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Hill Climbing - Out Of Saddle?

SoniSoni Posts: 1,217
I’m going on holiday on 16th July and need to loose some severe bodyweight.

I’ve been using my road bike for training for the last 3 weeks, I train every morning, get up at 04:30, on the road by 05:00, and do a minimum of 15 miles, this morning I did 23 miles, and on Sunday I rode 30 miles, i’ve been limiting my calories to 1500 per day (although last night had mixed kebab and chips :evil: ), and to date have lost 1.5 stone…..

During the last 3 weeks, I’ve noticed my fitness has increased significantly.

Whereas before I would approach a really steep hill and change down to a really easy gear and ride up the hill slowly, now I’m changing up one or two gears and then standing up and climbing out of the saddle whilst leaning the bike from side to side. This style of riding seems to suit me really comfortably and I keep the bike in a straight line, and seem to be sprinting up the hills with this technique.

Is this cheating? Would I be better off going back to the way I was riding before?

Posts

  • roger_merrimanroger_merriman Posts: 6,155
    in what way could it be cheating? sounds good a lot of folks seem to do that, my knees tend to like me not to so i tend to just sit and spin, which will get me up 20% peak hills not tried (present bike) steeper thus far but at that point i'd need to stand up, but a lot of that is what i want to do than need to.
  • FCE2007FCE2007 Posts: 780
    I generally sit and spin but a long climb is helped (for me) by a session or two out of the saddle to 'stretch the legs'. Steep climbs - I do what I have to do! ;)
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  • disgruntledgoatdisgruntledgoat Posts: 8,957
    Cheating? Cheating?

    Ask yourself, my friend, who do people remember more fondly... Pantani and Virenque out the saddle and gurning at the cameras or Ivan Basso robotically spinning away with his mouth shut?
    "In many ways, my story was that of a raging, Christ-like figure who hauled himself off the cross, looked up at the Romans with blood in his eyes and said 'My turn, sock cookers'"

    @gietvangent
  • MrChuckMrChuck Posts: 1,663
    Lately I've been trying to make myself sit more on the assumption that it will help more when I'm on my MTB, but my natural inclination is to stand.

    I'm sure I read somewhere that Armstrong's trainer (Carmichael?) was always trying to get him to stay in the saddle as it's supposedly more efficient, but out of the saddle feels right to me.
  • You'll burn more calories from fat by sitting and spinning as long term medium intensity exercise is a better fat burner than high intensity or short duration term exercise. You'll also notice your cadence decreases using the standing technique which is potentially bad for your knees and your bike's drivetrain. I do have to admit though when i'm climbing on my hardtail nothing feels better than standing up and "honking it".
  • what do you mean cheating - you're still cycling up the hills aren't you? there are no rules as to how you do it technique-wise. some people prefer climbing hills in the saddle. others out. whatever works for you do it.
  • disgruntledgoatdisgruntledgoat Posts: 8,957
    You'll burn more calories from fat by sitting and spinning as long term medium intensity exercise is a better fat burner than high intensity or short duration term exercise. You'll also notice your cadence decreases using the standing technique which is potentially bad for your knees and your bike's drivetrain. I do have to admit though when i'm climbing on my hardtail nothing feels better than standing up and "honking it".

    Are you saying that it isn't possible to ride at a medium intensity out of the saddle?

    And that old bad for yer knees fallacy too? Bad for your drivetrain too?

    Short answer, ride what suits you.
    "In many ways, my story was that of a raging, Christ-like figure who hauled himself off the cross, looked up at the Romans with blood in his eyes and said 'My turn, sock cookers'"

    @gietvangent
  • SoniSoni Posts: 1,217
    It just feels better and easier standing up, and therefore i thought it was cheating, not so much cheating others, but cheating yourself.......
  • a_n_ta_n_t Posts: 2,011
    You'll also notice your cadence decreases using the standing technique

    I've never noticed that, infact completely the opposite.
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  • JimmyKJimmyK Posts: 712
    Im a strictly ON the saddle guy when it comes to climbing , ive felt the pressure it exerts on the knee joints when you climb out of the saddle and start climbing.
  • Riding at a medium intensity will be harder out of the saddle because you're supporting all your own weight.

