Drop bars - who uses the drop bit?

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kylecycler
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Re: Drop bars - who uses the drop bit?

Postby kylecycler » 21 Feb 2019, 4:41pm

The utility cyclist wrote:Most professional racers these day ride frames that are a good two sizes smaller than BITD.

You're right (Wiggo was another example), but for all Lance Armstrong's faults (let's not go there), he was an outlier in that respect - he's 5' 10" and always rode a 58cm frame.

(This is all getting away from 'us', though, innit? :))

geocycle
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Re: Drop bars - who uses the drop bit?

Postby geocycle » 21 Feb 2019, 4:48pm

Very interesting post. I have ridden flat bars with bar ends for most of my life but have recently bought a Spa audax to see what I was missing. I really have to concentrate to remember to use the drops as I spend most of my time on the hoods. I do find them useful into the wind. I adjusted the angle of the drops a bit and that has made it a lot easier. I'm still getting used to a much narrower bar so tend not to use the bars much. The worst thing is the braking, although I'm sure I'll get used to it. I cannot believe how poor the brakes are relative to the single digit levered v brakes on my Thorn! I can just about use the brakes on the Spa from the hoods and with concentration just reach the levers from the drops. So far I've been using the hoods when out of the saddle but might try the drops as some have suggested above.

PH
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Re: Drop bars - who uses the drop bit?

Postby PH » 21 Feb 2019, 4:54pm

geocycle wrote: I cannot believe how poor the brakes are relative to the single digit levered v brakes on my Thorn!

I think there might be something wrong in the set up, there may be slight differences but IME decent calipers brake as well ad decent V brakes.

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kylecycler
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Re: Drop bars - who uses the drop bit?

Postby kylecycler » 21 Feb 2019, 5:09pm

geocycle wrote:So far I've been using the hoods when out of the saddle but might try the drops as some have suggested above.

I would tend to use the hoods when climbing (I believe the aforementioned Wiggo was one of the few pro cyclists to use the drops when climbing), only the drops into a headwind or when sprinting (not that I would ever have any justification for sprinting - I mean, what's the hurry?!), or to mix up hand positions on a long run to stave off stiffness and/or fatigue.

Especially since you're coming from flat bars, you might like using the tops for climbing - actually, now that I think about it, I don't recall ever seeing any of my pals with drop bars using the tops, as opposed to the hoods, and yet the pros - Eddy Merckx was a particular example - frequently climb using the 'flat' part of drop bars.

Only thing you'll find is, you can't use the tops out of the saddle - your hands are too close together compared with using the grips on a flat bar bike and it's too unstable.

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Re: Drop bars - who uses the drop bit?

Postby tatanab » 21 Feb 2019, 5:13pm

geocycle wrote:I can just about use the brakes on the Spa from the hoods and with concentration just reach the levers from the drops.
We've been here many times on this forum. I have absolutely no trouble braking very powerfully from the hoods. The reason being that I like a lot of cable movement so that my fingers wrap around the shape of the levers. This means that if I were to brake from the drops I would have no problem reaching a biting point with the brakes. I firmly believe that the reason some people find problems wit braking from the hoods is that they have their levers set so that the brake touches the rim with only a small lever movement, hence they cannot wrap their fingers around the lever shape for effective braking. As they say - YMMV

I very seldom use the drops, only when faced with a fierce wind or on the rare occasion that I compete. From this, I brake from the drops even more seldom since I am likely to be sitting up when braking. Even when racing, I would often use the hoods instead of the drops but with my arms bent so that my forearms are horizontal. which gives pretty much the same upper body position as being on the drops.

Straight bars I just cannot get on with. Yes I tried bar ends - probably 15 years ago was the last time I experimented. Comparing very similar bikes with drops and straights I found I was very much slower and more uncomfortable when climbing on the straight bars. That's just me, so I will stick with my drops thanks. Although I do have straight bars on my ancient small wheeled shopper.

geocycle
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Re: Drop bars - who uses the drop bit?

Postby geocycle » 21 Feb 2019, 5:17pm

PH wrote:
geocycle wrote: I cannot believe how poor the brakes are relative to the single digit levered v brakes on my Thorn!

I think there might be something wrong in the set up, there may be slight differences but IME decent calipers brake as well ad decent V brakes.


Thanks, will definitely check. There are obviously lots of variables but now I have your comments that they should be nearly as good I'll try and tweak some things.

mercalia
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Re: Drop bars - who uses the drop bit?

Postby mercalia » 21 Feb 2019, 5:27pm

I never use them. i use them as a platform to attach my lights

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foxyrider
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Re: Drop bars - who uses the drop bit?

Postby foxyrider » 21 Feb 2019, 5:28pm

Had a search through my old pics and found this.

me05.jpg


Yours truly, Chessy Spire Xmas 10 on the O2 in I think 1981. Yep that's an early skinsuit :lol:

Anyhow, all the elements are there as discussed above, hands hard into the bottom of the levers, bent arms, straight back. I could manage to ride a fifty in this position (@ 2 hours) but I would be sore after.

By comparison this is my usual position up hill, down dale these days (somewhere in t'Dales 2018, i'm about 10kg lighter now!)

river skell 3.jpg


Essentially i've rotated my position upwards by holding the hoods. The bike is set up pretty much the same although the newer bike is a bit more slammed at the front. When I get in the drops I feel distinctly uncomfortable these days
Convention? what's that then?
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De Sisti
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Re: Drop bars - who uses the drop bit?

