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Advice on climbing out of the saddle

badhorsybadhorsy Posts: 107
edited November 2010 in Road beginners
Hi all,

I'm relatively new to cycling - got my first road bike a couple of months back.
I've recently started attempting a few decent sized hills on my commute, and I've found the need to (try to) get out of the saddle at some points.
Just wanted some advice though, based on a couple things I've noticed. I have a triple chainring (Specialized Secteur Elite 2010), and I usually cycle on the middle chainring. I've found that when out of the saddle, I have to switch to the highest chainring, and usually the top couple of gears otherwise the pedals go round to easily (I'm 200 pounds). Is this right?

I'm also not sure if I'm just not moving my weight forward enough, but on every pedal rotation I seem to be hitting the back of my censored off the tip of my saddle... maybe this is just poor technique though. Occasionally, the bike moves from side to side so much that at the bottom of my pedal stroke, the pedal scrapes the ground...

Any advice would be awesome!

Posts

  • pottsstevepottssteve Posts: 4,069
    badhorsy,

    I also ride a triple and one of the benefits is that you rarely have to get out of the saddle.
    I weigh a little less than you but find that staying in the saddle and in a lower gear helps for me; if I stand up it's usually for short sections.

    It's right that you would need to be in a higher gear to stand whilst climbing. You are putting more force through the pedals. However, if you run out of strength halfway up a hill and have to sit down again you would have to start fiddling around changing down again. Your description of the bike moving a lot from side to side, and your censored hitting the saddle suggests that you are climbing in too high a gear and are having to exert a lot of force to turn the pedals, resulting in poor technique. The pedals should not hit the ground.

    I know it sometimes just "feels right" to stand but try grinding out the climbs instead, you may find an improvement. I leave the dancing for Alberto and his tiny 60 kilo colleagues! :wink:

    Best,
    Steve
    Head Hands Heart Lungs Legs
  • ChiggyChiggy Posts: 261
    Try to keep the bike more upright. Your shoe cleats should never come across to the other side of your centre of gravity.

    censored clashing saddle nose is nothing to worry about. As the hill gets steeper, you will keep an upright body position and the saddle will be lower in relation to your bum.

    Riding uphill out of the saddle is a good thing to learn, even on the big ring up shallow hills. When the steep hills come along, you will have the technique sorted.

    Some additional training for hill climbing on a bicycle is 'stair climbing' with a loaded backpack. One step at a time as first.
  • rolf_frolf_f Posts: 16,015
    pottssteve wrote:
    badhorsy,

    I also ride a triple and one of the benefits is that you rarely have to get out of the saddle.
    I weigh a little less than you but find that staying in the saddle and in a lower gear helps for me; if I stand up it's usually for short sections.

    You must be the only person in the Netherlands with a triple - when do you use the granny ring? Ascending steep kerbs? :lol:
    Faster than a tent.......
  • pottsstevepottssteve Posts: 4,069
    edited November 2010
    Rolf F wrote:
    pottssteve wrote:
    badhorsy,

    I also ride a triple and one of the benefits is that you rarely have to get out of the saddle.
    I weigh a little less than you but find that staying in the saddle and in a lower gear helps for me; if I stand up it's usually for short sections.

    [b]You must be the only person in the Netherlands with a triple - when do you use the granny ring? Ascending steep kerbs? [/b]:lol:

    Haha, you might be right. However, in my defence, the bike was bought when I lived in Hong Kong, which is fairly hilly. Also in my defence, there are hills in Limburg, such as these ones, some of which I've done recently: http://www.pezcyclingnews.com/?pg=fullstory&id=5822

    Thirdly in my defence, I'm old and chubby so I need all the help I can get. :wink::)
    Head Hands Heart Lungs Legs
  • Butterd2Butterd2 Posts: 937
    As a rule of thumb when I switch from sitting to standing on a hill I drop 3 cogs on the back so my cadence slows but not to an absolute grind. I can then make back these 3 cogs in a single shift when I go back to sitting.
    Scott CR-1 (FCN 4)
    Pace RC200 FG Conversion (FCN 5)
    Giant Trance X

    My collection of Cols
  • oldwelshmanoldwelshman Posts: 4,733
    Your pedals hit the floor? Bloody hell what bike have you got,or more specific do you have 250mm cranks? :D
    I can corner steeply banked pedalling at about 28mph before my pedals bottom out and have nevermanaged to bottom pedals out on a climb, I will try on my next ride but suspect I will fall off :D
  • badhorsy wrote:
    Occasionally, the bike moves from side to side so much that at the bottom of my pedal stroke, the pedal scrapes the ground...

    Sounds like you're pushing far too hard and wobbling the bike from side to side. This is highly inefficient. Have a look at your gearing again because you sound like you are grinding very hard rather then being efficient with the cadence.
    CAAD9
    Kona Jake the Snake
    Merlin Malt 4
  • ChiggyChiggy Posts: 261
    You will only be as efficient as your muscle structure will allow. Depending upon the proportion of slow and fast twitch fibres you have, you will find a less exhausting cadence.
    Pedaling at the other end of the speed scale will soon tire you and your day will be over.

    It is a matter of experimentation with hill repeats
  • GarzGarz Posts: 1,155
    Chiggy wrote:
    Some additional training for hill climbing on a bicycle is 'stair climbing' with a loaded backpack. One step at a time as first.

    Ooh sounds interesting, any more info on this Chiggy?
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