Sunday, May 23, 2010

When biking should one stay seated or stand in the petals?

For mtn biking? Thanks so much and God bless!

When biking should one stay seated or stand in the petals?
Ride seated until you need to pop the bike up over the tops of climbs. Most people can only ride out of the saddle for short periods of time. Obviously on a Mtn bike you will be riding out of the saddle in rough terrain to absorb shocks with your knees.

If you try it you may find that 30 seconds to a minute is your limit when you first start out. A good cyclist will eventually get to where they can look at a hill and realize where they can get out of the saddle and attack other weaker riders up to the summit. They will realize that they can ride out of the saddle for so many minutes and then will time their attacks so they can stay out of the saddle all the way to the top.

A racer I sponsored ran into one of the cycling teams from South America while he was out training. These riders were all very good on the climbs and he asked them what their secret was. In broken English they explained their coach would come out in the following car and remove the seats and seat posts from their bikes at the bottom of a steep climb and tell them he would meet them at the top. They had to ride many miles uphill out of the saddle with no rest. Over time this made them very, very strong.

Riding short distances out of the saddle will help to stretch your legs out and get back lost circulation. This can be done even on flat terrain. Just put the bike in a high gear. The high gears are ones where you cover more ground with less RPM like large front and small rear sprocket combination. Just turn over the cranks very easily without placing any real force on the pedals. Do this occasionally on your rides and it will help reduce any numbness in sensitive areas and keep your legs stretched out.

If you want a difficult workout to strengthen you for climbing out of the saddle, try this. It is primarily for road riders but you can do it on your mountain bike as well. It must be done on basically flat terrain so no hills except slight rolling ones. For the purposes of this workout hills will be bad because this exercise simulates climbing. If you do this religiously I can guarantee that you will soon be riding away from other riders on hills. You will be able to power away effortlessly as they struggle to keep you in sight.

I have forgotten the pro cyclist that used this technique. It may be Moser. Anyway, go out and ride and warm up for 5-10 minutes. Get out of the saddle and ride out of the saddle in a high gear. Do not let the bike speed go over 20MPH - you will need a cyclometer to check your speed. If you get up that fast just coast while you are still standing up on the pedals. See how many seconds you can stay out of the saddle and record this maximum effort time. After you are exhausted sit down and shift the bike down into a lower gear and pedal sitting down normally. Ride the bike seated for twice the time you were able to stand in the first out of saddle session. This rest interval should be at moderate speed just relaxing. When the rest time is over you shift back to high gear and repeat the out of saddle routine until you are exhausted followed by the same 2X rest cycle. You repeat this routine 5 times and then ride home. You are going to be done in less than 40 minutes in many cases until you get better. Sounds easy right? It is not. Never do this more than once per week. It looks easy but if done properly you will see your ability to climb will start to go up. After you see your climbing time double from your original starting point cut the rest intervals in half so they are equal to out of saddle time.

It would look like this time wise:

10 minutes moderate warm up

2 minutes out of saddle

4 minutes rest

2 minutes out of saddle

4 minutes rest

1.5 minutes out of saddle

3 minutes rest

1.5 minutes out of saddle

3 minutes rest

1 minutes out of saddle

2 minutes rest

10 minutes ride home cooling off

Never do more than once per week
Reply:Go with M R on this one.

Edit: Ignore who ever told you that, Stacy J.
Reply:When MTB riding you do both. In general you sit of course. But there are instances where it's best to stand. Extremely rough trail, bumps and holes, riding over obstacles, some hills where you need the extra power, some very technical trail, jumps, fast accelerations etc. are examples of times I stand. I stand far more often MTB trail riding than road riding.
Reply:Well since your a lady, sometimes those seats can cause your genitals to become less sensitive, and depending how high the seat is, having the legs straight helps with the blood circulation in your legs. At least thats what I have been told.
Reply:If you don't want, or need to get some where quick, it is far more efficient to sit.

load your body weight over the "fulcrum" and use the granny ring to do the work, won't win any races, but something tells me that's the last thing on your mind.

Of course MTB riding involves shifts in terrain, you need to shift you body weight to apply traction to the front and back wheels, pre-load suspension, climb, stop, and generally carve, huck and hammer.

I will routinely spend an hour or more climbing fire-roads at a snails pace, breath in the air, take time to smell the petals, and not have to get off the saddle. Going down via any number of single track options is different story. Hardly on the saddle.
Reply:It depends on the conditions. Most of the time you stay in the saddle. But on really tough sections, you may need to shift your weight forward and stand up to get enough pedal power.

Also, you need to slide off the saddle to get back far enough on steeper descents. MTB'ing is a dynamic sport; you dont just sit there and pedal......your center of mass needs to move as conditions warrant.
Reply:Is this a joke question?
Reply:The answers above pretty well cover it, but you aren't riding a flower so you won't be on "petals". Bikes have "pedals", for pedalling.

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