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when to shift up?

Posted: Mon Oct 22, 2012 10:31 pm
by kokoman
on a long climb / short climb, do you shift up just as you rise from the saddle, or rise from the saddle then shift up?

Curious as to the best technique for transitioning between climbing in and out of the saddle..

Re: when to shift up?

Posted: Mon Oct 22, 2012 10:44 pm
by Nobody
I tend to shift, then rise. That way if something goes badly wrong, you are less likely to crash or stress the gears.

Re: when to shift up?

Posted: Mon Oct 22, 2012 10:50 pm
by Mrfenejeans
Shift before standing, that being said i do try/like to stay seated as much as possible.

Re: when to shift up?

Posted: Mon Oct 22, 2012 10:51 pm
by sogood
Nobody wrote:I tend to shift, then rise. That way if something goes badly wrong, you are less likely to crash or stress the gears.

+1. Bad shift will crash the rider. Not wise. In practice with experienced riders, the two events are intimately and smoothly linked.

Re: when to shift up?

Posted: Tue Oct 23, 2012 9:35 am
by NhiTrac
If I need to shift when off the saddle, I just stop pedalling for a bit while I shift.

Re: when to shift up?

Posted: Tue Oct 23, 2012 9:47 am
by sogood
NhiTrac wrote:If I need to shift when off the saddle, I just stop pedalling for a bit while I shift.

You must pedal to execute a shift. The key is to back off on the pressure for a fraction of a second and pedal smoothly. Re-apply the power once the cogs have engaged.

Re: when to shift up?

Posted: Tue Oct 23, 2012 9:12 pm
by NhiTrac
sogood wrote:
NhiTrac wrote:If I need to shift when off the saddle, I just stop pedalling for a bit while I shift.

You must pedal to execute a shift. The key is to back off on the pressure for a fraction of a second and pedal smoothly. Re-apply the power once the cogs have engaged.


Thanks, you said what I had meant to say :lol:

... I back off from stomping on the pedals, shift, turn over the cranks, then start stomping again.

Re: when to shift up?

Posted: Tue Oct 23, 2012 10:56 pm
by kokoman
thanks for all the tips and perspectives! :D

Re: when to shift up?

Posted: Wed Oct 24, 2012 11:33 am
by il padrone
NhiTrac wrote:If I need to shift when off the saddle, I just stop pedalling for a bit while I shift.

MTB riders shift while standing frequently, while pedaling, even when under load. Shimano's Hyperglide cassettes with ramped sprockets were developed specifically to cope with this style of riding.

They work. Most road bikes now have these same cassettes. You'd need to goof it up pretty badly to crash off the sprocket while standing.

Having said all that I usually try to avoid standing shifts when road riding, unless I'm caught on a steep grade. Just better technique to shift while seated. If you are jumping to stand, it is as someone said, an interconnected action. Probably best to begin with to shift up momentarily before you stand. The best thing is to do it right as you stand.

Re: when to shift up?

Posted: Wed Oct 24, 2012 11:53 am
by sogood
il padrone wrote:MTB riders shift while standing frequently, while pedaling, even when under load. Shimano's Hyperglide cassettes with ramped sprockets were developed specifically to cope with this style of riding.

They work. Most road bikes now have these same cassettes. You'd need to goof it up pretty badly to crash off the sprocket while standing.

Correct and the resulting shift can have a very nice and loud "PING"! However, it's additional wear and often not as smooth as one that was done with a bit of finesse. And in those with sub-optimally adjusted derailleur (often in the amateur or even pro ranks), avoidance of a mess is worth considering and as a routine practice.

Re: when to shift up?

Posted: Wed Oct 24, 2012 12:13 pm
by human909
Riding and shifting is so natural for me that I'm not 100% sure. But I think...

If I want to ship up on a climb I normally stand up, pick up the revs a bit more, stop the pressure and then shift up. The same is if I'm already standing and I want to shift up. I pick up the revs and the stop the pressure while shifting. I ride numerous bikes and some don't reliably shift so getting thrown off a bike because of a missed shift or even a dropped chain simply doesn't happen to me. :wink:

I did once get thrown almost off my bike when I bent and taco'ed my small chaining by putting down too much torque! :shock: Very high foot pressure and sudden release was not good. I landed on the cross bar and I was lucky to still stay upright and moving because there was a car accelerating directly behind me. My calf had deep nice tiger claw scratch marks from the big chain rig.

