Using the drops? Almost never, why?

Discuss light weight issues concerning road bikes & parts.
audiojan
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Location: New Hampshire

by audiojan

I think most people are not comfortable in the drops because their bikes are set up wrong for them... Often, people set up the bike so their comfortable on the hoods (wise for beginners) but then never re-evaluate the fit when they getting fitter and stronger (and can ride in the drops with good balance and has the required core strength).

Bike fitting is just as much an art as it is a science, so fit calculators, fits sticks, jigs, etc. simply do not work. Yes, better than ignoring fit all together, but no substitute for a proper fit.
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Colonia
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Joined: Fri Jul 27, 2012 8:34 am

by Colonia

cezinho wrote:i will measure exactly my saddle to bar drop.
I am 1.80m and ride a 54cm Tarmac. I ride at 74cm from BB to top od the saddle, so the drop should be higher than that.

Then you should, theoretically, be fine. Drops are used for descending, sprinting, and anytime you want to get really aero. For the most part, you shouldn't need to spend extended periods of time there. Years ago, drops served as the primary riding position and the on-hood position required more of a stretch, but since the position has changed with the advent of ergo/sti shifters, you spend most of your time on the hoods. I don't think you have a problem.

by Weenie


daj
Posts: 246
Joined: Mon Oct 12, 2009 6:36 pm

by daj

It takes a while to get used to riding low. I started out racing mostly on the hoods simply because I couldn't ride in the drops for a long time. But the more I was racing, the more time I would spend in the drops, until at a certain point I raced an entire 2 hr criterium in the drops. Now I feel very comfortable in the drops, being much more confident and stable in corners and accelerating feels more natural in the drops as well. When the race is going "slow" I ride on the hoods since it allows me to recover a bit better. Please note that most of my races are criteriums, short courses between 1 and 2 km with lots of cornering and accelerating.

Brandonnie
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Joined: Sat May 12, 2012 5:48 am

by Brandonnie

or you could already have a very aggressive position that put you very low when your on the hoods

hasbeen
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Joined: Tue Feb 07, 2012 7:17 pm

by hasbeen

Are you a runner or former runner? Tight hamstrings and glutes make it a bit harder to stay down. When those muscles are weak they tire more quickly and the body is smart enough to get you out of that position.
Casati Vola SLi and Dolan Preffisio
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btompkins0112 wrote:
It has the H2 geo......one step racier than a hybrid bike

roca rule
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by roca rule

hasbeen i do not think the proble with runners are weak hamstring, or glutes. you are right runners do get ot have tight hamstrings and glutes. i ride on the drops 70-70% od the time on the flats and on the top of the bars while climbing i rarely use the hoods, whether is flat or steep. the only time i ride on the hoods is when i want to get aero on the flats.

hasbeen
Posts: 556
Joined: Tue Feb 07, 2012 7:17 pm

by hasbeen

nah didnt mean to imply runners had weak hamstrings or glutes. Tight, yes. Was just pointing out some thoughts and happened to mention the runner question.
Casati Vola SLi and Dolan Preffisio
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btompkins0112 wrote:
It has the H2 geo......one step racier than a hybrid bike

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spytech
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by spytech

Good post tommasini

tommasini wrote:
Train the way you intend to play.

Required output to maintain 45 kph on a TT:

Standard road bike, hands on hoods = 465 Watts
Same bike, hands down on the drops = 406 watts

The most significant gain in the above figures is basic changes in body position - not equipment......
So I'll say it again.......Train the way you intend to play.


This is interesting. so going to my drops (the change is so drastic), that i could lower my output by 59watts and still maintain 45kph? that is better than what aero bike and wheels give you. do you have any data that you can link to a test done on this? would love to see it.

i usually dont ride in the drops all that often, i am pretty stretched at the hoods. while i can ride at the drops no problem, i am not use to the position; like some have already mentioned. taking it into consideration, next time im in a small group ride and i decide to go solo i will try it. See, this is why i need a power meter.

em3
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by em3

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elviento
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by elviento

I am not surprised at the 59 watt savings at all, especially considering 45kph is very fast if alone (I am assuming that because aerodynamics is way different in a pack). A flat back is much more aero than an angled back.

The following is the CFD drawing for a "smooth" airfoil v. a "stalled" airfoil, which I admit is a pretty rough approximation of riding in the drops v. hoods.

spytech wrote:Good post tommasini

This is interesting. so going to my drops (the change is so drastic), that i could lower my output by 59watts and still maintain 45kph? that is better than what aero bike and wheels give you. do you have any data that you can link to a test done on this? would love to see it.

i usually dont ride in the drops all that often, i am pretty stretched at the hoods. while i can ride at the drops no problem, i am not use to the position; like some have already mentioned. taking it into consideration, next time im in a small group ride and i decide to go solo i will try it. See, this is why i need a power meter.
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Scott!
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Location: Nashville, TN

by Scott!

I never rode on the drops until I started doing criteriums. Now I'll do the entire crit in the drops, and on training rides I'll be on the hoods only when recovering, if I'm putting forth any effort, I'll go back into the drops.

CarpetFibre
Posts: 599
Joined: Thu Apr 01, 2010 10:24 am

by CarpetFibre

I think people mentioning conditioning yourself to work efficiently in that position have hit the nail on the head. I did almost exclusively short fast time trials very early on when I joined the sport and as a result I can ride very efficiently when low and compact. I actually never use the drops too, instead I do the invisible aerobar position with my arms draped over the tops of the bars. It's very cramped but I feel like I can get more power out of my legs like this and I sit very far forward on the saddle. Honestly I can't get any reasonable power out when I'm sat up on the hoods or tops, it feels wrong - fine for just pootling along on longer rides or warming up, but not when I need to get down and TT for 30 minutes.

Just keep at it, I think you'll get used to it.

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