Ask The Expert: Can this standing climb position be correct?

ICA member Kristen read in a book about cycling that suggested some serious maneuvers indoors to “mimic” the position of riding a bike outside up a steep hill. I conferred with fellow cyclists and Master Instructors Tom Scotto and Jennifer Klau, two people who know a whole lot about both indoor and outdoor cycling, and we tore apart his suggestion. Sometimes you’ve got to watch out what you read!Kristen sent me an email:

I am beginning a segment of classes focusing on standing climbs.  I am an avid reader of everything about Indoor cycling and outdoor cycling but  I am a little confused. I am reading a book  called Bike For Life by Roy M. Wallack.  In this book he talks about standing climbs and proper form.  Here is the quote:

“Because a stationary bike does not angle upward while climbing as does an outdoor bike, the indoor cyclist must make a posture change to cultivate hamstrings, glutes and back muscles in the same way that they’d normally be used outdoors. To replicate the outdoor position, hinge at the hips, keep your back straight and parallel to the ground, push your nose down to within a few inches of your handlebar , and shove your butt so far back that it barely brushes against the saddle.  Look down, not forward, to keep your spine in a neutral, comfortable position.  In fact, literally lengthen the spine by inching your tailbone back and the crown of your head forward.

This seems so wrong to me!!  You are my go to gal when I need the RIGHT information.


  1. Thanks for all the little reminders amid the big picture of how to do it right.You’re like having a conscience ! Lest we slip while alone out there…..

  2. Yes, it sounds like a hover with the butt pushed back – perhaps kissing the handlebars is his own rendition. But his reasoning for it is the twisted part – trying to mimic an outdoor standing climb position. Maybe he rides his bike on Mars and gravity acts different there? 😉

  3. Check to see when this book was published; maybe long time ago when “HOVER” position was taught by many instructors. His description sounds familiar?

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