Out of saddle riding is tough for me, like thigh burning “do I not ever use these muscles?” tough. But that tells me it is good for me!
Lately there has been a lot of comments about out of saddle riding in the Facebook Sufferfest group. Everyone wants to get better at it. The general answers are “practice” and “strengthen your core” which are good replies.
But it would be great and fantastic to have a workout dedicated to improving standing. One that starts at low rpm, like 50, and slowly builds up to higher numbers. Perhaps have the length of the intervals inverse proportional to RPM. Fifty RPM, up to 90, back down to 50 with good rest in between like in The Trick.
There are a ton of videos in the Sufferfest library but not one is dedicated to out of saddle improvement.
Have you done Elements of Style?
It dedicates at least 5:00 minutes to proper standing technique right at the end (from the 30:00 minute mark on).
I understand your feature request is probably aiming at a more comprehensive video, I just wanted to mention this in case you didn’t know about it.
Yes, Elements of Style has a decent standing section at the end. I am very confused about some of its directions though, such as “use the back of your legs to drive the pedals down” . (The hamstrings cant possibly force anything downward (except for the other leg’s pedal, but is that what it wants?), and the front of my legs are on fire, so…) And it focuses a lot on the procedure for getting out of the saddle, which in real life happens so quickly I cant notice if I am doing it the correct way.
What I’d like is a workout with every interval devoted to standing.
@botski Check out the climbing videos. Maybe either Angels or Thin Air? Apologies in advance if my memory isn’t correct but I do think that either one or both of those include a significant amount of out of saddle time.
Probably the “easiest” hard thing to do is to simply stand more frequently during workouts, especially ones with a slower cadence like Goat or Power Station.
Or just ride with Sir @michael.cotty
If you can’t get a vid with enough and you have a 5-15 minute climb nearby I would suggest riding outside and repeat the climb 4-5 times always out of the saddle. That’s what I end up doing.
Be careful what you wish for. We begged GvA for 10 vise grips. We got 14. Then he threw the Kitchen Sink at us.
I realise this is not quite answering your question, but my out of saddle climbing has improved enormously by riding a singlespeed mountain bike. You have no choice to climb out of the saddle a lot of the time - it’s either that or you’re walking. You don’t necessarily need to get a dedicated singlespeed, you could just do some rides without shifting. A typical SS MTB gear is 32:18, but you could go up or down a couple of teeth either on the cog or chainring and still be in a reasonable all-purpose gear.
Apart from that, I agree with the above suggestions to stand more often any time you have a low cadence target during the workouts. Every little bit of practice will help.
do A Very Dark Place. After interval 3 pause, rewind and do interval 3 as many times as you dare
I admittedly suck Yak S&%# at standing when the cadence is high and the resistance is low. I can stand and grind all day (and have done, repeatedly). I’m with you @botski, that a dedicated vid (or a no vid) specifically for out of saddle work at varying cadences and intensity would be helpful. Power Station has a lot of out of saddle stuff and a lot of folks put this one near the end of their Knighthood quests specifically for the relief that the standy uppy bits offer after several hours of riding. That said, the standing sections in PS are also higher power and I don’t think that is where most people (like you and me) struggle.
@botski, in the absence of a category in the forums for new workout requests (with the obligatory caution to be careful what you ask for) I upvoted this one. It’s possible that there are existing vids (maybe some of the new Big Gear no-vids even) that could be modified with Coach’s instructions/advice to do exactly what we are looking for but until then…
The coaches advice might even be to do Open 45 and and do standing increased cadence drills every few minutes.
@way9e0 I really need to try SS. I bought a Santa Cruz Chameleon for my son and have been riding it during the offseason as it has 27.5+ tires and does better in the snow than my 29err. I am fairly certain that the bike is built to easily convert to SS.
As long as the bike has some way of adjusting chain tension (eccentric bottom bracket, sliding rear dropouts) it will be easy enough to turn into a singlespeed. You can also put a chain tensioner in place of the rear derailleur.
In addition to improving my standing climbing, I’ve found that I’ve got better at carrying momentum into climbs, and I love the mental freedom from having to think about changing gears.