Advertise on Bikeforums.net



User Tag List

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 27
  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Belchertown MA
    Posts
    213
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Breathing in the drops

    So something I have been working on lately is riding in the drops. As I believe is common with most bid guys this is not always the easiest thing. I've found at least in the short run the most difficult thing for me is getting enough air. My chest just is not as open as it is when I'm on the tops. Is this just a matter of losing the gut (I'm 5' 10" currently 275) or is it something that is learned over time? Is there anything I can do now to help with this?

    Riding on the local MUP today I was headed back to the parking lot when I came up behind two riders who were on their way back from their ride. They were going a little slower than I had been so I announced my presence and that I was passing. One of them light heatedly says "you know you're gonna have to pull us now right?" and I was like "sure jump on." Given the circumstance I decided to have some fun and dialed it up to 400w (as 41 as that sounds according to this it is true I held 22 mph average for the last 1.25 miles: http://www.kreuzotter.de/english/espeed.htm). No I didn't drop them, but that wasn't really my goal, I just wanted to go hard. It was a lot of fun, but I can't help thinking that if I was in the drops I could have gone even faster, about 25 mph according to that calculator. I didn't try it because I was working heard and didn't want to risk losing any air.

  2. #2
    Starting over CraigB's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Indianapolis
    My Bikes
    1990 Trek 1500; 2006 Gary Fisher Marlin; 2011 Cannondale Synapse Alloy 105; 2012 Catrike Trail
    Posts
    4,081
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by wfournier View Post
    Is this just a matter of losing the gut (I'm 5' 10" currently 275)
    IME yes, it is. Bike fit/stem angle and length play a role as well, but mostly for fine tuning. In the meantime, stay on the hoods but bend your elbows as close to 90 degrees as you can. You'll gain some of the aero advantages of the drops without all the breathlessness.
    Craig in Indy

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Posts
    7,118
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    as a skinny guy that wandered over here i would say it may be a combination of both. when you are in the drops are you bringing your elbows in? if you are it could be making it harder to breath. as i said i cant speak from experience (6' 1" 175lbs), but i often do my climbing from the drops and rarely feel that breathing is my limiting factor. i cant help but think extra weight would cause restrictions.

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Posts
    7,118
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    how much drop are you currently running? raising your bars (or installing ones with a shallower drop) so the hooks are just a little lower than your your hoods are now may be a happy compromise. keep in mind it would be a step back if you still stay on the hoods.

  5. #5
    Climbers Apprentice vesteroid's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Posts
    1,473
    Mentioned
    2 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    It's your gut...if getting in the drops means your gut is compressing, or even hitting your legs, that's the issue.

    And 400 watts for any sustained period, is pretty massive for a Clyde. I had intervals today where I was suppose to average 215 watts for 12 minutes with a 5 minute rest between the intervals...I couldn't imagine a 400 watt average for 12 minutes (for me anyway)

  6. #6
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Belchertown MA
    Posts
    213
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by thirdgenbird View Post
    how much drop are you currently running? raising your bars (or installing ones with a shallower drop) so the hooks are just a little lower than your your hoods are now may be a happy compromise. keep in mind it would be a step back if you still stay on the hoods.
    I'm running Soma highway one bars that are a "short and shallow bar" with 75mm of reach and 130mm of drop. From the back of the saddle (highest part) to the top of the bars there is a 3.5" drop.

    Quote Originally Posted by vesteroid View Post
    It's your gut...if getting in the drops means your gut is compressing, or even hitting your legs, that's the issue.

    And 400 watts for any sustained period, is pretty massive for a Clyde. I had intervals today where I was suppose to average 215 watts for 12 minutes with a 5 minute rest between the intervals...I couldn't imagine a 400 watt average for 12 minutes (for me anyway)
    Well it was hardly 12 minutes, looks like more like 3:20, but I want to keep working at that. I've been thinking about some more structured training, and I need to make myself work. I feel like I have a bad habit that I can't get myself to give 100% unless I'm trying to catch someone or someone is on my wheel.

    I feel like I need to clarify that I do not own a power meter and I am basing this off of the numbers that Sport Tracks is giving me using a plugin to calculate power based on speed, weight, grade and windspeed as well as comparing those numbers to what the other calculator I posted is giving me.

    This is what I'm looking at in Sport Tracks:

    Last edited by wfournier; 07-05-12 at 07:15 PM.

  7. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Posts
    7,118
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    do you have any steerer above the stem? it may not hurt to try a little less drop.

