high hips

Something for summer

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Ken Roberts
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high hips

Post by Ken Roberts » Mon Aug 17, 2009 2:40 pm

I do most of my riding on roads, because I've got lots of great roads close by, and not many good dirt trails open to bikes. I like pedaling up steep hills, and usually I pedal up them sitting
  • . . . because it's a challenge, and because I think seated pedaling more specific training for climbing up steep hills on skis (classic) in the backcountry.
Lately I tried more standing, and clearly I can climb a little steeper that way. No surprise on asphalt road (though I guess pedaling standing it trickier to work on dirt because of losing traction).

Why does standing work better for the steepest climbs on asphalt?

High hips -- that's my new theory. Standing on a bicycle is like skating up a hill with high hips. Seated pedaling is like skating with my "butt down in the bucket".

High hips works better for high-force situations just by trigonometry: smaller knee-bend angle means that the same propulsive force to the ground can be delivered from lower tension force in the upper leg muscles.
  • I think swinging the frame of a (road) bike from side to side while climbing (or sprinting) makes it possible to focus the range-of-motion even more on less knee-bend angle.
How come it's been so hard for me to get away from "butt down in the bucket" in my skating on cross-country skis?
Maybe it's why I spend all almost all my time seated pedaling up steep hills -- I somehow just like the feeling.

Key difference is that in bicycling it's easier to measure to find out which situations work better with high hips and less knee bend.


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Post by kuan » Mon Aug 17, 2009 3:25 pm

Seated, the top of your pedal stroke will be before top dead center, or TDC, ie., mildly recumbent.
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