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  1. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wahine View Post
    I do a lot of sustained climbing and long rides. I try to sit a lot but then make a point of standing periodically, even if I don't have to to take a butt break and to change my posture. But if I'm struggling up a climb I will often count pedal strokes and I'll stand as much as 1 third of the time. Often I'll go up 2 or even 3 gears, stand for 50 pedal strokes then sit down again. It breaks up the climb in my head and allows me to change tempo and deal with fatigue.
    I don't do a lot of sustained climbs, but I will even do this on relatively short ones for a change of pace and to work different muscles. I thought I was the only one who did the counting thing.
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  2. #17
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    Dec 2006
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    Quote Originally Posted by zoom-zoom View Post
    I don't do a lot of sustained climbs, but I will even do this on relatively short ones for a change of pace and to work different muscles. I thought I was the only one who did the counting thing.
    If I am struggling, I walways revert to counting strokes. I do it running and swimming too. I think it helps me not think about how much farther I have to go and to only focus on the next 10 pedal strokes, arm strokes, strides...
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  3. #18
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    Exactly!
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  4. #19
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    DC area
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    23
    Quote Originally Posted by Wahine View Post
    I do a lot of sustained climbing and long rides. I try to sit a lot but then make a point of standing periodically, even if I don't have to to take a butt break and to change my posture. But if I'm struggling up a climb I will often count pedal strokes and I'll stand as much as 1 third of the time. Often I'll go up 2 or even 3 gears, stand for 50 pedal strokes then sit down again. It breaks up the climb in my head and allows me to change tempo and deal with fatigue.
    Holy crap, I do this too!! Ha..also glad I'm not the only one

    I think momentum is huge in my decision on sitting vs. standing if it's rolling terrain. When I start the beginning of a steeper hill, I keep it in the same gear as when I was going downhill from the previous hill (or if it's coming from a flat, keep that momentum from the flat part), and then when the road tilts upward, get out of the saddle and start the counting thing (as long as the upcoming hill isn't TOO long). I count, say, 20 pedal strokes (# depends on how long the hill is), then shift a gear down and get back in the saddle and keep crankin. Then I continue to shift down as necessary, but I'm usually at least halfway up the hill by then. It has taken me practice to get this right and not burn out immediately at the bottom of a climb. I have done that many times trying this technique but when you do nail it, you get up the hill faster than you expected and it's fantastic.

    With longer sustained climbs, I do as Wahine does..in and out of the saddle, alternating to give my back & butt a break.

  5. #20
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Saint Paul, MN
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    42
    I'm not a great hill climber by any means, but I, too, do a mix of standing and sitting. I read somewhere that if you stand and you're not super close to the top, that you should keep it to 8 to 10 seconds, then sit and spin, then do it again. I think this has to do with the amount of time it takes for your muscles to recognize lactate buildup or something (12 seconds?) so you're working at your LT but not for long enough to burn out immediately. I count pedal strokes (sometimes half pedal strokes, a number as each foot hits bottom of the stroke)

    You know, I have to ask about all the people who say they just "spin up the hill". I get the theory. But there are plenty of hills where I'm in my biggest, lowest gear, and I'm still pushing barely 50 or 60 rpm and "spinning" as a perceive it is simply not even an option. There's one hard hill near my house that I ride pretty regularly - it's oly 140 feet of climb over just under a quarter mile. It feels brutally steep, but I think it works out to only being about 10.6% grade. And there are people around here talking about 26% grade?!?!
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  6. #21
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
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    funny question. a lot of us do both. It really does feel good to power up a hill. but if the hill is a little too long and you run out of steam, you plunk right back down into that saddle
    and spin the rest of the way up.

