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  1. #1
    Senior Member jeneralist's Avatar
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    Cannondale Adventure 400; 1983 Trek 620; Bilenky Ti Tourlite
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    Switching from flat bars to drops

    I haven't used a bike with drop handlebars for about 30 years -- back in high school with a 10-speed.

    I started riding again about 4-5 years ago. This time around, I've been riding with flat/trekking bars and grip shifters.
    I just bought a used bike that has drop bars and brifters. I keep reaching for controls on the flats, where they're not, rather than on the hoods or drops where I could actually reach them.

    Things don't feel too bad when I ride on the hoods. I feel very uncomfortable when I try to ride on the drops: my knees go up into my chest.

    What I'm leading up to is: what should drop handlebars feel like? Should I just try to raise them and swap in a shorter stem, or should I admit that in my late 40s, I'm probably at the wrong stage in life for a more aero posture?

    (My main reasons for keeping the drops are: they look right on the bike & I'd feel awkward about swapping out really nice Campy brifters for a twist shift)

    What I just got:


    What I'm used to:


    - Jeneralist

  2. #2
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    The hoods should fall naturally into your hands, no funny bends of the wrist. If you don't feel comfy in the drops, don't use them. Your weight should feel equal between the saddle and the bar, and steering should feel lively, not like you're having to work at it (this can come from being too low).

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