Climbing

Deej

Maximum Pace
Oct 13, 2007
1,018
149
83
Setagaya
#1
I've noticed that a friend of mine who races for Nalsima Friend often stands ("dances") while climbing. He tends to come out of the saddle and "attack" the steeper sections and spin on the gentler inclines (heck, he often stands up and drops the hammer on easier inclines, as well). I'm not saying this is the best way to climb, or course, just making an observation.

Being new to cycling, I try to emulate him as much as possible when he deigns to ride with me, treating it like a (painful) tutorial, hoping maybe some of his $killz (gear choice and timing, picking good lines around corners on a fast descent, etc.) will rub off on me. The guy has won the Tour de Okinawa twice (citizens' category -- 200k), so I figure he knows a thing or two about the sport. He claims, somewhat disingenuously, to be "nigate" at climbing, but I've seen him demolish Wada like it was a bump in the road.

Personally, I have found that on long, hard climbs, a combination of sitting and standing really helps keep me fresh(er) and spread the burden among different muscles. Sometimes, I just can't seem to generate the power I need when I'm seated, and I'll be trying to shift to an easier gear, only to find that I'm already maxed out on the rear cassette. It is times like these that I will shift up a gear or two, stand up and try to generate some good momentum. I've also found it easier/more effective to come out of the saddle when approaching a steep turn, then sit down after I've rounded the bend and have got a good rhythm going.

How about you guys? Do any of you have any views/tips about climbing "en danseuse"? :climb02:

Keep riding!
David
 

Deej

Maximum Pace
Oct 13, 2007
1,018
149
83
Setagaya
#2
Yeah, I know the above post was a bit of a non sequitur, but I had a little free time at the office and I was starting to daydream about being in the mountains again...

My rambling comments were actually spurred by a post on climbing tips made over a year ago by Newton. Thomas had replied that he never climbs out of the saddle, which surprised me, because I can't imagine doing certain climbs without having to stand on occasion. Thomas, you must have legs of steel! I tried to post a response there, but the comment section was closed for that thread.

D
 

AlanW

Maximum Pace
Jan 30, 2007
1,214
436
103
Tokyo
#3
I mostly climb seated on the saddle, with occasional standing to give my muscles a break on the really long climbs or if the road is exceptionally steep.
I have found the best position for me is sitting slightly forward of the normal position, hands on the brake hoods, elbows dropped down and tucked in so I am pulling directly back on the bars as much as I can. I try to mimimise my upper body movement.
Standing is not efficient so I usually only do 10 or 20 pedal strokes, clicking up a gear, then sit back down and change back down. I shift gears as soon as I sit down, rather than waiting for my cadence to slow.

The compact drive crank gives a good range of gears for the local roads. There were some hills I physically could not climb on my old flatland setup with 39/23 as my lowest gear, but with 36/25 I have been able to get up everything so far.
 

trad

Maximum Pace
Dec 4, 2006
393
30
48
Tokyo
#4
depends....

I agree with all of the above. Other bits I've heard:

- Standing (or dancing as the Japanese riders call it) increases heart rate by about 5 bpm (to support more of your body)
- People with lighter physiques are relatively more efficent than heavier folks while dancing (because there's less weight to support/manage), and have a easier time dancing.

My speed actually drops by standing (after moving to a tougher gear). I've concluded that I don't possess the proper physique (aka I'm fat) or have the right muscles, so I simply sit and spin. I stand to change things around and give the backside a break.
 

chazzer

Speeding Up
Nov 23, 2006
449
0
36
Bushey Heath, Hertfordshire
#5
Cadence

For me it is all about high cadence and I stay seated and look to keep it above 80. I have a compact, therefore 34 up front ,and recently added 27 at the back. With this I can just spin inch my way up the worst of anything that I have met so far. And, importantly, I am not maxing out on HR but probably peaking at 90-95% therefore I can keep going in short bursts on the really steep stuff i.e. >10%

I am trying to look at my data for HR/Gradient/Cadence for further clues

I did the Fuji EcoRide last weekend and will post further on this topic. Unfortunately left my HRM belt at home though - argghghgh!!!

