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View Poll Results: Do you sit or stand on hills?
Yes, I stand. 24 17.14%
No, I don't. 26 18.57%
Depends. 90 64.29%
Voters: 140. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 09-18-06, 06:21 AM   #1
WillisB
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Standing on hills

I have some friends who always stand to go up hills. I don't. I prefer to sit and spin in a low gear.

What do you do?
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Old 09-18-06, 07:01 AM   #2
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It depends. On really long hills I like to stand every so often to stretch the legs and just change the position a bit. On some shorter hills, usually ones that I know quite well, I'll stand and just power through them. Finally, if I can't keep my cadence above 70 on a climb, I'll switch between seated and standing. For the most part, however, I try to spin as much as possible and save the knees.
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Old 09-18-06, 08:17 AM   #3
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I try to stand periodically for the weight-bearing aspect you don't get when cycling, and there are plenty of non-killer hills around here. Anything approaching Iowa Hill steep, though, I have to sit or my lungs explode!
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Old 09-18-06, 08:46 AM   #4
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I usually sit, but that is because I have been too tired to stand on any real climbs so far. I do however recently do some standing just for the butt break. It will get easier to do so as I lose weight...
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Old 09-18-06, 08:49 AM   #5
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i sit... unless it's really steep... then i stand... or if i just need to add some power... i'll stand a bit then sit back down...
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Old 09-18-06, 08:53 AM   #6
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If the hill is too steep to climb without standing, I stand.

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Old 09-18-06, 08:56 AM   #7
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I haven't yet bought the road bike I keep promising myself, but on my mtn.bike, if I can sit and spin, I will, but some hills I've got to stand, as I can't make it up them seated. Might be different on a road bike?
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Old 09-18-06, 09:04 AM   #8
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Exactly what NOS88 said.

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Old 09-18-06, 09:04 AM   #9
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I stand on steeper hills where I would have trouble keeping a high cadence. I like to power up them, it also relieves the legs and seat soreness.
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Old 09-18-06, 09:21 AM   #10
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Although I voted no on this poll, I do both.

For steady grades and long hills, I always sit and drop gears to keep my heart rate under control (I'm riding a mtn. bike). If I'm also out for a long ride, I'll sit and strive for a steady cadence.

If I'm on a training ride, I'll stand up to power through those short elevation changes (think 100 yards) to build my leg muscles.
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Old 09-18-06, 10:06 AM   #11
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Depends on the hill and which bike I'm using. If it's the Specialized Sequoia I usually mash up because it's lighter than the other bikes and I can end the misery quickly. It's not my favorite long-climber, though. My best hill bike is the '88 Trek 830 because it has the original Ovaltech chainrings and the mtb freewheel. It's a real truck. Heavy, but I don't notice so much because of the trapazoidal chainrings. It allows me to spin up or stand with ease. No knee issues on hills either, unlike the others.

The other bike is a '98 Trek 520. Very nice machine, but I find I am gravitating back to the old 830 for the hill climbimg aspects. It's the Ovaltech...
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Old 09-18-06, 10:17 AM   #12
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I stand when I am walking my bike to the top.
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Old 09-18-06, 10:32 AM   #13
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I've managed to go a while without learning to stand. Actually I find it quite difficult. I worked so hard to train myself to maintain a high cadence that it is hard to untrain. Now I know what the big ring is for!
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Old 09-18-06, 10:43 AM   #14
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In general I find standing to be a greater aerobic demand. So on unknown hills, especially winding ones where the top is neither visible nor known, I will usually remain sitting and hope I can make it up. On rare occasions when I'm bonked and the top is still unknown, I might try standing using a very slow cadence and basically just shifting weight slowly from one side to the other -letting gravity do the work while I give the "sitting" muscle group a break. I also will sometimes weave back and forth to make the slope more gentle.

But on known hills, I try to stand up as much as possible and power through them.
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Old 09-18-06, 11:01 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dauphin
I stand when I am walking my bike to the top.
Very funny!

I stand the most when I ride the Collegiate which weighs in close to 40 pounds and only has five gears.
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Old 09-18-06, 11:05 AM   #16
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Standing, if done correctly, can be very efficient, but I think it works best for lighter riders (I'm 6', 166 lbs).

On long climbs, I alternate between sitting and standing. I mostly stand when the grade kicks up, or when on switchbacks. On any short hill, I'll stand.

It helps a lot if you actually practice standing. Many riders I see are too far forward when they get out of the saddle. This has the effect of putting too much weight on the front wheel. It's better to push back a couple of inches, to get your weight back a bit. It also helps to focus on straightening your leg as your weight drives it down - this is similar to the mountain climber's "rest step" and momentarily takes the muscle tension off of your quad. Once you've had some practice with it, you'll find it fairly easy to "dance" up the mountain without going aerobic.

FWIW, I routinely practice climbing on a local hill - it's about 2 miles long with 600 feet of elevation gain, and I've ridden up the entire hill standing, just to see what it was like and work on technique. It's not quite as aerobically efficient as mixed seating/standing, but once you learn the technique you'll be surprised at how long you can stay out of the saddle (assuming you're not a Clydesdale). It's also the only way to win the King of the Mountain sprint at the top of the hill.
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Old 09-18-06, 11:06 AM   #17
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I think at some point and some age (varies by person) you have to take into account diminishing skills and abilities. Realize what you can reasonably do and try to stay within yourself.
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Old 09-18-06, 11:08 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dauphin
I think at some point and some age (varies by person) you have to take into account diminishing skills and abilities. Realize what you can reasonably do and try to stay within yourself.
Never.
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Old 09-18-06, 11:16 AM   #19
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Sit until I've run out of gears and I want an extra one-Then it is stand- OR can't be bothered to change down for the final bit of a slope and instead of changing down- Just stand. OR The butt aches and I have to get some weight off it - OR I am just bored with sitting down.

Take your pick- With our hills- I stand a lot
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Old 09-18-06, 11:20 AM   #20
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well, that's what makes forums interesting. Everyone has an opinion.
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Old 09-18-06, 11:23 AM   #21
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For century rides....

I try to stand about 5 to 10% of the time to give sit bones a break and change the stress on the muscles. So, the natural time to stand is on the hills and seldom on the flats or when speeds are higher because of the aero penalty from getting yourself up there in the wind blast. Earlier I hated to stand because I was uncomfortable with it. I held my arms stiff and my heart rate raced immediately. Now it seems I'm so much more relaxed in the upper body and just enjoy the pressure relief on the sit bones and stretching the muscles differently. I don't think my ave time really changes much from observing my speeds while standing or sitting. I think another key for me to feel comfortable standing is getting into a sequence of going up 3 or 4 cogs when I stand and immediately dropping 3 or 4 when I sit back down.
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Old 09-18-06, 12:04 PM   #22
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I don't feel like such a wuss any more. These guys make it sound like you should stand all the way up Everest. Needless to say I don't ride with them. I want to stay friends!
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Old 09-18-06, 12:43 PM   #23
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Does an exercise like squats help in climbing?
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Old 09-18-06, 01:24 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Garfield Cat
Does an exercise like squats help in climbing?
High rep squats would help, preferably front squats where most of the weight is on your thighs. Regular back squats distributes the weight on the hamstrings and glutes.

I have been trying to stand more, but it's difficult because of my weight. To sit and spin I need a small gear but to stand I need a bigger gear. It doesn't take long for the lactic build up to make me want to sit back down then I'm in too big a gear to spin. I'm learning...
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Old 09-18-06, 06:24 PM   #25
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5'8"/150#, I stand occaisionally to speed up some going up the long ones & usually just stand to pump through the shorter hills. Don
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