Drop bars - who uses the drop bit?

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Re: Drop bars - who uses the drop bit?

Postby geocycle » 15 Jun 2019, 9:50am

Glad you are getting it to work for you. By rotating the bars and bringing the overs as close as possible I also have an acceptable set up. I’d still rather depend on the flat bar v braked tourer but it’s ok. I think aches and pains are fairly normal if you change set up and use slightly different muscles. Going to drops caused me some back pain at first but as the core muscles have adapted it seems t have gone away.

Marcus Aurelius
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Re: Drop bars - who uses the drop bit?

Postby Marcus Aurelius » 15 Jun 2019, 10:11am

I usually spend the majority of the time with the ‘hand shake’ grip on the hoods. I’ll use the drops on descents, and balls out sprints.

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Re: Drop bars - who uses the drop bit?

Postby LollyKat » 15 Jun 2019, 10:33am

LittleGreyCat wrote:I like climbing on the drops because I can pull up with my hands as I push down with my legs, which feels to be more effective. A bit like hauling on the bar ends on flat bars but at a different angle.

One unexpected thing; I can ride comfortably using this setup for a reasonable distance (just done two rides, 27 miles and 47 miles, so far) but the day after my legs seize up big time. The tendons at the back of my legs, and the muscles around my knees, are stiff and they resist going from nearly straight to straight. I'm not sure why this is happening because my leg position hasn't changed.... I should note that I have very short and stiff tendons in my legs so my experience may not be "average" in this respect.

IME riding in a more stretched out position allows me to push a bit more efficiently (so harder) with the legs, so maybe you are giving them more of a workout than you realise. Most cyclists benefit from doing regular stretching exercises - there are lots out there on the internet but here are the three basic ones I do (sometimes!), in no particular order:

1 Quads. Balance on left leg (hold on to something), bend your right knee and grasp your right ankle, then gradually pull the foot up behind you till you feel the stretch in your quad. You're aiming to touch your buttock with your heel (image here), but if you are like me you'll need to hook a strap or towel round your ankle at first. Do several times with each leg.

2 Calves. Stand facing a wall, arms straight out in front of you. With both hands on the wall at shoulder height, move left foot back a bit. Now bend your elbows and right knee so that you feel the stretch in your left calf. Do several times with each leg. (Image here.)

3 Hamstrings. The way I do it is to stand on my left leg, with the right leg extended in front, heel resting on a chair. Keeping the right leg as straight as you can get it, lean forward and hold. Do several times with each leg. (Image here.)

Make sure you warm up a bit first and do them gently - don't force anything. I was over 60 when my daughter put me on to these and I have found them very helpful, my flexibility improving a lot.

Cyril Haearn
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Re: Drop bars - who uses the drop bit?

Postby Cyril Haearn » 15 Jun 2019, 11:13am

Racing handlebars, we used to call them :wink:
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Re: Drop bars - who uses the drop bit?

Postby LittleGreyCat » 15 Jun 2019, 11:33am

LollyCat - thanks; I already do variants of that in my Yoga class once a week.
I should probably be doing it at least once a day.

So, conundrum.
Stick with the riding position and wait for my body to stretch out?
Or revert the riding position and look for a way of shortening the stem before I move the bars around?

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Re: Drop bars - who uses the drop bit?

Postby LittleGreyCat » 17 Jun 2019, 9:02pm

Updating to note that I've adjusted the bars a bit to swing the hoods upward, and I seem to be gradually stretching to fit the new position.
Some serious stretching straight after the ride also helps.
I can still reach the levers from the drops.
I'm now adjusting the levers to be a bit nearer to the bars.