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  1. #1
    Senior Member cannondale125's Avatar
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    When to be in the drops??

    I always seem to ride on the hoods. I get in the drops to sprint and climb only? Thx for any and all advice and sorry if this thread is already started somewhere.

  2. #2
    Announcer EventServices's Avatar
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    Old time coaches like Mike Walden would tell you to be in the drops all the time.

    While I appreciate having the guy in front of me sitting up and punching a huge hole in the wind, I would rather he be on the drops where his center of gravity is lower and the bike is more stable. Cornering is better in the drops. You're getting more out of the draft in the drops.

    You're also more compact when a crash happens. And Walden used to say, "get as small as you can when you're going to the ground."

  3. #3
    Senior Member cannondale125's Avatar
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    Thx a lot for the reply. That makes a lot of sense. It will take some getting use to but I'm gonna work on it.

  4. #4
    Senior Member furiousferret's Avatar
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    I strive to be in them all the time, the only time I'm not is when I'm being lazy. You are more aerodynamic, saving energy and making you faster. Some guys are fairly efficient in the hoods as well, but the drops are always lower.

  5. #5
    Senior Member cannondale125's Avatar
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    It's kinda funny when I'm in them on flat ground just rolling around 20 mph I feel like I should be sprinting. I'm gonna work on getting use to doing it. Thx

  6. #6
    fuggitivo solitario echappist's Avatar
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    if i feel like noodling around, hoods. Long endurance rides, hoods. Trackstands, hoods. Climbing in the saddle, hoods.

    Racing, mostly drops. Out of saddle, drops, even at 15%. Sprinting, obviously drops. Off-the-front, IAB, drops, or forearms paralle to the ground with hands in the drops.



    Only guy in the pictures out of saddle in the drops. I think this is about 12% here



    My avatar pic. It's about 8% here
    Last edited by echappist; 11-23-13 at 10:44 PM.

  7. #7
    Packfodding 3 caloso's Avatar
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    It really helps to make an effort to be in the drops as often as you can during training and just riding around. Just make it a habit.
    Cyclists of the world, unite! You have nothing to lube but your chains!

  8. #8
    Senior Member grolby's Avatar
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    Depends what's going on. In road races, I spend a lot of time on the hoods, but if **** is going down, I'm in the drops. I have my bike set up such that the drops are a very low, aero position for me. Fast, but I can't ride that way for two hours straight. And like most people, I don't climb in the drops. But then, I don't really climb at all. Short power climbs, for some reason, I tackle on the hoods, but with my chin on my stem. If I'm pulling for a teammate, even if I'm hammering, I'm more likely to be on the hoods. But that's because I'm small and that low aero position doesn't block the wind much. If I'm doing my own thing or the situation doesn't require giving a bigger draft, I'm not that sympathetic to the guys behind me.

    Crits are a different story. I'll get on the hoods to stretch my back every now and then, but otherwise, all drops all the time. It's less than an hour of racing. No excuse for being up on the hoods.

  9. #9
    Senior Member grolby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by caloso View Post
    It really helps to make an effort to be in the drops as often as you can during training and just riding around. Just make it a habit.
    General rule of thumb: at minimum, intervals at Z4 or higher intensity should be 100% drops. At Z3, maybe switch it up a bit. That's how I make sure I stay adapted.

  10. #10
    Senior Member aaronmcd's Avatar
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    I ride hoods climbing or just chillin riding easy in a group. Drops for a race, drops for any hard riding, and descending/cornering. IAB on a straight section over 25-27 mph or so. I stay wherever I was if I climb out of the saddle. A short hill where I don't want to lose speed, in drops. A long steep climb where I stand up to get blood flowing or for whatever reason I am in the hoods.

  11. #11
    Senior Member cannondale125's Avatar
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    Thx for all the advice I'm gonna make the drops my new best friend. Lol!!

  12. #12
    starting pistol means war YMCA's Avatar
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    Do whatever feels best to you, but fast descending should always be in drops.

  13. #13
    Senior Member shovelhd's Avatar
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    If you plan on racing in the drops, then you need to spend time training in the drops. I would also optimize your bike fit for the drops. A mm here or there can make a measurable difference.
    My 10 speed Shimano sell-off is in the Classifieds-For Sale section.