    As for your knees and drivetrain given a constant gradient, weight and speed they will see a higher loading grinding a big gear (lower mechanical advantage) than sitting and spinning a lower gear. When was the last time you snapped a chain in the saddle? Exactly.[/quote]
  • Well, i stand and go for it, although im sure if i wasnt on a SS i would probably just drop a cog or two and sit. Cant see no harm in either technique imho.
  • chrisw12chrisw12 Posts: 1,246
    Riding at a medium intensity will be harder out of the saddle because you're supporting all your own weight.

    As for your knees and drivetrain given a constant gradient, weight and speed they will see a higher loading grinding a big gear (lower mechanical advantage) than sitting and spinning a lower gear. When was the last time you snapped a chain in the saddle? Exactly.
    [/quote]

    I've snapped three chains all whilst I was in the saddle iirc :roll:
  • SoniSoni Posts: 1,217
    My biggest fear out of the saddle is the chain slipping, as i remember when i was a kid this happened and it wasn't nice.....

    What is the likelihood of this happening these days?
  • eheh Posts: 4,854
    Surely as standing up typically uses more energy than sitting, then if you want to loose weight it most certainly isn't cheating, exactly the opposite in fact.
  • freehubfreehub Posts: 4,258
    I found yesterday most of my climbing was out of the saddle, just felt much more comfortable and easier to maintain a rhythm. I used a gear that gave me quite a slow cadence and then once I got into a rythem the cadence was fine, I don't like using a gear that gives high cadence because I end up spinning out of control and bobbing up and down too much as it uncontrollably gets faster and trying to maintain a decent cadence uses more energy in that situation for me, sort of as if I'm constantly pulling myself up.
  • A little off topic, but did you want to lose body weight or body fat?

    21lbs(1.5st) in 3 weeks is 7lbs weight loss a week. There is no way that this is all fat.

    On 1500 calories per day, you will be losing a lot of muscle as well as fat, lowering your metabolism and making sustained fat loss much harder. Anything less than 2000 cal for a guy is very low, especially with extensive cardio, as you are doing.

    With 6 weeks left, you still have a lot of time to lose significant body fat while minimizing muscle losses. Up your calories a bit. Eat often. Eat clean. Get Abs!

    Hope this doesn't seem intrusive, and if you want to stick with what you're doing, then that's fine! To each his own :)
    Wanna go for a ride? :)
  • planktonplankton Posts: 78
    I like to sit and stand on a big climb. I tend to sit and spin or climb with a slower cadence. If I'm with a competitive friend, who likes to stand, I do tend to try and overtake sitting and spinning just to get on his nerves :D but a part from that a change is as good as a rest so do both.
  • Benno68Benno68 Posts: 1,689
    As long as you get up the hill I wouldn't worry whether you're in or out of the saddle. I agree that keeping both options open is best and just do what feels right at the time.

    My biggest fear is getting off and walking, it hasn't happened yet but I must admit I've been close to being defeated a few times.
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  • gbsgbs Posts: 450
    i i tend to just sit and spin, which will get me up 20% peak hills

    Roger, forgive if I have misread/muddled what I have read in other posts but my impression is that you (and yr steel bike have a lot of experience) and that you do not have the advantages of a young racer on a cf frame. So coping with a 20% hill (as opposed to a short pitch) is impressive.

    What gear ratios do you have?
    What speed do you maintain?
    Are you v fit?
    vintage newbie, spinning away
  • MettanMettan Posts: 2,103
    Anything under 15 % / 16 % , typically seated - anything over, typically standing.
  • NWLondonerNWLondoner Posts: 2,047
    Do whatever gets you up the quickest :D

    I did box hill for the first time yesterday and almost felt like getting off and chucking the damn bike over the side :shock:


    However I persisted and made it to the top. The time was embarrassingly slow but hey always next time 8)
  • jgsijgsi Posts: 5,027
    gbs wrote:
    i i tend to just sit and spin, which will get me up 20% peak hills

    Roger, forgive if I have misread/muddled what I have read in other posts but my impression is that you (and yr steel bike have a lot of experience) and that you do not have the advantages of a young racer on a cf frame. So coping with a 20% hill (as opposed to a short pitch) is impressive.

    What gear ratios do you have?
    What speed do you maintain?
    Are you v fit?

    I'd be interested in knowing as well....
    for interest if I am on say a 22% ramp then, I'll use something in the region of a 39" gear .. out of saddle and grinding hopefully not tooo slowly but deff NOT in any sense of the word spinning up! Depending on the length of that ramp then at the top end of the HR but still in control.. insurance if ever on new routes it ramps up even more and on known routes when %up starts to drop able to start acceleration
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