Compendium of Internet Fit Advice


Talk to me about pedaling technique after 14 hours in the saddle


No one is saying otherwise. It doesn’t mean you shouldn’t stand to give muscle groups a break and stay loose. I stand all the time on long climbs and it never slowed me down. You see pro riders do it all the time. Body need a break.


Yes, nobody’s climbing for 2km without standing.


dude we were sprinting for city/county limit signs all day on our Fleche


you got a minimum grade to go with that blanket statement?


Two words.

Mount Washington


the west side of Rainy Pass and the east side of Chinook Pass are both over 50 miles of continuous climbing, and definitely don’t require standing to pedal anywhere near that often

you can climb for hours and only stand a handful of times just to switch things up


[quote=NOVELTYNAME]You’re telling me there is less weight on your hands when standing compared to sitting


No one is saying there’s “less” weight. I’m saying that standing does not transfer all the weight onto your arms like you’re implying. But I would also speculate that climbing is NOT where his hands are going numb, due to the fact that while climbing you’re pointed up hill - so your body weight is biased to the rear wheel based on physics alone.

I don’t care if youre climbing or on the flats - there’s still no reason not to stand up, stretch, and move your body out of a static position - ESPECIALLY on 14 hour rides. Standing up for a few pedal strokes is a perfectly logical piece of advice to give someone who is experience discomfort while riding prolonged distances.

No one is telling him to climb out of the saddle for 2km. I usually never stand up for more than a few pedal strokes. And yes, I do believe there is not a significant change in how much weight is on my arm that would have any effect on the pressure on my ulnar nerve when going up hill because my hand position is also change to wrap my fingers around the hoods, rather than simply resting weight all on my palms. The ulnar nerve is compressed from long instances of the weight being in the same spot and nearly no arm movement. When you stand up, your arms flex back and forth, transferring the weight between them, and you’re actually moving you arm, which is going to increase blood flow.

And standing up for 5 seconds every couple minutes is NOT going to have any significant influence on your efficiency over a long period of time, as most people are out of the saddle a fraction of the time they’re seated, unless it’s an extremely steep climb and you are over geared. And on the flats - who cares. You could shift into a bigger gear, stand up for a few pedal strokes, sit down, and return to your previous gear easily while also riding in a paceline in a group (this is harder to do at race speed, easier to do at rando speeds).

I’m not sure why you’re trying to insist that seated for the entire ride is going to have some sort of great efficiency savings. I could not do it. It wrecks my back and hurts my body. The climbs out of Boulder pretty much all go up for 15-20 miles. I know what it’s like to go for 2 hours without a break from climbing. This isn’t new ground to break. We already have a team of experts on this.


But Amy is taking the lead.
Mig, stop being so daft.

[quote]You’re telling me there is less weight on your hands when standing compared to sitting
She won’t, but I will. There isn’t, and mostly because of what she explained with the moving arms.
I mean if you can’t see of feel that difference in it, we could have located the problem.


My hands go numb because they’re on the shoulder of the bar. Moreso there than anywhere else because it’s an awkward hand position. It “hurts” when my hands are there. I feel it most when I’m standing. I know I’m doing it and it’s a bad habit.

Nobody rides a bike without standing. Standing while you are climbing - the whole time - is super inefficient, is not at all an elegant way to move the bike, and makes you look like an unseasoned amateur - hippity hopping from one pedal to the other. You see this with new randos climbing late in a brevet. You see this in out of shape ancienne late in brevets.

Standing up for 10 rotations is not what I’m talking about, though hands placed in the wrong spot while hopping is definitely putting more pressure on your hands than sitting and grinding.

And yo Fred, I can’t wait to sit with you on a 400 and sprint to finish at 325. U gonna hate that next 3 hours.


No one ever even came close to advising anyone to stand the entire time while climbing. You just immediately jumped to that conclusion.

All buffoon said was, “Try spending more time standing”… Not anywhere close to “spend entire climb standing”


Even from an efficiency standpoint there’s not a huge difference. Part of it has to do with your density - lighter riders have a relative advantage standing, heavier riders relatively more efficient seated - and another to preference.

Also, that argument about efficiency hasn’t been found to be much of anything measurable, and possibly the opposite at high efforts (admittedly not an effort that will be seen much during a 12+ hour event, but clearly provides contradictory evidence to a blanket “less efficient” statement)

TC sometimes I’ll climb standing for extended periods and other times I’ll sit the entire climb, just because I like to watch the world burn.


You remember the Dave Kirk saddle position test that started off this thread? You can do some variations around that for sitting and standing.

Get to coasting down a slight grade, transition your weight off the saddle and onto the pedals just coasting with cranks level, WITHOUT lifting your butt off the saddle or moving forward or backward. When I do this the weight comes OFF my hands.