Postby De Sisti » 21 Feb 2019, 5:29pm

I use the drops, especially when I'm on a long stretch of road with miminal of undulations.
My bars are all shallow drop.
Last edited by De Sisti on 22 Feb 2019, 8:28am, edited 1 time in total.

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mjr
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Re: Drop bars - who uses the drop bit?

Postby mjr » 21 Feb 2019, 5:41pm

kylecycler wrote:
geocycle wrote:So far I've been using the hoods when out of the saddle but might try the drops as some have suggested above.

I would tend to use the hoods when climbing (I believe the aforementioned Wiggo was one of the few pro cyclists to use the drops when climbing), only the drops into a headwind or when sprinting (not that I would ever have any justification for sprinting - I mean, what's the hurry?!), or to mix up hand positions on a long run to stave off stiffness and/or fatigue.

One of the reasons that I use the drops a lot on the road bike is because basically I'm lazy. Not in a hurry particularly, but why do you want to work harder than needed to achieve the same speed? :-)
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LittleGreyCat
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Re: Drop bars - who uses the drop bit?

Postby LittleGreyCat » 21 Feb 2019, 5:45pm

geocycle wrote:Very interesting post. I have ridden flat bars with bar ends for most of my life but have recently bought a Spa audax to see what I was missing. I really have to concentrate to remember to use the drops as I spend most of my time on the hoods. I do find them useful into the wind. I adjusted the angle of the drops a bit and that has made it a lot easier. I'm still getting used to a much narrower bar so tend not to use the bars much. The worst thing is the braking, although I'm sure I'll get used to it. I cannot believe how poor the brakes are relative to the single digit levered v brakes on my Thorn! I can just about use the brakes on the Spa from the hoods and with concentration just reach the levers from the drops. So far I've been using the hoods when out of the saddle but might try the drops as some have suggested above.


That does sound very like my setup. Perhaps it is something that Spa do?

Can you please say how you adjusted the angle of the drops?

I don't have issues with brake efficiency as I have discs, and anyway am comparing them with cantis which are much gentler than V-brakes.

geocycle
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Re: Drop bars - who uses the drop bit?

Postby geocycle » 21 Feb 2019, 6:42pm

LittleGreyCat wrote:
Can you please say how you adjusted the angle of the drops?

I don't have issues with brake efficiency as I have discs, and anyway am comparing them with cantis which are much gentler than V-brakes.


I simply rotated the bars forward so my hands fit better with the curvature. It’s important not to over do it or the hoods will be too far forward. Ideally I would have done this before taping the bars and moved the levers up a fraction. I think I will relax the cables a bit as Tatanab suggests since the blocks are very close.

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Re: Drop bars - who uses the drop bit?

Postby Vorpal » 21 Feb 2019, 7:05pm

The two bikes that I ride the most both have drops, and I use 4 positions (with slight variation) them on both.

The positions are, more or less in order of most use to least
-on the hoods
-top & middle (like flats)
-on the back of the drops
-on the front of the drops

One of the biggest problems with the current design of drops, IMO, is that they are designed for an average / moderately large man's hand. People who have smaller hands need to modify the set-up to be comfortable and use them effectively.

On my road bike, I have the handlebars rotated slightly down at the front to make the brifters a little easier to reach on the drops. My tourer has somewhat shallower drops.

I also have interrupter (cross) brakes on both bikes.
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The utility cyclist
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Re: Drop bars - who uses the drop bit?

Postby The utility cyclist » 21 Feb 2019, 7:08pm

kylecycler wrote:
The utility cyclist wrote:Most professional racers these day ride frames that are a good two sizes smaller than BITD.

You're right (Wiggo was another example), but for all Lance Armstrong's faults (let's not go there), he was an outlier in that respect - he's 5' 10" and always rode a 58cm frame.

(This is all getting away from 'us', though, innit? :))

I ride everything from a 54cm sloping geo flat bar hybrid to a 62cm traditional diamond frame, I'm 5ft 11/32.5" IL, I've ridden a 65cm Dawes Londoner, wasn't much seatpost showing on that! 8)
I'm as happy on the big un with a smaller amount of post showing as I am on the others with a lot more, there are significant differences in top tube lengths as well, my audax/winter racer has a 60cm effective, the carbon racer is about 56.5.

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Re: Drop bars - who uses the drop bit?

Postby The utility cyclist » 21 Feb 2019, 7:11pm

geocycle wrote:Very interesting post. I have ridden flat bars with bar ends for most of my life but have recently bought a Spa audax to see what I was missing. I really have to concentrate to remember to use the drops as I spend most of my time on the hoods. I do find them useful into the wind. I adjusted the angle of the drops a bit and that has made it a lot easier. I'm still getting used to a much narrower bar so tend not to use the bars much. The worst thing is the braking, although I'm sure I'll get used to it. I cannot believe how poor the brakes are relative to the single digit levered v brakes on my Thorn! I can just about use the brakes on the Spa from the hoods and with concentration just reach the levers from the drops. So far I've been using the hoods when out of the saddle but might try the drops as some have suggested above.

I've got AVID 7s and they are fantastic and I also have mini Vs too but to be honest I can lock the wheels up using dual pivots easily and indeed I'm sure many on here have managed it on single pivot/side pull calipers as well.