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Cycling While Standing On The Pedals ?

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Cycling While Standing On The Pedals ?

Old 07-25-16, 03:33 PM
  #26  
79pmooney
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Art, are you using any kind of retention for your feet? Having your feet restrained by toeclips and straps or modern clipless pedals and cleats is scary (and will probably lead to a fall or two at very low speeds when you forget and stop). But having your feet restrained while riding out of the saddle will both boost your confidence and security and increase your power and efficiency when standing. (Restraints that allow pulling up with real force can be a revelation! It was for me.)

You are two months in. I won't say that you should go out and do the full clipless thing tomorrow, but have your eyes open. Talk at bike shops and to other riders, Listen. Observe. There is a big range of choices out there, far more than when I started 50 years ago.

I love standing. I love pulling hard on the pedals (and handlebars/brake hoods) when standing. I will stand far longer than I need to, simply because I love to. I call it "the dance". I loved the dance before I started riding fix gear but that took it to a new level.

Take what I say with caution. There is real risk of becoming seriously addicted to this new dance and being viewed by others as a fool. You may even find yourself seeking out steeper and longer hills, just to practice this dance.

Ben
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Old 07-25-16, 03:49 PM
  #27  
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Originally Posted by Artfahie View Post
I know... basic... dumb question. I've been getting into the sport over the past two months AND as much as I remember standing on my pedals (as a kid) in my younger days (one-speed back then) I haven't the confidence to try it at this time... Of course, uphill is when you need the energy.... does absolutely everyone do this, or are there others of you that hold back as I do ? I will most likely get around to it... sometimes even the granny gears barely get me through some of these Maine hills.
It's timely that you should ask this question today: I usually sit while climbing. Yesterday, I did my first century in Camden, Maine, and had to employ this technique once (the course was hilly, with about a 20-mile reprieve). Standing uses entirely different muscles (I felt it getting to my quads, rather than my hips).

If you consistently ride tough hills, I would consider getting the feel of standing while climbing. Maybe some riders, here, can suggest good off-bike exercises to strengthen the necessary muscles. I had the distinct feeling, yesterday, that these muscles were not properly developed/used.

I watch climbers on the Grand Tours, and it seems like maybe 60% of them stand and 40% sit while ascending. Your mathematics may vary.
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Old 07-25-16, 04:03 PM
  #28  
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Originally Posted by Artfahie View Post
Of course, uphill is when you need the energy....
Standing doesn't give you energy. It does increase your torque, but that basically just means that equivalentish effort will happen at lower cadence and higher gearing.

This does mean that, should you completely bottom out your gearing, standing may be the only way to smoothly pedal up the hill.

In my experience, the bigger usefulness of standing on climbs is that it changes your posture and uses different muscles. While spinning up a very long climb, it can be useful to occasionally increase your gearing a few steps and stand, rocking the bike gently back and forth beneath your arms, maintaining similar overall effort to the seated spinning.

Are you using any foot retention device (toe clips or clipless pedals)? Without having to think about foot contact on the pedals, you can ride out of the saddle more confidently and aggressively.
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Old 07-25-16, 04:16 PM
  #29  
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Originally Posted by joejack951 View Post
On flat ground, shifting up provides some comforting resistance when standing up since one naturally pedals a bit slower when standing than seated. On totally flat rides, I'll stand just to get some pressure off my butt and work some different muscles a bit.
I think you have it the wrong way 'round. When you stand, you have more leverage and can push the pedals around faster hence the gearing up that people often suggest. I also stand to work different muscle groups but find that I can just increase cadence. I'm usually not standing for long periods of time or lots of distances nor would I suggest that someone ride standing up on the flats for more than a few meters...100 meters would be a long distance in my opinion.

Originally Posted by joejack951 View Post
On the typical rolling hills that I ride, I have plenty of excuses to stand, whether to avoid shifting down to my granny ring on a particularly steep pitch or to keep momentum at the start of a climb or use some different muscles on a longer climb or even accelerate mid-climb. For the last two reasons in particular, I will shift up a gear or two to compensate for the change in cadence. If I need to sit back down, I just shift back to where I was as I'm sitting down.
Frankly, since Artfahie is having troubles with simply standing up to pedal, adding fiddling with the gears is just adding a layer of complexity that is unnecessary for a beginner. Perhaps after mastering just standing to pedal, Artfahie can experiment but for now, I'd still advise to keep it simple.
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Old 07-25-16, 04:16 PM
  #30  
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Originally Posted by Artfahie View Post
I know... basic... dumb question. I've been getting into the sport over the past two months AND as much as I remember standing on my pedals (as a kid) in my younger days (one-speed back then) I haven't the confidence to try it at this time... Of course, uphill is when you need the energy.... does absolutely everyone do this, or are there others of you that hold back as I do ? I will most likely get around to it... sometimes even the granny gears barely get me through some of these Maine hills.
I stand or sit and pedal depending on if I simply want to change pedaling position because I need to move around a bit to stretch, etc, or I need the extra power because I don't have a low enough gear to pedal sitting, or I think standing will give certain muscles a break.

As a general rule of thump, I feel much more comfortable pedaling at a very slow cadence while standing. I usually shift 2-3 gears higher just before standing when going up a hill, and then downshift the same 2 or 3 gears when sitting back down again, assuming I'm still going up the hill.

