Drop bars - who uses the drop bit?

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robc02
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Re: Drop bars - who uses the drop bit?

Postby robc02 » 21 Feb 2019, 7:14pm

Descriptions of "only using the drops for a fast descent" seem scary to me because with my setup that would mean going hell for leather with my hands nowhere near the brake levers.


As others have suggested, this is probably due to problems with your setup. You should really be able to apply the brakes fully from the drops.
In my case, the descents I am thinking of are often ones where I am pedalling hard so I want to be as aero as possible - though on some steeper technical descents (not many of those near me!) I am on the drops to get a good grip of the brakes.

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

Postby zenitb » 21 Feb 2019, 7:16pm

geocycle wrote:
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.


Hi Geocycle/LittleGreyCat... could I ask whether you have rolled back the rubber hoods and tried adjusting the reach of the brake levers with an allen key? Apologies if this is a grandma suck eggs question!! I simply couldn't reach my 105 brake levers properly from the drops until I did this..and I take XL gloves :-)

EDIT: This video (not mine) shows how you do it with 105 brifters https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YVTIZPzU_-w
Last edited by zenitb on 21 Feb 2019, 8:36pm, edited 1 time in total.

robc02
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Re: Drop bars - who uses the drop bit?

Postby robc02 » 21 Feb 2019, 7:33pm

foxyrider wrote:.... 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.


That's brave - wearing a skinsuit in a Christmas 10! It would have been winter woollies for me, forget the drag.

Likewise, I could ride a fifty like that, and would be sore afterwards - but that was the idea wasn't it? If I wasn't sore I hadn't tried!

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

Postby thelawnet » 21 Feb 2019, 10:25pm

zenitb wrote:Hi Geocycle/LittleGreyCat... could I ask whether you have rolled back the rubber hoods and tried adjusting the reach of the brake levers with an allen key? Apologies if this is a grandma suck eggs question!! I simply couldn't reach my 105 brake levers properly from the drops until I did this..and I take XL gloves :-)

EDIT: This video (not mine) shows how you do it with 105 brifters https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YVTIZPzU_-w


depends on which version you have. My 105 doesn't have that option.

On mine I get best breaking from the drops (though I could adjust the angle).

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

Postby hujev » 21 Feb 2019, 11:37pm

This topic guaranteed a lot of responses = easy, everybody's convinced they do it right, etc.

Anyway like others I use them for 'honking' uphill, shifting with bar-ends, etc.

I'm getting interested in trying some older and/or different style drop bars on next build (Stanforth Skyelander), especially getting curious about 1930s-40s style shallow drops, like the Soma Portola [ https://store.somafab.com/soma-portola-handlebar.html ] or Lauterwasser [ https://store.somafab.com/solahainal.html ] and maybe Nitto RM-3 (though the RM-3, of which I have a set on order, maybe more of a 'dirt drop' style, but quite different looking from my RM-13 bars.

I am especially intrigued by how Mike Kone of Boulder Bikes in the US described the Lauterwassers back in 2011:
"What is so special about them is that they have a split personality. The usual position is to ride on the lower part of the bar in a very upright position. Great for that have-my-briefcase, ready to find a Latte sort of mode. But when you want to put on the heat, you reach forward to the front curved section of the bar. That puts you in an extended flat-back position that lets you keep up with those go-fast folks who are on their punish-thy-neighbor training ride. "
[ https://web.archive.org/web/20110826000 ... ember.html archive version, one picture still shows]

So a different prioritization of drops use from 'normal' because of the long reach but shallow drop.

My other favo(u)rite bar shape is butterfly; which allows similar riding position to drops & tops but base on a forward-back position vs. up-down.

I have been using the Kalloy version (Taiwan; sold under various other names including VO) but plan to try the slightly different Nitto version on same bike later this year....

Here it goes again, I know I am always posting pix of this bike but it is the world standard for all things cycling after all!
Image

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

Postby kylecycler » 22 Feb 2019, 12:16am

hujev - I've always been intrigued by the bars on this wonderful old early René Herse.

