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Drop bars twitchy?

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Drop bars twitchy?

Old 09-07-15, 04:53 PM
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Drop bars twitchy?

So I've just gone from a flat bar bike to drop bars.

I am very comfortable on the hoods and on the tops, but when I go to the drops, I actually feel like I lose some stability, ie, the steering gets twitchy, squirly, whatever you want to call it...it just feels like I'm less in control and have to work harder to hold a line...

1. Is this normal and just something I'll have to get used to?

2. If not, are there adjustments that could help?

I'm already on an endurance geometry bike with compact bars, so it's not as if I have a huge saddle-bar drop.

Thanks
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Old 09-07-15, 04:59 PM
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I'd hazard a guess that when you're going to the drops, you're extending your arms and perhaps locking your elbows. Going to the drops, focus on keeping your elbows bent to same degree and just as "loose" as they were when you were on the hoods or top.
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Old 09-07-15, 05:49 PM
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I think it's normal, and to do with moving your grip closer to, or even behind, the steering axis, so it does feel different. You may also be pulling your weight in towards the middle of the bike a touch, depending on your setup, and weighting, again, a little further back from the contact patch of the front wheel, so also enhancing the wheel's "bump response," or tendency to move off line.

I don't know the mechanisms exactly, but I do know that, with practice, you can master any bicycle, and the odds are that you don't even have an unusual one, so give it time and practice.
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Old 09-07-15, 06:16 PM
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Something must be funky with you're fit or setup. Other than feeling like a contortionist, you should feel as if you have better control in the drops. Your center of gravity is lower & your hand closer to the front axle.
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Old 09-07-15, 06:25 PM
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I think it just takes time before you feel comfortable in the drops. If you are putting a lot of weight on your hands, keep riding and building up core muscles will shift your riding position a bit. Also you'll get used to narrower bars with riding experience. Flat bar bikes have very wide hand position compared to road bikes and it can feel twitchy until you adjust.
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Old 09-07-15, 06:26 PM
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If you are putting a lot of your upper body weight on the bars when in the drops it could seem that way. Building core strength will help.
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Old 09-07-15, 06:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Blue Belly
Something must be funky with you're fit or setup. Other than feeling like a contortionist, you should feel as if you have better control in the drops. Your center of gravity is lower & your hand closer to the front axle.
I doubt that, given it's an endurance bike with compact bars. Rather, it's important to remember that the drops effectively shorten the stem length compared to being on the hoods, so faster steering response to input is expected.
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Old 09-07-15, 07:22 PM
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Originally Posted by spdracr39
If you are putting a lot of your upper body weight on the bars when in the drops it could seem that way. Building core strength will help.
For many riders, this ^^^ Core strength and flexibility... Training yourself to be able to ride in a good position in the drops for and extended time period comfortably takes some dedicated work. There also a lot of really poorly fit bikes on the road. One would be hard pressed to find the zone if your bike fit is out to lunch.
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Old 09-08-15, 01:53 AM
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It shouldn't be like that. Drops are the position that give the best control, and descending and tricky turns should always be ridden in the drops.

It does take some getting used to. You should be comfortable riding flat terrain in the drops for a longer time. Once you do that, the handling will feel better too.
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Old 09-08-15, 06:02 AM
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If you're twitchy, that means you have more control. Not less.

It will take some getting used to, keep relaxed shoulders and elbows.
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Old 09-08-15, 06:53 AM
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Originally Posted by Blue Belly
Something must be funky with you're fit or setup. Other than feeling like a contortionist, you should feel as if you have better control in the drops. Your center of gravity is lower & your hand closer to the front axle.
Originally Posted by Marin
It shouldn't be like that. Drops are the position that give the best control, and descending and tricky turns should always be ridden in the drops.
A 'more aggressive' position, whether it comes from riding a racing geometry as opposed to endurance or going on the drops as opposed to hoods makes the bicycle react to smaller steering inputs from the rider. For an experienced rider with good bike handling skills that translates to more control. For a newer rider who is constantly giving unwanted inputs to the bars, then it leads to what the OP describes.

When riding motorcycles, one is often told that the hands should just be laying on the handlebar, not holding on to it. Similarly for a bicycle, your body should be supported by your core, while your hands just rest on the handlebar. If steering input is required, an extremely gentle push on the bars should be applied.
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Old 09-08-15, 08:09 AM
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If you force yourself to ride in the drops, over your next three or four rides, I bet your problem will be solved. You just have to get comfortable riding there.
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Old 09-08-15, 12:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Nachoman
If you force yourself to ride in the drops, over your next three or four rides, I bet your problem will be solved. You just have to get comfortable riding there.
I was thinking if I just avoid the drops like the plague, it would just go away....��
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Old 09-08-15, 12:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Nachoman
If you force yourself to ride in the drops, over your next three or four rides, I bet your problem will be solved. You just have to get comfortable riding there.
For me, I used the trainer to get comfortable in the drops and build up core strength. When I switched to the road, riding in the drops was a piece of cake.
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Old 09-08-15, 01:09 PM
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I remember well how squirrelly the drop bar bike felt the first time I got on it. I got used to it after a few days though. It's normal.
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Old 09-08-15, 01:36 PM
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As stated above, you will soon develop the ability to make those micro steering/correction adjustments and you won't even think about it again. After a thousand miles on our tandem, my first ride back on a single felt so weird. I got used to over adjusting to compensate for the stoker movements and lost my fine tuning on the single. A few rides and I relearned. Next roller ride is going to be tough for the first few minutes.

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Old 09-08-15, 01:41 PM
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Agreed that its a matter of getting used to.

You're actually more stable in the drops because your center of gravity is lower. You should corner and descend in the drops for that reason.
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Old 09-08-15, 01:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Marin
It shouldn't be like that. Drops are the position that give the best control, and descending and tricky turns should always be ridden in the drops.

It does take some getting used to. You should be comfortable riding flat terrain in the drops for a longer time. Once you do that, the handling will feel better too.
+1 It could be that your setup isn't the best when you are in the drops or that you cannot relax there. When all is right, it should be the most secure place and your default anytime the going gets sketchy.

Ben
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Old 09-08-15, 02:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Nachoman
If you force yourself to ride in the drops, over your next three or four rides, I bet your problem will be solved. You just have to get comfortable riding there.
I was thinking if I just avoid the drops like the plague, it would just go away....��
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Old 09-08-15, 02:38 PM
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When everyone refers to the "drops" do you all mean the drops versus the hooks. Or either are same story?
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Old 09-08-15, 03:48 PM
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This is a good question. When I say that I'm in the drops, I usually mean that my hands are deep into the hooks, directly behind the levers, and that my hands are nearly vertical. This is where my hands are when I'm cornering, sprinting, or descending. Anytime there's high stress.

However, you could also say that you are in the drops when your hands are on the portion of the bar that extends backwards, quite aways from the lever, and they are horizontal. This is a low stress position and you could be cruising without need to reach the levers so immediately.
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Old 09-08-15, 04:31 PM
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Caloso makes good distinctions, and you can see that drops and hooks are interchangeable terms.
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Old 09-08-15, 04:33 PM
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If we're being technical, though, I do like this:

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Old 09-08-15, 05:00 PM
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Originally Posted by chaadster
If we're being technical, though, I do like this:

I like this. I've also seen what the diagram calls the drops referred to as the "returns."
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Old 09-08-15, 05:01 PM
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Originally Posted by chaadster
Caloso makes good distinctions, and you can see that drops and hooks are interchangeable terms.
These terms are only interchangeable if you feel that the bike handling characteristics are the same.
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