The ability to stand is a big part of cycling. But there are certain times that standing will help you the most.
One of the best times to stand, and where you can really improve your cycling, is standing on the climbs.
Here are seven areas where you can work on your standing to help you ride your bike faster!
- To add body weight into pedal stroke to increase power. With proper technique you can efficiently add your body weight into the downstroke to create more power. It takes a lot of practice to efficiently do it, but when you do it feels like free power.
- To shift weight forward on steep terrain to gain balance. One of the big challenges of climbing is that your balance and position over the pedals changes as the hill steepens. The hill repositions your body weight back on the bike and shifts your pedal stroke from pushing over the top of the pedals to “behind” the pedals in a very inefficient place. Moving your weight forward over the bike by standing rebalances you and your center of gravity giving you more stability and control. It also puts you back in front of the pedals setting you up for a much more efficient downstroke and pedal stroke.
- To add leverage to get more power from your effort. This tip is an extension of #2 as getting more forward really allows you to leverage your weight and achieve a better angle over the cranks into the pedal stroke.
- To get a faster acceleration. This tip builds off of #’s 1, 2, and 3 as these things allow a higher and faster power transfer into the pedal stroke getting you up to speed. One thing to add here is that this is also more efficient which is a big deal on a climb where you are trying to gain speed repeatedly every time the gradient eases, but not go over your limit.
- To raise speed up over the tops of the climbs. This is an extension of tip #4 but try and look at every crest as a place to finish strongly and get as much speed as you can. It’s counter intuitive a little, but here is where your effort pays the biggest dividends.
- To control your effort on steeper gradients. This tip really takes work and practice to achieve, but by standing in a lower cadence you are able to lower the power you are producing by adding your weight into it. Thus, dropping a zone or two on a steep climb rather than over doing it and pegging yourself.
- To raise the speed out of corners or switchbacks. Again counter intuitive, but the switchbacks are really where you need to look to build speed, not recover. This speed will make the rest of the climb easier and faster. So using (well trained) standing will help you really take your speed up each switchback.