Re: when to shift up?

Posted: Wed Oct 24, 2012 12:31 pm
by zero
I don't shift up to stand to climb a hill. I just get out of the saddle and hold the rpms and my road speed (or lose the rpms slowly if the hill is a little too steep). If the hill is too long for that, then I'll downshift and stay in the saddle.

On the MTB, getting out of the saddle on a hill is likely to (a) break traction and (b) bob the rear suspension, so I tend not to do it, that also means that I will generally spin up hills, and downshift only. The only problem downshift for me is when the drivetrain gets muddy, it gets hard to get the granny ring, so I tend to make that shift early if I think I'll need to do it - and thats the only shift (potential for chainsuck), that I would be concerned about doing with full power, which is why I'd rather make it whilst the bike still has momentum.

Re: when to shift up?

Posted: Wed Oct 24, 2012 3:21 pm
by il padrone
sogood wrote:
il padrone wrote:MTB riders shift while standing frequently, while pedaling, even when under load. Shimano's Hyperglide cassettes with ramped sprockets were developed specifically to cope with this style of riding.

They work. Most road bikes now have these same cassettes. You'd need to goof it up pretty badly to crash off the sprocket while standing.

Correct and the resulting shift can have a very nice and loud "PING"! However, it's additional wear and often not as smooth as one that was done with a bit of finesse.

For MTB riders standing on the pedals and shifting, certainly when shifting down, there is no 'ping'. The ramps simply guide the chain onto larger sprockets. A shift up is a little more critical, but works equally smoothly if you give a small hop/easing of pressure when doing the shift.

Re: when to shift up?

Posted: Wed Oct 24, 2012 3:37 pm
by cyclotaur
Didn't Andy Schleck mash it up and drop the chain famously on a climb in the TDF about ... 2010 (?), when Contadour went on to win?

I think he was standing/changing at the same time, or tried to, when Contadour attacked.

On long climbs I stay in the saddle, mostly. and use all the gears I have !! :D

Re: when to shift up?

Posted: Wed Oct 24, 2012 3:40 pm
by sogood
il padrone wrote:For MTB riders standing on the pedals and shifting, certainly when shifting down, there is no 'ping'. The ramps simply guide the chain onto larger sprockets. A shift up is a little more critical, but works equally smoothly if you give a small hop/easing of pressure when doing the shift.

There will certainly be a ping if there's power being put down. If power was backed off during the shift, then this discussion is moot.

Re: when to shift up?

Posted: Wed Oct 24, 2012 3:42 pm
by sogood
cyclotaur wrote:On long climbs I stay in the saddle, mostly. and use all the gears I have !! :D

It won't be an effective attack without standing and attack, unless you are on EPO and "attack" like LA on the saddle. :wink:

Re: when to shift up?

Posted: Wed Oct 24, 2012 4:48 pm
by NhiTrac
Is it just me, or does anyone else picture this in their heads when they change gears while standing?

Chain in Leg

Re: when to shift up?

Posted: Wed Oct 24, 2012 5:01 pm
by human909
NhiTrac wrote:Is it just me, or does anyone else picture this in their heads when they change gears while standing?

Chain in Leg


Just you.

I've even had that happen to, me as mentioned in my earlier most, and I have no problems changing gears while standing. Also you need to differentiate between standing and the force being put high load down on the cranks as they are two totally different things. I often ride a 1991 road bike so it doesn't handle changing under almost any load but I still change while standing, I just don't put load through the cranks.

Re: when to shift up?

Posted: Wed Oct 24, 2012 5:21 pm
by il padrone
NhiTrac wrote:Is it just me, or does anyone else picture this in their heads when they change gears while standing?

Chain in Leg

If he really was clipped in that picture defies probability :?:

But no, never had anything like that happen, changing gears, standing, seated or even doing a horizontal track stand. You'd have to be really unlucky and mighty ungainly to get this injury. But I did see a friend of mine who got a chainring grease mark on the back of his shoulder :? We never did work that one out :) :)

Re: when to shift up?

Posted: Wed Oct 24, 2012 6:12 pm
by cyclotaur
sogood wrote:
cyclotaur wrote:On long climbs I stay in the saddle, mostly. and use all the gears I have !! :D

It won't be an effective attack without standing and attack, unless you are on EPO and "attack" like LA on the saddle. :wink:

Who said anything about attacking ? :lol: