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drop handlebars suck

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drop handlebars suck

Old 12-16-04, 11:42 AM
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I'm also wondering where the brakes are going to go?
If you find that the bars don't work for you just fit it with a flat bar and put some bar ends on it, you won't have to stretch out to shift.
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Old 12-16-04, 11:43 AM
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Originally Posted by formulaben
Are you going to fit any brakes on that bike?!
yes the Salsa cyclocross levers are on their way as we speak
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Old 12-16-04, 11:43 AM
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I think you're fixing the wrong problem. If it worked, great. From the photos, though, it looks like your frame is too small (too much seatpost showing) and the bars are WAY too low. You'd probably get instant relief from raising the existing drop bars.
The original point of drops, long forgotten now, was to allow comfortable cruising with the tops about level with the saddle, but provide for an aero position on the drops. Over the years, manufacturers have lowered them so the TOPS are nearly where the DROPS belong. The trend toward smaller and smaller frames exacerbates any problems. I'd be surprised if you're ever really comfortable on that bike.
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Old 12-16-04, 11:54 AM
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Originally Posted by Velo Dog
I think you're fixing the wrong problem. If it worked, great. From the photos, though, it looks like your frame is too small (too much seatpost showing) and the bars are WAY too low. You'd probably get instant relief from raising the existing drop bars.
The original point of drops, long forgotten now, was to allow comfortable cruising with the tops about level with the saddle, but provide for an aero position on the drops. Over the years, manufacturers have lowered them so the TOPS are nearly where the DROPS belong. The trend toward smaller and smaller frames exacerbates any problems. I'd be surprised if you're ever really comfortable on that bike.

thanks thats an interesting point- I have raised the bars by inverting the stem but I dont know how the bar could be raised any further without buying a new fork (ouch the expense-I should have just bought a Porsche). Despite the height of the saddle I think the next size of frame up would be too big as when I stand over the top tube I can only lift the bike a couple of cm before I start having to sing soprano.

I should have thought more about fitting before buying sigh but I will just have to make the best of what I have for now


Edit- maybe the compact style of frame makes it look worse but I dont think the fit can be so off. The fit of the bike now does not look so different to my commuter (see pic). I have ridden many thousands of km on this bike with no problems whatsoever. This bike has slightly more seatpost showing than the Lemond.

Last edited by royalflash; 12-16-04 at 12:06 PM.
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Old 12-16-04, 01:17 PM
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I was thinking about doing the bull horn thing to, but I was worried that I would be in the "semi aero" position to be comfortable for my horrendous back
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Old 12-16-04, 01:56 PM
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I agree with VeloDog. Your bike probably doesn't fit too well. The amount of seatpost showing and the number of spacers under the stem are dead giveaways. I can't see how it is possible that you have that much seatpost showing and only a cm or two of standover. I tried to make do with a little bike for a long time, but it just never worked for me.
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Old 12-16-04, 02:06 PM
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I dont want to bore everyone with my bike fitting issues again but here are some pics of me on the bike

https://www.bikeforums.net/road-cycling/72206-underestimated-importance-correct-sizing-pics.html
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Old 12-16-04, 02:16 PM
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Originally Posted by royalflash
I just found that the position of riding on the hoods with the hood pressing in to the middle of my palm was really bad for setting off my carpal tunnel. Up until using drop handle bars I had never had carpal tunnel that I really noticed. It is not surprising that this position is bad for the carpal nerve because if you look at the anatomical diagrams of the hand that is where the carpal nerve runs (right up the middle of the hand).

It has just been my experience that having the bar running more across my hand is more comfortable. I also don´t think that the tape is any substitute for a rubber grip particularly when the bike has no front suspension to even out the bumps.
I think the bike may have been one size too big for you. On second thought, the bike looks too small. Whatever it is, the fitting would have uncovered this problem.

It's possible you could have resolved the problem by raising the saddle pointing slightly upward. This inexpensive solution would have worked until you could find a shorter stem and smaller handlbar. With the saddle pointing slightly upward, you would be sitting further back with less or no pressure on the hands.

I have a bike that was too big and and the pressure riding on the hoods comes from a size that's too big.

