Hill Climbing Technique…

…Specifically out of the saddle.

I ride a ss mtb on my daily commute and I can feel it doing the world of good for my overall fitness. I've got a couple of hills on the return journey both are fairly steady for about 1/3 to 1/2 mile and then short and sharp at the top, I can do both in the saddle but loose quite a bit of momentum towards the top where they kick up. If I get out of the saddle I just can't seem to be able to put the power down.

Anything I should be doing in terms of body position I should be doing that will help?
 

walker

New Member
Location
Bromley, Kent
there no right answer to this question other than finding your own style, Just look at the mountain battles at teh moment between schleck and Contador to see what I mean, contador has a much higher cadence that Andy
 

montage

God Almighty
Location
Bethlehem
The honest answer is that everybody has a different style. Sounds like you are just lacking power - practise doing sprints/efforts out of the saddle to help build those specific muscles
 

MacB

Lover of things that come in 3's
Stamina out of the saddle improves quite quickly if you practice it, thankfully for me. Initially I could get out of the saddle and lay down the power for, oh, all of about 10 meters. Bit of practice and I could do it for 100's of meters if need be but I rarely need to go more than 200 meters. The biggest change was when I was messing about with single speed, it's no choice then, you either get out of the saddle or you walk up the hill. When I went back to changing gear I also found that I could turn a much bigger gear sitting in the saddle as well.
 

Rob3rt

Man or Moose!
Location
Manchester
I just sprint at the hill and then gurn till I reach the summit!

Call it technique or call it being stubborn, it is what it is! Ugly, messy, painful, sometimes slow but overall its rewarding. I still have scrawny legs though :tongue:!

(Riding fixed)
 
The best technique I think is to push one foot hard down on the pedal and when thats all the way down push the other pedal (wait a minute I think they call that pedalling :wacko: )
Seriously I think practice is the only sure method and don't be afraid to mix the standing up/ sitting down as appropriate.
 
I'm guessing you're using flat pedals and when you stand and pedal your feet are wrapping around the pedals like limp bananas sucking up all that extra effort.
 

Norry1

Guru
Location
Warwick
Dunno if everyone is the same, but when I get out of the saddle, I need to change into a harder gear, otherwise it just doesn't feel right.
 

Hacienda71

Mancunian in self imposed exile in leafy Cheshire
Dunno if everyone is the same, but when I get out of the saddle, I need to change into a harder gear, otherwise it just doesn't feel right.
I do too, even if I am on a steep hill, unless I have totaly blown up and it is a 1in4 or similar I do not feel right getting out of the saddle without changing up a couple of gears.
 

zacklaws

Veteran
Location
Beverley
I do too, even if I am on a steep hill, unless I have totaly blown up and it is a 1in4 or similar I do not feel right getting out of the saddle without changing up a couple of gears.
That's exactly what your supposed to do, otherwise you just end up spinning without making much progress and then when you sit drop back down two gears, even on the flat, I go up a gear or two when I stand and that gives you a big boost in speed
 

MARKE020272

Well-Known Member
I also find the same thing. Just doesn't feel right. I find it easier to use clipless as it helps to pull up on the pedals, and then alternate between push down and pull up.

Mind you, there aren't that many hills in London where you need to grind it up a huge hill that mean I get to the lowest gear and still need to get off the saddle.
 

GrasB

Veteran
Location
Nr Cambridge
This is kind of off-topic but also applies to some extent
That's exactly what your supposed to do, otherwise you just end up spinning without making much progress and then when you sit drop back down two gears, even on the flat, I go up a gear or two when I stand and that gives you a big boost in speed

Changing up when you get out of the saddle is not "exactly what you should do", the situation you're in dictates what is the appropriate response. Certainly one of these responses is changing up a gear or two but equally it may also need you to drop a gear or even a chainring!

Changing up a gear or two is fine & dandy if you're okay to comfortable in the saddle but are wanting to accelerate & if you're transiting onto a steeper section of the climb. However if you're transitioning to a much steeper climb you'll want to keep in the gear or even drop a gear as you stand up. Worse than this if you're standing up because you're about to stall changing up a gear or two will only make the stall happen & so you drop a gear or a chanring if you have any to spare & accelerate changing up when you get to a slow sprint cadence & possibly when you sit down. Learning how to drive through from a climbing out of the saddle cadence to a sprinting cadence is difficult one at first, as most riders find there's a cadence & technique gap between the two, but once mastered very effective at the top of a hill with a steep kick at the top especially if you can step up to the top chainring.
 
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