When should i be on the droppers?

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JMCBRIDEWF3
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When should i be on the droppers?

Postby JMCBRIDEWF3 » Sun Feb 03, 2013 15:14 pm

Recently got myself a road bike basicly because riding a mtb local sucks, as i end up doing 20mile on the road for the sake of a 5 mile trail.

Could do with some advise on different riding positions like where should my hand be when climbing and should i bother with the droppers on flat or stick to the hoods,
Any advice is welcome.

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smidsy
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Re: When should i be on the droppers?

Postby smidsy » Sun Feb 03, 2013 15:28 pm

All quite personal but the drops are for getting more aero so if your going fast and want to reduce drag then use them. They are also good for downhill as you get more control. Can be a good idea to use when its windy too as it reduces your frontal area.

When climbing if you are staying seated it is good to have your hands on the top (each side of the stem) to create a relaxed upper body. If standing then on the hoods or even in drops for short 'punchy' climbs.

General riding most people tend to be on the hoods as this gives easy access to the brakes.

But basically whatever works for you.
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Simon Masterson
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Re: When should i be on the droppers?

Postby Simon Masterson » Sun Feb 03, 2013 15:31 pm

The drops facilitate (i.e. you still have to assume a good posture) a lower and more aerodynamic position.

The obvious uses for this are going fast on the flat and for going downhill (many people feel more confident in the drops when descending), but riding in the drops can help when riding into the wind. Generally the hoods are where your hands should be the most; this includes climbing. You can use the tops for a more upright position if you want to, however. If you're sprinting up a hill you can use the drops.

JMCBRIDEWF3
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Re: When should i be on the droppers?

Postby JMCBRIDEWF3 » Sun Feb 03, 2013 15:43 pm

thanks for the advice.
Dont know whether this is me having bad posture or just not used to riding a road bike, but when on drops it doesnt feel like im in the right position to pedal, im pretty sure iv got the sadle correct unless the rules for a road bike are completly different, im not entirely sure tbh?

Simon Masterson
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Re: When should i be on the droppers?

Postby Simon Masterson » Sun Feb 03, 2013 15:47 pm

Your posture does change when you are riding in the drops. The position actually does reduce pedalling efficiency (or so I've read; I'm not a sports scientist and haven't measured), but this is offset by the improved aerodynamic profile.

JMCBRIDEWF3
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Re: When should i be on the droppers?

Postby JMCBRIDEWF3 » Sun Feb 03, 2013 16:01 pm

ahh i see, thanks.
Any preferences on the difference between handlbar and seat height, iv read somewhere it shoud be 4" for racing but im not about to go do the tour de france so seem a bit much for me.

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smidsy
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Re: When should i be on the droppers?

Postby smidsy » Sun Feb 03, 2013 17:54 pm

Saddle height is fixed by your leg length. Bar position is down to your flexibility, upper body dimensions and preference. There is no 'should be' about it.
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marcusjb
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Re: When should i be on the droppers?

Postby marcusjb » Sun Feb 03, 2013 18:03 pm

smidsy wrote:Saddle height is fixed by your leg length. Bar position is down to your flexibility, upper body dimensions and preference. There is no 'should be' about it.


Agreed.

Your core strength needs to be very good to maintain nice form for any length of time with the bars considerably lower than saddle.

I see a lot of people out who've clearly been told to slam the stem right down, haven't been able to ride easily with it and then lowered their saddle to compensate (rather than raise the bars!).

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Gizmodo
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Re: When should i be on the droppers?

Postby Gizmodo » Sun Feb 03, 2013 18:55 pm

JMCBRIDEWF3 wrote:... im pretty sure iv got the sadle correct unless the rules for a road bike are completly different...

I believe that saddle height is different between road bike and MTB.

Do some research on "Bike Fit" - there are plenty of threads on here about it.
http://youtu.be/FAl_5e7bIHk
http://www.jimlangley.net/crank/bikefit.html
http://bikedynamics.co.uk/guidelines.htm

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Mikey41
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Re: When should i be on the droppers?

Postby Mikey41 » Sun Feb 03, 2013 20:54 pm

I'll go to the drops when descending, as I can brake better and harder from there. I'll use them occasionally when cruising on the flat just to vary my position a bit.
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saprkzz
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Re: When should i be on the droppers?

