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Singlespeed & Fixed Gear "I still feel that variable gears are only for people over forty-five. Isn't it better to triumph by the strength of your muscles than by the artifice of a derailer? We are getting soft...As for me, give me a fixed gear!"-- Henri Desgrange (31 January 1865 - 16 August 1940)

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Old 05-08-06, 08:03 PM   #1
Plexed
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My neck is killing me!

I have been recently riding my IRO Angus with track bars around NYC. I love the bike and I prefer riding fixed, but the drop down to the track backs combined with looking up at the road, I'm hurting after 5 miles. I am wondering how most of the folks here ride with track bars comfortably? I would like to hear any suggestions to eliminate neck pain without having to change my bars. Thanks!
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Old 05-08-06, 08:06 PM   #2
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raise your bars?
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Old 05-08-06, 08:07 PM   #3
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get bullhorns / risers / straight bars / brake hoods.
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Old 05-08-06, 08:11 PM   #4
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ride exclusively on the tops like 90% of the people here?
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Old 05-08-06, 08:15 PM   #5
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I have talked to a couple of riders here in the city, they were riding with
track bars, I was told to keep my arms & back straight and the body would
ajust after a bit. Does this sound right?
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Old 05-08-06, 08:18 PM   #6
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no thats not right... that makes your bones absorb all of the shock instead of your flexibilty.. your arms should def not be straight.
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Old 05-08-06, 08:25 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by baxtefer
ride exclusively on the tops like 90% of the people here?
Track bars are either for riding on the track, or they are so your bike looks cool when you submit it to FGG, but they are the last thing you'd want for real road riding. Riding only on the tops negates the purpose of having drops in the first place..you'd be better off with flat bar.

A good set of road drops, with a horizontal or rising stem (depending on frame size), will work much better.
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Old 05-08-06, 08:30 PM   #8
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Yeah, I love the way the bars look & I plan to go have some fun at the Track, but I may have a second set off bars to enjoy the bike more on the street!
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Old 05-08-06, 08:38 PM   #9
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Old 05-08-06, 09:37 PM   #10
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Old 05-08-06, 10:36 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mihlbach
Track bars are either for riding on the track, or they are so your bike looks cool when you submit it to FGG, but they are the last thing you'd want for real road riding. Riding only on the tops negates the purpose of having drops in the first place..you'd be better off with flat bar.

A good set of road drops, with a horizontal or rising stem (depending on frame size), will work much better.
i dunno, i use my track drops...then again, they're not b12-whatevers with a nitto jaguar stem, so that makes it easier.

i think they're nice. but i change bars a decent bit. variety is the spice of riding.
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Old 05-09-06, 07:11 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Plexed
Yeah, I love the way the bars look & I plan to go have some fun at the Track, but I may have a second set off bars to enjoy the bike more on the street!
Do this. Get a pair of riser bars or bullhorns. Problem solved.
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Old 05-09-06, 07:18 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by humancongereel
i dunno, i use my track drops...then again, they're not b12-whatevers with a nitto jaguar stem, so that makes it easier.

i think they're nice. but i change bars a decent bit. variety is the spice of riding.

and you clearly have a taste for versatile comfortable bars too.


Track drops have one comfortable functional position... the drop. The tops are too narrow to give good control and riding on the shoulders involves contorting your wrists into a position that is unbearable for more then a mile or two and is asking for a repetitive stress injury anyway. Even the drop of a classic track drop is infereior to modern ergo drops since it involves controting the wrist.

Road drops with hoods have three positions.
1. the tops are wider and provide a more stable platform for low speed riding and climbing
2. the hoods allow for a comfortable normal position
3. the drops give a distinctly less comfortable but more aerodynamic position.

-If you want to say you get good enough control on the tops of track drops ok. But a wider position would give you better control and the flatness will provide better ergonomics.
-I you have convinced yourself you are comfortble riding on the shoulders thats fine too but I really doubt you stay there for more then a mile or two. There is no argueing with the ergonomics of the situation your wrist shouldn't be supporting weight in that position.
-If you are comfortble in the drops all day then I applaud you for being more flexible then professional road or track riders.

