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Thread: Drops- why?

  1. #1
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    Drops- why?

    I have a question. Why do most of the people I see ride up on top of the hoods on dropped handle bars? Why don't they ever ride much bent over in the curls?Just wondering.

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    Professional Fuss-Budget Bacciagalupe's Avatar
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    The hoods is a more comfortable position and gives you good access to the brakes.

    You should only be in the drops when you are riding into the wind or sprinting.

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    Like he said, the hoods are more comfortable and give access to the brakes. The drops are for making yourself aerodynamic, but it makes your back bend further, and riding like that all day with probably rupture some discs.

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    biked well well biked's Avatar
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    Particularly with modern brake hoods, riding with your hands on the hoods is a very ergonomic, comfortable position (assuming the bike fits you, etc.).

    Drop bars are nice because they typically give you at least four distinct hand positions:

    Riding on the "tops" is when you have your hands on the part of the bar near the stem; this position lets you sit most upright. It's a position that is often to used to take a bit of a break on the bike, and that's okay.

    You can ride with your hands near the hoods, but not all the way to them; this allows you to turn your wrists in the more natural "handshake" position, and you sit a bit more upright than you do when your hands are all the way out to the hoods. How comfortable this position is depends quite a bit on the exact shape of the handlebars, and how they're angled. A nice level "shelf" is desirable for comfort, in other words the bar flows right into the hoods, giving a large amount of relatively flat surface.

    Riding with your hands on the brake hoods. Again, with modern brake hoods this a very ergonomic position for your hands. You can easily brake from here, the hoods are designed for this. Shift from here, too, if using integrated shifter/brake levers. And it's important to relax your arms as much as possible. A big mistake a lot of folks make is leaning on their arms so much they get numb hands, a sore neck, shoulders, etc.

    Riding in the "drops" gives you better aerodynamics, and can also give you better leverage to really mash the pedals in some situations. When riding into the wind, this position is especially helpful. If you're going to have drop bars on your bike, in my opinion you should be able to comfortably ride in the drops for at least a few minutes at a time without being uncomfortable. Proper bike fit and good riding form are often the keys in being able to do this.
    Last edited by well biked; 01-13-09 at 10:17 PM.

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    Senior Member BikeArkansas's Avatar
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    I normally ride with my hands on the hoods or on top. I am in the drops into a stiff wind at times, but I mostly use the drops when descending hills and especially in curves on the downhill. I think I have better control this way. I do make a point to ride a mile or two at a time in the drops while on a flat ride just to help keep my body ready for when I need the drops.
    I started riding my bike to get healthy. Now I try to stay healthy so I can ride my bike.

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    Senior Member BigBlueToe's Avatar
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    Drops afford more options, one of which is to ride down in the drops in a headwind, reducing wind resistance. I spend most of my time on the tops of the bars because it puts less pressure on my hands and arms and is more comfortable on my back - either on the straight part next to the stem or on the top of the first curve. But I'm not averse to spending extended periods down on the drops, just for something different.

    On my mountain bikes there are only a couple of hand positions I like - either on the grips or on the bar ends. I have curving bar ends and can put my hands on top of the curves, but I don't really like them up there.

    For trail riding, the flat bars make sense, but for road riding and touring, give me drops.

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    A properly adjusted bike with the right components allow you to brake easily in the drop position. On one of my two touring bikes, four fingers curl around the brake levers when I am in the drop position. On my other bike, I must bend my wrists to get my fingers around the levers, or be content to brake with two fingers per hand. So on the second bike, I use the drop position less often.

    Although I ride in the drop position infrequently, it is nice to have the option. Postural variety is good for all-day comfort.

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    Senior Member mijome07's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigBlueToe View Post
    For trail riding, the flat bars make sense, but for road riding and touring, give me drops.
    I'm the opposite. I use the brake hoods and drops on the trails and the tops (w/ 'cross levers) on the road.

    "Whatever blows your hair back!"

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