/ Struggling with cadence on standing climb

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SStraver - on 04 Dec 2017
Some background: I'm a Newbie. I injured my shoulder and have gotten into indoor cycling to plug the non-climbing gap. I've been going 2-3 times a week for 30mins-1hr at a time. Really enjoying it and am now saving for a bike.

So in the meantime I want to improve what I'm doing indoors.
But one thing I've noticed is that whenever I go into a standing climb my cadence drops super low (65/70) even when I reduce the resistance to very low and feel like I still have plenty left in my legs. I seem to end up stepping down jerkily onto each pedal and there's no flow to my pedal stroke. It feels like the only way I can keep a smooth fast rotation going is basically taking my weight onto my arms.

What gives? I've searched around but cant seem to find any answers. Can you guys give me any tips on stroke technique while standing, or does this indicate I may have set up the bike wrong or something?
Siward on 04 Dec 2017
In reply to SStraver:
Are you reducing the resistance a bit too much? You need something to push against or you will lose smoothness, IMHO anyway.

For my part I only stand in the pedals on hills as a last ditch effort to power me over the brow, otherwise I'll sit down thank you .


Here's some folks discussing it: http://forums.roadbikereview.com/general-cycling-discussion/spinning-standing-up-810.html
Post edited at 12:31
yesbutnobutyesbut - on 04 Dec 2017
In reply to SStraver:

You'll always have a lower cadence when standing.

When cycling outside on moderate climbs it's normal to change into a slightly harder gear before you stand up and then drop back to an easier one when sitting.

ianstevens - on 04 Dec 2017
In reply to SStraver:

> Some background: I'm a Newbie. I injured my shoulder and have gotten into indoor cycling to plug the non-climbing gap. I've been going 2-3 times a week for 30mins-1hr at a time. Really enjoying it and am now saving for a bike.

> So in the meantime I want to improve what I'm doing indoors.

> But one thing I've noticed is that whenever I go into a standing climb my cadence drops super low (65/70) even when I reduce the resistance to very low and feel like I still have plenty left in my legs. I seem to end up stepping down jerkily onto each pedal and there's no flow to my pedal stroke. It feels like the only way I can keep a smooth fast rotation going is basically taking my weight onto my arms.

> What gives? I've searched around but cant seem to find any answers. Can you guys give me any tips on stroke technique while standing, or does this indicate I may have set up the bike wrong or something?

As always, the answer is depends - here's my opinion and reasoning on the matter. I *can* spin at 95+ rpm standing on a spin bike, but don't see the point at all. I use spinning as a way of avoiding freezing to death in the winter months - i.e. as a replacement for actual road cycling. If I can spin up a climb at 95rpm, I want to be sitting, becasue, well, I can be. If I can't keep my cadence above ~75 rpm, I need to be putting out more torque. To do this I generally stand up to get the additional force required on each pedal stroke to keep moving. When it levels off and I can spin faster (back into the 80s and 90s) I sit back down again. As such, I tend to ignore the instructor when the talk about standing drills with high cadence.

All that said, surely spin instructors have to undergo some sort of training so there must be a reason for it!
Dax H - on 04 Dec 2017
In reply to ianstevens:

> All that said, surely spin instructors have to undergo some sort of training so there must be a reason for it!

Training or not spin instructors are just sadistic bastards.
ianstevens - on 04 Dec 2017
In reply to Dax H:

> Training or not spin instructors are just sadistic bastards.

True, but you would hope they plan sessions to actually yield some improvement not just make you feel shit/tired and get injured. It's not Crossfit!
RX-78 on 04 Dec 2017
In reply to SStraver:
Not sure why high cadence standing up training is needed. There is a saddle for a reason. I used to race in the amateur ranks, never heard of anyone doing this, nor as a recommendation in any cycling mags or forums. Still time moved on and new methods come and go.
Post edited at 14:57
ClimberEd - on 04 Dec 2017
In reply to SStraver:

Sounds a bit like you are over thinking it. Just ride. If standing up is too jerky then you are either in a too hard or too easy gear (either will cause fluctuations in pedal speed around the stroke.)

Also 65-70 isn't really low. In the triathlon world a lot of advice to race at 70-80 for the longer races. Depends entirely what you want to achieve though.
Yanis Nayu - on 04 Dec 2017
In reply to yesbutnobutyesbut:

> You'll always have a lower cadence when standing.

> When cycling outside on moderate climbs it's normal to change into a slightly harder gear before you stand up and then drop back to an easier one when sitting.

Exactly.
Yanis Nayu - on 04 Dec 2017
In reply to ianstevens:

My friend who goes to spin class told me her instructor says she should Cycle with her heels lower than her toes, which is patently bollocks.
Yanis Nayu - on 04 Dec 2017
In reply to SStraver:

Bear in mind if you were standing on a real climb, you would be swinging the bike side to side which would make it better.

It’s only worth standing to climb to attack in a race, to ease discomfort occasionally on long climbs (change up a gear or two) or to prevent you coming to a complete standstill on really steep climbs.

What you’re describing sounds more like you’re trying to sprint than climb, and that does tend to involve your weight being much farther forward.
Webster - on 04 Dec 2017
In reply to SStraver:

I don't see what your problem is?

of course your cadence is going to drop and your pedal stroke change when you stand up, you are changing your ride style.

you don't need to improve anything.

and to the others in the thread, spinning instructors are just fitness instructors, not cycle coaches. they are trained to make you sweat and burn, not to improve your cycling technique. there is likely zero science behind anything they say/do, that doesn't mean that it wont be a bloody good work out tho!
abr1966 - on 04 Dec 2017
In reply to Yanis Nayu:

+1
All those years of lance armstrong spinning influence.....we all know how he could maintain.such high cadence!

OP...if you want to spin fast whilst standing you'll need to lean forwards a lot and pull your knees through.....easy on a road bike which fits you and has clearance to do it plus the natural side to side angle of the frame.

When you get out on the road it'll all make sense but find your own natural rhythm and cadence. My mate spins around 100-105 at the same speed as me doing 80 rpm.....its whatever suits!
Dave B on 04 Dec 2017
In reply to RX-78:

For the jump away from the pack on a hill climb...

Big gear, high cadence.. Boom. Gap and broken away... 10-15 seconds effort, then sit, then repeat to drop the guy who went with you...



What I object to is stupid things like press ups while riding... Wtf.



garycrocker - on 05 Dec 2017
In reply to Yanis Nayu:

And you would be in a higher gear if sprinting . Sounds like the op just needs to get a bike, any bike, and go and ride up some hills.
ianstevens - on 05 Dec 2017
In reply to Yanis Nayu:

> My friend who goes to spin class told me her instructor says she should Cycle with her heels lower than her toes, which is patently bollocks.

Where is the facepalm emoji? Terrible advice.
Dave B on 05 Dec 2017
In reply to ianstevens:

Many years ago (c. 1990) we used to talk about ankling, along with biopace chairing and no knew needing more than N sprockets on the block (where N was 1, 5,6,7 or even 8 by 1993):

As your foot approached the top, you were supposed to have your heel lower than toes as you went over the top of the circle. Then toes lower as you scraped across the bottom.

Is this just the rubbish some people said at the time, or are cyclists still talking about ankling?
Was it talked about earlier than this?

Siward on 05 Dec 2017
Dave B on 05 Dec 2017
In reply to Siward:
I think you are actually correct.. It was a long time ago, so my memory was wrong. So the video ##is## how it was described back then.

Post edited at 19:35

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