Do you find it easier to ride on the drops in a group?

Discuss light weight issues concerning road bikes & parts.

Do you find it easier to ride on the drops in a group?

yes
13
45%
no
16
55%
 
Total votes: 29

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themidge
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Location: underneath sweet Scottish rain

by themidge

I went on my first group ride in a while yesterday, and noticed the same thing that I had the last time I went; I found it much easier (more comfortable) to ride holding the drops for extended periods of time than I do when riding by myself. I can't really think why this might be, sure, covering the brakes (which is best to do from the drops) is more necessary in a group, but how that affects comfort I cannot fathom. Has anyone else noticed this? What do you think might be the reason for it?

by Weenie


quadzilla
Posts: 26
Joined: Thu Dec 21, 2017 7:42 am

by quadzilla

Used to happen to me too (Now I do most of my racing and group rides on the hoods). I think the reason is usually because you are usually scared or there is adrenaline pumping through you or you are so focused on your riding that you don't think about the the pain. Interestingly, when riding on rollers I get extreme back pain even on the hoods despite the same bike and position.

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MayhemSWE
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Joined: Thu Mar 12, 2015 12:44 pm
Location: Stockholm, Sweden

by MayhemSWE

Ehh, surely it is more comfortable in the group only because you're not putting out as much power? If you take it easier on your solo rides, matching your power output to riding shielded by the bunch, certainly you'll be able to stay down in the drops just as long…

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silvalis
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Location: Aus

by silvalis

You were busy chatting and distracted yourself from any discomfort.
Chasse patate

bilwit
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Location: Seattle, WA

by bilwit

You have more control (handling) and grip on the drops while having more leverage on the brakes. I usually feel more "at home" on the drops even solo, except when on the trainer.

Stickman
Posts: 69
Joined: Sun Oct 08, 2017 1:58 am

by Stickman

MayhemSWE wrote:
Sun Jul 22, 2018 11:19 pm
Ehh, surely it is more comfortable in the group only because you're not putting out as much power? If you take it easier on your solo rides, matching your power output to riding shielded by the bunch, certainly you'll be able to stay down in the drops just as long…
That was my first and only thought too - unless you're on the front, then you're getting a massive reduction in aero drag, so you can maintain your speed with far less effort.

I find it far easier to be on the drops when drafting, or descending, or with a tailwind etc. Into a headwind and as much as I know it's more aero, being on the drops doesn't usually last long!

NiFTY
Posts: 1306
Joined: Sat May 26, 2012 11:26 pm

by NiFTY

Stickman wrote:
Mon Jul 23, 2018 4:28 am
MayhemSWE wrote:
Sun Jul 22, 2018 11:19 pm
Ehh, surely it is more comfortable in the group only because you're not putting out as much power? If you take it easier on your solo rides, matching your power output to riding shielded by the bunch, certainly you'll be able to stay down in the drops just as long…
That was my first and only thought too - unless you're on the front, then you're getting a massive reduction in aero drag, so you can maintain your speed with far less effort.

I find it far easier to be on the drops when drafting, or descending, or with a tailwind etc. Into a headwind and as much as I know it's more aero, being on the drops doesn't usually last long!
Riding on the drops is not the most aero.
Riding on the hoods with your arms parallel is significantly more aero, as you are just as low BUT your entire forearm is hidden aerodynamically behind your fist. In the drops your forearm is exposed to the wind. There was a windtunnel test about this somewhere.
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JScycle
Posts: 243
Joined: Wed Mar 08, 2017 11:41 pm

by JScycle

NiFTY wrote:
Mon Jul 23, 2018 11:12 am
Stickman wrote:
Mon Jul 23, 2018 4:28 am
MayhemSWE wrote:
Sun Jul 22, 2018 11:19 pm
Ehh, surely it is more comfortable in the group only because you're not putting out as much power? If you take it easier on your solo rides, matching your power output to riding shielded by the bunch, certainly you'll be able to stay down in the drops just as long…
That was my first and only thought too - unless you're on the front, then you're getting a massive reduction in aero drag, so you can maintain your speed with far less effort.

I find it far easier to be on the drops when drafting, or descending, or with a tailwind etc. Into a headwind and as much as I know it's more aero, being on the drops doesn't usually last long!
Riding on the drops is not the most aero.
Riding on the hoods with your arms parallel is significantly more aero, as you are just as low BUT your entire forearm is hidden aerodynamically behind your fist. In the drops your forearm is exposed to the wind. There was a windtunnel test about this somewhere.
However if you are flexible enough riding with bent arms (parallel to the road) it is probably more aerodynamic as your back is lower than bent arms in the hoods

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micky
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by micky

MayhemSWE wrote:
Sun Jul 22, 2018 11:19 pm
Ehh, surely it is more comfortable in the group only because you're not putting out as much power? If you take it easier on your solo rides, matching your power output to riding shielded by the bunch, certainly you'll be able to stay down in the drops just as long…
Bingo.

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themidge
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Joined: Fri Jan 13, 2017 4:19 pm
Location: underneath sweet Scottish rain

by themidge

^You're probably right. I find it easier to ride on the drops when there's a tail-wind as well, which is a similar situation.

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taodemon
Posts: 96
Joined: Tue Aug 29, 2017 2:04 pm
Location: Massachusetts

by taodemon

You can usually hold your position on the drops (arms straight) for longer than you can hold your arms bent / parallel at the hoods. In a group ride if the pace is faster and I'm drafting I'll be in the drops, If I rotate to the front I'll usually move up to hoods and have arms parallel to save some watts, at least until they tire and I go back to drops to rest them.

gramsqueen
Posts: 69
Joined: Wed Jun 27, 2018 5:15 am

by gramsqueen

I always ride on the hoods with fore arms at parallel with the ground like cancellera

hamd
Posts: 12
Joined: Tue Mar 27, 2012 12:21 am

by hamd

I surmise* that you don't need to keep your eyes fixed as far up the road - and your neck accordingly craned - while riding in a group. You do however need to know what the riders immediately in front and around you are doing, leading to an overall lower eyeline.

*I surmise this, because I've never ridden in a group. :)

Hexsense
Posts: 871
Joined: Wed Dec 30, 2015 12:41 am

by Hexsense

JScycle wrote:
Mon Jul 23, 2018 12:00 pm
However if you are flexible enough riding with bent arms (parallel to the road) it is probably more aerodynamic as your back is lower than bent arms in the hoods
another add:
if you can be in aero L-bend arm in drop position for long time, your hood position is too high and wasted.

Yes, you should be able to do L-bend in drop in a short surge against brutal headwind. L-bend on hood for some much longer time, and straight down arms in drop for a long long time.
But if L-bend in drop is sustainable for long, it means that height supposed to be your L-bend on hood position. And your drop should be even lower to get lower center of gravity for more planted control on descending/sprinting.

Stickman
Posts: 69
Joined: Sun Oct 08, 2017 1:58 am

by Stickman

NiFTY wrote:
Mon Jul 23, 2018 11:12 am
Riding on the drops is not the most aero.
Riding on the hoods with your arms parallel is significantly more aero, as you are just as low BUT your entire forearm is hidden aerodynamically behind your fist. In the drops your forearm is exposed to the wind. There was a windtunnel test about this somewhere.
It was Cycling Weekly's video series testing inside the indoor velodrome that showed this recently.

And as others have said, personally I find it more comfortable for longer to be on the drops. I do the "flat arms on the hoods" aero thing out of preference (I need all the watts I can save!) but can't hold it for as long as in the drops before my triceps get tired.

by Weenie


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