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

Drops

Reply

Old 03-22-13, 04:15 PM
  #1  
Shamrock
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Garden State exit 135
Posts: 463
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 11 Post(s)
Drops

When out on a regular ride by yourself(Im not sure what that means either) what percentage of the time do you use the drops?I noticed on my extended winter rides I'm not using them at all now.In the warm months I use them.
Shamrock is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 03-22-13, 04:22 PM
  #2  
fietsbob 
coprolite
 
fietsbob's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: NW,Oregon Coast
Posts: 39,608

Bikes: 8

Mentioned: 166 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6182 Post(s)
My Drop bar/Derailleur bikes stay in the house 3/4 of the year , since I got My Trekking Bar ,
IGH Bike..

the drops function, my bending overmore.. is the Far reach on the figure 8 bend, with a little elbow
bend.


the bikes that have drop bars, the gear shift lever is on the open end of it.
so I do hold onto the drop end while im shifting,
that is the whole point of having the levers down there on the widest part of the bars..

Last edited by fietsbob; 03-25-13 at 12:21 PM.
fietsbob is online now  
Reply With Quote
Old 03-22-13, 05:04 PM
  #3  
TromboneAl
Senior Member
 
TromboneAl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Far, Far Northern California
Posts: 2,874

Bikes: 1997 Specialized M2Pro

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
About 3%, warm or cold.
TromboneAl is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 03-22-13, 05:14 PM
  #4  
NealH
Senior Member
 
NealH's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Triangle, NC
Posts: 1,478

Bikes: S-Works Tarmac

Mentioned: 6 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 177 Post(s)
I use the drops about 20% of the time. I typically use them when I'm pulling, when I need a temporary change of position, and often going downhill. The percentage is a little more on flat terrain events, maybe a little less in the mountains. I don't think there is any hard and fast rule. But you should occasionally use the drops if for nothing more than a temporary change of position.

Last edited by NealH; 03-22-13 at 06:49 PM.
NealH is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 03-22-13, 05:27 PM
  #5  
Biker395 
Seat Sniffer
 
Biker395's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: SoCal
Posts: 4,523

Bikes: 2008 Scott CR1 Pro; 2006 Schwinn Fastback Pro and 1996 Colnago Decor Super C96; 2003 Univega Alpina 700; 2000 Schwinn Super Sport

Mentioned: 9 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 398 Post(s)
Only if I'm riding into a significant headwind. I can ride about 1/2 gear faster in the drops.
__________________
Proud parent of a happy inner child ...
www.photo395.com
Biker395 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 03-22-13, 05:38 PM
  #6  
climberguy
Senior Member
 
climberguy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: central ohio
Posts: 348

Bikes: better than I deserve

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
There's better steering control and more braking power when I'm in the drops, along with (of course) better aerodynamics. I haven't used them a lot previously but I'm starting to use them more. On really rough surfaces and going fast into corners, riding in the drops feels more secure.

Last edited by climberguy; 03-22-13 at 05:57 PM.
climberguy is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 03-22-13, 06:08 PM
  #7  
Bikey Mikey
Senior Member
 
Bikey Mikey's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Newport News, VA USA
Posts: 3,325

Bikes: Diamondback Edgewood LX; Giant Defy 1

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Depends on conditions. I would hazard to guess about 20 to 30% of the time.
Bikey Mikey is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 03-22-13, 06:24 PM
  #8  
GeorgeBMac
Senior Member
 
GeorgeBMac's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Posts: 2,061

Bikes: 2012 Trek DS 8.5 all weather hybrid, 2008 LeMond Poprad cyclocross, 1992 Cannondale R500 roadbike

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Originally Posted by climberguy View Post
There's better steering control and more braking power when I'm in the drops, along with (of course) better aerodynamics. I haven't used them a lot previously but I'm starting to use them more. On really rough surfaces and going fast into corners, riding in the drops feels more secure.
I use mine on downhills and occasionally for a position change.

But I pull out of them pretty quickly and go back on the hoods when I see something coming up that may require some maneuvering -- I find it quite the opposite --- I feel I have better control and braking power when I'm on the hoods. Actually the drops feel far less stable to me.
GeorgeBMac is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 03-22-13, 06:54 PM
  #9  
ThatBritBloke
Oh! That British Bloke ..
 
