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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 12-10-07, 10:49 PM   #1
andre nickatina
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Saddle-to-bar drop measurement?

Just wondering what you guys think is adequete for saddle to bar drop in terms of a balance between comfort and performance. I just measured the amount on my nice bike and it's about a 5.5" drop from the tip of the seat to the tip of the bars, who knows how much from the tip of the seat to the bottom of the track drops. Either way I find it to be fairly good for riding around the city, I dunno about trips above 30 miles though. My other bike probably has less drop but I haven't measured yet...
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Old 12-10-07, 10:54 PM   #2
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It really depends on the rider. If you have long googly assed gorilla arms, you can probably get by with more drop. If you're a tyrannosaurus rex, you'll probably need it pretty level. Obviously, it also depends on flexibility and other crap too.

FWIW though, My commuter bike has maybe 2-3 inches of drop. Too lazy to check.
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Old 12-10-07, 10:55 PM   #3
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I'm pretty sure the consensus will be, barring the legion clever replies and non sequiturs, whatever feels comfortable for your purpose.
It depends entirely on the rider. someone with long-ass arms will naturally have a larger drop, unless they have stubby legs, or extra long legs. Someone with puny baby-arms will likely run risers and have an old-man-type drop measurement.
A lot of people will be too lazy to measure theirs (me), and subsequently pull **** out of their ass to post here.
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Old 12-10-07, 11:09 PM   #4
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so that you have proper lifting posture when in the drops. pick those bars up and put them down but make sure that wheel doesnt leave the ground
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Old 12-10-07, 11:19 PM   #5
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Around 3 with risers. It increases to about 5 when I use track drops.
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Old 12-10-07, 11:30 PM   #6
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I have 3" on my cross bike which I have done centuries on. I have 6" on my Pista which I also have done centuries on (not fun.)

Generally, this drop is only significant if you can hold a fast pace (>20 mph) flats and not wearing baggy clothing/wearing a bag.

More drop = more power but the trade-off is comfort and the ability to ride distance.

When I did the Seattle to Portland this summer on my road bike (206 miles over one day) I rode with 1.5" of drop.
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Old 12-11-07, 12:36 AM   #7
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more drop = more power?
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Old 12-11-07, 12:48 AM   #8
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to a point
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Old 12-11-07, 01:08 AM   #9
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Around 3 with risers. It increases to about 5 when I use track drops.
thems some shallow drops
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Old 12-11-07, 01:17 AM   #10
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thems some shallow drops
lol, I was thinking the same thing. Im thinking people are measuring to the top of their bars, not the drops.
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Old 12-11-07, 01:49 AM   #11
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thems some shallow drops
He never said he used the same stem with the drops though. I set my stem higher for use with drops.
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Old 12-12-07, 12:25 AM   #12
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i'm interested in how the whole drop thing gives you more power. does it have to do with core leverage or something? so riding in the drops gives you more power than riding the flats? i always thought it was just a wind resistance thing.
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Old 12-12-07, 12:28 AM   #13
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When you are a strong rider, the torque on the pedals requires that you pull on the bar to keep from lifting up. It provides more leverage to do just this when you have a big drop. Generally you don't want too much because you'd only be able to ride it a shorter distance.

This is why touring bikes don't have a large drop - they are built for comfort over power.
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Old 12-12-07, 12:33 AM   #14
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The sprinting position is the simpler of the two. The rider is making such large pedaling forces that his torso and upper body can do little more than resist the peak forces of the power stroke. The arm effects between the peaks keep the bicycle leaning in the direction that puts the pedal being pushed under the rider, as well as locating the rider and contributing a small amount to the pedal forces. Peak pedaling forces are large compared to gravitational forces, and the rider's position adjusts accordingly, shifting his upper body forward to achieve the best load path for the arms (Figure 4). The rider's CG is typically forward of the pedal at this point. During the phases of the pedal cycle when pedaling forces diminish (around the six and twelve o'clock positions), there is a small torque on the rider about the pedal. As before, this will tend to cause the rider to fall forward and will need to be resisted with upper body and torso effort.



(^courtesy of sheldon)

As soon as you apply more force than your bodyweight you need to pull on the bars. so the stronger you sprint the more resistance is needed on the bars during peak pedal phases, think about if you are try to pull an object out of the ground, except you can adjust its height in front of you, gaining maximum leverage calls for the maximum comfortable extention to pull back from. In addition to balancing the bike this enables you to use your upper body strength to contribute to the downstroke(and upstroke when clipped). This is why overall bike stiffness is important for acceleration and efficiency.

ideally the most efficient pull would be on the exact same plane as your pedal strokes, this is why the closer you get to vertical the better, and why rocking the bike accordingly during sprinting is effective...its a matter of leveling the plane.

Last edited by El-ahrairah; 12-12-07 at 12:52 AM.
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Old 12-12-07, 12:51 AM   #15
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Damn. I'm going back to lurking/reading more and asking questions less. Why do people even ask questions when Sheldon's site exists?
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Old 12-12-07, 01:15 AM   #16
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That's my bad. I totally did mean the top of my track drops. :x
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Old 12-12-07, 01:21 AM   #17
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^ Your sig is hella funny.
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Old 12-12-07, 01:26 AM   #18
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^ Your sig is hella funny.
everytime I see it I have to watch it cycle at least like 10 times its so fascinating, its like a vortex. Also, good concise reply min.
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Old 12-12-07, 01:29 AM   #19
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will someone plz write a formula in which size of manhood approaches zero at extremely large drops and at negative drop
?
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Old 12-12-07, 12:18 PM   #20
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Bars level with the seat is where it's at.
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Old 12-12-07, 12:35 PM   #21
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Whatever mine is on my too-small-BFSSFG-IRO, it's way too much for me.
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Old 12-12-07, 07:39 PM   #22
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Bars level with the seat is where it's at.
Truth!
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Old 12-12-07, 07:57 PM   #23
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6 inches to the top of my drops

13 inches when in the drops, gotta ride like the cannibal

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