Ask MBA: Stand for Pedal Power

National Champion, Kate Courtney in the saddle and powering. Photo by Thomas Maheux

Stand or Sit?

Q: The “Get More From Your Suspension Bike” feature suggested staying in the saddle during ascents (climbing uphill), which makes sense. Yet most of the photos in your publication show riders off their saddle while going uphill (seriously, take a look). 

I’m new to this sport and love it. I look to this magazine for info as a newbie, and maybe I’m nitpicking. Just please let us know what’s what. 

Eric P.
Vista, CA

Check Out MBA’s 15 Tips to Better Climbing


A: You bring up a good point. While we suggested staying seated when climbing, there are times when you need to stand. Technical or especially steep climbs require more power and the need to stand out of the saddle.

Most of our climbing shots feature our test riders standing for two reasons: they are usually climbing a steep pitch, and it makes the photo look much better. Generally, seated climbing is good on fire roads with more sustainable grades (not quite as steep) and longer grinds.


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