Cycling and bicycle discussion forums. 
   Click here to join our community Log in to access your Control Panel  


Go Back   > >

Fifty Plus (50+) Share the victories, challenges, successes and special concerns of bicyclists 50 and older. Especially useful for those entering or reentering bicycling.

User Tag List

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 07-17-14, 05:09 PM   #1
jppe
Let's do a Century
Thread Starter
 
jppe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: North Carolina
Bikes: Pinarello Prince/Campy SR; Cervelo R3/Sram Red; Trek 5900/Duraace, Cervelo P2C/Duraace
Posts: 6,499
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5 Post(s)
Cadence and drops

Fwiw:

I'm doing Tour de Wyoming this week. Constant pedaling. Most grades are 1-4%. I've done more pedaling in this tour than any other due to the terrain.

Even with the thousands of miles I ride I still have to concentrate on my pedaling stroke.

What I've observed over 400 miles this week is that if I concentrate on spinni g all the way around I can increase my speed 1/2-1 mph. If I go from riding on the hoods to the drops I can increase my speed another 1/2 mph.

This is on flattish terrain and keeping the heart rate pretty constant.

The longer I ride the more concentration is key.
__________________
Ride your Ride!!
jppe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-17-14, 06:39 PM   #2
Barrettscv 
Have bike, will travel
 
Barrettscv's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Edwardsville, Illinois
Bikes: Colnago Nuova Mexico, Eddy Merckx Corsa Extra, Pinarello Gavia, Schwinn Paramount, Motobecane Grand Record, Peugeot PX10, Serotta Nova X, Simoncini Cyclocross Special, Origin8 monstercross, Pedal Force CG2 and CX2
Posts: 10,407
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 13 Post(s)
I'm still working on spinning smooth circles and not just stepping on the pedals. Good shoes and pedals are key.

I'm on the drops most of the time, modern compact handlebars help me stay on the drops. I've started to use an aero position with my hands on the hoods and my wrists on the bar with my elbows bent at 90 degrees. It's a functional position and takes the weight off the hands.
__________________
When I ride my bike I feel free and happy and strong. I'm liberated from the usual nonsense of day to day life. Solid, dependable, silent, my bike is my horse, my fighter jet, my island, my friend. Together we will conquer that hill and thereafter the world.

Last edited by Barrettscv; 07-18-14 at 08:00 PM.
Barrettscv is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-17-14, 07:51 PM   #3
OldsCOOL
Senior Member
 
OldsCOOL's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: northern michigan
Bikes: '77 Colnago Super, '76 Fuji The Finest, '88 Cannondale Criterium, '86 Trek 760
Posts: 11,028
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 31 Post(s)
Drops. Incredibly beneficial over a long ride. Saves on the legs for a given pace and as you pointed is measureable.
OldsCOOL is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-17-14, 08:00 PM   #4
Dave Cutter
Senior Member
 
Dave Cutter's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: D'uh... I am a Cutter
Bikes: '14 Trek 1.1, '10 Fuji Finest 3.0, '98 Cannondale R500, '88 Trek 360
Posts: 4,920
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 48 Post(s)
I had always mostly used the drops when riding in windy conditions... on occasion.. during a decent. I recently got a new bike and have discovered that little extra ease when riding in the drops.
Dave Cutter is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 07-17-14, 08:14 PM   #5
Rick@OCRR
www.ocrebels.com
 
Rick@OCRR's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Southern California
Bikes: Several bikes, Road, Mountain, Commute, etc.
Posts: 5,953
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5 Post(s)
Thanks for the reminder, I need to be riding in the drops more often! Maybe laziness is the issue but I tend to only get on the drops when descending and then, of course, my spinning is not going to happen.

Will try to combine the two in the future. I climb with my hands on the top (mostly) and the hoods, but on short rises after a descent I will going into the drops, stand up, and power up the climb . . . so there's that. But I'm not spinning there either.

Will try to do more!