Charles
 

Deej

Maximum Pace
Oct 13, 2007
1,018
149
83
Setagaya
#6
And, importantly, I am not maxing out on HR but probably peaking at 90-95% therefore I can keep going in short bursts on the really steep stuff i.e. >10%

I am trying to look at my data for HR/Gradient/Cadence for further clues
Charles
I'd very much like to get a heartrate/cadence monitor to obtain a little more quantifiable data about my rides. So far, I've been judging my performance on a climb, for example, based on the time it takes from A to B, how I feel, etc. My inner nerd wants to be able to see my performance data laid on in graphical form on a computer screen, so that I can really track my progress (and further frighten my wife about my cycling obsession).

I may actually geek out and get a Garmin Edge. Any Garmin users out there?

At the same time, keeping things simple also has a certain appeal -- like taking the bag off my seatpost and stuffing everything I need in my jersey pockets. You know, to keep the lines of the bike clean. :D
 

chazzer

Speeding Up
Nov 23, 2006
449
0
36
Bushey Heath, Hertfordshire
#7
Edge 305

I have the 305.....and jolly good it is too !

It needs to be combined with good software though to get the most out of it. If you are a Windows user then the Garmin software is pretty good and you can also sign up to the MotionTrack site and park your routes and performance there for all to see !

If you are a Mac user like me then there are really sexy tools out there. I am currently using Ascent which is really beautiful.

However the 205 and 305 lack the real time GPS map so they are not much use for navigation unless you have saved the route from a previous visit or you import the route from somewhere. Then it will tell you to turn left etc but not real spatial sense as you get with a map.

There is a new Edge coming with full colour maps etc, this should be the dogs....but not sure if there will be maps available in Japan at first.

Alan W is also a Garmin user and perhaps he has some comments too ?

Charles
 

AlanW

Maximum Pace
Jan 30, 2007
1,214
436
103
Tokyo
#8
... With this I can just spin inch my way up the worst of anything that I have met so far....
Like Popeye the sailor-man :p!

I use my Garmin eTrex for navigation rather than training. It is nice to see the elevation clicking upwards on the climbs, especially if I know how high the summit is.
 

Deej

Maximum Pace
Oct 13, 2007
1,018
149
83
Setagaya
#9
>I have the 305.....and jolly good it is too !

It looks like an extremely fun toy. Did you get yours in Japan?

>If you are a Mac user like me then there are really sexy tools out there. I am currently using Ascent which is really beautiful.

I am a Mac user, so thanks for the tip!

>There is a new Edge coming with full colour maps etc, this should be the dogs....but not sure if there will be maps available in Japan at first.

Yeah, I've heard about this one (on the FredCast cycling podcast). Sounds very nice.

Uh oh, I can feel a purchase coming on! Must...exercise...restraint...
 

chazzer

Speeding Up
Nov 23, 2006
449
0
36
Bushey Heath, Hertfordshire
#10
Fredcast...

Yes - that's where I heard about the new Edge and Ascent. The links are in the Podcast shownotes. Its not a bad programme really but tends to drone on at times and get a bit boring I find. Still there are not many dedicated 'casts so cannot complain....

Another thing that was recommended was the on-demand Joost TV offering. This has a dedicated Cycling TV channel which is excellent. Meant to mention this before. Some really great coverage, not exactly real-time or even up to date but if you want coverage of minor classics etc, interviews, masterclasses etc then it is a good source.

Charles
 

Deej

Maximum Pace
Oct 13, 2007
1,018
149
83
Setagaya
#11
FredCast

My name is David, and I'm a Deej...

Yeah, not all of the content on the FredCast is exactly gripping, but as you pointed out, it's better than nothing, and the guy clearly works hard to make it a polished 'cast. Also, it helps make my commutes a little more bearable.

Thanks for the tip about the Joost TV offering. I'll deffo check that out. I'm sure it beats sorting through YouTube to find 3-minute clips on the 2002 Paris-Roubaix.

It probably won't help my productivity at the office, though...

David