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Adapting to getting older

Old 03-05-24, 12:20 AM
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Originally Posted by Random11
Like several others who commented on this, I feel more comfortable on the drops when I'm out of the saddle.
You're in rare but good company.

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Old 03-05-24, 01:22 AM
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In addition to trying a taller rise stem (I like the Nitto Tallux from Rivendell - tall like a Technomic, but a nicer finish), perhaps also go a size shorter in the reach. This will bring the bars closer to you, which reduces the amount you lean Yes, raising the stem shortens the effective reach some, but a bit more shortening might be helpful. I've had to go this route, as my neck simply will not tolerate lower bars, especially lower drops, for more than about 30 seconds to a minute. As a result, 90% of my time is either on the hoods or on the tops when riding on flats or climbing and close o 100% on the hoods when descending.

In any event, I suggest trying the taller rise and/or shorter reach stem before giving up on the drop bars. I'm also a fan of the Nitto Noddle bar (also available from Rivendell) for the slight bend back of the flats and the flat ramp behind the brake levers. You might try those if you try a Tallux or other tall stem.
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Old 03-05-24, 12:15 PM
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Originally Posted by bikingshearer
I've had to go this route, as my neck simply will not tolerate lower bars, especially lower drops, for more than about 30 seconds to a minute. As a result, 90% of my time is either on the hoods or on the tops when riding on flats or climbing and close [t]o 100% on the hoods when descending.
I hope you descend slowly. I would not be able to descend at speed if I were on my hoods.

I see people descending on their hoods all the time, but not one of them is descending well.
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Old 03-05-24, 03:13 PM
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Pro racers are going for speed and not efficient use of energy of which they have plenty to spare. Watch film of the riders going up a grade and seldom will you see them out of the saddle unless breaking away from the group near the end of the stage. The best mountain riders will be in the saddle as they do not waste energy supporting themselves and can be more balanced on the bike.

I can stand up to pedal up a hill but I know that I am expending much more energy than if I am seated on the saddle and using a lower gear. The lower gear also allows for a higher cadence, though not nearly as high as pro racers commonly use.
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Old 03-05-24, 04:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Wjulaxer13
I have gotten older, near 70, and can no longer handle the drop down bars on my roadbike. It is a bridgestone rb2 from around 1992 and i would hate to get rid of it if i could find a way to keep it. I would have to adapt it to straight mountain/rec bars to continue riding it but dont know if it possible or worth it. Any thoughts?
I wonder, would changing to a drop bar that is compact with less reach make a difference?
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Old 03-05-24, 05:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Calsun
Pro racers are going for speed and not efficient use of energy of which they have plenty to spare. Watch film of the riders going up a grade and seldom will you see them out of the saddle unless breaking away from the group near the end of the stage. The best mountain riders will be in the saddle as they do not waste energy supporting themselves and can be more balanced on the bike.

I can stand up to pedal up a hill but I know that I am expending much more energy than if I am seated on the saddle and using a lower gear. The lower gear also allows for a higher cadence, though not nearly as high as pro racers commonly use.
With a few exceptions, pro cyclists are as energetically efficient in or out of the saddle. Some of the best climbers (Pantani, Contador) spent much of their time out of the saddle.

Even avid amateurs aren’t expending that much more energy when out of the saddle.

You may think you're working much harder when out of the saddle, but unless you've also sped up, your not working much harder.
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Old 03-05-24, 09:53 PM
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I find it depends on the person and training. Personally I always expend a ton of energy out of the saddle, but even when I am lighter I am close to or at Clydesdale territory. Most of the people I know who were avid out of the saddle climbers were fit/lean or just light. I tend to have steel knees due to my weightlifting training so I can push a decent gear at slow rpm up a climb. Although half of that is due to my long periods of single speed riding.
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Old 03-05-24, 10:15 PM
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Originally Posted by terrymorse
I hope you descend slowly. I would not be able to descend at speed if I were on my hoods.

I see people descending on their hoods all the time, but not one of them is descending well.
Guilty as charged, your Honor. I have descended to descending on the tops. However there are a couple of downhill PRs I might better if I lower myself to your level.
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Old 03-05-24, 10:53 PM
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Originally Posted by terrymorse
With a few exceptions, pro cyclists are as energetically efficient in or out of the saddle. Some of the best climbers (Pantani, Contador) spent much of their time out of the saddle.

Even avid amateurs arenít expending that much more energy when out of the saddle.

You may think you're working much harder when out of the saddle, but unless you've also sped up, your not working much harder.
I always burned a lot more energy out of the saddle than in. Then I got a Smart trainer, so I finally was seeing how much power I was putting out. Climbing IN the saddle, I felt like 240-270w feels about right. But when I got out of the saddle, I'd find myself pushing about 350w - 100w more!! No wonder I could only do it for short bits! Plus, because I was using so much more energy, I saved it for the really tough bits, so I was probably working harder still. The thing is, 250w out of the saddle feels too light, so I tend to gear down and grind.

