I'm pretty new to road cycling, I've been road cycling since June 2017, because it's winter in Canada I recently got a indoor trainer and zwift. On a recent zwift session, I tried sprinting out of the saddle and it felt very weird and my watts as well as my speed were way below what I can do while in the saddle. Any tips on how I can get more comfortable sprinting and in general riding out of the saddle? Thanks!

  • 6
    Practise. And no on a trainer, being bolt upright and attached to the flour isn't helpful.
    – alex
    Nov 17 '17 at 4:30
  • 7
    Sprinting on a trainer is a good way to damage the trainer, the bike or the rider.
    – Criggie
    Nov 17 '17 at 6:53
  • 3
    Getting out of the saddle will come much more naturally if you try to blast up a hill -- it's easier at high power. I'm trying to improve my hill-climbing power and finding that I'm getting out of the saddle more than before. This is mainly on short hills, and I'm used to sitting and spinning up them. Once you've got used to the feeling you can try it sprinting
    – Chris H
    Nov 17 '17 at 10:44
  • Like how the only way to get better at riding hills is by riding hills, the only way to get better and sprinting is by sprinting Nov 18 '17 at 18:11

If you want to improve balance and control out of the saddle at any speed, even freewheeling, you just have to practice doing it. Note that balance while pedaling out of the saddle on a trainer vs. on the road will be very different as the bike is held firmly upright in the trainer

With respect to power output: pedaling out of the saddle is usually done for a short burst of power against a high resistance with a low cadence - either up a short steep slope or accelerating in a too high gear. Pedaling at a sitting cadence while standing up will be quite inefficient.

Basically, you have to get the gear ratio selection right to enable max power output. Lower for in the saddle, higher for out of the saddle.


You might want to experiment with how forward or back over the bottom bracket you position yourself when out of the saddle. You may find you can find a more comfortable position that works better for you.

  • As a relative newcomer to pedalling out of the saddle I find it very different to-- and much less instinctive than -- freewheeling out of the saddle, whether that's for a bumpy surface or as a relief position. But your point still holds: +1
    – Chris H
    Nov 17 '17 at 14:57

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