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  1. #1
    Senior Member JimTjr's Avatar
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    How often do you stand and pound the pedals?

    Today on my ride of 41 miles I did some standing, now I'll tell you something, I DID NOT think that would cause the burn it caused in my legs! I really thought that while sitting, and peddling hard I was working my legs... No sir,,, standing is what really makes 'em burn. The last 5 miles had three sets of decent hills. More like "Valleys, where you see the road go distinctly down ahead, and back up. I made a "Pact" with myself that I would pour it on down the hill,, and then keep in it, and stand trying to maintain 18+ going up those hills. My legs were jelly at the end of the ride.... I didn't maintain 18 either,, but stayed over 15 on them.
    Retired UAW, General Motors. Federal Employee with the USAFR. I have worked on the F-4 Phantom, F-15 A-D models, B-2 Stealth Bomber, and now working with the F-15E Strike Eagle.
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  2. #2
    Senior Member david58's Avatar
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    I am a newby, but have found that standing more and more as I ride really helps strengthen my legs, and is a good changeup on long climbs. It does burn - my commute home has a pair of significant hills, and I have worked through the summer to get myself able to do as much as possible standing to add to the go-home workout. I am convinced it has helped my riding - now I can push over the rollers on longer rides and still maintain some speed.

    Sounds like folks down your way conserve asphalt - no switchbacks, just straight up and down. I found folks in Alabama do that, too....
    2011 BMC SR02; 2010 Fuji Cross Comp; n+1 on hold today, due to college tuition and a wedding. Some day, some where, over the rainbow, I will get that 29er....

  3. #3
    You gonna eat that? Doohickie's Avatar
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    When I ride my single speed, every ride. I only have two "gears"- sitting and standing. And I can't get up some of the hills I ride sitting down.
    I stop for people / whose right of way I honor / but not for no one.



    Originally Posted by bragi "However, it's never a good idea to overgeneralize."

  4. #4
    Senior Member JimTjr's Avatar
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    Yea, here in NC there are allot of rolling hills, then if I was about an hour and a half north,, the hills would be REAL KILLERS,, you get into the mountains then! LOL
    Retired UAW, General Motors. Federal Employee with the USAFR. I have worked on the F-4 Phantom, F-15 A-D models, B-2 Stealth Bomber, and now working with the F-15E Strike Eagle.
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  5. #5
    Grandpa with spunk Randy Bosma's Avatar
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    Rarely, but I'm thinkin that I should try it more often as I need to get better on hills. Alas, hills are something you have to go lookin for in Cook and Will counties.
    2011 Masi Speciale Randonneur
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  6. #6
    Senior Member NVanHiker's Avatar
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    Sitting uses more muscle groups - standing burns mainly the quads.

  7. #7
    Senior Member jmiked's Avatar
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    I never stand up when I pedal, no matter how steep the hill. My right knee wouldn't take it, it would go right out from under me. I can pedal all day up and down hills if I sit down, but standing up is right out.

  8. #8
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    One thing about standing is that you can/have to do it in a higher gear than sitting. If you are comfortably turning the pedals sitting and then stand- you will almost certainly spin out your legs. So if you want to stand then up a couple of gears or don't bother changing till it gets tough sitting and then stand.

    I don't stand often but top of a hill and no gears left and I will stand to give the legs a rest. Top of the hill in large or middle ring and instaed of changing on the front for the last 50 yards and I will stand- Or if the butt needs a rest I will stand.

    It does work a different group of muscles and is usefull. Efficient possibly and more tiring- Definitely.
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  9. #9
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    I stand when I am going uphill just for the variety of the position. When I am on my new single speed, I stand to get up stuff I can't get up while sitting. I like to stand. It feels good.
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  10. #10
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    "How often do you stand and pound the pedals?"

    Very seldom.......


