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Clydesdales/Athenas (200+ lb / 91+ kg) Looking to lose that spare tire? Ideal weight 200+? Frustrated being a large cyclist in a sport geared for the ultra-light? Learn about the bikes and parts that can take the abuse of a heavier cyclist, how to keep your body going while losing the weight, and get support from others who've been successful.

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Old 03-22-10, 03:47 PM   #1
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I can't get a comfortable position in the drops

So, perhaps a thread for the road bike section itself, since its road drops I'm struggling with. But, I'm 6'4" and a shameful 262lbs. I'm getting good rides, but I just can't seem to find a way to get comfy in the drops at all.

Any suggestions? I really want to get into them so I can spin up a bit more and burn more on my rides. I'm aiming to be a Clyde Emeritus by Christmas, which I know I can do with some work.

Thanks!
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Old 03-22-10, 03:57 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by alexw View Post
So, perhaps a thread for the road bike section itself, since its road drops I'm struggling with. But, I'm 6'4" and a shameful 262lbs. I'm getting good rides, but I just can't seem to find a way to get comfy in the drops at all.
Which handlebars are you using? What stem? I switched to bars with a shallow drop (3T Ergosum) and find that I can ride in the drops almost all day..

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Any suggestions? I really want to get into them so I can spin up a bit more and burn more on my rides. I'm aiming to be a Clyde Emeritus by Christmas, which I know I can do with some work.
Riding in the drops isn't going to really effect how much fat/calories you burn. A more aerodynamic position will make you more efficient, which means you'll burn fewer calories to maintain speed... Sitting upright, with your torso acting like a sail, is actually more work.
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Old 03-22-10, 04:01 PM   #3
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raise up the bars with spacers??
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Old 03-22-10, 04:08 PM   #4
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The stem is a 120mm 3ttt, bars are 3ttt, but not sure which version. I'll have to look at them tonight to figure it out.

I feel, perhaps wrongly, that I can spin the cranks a bit more in a more aero position. That might just my imaginary world showing through, however ;-)
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Old 03-22-10, 04:32 PM   #5
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Where does it hurt? In the arms/wrists? Hips? Back?

When I was at my biggest (no, not last Tuesday), my gut made it uncomfortable to lean over. No twiddling of the stem would really fix that. Thankfully, my bike has secondary brakes so I could alternate relatively frequently.

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Old 03-22-10, 04:42 PM   #6
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My belly would get in the way when I was in the drops. A slightly longer stem and some hours trying to get used to it makes the drops comfortable for me now.
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Old 03-22-10, 06:29 PM   #7
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I just bought this:
Profile Design Boa 105mm 130d 1-1/8" Threadless Black"
Misc.; $17.28

Check Amazon...

It takes me from 24 degrees to 50.
protractor.gif

When the belly goes... OEM goes back on.

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Old 03-22-10, 06:39 PM   #8
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I couldnt get very comfortable in the drops until I got new bars with a different bend. The few times that I have been in them this year they have been more comfortable than the old bars...maybe your current bars are the problem?
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Old 03-22-10, 06:49 PM   #9
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I was thinking the same thing on my ride today. I just got a Jamis Aurora Elite this winter and this is the first chance that I had to ride it. I am tuning in the fit in the next few rides. I intentionally had the bars set up high since it is a touring bike and will lower the bars until it is comfortable.

But back to the OP, I think that my drops are too high and the OP may have the same problem. I would like to see how the bike is setup, a side photo with showing the entire bike and bars in relation with the seat.

It sounds like the first time with drops, it may just take some time to get used to the feel. Most people don't ride on the drops that often but ride on the brake hoods and on the tops.