Postby saprkzz » Mon Feb 04, 2013 07:31 am

Probably not quite for you yet?.. but on the drop bars is better for sprinting as well, more control than on the hoods. Its easy to slip from them.

I use the drops for descending, pace lines at speed, (or solo at speed) and sprinting. Or if someone is taking a photo at a sportive, then you look way much cooler!!! :lol: :lol: :roll: :lol: :oops: :lol:

Htron
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Re: When should i be on the droppers?

Postby Htron » Mon Feb 04, 2013 12:11 pm

As others have said drops afford you more braking power on decents. I also feel more stable on the drops in windy / wet road / muddy road conditions as I feel my centre of gravity is lower on the bike.

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pride4ever
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Re: When should i be on the droppers?

Postby pride4ever » Mon Feb 04, 2013 12:13 pm

When your descending. Only Pro,s need use the drops on the flat.
the deeper the section the deeper the pleasure.

JMCBRIDEWF3
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Re: When should i be on the droppers?

Postby JMCBRIDEWF3 » Mon Feb 04, 2013 12:18 pm

Cheers for the advice lads, think il see about raising my handlebar as i have quite short arms and being a ex rugby player i dont have the flexible upper body of a cyclist.

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Rolf F
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Re: When should i be on the droppers?

Postby Rolf F » Mon Feb 04, 2013 12:23 pm

pride4ever wrote:When your descending. Only Pro,s need use the drops on the flat.


Is there never a headwind where you live? :wink:

I use the drops a lot - but then I'm old enough to have been brought up in an era of non-aero hoods where the only effective braking position was from the drops anyway. I find simply regularly varying my hand position (inluding using the drops) helps no matter what my speed or the gradient (up or down).
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Simon Masterson
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Re: When should i be on the droppers?

Postby Simon Masterson » Mon Feb 04, 2013 13:18 pm

pride4ever wrote:When your descending. Only Pro,s need use the drops on the flat.


Cycling to the shops at a leisurely pace is fun, but it's not the only thing you can do on a bike, you know. ;)

jane90
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Re: When should i be on the droppers?

Postby jane90 » Mon Feb 04, 2013 15:53 pm

I've just been watching the Team Time Trial stage of the Tour of Qatar. It was a flat course and all of the riders were on their regular road bikes, not TT bikes (not quite sure why) and I was intrigued to see that half of them were on the drops and the other half were always on the hoods with their forearms parallel to the road; it didn't seem to matter if the rider was in the wind or in a team-mate's wheel. Does anyone know why they do this? Is one position just as aero as the other?

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smidsy
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Re: When should i be on the droppers?

Postby smidsy » Mon Feb 04, 2013 16:32 pm

If the forearms are parallel to the road then they are pretty well down where they would be on the drops I reckon. It's probably a personal preference thing and maybe some like a slightly more heads up view?
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coriordan
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Re: When should i be on the droppers?

Postby coriordan » Mon Feb 04, 2013 16:58 pm

TT bikes weren't allowed for the Tour of Qatar from what I have read as it keeps the costs down for the less wealthy teams.
The position with your forearms on the bars, I find, is more aero than the drops as its keeps your shoulders and hands in.
I know its easy to band around '1 mph faster/40 watts more power' etc etc, but I have found that the difference can genuinely around 1 mph faster when you are doing 20mph on the flat for the same effort. The only downside is that it's harder to balance and you cant react quickly as you are nowhere near the brakes and have no solid grip on the bars. I also find it bloody uncomfortable for a long period of time, but its always fun to blat out a few miles like this.

Another way to get a similar effect is to lie your forearms along the handlebars and have the palm of your hands on the top of the hoods. I don't have internally routed cables, so I grab the gear cables between my thumb and forefinger for a bit of control.

hstiles
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Re: When should i be on the droppers?

Postby hstiles » Mon Feb 04, 2013 22:16 pm

Descending on the drops is also safer, especially on the high quality roads we have here in the UK. If you hit a bump and lose your grip, the theory is that you are more likely to recover your grip if holding the drops than if you have your hands on the hoods.


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