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Commuting Bicycle commuting is easier than you think, before you know it, you'll be hooked. Learn the tips, hints, equipment, safety requirements for safely riding your bike to work.

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Old 08-02-08, 08:45 AM   #1
pedalmania
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learning to ride drops

I've been riding about 4 years now with a straight bar. At first I didn't feel safe or able to control the drop bar. Now that I am commuting and taking longer rides I desperately want to learn how to ride with drops, get past my fear. Any suggestions?
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Old 08-02-08, 08:57 AM   #2
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Ride with your hands on the top bars and gradually move them down to the sides.
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Old 08-02-08, 09:16 AM   #3
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What forum told you how to ride with flat bars? I ride drops and would love to have some advice on how to ride straight bars.
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Old 08-02-08, 09:24 AM   #4
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I've been riding about 4 years now with a straight bar. At first I didn't feel safe or able to control the drop bar. Now that I am commuting and taking longer rides I desperately want to learn how to ride with drops, get past my fear. Any suggestions?
Are you able to take a hand off the bars without wobbling or straying all over the road?
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Old 08-02-08, 09:30 AM   #5
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What exactly makes you feel unsafe -- do you feel that you can't brake as easily? Does the handling seem twitchy? Something else?
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Old 08-02-08, 12:18 PM   #6
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Have you also just changed froma straight to a drop then? Or changed your bike? I noticed that changing from a MTB to a Cross bike my main concern was switchbacks and cornering as the wheels are bigger, making turning tighter.

When I get on my MTB now its like steering the titanic!

I would just stick to the top of the bars and only hit the drops on long straight flats until you get comfy.
I've been mostly riding the cyclocross now since feb/april and I still don't feel as "safe" as I do on my MTB but then again I've been riding MTB's for 11 years.
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Old 08-02-08, 12:37 PM   #7
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Have you also just changed froma straight to a drop then? Or changed your bike?
Nah, just remembering some things I needed a little while to adjust to.

And if those are the problems, my advice is hands on hoods most of the time, and working on steering by leaning rather than by turning the bars.

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When I get on my MTB now its like steering the titanic!
Exactly! Once you get used to it, "twitchy" steering magically becomes "responsive".
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Old 08-02-08, 12:39 PM   #8
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Ride around in a parking lot or something.
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Old 08-02-08, 12:44 PM   #9
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Well first thing is to make sure your bike fits well. It is difficult to use the drops on a poorly fitten bike.
I would mount the bike on a trainer, then check the reach to the drops, and adjust the bar level and reach as needed to be useful.
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Old 08-02-08, 01:36 PM   #10
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Do what your kid would do as a kid... get on and start pedaling. Keep pedaling long enough and you'll get used to it.

Overthink it if you want...
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Old 08-02-08, 01:39 PM   #11
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Well first thing is to make sure your bike fits well. It is difficult to use the drops on a poorly fitten bike.
What does fitted even mean in this context though?

Fitted by some racer who primarily rides in the hoods? Hell no you won't be able to ride in the drops comfortably.

Fitted by a touring guy who rides in the drops ALL the time? That'll be fine, but riding in the hoods will be awkward.

In my mind, you should decide what you want your primary hand position to be, and fit the bike around that.
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Old 08-02-08, 03:48 PM   #12
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flat bars

Flat bars was what I road as a kid. I never had the 10-speed with curled bars.
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Old 08-02-08, 07:24 PM   #13
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just ride. i was uncomfortable with mine, then i rode the bike home 10 miles from the LBS and i was king of the drop bars by the time i got home.
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Old 08-02-08, 07:31 PM   #14
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I rode flats for many years before trying drops. Even now my hands tend to stay near the crook in the bars between the flats and the hoods, though I'd prefer to ride the hoods or tops more - I have to stretch a bit to do that. I only ride the drops against the wind and find steering to be twitchier that way. That said, I'm much happier with drop bars than flats. You should try the flats and hoods first, it shouldn't feel too much different from your current bike. Save the drops for straight line riding at first after a few miles on the bike.
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Old 08-02-08, 08:01 PM   #15
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Just use them a little bit at a time. Say to yourself, I'm going to ride to the next red light only on the drops, then go back to riding however you feel comfortable. Keep doing this occasionally when you ride, but not to the point that it becomes onerous or a rigid drill. Eventually, you'll get comfortable in the drops and will then start moving there naturally as the situation warrants.
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Old 08-02-08, 08:58 PM   #16
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Ride bike, then ride bike some more. Then ride some more, then more.

lather
rinse
repeat
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Old 08-02-08, 09:09 PM   #17
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Just use them a little bit at a time. Say to yourself, I'm going to ride to the next red light only on the drops, then go back to riding however you feel comfortable. Keep doing this occasionally when you ride, but not to the point that it becomes onerous or a rigid drill. Eventually, you'll get comfortable in the drops and will then start moving there naturally as the situation warrants.
Right On, Ride On.....
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