Also you may be able to flip the stem to get a little additional height.
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Old 03-22-10, 07:02 PM   #10
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I should add that its a quill stem, no flipping potential for me. I'll take a side photo to show it. I have one, but its with the wrong seat-height so of no value.
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Old 03-22-10, 07:06 PM   #11
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I always struggled in the drops, I could do it, just not comfortable. The best thing you can do is as you mentioned, loose weight. I'm not trying to be a pr it's just that simple. I've lost 30+ since last season and riding in the drops is no longer an issue, fwiw I ride a traditional drop bar as in not much space between top and drop.
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Old 03-22-10, 07:54 PM   #12
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Are your bars up at saddle height? If there is any drop from the seat to bars, you are going to be pretty low on most drop bars and it probably won't be comfortable for any amount of time. You also have to pay attention to your wrists. I haven't found a bar yet that can be equally comfortable on the hoods and drops, I always have to slightly sacrifice one for the other. I have switched to Dirt Drop handlebars on the bikes that I ride primarily in the drops. Although I may try a Nitto Rando bar on my Cross Check the next time I wear out the bar tape.
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Old 03-23-10, 06:00 AM   #13
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at 6'4" 263 he may not even have much of a belly. I'm 6'3 245 and dont have a belly at all but I've got a lot more muscle than most. A side pic would definately help.
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Old 03-23-10, 08:17 AM   #14
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Another shallow-drop handlebar to consider is the Salsa Moto-Ace Bell Lap. Especially if you have wide shoulders, the Bell Lap is a great bar because similar to the Nitto Randonneur, it flares out from the bend through the hooks. However, where the Rando has a 4 degree flare, the Bell Lap has a 12 degree flare.
I ride a 46cm Bell Lap on both my drop bar bikes, and it's 46 c-c at the top of the bend... but it's 52.5 c-c at the end of the hooks.
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Old 03-23-10, 09:50 AM   #15
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at 6'4" 263 he may not even have much of a belly. I'm 6'3 245 and dont have a belly at all but I've got a lot more muscle than most. A side pic would definately help.
You could be correct but when he said shamfully before his weight I just assumed belly.
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Old 03-23-10, 12:32 PM   #16
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I raise mine a good 3 inches higher than a "racing" position on all my bikes so that the middle of the drop is about where my saddle is.
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Old 03-23-10, 12:44 PM   #17
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A professional bike fit might help. A good one will address issues like stem length, stem angle, bar depth, saddle height and fore/aft position. All can affect comfort in the drops. The one I got was worth the money.
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Old 03-23-10, 03:45 PM   #18
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The tops of my bars are almost level with the saddle. The tops are level leading into the hoods and the bottoms point half way between the rear brakes and hub. Doing gentle push-up exercises on the edge of a table made riding at the bottom of the drops a lot more comfortable, but I cant last for long with my hands in the forward part of the drops.
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Old 03-23-10, 05:02 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alexw View Post
The stem is a 120mm 3ttt, bars are 3ttt, but not sure which version. I'll have to look at them tonight to figure it out.

I feel, perhaps wrongly, that I can spin the cranks a bit more in a more aero position. That might just my imaginary world showing through, however ;-)
Probably you are right about working harder in the drops. Many people think the only reason for drop bars is aerodynamics. If you look back at cycling's ancient history, though, drops arose because cyclists wanted to pedal hard at some times, and easier at others, and they weren't really thinking about aero. The harder you are pedaling, the more you have to lean forward to balance yourself and not push your butt off the saddle. So you want a bar you can grip in different places, depending on how hard you are pushing--further forward and town when pushing hard, higher and back when spinning easy--to keeps your arms from tiring. In my opinion aero is just a side benefit of using drops.

The good news is that, because the drops are about balancing against pedaling force, as your upper body mass decreases, you will be leaning further forwards to balance yourself, and using the drops more and more. If you want to be using the drops more now, try a higher handlebar placement.
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Old 03-23-10, 05:26 PM   #20
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Get It Up

Delta Stem Riser (amazon.com) 3.5 inch rise,breath better,less pressure on the back.
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Old 03-23-10, 05:36 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CliftonGK1 View Post
Another shallow-drop handlebar to consider is the Salsa Moto-Ace Bell Lap. Especially if you have wide shoulders, the Bell Lap is a great bar because similar to the Nitto Randonneur, it flares out from the bend through the hooks. However, where the Rando has a 4 degree flare, the Bell Lap has a 12 degree flare.
I ride a 46cm Bell Lap on both my drop bar bikes, and it's 46 c-c at the top of the bend... but it's 52.5 c-c at the end of the hooks.
This was recommended to me by my old LBS...one of these days I'm going to give 'em a try.
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Old 03-23-10, 09:30 PM   #22
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Here a few photos of the bike...I tried to take a few angles to show the saddle to bar height, the angle of the bars, and what the bars themselves look like.

**The bike is dirty, and I'm about to change everything over to red...wrap, cables and cages. I'm not a fan of the green personally...just had to throw that in there**
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Old 03-23-10, 10:41 PM   #23
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Those are some deep drops. If you can, try raising the stem some, but don't go above the minimum insertion mark. That is the good thing about quill stems is not having to mess around with spacers. Try rotating the bars back some also, I like the hooks to point about at the rear axle. This will probably mean you will need to move the brake levers some, so wait until you are ready to retape the bars to mess with that. I like to go for a few rides without bar tape so that I can get the angle of the bars and the position of the hoods dialed in. I would probably raise the bars by an inch or inch and a half.
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Old 03-23-10, 11:07 PM   #24
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I'd also rotate the bars and levers for max comfort. WHy can't you find anotehr quil lstem? No longer sold? I haven't looked at components lately.

I do have a Profile front loader stem. IT has a more upright angle than your stem as you can see. I think it's 110mm (?) Great shape, yours if you promise to use it and not sell it at a garage sale. Havehad it happen!

But it would take away that Italian Stallion look of your bike. ...But it would be more comfy!

We ride every Sat and Sunday starting near the A stadium. SInce you ar local, yo can pick it up there,I don't ship parts anymore. cant afford to pay to give things away.

Let me know if you want it, like I said, free if you use it!



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Old 03-23-10, 11:26 PM   #25
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Nitto DirtDrop http://www.rivbike.com/products/show...irtdrop/16-100

or

Nitto Periscopa http://www.rivbike.com/products/show...riscopa/16-131

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