Which is faster - climbing in or out of the saddle?

We performed a basic experiment to see if there is a significant aerodynamic difference between climbing in and out of the saddle

cycling in spain

Is it faster to climb in or out of the saddle? Riders like Chris Froome remain mainly seated when climbing while the likes of Alberto Contador and Nairo Quintana dance up the slopes.

Which of these is more biomechanically efficient is likely to depend upon the individual, however should we also factor in aerodynamics?

Science tells us that aerodynamics become significant above 10mph or 16kph and pro riders will often climb faster than this for long periods.

Therefore we want to know, is climbing out of the saddle slower because you are less aerodynamic and if so, how much slower?

To do this, we did an experiment on Mount Teide in Tenerife, riding a 5km section of Mount Teide with an average gradient of 7 per cent both seated and in the saddle.

The first run was seated and the second run was standing. To keep it a fair test, power was kept as close to 300 watts for both runs as possible.

This section of climb was chosen because it is representative of many European climbs (such as Sa Calobra).

To find out how the experiment went, watch the video and let us know what you think of the results.