    the fitter i am, the easier standing is.
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  7. #22
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Concord, MA
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    Maybe I am perpetually unfit?
    I just cannot stand. On a steep climb, I doubt I could actually get my azz up off the saddle, and on smaller ones, it just hurts my leg so much, why do it? My speed goes down, too.
    My core is strong, so I don't know what is wrong with me. Sometimes, I'd like to power up a small climb, but I'd be left in the dust, just going slower and slower.
    I get the predicament about just "spinning" up a steep climb. On the 10-20% grades I've done, or the sustained 6-8% 10 mile climb I did in Spain, I just sat and spun away. At 3 -5 mph. My cadence was probably 50-60. It's still spinning to me.
    However, I felt OK, I made it up, and I didn't walk. I guess I don't care about speed on these types of climbs, just getting up the hill.
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  8. #23
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
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    CRankin,
    it COULD be your bike. I remember when I switched from Bike A to Bike B (I don't remember which now) I was stunned that suddenly it was EASY to stand up!!
    and if you are doing 20% grades, you are NOT puny. I am not doing 20% grades. or even 15%.. maybe 11 or 12 sometimes. for a few feet... eeek.
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  9. #24
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    WA State
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    4,391
    Quote Originally Posted by Biciclista View Post
    CRankin,
    it COULD be your bike. I remember when I switched from Bike A to Bike B (I don't remember which now) I was stunned that suddenly it was EASY to stand up!!
    and if you are doing 20% grades, you are NOT puny. I am not doing 20% grades. or even 15%.. maybe 11 or 12 sometimes. for a few feet... eeek.
    I'll second that it could be your bike. I've had several bikes that it was near to impossible for me to stand on a climb on, mainly because of the way my weight was distributed. In any case even on a bike that fits me I'm more of a sitting climber. I'll stand to power up short, steep hill or once in a while to stretch out my butt muscles on a long one, but for the most part I'm a seated climber.
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  10. #25
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Concord, MA
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    Well, I've been like this ever since I started riding, through 4 road bikes. In fact, the first few times I went to a spin class, I couldn't even stand up there. Now, I could stand all day on a spin bike, although I don't spin much anymore.
    I can stand when my bike is on the trainer. Perhaps this has to do with my lack of balance. I always feel like I am going to fall over/crash when I stand. Both of my bikes have been fitted, one is custom and the other went through the laser/computer fitting. The custom bike has a more relaxed geometry, but both are very light weight (14.7 and 16 lbs. without the bags, rack, etc).
    I've only done very very short stretches of anything over 15% grades, mostly in Austria and the Berkshires. The 10 mile (17K) climb i did in Spain just about made me puke, but I did it; it was a cat 2 climb on the Vuelta and the markings were all over the road. I just would like to be able to power up a hill for awhile, like my DH does.
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  11. #26
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
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    Beautiful NW or Left Coast
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    hmm sounds like a fear issue to me. imho!
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  12. #27
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Concord, MA
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    At first, it was. Now, it just feels like I have no strength in my usually strong legs and awkward, hence the feeling I'm going to crash.
    But, you're right, Mimi. I am no slouch when it comes to climbing; in fact there have been several times on group rides where the guys (OK, older guys) ask me what kind of training I did to be able to spin up a hill at such a high cadence. The answer is always the same. No training, it seemed like the natural thing for me to do.
    I just wish I could stand with as much ease.
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  13. #28
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Beautiful NW or Left Coast
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    you sound pretty strong indeed.
    I like Bikes - Mimi
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  14. #29
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Richmond, VA
    Posts
    333
    Quote Originally Posted by Crankin View Post
    At first, it was. Now, it just feels like I have no strength in my usually strong legs and awkward, hence the feeling I'm going to crash.
    But, you're right, Mimi. I am no slouch when it comes to climbing; in fact there have been several times on group rides where the guys (OK, older guys) ask me what kind of training I did to be able to spin up a hill at such a high cadence. The answer is always the same. No training, it seemed like the natural thing for me to do.
    I just wish I could stand with as much ease.
    Have you ever tried the "rowing" technique? I learned it at a Mt bike clinic for long climbs but now I use on the road. You slightly pull up on the handlebar in cadence with your pedaling, also not a full upright stand but off the seat about half way .....It sounds like you are way strong and experienced- so maybe it is just a matter of experimenting.......

  15. #30
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Posts
    1
    I agree with you.

 

 

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