Last edited by Dahon.Steve; 12-16-04 at 02:30 PM.
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Old 12-16-04, 02:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Velo Dog
I think you're fixing the wrong problem. If it worked, great. From the photos, though, it looks like your frame is too small (too much seatpost showing) and the bars are WAY too low. You'd probably get instant relief from raising the existing drop bars.
The original point of drops, long forgotten now, was to allow comfortable cruising with the tops about level with the saddle, but provide for an aero position on the drops. Over the years, manufacturers have lowered them so the TOPS are nearly where the DROPS belong. The trend toward smaller and smaller frames exacerbates any problems. I'd be surprised if you're ever really comfortable on that bike.
Good observation....

I think he might have solved his problem regarding the hoods with a shorter stem and smaller handlebar.
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Old 12-16-04, 02:32 PM
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Are you sure those brake levers will work for this application? The Salsa levers are designed to work as a second set of levers on the tops, and rely on the cable being anchored at the primary brake lever. These top mount cylocross levers work by pushing the housing, not pulling the cable like regular levers. You will need to come up with some way to anchor the cable; it's possible that it will be held by the clamp body, but making that a secure anchor could be an issue.
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Old 12-16-04, 02:49 PM
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thought of that and it is possible but there was not much brake clearance and it did not look very nice (even sillier ) also I couldnt get the brakes on the sides that I wanted. Also I didnt really like the Ultegra STI´s from a maintenance point of view. I like to work on my on bike and they seem quite overly complex and difficult to work on. You cant fully dissasemble them for example.

So I decided to do it properly and get rid of the STI´s.
You certainly can dissasemble STI levers, it's the reassembly that is impossible :-) don't ask how i know that.
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Old 12-16-04, 03:12 PM
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Originally Posted by alibi
Are you sure those brake levers will work for this application? The Salsa levers are designed to work as a second set of levers on the tops, and rely on the cable being anchored at the primary brake lever. These top mount cylocross levers work by pushing the housing, not pulling the cable like regular levers. You will need to come up with some way to anchor the cable; it's possible that it will be held by the clamp body, but making that a secure anchor could be an issue.
hmm, thanks Alibi- I see what you mean and will clarify this with the supplier and possibly change the order- it is tricker than it looks this bike modification- one thing always leads to something else and this something else usually involves more expense
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Old 12-16-04, 03:28 PM
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Originally Posted by royalflash
I couldnt stand it any more - the drop bars had to go from my new Lemond Alpe d´Huez (bought in November). . . .

. . .
There is no going back now as the STI´s are up on ebay (though they have only got to 5 euros yet with about 3 days to go)

what do you guys think of this set up -any suggestions for improvements?

I hate to mention this, but did you try raising your handlebars and/or shortening your stem extension? Either of these helps to raise you to a more upright position, thus putting more weight on your butt rather than on your hands. From your description of your troubles in this:

Originally Posted by royalflash
I never really felt that I had way more hand positions. I could either have my hands on the hoods (where I couldnt exert enough pressure on the brake lever for my liking) or in the drops and any other hand positions were just minor variations on these themes.
It sounds like the reach for you was too much? Or am I misreading this?
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Old 12-17-04, 01:28 PM
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What I thought about doing at one time , is using straight bar-ends to mount the shifters. You could position them near the stem, and use brakes made for aerobars. You could stiil use the tops, and have better braking. I hate drops too!
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Old 12-17-04, 02:48 PM
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Originally Posted by foehn
I hate to mention this, but did you try raising your handlebars and/or shortening your stem extension? Either of these helps to raise you to a more upright position, thus putting more weight on your butt rather than on your hands. From your description of your troubles in this:



It sounds like the reach for you was too much? Or am I misreading this?
I tried raising the handlebars by raising the stem and this helped a lot but I dont think I can ever learn to love drop bars. I can see the advantage of having two different heights of grip but every time my hands just touched the bars they made their displeasure known. I also hated being so far from the brakes. It just felt wrong and dangerous. It was getting so that is was putting me off riding I just found them hard uncomfortable and impractical. They just dont work for me. I am just a cycling freak .

I have had another cunning plan though with the bike set up (dont say that I ignore your advice Sydney). I just telephoned Paul components and spoke to a very nice sounding lady who said that my thumbies are in the post YEEEESS (well she sounded very credible). So now I have cancelled the cyclocross levers and will use the Profile design bar end brakes (see the pic). The barcons I will mount using the thumbies near the stem (you will just have to imagine those as they are not here yet).

I think Alibi was right anyway about the Salsa cyclcross levers (thanks). I e-mailed the dealer and they seemed to think they would work but I didnt believe them and cancelled them.