Rick / OCRR
Rick@OCRR is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-18-14, 07:05 AM   #6
George
Senior Member
 
George's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Katy Texas
Bikes: Specialized Roubaix
Posts: 5,376
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
It takes me about 30 minutes to warm up anymore and then I try and spin most of the ride as well and yes it does help.
Sounds like your having a good time.
__________________
George
George is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-18-14, 11:24 AM   #7
John E
feros ferio
 
John E's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: www.ci.encinitas.ca.us
Bikes: 1959 Capo; 1980 Peugeot PKN-10; 1981 Bianchi; 1988 Schwinn KOM-10;
Posts: 16,902
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 24 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Barrettscv View Post
I'm still working on spinning smooth circles and not just stepping on the pedals. ...
I think that is my biggest challenge to overcome, as well.
__________________
"Early to bed, early to rise. Work like hell, and advertise." -- George Stahlman
Capo [dschaw'-poe]: 1959 Modell Campagnolo, S/N 40324; 1960 Sieger, S/N 42624
Peugeot: 1970 UO-8, S/N 0010468
Bianchi: 1981 Campione d'Italia, S/N 1.M9914
Schwinn: 1988 Project KOM-10, S/N F804069
John E is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-18-14, 11:53 AM   #8
CommuteCommando
Senior Member
 
CommuteCommando's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Southern CaliFORNIA.
Bikes: KHS Alite 500, Trek 7.2 FX , Masi Partenza, Masi Fixed Special, Masi Cran Criterium
Posts: 3,010
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I try to spend about half of my time in the drops. There are a lot of benefits; hand position relief, more aero, changing positions in general. As far as spinning circles, I am now comfortable doing it in most positions, and it's easy if I can stay focused on doing it.
CommuteCommando is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-18-14, 12:12 PM   #9
az_cyclist
Senior Member
 
az_cyclist's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Arizona
Bikes: Trek Domane 4.5, Trek 1500
Posts: 1,898
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I have to think about pedaling in circles. I seem to do this more on a climb, but I am not in the drops then. I have noticed I tend to pedal in circles more when I am in the drops.
az_cyclist is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-18-14, 12:16 PM   #10
bowzette
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2013
Bikes:
Posts: 415
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6 Post(s)
The primary reason to get in the drops is to be more aero to beable to ride faster whether it is pure speed or surviving a headwind. Doesn't hurt to ride in the drops some just as a change for muscle relief. I can ride in the drops for long periods. I don't ride in the drops for long periods unless I'm trying to ride fast or deal with headwind.
bowzette is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-18-14, 01:54 PM   #11
BlazingPedals
Senior Member
 
BlazingPedals's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Middle of da Mitten
Bikes: Trek 7500, RANS V-Rex, Optima Baron, Velokraft NoCom, M-5 Carbon Highracer, homebuilt recumbent
Posts: 8,794
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 23 Post(s)
Drops? Aren't those when you lose your water bottles? <g>
BlazingPedals is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-18-14, 02:05 PM   #12
Number400
Senior Member
 
Number400's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: South Central PA
Bikes: Cannondale Slate 105 and T2 tandem, 2008 Scott Addict R4, GT Timberline, Raleigh SC drop bar tandem
Posts: 910
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
My heart rate drops when I get into the drops. I first noticed it on long sessions on the rollers. It is not as comfortable for me as the hoods but I am more efficient in the drops and go to them when needed.
Number400 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-18-14, 02:46 PM   #13
nuke_diver
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Bikes: early 80's steel 12speed, CAAD10-3 2013
Posts: 314
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
My neck won't let me ride in the drops very long...it's hard to look up for me. I am often sitting up as straight as possible unless I really have to exert...like uphill or into a wind or am trying to pick up speed for on a downhill.

