I am in the process of lowering my MUni seat so much that standing on the pedals lifts my butt off the saddle at every crank orientation. I should have done it earlier. Thanks those who suggested it.
The first few rides that had many climbs in them were more tiring than with the saddle higher. Not unsurprising right? I reckon it is
if I remain seated, my upper legs (main source of power) swing through a smaller angle. Since the power has to be the same, the force mustered by the muscles have to be larger.
conversely, if I stand up, I have to support my weight through my legs; this also requires more muscle effort in the legs.
as I had gotten accustomed to with a high seat on which I remained seated, I pulled indiscriminately hard on the seat on climbs. When standing on the pedals, the increased ‘weight’ had to be overcome by my legs.
OK, this third reason is sort of stupid and I added it just for completeness’ sake; now that I know this I don’t pull too hard anymore. But the other two reasons don’t go away as easily.
Klaas Bil - Newsgroup Addict
"Two mosquitoes, free of enemies, could produce enough offspring in 1 season to cover the earth with a layer of mosquitoes more than a foot deep. "
I have the same problem. I know you want a lower seat. and to overcome this I just raised my seat up about 1/2" higher. It seems that I lose a little control. Also along with what you said, I think it has to do with using different muscles or not letting the legs get enough oxygen or blood by squeezing the vessels in the legs. I might be wrong but it sounds good to me. A question I have is…An experenced rider like you are posing this question? We should be asking you.
With a low seat, when you’re seated you’re using mostly your quads for power. And you’re not using them in their most efficient range of motion.
When you raise the seat you get more muscle groups working and the quads are operating in a more efficient range of motion. With the seat higher the glutes get into the act rather than just the quads.
When the seat is low you have to start standing on the pedals sooner than you would have to if the seat was higher. This is because the low seat is less efficient.
Some technique that is helpful when climbing
Make sure the balls of the feet are over the pedal spindle. This allows the ankle to get into the act and makes for a much more efficient pedaling motion.
Use the ankle while pedaling. Point the toes down at the bottom of the stroke. At the bottom of the stroke try to pull the foot back like you are scraping mud off the bottom of your shoe. At the top of the stroke push the foot forward. On the upstroke concentrate on actually lifting your leg and putting minimal back pressure on the pedal instead of just letting the pedal motion lift your leg for you. All this helps generate a circular pedaling motion and will allow you to use more of the pedal stroke to generate power. But don’t overdo the ankle motion (a.k.a. ankling) because too much of that is bad for the Achilles.
When it gets to be time to stand on the pedals keep the above points in mind. When standing it is much harder to keep pedaling in round circles. With proper ankling it will be easier to dance on the pedals and keep the wheel turning. At the bottom of the pedal stroke I flick the toes downward to get a bit of a spring to help lift and transfer my weight to the other pedal. The big challenge when standing on the pedals is to keep pedaling in a circle and to keep weight off the back pedal on the upstroke.
Then there is the longer steeper climbs where you have to resort to standing on the pedals and going a half revolution at a time. Each time the pedals are horizontal you pause slightly to rest much like the rest-step technique that climbers and hikers use. Unfortunately this technique blows the pedal in a circle mantra so you end up mashing on the pedals rather than dancing on them.
Climbing is more efficient if you have the seat up high enough so that you can stay seated for the climb. For a long muni climb I will sometimes, but not always, raise the seat up a bit for the climb. At the top of the climb I’ll lower the seat. That’s why a quick release seat clamp is a good thing for a muni.
I should add that I don’t enjoy climbing as much as I used to. Back when I was riding my road bike I loved rolling hills and long climbs. Now that I’m unicycling I seem to have stopped enjoying the climbs as much. I’ll suffer my way through a climb because of the reward at the end (and there had better be a reward at the end), but I’m not smiling and looking forward to it like I used to on my bike. Watch me at any of the group muni rides when there is a big climb - I won’t be smiling and I might just be swearing at myself under my breath, or worse, I’ll be walking.
As i develop my climbing technique, specifically for those short climbs that are on the trail, I find that it feels very similar to riding the granny on my MTB. That’s somewhere around 25 or 26", not sure.
I have noticed that, at times, I get into a rhythm that was similar to when I climbed on the MTB as well as a sense of stability. On the MUni, it seems like once the balance is attained, it feels like crawling up a steep incline while riding the MTB. Such that, on the MUni, the energy expended to stay balanced is used more for right to left balance like on a MTB, than for fore and aft. On the MUni, I stay upright and just pull on the seat, much like pulling on the handlebars of a MTB. The cadance feels very similar until that point where it gets really steep and then I start the half circle pulse thing. (John explained it better)
I was never much of skilled Mtber, so I can’t say that my climbing technique was ever efficient. It just seems that right now, climbing on a MUNi, seems similar in some ways to climbing on a MTB, from my experience.
If that didn’t make any sense, I will explain it to you someday on a MUni ride.
Yesterday, a remarkably perfect day in Memphis, a buddy and I took to the trails. I’d say we’re still in the earlier stages of MUni skills development. Coincidentally, we determined that “ankling” (as I now learn the term) seems to help on the climbs.
Most of our climbs are not very long. But most are not smooth. We can power up the smooth ones pretty well.
Here in the muddy delta, where most of our trails are in the bottoms (flood zone) of our rivers, the trails are crossed by exposed roots. Sometimes root after root after root. The worst is if they are hidden under a blanket of pine needles. Makes it fun on the flatter parts, but hell on the climbs.
Lesson Learned: On a climb, as your foot position approaches the dead zone of 12 and 6, the littler the root has to be to take you down.
I assume that at this point, when my legs are burning like they’re pierced by Pigmy poison darts, we should turn 90 degrees to the trail, and hop (bite?) up and over. (AS IF there was any more fight left in my legs).
Is this good brainwork?
My current stategy is to crash. (I would call it an UN-PLANNED DISMOUNT, but since I’m wearing helmet, wristguards, and shin protection, its pretty clear I’m PLANNING to dismount hard and often.)
>“jagur” <email@example.com> wrote in message
>> Klaas Bil wrote:[color=darkred]
>> > "Two mosquitoes, free of enemies, could produce enough offspring in
>> > 1 season to cover the earth with a layer of mosquitoes more than a
>> > foot deep. "
>> my wife says “no freakin way!”
>Hmmm. Probably need to know what he means by “enemies”. Other bugs? Fish?
Guys, my sig lines are picked (by a little program I wrote) from a
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Conversation forum. They’re just a sort of running gag, not fruits of
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Klaas Bil - Newsgroup Addict
"Canada is an Indian word meaning ““Big Village””. "
To the contrary, here… if there’s a .mosquito. in the room, I’ll go out of my way to track it down and exterminate it. Suffice it to say that I may be one of those “enemies” that the original factoid is talking about.