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Cycling While Standing On The Pedals ?

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Cycling While Standing On The Pedals ?

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Old 07-24-16, 06:36 PM
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Artfahie
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Cycling While Standing On The Pedals ?

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.
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Old 07-24-16, 06:39 PM
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Ride in your High gear on a flat road.
It will increase your balance.
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Old 07-24-16, 07:58 PM
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What worked for me was stand up while on bike resistance trainer while in high gear
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Old 07-24-16, 08:05 PM
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Shift up a couple of gears. Then hold your handle bars with your hands fairly wide apart, then stand up. IMO you'll find it not difficult.
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Old 07-24-16, 08:06 PM
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Originally Posted by 10 Wheels View Post
Ride in your High gear on a flat road.
It will increase your balance.
Good idea. Learn it on flat roads, and gentle inclines where you can sit back down as needed.
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Old 07-24-16, 08:36 PM
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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 spent a lot of time out of the saddle as a kid, riding BMX bikes. As an adult rider on road bikes, what gives me confidence is being clipped or strapped in to the pedals. I have this fear of my foot slipping off the pedal while standing, and Powergrips on my SS bike and SPD clips on my cyclocross bike have taken that fear away and made me much more confident out of the saddle. I think that if you did it as a kid you'll find it comes naturally when you pick it back up. Know the saying "it's like riding a bicycle?" It really is.
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Old 07-25-16, 05:32 AM
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Originally Posted by Rich11111 View Post
What worked for me was stand up while on bike resistance trainer while in high gear
This!

We don't have a lot of hilly areas in Florida but we certainly have a lot of monster bridges. Trying to get to the crest of some of these bridges without standing just doesn't work most of the time.

Pedaling while standing works different leg muscles. In many cases, it can wear you out faster. The use of a trainer will do the following: it will help build up the different muscle groups needed when standing, it will help you get a much smoother pedal rotation while standing, you won't have to worry about making it back to the house or car in the event your legs go out on you while practicing and you can practice perfecting your standing at any time in any weather condition. The only thing it won't help you with is the balance which has to be done on the road. Yes! Trainers are boring but they definitely serve a purpose.
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Old 07-25-16, 05:41 AM
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I guess this means you balance more with your buttocks than with your arms, which is a good thing. But of cours you'll have to learn to stand on your pedals too. Maybe you could practice the 'surplace', the track stand that they do in the sprint in track racing to get more confident in balancing a bike with your arms?
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Old 07-25-16, 07:02 AM
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Shift up, stand up and coast a few seconds to get the feel and some confidence. Ease into it, take a few pedal strokes. Do this when you're fresh, not after a hard effort.
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Old 07-25-16, 07:05 AM
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Grab hoods and highest gear then stand and pedal, pedal, pedal. Into a wind on flat ground is the best and is great training for climbing when living in FLATLAND SW FL.

My 53/23 was used for the first of 3 climbs yesterday then 39/23 for the next two after put on 2,000' then 3,500' of climbing.
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Old 07-25-16, 08:07 AM
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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 a bit more complicated than "just standing up" or " just shifting up a couple of gears". I certainly wouldn't suggest learning how to stand and pedal on a trainer since it doesn't mimic the motions you need for standing at all.

When I see people who struggling to pedal, the first thing I notice is that they don't understand the underlying rhythm needed. To get a feel for what you should do start slow. Not in speed but in pedaling. Get going at a comfortable speed and put the pedals parallel to the ground and push up off the saddle. You want you legs to be straight which puts you about as high as you can get. Keep a light grip on the handlebars as well. Coast for a little way to get used to the feeling.

Now push down with one leg and stop at the bottom of the stroke. Maintain the light grip on the bars as well. Coast for a little way to get used to that feeling as well. You should also observe what happens to the bike as you push down on that pedal. The bike will naturally tilt away for the pedal that you pushed down on.

Now push down with the other foot. You should immediately notice that the bike straightens up and then tilts away from the pedal you are pushing down on now.

Take another stroke with the other foot and keep up that rhythm of pushing down with one foot and letting the bike move away from that leg. Pretty soon, that rocking from one side to the other will become natural. As you advance, try pulling on the bars with your hand to increase the downward force on the pedal a small amount. You'll figure out which one to pull on.

Many people will tell you to shift up when you stand but I'm not one of them. I find that shifting up leaves me in the wrong gear when I eventually have to sit back down. Shifting up on a climb naturally slows you down as does climbing out of the saddle. When you sit back down in a higher gear, you've lost momentum and you are in the wrong gear to gain it back. You've also expended a lot of energy climbing and increased heart rate. You often need to sit to recover and trying to mash a taller gear slows that recovery. Frankly, when I get out of the saddle to climb, I just increase my cadence rather than increase the gear I'm using. This is a short burst effort for the most part and not really something you do for a sustained amount of time.
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Old 07-25-16, 09:13 AM
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Well, standing is definitely in my future... I tried it this morning for a couple of pedal strokes... not so good.... but at least I didn't fall over. Thanks guys.
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Old 07-25-16, 09:42 AM
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Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
Many people will tell you to shift up when you stand but I'm not one of them. I find that shifting up leaves me in the wrong gear when I eventually have to sit back down. Shifting up on a climb naturally slows you down as does climbing out of the saddle. When you sit back down in a higher gear, you've lost momentum and you are in the wrong gear to gain it back. You've also expended a lot of energy climbing and increased heart rate. You often need to sit to recover and trying to mash a taller gear slows that recovery. Frankly, when I get out of the saddle to climb, I just increase my cadence rather than increase the gear I'm using. This is a short burst effort for the most part and not really something you do for a sustained amount of time.
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.