Image

http://www.pianosromantiques.com/1945racer.html

Don't know if Soma or Nitto produce anything similar - it's hard to tell from photos. They're deeper drop than the Lauterwasser bars.

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

Postby gregoryoftours » 22 Feb 2019, 12:31am

Not me

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

Postby hujev » 22 Feb 2019, 12:56am

As I try to 'figure out' what's different on those old bars, and the new ones, that's something I've noticed; that it's really hard to show the complex bends of bars in pictures! Especially when they're not given as a series of direct side, direct, direct front... Those on that Herse look like 'regular old drops' (sensu lato)from the side, but quite different in that other view - wider drops, etc.

I think that's maybe a little more like the Portola bars but not exact.

Soma makes (or do they have them made - need to check) some other bars in this general 'alternative drops' category (to put an artificial grouping on them) - gator, etc. but as I only use 25-26mm quill stems and some of theirs are for wider clamps, e.g., threadless, I haven't looked into them.

I'm similarly puzzled by the Nitto B-825 butterfly bars, which in some views look 101& different from my Kalloys, in other views more similar...

And Nitto makes some of the bars for VO, Compass, and others, or versions of theirs, and the RM-3 name is re-used with a slightly different shape, plus they don't list all their bars in the PDF catalogue or website [ http://nitto-tokyo.sakura.ne.jp/index-E.html ] - the 825 is an example!

Still, it seems we may be in a sort of 'goldish age' of handlebar diversity (another silly but handy term) with a lot to choose from. Despite the confusion, I really like Nittos the best but intrigued by the Lauterwassers, Portolas, and whatever may turn up that looks like the Marsh, Middleton, etc. bars I'm seeing in the old CTC Gazette ads and 30s-40s catalogues [ such as available at the V-CC archive ]. I guess the only way to find out is to give them a try...

I've just put Nitto 177 'noodle' bars on a 1985 Woodrup that's not quite done yet to give them a try, too... But (though haven't tried) the 'albatross' style bars, like drops with almost no drop, don't look as interesting to me, being apparently based on width of grip as the main difference. Who knows without trying though!?

My favo(u)rite overall remains a good 'randonneur' bar like the Nitto B-135 though, with Grab-Ob foam grips and a layer or two of cloth tape over, so keeping those on my main touring bike for now!.

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Re: Drop bars - who uses the drop bit?

Postby Samuel D » 22 Feb 2019, 8:29am

The wonderful photos of Eddy Adkins (?) and foxyrider back in the day make me wonder why no-one used the invisible aero-bars position. Surely that had been invented by then by people trying to go fast on an omafiets?

hujev wrote:But (though haven't tried) the 'albatross' style bars, like drops with almost no drop, don't look as interesting to me, being apparently based on width of grip as the main difference.

Agreed. Drop handlebars should offer a large range of comfortable torso positions. Maybe it’s only coincidental, but a lot of people who ride on the hoods everywhere don’t change their torso position much, whether twiddling along or practically sprinting. I sometimes wonder if these people realise how much the wind is holding them back … as proven by the superb draft they offer me.

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Re: Drop bars - who uses the drop bit?

Postby Vorpal » 22 Feb 2019, 8:40am

Samuel D wrote:The wonderful photos of Eddy Adkins (?) and foxyrider back in the day make me wonder why no-one used the invisible aero-bars position. Surely that had been invented by then by people trying to go fast on an omafiets?

They were invented to by a ski coach to help Greg LeMond beat Fignon. https://www.cyclingweekly.com/news/late ... ing-181429
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robc02
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Re: Drop bars - who uses the drop bit?

Postby robc02 » 22 Feb 2019, 8:43am

Samuel D wrote:The wonderful photos of Eddy Adkins (?) and foxyrider back in the day make me wonder why no-one used the invisible aero-bars position. Surely that had been invented by then by people trying to go fast on an omafiets?

hujev wrote:But (though haven't tried) the 'albatross' style bars, like drops with almost no drop, don't look as interesting to me, being apparently based on width of grip as the main difference.