Track drops are designed for racing on the track. They are so single function that plenty of lower and mid level track racers don't even bother using them since they are unpleasant for training warmups, and cool downs and the classic ones don't even have an ergo drop position so they put more stress on the hand.
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Old 05-09-06, 07:24 AM   #14
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bullhorns with no drop in the stem, works for me.
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Old 05-09-06, 07:33 AM   #15
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wow dude, hate on his ride some more, jerk.

I've run road drops. I've run track drops. I recently threw bullhorns on. Couple points: the tops of track drops are not "too narrow to give good control." Good is such a ridiculously subjective term i can't believe you used it to make a point. Let me tell you, MOST people on here would have "good" control with near any bar.

It doesn't matter what kind of bar i use, i use multiple positions because no one position works for too long. This is true on your ergo road bars too. On track drops i would use the tops, shoulders, front of the bend, drops, and from time to time i'd even go inside the bend (sort of with my fists facing each other). All three of the bars i've used have had a variety of positions. Yeah i didn't like the aesthetic of the road drop, but i didn't feel that i sacrificed too much comfort or control in switching to the track drops.

OP, raise your stem up a bit. Should fix your worries.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dutret
and you clearly have a taste for versatile comfortable bars too.


Track drops have one comfortable functional position... the drop. The tops are too narrow to give good control and riding on the shoulders involves contorting your wrists into a position that is unbearable for more then a mile or two and is asking for a repetitive stress injury anyway. Even the drop of a classic track drop is infereior to modern ergo drops since it involves controting the wrist.

Road drops with hoods have three positions.
1. the tops are wider and provide a more stable platform for low speed riding and climbing
2. the hoods allow for a comfortable normal position
3. the drops give a distinctly less comfortable but more aerodynamic position.

-If you want to say you get good enough control on the tops of track drops ok. But a wider position would give you better control and the flatness will provide better ergonomics.
-I you have convinced yourself you are comfortble riding on the shoulders thats fine too but I really doubt you stay there for more then a mile or two. There is no argueing with the ergonomics of the situation your wrist shouldn't be supporting weight in that position.
-If you are comfortble in the drops all day then I applaud you for being more flexible then professional road or track riders.

Track drops are designed for racing on the track. They are so single function that plenty of lower and mid level track racers don't even bother using them since they are unpleasant for training warmups, and cool downs and the classic ones don't even have an ergo drop position so they put more stress on the hand.
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Old 05-09-06, 07:34 AM   #16
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ride no handed

to the OP and the velospace hater. i'm most comfortable in my drops and don't consider myself unusually flexible. if your drops are hurting you, or even if they're "distinctly less comfortable" perhaps you ought raise them. or try some other bars.
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Old 05-09-06, 07:34 AM   #17
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I find my Cinelli Criteriums which are sorta track styled road bars are much more comfortable than the B-123's I used to have while still looking pretty good. Also they are aluminum as is the Cinelli 2A stem I run them with. Although everyone seems to want steel stems and bars for stiffness, aluminum is actually a little more comfy (sort of the opposite of steel vs. aluminum frames). I also have a pair of flop and chops which I use on longer rides (Nitto 115's, like $20 new, flip and chop). Stems for both are basically zero rise. Since they are old school stem for threaded forks I just have a stem for each and can swap out the whole thing.
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Old 05-09-06, 08:00 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by celephaiz
wow dude, hate on his ride some more, jerk..
My point is that set up is not versatile and most people wouldn't consider it comfortable. That's not hating on his ride but pointing out that his taste in bars is very different from what



Quote:
Originally Posted by celephaiz
I've run road drops. I've run track drops. I recently threw bullhorns on. Couple points: the tops of track drops are not "too narrow to give good control." Good is such a ridiculously subjective term i can't believe you used it to make a point. Let me tell you, MOST people on here would have "good" control with near any bar..
"-If you want to say you get good enough control on the tops of track drops ok. But a wider position would give you better control"
Can you read? You may consider it good enough but you simply have less control end of story. Also having your hands close constricts breathing and the slope is probably not as ergonomic.

