say.
This would probably explain any wobbling around.
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Old 08-14-11, 07:06 AM   #8
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practice, practice, practice.

You couldn't ride a bike very far as an adult when you first got back into biking either.
Yet you did it as a kid effortlessly.

How did you improve just riding a bike?
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Old 08-14-11, 07:23 AM   #9
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Get used to standing on flatter terrain. Use gearing that's one gear harder than you use sitting. Start with shorter climbs where you're only taking a dozen or fewer pedal strokes standing. It uses different muscles than sitting and your butt/hamstrings may be sore the next day.

I ride standing with my hands on the hoods of my drop bars. Sometimes it helps to tuck my elbows into my ribcage to help stabilize my upper body.

The clipless pedals help - no worries about slipping off the pedals like I used to with my old platform pedals/rattraps. Also gloves to get a firm grip. You don't want to have your hands slipping.
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Old 08-14-11, 11:12 AM   #10
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Yep, practice on flat areas first. Traffic intersections where you have to stop are good too. Practice jumping up and powering through the intersection while standing. The increased acceleration from standing still will get you used to how the bike moves beneath you when you apply power to the pedals (like you do on a hill).
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Old 08-14-11, 11:15 AM   #11
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What kind of pedal system are you using?
I don't know, they're not platforms and they're not clipless. I *think* they're meant to be used with toeclips. I use them with sneakers.
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Old 08-14-11, 11:18 AM   #12
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Quote:
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The clipless pedals help - no worries about slipping off the pedals like I used to with my old platform pedals/rattraps. Also gloves to get a firm grip. You don't want to have your hands slipping.
Yeah, I've got gloves, clipless pedals and shoes are on the list for next paycheck.
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Old 08-14-11, 11:19 AM   #13
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on a side note might consider moving the hoods slightly in a little so they feel better.
You can move hoods?
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Old 08-14-11, 11:22 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kookaburra1701 View Post
You can move hoods?

Not very easily, it takes some time, but yes, they can be moved.
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Old 08-14-11, 03:07 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1nterceptor View Post
Tops on a roadbike may not give you the best leverage
for standing up. When you were a kid standing on a bike,
you probably had wide bars of some sort. If you can't use
the hoods, just try spreading your hands on the top as wide
as you can. You can even use the curve where the top starts
to bend down, the bull horns some might say.
I did it! I can't quite reach my brake hoods comfortably, so I used the bits right when the bars start going forward, and it worked...for about 12 revolutions at least, ha ha. But I really felt in control of the bike and was able to pedal up the hill very smoothly, thank you everyone for your help.
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Old 08-14-11, 03:21 PM   #16
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Good job, practice makes perfect.
So go ride some more
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Old 08-14-11, 03:39 PM   #17
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That's great. A wider base for your hands always makes your riding more stable. My hands aren't comfortable in any position for a long period of time. I need to move them around to keep them comfortable, you may need to do the same.
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Old 08-14-11, 05:21 PM   #18
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Glad to hear a wider stance helps. And that you will be picking up some shoes and pedals soon to go clipless. That will help tremendously with your stability while standing.
I might also suggest that you talk to your LBS about your fitment, and see if they might be able to recommend something (like a new stem perhaps) to help you be able to fully reach all of your cockpit. Because if you cant ride comfortably in the hoods, or in the drops, you are losing alot of control, and more importantly comfort.
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Old 08-14-11, 07:03 PM   #19
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My experience- standing got a lot easier as I lost some weight, but control was never the issue, just leg strength versus weight. I can put my hands on the tops, on the hoods, or on the drops and still stand and pedal.

Find a spot where you won't suddently loose speed and fall over if you mess up. Shift into a harder gear where you're pedaling sort of slowly and just barely lift your butt off the saddle while you pedal and see how it works.
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Old 08-14-11, 07:09 PM   #20
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Old 08-14-11, 09:42 PM   #21
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Not very easily, it takes some time, but yes, they can be moved.
Seriously? I can move my hoods inward within a minute.
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Old 08-15-11, 04:15 AM   #22
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I don't know if this is the right technique, or not, but on long hills, I stand up on the pedals, and semi-lock my hip and knee on the 'up' side, and let the weight of my body (considerable), and gravity push the pedal down, then I just repeat it on the other side. This has the effect of me basically 'walking' the bike up the hill, and on really steep ones, it's the only way I can make it without dismounting and pushing.
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Old 08-17-11, 01:14 PM   #23
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One other thing I noticed that help me stand while pedaling is to lean your torso forward. I feel like I have my head in front of the front of the handlebars but that might be more of a feeling than where I actually am.
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Old 08-17-11, 01:24 PM   #24
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I don't know, they're not platforms and they're not clipless. I *think* they're meant to be used with toeclips. I use them with sneakers.
If you dont have a very solid base to work with, i.e. one that fully secures your foot to the bike, then you may have some issues with hammering away while standing. Especially with the amount of flex in the sole, and give in the cushion of the sole on your average pair of sneakers, i cant imagine your foot being steady on the pedal base.

Im going to bet that when you go clipless, the ability to stand will be alot easier. Because you will be able to lean forward a little bit, orient your foot differently, and shift your weight balance, all while still being able to put in maximum effort on a solid stable base. That way your muscles are working to move you forward, rather then balance you on a sloppy pedal, with your body at a funny angle.

Just my 2.
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Old 08-17-11, 01:46 PM   #25
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You can move hoods?
(1) Peel back the tape, loosen the grip the brifters use to connect to the bars, slide them up on the handlebar, tighten again, then retape things.
(2) Loosen your stem, rotate it backwards a little, then tighten it up.

Option #1 is preferable, but involves a little bit more work.

And it's holding the tops of the bars that was causing your problems.
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