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Cyclocross and Gravelbiking (Recreational) This has to be the most physically intense sport ever invented. It's high speed bicycle racing on a short off road course or riding the off pavement rides on gravel like :The Dirty Kanza". We also have a dedicated Racing forum for the Cyclocross Hard Core Racers.

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Old 08-10-05, 08:57 AM   #1
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Time spent in drops vs. on hoods

When racing cyclocross, how much time do you spend in the drops vs. time spent with your hands on the brake hoods, vs. time spent with your hands on the horizontal part of the bar? Also, in what situation do you use each hand placement? For example, do you have your hands on the hoods for more technical riding (like tighter single track) and then use the drops for more wide open stuff where you are going faster? And do you spend enough time on te horizontal part to make those extra brake levers that some cross bikes have worthwhile? I have raced cyclocross before, but only on a mountain bike. Right now I am trying to size a new cross bike, and I am trying to get a feel for how I will be using it in the different positions.
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Old 08-10-05, 12:26 PM   #2
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i ride on teh t00b. top t00b.

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Old 08-10-05, 01:10 PM   #3
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this is a good question. have you ever watched the pros or seen any videos? if not, this is a good way to see their hand positions. in case you dont know about it, you can watch free cx videos here:

i will say that in general, you will be on the hoods 70-75% of the time, in your drops 10-15% of the time, and on the tops 10-15% of the time. and yes, the hoods are for the technical stuff, hammering in and out of the saddle, and dismounting. i find that the cross levers that some bikes have come in handy for dismounting and for negotiating steep/technical/muddy stuff -- especially if you are coming from an mtb background. when i first rode with drops i felt very unstable and even unsafe because i was so used to my mtb flat bars and brake levers being right there. so, for this reason i felt much more in control having cross levers, even if they did act as a bit of a crutch for me until i got used to braking with traditional road levers.

as for riding in the drops in a cx race, some will use them alot more than others (some on this board will say u use your drops *most* of the time), but i really only use them if i get a chance to use them -- which means on flat straight-aways and/or paved sections, and sometimes in the starts. personally i've never been in a sprint in a cx race, but that would certainly be a situation where you'd be in your drops (i'm looking forward to the opportunity).

hope that helps...have fun!
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Old 08-11-05, 02:27 PM   #4
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I tend to only use the drops when I'm descending steeper banks, otherwise I just use the hoods.
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