Quote:
Originally Posted by celephaiz
It doesn't matter what kind of bar i use, i use multiple positions because no one position works for too long. This is true on your ergo road bars too. On track drops i would use the tops, shoulders, front of the bend, drops, and from time to time i'd even go inside the bend (sort of with my fists facing each other). All three of the bars i've used have had a variety of positions. Yeah i didn't like the aesthetic of the road drop, but i didn't feel that i sacrificed too much comfort or control in switching to the track drops.
Most riders ARE comfrotable on the brake hoods of ergo drops for miles at a time however. I'm sorry your not but that makes you the exception.

Yes you can contort your hand in to many different positions on classic track drops but none of them have good ergonomics. That is asking for a repetive stress injury. Yes some of you may not get one but there are also people who can type all day is horrible positions for years without getting one. Its still not a good idea to do.

I really don't care if you want to ride with track drops, bullhorns, or that hideous set up of humancongareel.(not hating but thats ugly. Possibly in an endearing way but ugly none the less.) However the OP was not comfortable with his drops all day, raising them up kinda defeats the purpose of having drops so clearly he needs more versatile bars. The most versatile bar is an ergo road drop.

Incidently I commute with bullhorns which are comfortable and fine a large portion of the time but suck in a head wind. Therefore they are far less versatile the road drops. If I had the money to get a modern pair of drops and some comfortable hoods to put on thier I would.

Say what you will about track drops and ride them if you want but I find it is likely that the track bike crowd is neither built distinctly differently nor more adept at handling then road racers. Road racers have almost all shifted to wider modern ergo drops becuase they are more comfortable, provide better control, and allow for more efficient riding. It is far more likely that style and the fact that most of them spend alot less time on the bike is the driving factory behind the widdespread use of track drops among these people. The OP already stated he was ready to give up style in favor of comfort so why use track drops.
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Old 05-09-06, 08:12 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dutret
It is far more likely that style and the fact that most of them spend alot less time on the bike is the driving factory behind the widdespread use of track drops among these people.
someone's figured out the conspiracy! meet me at the driving factory with some chloroform before he alerts the media.

haha, we're right here, you don't need to talk about us in the third person. and you can editorialize about our riding all you want, but if i'm not mistaken you're sitting in front of a computer just like we are
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Old 05-09-06, 08:14 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dutret
"-If you want to say you get good enough control on the tops of track drops ok. But a wider position would give you better control"
Can you read? You may consider it good enough but you simply have less control end of story. Also having your hands close constricts breathing and the slope is probably not as ergonomic.
I, of course, can read. In fact, my reading abilities lead me to conclude that you still said "The tops are too narrow to give good control." Your above quote contradicts this statement. You may have changed your mind halfway through the post, but then you should delete the statement you don't mean.



Quote:
Originally Posted by dutret
The OP already stated he was ready to give up style in favor of comfort so why use track drops.
Also, my reading comprehension helped me to realize that the OP, and feel free to correct me if i'm wrong on reading comp here, does NOT want to change bars
Quote:
Originally Posted by Plexed
I would like to hear any suggestions to eliminate neck pain without having to change my bars.
*edit*thus, switching to ergonomic road drops would not be an answer to OPs issue. instead it would be a solution if all else fails. All else is not necessarily going to fail.

