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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I just listened to the Singletracks podcast with James Wilson. He was talking about the importance of getting out of the saddle and including a lot of standup pedaling
in your climbing (versus sit'n spin). Does anyone else incorporate standup climbing a lot? I definitely don't, barely ever anyway. Thought it was interesting and I'm now wondering if I'm the odd one out in this regard.
 

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If you want to save energy, sit and spin. If you want to go fast, drop a gear and stand up. It might be useful to learn to stand and mash more than most of you are used to. In some situations, it's more useful.

When people complain that their bike or tires "don't have enough traction", it is usually the rider's fault for not balancing weight and chosing the right gear, not the equipments failure. If you lose traction on your rear tire while standing-climbiing, that's a lack of skill.
 

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Occasionally it helps to stand up so that you can move the bike around but on loose ground it's much easier to break traction and stop. Most of my climbing is seated, only standing up for really rocky sections.
 

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^^^ yeah. Standing is really inefficient on a full sus bike unless the rear is locked out. Hard tails are much much better in this respect and you can stand more frequently, longer, and more productively.
 

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Elitest thrill junkie
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Nope, I focus on being able to make power while seated. I used to train a lot standing, but it's the seated stuff where I need the most capability. The standing is inefficient and if you are moving at a good pace, wind-resistance acts as a significant counter to your efforts. Every time you do a little standing burst, you have to recover from that effort, which starts to take a big effect a few max-efforts later. Not saying you should sit and spin for every situation, but the less I use it, the faster I stay overall. I concentrate on seated climbing and as fast RPM as I can, which IME leads to less fatigue and better speed over the long run. When I do my intervals, I do them just like this.
 

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On long climbs I like to switch it up and do a little stand-up peddling. Staying seated for too long gets uncomfortable. I usually shift up a couple gears and stand for a minute or so. It uses a different group of muscles and seems to give the others a quick break.

The only time I do long periods of standing is on my SS, even then I will switch it up and do a little seated climbing.
 

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Hitching a ride
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Standing is no less efficient that sitting on a road bike (This has been demonstrated in the lab.), so if you can lock out your suspension, it stands to reason that it would not be very less efficient on a mountain bike.
 

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IMO, it's not so much that it's more or less efficient, it's more about being able to output more absolute power for very short periods when needed to get up a short very steep ramp, being more dynamic and able to move around on the bike to get the rear wheel to clear obstacles and ledges while climbing, and changing things up as far as muscle use goes.
 

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Keep on Rockin...
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Stand lots, personally. But doubt there is really any right or wrong. Likely is dependent on your terrain, style, and body mechanics.

Started mountain biking before suspension on horribly chunky trails then got into and raced SS, mostly rigid. Those days are far behind me but I still ride that way a lot on my FS rigs. The stuff I climb is quite techy so seated climbing is often not an option. Also I DH a lot and almost never sit doing that, even when pedaling that bike.

Sitting and spinning up a hill, if the terrain allows, does seem way more efficient however. I've been spending more time training the muscle groups for seated climbing the past few years with some road miles.

Its quite obvious and interesting to see how your strength develops and changes even within a given sport. My posterior chain seems much stronger (relatively speaking) than my front/quads. The front burns out much more quickly. I never was a good "sit and spinner". My deadlift if far better than my squat. So for training purposes I should be doing more seated climbing on the road. Won't give up focusing on the deadlift (vs the squat) for reasons I won't go into.

One of the biggest keys I find to conquering techy climbs is being able to generate explosive out of the saddle power.
 

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Both are good and which is better depends on lots of things. I'm out of the saddle quite a bit on road and mountain but would probably stay seated more off road if I had a fs instead of a hardtail.
 

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I do not stand and climb well at all, but I need to learn to. Around here there are trails with short, very steep, punchy climbs that I can't always make. If I don't make the climb with the seat up, 50/50 chance I crash trying to dismount. If I had the seat down it would be an easy step off. I often don't even try to make some climbs because of this.
 
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