Author Topic: Honking?  (Read 923 times)

slope

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Honking?
« on: November 18, 2019, 05:47:43 pm »
Ignoring the 'sprinters' going for the usual level gradient line, is it better to honk uphill bending forward, or trying to stay as straight up verticle as possible?

I find I tend to lean into it - and maybe missing a trick/technique?

Re: Honking?
« Reply #1 on: November 18, 2019, 06:18:22 pm »
I used to watch the CTC riders ahead of me thinking about what is the most efficient action. One chap I notice that his hips hardly moved, just a slight rocking action with no left-right movement of his torso. For me that seemed the best basic position and whether I would ride on the bars or the drops had more to do with the gradient and what I fancied. These are my oberservations; those of a leisure cyclist.

Now let's wait for a racer's reply!

Kim

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Re: Honking?
« Reply #2 on: November 18, 2019, 06:23:43 pm »
Shifting weight forward is important when the front wheel is in danger of lifting.  No idea what's most efficient.
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

frankly frankie

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Re: Honking?
« Reply #3 on: November 19, 2019, 09:18:34 am »
The main purpose of honking is to transfer that part of your body weight that was on the saddle, onto the active crank, thus increasing the downward pressure on that crank with little perceived increase in effort.  Therefore it makes sense to stay as upright as possible, putting your weight in line with the downward thrust of your legs.
However this is a very inefficient action, because it exaggerates the 'bottom dead centre' of each pedal stroke.  If you value your circular pedalling, you counter this by getting your arms involved, pulling on the bars, which for best effect involves crouching forward to some degree.  This effort can't be maintained for long periods - whereas honking upright can, on a long steady hill for example.

When I was a younger and stronger rider, I used to snap cranks regularly whilst honking - not on steep hills, but while using the big ring on a slight uphill drag.  After the third time I learned to moderate my technique.
It's not dark yet but it's getting there.

slope

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Re: Honking?
« Reply #4 on: November 19, 2019, 09:22:29 am »
What got me thinking about this was I think I remember honking almost vertically and being able to enjoy the Welsh mountain views - that was when I rode drop handlebars with Ergo levers mounted a long way down the bends (a la Sean Yates style).

Now I have 120-130mm 'tiller' oh so shiny elegant quill Nitto stems paired with swept back 'Porteur' bars, my nose seems to want to rub the Edelux2 headlamp- mounted on the fork crown!

Maybe it's age and a less supple lower back? Hands are as far forward as possible and perhaps only a centimetre or two nearer to my body that the 'Yatesyesque' position.The power through the pedals appear to be similar? But I fear I look more like a grunter than a dancer :-[

Perhaps I need to spend a few days binge watching 1980s and 1990s TdF videos?

T42

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Re: Honking?
« Reply #5 on: November 19, 2019, 09:24:02 am »
Do what feels right. Anything that doesn't is putting you in a partial stress position that will waste energy.
I've dusted all those old bottles and set them up straight.

zigzag

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Re: Honking?
« Reply #6 on: November 19, 2019, 01:41:32 pm »
Do what feels right. Anything that doesn't is putting you in a partial stress position that will waste energy.

i'd agree with this.

energy wise it's more efficient to stay seated, but honking employs different/additional muscle groups and is a welcome change. on very long rides i tend to do most of the climbing out of saddle, it's a bit slower but helps keeping chamois dry and prevents saddle related issues.

Re: Honking?
« Reply #7 on: November 19, 2019, 01:58:19 pm »
I once stood at the side of the road at the finish line of an evening 10 near Norwich.   The late Zak Carr was an up and coming junior at the time and was riding a Mike Burrows creation.   Mike was stood by the finish line and gave him a royal bollocking for getting out the saddle and sprinting for the finish, spoiling the aerodynamics.

Of course this isn't the point of the thread but maybe a useful anecdote when you get out the saddle into a headwind.

Re: Honking?
« Reply #8 on: November 19, 2019, 02:05:18 pm »
Wot Frankie said.

When fit, limber and strong, getting the rhythm of 'honking' right is one of the great joys of cycling. A poetry of suppleness, gliding up a hill, not fighting the slope, but dancing on the pedals.
<i>Marmite slave</i>

Re: Honking?
« Reply #9 on: November 20, 2019, 10:22:08 am »
As others imply, the answer is 'neither'.  Staying in the saddle, in the right gear, is the most efficient way to get up a hill. 
People stand up to climb for reasons other than efficiency - putting in a spurt, comfort from a change of position, keeping the front wheel down, etc.

frankly frankie

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Re: Honking?
« Reply #10 on: November 20, 2019, 11:05:12 am »
You are the Spirit of CTC and I claim my £5
It's not dark yet but it's getting there.

Re: Honking?
« Reply #11 on: November 20, 2019, 11:24:20 am »
Presumably, given enough of a slope, upright and over the bars are the same thing?

For the most part I only do this on small (handful of contour lines) hills. I have a sense of keeping pace and getting a stretch, without a great cost in effort. Bigger hills is small gears all the way.

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slope

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Re: Honking?
« Reply #12 on: November 20, 2019, 11:25:52 am »
Keeping the front wheel down whilst not letting the rear slip and slide (even with a heavy Carradice Nelson Longflap containing a six pack of lager) is all part of the fun on a lot of the wet leaf strewn lanes/walls/streams hereabouts - grunting and/or 'dancing' ::-)

Re: Honking?
« Reply #13 on: November 22, 2019, 04:50:31 pm »
On my Brompton with a 3 speed sturmey archer hub I spend a lot more time out the saddle uphill. The bike tends to be swayed side to side whilst I remain fairly vertical. One thing I've noticed on my Brompton is that I tend to be faster uphill than many on road bikes , as whilst they have picked a lower gear and slowed down, I'm out the saddle still pushing a relatively high gear.

Road bike I need to sit on saddle nose, and lean over bars to prevent front wheel lift once you start getting up towards 20-25% or more. Out the saddle I lean over the bars, so less upright than Brommie.

On the recumbent you don't get out the seat but you can arch your back or push against the seat and push higher gears. Not recommended for all but short steep sections to get past. Once you legs go on a recumbent you can't compensate by standing up. One advantage though is that as your centre of gravity is so low and passes through the wheels (it does on mine) you don't have to change position to prevent the front wheel lifting.  Steepest I've been up on recumbent is 20% gradient.

hellymedic

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Re: Honking?
« Reply #14 on: November 24, 2019, 03:11:39 pm »
I was seldom a honker.
There is much ballast about my pelvis.

It strikes me as a waste of energy to raise and lower any weight without good reason so the less body movement the better, though someone built like a whippet might almost get 'lifted' by a pedal rising.

CrazyEnglishTriathlete

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Re: Honking?
« Reply #15 on: November 28, 2019, 12:50:34 pm »
If I'm trying to be efficient then I stay in the saddle.  But as others have mentioned upthread, on a long ride, getting out the saddle uses different muscle groups and can help loosen up the back and hamstrings.  I recall one of Joe Friel or Simon Doughty in their books mentioning riders trying to do a short section out of the saddle once every 10k or so on PBP.

If I am on a hill with some short steep sections, then I may well honk up those to stay in gear and try to keep my momentum, or to hang onto the back of the club run for as long as possible.  As for the position, I think it depends on level of fatigue more than any efficiency consideration - the more close to the limit I am the further forward I get, probably in the vain assumption that I will get some aerodynamic advantage even at a rapidly diminishing speed...

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