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Tips For Riding Out of the Saddle

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Tips For Riding Out of the Saddle

Old 11-05-20, 07:56 PM
  #26  
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Originally Posted by cubewheels View Post
It's rather difficult to get out of the saddle if the legs are already burning even for lightweight riders like me. Getting out of the saddle is still better employed (least cost) if the legs are fresh. It can be good to have short recovery intervals in between, spinning sitted at easy gears and getting the legs fresh before getting out of the saddle.

Of course it's different in a race when you are under huge pressure to win.
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Old 11-07-20, 09:27 PM
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on flat ground, try starting out by taking 4 or 5 gears harder, and a very low cadence... maybe 30-50 rpm. concentrate on your balance and movement on the pedals. weight more or less upright, neither pushing nor pulling on the bars for balance, gently pulling up the bar while pedaling down, smooth flow from left to right.

have someone else observe and perhaps record and analyze your position and movement and try again.

when the motion is smooth and you are satisfied with your balance, try one gear easier and a higher cadence maintaining the same power (or speed if you don't have a power meter). practice for 15 minutes to an hour until you feel confident that you have good form.

now move one gear easier and repeat. repeat. repeat. eventually you will reach a gear where your balance and position are still good... but you get ragged on the pedals. NOW you start working on drills at THAT cadence while standing. drop to a gear lower cadence, then back to the faster cadence gear.

keep repeating until you can comfortably maintain 90+ cadence while standing.
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Old 11-08-20, 11:49 AM
  #28  
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Originally Posted by cubewheels View Post
It's rather difficult to get out of the saddle if the legs are already burning even for lightweight riders like me. Getting out of the saddle is still better employed (least cost) if the legs are fresh. It can be good to have short recovery intervals in between, spinning sitted at easy gears and getting the legs fresh before getting out of the saddle.

Of course it's different in a race when you are under huge pressure to win.
I do just the opposite. When my legs are screaming from the sitting effort, that's when I stand to change up the muscles in use, I'll try to stand for 1 minute, but usually can't manage that without blowing up my lungs - I just can't seem to keep the standing power down enough without burning my legs. So then I sit back down and the legs aren't burning quite so bad. That's my standing rest. That'll last maybe 5-10 minutes before it becomes unendurable and I stand again. I try really hard not to have to rest. When I was just starting to do long climbs, I'd stop to rest for 1 minute every hour, but I as I got fitter, I didn't have to do that anymore.

One gets used to the pain. As the randos say, it's all between your ears.
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Old 11-08-20, 12:13 PM
  #29  
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Originally Posted by nycphotography View Post
on flat ground, try starting out by taking 4 or 5 gears harder, and a very low cadence... maybe 30-50 rpm. concentrate on your balance and movement on the pedals. weight more or less upright, neither pushing nor pulling on the bars for balance, gently pulling up the bar while pedaling down, smooth flow from left to right.

have someone else observe and perhaps record and analyze your position and movement and try again.

when the motion is smooth and you are satisfied with your balance, try one gear easier and a higher cadence maintaining the same power (or speed if you don't have a power meter). practice for 15 minutes to an hour until you feel confident that you have good form.

now move one gear easier and repeat. repeat. repeat. eventually you will reach a gear where your balance and position are still good... but you get ragged on the pedals. NOW you start working on drills at THAT cadence while standing. drop to a gear lower cadence, then back to the faster cadence gear.

keep repeating until you can comfortably maintain 90+ cadence while standing.
I think this is good advice. I think of pedaling out of the saddle as a dance. You need a rhythm. Of course it'll feel awkward if you're trying to muscle it. You need to work with the bike and pedals, and not against it.

For me, part of improving my technique was giving up the idea of looking "cool". If your rhythm is on point, you legitimately look like you're dancing, which can feel odd. Muscling it might look cooler but it's not doing you any favors.

