Drop bars - who uses the drop bit?

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

Postby zenitb » 22 Feb 2019, 12:22pm

thelawnet wrote:
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


Fair comment thelawnet..I guess the OP will have to confirm what the levers are. They might even have CamPriceyNolo levers :-)

Either way though it looks like we agree the OP should check the brake reach adjustment to try to adjust for an easy brake grab from the hoods and drops..if only for safety's sake.

(BTW I am totally with you on alternative handlebars to drops thelawnet ..I choose between drops and flats/barends depending on the tour. )

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

Postby Brucey » 22 Feb 2019, 1:45pm

before tri-bars you could get fairly aero like this

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or this

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

Postby mercalia » 22 Feb 2019, 2:25pm

Brucey wrote:before tri-bars you could get fairly aero like this

Image

or this

Image

cheers


not if you have any kind of beer stomach :lol:

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

Postby LittleGreyCat » 22 Feb 2019, 2:37pm

The shifters are Sora and the gears are 3 * 9.

I think I might try rotating the bars so the rear of the drops move upwards and the brake levers move downwards and see if that lets the levers occupy the same space as my fingers. At the moment my fingers fall naturally just below the bottom of the brake levers and I would have to move my hands up round the curve with my wrists at a very strange angle to get my fingers on the levers.

If I get a better angle I can then look at adjusting the reach of the lever.

I get the feeling that I'm going to have to learn how to tape handlebars. :(

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

Postby geocycle » 22 Feb 2019, 2:48pm

LittleGreyCat wrote:I think I might try rotating the bars so the rear of the drops move upwards and the brake levers move downwards and see if that lets the levers occupy the same space as my fingers. At the moment my fingers fall naturally just below the bottom of the brake levers and I would have to move my hands up round the curve with my wrists at a very strange angle to get my fingers on the levers.

If I get a better angle I can then look at adjusting the reach of the lever.

(


That's what I have done, ideally I would have rotated them a bit more but that compromised the hood position too much (which is what I use most). The rotation means I don't have to roll my wrists upwards and reach up from the drop position toward the levers for braking. To be fair to Spa I have raised the seat height and lowered the bar height since purchase so that would change the angles.

I'm also going to try adjusting the lever position as suggested above. I use XL gloves but I am struggling to easily get a good grip on the levers from the drops.

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

Postby LittleGreyCat » 22 Feb 2019, 2:53pm

zenitb wrote:
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


Thanks for the video - I can confirm that my brakes will adjust in the same way.

I think that my main issue is that the angle of the bars isn't right for me. In most pictures the bottom of the drops seem to be more or less parallel to the ground. On my bike they seem to slope down towards the rear of the bike quite steeply.

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

Postby foxyrider » 22 Feb 2019, 3:13pm

LittleGreyCat wrote:
zenitb wrote:
geocycle wrote:
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


Thanks for the video - I can confirm that my brakes will adjust in the same way.

I think that my main issue is that the angle of the bars isn't right for me. In most pictures the bottom of the drops seem to be more or less parallel to the ground. On my bike they seem to slope down towards the rear of the bike quite steeply.


If your bars are any sort of Ergo shape, the straight part below the lever body can often be the issue as it takes your hand away from the lever. Old skool 'round' profile bars keep your hands much closer to the lever.

Believe it or not this distance is included in the B'S for adult bikes, when ergo bars and the then new combined STi's came out in combination they often failed BS on that measurement!
Convention? what's that then?
Airnimal Chameleon touring, Orbit Pro hack, Orbit Photon audax, Focus Mares AX tour, Peugeot Carbon sportive, Owen Blower vintage race - all running Tulio's finest!

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

Postby mig » 22 Feb 2019, 3:22pm

several ways to skin a cat
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reohn2
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Re: Drop bars - who uses the drop bit?

Postby reohn2 » 22 Feb 2019, 3:48pm

Drop bars - who uses the drop bit?
Me,quite a lot,the reason is that I have them where I can reach them comfortably,and not in the pseudo race position of having the tops +50mm below saddle height,apologies to anyone who does and still uses the drops,but I suspect they're in a very small minority of cyclists who do ride with drops.
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Brucey
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Re: Drop bars - who uses the drop bit?

Postby Brucey » 22 Feb 2019, 5:10pm

LittleGreyCat wrote:...I think I might try rotating the bars so the rear of the drops move upwards and the brake levers move downwards and see if that lets the levers occupy the same space as my fingers. At the moment my fingers fall naturally just below the bottom of the brake levers and I would have to move my hands up round the curve with my wrists at a very strange angle to get my fingers on the levers....


the shape of the hoooks makes a big difference here, and handlebars vary a lot in this respect. You might like to try different bars.