  8. #8
    Cat 5 field stuffer bbeasley's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Hammond, La
    My Bikes
    Wabi Lightning RE, Wabi Classic
    Posts
    1,370
    Mentioned
    2 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I'm 5'8" and have gone from 252 down to 210. I've also moved from a very upright position to the hoods to aero bars and finally into the drops. I still have quite a bit of belly to lose but I can ride a couple of miles at a time in the drops. The advice I would add to the above is to begin working on core strength. Push ups and crunches seem to do it for me.

    As I moved lower, I also rode with my hips rotated more which changed the way my bike fit. It's taken some tweaking along the way to keep comfortable.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Mithrandir's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Buffalo, NY
    My Bikes
    2012 Surly LHT, 1995 GT Outpost Trail
    Posts
    2,283
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    As a 400 pounder I have no input to this thread besides stating the obvious; that my massive gut gets in the way of sustained pedaling in the drops, and are henceforth only used for descents where my speed outpaces my gearing. I would love to be able to eventually use the drops, as my speed seems to increase by about 2mph during the 15-30 seconds I'm able to use them, but I run out of air far too quickly and just don't bother anymore.

    Lesigh.

  10. #10
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Posts
    23
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I was afraid that my gut wouldn't allow me to even use drops which is why I went with a hybrid bike. By the sounds of it I made a mistake

  11. #11
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Posts
    7,118
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Wolfador View Post
    I was afraid that my gut wouldn't allow me to even use drops which is why I went with a hybrid bike. By the sounds of it I made a mistake
    nah, a hybrid with flat pedals will be great for running around town after you buy a road bike

  12. #12
    Banned. Mr. Beanz's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Upland Ca
    My Bikes
    Lemond Chambery/Cannondale R-900/Trek 8000 MTB/Burley Duet tandem
    Posts
    20,031
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    1 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by wfournier View Post
    Given the circumstance I decided to have some fun and dialed it up to 400w (as 41 as that sounds according to this it is true I held 22 mph average for the last 1.25 miles:
    Wow, I swear I am like the only Clyde without massive power. My 21.7 (near 22) is only a sissy'ish 239 watts

    Distance 7.4mi
    elevation gain 191ft
    Elapsed Time 00:20:24
    Average Speed 21.7mi/h
    Power 239W

    That's according to Strava............http://app.strava.com/rides/7591306#141635163

    Maybe I should ride the drops. Nah! I do 99.9% of my riding on the hoods.

  13. #13
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Belchertown MA
    Posts
    213
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Beanz View Post
    Wow, I swear I am like the only Clyde without massive power. My 21.7 (near 22) is only a sissy'ish 239 watts

    Distance 7.4mi
    elevation gain 191ft
    Elapsed Time 00:20:24
    Average Speed 21.7mi/h
    Power 239W

    That's according to Strava............http://app.strava.com/rides/7591306#141635163

    Maybe I should ride the drops. Nah! I do 99.9% of my riding on the hoods.
    Well it's entirely possible that the calculated numbers I'm looking at are bollocks, I guess that's why people say that a power meter is the way to go. I've always heard that this calculator http://www.kreuzotter.de/english/espeed.htm is one of the most accurate, but I've heard that strava is decently accurate too so who knows.

  14. #14
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Belchertown MA
    Posts
    213
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by thirdgenbird View Post
    do you have any steerer above the stem? it may not hurt to try a little less drop.
    I've got a quill stem so it can move, however the current stem is up as far as it can go.

  15. #15
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Posts
    7,118
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by wfournier View Post
    I've got a quill stem so it can move, however the current stem is up as far as it can go.
    if you keep riding you may fit yourself to the bike

  16. #16
    Travelling hopefully chasm54's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Uncertain
    Posts
    6,885
    Mentioned
    6 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    The gut won't help. But the way to ride aerodynamically and breath properly in the drops, if you can do it, is to try to bend at the hips rather than the waist. You rotate your hips forward, keep a flat back,and this allows you to open your chest much more than if you are in a posture in which your back is bent over. It takes practice and some getting used to, and certainly a huge gut will intervene, but that's what you're aiming at.

  17. #17
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    cherry hill, nj
    Posts
    5,929
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    1 Thread(s)
    When I got my road bike, I always wanted to use my drop but breathing was a problem, hunched back, and my gutt. I wanted to gain a little more areo dymanicness from it but that was not the main reason. I wanted to use the drops to stretch a little and also to give me another hand position so when I was getting the fit right for the 80 mile ride we did together, I raised the stem. PROBLEM SOLVED. I could use the drops, breath, stretch, and another hand position opened up.

  18. #18
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    cherry hill, nj
    Posts
    5,929
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    1 Thread(s)
    Also, you could use another ring on the stem to make it a little higher.

  19. #19
    Senior Member CJ C's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Chicago
    My Bikes
    Wally World Huffy Cranbrook Cruiser (with siily wicker front basket)
    Posts
    930
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    try this tip next time. it will seem counter to what you will think you should do to get your gut out of the way.