Raising the drops, furthermore, would not necessarily defeat the purpose of drops. Rather, raising the drops to a point where being in the drops and being on the tops are both comfortable.
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Old 05-09-06, 08:19 AM   #21
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Also, perhaps the road fixie riders ride differently than "road racers" (like through traffic) and therefore have different demands on their equipment. just saying. I don't care what road racers do. I don't road race. I still love riding my bike but i'll take equipment and setup advice from those who ride in the city, and my own experiences and not from someone that doesn't ride in the same kind of traffic.
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Old 05-09-06, 08:22 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mihlbach
Track bars are either for riding on the track, or they are so your bike looks cool when you submit it to FGG, but they are the last thing you'd want for real road riding. Riding only on the tops negates the purpose of having drops in the first place..you'd be better off with flat bar.

A good set of road drops, with a horizontal or rising stem (depending on frame size), will work much better.
I didn't read past this, so I apologize if it's already been addressed.
But I'm calling bull**** on this.
Riding the drops is great for crushing up hills and the tops and shoulders are perfectly comfortable for normal riding.

Yes, already covered. Oh well.
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Old 05-09-06, 08:40 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by celephaiz
Raising the drops, furthermore, would not necessarily defeat the purpose of drops. Rather, raising the drops to a point where being in the drops and being on the tops are both comfortable.
I guess I assumed he wanted to keep them for monetary reasons in which case a new stem is just as expensive as new bars so may not be the best answer. That assumption may indeed be false.

Good control may be a matter of choice but y'all(I was using the third person becaue plenty of posters don't ride on track drops but I'll switch if it makes you happy.) are probably not anywhere near as adept of bike handlers as the pro peloton yet you still usually see them with thier hands next to the stem only when areodynamics is key and handling isn't. While your control may be "good enough" for you to feel safe you still do not have "good" control when compared to normal bars nor would your level of control be considered "good enough" by most experience riders.

As far as why raising the drops the drops goes then:
If your drops are high enough to be comfortable then why would ride on the tops of the bars where you have less control, worse ergonomics, and your breathing is constricted? For pretty much everyone this position will not be as aerodynamic as a lower one would be and that defeats the purpose of drops for most riders. Which is to have a comfortable, stable, and efficient position on the hoods while still being able to have an aerodynamic position when it is needed and worth sacrificing comfort for. And the bonus position on the tops for spinning up hills.

Incidentally I define versatility not as the number of places you can fit your hands but the maximum utility of the combined hand positions. With that definition I can't think of any bar set up more versatile then ergo road drops with hoods except maybe for ergo road drops with hoods and clip on aero bars.
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Old 05-09-06, 08:46 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hyperRevue
I didn't read past this, so I apologize if it's already been addressed.
But I'm calling bull**** on this.
Riding the drops is great for crushing up hills and the tops and shoulders are perfectly comfortable for normal riding.

Yes, already covered. Oh well.
-being more upright and forward on the hoods is better for "crushing up hills". Thats why MTBs have bar ends and roadies(even mashers) climb on the hoods.
-many reasons have been given why the shoulders/ tops of track drops are inferior to those of road drops.


Also Yes there is a possibility that fixed gear riders have different requirement then roadies. Its probably because most of them don't do many consecutive miles on the bike and idolize classic track styling so they are more able to sacrifice ergonomics and verstatility for conformation to stylistic ideals..
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Old 05-09-06, 08:51 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dutret
-being more upright and forward on the hoods is better for "crushing up hills". Thats why MTBs have bar ends and roadies(even mashers) climb on the hoods.
-many reasons have been given why the shoulders/ tops of track drops are inferior to those of road drops.


Also Yes there is a possibility that fixed gear riders have different requirement then roadies. Its probably because most of them don't do many consecutive miles on the bike and idolize classic track styling so they are more able to sacrifice ergonomics and verstatility for conformation to stylistic ideals..

Haha, you're speaking in such absolutes that I don't believe exist.
Is it impossible that being in the drops makes climbing hills easier for me? Because you can throw all the theoretical assumptions out there, but none of them negate the fact that when I'm riding, I get more power from my legs when in the drops, and that helps me power through hills.

Comfort is a personal thing and you trying to classify what is "good" and "bad" as far as comfort is concerned is completely asinine.
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