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Shifting when out of the saddle

jonny_trousersjonny_trousers Posts: 3,588
edited August 2011 in Road beginners
Still pretty new to road bike gears so would appreciate any advice. Having noticed early on that shifting seems rather strained when riding out of the saddle I have since forced myself to only shift gear when seated. On a particularly steep ascent this can force me to lose momentum and so I was wondering if there is a correct, comfortable way to change gear when riding standing up? I don't know whether it has any bearing, but I am using a Campag group set. Cheers!

Posts

  • I suspect that you mean standing up on a hill absolutely straining to keep the wheels moving.

    No chain set will change happily in that situation. Derailleurs only work well when the chain is moving fast enough to easily slip from cog to cog.

    Whilst we all have been in this situation the trick to smooth gear changes is anticipation and making sure that you keep your cadence up.

    As soon as you feel your cadence dropping change down.
  • anto164anto164 Posts: 3,500
    When i'm out of the saddle and shifting, i try to 'go light' on the pedals until i feel that it's shifted.

    Trying to put power down out of the saddle whilst shifting is never going to be silky smooth. But as kayakerchris says,try to anticipate any gear changes that need doing, and do that first.
  • As per anto here. I just put a bit of extre effort into increasing my speed a little Or use better anticipation) so that when i do change down it is smooth. It is possible to do a downward shift out of the saddle as smoothly as an upshift going downhill. Practice is the thing here
  • Put in a few (3-4) hard strokes first, this will enable you to ease off for a couple of strokes without losing too much momentum while you get the job done. Obviously you need to plan ahead for this, don't wait until you've almost stalled before deciding to change gear. If you've got a good pedalling cadence stalling should never happen, so check you've got your 'normal' pedalling cadence right first.

    Another option is single-speed or fixed, you won't have to worry about changing gear, the only options you have are sitting down or standing up! :D
  • +1 for 'lifting off' a little while shifting, thinking of it like a clutch I guess.

    Trying to change up under-load will make that horrible clanky noise that immediately has me mentally shopping for a new chain/sprocket/cassette!
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  • anto164 wrote:
    When i'm out of the saddle and shifting, i try to 'go light' on the pedals until i feel that it's shifted.

    Thanks guys! I think it is more the above that is my issue rather than the cadence dropping. When out of the saddle I'm perhaps dropping my body weight onto each pedal stroke, which perhaps makes the cadence a little more lumpy. Is there a way to pedal smoothly and evenly when out of the saddle?

    I do get the anticipation thing, and if that is the only way to ride without risking harm to my drive-train then I will continue to observe it, but I just wondered if there was a way to shift carefully when standing. I notice it most when I have just stood up only to discover that the gear I was in when sitting down is now too low.
  • jonny_trousersjonny_trousers Posts: 3,588
    edited August 2011
    Trying to change up under-load will make that horrible clanky noise that immediately has me mentally shopping for a new chain/sprocket/cassette!

    Yep, that's the sound I'm talking about.

    Thanks for the easing off advice guys; that makes a lot of sense. I'll get on and practice it.
  • I notice it most when I have just stood up only to discover that the gear I was in when sitting down is now too low.

    Changing 'up' at the back (i.e. smaller sprocket) shouldn't be too problematical, even under load. Changing 'up' at the front is much more of a problem and should be avoided under heavy load. Planning ahead helps, and as you get to know the gears you can guess what to select and when, so that you aren't faced with a problem a few hundred yards further up a climb.
  • pedalrogpedalrog Posts: 633
    It's not so bad these days but still best to plan in advance and change in time. For the older ones of us who were brought up on down tube gear levers, it was almost impossible to change while climbing for fear of overbalancing so as an ageing rider I nearly always change in advance.
  • pedalrog wrote:
    For the older ones of us who were brought up on down tube gear levers, it was almost impossible to change while climbing for fear of overbalancing so as an ageing rider I nearly always change in advance.

    One of my bikes still has down-tube shifters. In my experience the only way to do it is to sit down very briefly, change gear, and then stand up again immediately!
  • Tried the easing off method on a steap climb tonight. Works way better. Still not super-slick, but a big improvement. Thanks!
  • keef66keef66 Posts: 13,286
    " I notice it most when I have just stood up only to discover that the gear I was in when sitting down is now too low"

    I always anticipate this and shift up a gear as I get out of the saddle. Nothing worse than standing up only to find you've got too little to push against.
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