It’s the questions I hear from thousands of cyclists…..when climbing a hill, should I stand on my pedals or sit in the saddle?
We watch pro cycling and get excited when we see people like Alberto Contador dancing on his pedals as he makes his way up a big climb. Yeah, I’m not a fan of Alberto but you just gotta love the way he moves out of the saddle.
But for regular cyclists like us, what’s the best way to get up a hill?
I’m of the opinion that it is very rare that you should have to jump out of the saddle and dance. Yep, I strongly believe this…..and it’s for good reason. When you get up on your pedals, you’re using far more energy than you would by grinding it through on your seat. Plus, in the long run you’ll get there faster by staying in the saddle.
I don’t mean to be modest, but I own quite a few Strava KOM’s and none of them have been by climbing a hill on top of the pedals.
With that said, there is a point where all that goes out the window and I need to get out of the saddle if I’m going to make it. This happens every day on the way up to my house. If you’ve seen my Grenada cycling video, you already know that this climb gets up to 27% and I have to dance my way up there.
Even if you don’t believe me, I want you to try it yourself. The first few hills might be tough and you’ll be tempted to jump out, but keep grinding your way up. Do this on at least 8 to 10 rides and then let me know what you think.
Grind it up, don’t Dance.
Photo c/o VeloNation