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Climbing question.....(6 posts)

Climbing question.....IAM
Apr 1, 2002 12:59 PM
Although by some of your standards I live in a virtually flat area, I still have a climbing question. When on a longish climb ( around here) I have tried to get out of the saddle for a little relief instead of sitting there mashing away. Every time I do this I accelerate and can't seem to slow down to keep my pace. When riding alone this isn't really a problem but it is in a group. I've seen the pros do this and just keep the same pace with the peleton, I admit I'm not near that level but I know it can be done.So what am I doing wrong?
re: Climbing question.....KEN2
Apr 1, 2002 1:13 PM
You don't mention your cadence on seated climbing, but it can vary according to what works best individually. Try shifting to one or two gears higher--that will keep your legs from "running away" as you stand. Most people keep the cadence about the same or a little slower when standing, than when seated climbing. Then shift back when you sit down.
re: Climbing question.....brider
Apr 1, 2002 2:36 PM
Well, the first clue is your description of "sitting there mashing away." Says to me you're using too low a cadence when you're seated. Of course, if you don't upshift, you're going to wind up the gear pretty quickly. What you should probably do is to gear down a little when seated so you can keep a good spin going (no less that 85 rpm), then, when you stand, boost it up a couple gears and just push enough to maintain the same speed (unless you're trying to surge away). Then gear back down when you sit.
re: Climbing question.....Ian
Apr 1, 2002 5:03 PM
When you stand, you naturally produce more power, that is why you speed up. You need to be aware of that next time you stand to climb, and let up a little bit. That way your speed will stay the same.
re: Climbing question.....JBurton
Apr 1, 2002 8:57 PM
I asked this same question here about a year and nine months ago and got some good replies. In the time since, I finally got it through my skull that climbing form is just something that needs to be practiced like everything else. I had the same problems you speak of, often even when shifting up. Learning to pedal in circles (or smoothly) while standing is very important. Figuring out that standing doesn't necessarily mean riding harder is something that you might expect a fairly intelligent person could grasp...that sure wasn't the case with me. I battled with it as a hard headed mule. After I started noticing the pros' form on TV out of the saddle and was amazed at their smoothness. The stage up to Alp de Huez in last years (2001) Tour in which Lance walked off and left the rest of the leaders is a great example. There are times when the camera pans from his legs up to the rest of his body from the side. While the camera man is focused on just his legs turning over and over, he is so smooth that it is virtually impossible to tell if he is sitting or standing until his body comes into the frame. His cadence is very fast, however and may not be for you, so immulate his smoothness, not necessarily his rpm.

I practice standing on the trainer because the controlled atmosphere seems to help me concentrate on form and control. I have found that smoothness also keeps my heartrate down significantly and actually makes standing a well needed relief, when needed, rather than a heart-rate spiking burden. Now I don't fret about having to stand...I just relax. Just keep practicing and don't let yourself stay frustrated.
Thanks all(nm)IAM
Apr 2, 2002 12:46 PM