# Steep climbs or time in the saddle

#### Flying_Monkey

##### Toll Collector on the Road to Nowhere
jimboalee said:
It DOES NOT matter if you sit or stand, the time is the same so the overall energy ( or WORK ) is the same.

Confusion is arising because ( to some cyclists ) standing and grinding FEELS more energetic. It is if the upward velocity increases.

Given two cyclists who have the same mass; when they climb the same hill in the same time, they have done the same amount of work, irrespective of whatever riding style they have.

I do wish people wouldn't confuse the human body with a simple heat engine.That is too simplistic and it doesn't work exactly like that. Sure, whichever way you ride up a hill, you still have to have energy input (which, as I have already said, is why you need to eat - this is not a closed system either) - that is not really the issue.

However, when you are sitting and standing you are using some different muscles in some different ways. It is not a question of the overall system energy levels. More importantly still, it makes a big difference how you climb in terms of wasted motion - the human body can move in many different ways and they do not always add up to maximum possible efficiency. If you put more energy into lateral motion (moving side to side as you climb, or other unnecessary or counterproductive movement) you will either be slower or use more energy for the same distance traveled as if you keep the body as relaxed as possible except for the parts that really need to move. The fact is that the human body on a bike is a complex biomechanical system not a simple heat engine and it does make a difference which parts of the system are being placed under more or less stress or are being used more or less strenuously... the form of energy into which the initial chemical energy of food is transformed, matters immensely.

#### marinyork

##### Resting in suspended Animation
jimboalee said:
Don't argue with Joule, Watt and Newton.

Perhaps learn some proper mechanics before making statements like this. By proper mechanics I mean lagrangian and other formulations of classical mechanics that make it easier to model the situations we're talking about here. I just don't see that much value in what you've said beyond a certain point.

#### jimboalee

##### New Member
We could discuss this in a 'deep dive' engineering/biomechanics/efficiency context, BUT....

1/ There is not a hill in the UK that makes this worth while.
2/ 99.999 % of us do not earn our living from riding a bike.

If you prefer spinning while sitting on the saddle, that's your choice.
If you prefer to stand up and pull the pedals up as well as down, go ahead.

I like to float my arse about 1cm off the saddle while concentrating on pulling the pedal up with my leg flexors. The quads and glutes do their own thing without me thinking too much about it.

I've been riding a bike for donkey's years (45) and the sitting / standing jury is still out.

#### jimboalee

##### New Member
Flying_Monkey said:
I do wish people wouldn't confuse the human body with a simple heat engine.That is too simplistic and it doesn't work exactly like that. Sure, whichever way you ride up a hill, you still have to have energy input (which, as I have already said, is why you need to eat - this is not a closed system either) - that is not really the issue.

However, when you are sitting and standing you are using some different muscles in some different ways. It is not a question of the overall system energy levels. More importantly still, it makes a big difference how you climb in terms of wasted motion - the human body can move in many different ways and they do not always add up to maximum possible efficiency. If you put more energy into lateral motion (moving side to side as you climb, or other unnecessary or counterproductive movement) you will either be slower or use more energy for the same distance traveled as if you keep the body as relaxed as possible except for the parts that really need to move. The fact is that the human body on a bike is a complex biomechanical system not a simple heat engine and it does make a difference which parts of the system are being placed under more or less stress or are being used more or less strenuously... the form of energy into which the initial chemical energy of food is transformed, matters immensely.

I overtook a pair of cyclist while climbing Gorcot Hill Nr Redditch. The two of them were chattering away talking about something or other I didn't catch the jist because I went past them quite quickly.

I wish they would realise NOISE energy is WASTED energy

#### asterix

jimboalee said:
I overtook a pair of cyclist while climbing Gorcot Hill Nr Redditch. The two of them were chattering away talking about something or other I didn't catch the jist because I went past them quite quickly.

I wish they would realise NOISE energy is WASTED energy

It's when the chatting cyclists overtake me that I get really p*ssed off..

#### Fab Foodie

##### hanging-on in quiet desperation ...
asterix said:
It's when the chatting cyclists overtake me that I get really p*ssed off..
Is it possible to ride a bike and talk?

#### jimboalee

##### New Member
Fab Foodie said:
Is it possible to ride a bike and talk?

So all that resonant air makes no difference

I have to admit, directing your motion of breath sideways reduces the contra-directional jet effect when breathing forward.

#### Banjo

##### Fuelled with Jelly Babies
Doing it standing up

Just back from my morning commute home. Its only 2.5 miles but uphill nearly all the way with some steep bits.

After reading this thread I thought Id try "grinding" (I think thats the term)up some short steeper bits. I did the standing up bit in the granny ring at the front and about n04 gear at the back .

Definitely quicker and noticed the relief of using different muscles but needed to quickly get back down to first gear after sitting down again.This transition didnt go that smoothly,is there a nack or is it just down to practice?

#### jimboalee

##### New Member
Your shifters should be able to lift the chain 2 sprockets, even 3 with one swipe.

You will need to release the torque while changing ( like on a MotoX bike ), so shift the rear mech the whole 3 sprockets cus you're going to lose a lot of speed.

It IS practice, and experience.

With friction levers, I could change 4 sprockets with one pull of the lever. This requires knowing exactly where to move the lever to - experience

#### Banjo

##### Fuelled with Jelly Babies
Thanks for that Jimbo. Its a steep learning curve for me still.

#### Fab Foodie

##### hanging-on in quiet desperation ...
I agree with jimboalee, going from sitting to standing you need to go up a couple of cogs, when you sit back down you'll need to drop down a few. You soon get used to what works and do it automatically.

#### dellzeqq

##### pre-talced and mighty
The more hills you climb the easier it will get. It's as simple as that really...just keep riding them.

just make sure you don't fluff the gear change halfway up....

hills are about technique, strengh and confidence. And of the three, confidence is easily the most underrated.

Technique - some people stand, and some people sit. There are lots of rules about this, but each of us is different. What is important is being in the right gear, and keeping the right pace - a pace that will carry you up the hill and over it. Whether standing or sitting your breathing and cadence should be regular - if in doubt, change down and slow down.

Strength - if you really want to build up in a hurry then make sure you do reps of a decent hill twice a week. By reps, I reckon about an hour of climbing and descending

Confidence - each hill becomes easier the more you know it. Once you've conquered a hill it's doubtful you'll ever have to walk it again, even if you get older, fatter and less fit. Confidence on hills is one of the great things about cycling. When you have it you're laughing. Sometimes out loud.

#### Randochap

##### Senior hunter
Banjo said:
JDefinitely quicker and noticed the relief of using different muscles but needed to quickly get back down to first gear after sitting down again.This transition didnt go that smoothly,is there a nack or is it just down to practice?

Just to clarify: you need to shift up when you stand -- to a higher/harder gear. Usually one or two cogs will suffice.

As you sit down, immediately drop back to a lower gear. If you are riding in a group and there is someone on your wheel, make sure to "throw" the bike forward as you sit; otherwise you will slip back and risk contacting the wheel behind.

As Foodie said, you'll soon do it automatically.