1. The most important thing about buying a new bike is to make sure it fits. The only way you'll know if the bike is right for you is to size up the bike and make sure that the bike's geometry matches your body's geometry. Ask questions and do some research.
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2. If possible, try to find a shop that will let you demo the bike on real dirt. Five minutes in a parking lot won't cut it. You wouldn't buy a car without a real world test drive, and a bike should be no different.
3. Don't belive the hype. Just because your favorite rider or best friend rides a certain bike, that doesn't mean that's the best one for you. Have an open mind and be realistic about your needs and ability.
Results 1 to 14 of 14
  1. #1
    mtbr member
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    To sit or to stand - what are your thoughts?

    Today I was out and was racing myself and noticed when I stood on the pedals and powered through in a higher gear I was significantly faster.

    Out of curiosity I did some googling to see what the Internet thought, and I'm getting tons of conflicting thoughts on it.

    Some say it's akin to sprinting on a bike.
    Some say it's wasted power because the weight transfer is wrong and the rear tire is light.
    It goes on and on.

    I found it more fun as I was much more nimble and a lot faster.

    So mtbr, what do you think?


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    2014 Scott Scale 740

  2. #2
    Cow Clicker
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    Depends. Here's a study based on road riding: Sit or Stand: Tradeoffs in Efficiency? | Active.com

    My understanding is sitting and spinning is 15% more efficient than standing. However, like you, I haven't found much in the way of the efficiency loss in energy transfer in an upward motion as a result of rough terrain. I would bet it is more efficient to get out of the saddle, a little or a lot, in rough terrain.
    No, YOU don't understand. You're making an ass of yourself for all of eternity.

  3. #3
    Pioneer
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    good question...
    Sitting and tucked to blast off !!

  4. #4
    Rod
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    Here is what I have observed by riding a lot and doing some races. Sit and spin on long hills to conserve your energy. Stand and mash the bigger gear so you can carry your momentum over the small hills and short climbs.

    Standing and mashing the climbs is why everyone thinks riders of a single speed bike are so fast. They are forced to attack the hills or they can't climb them. Of course when you attack the hill that's going to be the fastest way up them.

    Standing is going to be faster, but you will burn way more energy by doing this. What you need to do to become faster is understand how much energy your body can put out over a certain amount of time and don't go beyond that. If it takes you an hour to do a loop you need to know your breaking point when you ride that trail. If you stand and mash too much you may deplete yourself too soon and it could slow you down in the end.
    There is not much choice between rotten apples.

  5. #5
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    I did ride yesterday where I did alot of standing. I normally sit and spin, but due to the terrain I found myself standing to get max power and max agility. I ride a hardtail and going over short, but rocky obstacles I find that standing works better as I can move my weight around help the rear end work better.

    So for the most part on a long climb I will sit and spin where ever possible and only stand for bursts of power or when needed to clear some obstacle. As I have become more fit and ride more I have found that I can stand for longer durations and in more situations over a ride. I used to blow up when standing very very quickly. Now I still can, but it is taking longer to do so. I think this is down to fitness and technique when standing.

    BTW... don't ask me to describe this technique as I don't really know how to describe it and a lot has to do with balance on the bike.
    Joe
    2003 KHS Alite 4000 26" Hardtail - XC, All mountain, blah blah blah.. I just ride.

  6. #6
    Kitty! Kitty! Kitty!
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    I sit just out of habit. And I stand for downhills. I feel like I waste too much energy when I stand and mash. Plus I keep up with/lead the guys I ride with when I'm sitting and they're standing.

  7. #7
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    You're switching the use of muscle fibre types when you move from sitting to standing. You should go from sitting to standing so as to develop both muscle fibers. Here's some more reading on the subject: High Tech Cycling: The Science of Riding Faster - Ed Burke - Google Books
    No, YOU don't understand. You're making an ass of yourself for all of eternity.

  8. #8
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    you need to learn and practice both ways.

  9. #9
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    i find that i stand when i go up something steep and during a DH as well as technical stuff, and when riding thought straight sections

  10. #10
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    What are you trying to accomplish?
    No, YOU don't understand. You're making an ass of yourself for all of eternity.

  11. #11
    T.W.O.
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    Standing is much faster, no doubt. Look at it this way. Your energy is finite and limited per ride/climb. It's like a book of matches, on the steady climb you just light one every few minutes seated, everytime you stand up and hammer you are lighting 3 or 4 matches, once you use up the matches you'd bonked. Light up too many at a time, you'd be in the red zone and you'd bonked.

    The better conditioned you are the more matches you have, but once you used them up you'd bonked, so spend your energy wisely because bonking on the trail would pretty much take the fun out of riding.

    Avid SS riders are different kind of animal altogether

  12. #12
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    I'd love to be able to stand/pedal longer - I have not built up enough stamina to do a long stretch off the seat.

    I find that it's more efficient to stand if I need the power, but it does wear me down quicker.

    -S

  13. #13
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    I spent a lot of money on a saddle. Damn right I am gonna sit and use it.

  14. #14
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    When I ride with someone slower than me, I make a game out of it by riding without sitting down in simulated SS mode - 32/20 (middle/fifth cog). Helps with the burst power.
    No, YOU don't understand. You're making an ass of yourself for all of eternity.

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