If you get your rhythm right, you can spin out of the saddle into oblivion. I believe my highest ever is somewhere in the 170s. My cadence meter stops reading after that.
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Old 11-08-20, 09:18 PM
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Originally Posted by nycphotography View Post
on flat ground, try starting out by taking 4 or 5 gears harder, and a very low cadence... maybe 30-50 rpm. concentrate on your balance and movement on the pedals. weight more or less upright, neither pushing nor pulling on the bars for balance, gently pulling up the bar while pedaling down, smooth flow from left to right.

have someone else observe and perhaps record and analyze your position and movement and try again.

when the motion is smooth and you are satisfied with your balance, try one gear easier and a higher cadence maintaining the same power (or speed if you don't have a power meter). practice for 15 minutes to an hour until you feel confident that you have good form.

now move one gear easier and repeat. repeat. repeat. eventually you will reach a gear where your balance and position are still good... but you get ragged on the pedals. NOW you start working on drills at THAT cadence while standing. drop to a gear lower cadence, then back to the faster cadence gear.

keep repeating until you can comfortably maintain 90+ cadence while standing.
Yes, good advice. I went out and did about an hour of standing, mostly in about 2 mile chunks with a couple minutes of seated for my legs to recover in between. I moved my weight a bit further back than usual until my only pressure on the bars was that slight lift on the bar on the same side as the downstroke pedal. That did help. I tried to keep the power around 75% FTP and cadence a bit below 60. Legs wore out, as tired as they'd be after a seated 3 hour hilly ride. So that was a good start. It seems to me that leg endurance is the larger issue here, not form. I was totally comfortable, the bike was balanced and I was riding smoothly, every stroke just like the last. I could tell that higher cadence at the same power would wear my legs out more quickly. Sot it's a conditioning issue.

I alternated drops and hoods. Didn't seem to be much difference between them at low power, though I was a little faster in the drops at the same power.

My question is, will doing a considerable portion of my training OOS help my seated performance or damage it? Running is really good for one's aerobic ability and leg strength, but the more time one spends running instead of cycling, the less well one cycles, that is if one is already a well-trained cyclist. I wonder if the same principle of specificity applies to standing vs. seated.
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Old 11-09-20, 04:52 AM
  #31  
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. “ Which ever comes first, like when my hands is starting to get numb, I return to the seat and hands on the hoods.”
Numbness is my biggest obstacle to standing. I can go for a couple of miles standing but invariably numbness makes me need to sit.
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Old 11-09-20, 12:03 PM
  #32  
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Originally Posted by cubewheels View Post
We're different in some ways. When sitted, I try not to push, spin easy gears 80 to 90 rpm cadence, hands in the hoods. Slower but to keep my legs fresh.. Then I stand in the drops to pick up speed. I do 3 minutes OOS and 1 minute sitted on average. Depends on the quality of the road. In a smooth road, I can do over 10 minutes OOS. In the bumpiest roads, I'll be seated the vast majority of the time.

Long period OOS is useful in long steep climbs because it's difficult to shift gear to alternate between sitted and standing, also losing momentum whenever you attempt to shift (because of soft pedaling).

Lungs is also the limiting factor for me, followed by numb hands in OOS. Which ever comes first, like when my hands is starting to get numb, I return to the seat and hands on the hoods, if my lungs are still fresh, I'll be back standing as soon as my hands feel good again.
You shouldn't lose momentum when shifting. Shifting down, just do it. No need to ease off for more than 1/2 a pedal stroke. Shifting up, first spin it up in the gear you're in, then ease off a hair and shift. If you had a rider behind you, you would thus gap him a hair and then drift back to where you were, IOW maintaining a constant average speed. On long steep climbs where the forgoing is simply impossible because the climb is so steep that acceleration is impossible, I just sit and grind up it.

