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How much do you ride off the saddle?

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How much do you ride off the saddle?

Old 06-05-20, 03:06 PM
  #1  
yannisg
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How much do you ride off the saddle?

As I get older my sections of riding uphill off the saddle have decreased both in length and frequency. My weight has not changed.
I'm trying to combat this trend as much as possible, but still cannot come close to what I was capable in the near past, 2-3 years.
Also, towards the end of a long ride it gets even more difficult to ride off the saddle.
On brevets riding off the saddle prevents some of the saddle discomfort which I try to do on level sections.
In 2012 I completed a 6X200 brevet. I did not ride much off the saddle, but developed a saddle sore towards the end.
In 2016 I completed a 6X200 brevet, but I made sure I rode off the saddle as much as possible, and had no saddle sore. However, I suffered from numb hands for a few months after the brevet from putting extra weight on the hands.

Like to share yr experiences on this matter.
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Old 06-05-20, 03:52 PM
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I ride out of the saddle very little.....it tends to aggravate my knees and drives my heart rate up in a hurry.......
Max 24 pedal strokes..........hills only....
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Old 06-05-20, 04:17 PM
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99% of rides, to date, are under 20 miles. Almost never out of the saddle. No discomfort with a Cobb Randee under me
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Old 06-05-20, 05:09 PM
  #4  
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On my road bike, seldom out of the saddle. On my mtn.bike, seldom on the saddle (hardtail mtb so legs must function to absorb bumps).
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Old 06-05-20, 06:13 PM
  #5  
big john
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6x200? Do you mean you did 6 200k rides? Or a 1200k?
I only get out of the saddle to stretch and recruit different muscles, more often when climbing, like every few minutes. It's different with everyone, though. I rode across my valley alongside a local pro and he stood up the whole way, ten miles or so, and I was pushing myself pretty hard to not bore him too much.

I climbed a 9 mile canyon with another club rider and he stood all the way. Some people are comfortable standing for long periods.

A friend had long term numbness in his hands after his first 400k, I think, in the mountains. I get a little numbness after lots of descending and squeezing the brakes, especially when it's cold.

Last edited by big john; 06-05-20 at 06:18 PM.
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Old 06-05-20, 06:43 PM
  #6  
79pmooney
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I love "the dance" - out of the saddle, rocking the bike and everything moving except my head and eyes. I can do it near forever, Yes, HR is higher but I am recruiting the muscles at a lower percentage of their max (assuming the same speed as sitting) so they will stay fresher longer. I"m 67. Still doing it, just not as fast.

An observation on weight and age that directly relates to standing - we lose muscle mass as we age.Our bones and organs don't change weight a lot. (Well some of us are losing bone weight too.) So if we keep our fat (in pounds, not percentage) the same, we need to lose as many pounds as we did muscle (and bone). In other words, we need to lose weight as we age just to stay still. And staying still, our fat percentage goes up since the denominator went down.

I am seeing that I can get down to my old racing weight rather easily now as I can get there and still have a comfortable amount of fat. When I was 25, I had no belly fat. Less than 1/4" of handle. Below racing weight simply wasn't healthy. Now I could go 5 pounds under and be healthy. I do have to accept I cannot eat the American diet and if I want to be near those lower weights, have to accept that feeling hungry is good. Sucks, but ... every time I get out of the saddle, it's "yeah!!"

Ben
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Old 06-05-20, 06:46 PM
  #7  
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So little that I could probably say Never.
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Old 06-05-20, 07:07 PM
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Out of saddle climbing = very little.