ThatBritBloke's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Princeton, NJ, USA
Posts: 243
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I use the drops 100%of the time. Some times I'm on the top of the drops, sometimes on the bottom, often in-between. That's the point of drops.
ThatBritBloke is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 03-22-13, 07:01 PM
  #10  
jppe
Let's do a Century
 
jppe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: North Carolina
Posts: 7,244

Bikes: Pinarello Prince/Campy SR; Cervelo R3/Sram Red; Trek 5900/Duraace, Cervelo P2C/Duraace, Cannondle Tandem/Ultegra, Lynskey GR260 Ultegra

Mentioned: 23 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 281 Post(s)
Not that much.


When Pulling.
Going into the wind on longer flat sections.
On longer rides where I need a change in positions.
__________________
Ride your Ride!!
jppe is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 03-22-13, 07:10 PM
  #11  
miss kenton
Senior Member
 
miss kenton's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Blueberry Capital of the WORLD, NJ
Posts: 2,095

Bikes: Trek '09 1.5 wsd, Trek '13 Cocoa

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 8 Post(s)
I once went to a Women's Bike Night and the question of time spent in the drops arose. I said, "About 95% of my time riding is in the drops." There was a audible gasp from the group. The speaker said I needed to have my fit adjusted. I did. Now, I ride about 50% of my time there because I like being there.
miss kenton is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 03-22-13, 07:21 PM
  #12  
jdon
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 4,243
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 283 Post(s)
A mistake often made (especially here on BF) is people feeling the need to flip the stem and remove spacers because it looks more aggressive. A proper bike fit takes into account the flexibility of the rider and adjusts the bars so that the whole bar can be used effectively. Your physical limits shouldn't preclude using the drops.
jdon is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 03-22-13, 07:44 PM
  #13  
mprelaw
Senior Member
 
mprelaw's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Cape Cod, Massachusetts
Posts: 2,318
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Get an 80s vintage touring or road bike, with small hard rubber hoods, and you'll be in the drops 95% of the time.
mprelaw is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 03-22-13, 07:55 PM
  #14  
Dudelsack 
A might bewildered...
 
Dudelsack's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Loovul
Posts: 6,529

Bikes: Bacchetta Giro ATT 26; Lemond Buenos Aires

Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 80 Post(s)
Never.
__________________
We are on earth to help others; what on earth the others are here for I donít know.
Dudelsack is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 03-22-13, 08:02 PM
  #15  
Retro Grouch 
Senior Member
 
Retro Grouch's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: St Peters, Missouri
Posts: 29,127

Bikes: Catrike 559 I own some others but they don't get ridden very much.

Mentioned: 10 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1099 Post(s)
Zero. After my last accident even on my beater bike I've raised the handlebars about 3" and it still isn't enough. If I try to ride it more than to the hardware store I get terrible neck and upper back aches.

Fortunately, my recumbents still work for me.
Retro Grouch is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 03-22-13, 08:30 PM
  #16  
JanMM
rebmeM roineS
 
JanMM's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Metro Indy, IN
Posts: 15,282

Bikes: RANS V3 ti, RANS V-Rex, RANS Screamer

Mentioned: 14 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 441 Post(s)
What is this 'drops' thing spoken of here?


Apparently, in a previous lifetime, not all the time in the drops.
__________________
RANS V3 Ti, RANS V-Rex, RANS Screamer
JanMM is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 03-22-13, 08:38 PM
  #17  
Shimagnolo
Senior Member
 
Shimagnolo's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Zang's Spur, CO
Posts: 8,667
Mentioned: 7 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1473 Post(s)
1. In nasty headwinds.
2. Fast descents.
3. Sometimes when standing on steep, short climbs.
Shimagnolo is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 03-22-13, 08:40 PM
  #18  
nkfrench 
Senior Member
 
nkfrench's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Fort Worth, TX
Posts: 1,839

Bikes: 2006 Specialized Ruby Pro aka "Rhubarb" / and a backup road bike

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
Not all drop bars are the same. Some are short others are deep. Depends on how your bike is fit to you too.

Drops are great when going > 25mph or when headwinds are > 20mph.
Also good when there are low-hanging tree branches over the bike lane.
nkfrench is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 03-22-13, 09:05 PM
  #19  
Terex
Senior Member
 
Terex's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: 7600' Northern New Mexico
Posts: 3,608

Bikes: Specialized 6Fattie, Parlee Z5, Scott Addict

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 20 Post(s)
I'm fitted to the drops on all of my bikes - as everyone should be who has drop handlebars. If you're not using them, there is no reason to have them to begin with.
Terex is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 03-22-13, 09:23 PM
  #20  
BluesDawg
just keep riding
 
BluesDawg's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Milledgeville, Georgia
Posts: 13,533