Lately, though, I've been working on keeping my power under 300w when out of hte saddle, doing climbs on Zwift. Still doesn't feel natural, but I'm working on it.
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Old 03-05-24, 11:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Wjulaxer13
...no longer handle the drop down bars on my roadbike...
Ya do what ya have to do in order to ride.

For me it was switching over to Bull Horn bars. I use friction shifters on the stem or down tube so it was no problem. If you are still using the down tube shifters on the RB2 it could be an easy transition. Another thing is Lowering your seat a tiny bit and raising your bars up about 2cm.

Of course ya could just tilt the bars up like the stooges used to in the 70's. Remember those guys?

https://bicycles.stackexchange.com/q...sing-drop-bars
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Old 03-06-24, 09:44 AM
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Originally Posted by terrymorse
With a few exceptions, pro cyclists are as energetically efficient in or out of the saddle. Some of the best climbers (Pantani, Contador) spent much of their time out of the saddle.

Even avid amateurs arenít expending that much more energy when out of the saddle.

You may think you're working much harder when out of the saddle, but unless you've also sped up, your not working much harder.
Word. When Chris Horner won the Tour of California, he stood up Sierra Road most if not all of the climb. If I am training and racing at the track a lot, then I adapt to the drops and higher cadence. Likewise, when I am climbing a lot on the tops or hoods, I adapt to lower cadence an more upright posture.

A few years ago, I did a tour in France with a lot of climbing and then went to the track. I sucked at higher cadence and lower position. But a couple of times at the track and I was okay.

IMO, time in the saddle in the most efficient posture and cadence for the terrain matters a lot. Ride what is comfortable and ride a lot. YMMV.
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Old 03-06-24, 10:18 AM
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Prove me wrong, but the OP appears to be a one and done. Info overload?

Never have even considered climbing using the drops, even when windy. Don’t know if there would be chest compression in that position, but the pirate (and his doping) seems to make it work. The only time I use the drops is either in a significant headwind or when hitting 18-20 MPH on the flats. Will try descending that way but will take time to get used to.
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Old 03-06-24, 11:57 AM
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Originally Posted by rsbob
Prove me wrong, but the OP appears to be a one and done. Info overload?

Never have even considered climbing using the drops, even when windy. Donít know if there would be chest compression in that position, but the pirate (and his doping) seems to make it work. The only time I use the drops is either in a significant headwind or when hitting 18-20 MPH on the flats. Will try descending that way but will take time to get used to.
If you look at pics of Pantani climbing out of the saddle, yes, he's in the drops, but his back is level, i.e. he's not bending at the waist and compressing his abdomen and chest. Plus he weighed like 10 lbs.
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Old 03-06-24, 12:04 PM
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Originally Posted by genejockey
If you look at pics of Pantani climbing out of the saddle, yes, he's in the drops, but his back is level, i.e. he's not bending at the waist and compressing his abdomen and chest. Plus he weighed like 10 lbs.
Pantani didn't have a huge bar drop, either. Also, he sometimes climbed on the hoods:

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Old 03-06-24, 12:09 PM
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Originally Posted by terrymorse
Pantani didn't have a huge bar drop, either. Also, he sometimes climbed on the hoods:

Is it just the angle? Or does Lance look a lot farther forward relative to the bike than Pantani?
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Old 03-06-24, 12:13 PM
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Originally Posted by genejockey
Is it just the angle? Or does Lance look a lot farther forward relative to the bike than Pantani?
Yeah, Lance is farther forward. Look at the distance to the saddle.
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Old 03-10-24, 10:27 PM
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Originally Posted by terrymorse
Yeah, Lance is farther forward. Look at the distance to the saddle.
I prefer the Pantani position, little weight on hands, maybe even pulling up a bit. It took me some adaptation, but I really like it. Improved my OOS ability.
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Old 03-10-24, 11:44 PM
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[/QUOTE]



Originally Posted by genejockey
Is it just the angle? Or does Lance look a lot farther forward relative to the bike than Pantani?
Originally Posted by terrymorse
Yeah, Lance is farther forward. Look at the distance to the saddle.
Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy
I prefer the Pantani position, little weight on hands, maybe even pulling up a bit. It took me some adaptation, but I really like it. Improved my OOS ability.
Does not Pantani's position require more arm muscle engagement which can lead to earlier fatigue -- straight arms is more relaxing for me
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Old 03-11-24, 11:38 AM
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Originally Posted by OldTryGuy
Does not Pantani's position require more arm muscle engagement which can lead to earlier fatigue -- straight arms is more relaxing for me
No, because there's not much weight on my arms, it's on my legs and my legs are stronger and more fatigue resistant than my arms. My hands feel light on the bars. I think part of that is due to being in the drops. That makes my back longer, fore-and-aft, so my hips are further back, the backs of my thighs just brushing the saddle nose.

Pantani's position in that photo is not his usual. This is more usual: Pantani favored small frames with little reach. Note the toe overlap.
This still is from a video, here:
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Old 03-11-24, 12:09 PM
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Originally Posted by OldTryGuy
...straight arms is more relaxing for me
I avoid riding with straight arms. Bending at the elbows provides a shock absorber to my body and takes weight off my hands.
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