Un-weighting my butt from the saddle on flats, hard efforts, etc = regularly

Descents = unweighting almost the whole way.
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Old 06-05-20, 07:36 PM
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I do a lot of out of the saddle, big gear, low cadence climbing. It's how I get a good workout while staying at the slower speed of my riding buddies, who sit and spin. I also like how it feels.
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Old 06-05-20, 08:19 PM
  #10  
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Most of my rides have 100+ ft of climb per mile so I am out of the saddle a lot. I have to maintain speed and power over inclines simply because at my weight I have no choice. I am always out of the saddle on switchback/corners. So maybe 10-15% of my ride time is out of the saddle.
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Old 06-05-20, 09:07 PM
  #11  
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When I started back into riding, my seat stayed firmly planted in the saddle at all points in the ride, but lately, I've been increasingly been doing the stand-n-mash, along with the "seat barely on the saddle, and hands hardly touching the handlebars" heavy pedal pushing. Not quite mashing, yet not quite spinning either.
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Old 06-05-20, 10:00 PM
  #12  
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Past few yrs out of saddle only for crotch rest. I do recall a time frame around 2008-11 perhaps when I did a lot of
short hills (100-150yds, 6-8%) out of the saddle and over that season my climbing ability did noticeably increase.
It is hard on the thighs however and tends to make me breathe rapidly so I don't do it now.

Thinking about it, I was stoking a lot on a tandem then and we stood up a lot, since 2012 I spend what used to be
tandem time on my recumbent where standing doesn't work and most of the work is done by my legs anyway.

Last edited by sch; 06-05-20 at 10:03 PM.
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Old 06-05-20, 10:08 PM
  #13  
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On long rides, after about the first hour I stand every 10 minutes, by the clock, but only for 30-45 seconds. It's just for my butt. Toward the end of any long hard ride, I have trouble getting up, especially without cramping, so I start to skip some of those, trying to balance leg pain against butt pain. For me, long stands on long rides eat my reserves. "Sit and spin, never bang your legs" is my motto.
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Old 06-06-20, 11:48 AM
  #14  
yannisg
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6x200? Do you mean you did 6 200k rides? Or a 1200k?
I only get out of the saddle to stretch and recruit different muscles, more often when climbing, like every few minutes. It's different with everyone, though. I rode across my valley alongside a local pro and he stood up the whole way, ten miles or so, and I was pushing myself pretty hard to not bore him too much.

I climbed a 9 mile canyon with another club rider and he stood all the way. Some people are comfortable standing for long periods.

A friend had long term numbness in his hands after his first 400k, I think, in the mountains. I get a little numbness after lots of descending and squeezing the brakes, especially when it's cold.

The 6X200 was 200 k per day. Much nicer that a 1200 k continuous.
Younger riders can stand for long periods. I haven't seen many older riders stand that much, if any.
In my opinion road surface affects the arms and hands specially when yr on the downhills.
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Old 06-06-20, 11:54 AM
  #15  
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Depends on the profile. On average 15-20% 0f the time.
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Old 06-06-20, 08:07 PM
  #16  
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I get out of the saddle to climb the little hill in the park so I don't lose all of my momentum by spinning. A couple of years ago I could stay seated up that same hill and just crank it up, but I'm getting older to where it is beginning to impact my riding ability. At 63 I could ride with anyone but at 65 it doesn't seem like the training is taking hold like it did. I don't feel any different otherwise, just slower. Maybe another 6 months of Sufferfest training would help?
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Old 06-07-20, 02:52 AM
  #17  
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All sprints are out of the saddle and on time trials I'll typically get out to power over shorter inclines. I like to keep a steady rhythm on hills, up to 7% I'll sit down mostly but steeper and I prefer to be out of the saddle.
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Old 06-07-20, 03:36 AM
  #18  
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More often and longer as I get stronger.

Took awhile to regain that ability though. When I resumed cycling in 2015 I was so out of shape I could barely pedal slowly for 400 yards without getting winded.

Now I get out of the saddle often for our many short, steep hills. It's not any faster. Just working different muscles. It does elevate my heart rate so it depends on whether I want a good cardio workout or I need to conserve energy. Usually I stand for about 50-100 yards at a time, the length of the typical 5%-12% climbs along my usual roller coaster route.

On good days I can stand to pedal -- carefully -- for up to a mile on a couple of 1%-2% inclines that are fairly smooth and steady, not too much vertical undulation. Again, it's not necessarily faster than seated pedaling, and is more stressful. But it helped with my overall conditioning.

And there is a traffic light intersection at the top of an incline with merging traffic where I want to maintain 20 mph or better, so I'll stand to sprint as hard as possible for 30 seconds. On Strava I look fast on that approach, but I can only sustain that effort for 30-60 seconds before I gas out. I set an audible alarm on my bike computer's heart rate monitor to alert me when I exceed 160 bpm (my max HR is around 170). I usually hit 161-163 bpm on that particular incline sprint.

