Using the drops? Almost never, why?

Discuss light weight issues concerning road bikes & parts.
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by cezinho

Hello all,

I am new to the road cycling world.
I bought my first road bike last year (Tarmac) and started to make some upgrades on it.

watching on TV I see that Pro's are almost ever on the drops (maybe less than in the past, but still), but I just don't fell confortable in the drops and ride 99% of the time on the hoods.

First I had an alu FSA bar with a huge drop, then I changed to a Rotundo LTD, with less drop. I tought the situation would change, but not.

I am not a PRO, I will never be a Pro and I don't want to be Pro.
I just would like to understand why this happens, is there anything wrong on my postistion? should I change someting?

Thank you for your support.

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Tinea Pedis
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by Tinea Pedis

Rotundo is still not close to being a shallow drop bar.

I would consider the Ergosum for a shallower option from 3T.

Not sure many of us are in danger of accidentally turning 'Pro' without knowing it :lol: but it does sound like you're still developing your flexibility. As not being able to comfortably use the drops is a combination of proper; flexibility, bike fit and bar choice.

by Weenie

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by 5 8 5

I'm the opposite and ride in the drops a lot. It feels very comfortable and it's useful to have another hand position on longer rides.

I suspect it's a combination of not being used to riding in the drops and possibly too much drop.
Can you flip your stem or raise it say 10 - 15mm and try that?

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by theremery

Combine the above posts = bingo.
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by Dammit

Riding on the hoods is more comfortable, there's no mystery reason why people default on that position.

However sitting on your bike like the Rector on his way from Church to the Vicarage is going to mean that you are having to put out a lot more watts than you would if you were long and low over the bike due to the aerodynamic drag.

Since I started taking training more seriously (and got a power meter, so I can see the figures) I've started using the drops a lot more- all the time on the flat and light inclines.

I suspect what you need is some motivation to use the drops- but then, if you are happy with your cycling and not trying to drop ~30 seconds off your time every time you go out then stick with what is most comfortable and keep the drops for when you encounter evil headwinds.

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by Colonia

What is your saddle to bar drop? If you are not a big guy or long-limbed then you might want to re-evaluate that part of your fit if you have more than 8-10 cm.

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by cezinho

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.

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by SolidSnake03

I personally feel that the drops get used minimally on so many bikes because:
1. People don't see a good reason to if they are comfortable on the hoods
2. They lack flexibility or stability in that position therefore making the drops uncomfortable
3. Their bars are too low making the drop position too much of a stretch for them and once again uncomfortable
4. They clearly don't want the aerodynamic benefits as well as chest expansion that riding in a slightly stretch or long position in the drops allows for :mrgreen:
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by aerozy

A good technique to see if your position is dialled in is when you are going from the hoods to the drops your upper body should be in equilibrium. You should not feel any tendency to fall forwards or backwards when you let go of the bars. Ideally your arms should be relaxed and take little to no weight when riding in either position.

As for riding in the drops it took me 3 years of riding seriously before I felt comfortable in the drops. But Im sure that varies from person to person.
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by NWSAlpine

I ride Zipp SC CSL bars that are compact and short reach. My fit is nice and dialed in now. The drops are just as comfy as the hoods as my position doesn't change much. I can get low and flat in either. It's just a little easier in the drops.

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by bm0p700f

I find it is comfortable riding on the drops but I just cannot keep it up, it is like my breathing suffers. I TT on a normal road bike without areobars so the drops should help speed a little and they do for a short while but then I have to return to the hoods as I just cannot keep the position up. I do not know what the solution to this problem is as the bike fits fine. Shallower dropo bars may help a bit but it not like the positon is aggressive to begin with.

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by RyanH

Anyone else feel more in control in the drops? I use the drops almost exclusively in crits and when during high speed descents. Going to the Zipp short and shallow also allowed me to stay longer in the drops.
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by tommasini

To ride comfortably and have good power output in the drops - one major thing you need to do is......ride in the drops. You will (generally speaking) get used to (more comfortable) and get stronger at what your are in the habit of doing the most of. Yes we all have different amounts of flexibility, some may say they have a bad back to hide the fact that their gut gets in the way, etc. But until you try to make something a habit it won't be a habit.

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
Same bike with aero bars = 369 Watts
Same bike, triathlon position (5.5 cm lower bar, saddle forwards)= 360 Watts
Same bike, as above, with 2 tri spoke wheels = 345 Watts

The most significant gain in the above figures is basic changes in body position - not equipment......

After you look at the saddle to bar drop in the pictures - note that I am 53 years old and unless I'm cruising in the middle of a pack like those pros that were referenced by the OP.....I ride greater than 50% in the drops...... ... 3acrop.jpg" onclick=";return false;" onclick=";return false;" onclick=";return false;" onclick=";return false;" onclick=";return false;" onclick=";return false;" onclick=";return false;" onclick=";return false;

So I'll say it again.......Train the way you intend to play.

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by eordman

One thing that I've noticed some other people doing and something I now do myself is to keep your hands on the hoods but lower your body so your forearms are parallel to the ground. When you film me from the side I actually end up lower doing this than I do when I normally go to the drops. Granted, I use the zipp super short and shallow bars so the drop isn't that much. I just don't like using my drops because I find it hard to reach my brakes. It's great for switching up hand positions.

Like others said I'd double check my fit. Also, work on flexibility. I know I need to.

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by ticou

When your bike is jig fitted to fit you, you'l love being on the drops; very useful for false flats/mild hills to increase your speed and maintain cadence in a comfortable manner.

by Weenie

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