I am really looking forward to trying out the new set up.
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Old 12-17-04, 03:12 PM
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I'm not a fit expert but that bike sure looks like it to small.
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Old 12-17-04, 03:50 PM
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Originally Posted by shokhead
I'm not a fit expert but that bike sure looks like it to small.
I concur
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Old 12-17-04, 04:02 PM
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Royal

did you check that the set-up of your Lemond mirrors that of the comfy Kuwahara? Especially regarding seat height and distance from saddle tip to bars?

I also notice your comfy bike has springy forks and the Lemond looks a bit stiff, at least by comparison.

I usually trace any unusual aches and pains on a new bike to casual set-up, rather than different components- say if I'm over-extending my back or pressuring my shoulders, hands and wrists, on a longer frame, bar and stem combination.

Getting less road shock, transmitted through the frame to your body, is always good. At some point you may have to go beyond padding and shortening the bars, raising stems and the like(good old quill stems, eh?). Tough road surfaces and unforgiving frames are going to punish anyone; question is- do you want to put up with the pain, alleviate or eradicate it?

You may have to change all the variables, in turn, until the culprit is revealed. Hope it doesn't take too long, or cost too much.
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Old 12-17-04, 04:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Flaneur
Royal

did you check that the set-up of your Lemond mirrors that of the comfy Kuwahara? Especially regarding seat height and distance from saddle tip to bars?

I also notice your comfy bike has springy forks and the Lemond looks a bit stiff, at least by comparison.
thats a good idea- I will try that straight away- I think you are right about the forks being quite stiff- the first time I hit a pothole with them I thought I had broken my wrists. Though I dont want to totally blame the forks as probably my bad bike posture was also to blame not to mention my 220 lbs.

Originally Posted by Flaneur
You may have to change all the variables, in turn, until the culprit is revealed. Hope it doesn't take too long, or cost too much.
me too- thanks for the comments everyone- like I said I did not want to bore you all again with my bike fitting problems-I should have thought a bit more about it before buying a bike but you live and learn. Even if the bike is a little small the situation should not be terminal as you can adjust the position of the bars. I was looking at stem extenders and adjustable angle stems-Ritchey do one and I e-mailed them and they said it fits 25.8 mm bars so it it should fit on my 26.0 mm ones. But I will see how it goes with what I have.
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Old 12-17-04, 04:33 PM
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Originally Posted by MERTON
why don't they bend bars like those down so you'd be in the same postion as if you were in drops?
You mean like these?

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Old 12-17-04, 08:32 PM
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i tried the tt bars for awhile i couldnt wait to get back into the drops. i live in japan where the people dont look where there going and dont signal at all. i felt more safe with the drops because you can brake and shift all from the same position. with the tt you have to move your hands to shift.
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Old 12-17-04, 10:23 PM
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i used to rock bullhorns on my roadie. they're great for riding in traffic. positively AWESOME for sprinting. not so great for climbs though...although YMMV. i had my 105 STIs mounted on there and had no problems using them. actually, that setup rocked so much...i'm almost sad that i switched to road drops.

....almost.
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Old 12-17-04, 11:00 PM
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Originally Posted by alibi
Are you sure those brake levers will work for this application? The Salsa levers are designed to work as a second set of levers on the tops, and rely on the cable being anchored at the primary brake lever. These top mount cylocross levers work by pushing the housing, not pulling the cable like regular levers. You will need to come up with some way to anchor the cable; it's possible that it will be held by the clamp body, but making that a secure anchor could be an issue.
FALSE!

cross levers can work without having the cable anchored to a "primary lever." they usually have a little ferrule cut out where the cable anchoring nub can fit snuggly. then you just run cable housing the regular way from the other side of the lever and off you go. many fixed gear riders do this setup and it works perfectly.

but from the looks of it, royal already has primary brake levers set up (the TT levers), and his plans will work out just fine. though, i'd like to suggest picking up a set of the tektro 'cross levers as they're less expensive.
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Old 12-18-04, 01:11 AM
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here is what I did but I have my brakes where I am at most of the time. in some ways this is better then riding on the hoods and some ways worse. I found I could put more pressure on my hands when on the hoods. in this setup I have to be a little more upright. but since I am overweight and I don't use the drops this worked out ok. shifting is mroe accurate with the bar ends I think you don't overshift and you know what grear your in always. plus you can shift the whole way in one stroke.
but to get the cables hidden I had to have the brake levers facing backwards. I think I would change them back facing the other way for better leverage. or use brake levers for v brakes.
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Old 12-18-04, 01:17 AM
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here's a pic of my setup from when i had bullhorns.
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