A lot more power when standing vs. seating: what is wrong with my fit?

Hi there,
As said in the title, I can manage a lot more power when standing vs. seated.
For reference, I can hold 400 watts for roughly 18’ when standing (cadence around 65), while seated would leave me 20-30 watts lower.
I believe there’s something wrong with my fit. What would be the likeliest culprit? Too high a saddle height?
Thanks a lot in advance for your help.

I don’t think anything is necessarily wrong with your fit (without seeing it); its natural to be able to deliver more power standing up stomping on the pedals (particularly if you are climber), just its not as aero in the real world so won’t be faster despite being more powerful and if you’re not a climber its less sustainable.

Is that 18 minutes?

Likeliest culprit is that you have comparatively developed muscular endurance and comparatively underdeveloped cardiovascular endurance. Similarly, some people just find the RPE lower, so push harder even though they could when seated. Finally, maybe you aren’t used to spinning faster. Relatively high torque requirements are often easier to generate at low RPM when you use your bodyweight. The reason pros often have a high cadence is simply that they are putting out a lot of power. 400w @ 80rpm seated is pretty fatiguing on all of the other postural muscles that enable the legs, making things feel harder. 400w@105rpm is easier.

Too high isn’t especially likely. The upper limit on saddle height is less about losing power than it is not getting injured. The optimal angle for force production is relatively close (but not at) full extension (think quarter squat vs full squat). iirc Phil Burt’s fitting book has that graphed somewhere.

That said, being able to put out more power standing isn’t surprising. Though (to me) 18 minutes seems like a really long time to be standing.

I thought this was normal.

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I’m in a similar boat. And the issue is it grossly inflated my FTP (TP/Garmin reset FTP post race). Why’s this is an issue? Well when going back over the files I was consistently 1 mph slower standing vs seated for the same power. And when it comes to races speed trumps power. So now I’m trying to hold the same power seated and minimising the time I spend out of the saddle.

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