If your hands are numb, move your weight back until, like the photographer said, your only pressure on the bars is a slight up pressure on the downstroke bar. The bars bear no weight and there's no reason to have a death grip on them if you're riding smoothly.
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Old 11-09-20, 02:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Trakhak View Post
You ride out of the saddle for either of two very different purposes: short, intense efforts or longer, steady-state efforts. The mistake many riders make is to unthinkingly and substantially increase their pedaling force whenever they're out of the saddle, even for longer efforts. Riders should be able to ride out of the saddle on longer efforts with about the same or only slightly more pressure on the handlebars (and pedals) as with seated efforts.
something does not make sense to me here. when i am standing there is more force applied to my peddles and handle bars because my sit bones are no longer supporting my weight on the saddle. am i missing something?

when i am standing and move forward i can certainly feel that in my hands and arms, mostly thumbs really, so i don't lean too far forward unless i want to get a bit aggressive (and maybe that is wrong). but when i balance out my load i am quite able to ride standing for long periods of time as i recently learned. just last week i decided to *try* standing up a beloved climb because i have to now cut it short due to the clock change and poor lighting on the return trip. 2.5 miles average 5% grade no problem. i surprised myself because i assumed i could not do it.
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Old 11-09-20, 07:38 PM
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Originally Posted by spelger View Post
something does not make sense to me here. when i am standing there is more force applied to my peddles and handle bars because my sit bones are no longer supporting my weight on the saddle. am i missing something?

when i am standing and move forward i can certainly feel that in my hands and arms, mostly thumbs really, so i don't lean too far forward unless i want to get a bit aggressive (and maybe that is wrong). but when i balance out my load i am quite able to ride standing for long periods of time as i recently learned. just last week i decided to *try* standing up a beloved climb because i have to now cut it short due to the clock change and poor lighting on the return trip. 2.5 miles average 5% grade no problem. i surprised myself because i assumed i could not do it.
Good for you! Yeah. When you stand, you only pedal the downstroke unless you're hill sprinting. Seated, most folks pull back at the bottom and push forward at the top, thereby reducing the downforce necessary to sustain the same power. Thus one pushes down harder OOS at the same power and cadence.

I think what Trakhak is talking about is the tendency of beginning OOS riders to bounce up and down, thus dropping their whole weight on the pedal, ker-blam. Pedal force is thus higher. To keep the pedal from dropping too fast, they gear up. What one is supposed to do is to keep one's butt in the same place and move the pedals with one's legs, not one's weight. That takes training and practice. I had a gym spin bike instructor who'd make us hover just above the saddle while pedaling hard.

That said, I'm moving my weight back until there is no downforce on the bars. It's all in my legs. I think that's easier overall because fewer muscles are involved, though those leg muscles are maybe more highly stressed. Still, no oxygen required to fuel arm, shoulder, and core muscles to support weight on the bars.
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Old 11-09-20, 08:36 PM
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Originally Posted by cubewheels View Post
I always shift half pedal stroke too. I very lightly grip the bars. I think the numbness is related to my aerobic fitness. Before, even my feet would get numb, having used the same footwear ever since. Feet never gets numb anymore. I only started to get numb hands OOS when I began continuously pedaling OOS for around 5 minutes. Before, I got numb hands in the 2 minute mark. Now it's 5 minutes. More if the roads are smooth.
That's really interesting. To me, numb would indicate a lack of blood flow, like too tight shoes or Raynaud's Syndrome. I suppose it could be that your heart wasn't strong enough to keep up with your demands and now it is. Never heard of that before, though. The heart is slow to respond to demand by increasing ventricle wall thickness. One notices that by watching the drop in resting and standing resting heart rate as stroke volume increases. I've been taking those two measurements after peeing in the morning for 20+ years. They're informative. When I'm fit, my resting HR will be ~46 and my standing resting HR ~54. Right now I'm at 48 and 58. That hasn't seemed to change much as I've aged, though my exercising HRs sure have. When I'm overcooked, my resting will go up 6-8 beats and the difference between the two will go up as high as 16. Then I know I need to rest a couple days. It's a good thing to push and then rest, though.
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Old 11-10-20, 11:34 AM
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I'm enjoying the techniques, advice and commentary in this thread...keep them coming...thanks.

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