I wish I could ride in the drops more if it gave me that much more speed
nuke_diver is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-18-14, 02:50 PM   #14
North Coast Joe
Senior Member
 
North Coast Joe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: high above the pounding surf of Lake Erie
Bikes: A commuter & a fixed gear
Posts: 441
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by OldsCOOL View Post
Drops. Incredibly beneficial over a long ride. Saves on the legs for a given pace and as you pointed is measureable.
I very recently finished a FG build, on which I installed a pair of old school track drops. Still fine adjusting, on one of my first rides faced a steady 20mph headwind. When I dropped down it really felt like I had a magic second gear. An amazing difference!

It may take some flexibility exercises, though. My hands are down at the tire top level. Cadence suffered with the severe change of position initially, but a few mental reminders on that same ride brought it back up.

Guess they came up with the drop design for a reason!
North Coast Joe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-18-14, 03:44 PM   #15
Carbonfiberboy 
just another gosling
 
Carbonfiberboy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Everett, WA
Bikes: CoMo Speedster 2003, Trek 5200, CAAD 9, Fred 2004
Posts: 11,077
Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 35 Post(s)
I think about form all the time. One would think that wouldn't be necessary after 70,000 miles, but it is. Maybe after 250,000 one can stop? Pedaling form and position are key. The longer the ride, the more important. At 69, I still have a slammed -17 stem. And if you think drops are helpful, try aero bars.
Carbonfiberboy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-18-14, 04:50 PM   #16
OldTryGuy
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: SW Fl.
Bikes: 1982 Custom Touring Paramount, 1983 Road Paramount, 2013 Giant Propel Advanced SL3, 2002 Magna 7sp hybrid, 1976 Bassett Racing 45sp Cruiser
Posts: 2,489
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 26 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
I think about form all the time. One would think that wouldn't be necessary after 70,000 miles, but it is. Maybe after 250,000 one can stop? Pedaling form and position are key. The longer the ride, the more important. At 69, I still have a slammed -17 stem. And if you think drops are helpful, try aero bars.
Try aero bars....they are my salvation. Without them I would not be able to do the miles. Too much shoulder and wrist pain.

Great thing about the guys I ride with is that they are very aware of my situation and have no issues with my aero bars riding. Aero bars add additional mph over drops and they allow for greater relaxation.
OldTryGuy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-18-14, 04:52 PM   #17
OldsCOOL
Senior Member
 
OldsCOOL's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: northern michigan
Bikes: '77 Colnago Super, '76 Fuji The Finest, '88 Cannondale Criterium, '86 Trek 760
Posts: 11,028
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 31 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by North Coast Joe View Post
I very recently finished a FG build, on which I installed a pair of old school track drops. Still fine adjusting, on one of my first rides faced a steady 20mph headwind. When I dropped down it really felt like I had a magic second gear. An amazing difference!

It may take some flexibility exercises, though. My hands are down at the tire top level. Cadence suffered with the severe change of position initially, but a few mental reminders on that same ride brought it back up.

Guess they came up with the drop design for a reason!
A few years back when I started getting more serious about riding I one day watched the trip computer/GPS speed in a headwind. To that point I had just mumbled and struggled along in the wind. When I dropped down the speed increased by 2mph instantly. From that point on it was in-the-drops for as much of the ride I could handle regardless of wind direction. If you want to ride above 15mph at any significant distance you would find the difference quite amazing.
OldsCOOL is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-18-14, 04:58 PM   #18
OldsCOOL
Senior Member
 
OldsCOOL's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: northern michigan
Bikes: '77 Colnago Super, '76 Fuji The Finest, '88 Cannondale Criterium, '86 Trek 760
Posts: 11,028
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 31 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by OldTryGuy View Post
Try aero bars....they are my salvation. Without them I would not be able to do the miles. Too much shoulder and wrist pain.