FWIW when trying handlebars or lever positions I often just tape the bars using electrical tape (which is better than nothing and thin enough that lever clamps can go over it); if this survives the test then it can just be taped over later on.

cheers
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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Brucey~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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

Postby LittleGreyCat » 22 Feb 2019, 5:45pm

Brucey wrote:
LittleGreyCat wrote:...I think I might try rotating the bars so the rear of the drops move upwards and the brake levers move downwards and see if that lets the levers occupy the same space as my fingers. At the moment my fingers fall naturally just below the bottom of the brake levers and I would have to move my hands up round the curve with my wrists at a very strange angle to get my fingers on the levers....


the shape of the hoooks makes a big difference here, and handlebars vary a lot in this respect. You might like to try different bars.

FWIW when trying handlebars or lever positions I often just tape the bars using electrical tape (which is better than nothing and thin enough that lever clamps can go over it); if this survives the test then it can just be taped over later on.

cheers


All this does involve taking off the nice new handlebar tape which has been barely used (sniff).
With more experience of riding drops I would have checked the setup and had them tinker until it was right before they taped the bars up.
Lesson learned.
I now need to find some "tinkering time" in my busy schedule.

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

Postby slowster » 22 Feb 2019, 7:28pm

LittleGreyCat wrote:All this does involve taking off the nice new handlebar tape which has been barely used (sniff).

It might not be necessary to completely remove and throw away the existing tape. Some tapes are not very sticky, and so can be unwound and rewound. You only need to unwind it to just below the brake lever/shifter housing to allow you to move the housing up/down a fraction on the bars, wrap the surplus out of the way somehow, e.g. with a bit of Sellotape to stop it unwinding and trailing, and then go for a short test ride (or two or three if you find you want to tweak the position again once or twice more). Once you are satisfied, rewind the tape around the housing and the top of the bars. The cables under the bars are probably held in place by some electrical tape, and you might need to unwind and possibly replace this when you move the housing.

You will have to learn to tape the bars at some point anyway, so actually partly unwinding and then rewinding the existing tape will give you an easier introduction into getting the hang of it than retaping the bars completely.

LittleGreyCat wrote:With more experience of riding drops I would have checked the setup and had them tinker until it was right before they taped the bars up. Lesson learned.

You are going through a learning/experience curve which most of us have been through, and starting to find that you have particular wants and needs when it comes to how your bike is set up and the components on it. No shop can anticipate those for each cyclist, and you may find it takes more than one attempt of changing the bars rotation and the brake position before you get it how you want it. My approach to this in the past has been to tell the shop to leave the bars untaped (except for electrical tape over the cables in two or three places to secure them to the bars), so that I can get the bars and levers set up just how I want before taping them myself. If you wear track mitts, or it's winter and you are wearing full gloves, the lack of tape is not so noticeable, with the result that you can take your time before deciding that you have finalised your position and taping the bars.

FWIW, I think a lot of the rapid change in and proliferation of new bar shapes/bends have created as many problems as they have solved, especially in combination with the changes in shape and ergonomics of STI/Ergolevers and the limitations sometimes specified/imposed by the makers of the levers on where they must be fitted, e.g. Campagnolo are quite prescriptive about which part of the bars' curve is and is not acceptable for positioning the levers.

It was a lot simpler when there were only a few variations on the basic curved handlebar, with no radical changes in the bends. Instead the curve of the average brake lever was probably fairly concentric with the curve of the bars, so the distance from the bottom of the brake lever to the bars did not change so much if the lever was moved up or down on the bars.

Steve Hogg has written some interesting articles on the subject of handlebar shapes and lever position:
https://www.stevehoggbikefitting.com/articles/get-a-grip-road-bars/
https://www.stevehoggbikefitting.com/bikefit/2011/07/behind-bars-bar-and-brake-lever-positioning/

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

Postby gordonyoung » 22 Feb 2019, 8:07pm

Turned mine upside down and cut the ends off. Work well then!

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

Postby LittleGreyCat » 22 Feb 2019, 8:40pm

slowster wrote:
Steve Hogg has written some interesting articles on the subject of handlebar shapes and lever position:
https://www.stevehoggbikefitting.com/articles/get-a-grip-road-bars/
https://www.stevehoggbikefitting.com/bikefit/2011/07/behind-bars-bar-and-brake-lever-positioning/


Thanks - very interesting links.
As usual I find that I should have read them before I bought the bike. :lol:

zenitb
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Comfort is key ...

Postby zenitb » 22 Feb 2019, 9:59pm

I understand your motivation to keep everything "stock" LittleGreyCat - I tried to do the same on my ride2work scheme bike. In the end comfort is key though.

Apart from the brake reach adjustment I mentioned to you earlier I also adjusted
- the height and reach (using a variable stem to experiment with the best position),
- the angle of the bars,
- the position of the brifter relative to the bars
- added gel padding to the bars
- I changed the saddle to one that was more comfortable when I am on the drops (I wont describe why :-))
- I hated the narrow bars and ended up getting wider ones, which are more stable and comfortable for me.

All this costs money, time and effort but pays back huge dividends in terms of the "mmm" factor when you ride the bike. I have got through a lot of bartape :-)
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