Transition from standing to seated

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by pushpush

Let's assume a long flat section. No elevation. No wind. Relatively short. Let's call it 1mile to keep it simple. It could be longer or shorter, it doesn't matter. Optimizing for time across the distance.

When accelerating into this effort, how do you know at what speed to transition from a standing position (max power) to a seated position (max aero)? Short of doing time in a wind tunnel, what is the best way to estimate the optimal transition point to stay as efficient as possible? At some point the aero advantage eclipses the max power advantage and timing the switchover is important.

This will vary for each individual depending on how aero they are, but is there a rule of thumb to use as a guide? I tend to remain standing until my legs start to scream, but my brain tells me that I'm probably waiting too long to transition to a more tucked seated position.

Or maybe getting strong enough to remain standing is the counterintuitive right answer? Is it better to try and out-power the aero drag of standing?

Thoughts and ideas?

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by timmerrr

While time trialing, I usually do 5-8s of out of the saddle effort to get going and then settle in at target pace in the aero position. I also never go all out. I can do 1300w for 5s but use about 5-600w for this effort. Should get you up to about 20mph.
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by pushpush

I do similar, but am trying to better optimize rather than just winging it like I normally do. I know I have plenty of room for improvement.

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by Upcountry

Proably putting way to much thought into it, but seeing as even Ganna stood out of the saddle for about 15 seconds at the start of his hour record I'd assume the tradeoff is worth it. Meaning its probably way more important to minimize the time at a slower speed than to worry about being aero for an additional 30 seconds to get up to said speed.

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by JMeinholdt

Optimal time across distance is really going to vary from person to person based on capabilities. What really matters is what part of the race you're in.

End of the race, obviously standing until you can't stand any longer then sit and push as much as you can.

If at the end of a TT specifically, you'll want to come to max velocity prior to the finish line and cross the finish after you're spent, nearer to your average speed. This maximizes speed "under the curve" which increases overall average.

Anywhere else in a race, stand as much as needed to stay with the bunch. Being seated as much as possible is going to conserve more energy.
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by RadB

I think depends on your physiology, conditions and group. Shorter distances favour the bold stand up second wheel sprint. Head /cross wind favours bold attack. Fast group favours sneaky second or third wheel. How you best achieve it depends on your physiology (&how you respond and recover from big anaerobic efforts) that has you cover the ground fastest, when you need it, and at an overall higher average speed. There's no sver bullet. Play to your strengths. My one min&30s is mine, so an early attack sprint for 10-15ish s and then hold max speed in a tuck works for me.

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