Great thing about the guys I ride with is that they are very aware of my situation and have no issues with my aero bars riding. Aero bars add additional mph over drops and they allow for greater relaxation.
Shoulder pain, where specifically? The worst discomfort for me is the dull aching pain across the trapezius muscles and base of the neck. Is this anything like you have experienced?
OldsCOOL is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-18-14, 07:12 PM   #19
OldTryGuy
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: SW Fl.
Bikes: 1982 Custom Touring Paramount, 1983 Road Paramount, 2013 Giant Propel Advanced SL3, 2002 Magna 7sp hybrid, 1976 Bassett Racing 45sp Cruiser
Posts: 2,489
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 26 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by OldsCOOL View Post
Shoulder pain, where specifically? The worst discomfort for me is the dull aching pain across the trapezius muscles and base of the neck. Is this anything like you have experienced?
About 2 years ago MRI showed right shoulder is bone on bone with only recourse being total replacement. Pain is the joint. Same with left wrist with fusion or total wrist replacement. Total Wrist Replacement Surgery
OldTryGuy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-18-14, 07:32 PM   #20
OldsCOOL
Senior Member
 
OldsCOOL's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: northern michigan
Bikes: '77 Colnago Super, '76 Fuji The Finest, '88 Cannondale Criterium, '86 Trek 760
Posts: 11,028
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 31 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by OldTryGuy View Post
About 2 years ago MRI showed right shoulder is bone on bone with only recourse being total replacement. Pain is the joint. Same with left wrist with fusion or total wrist replacement. Total Wrist Replacement Surgery
Ouch, that's serious pain. Thanx!
OldsCOOL is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-25-14, 07:22 PM   #21
Road Fan
Senior Member
 
Road Fan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Ann Arbor, MI
Bikes:
Posts: 12,264
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 14 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by BlazingPedals View Post
Drops? Aren't those when you lose your water bottles? <g>
I think it's when the recumbent rider loses his wallet as it falls out of his back pocket.
Road Fan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-25-14, 07:32 PM   #22
2manybikes
Dog is my co-pilot
 
2manybikes's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Bikes: 2 many
Posts: 15,490
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 9 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Road Fan View Post
I think it's when the recumbent rider loses his wallet as it falls out of his back pocket.
Drop are the little pieces of water from the sky when it rains.
2manybikes is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-25-14, 07:52 PM   #23
Miami Biker
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Pinecrest, FL
Bikes: 2014 Cervelo R5 DA Zipp 202s 2012 Scott CR1 Team, 2012 Scott Metrix 10 Hybrid
Posts: 174
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Jppe -- agree on both counts. On trainer one exercise is one legged turns, four reps of 30 left and right legs. Having been on road bike for less than three years, still working in full round stroke. Hope to get there this year.

+1 on drops too. Been lowering and have little more to go. Apparently I'm flexible even at 69 and LBS says each drop lower will increase speed. Worked on first two adjustments.
Miami Biker is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-26-14, 12:21 AM   #24
MinnMan
Senior Member
 
MinnMan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Minneapolis
Bikes: 2011 Felt F3 Ltd, 2010 Trek 2.1, 2009 KHS Flite 220, 1991 Bianchi Osprey
Posts: 2,018
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 11 Post(s)
There have been lots of threads about pedaling technique, and yeah, it improves but conscious effort is required even for fairly experienced riders.

fewer threads about the drops and aero position, but I totally agree with the OP. some additional points:

1. You engage muscles differently when in the drops. I find I use my glutes more. For this reason, I sometimes spend some of my time climbing in the drops. There's no aero advantage at 7 mph, but it helps to distribute the effort to different muscle groups.

2.some of us older people can't maintain an aero position for very long, but fortunately I can. I don't use my drops as much as some, but when on the hoods my elbows are bent and my head is down. It helps a lot!


3. When I'm pulling, I'm in the drops. It's just automatic. I sometimes wonder about some of my fellow riders who aren't so good at pulling, but are pretty much upright when on the front. Technique helps!
MinnMan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-26-14, 11:33 AM   #25
fietsbob 
coprolite
 
fietsbob's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: NW,Oregon Coast
Bikes: 7
Posts: 18,737
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 203 Post(s)
I pedal with my feet. I have Trekking bars on the IGH bikes by the door, I ride the most ..
fietsbob is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off



All times are GMT -6. The time now is 10:35 PM.