Standing Up - Technique

Would love to open a discussion on specific technique for biking while standing.

I have been experimenting with it and just want to practice properly.

Not looking to solve any issues but have read it can be more efficient. Also I like the idea of just hitting different muscle groups and positions.

some specific questions I have are:

  • should my balance be forward onto my front wheel when on a hill?
  • where should my balance be when standing on flat?
  • should I be sort of leaning my weight side to side rather than trying to pedal?
  • What are the best times to make use of standing (I’ve been standing on short uphills and sometimes after a red light to get up to speed a little faster).
  • what is roughly a cadence / gearing you should aim for? say someone who normally pedals at 90rpm.
  • what should my body position be? should I try to get my backside up and torso flat to the wind?

thank you for any insight or guidance!

Standing up is childs play :rofl:

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I’ve never really thought about it, I just do it, probably too often. Standing up is useful for getting that extra oomf out up a hill or near its crest but overall its less efficient AFAIC primarily because there’s more of you to catch the wind.

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read this:

for the “its less efficient” angle :wink:


Looking in my bookmarks, here is an article on technique:

to go along with the GCN videos that @mcneese.chad shared.


I have recently concluded that my bars have always been too high, forcing me to pull on my bars while standing, instead of pushing down on the bars. I confirmed this weekend on a really steep slope that required me to stand for minutes on end. By having my hands on the tops of the bars I was pulling, By having my hands in the drops I was pushing down.

Pushing down seems much easier and as a side benefit I believe my drop will look nicer aesthetically :stuck_out_tongue: Lets see if my back can handle the lower position

Standing efforts should only really be done with the hands in the hoods or drops position. If you were standing while holding the “tops”, I would recommend against that in the future. It’s rather narrow and a less stable level of control compared to hoods/drops.

It also is more rearward and will lead to the rear center of mass bias that would lead to “falling back” more than anything, and relates to the “pull” loading you describe. So it may not be a bar height issue as much as a reach one, since the functional height of the hoods is similar to that of the tops at least.


LOL! I meant hoods

I’m going to carefully read all the replies tomorrow morning with coffee and focus.

in the meantime I rode home tonight and on the uphills I stood and shifted my weight back and forth…cadence was probably like 50ish (powermeter getting installed this weekend hopefully so no exact data yet).

anyway instead of pushing I swayed my weight back and forth and when my pedal bottomed out I rode it say to like 5:00 (if you were looking at me from the left) before I shifted my weight to the other foot.

I was much faster than normal spinning, felt more in control of my power and speed, and it was kinda fun.

I have no way to know how much energy it took but I was not out of breath and I didn’t feel fatigued for the rest of my ride. (I haven’t ridden in a few days so I’m fairly fresh). and my technique is basically just what I made up - haven’t learned anything proper yet

it felt easier…like I just was using my weight and going for a ride.

maybe your body type matters a lot for determining if standing up is worthwhile? I feel like I can toss my weight around. I’m 6’3" 190 lbs so I have longer legs and more weight to push around. maybe I found my calling :slight_smile:

anyway looking forward to reading / learning / experimenting … getting fitter and faster!

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just checked strava and I hit an all time fast speed on my my biggest climb by 10 seconds (0.3km 7% total grade - towards the end of the ride). did it in 1:04…previous best was in may 1:13.

next to zero fatigue after

still not lightening fast or anything but I wasn’t trying to go super fast…just steady.

Here’s one way to improve your riding while standing - remove your saddle…

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I should probably pay attention to this. I cannot climb out of the saddle. It feels SO AWKWARD, like I’m a golden retriever trying to walk on its hind legs. I don’t know how people can do it so easily. If I’m standing up on a ride, it means Bad Things Are Happening and I’ve given up all hope. The minute I get up, everything goes to hell. It’s like a body geometry problem for me. I sometimes suspect that having (apparently…) “long femurs” (gross…) and regular length lady arms means that by the time I fully stand up, even with some knee flexion my hands are oddly far from the handlebars. You know, like a T-Rex (also gross.) I have to bend over to reach the bars, and then I’m not really “standing.” I’m just hunched forward with my booty sticking out like I’m doing a slow motion sprint. Just thinking about standing out of the saddle on a climb makes me cringe. Gross.

I felt like this for years until I actually started playing with fore-aft position, and not using my arms to hold all my weight up.

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