    When in the drops pretend you are trying to stick your belly button out and forward and like you have a superman emblem on your chest that you want to show everyone. What this does is rotate your hips which gives your legs more room to put down more power, it also opens up your diaphragm (chest) to breath better.

    First time i tried it i was shocked not by the breathing but the comfort. I have been trying to force myself into habit of doing it all the time riding even on the hoods.

  20. #20
    Starting over CraigB's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Indianapolis
    My Bikes
    1990 Trek 1500; 2006 Gary Fisher Marlin; 2011 Cannondale Synapse Alloy 105; 2012 Catrike Trail
    Posts
    4,081
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Beanz View Post
    Wow, I swear I am like the only Clyde without massive power. My 21.7 (near 22) is only a sissy'ish 239 watts
    I don't even have any watts.
    Craig in Indy

  21. #21
    internettubes engineer st3venb's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Mesa, Az.
    My Bikes
    2012 Felt Z85
    Posts
    305
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Mithrandir View Post
    As a 400 pounder I have no input to this thread besides stating the obvious; that my massive gut gets in the way of sustained pedaling in the drops, and are henceforth only used for descents where my speed outpaces my gearing. I would love to be able to eventually use the drops, as my speed seems to increase by about 2mph during the 15-30 seconds I'm able to use them, but I run out of air far too quickly and just don't bother anymore.

    Lesigh.
    Riding in the drops is one of those things that comes for us... I weigh in at 320, and I can go into the drops for an okay period... 5-10 minutes... But then my gut keeps my diaphragm from expanding the entire way and I run out of breath eventually.

    Just keep riding, eventually you'll get to the point where you can ride in the drops... and eventually your weight will be less of an issue... and people will tell you to HTFU.

    Is that all you've got?
    mrclydesdale.com :: my blog!

  22. #22
    Senior Member tony_merlino's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Northeastern NJ - NYC Metro Area
    Posts
    795
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by wfournier View Post
    So something I have been working on lately is riding in the drops. As I believe is common with most bid guys this is not always the easiest thing. I've found at least in the short run the most difficult thing for me is getting enough air. My chest just is not as open as it is when I'm on the tops. Is this just a matter of losing the gut (I'm 5' 10" currently 275) or is it something that is learned over time? Is there anything I can do now to help with this?

    Riding on the local MUP today I was headed back to the parking lot when I came up behind two riders who were on their way back from their ride. They were going a little slower than I had been so I announced my presence and that I was passing. One of them light heatedly says "you know you're gonna have to pull us now right?" and I was like "sure jump on." Given the circumstance I decided to have some fun and dialed it up to 400w (as 41 as that sounds according to this it is true I held 22 mph average for the last 1.25 miles: http://www.kreuzotter.de/english/espeed.htm). No I didn't drop them, but that wasn't really my goal, I just wanted to go hard. It was a lot of fun, but I can't help thinking that if I was in the drops I could have gone even faster, about 25 mph according to that calculator. I didn't try it because I was working heard and didn't want to risk losing any air.
    The way I discovered BF and C&A specifically was as a result of a Google search that I did after suffering what I thought was a heart attack. It turned out to be exactly the problem you described - my gut pressing against my diaphram so that I couldn't get enough air. A visit to the cardiologist and a stress cardiogram later, I discovered that my heart and vascular system were just fine - I was just too effing fat to ride hunched over.

    Be careful.

    As far as your question is concerned, yes, losing the gut helps a lot and may be your whole solution. I've lost 68 lbs since that happened, my BMI is now finally back in the "normal" range, and I have no problem getting the air into my lungs. Unfortunately, issues with arthritis and stenosis in my neck don't allow me to ride in as aggressive position as I did 15 years ago, but it's still infinitely better than a year ago.
    L'asino di Buridano...

  23. #23
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    cherry hill, nj
    Posts
    5,929
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    1 Thread(s)
    Will: Heard in another thread that Strava is not accurate in power. just fyi

  24. #24
    Decrepit Member Scooper's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    San Francisco California
    My Bikes
    2007 Waterford 953 RS-22
    Posts
    8,730
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I'm surprised nobody has asked about the OP's handlebar width; it's a factor in being able to open up your chest to breathe while in the drops.
    - Stan

  25. #25
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Posts
    7,118
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Scooper View Post
    I'm surprised nobody has asked about the OP's handlebar width; it's a factor in being able to open up your chest to breathe while in the drops.
    I guess I assumed he had he proper width but you make a good point.

    It may be unorthodox, but have any of you tried dirt drops? They have a shallow drop and are nice and wide at the bottom.

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •