Stand on the Pedals or Sit in the Saddle?


Contador_Alberto_SanLuis13_st6-1It’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

Enjoy Your Ride
Pin It

Featured on these top sites

Check Out These Sites

Cycling 360 Podcast


Sugar Alternatives for Energy and Hydration

Question: I am using the homebrew sugar formulations (sometimes added to green tea).  I am also trying to wean myself off 1/2 dose adrenalean “lip tonic delivery system” (biorhythm brand- caffeine, hoodia g, synephrine, yohimbe) capsule for energy.

My question is other than juice, can you suggest modifications in lieu of table sugar for energy and hydration.


Both raw/organic honey or agave can work great in the homebrew (substitute in the same quantities for the sugar, or to taste), but you do have to shake well in order to make sure they don’t settle out.  Have you tried either of these?  Also, make sure to use at least the minimum amount of salt recommended in the homebrew as the temps rise, you need the sodium replacement if you’re sweating.

Sports Drink Homebrew

Please send us your questions for our Expert Sports Nutritionist, Kelli Jennings to “Ask the Sports Nutritionist“. Kelli Jennings is a Registered Dietitian with a passion for healthy eating, wellness, & sports nutrition. For more information go to

Nutrition Tips