Agreed. Drop handlebars should offer a large range of comfortable torso positions. Maybe it’s only coincidental, but a lot of people who ride on the hoods everywhere don’t change their torso position much, whether twiddling along or practically sprinting. I sometimes wonder if these people realise how much the wind is holding them back … as proven by the superb draft they offer me.


Yes, Eddie Adkins.
As I recall, the thinking at the time was that bars needed to be the right width - too narrow restricting breathing and therefore performance. The "aero bar" was popularised by Greg Lemond in the late eighties and initially drew criticism for that reason. His success in individual time trials made people stop and think again, though!
The photos above predate this by quite a few years.

EDIT: Vorpal beat me to it!

Samuel D
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Re: Drop bars - who uses the drop bit?

Postby Samuel D » 22 Feb 2019, 8:59am

Yes, Lemond popularised aero bars. The lateness of that invention surprises me, since it was obvious to scientific people for a century that aerodynamic drag wastes almost all of a cyclist’s power at time-trial speeds and therefore reducing that even slightly should be beneficial. Doubt about breathing would have been resolved with a half-hour experiement although I accept it may have been another hurdle to innovation.

However, you don’t need aero-bars to ride on invisible aero-bars, a position many racers now use in a breakaway. I use it and can attest to its efficiency. Did not a single competetive cyclist think to get into that position before aero-bars were invented? That surprises me because I have even seen city cyclists leaning their forearms on the handlebar of a Dutch-style bicycle when rushing to an appointment … but maybe they too only did that after Greg Lemond showed them how.

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Re: Drop bars - who uses the drop bit?

Postby Keezx » 22 Feb 2019, 9:48am

Samuel D wrote: Did not a single competetive cyclist think to get into that position before aero-bars were invented? That surprises me because I have even seen city cyclists leaning their forearms on the handlebar of a Dutch-style bicycle when rushing to an appointment … but maybe they too only did that after Greg Lemond showed them how.


I allready did that as schoolboy (1964-1970) and few years later when cycling to school and job , before i got a better commuter with drop bars.
Time trial postion even before it was officially "invented"

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ADJUST THE BRAKE LEVER REACH - ALREADY!!

Postby zenitb » 22 Feb 2019, 12:05pm

thelawnet wrote:
zenitb wrote:Hi Geocycle/LittleGreyCat... could I ask whether you have rolled back the rubber hoods and tried adjusting the reach of the brake levers with an allen key? Apologies if this is a grandma suck eggs question!! I simply couldn't reach my 105 brake levers properly from the drops until I did this..and I take XL gloves :-)

EDIT: This video (not mine) shows how you do it with 105 brifters https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YVTIZPzU_-w


depends on which version you have. My 105 doesn't have that option.

On mine I get best breaking from the drops (though I could adjust the angle).


Fair comment thelawnet but the OP states he has a new bike and all the current Shimano brifters (Ultegra,105,Tiagra) I have seen have the allen key brake lever reach adjustment. Your old 105s probably use shims instead as per the link I posted?

All my bikes have the brake lever reach adjusted so it is very easy to grab the brakes. I STRONGLY recommend the OP checks this...being able to quickly and comfortably brake on the drops is crucial for decending safely surely ??? It is for me anyway...

thelawnet
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Re: ADJUST THE BRAKE LEVER REACH - ALREADY!!

Postby thelawnet » 22 Feb 2019, 12:13pm

zenitb wrote:Fair comment thelawnet but the OP states he has a new bike and all the current Shimano brifters (Ultegra,105,Tiagra) I have seen have the allen key brake lever reach adjustment. Your old 105s probably use shims instead as per the link I posted?
.

Yebbut his new bike is a Spa. Spa still sell 10 speed 105 with the shims, so I would place no bets

https://www.spacycles.co.uk/m1b17s21p32 ... -Double%29