Bikes: 2018 Black Mountain Cycles MCD,2017 Advocate Cycles Seldom Seen Drop Bar, 2017 Niner Jet 9 Alloy, 2015 Zukas custom road, 2003 KHS Milano Tandem, 1986 Nishiki Cadence rigid MTB, 1980ish Fuji S-12S

Mentioned: 15 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 161 Post(s)
I use the drops on my road bike on downhills, while pulling into headwinds and for an occasional change of position. Maybe 15-20% of my riding time. I'm probably a little less likely to use them in late winter and early spring when I ride less and am thus less limber. I use the drops a bit more often, maybe 30-35%, on the dirt road bike as the drops are more secure when going over rough sections. That bike also has the bars mounted a little higher to make the drop position more comfortable.
BluesDawg is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 03-23-13, 12:15 AM
  #21  
stapfam
Time for a change.
 
stapfam's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: 6 miles inland from the coast of Sussex, in the South East of England
Posts: 19,914

Bikes: Dale MT2000. Bianchi FS920 Kona Explosif. Giant TCR C. Boreas Ignis. Pinarello Fp Uno.

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Originally Posted by jdon View Post
A mistake often made (especially here on BF) is people feeling the need to flip the stem and remove spacers because it looks more aggressive. A proper bike fit takes into account the flexibility of the rider and adjusts the bars so that the whole bar can be used effectively. Your physical limits shouldn't preclude using the drops.
When I first got a road bike I could not even get into the drops after 16 years of MTB's. I followed the usual lines of raising the bars to ease the back but I had to train myself to get into the drops and it still was not comfortable. 2nd bike and the shop set it up with the bars way low but they could adjust after the first ride. Went back to the shop and "What Needs Adjusting?" Nothing was my reply- that low stretched out position worked for me and still does.

But the drops are rarely used by me and I ride on the hoods most of the time. Drop position is used going downhill-into a headwind and on the rare occasions when I wish to gain speed. Anywhere that the Aero position would be needed. Could be 10% of the ride on a bad day. Or 5% on a good one.
__________________
How long was I in the army? Five foot seven.


Spike Milligan
stapfam is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 03-23-13, 04:07 AM
  #22  
ThatBritBloke
Oh! That British Bloke ..
 
ThatBritBloke's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Princeton, NJ, USA
Posts: 243
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Originally Posted by jdon View Post
A mistake often made (especially here on BF) is people feeling the need to flip the stem and remove spacers because it looks more aggressive. A proper bike fit takes into account the flexibility of the rider and adjusts the bars so that the whole bar can be used effectively. Your physical limits shouldn't preclude using the drops.
+1

My lbs regularly astonishes people new to road bikes and long time riders as to how comfortable you can be with drops - even if you have mobility issues - if you are riding a correctly sized and fitted bike with the appropriate bar.

If the fit's right then the vast majority of riders will have a full range of access to the drops.

Consider a compact road bar if you haven't already:

Attached Images
ThatBritBloke is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 03-23-13, 05:00 AM
  #23  
jim p
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 1,036
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)
I wish that I had the capability of putting my drops at the present level of my top bar. Then I could adjust things and get them as perfect as possible. I take yoga and I have developed enough flexibility that I can place both palms flat on the floor while standing with my knees straight. So I am pretty flexible. But when I go into the drops I feel extra pressure on my hands and the seat puts pressure in or on parts that I prefer not to have pressure on.

I am a weak rider and my thinking is that if I am pedaling that I need to be in the drops so that I can benefit from the decrease in wind resistance. I like changing position for comfort. If I am going slow I don't use the drops. If I am going fast I like the drops. I am a weak rider. I go slow much more than I go fast so I am not in the drops all that much. Maybe 5% of the time.

One day I will get my fit perfect and I will be a 50/50 rider.
jim p is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 03-23-13, 05:05 AM
  #24  
Frankfast
Senior Member
 
Frankfast's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: New York and San Juan
Posts: 481

Bikes: Kestrel Talon SL, Surly Steamroller, Equipe SS/FG Beater

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 9 Post(s)
My fingers are short and can't reach the brakes when in the drops.
Frankfast is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 03-23-13, 05:17 AM
  #25  
ThatBritBloke
Oh! That British Bloke ..
 
ThatBritBloke's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Princeton, NJ, USA
Posts: 243
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Some brake levers have reach adjustment devices. Ask your lbs. If they don't know, then go to a better one.

Attached Images

Last edited by ThatBritBloke; 03-23-13 at 05:23 AM. Reason: addendum
ThatBritBloke is offline  
Reply With Quote

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us Archive Advertising Cookie Policy Privacy Statement Terms of Service