  14. #14
    Senior Member jsutkeepspining's Avatar
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    I generally rock out on the hoods 90% of the time. If i'm bridiging to a break or driving the break i will be on the hoods with my arms bent at 90 degrees. If i'm sitting in i'm most likely on the hoods unless we are descending, then i will use the drops. I almost never use my drops when training. I use my tops and my hoods a lot
    cat 1-o-meter: wtf am i doing??????
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  15. #15
    powered by Racer Ex gsteinb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cannondale125 View Post
    I get in the drops to sprint and climb only? Thx for any and all advice and sorry if this thread is already started somewhere.
    Get in the drops starting at registration.

  16. #16
    Senior Member jsutkeepspining's Avatar
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    actually don't even wait that long. While driving to the race get in the drops
    cat 1-o-meter: wtf am i doing??????
    Quote Originally Posted by Racer Ex View Post
    You're not dumb. You're just less smart.

  17. #17
    Senior Member SpeshulEd's Avatar
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    Someone once said anytime they're going 20mph or faster they try to be in the drops, I try to do the same.
    Hey guys, lets go play bikes!

    Strava

  18. #18
    fuggitivo solitario echappist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shovelhd View Post
    If you plan on racing in the drops, then you need to spend time training in the drops. I would also optimize your bike fit for the drops. A mm here or there can make a measurable difference.
    when i bought my new bike, my original position was "optimized" for the hoods, as in, comfort with my hands on the hoods and forearms parallel to the ground. It was more of a stretch to get into my drops, but with a narrow, ass-hatchet of saddle, I was fine racing in the drops as well. But the ass-hatchet can get uncomfortable in training, so i went back to my trusty Tri-styled saddle, except now i was really straining my groin when my hands were in the drops. Actually had to raise the bars by effectively 1 cm upwards.

  19. #19
    Senior Member shovelhd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by echappist View Post
    It was more of a stretch to get into my drops
    That's what I meant by optimizing. If you want to race primarily in the drops, your bike should fit best in the drops. You shouldn't have to stretch to get there.

    There's no cardinal rule that one should race in the drops. Lots of guys, lots of pros race primarily on the hoods. Do what is best for you. I prefer the drops, but I can get very low and make a lot of power on the hoods with my arms flat on the bar tops (ergo bars). So much of this depends on your bike's geometry, bar and stem type, and your flexibility.
    My 10 speed Shimano sell-off is in the Classifieds-For Sale section.

  20. #20
    . botto's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EventServices View Post
    Old time coaches like Mike Walden would tell you to be in the drops all the time.

    While I appreciate having the guy in front of me sitting up and punching a huge hole in the wind, I would rather he be on the drops where his center of gravity is lower and the bike is more stable. Cornering is better in the drops. You're getting more out of the draft in the drops.

    You're also more compact when a crash happens. And Walden used to say, "get as small as you can when you're going to the ground."
    end of thread.

  21. #21
    Cat 5 Mod Jandro's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by botto View Post
    end of thread.
    +1

    Larry Nolan told us to always be in the drops with an exception for long climbs. I do what he says.
    Attack in the feeling because it says I'll win absolutely.

  22. #22
    Senior Member Blue Belly's Avatar
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    It's funny that we put so much effort in to comfort when it comes to bike fit, yet everyone here seems to claim that riding in the drops 110% of the time is the way to go. I don't know anyone who rides in the drops as much as I do. & I don't ride in the drops that much, to be honest.
    Riding in the drops should be for those times when it makes the most sense to do so. The rest if the time you should be trying to be comfortable & save as much energy as possible. Especially for long rides & races. If you are relaxed in te drops, I'm envious!!!

  23. #23
    Senior Member grolby's Avatar
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    Eh. Just cause one particular subset of experienced guys has one opinion doesn't mean that's what everyone must do or is best for all racers. Drop bars are designed to allow for multiple positions. It ain't for no reason. The road ain't the track. Obviously racing 100% in the drops is totally cool, but think for yourself and set the bike accordingly. "Old guy X said so," isn't the only reason you will ever need to change a habit. Those same old guys used to advise 1,000 miles of steady riding before doing any race efforts. We all hopefully have some understanding by now of how universally applicable that pearl of wisdom is.

  24. #24
    Resident Alien Racer Ex's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by grolby View Post
    "Old guy X said so,"
    It's EX. And...


  25. #25
    Senior Member cannondale125's Avatar
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    We'll I did it today. 27 for a temp a 8 mile journey with half that in the drops. I know 8 miles sucks but sh$&& it was cold! It felt like 20 miles when I was finished. Lol!! But anyway it felt great in drops and easier to climb. Thx for all the advise and input.

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