General Cycling Discussion - another question
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07-05-02, 09:42 AM
hey all, me again with another (perhaps stupid) question, well maybe not stupid cause I once heard it said that the only stupid question is the one you didn't ask for fear of seeming foolish ... hopefully it's true :).
so here it is
what's the deal with dropped handle bars ? are they just for racers or what ?
I have plans to buy a hybrid type cyclecross bike for commuting when I head home downunder, and I am wondering is it worth getting some dropped bars for the beast. Apart from the fact they look cool (I think), do they serve a definite purpose. My reasoning is this, I rode 90km on a straight bar womens comfort bike, and that made my wrists (and the rest of me :)) hurt. I figure dropped bars get your wrists running up and down like they want to (least mine do) so maybe that is better for long rides. But since this bike would be used mainly for commuting will there be anything lost by the use of dropped bars (I also plan on doing the odd century and a half to my parents place on the holidays etc... but mostly shorter 15-20km stretches I should think).
I ahve a few more Q's but I will leave them for now ... see how well I am progressing with my bike knowledge, I know what dropped bars are now :p
anyway cheers guys
07-05-02, 10:02 AM
Dropped bars give you a greater choice of hand positions on long rides, thus relieving the symptoms you describe.
For more relaxed riding, you can stay on the tops, for more aerodynamics, such as against the wind, or at higher speeds you can go down "in the drops", and there's everything in between, the "normal" position being on the hoods (where the brake levers are attached).
If you are planning to put the bars on a bike that already has straight bars there are other issues to be concerned with, that have been discussed on other threads recently.
The advantage to drop bars is that there are more places to move your hands to keep them from hurting or going numb.
07-05-02, 10:31 AM
Down on the drops are much better for fighting headwinds. I have also found drop bars are easier for standing on the pedals to get some relief on long uphills.
07-05-02, 12:22 PM
For commuting they are fine, but you can set them higher and closer than you might on a racing bike. Put the brake hoods at your favourite hand hold and you will have positions more upright and more aero to chose from.
They come in different sizes, both the width and the radius of the drop, so dont get them too big.
The only problem I can think of is that people with small hands have problems with the reach of some (most) brake levers. The low-end Shimano levers (Tiagra or Sora ?) are better suited to small hands.
07-05-02, 01:09 PM
Originally posted by MichaelW
The low-end Shimano levers (Tiagra or Sora ?) are better suited to small hands.
Sora, because they have adjustable reach. Only 8-speed compatible, however.
I find this odd. It seems that with the number of women roadies, there's be more of a market for high-end brifters with adjustable reach.
07-05-02, 01:17 PM
Originally posted by pseudonym
I have plans to buy a hybrid type cyclecross bike for commuting when I head home downunder, and I am wondering is it worth getting some dropped bars for the beast.
It's rare to see cyclocross bikes without drop bars, unless you're talking about something else.
On any bike, there will be a point in space where your hands naturally want to fall on a well-fit bike. The goal is to put the most commonly-used hand position at that point in space. On MTBs and hybrids, etc., it's the hand grips. On a road bike (or touring bike or cyclocross bike, etc.) it's generally the hoods of the brake lever/shifters.
This positioning gives you lots of options not available with straight or riser bars. There's a "rest" position where you can sit up straighter and put your hands on the tops of the bars, closer to your body. There's an "aero" position where you can put your hands on the drops and reduce your body's wind resistance. And in the normal position, without moving your body at all. And there are lots of subtle variations.
Racers and those who emulate them tend to use a much lower height for the bars than regular folks, and neopytes sometimes get confused by this, because it looks so uncomfortable. Regular folks usually do well with the tops of their drop bars at about the same height as the saddle, which is about where the bar would be on the same rider's MTB or hybrid.
07-06-02, 05:31 AM
thanks again for the info fellas, nothing really to add to that, I now know all I really wanted to about the function of dropped bars, thanks a lot :).
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