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climbing vs sprinting(3 posts)

climbing vs sprintinglithiapark
Apr 20, 2003 6:40 PM
I vaguely remember reading an article in a magazine recently that described a form/technique difference between out of the saddle sprinting vs out of the saddle climbing. I think I read that when sprinting you should keep your body more centered from side to side and move and leverage the bike from side to side for the most power. The opposite seemed to be suggested for long sustained climbing out of the saddle: keep the bike more centered and move the body more. If the latter is true, do you move to the side that you are about to downstroke on? I'm not a sprinter at all, and I prefer to climb seated, only getting up to use some different muscles and rest my rump, so I have never paid a lot of attention to this issue. I also don't remember reading this more than once, and I read a lot. Can anyone out there help me?
just pedal like a madman...benja15
Apr 20, 2003 7:49 PM
best way to get somewhere fast
biggest difference is effortDougSloan
Apr 21, 2003 6:29 AM
By definition, sprinting is 100% effort. I assume you mean a finish sprint. Two parts to a sprint. 1. Accelleration. To be effective, you want to gap those behind you, so you need to accellerate hard, really hard. In a "medium" hard gear, time it so that you come down hard on your "power" leg as you rise from the saddle. Then, from the drops, use your arms to counter the force of your legs, going as hard as you possibly can. You arms effectively give you more power, as they are pulling up on the side your leg is pushing down (or, arm is pushing down on the side opposite pushing leg). Then, the top speed. When rpms rise to where you are spinning, then sit and spin as fast, fluidly, and powerfully as you can. I keep the bike fairly steady in this phase.

Climbing. Not much in common with sprinting, actually, as you are not going for 100% effort (usually). To stand, I get in a medium gear (like 70 inches) to start, then push down with the power leg as I rise, staying balanced fore/aft and laterally. If I'm going really hard, like when geared out or desparately trying to maintain contact, I'll swing the bike laterally to get a little more power from the arms. For extended standing, I keep the bike fairly still. Also for extended standing, I'll move fore/aft a little, which uses different muscles, letting some rest.

Best thing to do for any of these is specific practice. Do some sprints and extended standing efforts. Work on only that feature, so rest plenty between sprints, and don't worry about climbing speed while working on standing. About 4 years ago, I would wear out standing for 50 yards. Now I can go literally for miles. Practice.

Doug