Lift your butt a half inch off the saddle, just lightly pinch the bar with your thumb and finger so you can steer without putting any weight on. Shift your butt forward or backward a bit, you’ll find the balance point where your hand can just float for a second. It’s pretty much exactly where I put my saddle anyway.

Draw a free body diagram, your body’s CG, the weight on the bars in front, the weight on the saddle in back, the weight on the pedals somewhere below. The torque around your body’s CG must add up to zero, removing the load from the saddle (behind your CG) needs to be balanced by removing load from in something front of your CG.

Go to a climb and add pedaling into the mix. Use the highest possible gear that will keep you going forward, higher gear = lower power. You’re putting more weight on the forward pedal while your bike is rotated a bit backwards so your butt scoots forward of the saddle; this shortens your reach so you can straighten up a bit. If your weight goes onto your hands your butt has gone way too far forward, and it’s really easy to feel the right spot no matter now many miles in you are.

And yeah like everyone else ITT I’m talking about standing for a dozen revs or so to get some circulation back in your pinched spots and use some different muscles for a minute.

Some people do fine standing for long climbs, like Jobst Brandt. Dude’s lowest gear was like 44/24 going all up and down the French Alps.


[quote=Falkor]I’ve run into this on longer rides as well. Ulnar nerve compression is an extremely common cycling ailment. I started having problems after I got the Grando together and started riding in the drops more often. After the un-meeting last year both hands ended up very weak and it took weeks(!) to get full, normal feeling back in my pinky/ring fingers.

Things I have found that (maybe?) helped:

  1. Correcting fit. I had a stem that was too long initially and I was stretching too much and leaning on my hands more than normal.
  2. Consciously riding in the drops less. Hood position doesn’t seem to cause it as much so rather than 40-50+% time in the drops that I’d prefer I try to save my drops time for headwinds, fast downhills, etc. where the aero advantage matters most.
  3. Glove change. I tried a couple different padded gloves including some that are advertised to ‘bridge the ulnar nerve’ but I found the pads didn’t line up with my hands correctly and in some cases actually exacerbated the problem. A particularly bad idea was wearing two pairs of gloves (this is how I fucked my hands so bad on the un-meeting.) I wore the non-padded giro hoxtons on my 400 and had almost* no issues, a pleasant surprise.
  • I did have some trouble with soreness in my left hand by the end of my 400 and realized that I am right-handed. Point being that every time I grab a snack, light a J, switch a cue sheet, etc. I use my right hand while my left takes all of the pressure/does all of the work. It adds up.[/quote]
    Yip. Over long stem with extended braking on the drops is what I am paying for right now.


[quote=Andrew_Squirrel]I don’t typically have pain issues associated with cycling but the Rando 400K (24 hours) from last weekend really fucked my hands.
The outside heel of my hand swelled up to an enormous red bubble which i’ve never previously experienced. It took 3 days before the swelling went down.
My pinky and ring finger would occasionally feel like they had fallen asleep and would tingle or feel numb.
I also had the skin at the heel of the hand start peeling from what I’m assuming was a light blister but didn’t have puss or anything to indicate it was a real blister.
I noticed that the hand with the worst swelling was my left hand which is also on the same side of my body as my titanium collarbone. Not sure if that is related. I’m also right handed if that matters.

I also had some pain on the top/front of my knees and had to pop a few advil to dull the pain. No sign of pain after the ride though, on and off the bike.

This is my current setup. Any advice? Should I finally get a professional fitting now that i’m doing longer rides?
I don’t do any exercising to strengthen my core, only cycling daily. I’ve been stretching & using roller way more this year than any year previously.

Rawland Stag shred portal by Andrew Squirrel, on Flickr[/quote]

your brake levers appear to be a bit low on the bars. have you tried setting them up for a flatter transition between the bar and hoods? maybe rotate the bars back? have you ever tried modern bend bars?


That’s really where the levers belong on those bars, the hoods are supposed to be a lower separate position from the tops. You’ll never get a flat ramp and you’ll fuck up everything good about them trying to get there.

but the advice to try modern bend bars is A++

Squirrel have you thought about Cowbells on the new biek?


they look like the campy 10 speed shape, no?

i like mine a bit higher with traditional bars. i even point them up a bit for cross. to each their own, though.


[quote=JUGE FREDD]
Squirrel have you thought about Cowbells on the new biek?[/quote]
It’s like you read my mind, ordered some last week for the new NFE


i have a couple custom bikes that fit well enough, i think i could stretch out a little further for a straight up road sport bike. how much less stack and how much more reach can/should one go?


Only experimentation will really tell.

1cm on both directions? I doubt significantly more than that unless you are really cramped currently.