This thread is the opposite of AndrwSwitch "More Power on the Flats" and related to the "Help me be a better climber" thread, but it has more to do with fine-tuning riding position.
A few years ago, I wanted to increase my power on flats. Came across the Wrench Science site fit calculator and set up my bike with the measurements provided (most notably, a 12-15mm DROP in saddle height), then tweaked them slightly. I discovered a whole new reservoir of power from more gluteal involvement. Spent most of the last couple of years (before this summer) time-trailing on a nearby rail trail that has a slight incline of 2-3% over about 15mi. I have been very strong on flats and on steep technical "oxygen debt" climbs (as Ned Overend refers to them in his book), but I have been getting left behind on long 8-15% 1-6mi road climbs common here.
I read about dead spots in the pedal stroke in the "Help me be a better climber" thread. Sounds like it could be a problem for me. Started doing one-leg trainer workouts. I found the hip flexors tire quickly so I am pushing up a tired foot on the down stroke as well as pushing the bike forward. However, if I raise the saddle some to a position of not raising the knee so far on the upstroke and helping my hips, I basically turn off the gluteal involvement, and the power goes away, but I do the long moderate climbs faster.
Is there a resolution here, or have I discovered a point in cycling where you have to pick one or the other?
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Thread: The Gluteal Turbo and Climbing
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