If you watch closely during pro cycling coverage, you’ll often see the pros make a smart little move each time they go from standing to sitting.
Keep an eye on almost any rider. He won’t just plop onto the saddle. He’ll extend his arms as he sits, pushing the bike forward to put the saddle under his butt. Voila! Nearly a foot of free road.
This move also helps preserve forward momentum, which can be slowed during the standing-to-sitting transition. Relative to other riders, if you sit without pushing the bike forward it can make your bike seem to move backwards. That’s particularly true on climbs. It could cause the rider behind to hit your rear wheel and fall.
So try the pro push on your next ride and get in the habit of doing it all the time. You’ll be safer and more efficient, not to mention more impressive. Keep your eye on pro riders for other techniques you can adapt, except for those crazy descending methods, which are not safe.