  11. #11
    Senior Member bruce19's Avatar
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    I stand if I'm hitting a "sprinter's hill", to break up a long climb and near the top of a climb so I can get some speed over the crest. If I'm trying to make time I will stand to get up speed once over a hill to reduce the usual time to get back up to speed.

  12. #12
    SeŮor Blues on the path's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doohickie View Post
    When I ride my single speed, every ride. I only have two "gears"- sitting and standing. And I can't get up some of the hills I ride sitting down.
    I'm usually on my SS. I'm starting to re-think the sitting/standing thing.

    I had been trying to remain in the saddle to make all the hills I typically ride. Most of the time I can do it, but why keep trying?

    Having only one gear ratio, it's somewhat easier for me to get up out of the saddle and use my weight and a more forward body position to power up the steeper sections. Doing that just might preserve my knees as well.

  13. #13
    Senior Member gear's Avatar
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    I approach a hill with a positive attitude speed and lots of gears, Keeping my vision focused right in front of my wheel (looking at the hill top causes defeatism to creep in) I work my way down the gears while sitting, once I reach the 80% point of the hill I down shift and stand with my weight forward, if its a short hill I power over the top with lots of momentum, if its a long hill I might "walk" it over the hill top.

    When I stand I am pulling hard on the bars and rocking the bike from side to side, I do this in more of an exaggerated way when "walking" the bike as I am using less leg power and more weight for power with more weight shift, I'm also going slower than when I power over the top.

    Recently I have been experimenting with my pedal stroke while standing, I have found that on the down stroke I start with just my weight as the force behind the stroke and end the down stroke (the last 1/3 of the down stroke) with full effort from my leg; I use less effort but still get a good stroke.

  14. #14
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cranky old dude View Post
    "How often do you stand and pound the pedals?"

    Very seldom.......

    The single most significant difference between recumbents and diamond frame (conventional) bikes.

    A DF bike makes it possible to stand on the pedals for a quick spurt of acceleration. You can't do that on a recumbent. If you don't stand on the pedals quite a bit, you'll probably find yourself riding about the same speed on either a DF bike or a recumbent - and that includes uphills.

  15. #15
    just keep riding BluesDawg's Avatar
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    Part of the reason standing and pushing hard burns the legs is that you are using muscles you don't normally use while riding. If you start by standing briefly with slighter efforts and work up to longer and harder, it won't be as much of a shock to the system.
    The more you ride your bike, the less your ass will hurt.

  16. #16
    Senior Member OldsCOOL's Avatar
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    I stand when chasing cars from a dead stop. That's about it. There will come a time, maybe next season when coming out of the saddle will be more normal for me. I've always used the gears and legs to accelerated (I have never raced).
    Having a flat tire as part of the total cycling experience is highly overrated. Knowing how to fix one quickly is not.

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  17. #17
    Senior Member big john's Avatar
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    I stand to relieve the muscles and stretch a bit. Like BD said, the more I do it, the easier it gets. Some people can stand for miles. I rode about 9 miles with a local pro racer and he stood the entire time, even when checking traffic, etc.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Retro Grouch View Post
    The single most significant difference between recumbents and diamond frame (conventional) bikes.

    A DF bike makes it possible to stand on the pedals for a quick spurt of acceleration. You can't do that on a recumbent. If you don't stand on the pedals quite a bit, you'll probably find yourself riding about the same speed on either a DF bike or a recumbent - and that includes uphills.
    True indeed!

    For any kind of acceleration bursts I just plant my hips deep back into the seat and push hard and fast. Certainly not as "Jack Rabbit" quick as an upright bike, but effective enough for my needs.

  19. #19
    Half way there gmt13's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doohickie View Post
    When I ride my single speed, every ride. I only have two "gears"- sitting and standing. And I can't get up some of the hills I ride sitting down.
    Yep - this is me. Pretty much required when you have a single speed. I have found that sliding back in the saddle gives me a bit more power for the short hills.