I also use it a lot to maintain or regain momentum. I'm not a strong sprinter, especially seated, so I get out of the saddle often for a few strokes to maintain or regain momentum without shifting.

Part of that is due to my mostly riding an old school steel road bike with downtube shifters. It forces a different riding style. On my carbon bike with brifters I don't ride quite the same way. And when I do stand to pedal on a bike with brifters I can shift while standing. Can't do that with downtubes. I've heard some people claim it can be done, but I'm not risking a pratfall over pointless acrobatics.

Depends on the bike too. I can stand to pedal more easily on my upright hybrid with swept bars. I can stand straight up so all my weight goes to the pedals. On my road bikes I'm leaning forward, less weight on the pedals and it's actually harder and less efficient. So even tho the hybrid is heavier at around 30 lbs, that bike has some of my fastest times on short segments with standing sprints. I've considered raising the bar/stem on one road bike just to see if I can mimic that same effect, but it would compromise the aerodynamics overall for seated pedaling.

Last edited by canklecat; 06-07-20 at 03:39 AM.
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Old 06-07-20, 03:39 AM
  #19  
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Around 30 percent of my route (of which I do 3 laps, which takes just under an hour with not much wind) is a nice slow climb. I stay in the saddle.
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Old 06-07-20, 08:27 AM
  #20  
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I have a hilly commute. Two years ago I dropped the gearing on my two road bikes which lets me do a little more sit n' spin rather than out of the saddle climbing.

While I have felt a slight reduction in strength over the past 5 years, for me, the main issue with riding out of the saddle is my knees.
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Old 06-07-20, 10:16 AM
  #21  
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Originally Posted by 79pmooney View Post
I love "the dance" - out of the saddle, rocking the bike and everything moving except my head and eyes. I can do it near forever, Yes, HR is higher but I am recruiting the muscles at a lower percentage of their max (assuming the same speed as sitting) so they will stay fresher longer. I"m 67. Still doing it, just not as fast.

An observation on weight and age that directly relates to standing - we lose muscle mass as we age.Our bones and organs don't change weight a lot. (Well some of us are losing bone weight too.) So if we keep our fat (in pounds, not percentage) the same, we need to lose as many pounds as we did muscle (and bone). In other words, we need to lose weight as we age just to stay still. And staying still, our fat percentage goes up since the denominator went down.

I am seeing that I can get down to my old racing weight rather easily now as I can get there and still have a comfortable amount of fat. When I was 25, I had no belly fat. Less than 1/4" of handle. Below racing weight simply wasn't healthy. Now I could go 5 pounds under and be healthy. I do have to accept I cannot eat the American diet and if I want to be near those lower weights, have to accept that feeling hungry is good. Sucks, but ... every time I get out of the saddle, it's "yeah!!"

Ben
There's a reason why your HR is up. The muscles are being used more, thus you need more oxygen to your muscles.
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Old 06-07-20, 05:19 PM
  #22  
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I generally only get out of the saddle on sprinters hills but do it to rest a little (change muscle groups) on long climbs e.g.5 -20 miles. Also, to get up to speed after a stop so I don't get dropped.
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Old 06-08-20, 10:19 PM
  #23  
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I can do a km standing followed up with a km sitting. My thumbs get tired if longer. When zwifting I can stand much longer since the bike is bolted down.
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Old 06-09-20, 01:14 PM
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Every winter I do 10 minute low(ish) cadence standiing repeats once a week. Eventually I end up with three repeats per session at an increased cadence or higher gear. As all training sessions, it is consummately boring but pays dividends.
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Old 06-09-20, 03:50 PM
  #25  
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Originally Posted by spelger View Post
I can do a km standing followed up with a km sitting. My thumbs get tired if longer. When zwifting I can stand much longer since the bike is bolted down.
Try moving your weight back until you can slightly pull up on the downstroke side. If the saddle horn hits your thighs when that far back, try repositioning yourself in your cockpit by moving the saddle back until this is true. Hands should be very light on the bars.
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