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When should I stand to pedal uphill? I have stumpjumper FSR. Should I remain seated when pedalling uphill? Do I loose more energy by standing up pedalling?
 

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There's no single answer

Picard said:
When should I stand to pedal uphill? I have stumpjumper FSR. Should I remain seated when pedalling uphill? Do I loose more energy by standing up pedalling?
Whether you should stand up or not depends on a number of factors: length and steepness of the hill, your gearing, whether you want to shift or not, trail surface, your body size and physiology, stage of race or ride, etc.

For me, if it's short, I stand up and hammer over it without shifting. If it's a longer hill, I shift down and remain seated. Early in a race I try to stay seated and use a higher cadence to preserve the legs as much as possible, but sometimes that plan doesn't work and I have to go harder, earlier than I'd like. I'll always stand if I'm in the wrong gear as I enter the climb rather than stall out or risk a mechanical problem by trying to shift down. You'll be surprised what you can get over at very low cadences if you just commit to it.

Ultimately, you'll just have to continue riding and see what feels right for you.
 

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At the very top of a climb I stand. It uses different muscles, and gives my legs a break for 10 seconds, rather than bogging down hurting the same muscles I used to climb the majority of. (this is really referring to a bigger climb, not some small one you can do seated easily).
 

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The principles in the first two posts

are essential and clear. I would add a consideration for terrain. Once you stand up yo have increased the amount of power to the pedals and it can often vary a great deal in torque from one part of the stroke to another and cause a break inf traction. In addition the way you leverage your frame can radically change which can shift the location of traction to different parts of your tire in different parts of your stroke, and shifting weight from front to rear tire or rear to front, also breaking traction. Mitigating those detail takes a lot of practice and upper body strength.
Throw into the mix a loose substrate of muck or debris or sand or the supine body of a fallen rider and you can be spinning sideways.
 

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I stay seated as much as possible and occasionally stand if the climb is long and I want to streth out the muscles and give my butt a break.
 

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Iktome said:
For me, if it's short, I stand up and hammer over it without shifting. If it's a longer hill, I shift down and remain seated. Early in a race I try to stay seated and use a higher cadence to preserve the legs as much as possible, but sometimes that plan doesn't work and I have to go harder, earlier than I'd like. I'll always stand if I'm in the wrong gear as I enter the climb rather than stall out or risk a mechanical problem by trying to shift down. You'll be surprised what you can get over at very low cadences if you just commit to it.
Exactly what I tend to do. :cool: Really it's just a little common sense given the situation.
 

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Depends on the climb...

Picard said:
When should I stand to pedal uphill? I have stumpjumper FSR. Should I remain seated when pedalling uphill? Do I loose more energy by standing up pedalling?
I usually sit and spin, but on long fireroad grinds, I alternate between sitting and throwing the lockouts, kick up a couple of cogs and standing. I too have an FSR XC with a Reba up front with a Poplock. Lockouts rule. I only wish I had a bar mounted lockout for the rear.
 

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highly personal thing

Everyone is different on this one. If you have a long or relatively long climb you do regularly, start playing around: keeping your pace relatively comfortable, say just above where you could have a conversation, time yourself seated, standing, and varying between the two according to how your body feels. In the end, your body will tell you what's best, not one of us. Listen to it.

FWIW, I'm 6-0 and 165. All my best times on my (8 to 15 percent) 15 minute road TT climb have come when I stood the entire or nearly the entire climb. Just the way my body works. Yours is likely different.
 

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tjp said:
FWIW, I'm 6-0 and 165. All my best times on my (8 to 15 percent) 15 minute road TT climb have come when I stood the entire or nearly the entire climb. Just the way my body works. Yours is likely different.
Standing the entire time on a climb would likely make the climb faster for anyone. But in the grand scheme of things, the energy you waste from all that standing will tire you out and make your overall ride slower.
 

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I wonder

I've thought of that too. I think it's variable, and I think for 5 minute climbs or so where you're really honking what you say is definitely true. To get over a climb seated, at a pace that I'd be comfortable with standing, I'd have to do some real hurting (the legs, not the lungs). The heart rate diff for me is about 5 beats, but even at 5 beats higher, I'm more comfortable standing.

Seems odd to me, but that's the way it is...
 

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I can never seem to hit the right gear when standing and climbing. its either soo big or too small so I rarely stand. I do real well at sitting even on long or super steep stuff but usually end up tanking the climb when I stand. Its probably lack of practice but I do ok sitting and I dont race so I see no need to practice. Im much more comfortable sitting so I do. if I need to give my but a break I usually stop and drink a swig or 2 and walk a few steps around the bike
 

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Sheldon is very wise but

I can't agree with his assessment of standing. He tends to dismiss it as a method for dealing with a mistake, relegate it to a change of pace and marginalize it. A whole set of muscles to use for a different purpose is much more esssential. Add to the idea that there is more to riding, especailly mtb, than just sitting your keester on the saddle. The kids on my Racing Club statr with very little standing ability. As the years pass they are out of the saddle a lot more often becasue they see the obvious advantages to a varied body position for handling and power. The recent prevelence of duallies has made it possible for people to stay in the saddle as it is more comfortable, not neccesarily because it is the best place to be.
And we could ask Lance about climbing out of the saddle. Or maybe Sheldon could just say, "hey, man, your climbing would be better if you stayed in your saddle and picked better gear. Jeez! Some champion."
 

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Picard said:
When should I stand to pedal uphill? I have stumpjumper FSR. Should I remain seated when pedalling uphill? Do I loose more energy by standing up pedalling?
Just from observing videos and at the races, one of the traits I've seen in the experts/pro/semi pros is how often they are out of the saddle. Most often powering and not just doing it to rest or use different muscles.

It's something I struggle with cause it always seems to take me over the redline when standing where I can just stay under redline when in the saddle. It's really difficult to transition from sitting to standing and then back to sitting without wasting energy or losing some momentum through loss of traction. Even harder when on bumpy surfaces.

For me always try to grab one or two cogs when standing and then shift back down when transitioning to seated.

Alternating standing and sitting seems much easier on the road bike for me than the mtb. Oh well something to work on.
 

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Berkeley Mike said:
I can't agree with his assessment of standing. He tends to dismiss it as a method for dealing with a mistake, relegate it to a change of pace and marginalize it. A whole set of muscles to use for a different purpose is much more esssential. Add to the idea that there is more to riding, especailly mtb, than just sitting your keester on the saddle.
Did you read the whole article?
"This article is not directed toward racing cyclists, who sometimes, for tactical reasons, need a brief burst of speed, even at the expense of efficiency (just as a race car driver may occasionally "redline" a car engine.) It is also not directed toward rough-stuff off-road cyclists, who must deal with issues of traction for technical climbing on loose surfaces."

And we could ask Lance about climbing out of the saddle. Or maybe Sheldon could just say, "hey, man, your climbing would be better if you stayed in your saddle and picked better gear. Jeez! Some champion."
Well Sheldon says it all :
"Standing pedaling doesn't make you any faster, except in the very short run. On longer rides, it can seriously slow you down on the average, because if you waste a lot of energy this way early in the ride, you're likely to finsh the ride much slower than you started it."
Of course this isn't going to apply to the super elite such as Armstrong. I doubt Lance is looking towards Sheldon for advice. As I doubt the average user of this board is gonna try an mimic Lance.
 
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