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Another thanks to lonefrontranger(7 posts)

Another thanks to lonefrontrangerFez
Mar 24, 2003 1:46 PM
Want to give a belated thanks for the standing out of the saddle tips.

I'm sure lots of people got some great tips from your post. When I was young and foolish, I thought there were only 2 positions to go over an incline. First was sit and spin. Second was shift a few gears up, stand up and go all-out. Never mind what it did to the legs (fry em) or the heart rate (instant zone 5).

I've worked a lot at technique since then, and your post summed it up pretty darn well. Now I can sit and spin easily. But in a flash I can stand slightly and help myself up the hill with my heart rate barely changing. Often times it saves me a gear change. It can also help me stay fresh and get out of the saddle, but still not go all-out. Its like I've added an additional intermediate gear. Works great on bridge overpasses as well.

As with anything, I doubt I've mastered it... I'm sure I could still improve on spinning perfect pedal strokes while standing.
my pleasurelonefrontranger
Mar 24, 2003 2:23 PM
I know and have seen lots of folks who struggle with this one. I even see reasonably experienced racers out there who still get shucked hard on the climbs out of sheer lack of technique.

Most of this knowledge is merely hand-me-down tips from my mentors. I was fortunate to belong to the Dayton Cycling Club racing team while their leadership were still wedded to Mike Walden's mentoring programs, so even tho I was a second generation beneficiary, Walden's influence helped me a LOT.

My technique drills mostly stem from the teachings of a pair of elite racers I rode with a fair bit back in Ohio, so I will pass along your thanks to Adam Krause and Kirk Albers next time I chat with them. Adam raced for several years on Division III/II teams in Belgium, and went to Worlds for 'cross in the late nineties. Kirk is a pro with Jelly Belly, now well into his thirties, tho he has been a dedicated bike racer since grammar school. Both of them are and were phenomenal mentors. They would ride with me on their recovery days, and were always, *always* doing some kind of technique drills. Whether it was single-legged drills, climbing drills, cadence drills, or just practicing no-handed trackstands while waiting for me to drag myself up the last hill, these guys were constantly honing their technique. It somehow stuck with me that even though these guys were the upper eschelon of racing (in our little backwater, anyhow), they still figured they had something to learn.

I think their intervention alone saved me from a severe case of "Cat 4-itis", (medically known as cranio-perinial impaction); symptoms manifest as that overwhelming notion that you know everything there is to know about technique, skills and training, which usually strikes in roughly your second season of racing :)
LFR, let me see if i've got this right...JS Haiku Shop
Mar 25, 2003 6:41 AM
drill #1

shift into largest gear, initiate downstroke with dominant leg while getting out of saddle. remain in largest gear. do on either flat or slight incline.

drill #2

shift into smallest gear, pedal standing over center of bike up hill without advancing cadence into harder gears ("chasing"). do on long, gentle/gradual incline.

is this right? i've been doing drill #2 for awhile, just through trial and error. #1 confused me yesterday, and i tried it on last night's ride, but it's difficult (or easy, conversely) to shift into one's biggest gear on a fixie. :) please let me know if #1 is as simple as stated here. thanks.

-J
good summary; #1 is very shortlonefrontranger
Mar 25, 2003 7:07 AM
Due to the high gearing, you should only do 3-4 pedalstrokes on #1, then sit down and shift out of that gear. The point of the drill is merely to teach the launch stroke without flopping your body forward or kicking the bike back. You *really* need to use your hamstrings and glutes to initiate the stroke as you come up out of the saddle. This is so that instead of kicking the bike out behind you, you kind of do something that more resembles a bike throw (like you see sprinters do at the line), pushing the BB forward to help get on top of the gear.

When you get good at this, you'll notice that when initiating a sprint or getting out of the saddle on a climb, you will actually tend to pull the bike *forward* underneath you as you get out of the saddle, rather than kicking it back. This is what you want, because it not only makes the people behind you much happier, but it also maintains or even increases the bike's natural momentum.

As I mentioned before, throwing the bike back and your body forward, whether sprinting or climbing, is like throwing a 2x4" chock under the back wheel; it effectively stops the bike's momentum dead. You can lose 2-3mph forward momentum doing this, another reason people claim "I can't climb" (or sprint) - they're beating themselves. If you think about how many positions you can lose in a crit by merely touching the brakes going into a corner (you lose 5-7 places in a heartbeat), think about how losing 2-3 mph of momentum affects you on a climb when you're already only going about 10-12mph in the first place.
thanks, i'll try that on my next suitably geared ride! nmJS Haiku Shop
Mar 25, 2003 7:21 AM
Newbie question on high/low gearingkilimanjaro
Mar 25, 2003 5:34 PM
Just to clearify, highest gearings is the smallest cog in the back. Low gearing is the largest cog in the back. Correct?
correct (nm)lonefrontranger
Mar 25, 2003 9:26 PM