My wife never stands. She just doesn't do it. Therefore, she needs very low gears and enjoys the 30X32 lowest gear on her road bike.

I know I'm being insensitive to other people's abilities, but for the life of me I can't imagine why someone can't stand on their pedals. I've learned to keep that opinion to myself after mentioning it to my wife.
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Old 07-25-16, 04:24 PM
  #31  
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Originally Posted by TheLibrarian View Post
"Proper form" at least in mountain biking is to stay seated. This gives you better traction on the back tire. I like to aggressively attack smallish hills so generally stand up anyway. Feels better to me to push with some strength and be done quickly rather than spin up the hill slowly.
It may have been back in the old days of slack head angles, long wheel bases and poorly designed rider positions. I lived through those days. But given modern suspensions and better bicycle designs, remaining seated during a climb isn't necessary nor even desirable. Mountain biking is much too dynamic for there to be a "proper form" that people should stick to. Without going too far into the weeds of mountain bike handling, there are lots of times when you need to stand even for only a couple of crank arm turns (or less) to get over some trail obstacle.

Originally Posted by joejack951 View Post
Regardless of what is 'proper' or not, the ability to pedal smoothly while standing is a good skill to have. Uphill, downhill, on the flats, from a standing start (good point @caloso), all appropriate times to stand and pedal depending on the situation.
I completely agree.
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Old 07-25-16, 04:28 PM
  #32  
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The more I stand up while pedaling, the more I like doing it. Lately, I do it a lot to start up from a stop while in traffic. It gets me going more quickly than in the saddle, and I don't have to shift down as much, either. I think it's a good skill for cyclists to have, and it can teach you to climb better, too.
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Old 07-25-16, 04:29 PM
  #33  
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@cyccommute, I hadn't thought of it that way, and I'm sure it's because I haven't ridden mountain bikes any significant distance.
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Old 07-26-16, 04:37 AM
  #34  
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Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
I think you have it the wrong way 'round. When you stand, you have more leverage and can push the pedals around faster hence the gearing up that people often suggest. I also stand to work different muscle groups but find that I can just increase cadence. I'm usually not standing for long periods of time or lots of distances nor would I suggest that someone ride standing up on the flats for more than a few meters...100 meters would be a long distance in my opinion.
I'll chalk it up to a difference in pedaling style then. I've never truly tested myself to prove that I can't spin as fast standing as I can sitting but I do know that for a given exertion level, I can spin faster seated than standing. Yes, I get more leverage standing but that increased leverage only really helps on the downstroke and for me, hurts my cadence through the 'dead zone' (one pedal all the way down, the other at the top +/- some amount of degrees). As a result, if I don't want to slow down or increase my exertion level, I need to shift down when I stand.
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Old 07-26-16, 06:25 AM
  #35  
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Originally Posted by joejack951 View Post
I'll chalk it up to a difference in pedaling style then. I've never truly tested myself to prove that I can't spin as fast standing as I can sitting but I do know that for a given exertion level, I can spin faster seated than standing. Yes, I get more leverage standing but that increased leverage only really helps on the downstroke and for me, hurts my cadence through the 'dead zone' (one pedal all the way down, the other at the top +/- some amount of degrees). As a result, if I don't want to slow down or increase my exertion level, I need to shift down when I stand.
I'm confused. You said you shift up when you stand in a previous post...which is the conventional wisdom...and now you say you shift down when you stand. I'm not criticizing. Just confused.

Personally, I do understand the rational behind upshifting when standing but, for most applications, I just don't find it necessary.
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Old 07-26-16, 06:26 AM
  #36  
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Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
I'm confused. You said you shift up when you stand in a previous post...which is the conventional wisdom...and now you say you shift down when you stand. I'm not criticizing. Just confused.
Early morning typo. I meant 'up' not 'down'.
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Old 07-26-16, 06:56 PM
  #37  
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I never stand to pedal. But then, I can't stand and pedal. If I run out of low gears and have to stand, well, walking is just one more gear. (Rarely happens, though.)
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Old 07-26-16, 09:45 PM
  #38  
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Originally Posted by BlazingPedals View Post
I never stand to pedal. But then, I can't stand and pedal. If I run out of low gears and have to stand, well, walking is just one more gear. (Rarely happens, though.)
This is very, very odd.

You must not ride technical terrain, ever (MTB) or need to surge up short inclines (road) ever.

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Out of the saddle pedaling on all rides, dirt, gravel, or road regardless of bike.
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Old 07-27-16, 05:48 AM
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Originally Posted by YourMomApproves View Post
This is very, very odd.

You must not ride technical terrain, ever (MTB) or need to surge up short inclines (road) ever.

Signed,

Out of the saddle pedaling on all rides, dirt, gravel, or road regardless of bike.
YourMom... Check my avatar and all will be made clear.
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Old 07-27-16, 11:18 AM
  #40  
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Originally Posted by HTupolev View Post
In my experience, the bigger usefulness of standing on climbs is that it changes your posture and uses different muscles.
Isn't it also correcting your posture for the fact that the bike and you are on an angle? On really steep hill it seems like a natural thing to do, just not to fall or steer over the edge and into the valley. Maybe it's just me because I don't have enough speed without it, but to me it just doesn't feel right to 'lean back' at the angle of the hill. If I walk up a hill I move my body forward to and keep the angle like it was on a flat surface.
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