BEING SEATED OR STANDING WHILE CYCLING UPHILL
This is something we keep asking ourselves at the foot of yet another climb—We sit or we stand up?
Some riders prefer to stand up and ride their way up the slope, the cycle leaping every pedal stroke , while some prefer to keep sitting on their saddles pedalling with their upper bodies looking relaxed and easy.
Knowing when to sit and when to stand could make your next uphill climb much easy and quick. It all comes down to your preferred choice but there is still some sense you can apply to climbing which might prove useful at the beginning of your next climb.
While standing :
You use more energy because you are literally carrying your body weight on your legs rather than the saddle.
You also use more energy since the upper body is also moving.
Working a wider range of muscles ease pressure on any one muscle.
You generate more power which helps you attack the hill faster but also finishes your energy
Your rhythm is immediately thrown off because changing positions disrupts your momentum and increases your heart rate.
Standing definitely looks much more cooler.
You use lesser energy as the upper body is sitting and relaxed.
Energy is conserved as the saddle takes your weight and not your legs.
When the body is low, lesser drag is created.
Your legs can feel sore from repeatedly using the same muscles on the climb
By remaining seated cyclists might go slow but are able to maintain a better cadence over a long period.
Staying seated is generally better for climbing as it uses lesser energy. If its a long or steep climb its best to alternate between sitting and shorter bursts of standing. The short standing moments give relief to your legs and also provide much needed power on the steep sections.
When you are climbing up sitting on the saddle , you should be spinning on an easy gear while keeping the upper body relaxed. Maintain a easy pedal stroke and keep your hands lightly on the handle bars.
Sit straighter on the climbs which helps you take in more oxygen / helps you breathe.
In addition to this performance while riding uphill is also dependent on your body type. Lighter riders typically climb hills faster then the heavier ones.
Riding uphill can be a challenge, evn for the experienced riders. Just take a deep breath, stay focussed and Go For It.
Rajnish Goswami, obese till 2015, successfully completed multiple Marathons and Ironman half distance and full distance races. He is a fitness enthusiast and an avid reader of sports science