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.
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Old 07-25-16, 09:45 AM
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Originally Posted by Artfahie View Post
Well, standing is definitely in my future... I tried it this morning for a couple of pedal strokes... not so good.... but at least I didn't fall over. Thanks guys.
My four year old has been practicing standing and pedaling for most of this summer having watched me do it when we ride together. He is slowly learning the 'art' of lifting his butt off the saddle over bumps and over the weekend took my advice to stand to pedal through some grass. With the added resistance of the grass, he actually looked pretty smooth for once, relative to him bouncing around trying to stand and pedal when he is already near his max cadence seated.

If he can get it, I am confident that you can, too
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Old 07-25-16, 09:51 AM
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Depending on your bike you may find standing to pedal difficult because the bike isn't balanced for anything but seated pedaling. Some comfort bikes and hybrids seem to thwart sensible balance when out of the saddle. The upright bars may be too far back, or flat bars too far forward, of the front wheel hub.

I find the best natural balance is when the arms, handlebar/grips and fork are in more or less a straight line into the hub, like you're trying to push everything directly into the center of the wheel.

As my conditioning improved last year I gradually adjusted the slight riser bars on my comfort hybrid to accommodate occasionally climbing out of the saddle to climb hills or launch quickly across intersections. Eventually I flipped the riser bars upside down and adjusted the angle so my arms are more inline with the stem, tube and fork. Helped a lot.

Road bikes with drop bars seem more naturally suited to climbing out of the saddle, so you may not need any significant adjustments there.
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Old 07-25-16, 09:55 AM
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what about building strength and confidence on a stair climber, like at a gym? i hate going to the gym, so i save it for dark days when there's ice on the ground.
but a stairclimber, as long as you're not putting all your weight on your arms, will strengthen you legs & core. and if you can work your way to not holding on to the rail at all, your confidence.

just a thought. the stair climber has helped me recover from some injuries in the past, and i think it makes me stronger climbing on the bike.
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Old 07-25-16, 10:22 AM
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I've gone up some really steep, and long, hills (rolling hills region NW Missouri) just using my low gears, never needed to stand on the pedals. I don't even think I could if I wanted to, between my bad knees and my sciatica, but I remember doing it in my younger days not really understanding how to use gears on my 10 speed.
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Old 07-25-16, 12:06 PM
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I do if an unexpected hill pops up and I haven't geared down, or I find out I haven't geared down enough while on the hill. Trick for me is to find the right balance in letting the legs do the work. Which for means leaning back a little and resisting the urge to lean to far forward. doing some "hoover" riding just over the saddle on the flats will help you get used to it. To low of gear will cause pedal slap, so find a gear that gives you some resistance before standing. I also shift my weight to the down stroke leg.
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Old 07-25-16, 12:17 PM
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"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.
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Old 07-25-16, 12:21 PM
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You have to stand on the pedals to get started from a stop. Next time practice taking a few pedal strokes as you get going before you sit down. Increase a few pedal strokes incrementally. Eventually, you'll be able to ride comfortably and confidently sitting or standing.
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Old 07-25-16, 12:24 PM
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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.
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.
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Old 07-25-16, 12:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Artfahie View Post
Well, standing is definitely in my future... I tried it this morning for a couple of pedal strokes... not so good.... but at least I didn't fall over. Thanks guys.
Keep practicing; you should get the hang of things after a while.
Use a higher/harder gear than what you would normally use for the
same place/location. I might stand for short burst on inclines; or
on the flats just to give my rear a break.

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Old 07-25-16, 01:00 PM
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Unless it is a really short hill, standing shouldn't be necessary. Personally after more than 30 seconds standing during a climb my legs start to burn out. Plus if you start to run out of momentum it can be tricky to shift back down while standing without horrible drive train noises and possibly a broken chain.

In a typical ride I rarely stand at all. When I do stand it is usually just to stretch a bit.
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Old 07-25-16, 01:09 PM
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Originally Posted by gecho View Post
Unless it is a really short hill, standing shouldn't be necessary. Personally after more than 30 seconds standing during a climb my legs start to burn out. Plus if you start to run out of momentum it can be tricky to shift back down while standing without horrible drive train noises and possibly a broken chain.

In a typical ride I rarely stand at all. When I do stand it is usually just to stretch a bit.

Agreed. Definitely no shifting while standing. Standing and pedaling is a whole new workout. I learned a lot about form taking a spin class last winter.
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Old 07-25-16, 01:26 PM
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Originally Posted by billd76 View Post
Agreed. Definitely no shifting while standing.
Ha! I'll shift the front while standing (on rare occasion). I shift the rear while standing probably every hilly ride I do, even at (nearly) full power some times. With enough practice, you can feel the shift happening and ease up just enough to let it happen smoothly, way more important up front than on the rear, though.
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