    -Gary

  20. #20
    Have bike, will travel Barrettscv's Avatar
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    I found that standing while climbing aids power a little but kills endurance. I spent an entire year with a single 44t chain-ring with a 12-27 ten-speed cassette. The only way I could get over any hill with more than a 5% grade was to stand and mash the pedals. I discovered it was very difficult to finish a century ride in good form while depending on my quads to get over every hill. The only way I could use this drivetrain is due to the short hills in my region.

    I now have a wide range drivetrain and spin up the hills while sitting. The only reason I'll ever stand is to aid blood circulation and to stretch a little. Iím not only able to moderate my effort by spinning up the hill in the right gear, Iím also faster overall.
    Last edited by Barrettscv; 09-04-11 at 10:52 AM.

  21. #21
    Senior Member surgeonstone's Avatar
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    Frequently. I do it more to just stretch, accelerate fast, give my butt a break. Sometimes I will go a mile on the flats just for the fun of it.
    Last edited by surgeonstone; 09-04-11 at 08:06 AM.

  22. #22
    Idiot Emeritus sarals's Avatar
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    I've asked this very question of people in the group I ride with. The answers are as varied as the people. Some come out of their saddles any time the road tilts up, and stay off the seat until a descent. Some stand briefly. Some never do. Some insist that you MUST stand in order to be efficient on a climb. Some say "malarkey" to that notion!

    Me, I stand to accelerate, to sprint, and briefly when climbing. I can't stay out of the saddle for long when the hill gets steep (over 8%) because I easily over-spin and my legs load up FAST. I do stand to stretch, sometimes, and to relieve some, ummm, "parts" that need a comfort break!

    We're all different. I heard Bob Roll (Bobke) reply when asked by Phil about coming off of the saddle to climb that "you're more efficient seated, but sometimes you need that extra torque (sic)".
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  23. #23
    Senior Member JimTjr's Avatar
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    Ok, I understand, and would feel terrible if someone who was a para or amputee using a hand powered bike replied... ( But I hope everyone knows I did not mean anything bad! LOL
    Quote Originally Posted by cranky old dude View Post
    "How often do you stand and pound the pedals?"

    Very seldom.......

    Retired UAW, General Motors. Federal Employee with the USAFR. I have worked on the F-4 Phantom, F-15 A-D models, B-2 Stealth Bomber, and now working with the F-15E Strike Eagle.
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  24. #24
    Senior Member ericm979's Avatar
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    I stand frequently. I can stand for miles on a tough climb. When the grade steepens for a short distance I prefer to stand and maintain my speed rather than shift. I can pedal nearly as fast standing as I can during seated climbing. I'll also stand to attack on a climb (or on the flat) during a race or group ride, and of course when sprinting.

    Standing does use some energy from the upper body, so it is a little less efficient. But since it involves more muscles it also lets you make more power.

    It takes some practice to get to where standing on climbs is easy and natural. Do it often and you'll get used to it sooner.

  25. #25
    Senior Member JimTjr's Avatar
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    I can't see it being faster to sit, *Unless your legs are in much better shape than mine, it definitely works a different set of muscles, because I did 50 miles two weeks ago, no standing and really did not feel fatigued. (13 mph pace) That was on a Saturday, then I did 29 with the club at an 18+ mph pace and felt well worked I stood some on hills to keep up with the pack. Last week I only did 21 fairly hard solo, also stood a little more, and was well fatigued, yesterday I did 41 at a 16+ mph pace. I felt that. But I stood much more too. On several hills I KNOW I definitely was more efficient standing. I left it in the large ring on front, and middle ring on the rear, (9 speed carousel) Sitting I was dropping below 10 mph, standing I was able to maintain 14+ mph on the hills. I probably stood for .25 or more miles at a time 6-8 times. The last three were in the last 5 miles where I was darned fatigued already! LOL
    Retired UAW, General Motors. Federal Employee with the USAFR. I have worked on the F-4 Phantom, F-15 A-D models, B-2 Stealth Bomber, and now working with the F-15E Strike Eagle.
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