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Riding in the Drops(15 posts)

Riding in the DropsLowend
Apr 17, 2002 9:40 AM
How much or often do you ride in the drops? From the pitures I see and the club riders in my area, all seem to be riding on the hoods. When are you suppose to ride in the drops, is it just for sprinting? This beginner needs to know.

Thank you for your advice
re: Riding in the Dropseschelon
Apr 17, 2002 9:48 AM
There is no "supposed to" thing here. You ride in the position that is most comfortable and gives you the most power when riding. Many times, I ride more on the hoods during a crit or road race...it depends. Many times, I become more aero riding on my hoods in an aero tuck.

Obviously, if you just plain suck at riding at high speeds in your drops and you ride faster on your drops...it's a no brainer which position you are most efficient at.
You gotta be comfortable.MB1
Apr 17, 2002 9:51 AM
Set your bike up so you are comfortable in the drops. Often new riders have their bars set too low to do this. As you ride in the drops more often you'll get comfortable there and can even think about lowering the bars for a more aero position.

Bottom line-if you are not comfortable in the drops don't ride there untill the bike is set up correctly for YOU not some racer in a magazine.
mostlyColnagoFE
Apr 17, 2002 9:57 AM
or when you are fighting a big headwind. or maybe just for variety on a long ride.
re: Riding in the Dropslaffeaux
Apr 17, 2002 9:58 AM
I was thinking about this the other day. Here's my approximate percentages:

84% on the hoods
10% on the drops
5% on the outer edge of the bar (near the hoods)
1% on the bar near the stem
Don't do it much...but I know the secretcory
Apr 17, 2002 10:16 AM
I've never used the drops much except for an occasional change or into killer headwinds--even cut them off on a couple of bikes and flopped the bars to make bullhorns, because I didn't need the lower portion.
When I built my Atlantis, though, I followed Rivendell's advice and set the bars up so they're level with the saddle. It opens up a whole new world. The tops and the hoods are handier and more comfortable for cruising and climbing, and if I need to get aero, it's an easy reach to the drops and I can stay on them for awhile if I need to. My commute home is 11 miles, about five of them a steady climb often into a stiff wind (30mph+ yesterday). If I need to, I can stay on the drops for the whole climb, where my limit used to be a couple of minutes.
cory is right ...tarwheel
Apr 17, 2002 10:28 AM
Ever notice why most cyclists rarely ever ride on their drops? It's because they've got their bars set so low. Like Cory, I have my handlebars set fairly high -- about 1" below the saddle. I also have Ritchey WCS bars with a shallow drop. Since going to that setup, I spend much more time in the drops than ever before. Previously I rode in the drops perhaps 1% of the time at most. Now I ride in the drops perhaps 1/3 of the time, more when it's windy. When riding in a paceline, however, I am usually on the hoods where I can easily reach the controls. brakes, etc. When I'm up front, though, I usually am in the drops much of the time.
whenever you want.JS Haiku Shop
Apr 17, 2002 10:25 AM
t'was a time it was very uncomfortable for me to ride in the drops. after quite a bit of riding and a most recent routine of stretching (we're talking four sessions per day here), plus lots of trainer time in the drops, i ride drops as much as 60% on a typical ride. for me, it was mostly flexibility and comfort keeping me from that riding position. now it feels natural, and riding on the tops seems inefficient. riding the hoods is a good medium.
Personally,rideslikeagirl
Apr 17, 2002 10:29 AM
only on descents. Otherwise, "the girls" get in the way when I peddle.
Peddle what?Crankist
Apr 17, 2002 11:03 AM
I'm sure that I speak for many when I ask if that's merely a mis-spelling or a lifestyle. Unquiring mines want too no.
Mike
Depends.rideslikeagirl
Apr 17, 2002 11:44 AM
On whether or not there's an available street corner.
dependsgrandemamou
Apr 17, 2002 11:25 AM
I ride on the hoods when just cruising along or if I'm in a large group. Being on the hoods allows me to see better and be closer to the brakes. If I'm on the front of a paceline or sprinting I prefer to be in the drops. I don't use aero bars so it's as aerodynamic as I can get.

There is no right or wrong. It's a matter of preference and comfort. Road bars are great because of all the different hand positions.
a lot, in crits...weiwentg
Apr 17, 2002 12:09 PM
i was on the drops 99% of the time in 2 of the 3 crits i was in (and the last wasn't really a crit)... YMMV
Crits = dropsbigdave
Apr 17, 2002 12:11 PM
I had a very successful and experienced teammate tell me after my first crit that I spent too much time on the hoods: control is simply not as stable there in tight quarters where bumping is likely. From then on, I rode in the drops more often in training so I would be used to them for races.

Like some of the other posters said, getting the correct height and reach is paramount. Once you get it right, you'll know: the drops will be as comfortable, if not more, than anywhere else on the bars.

So in the crits, I really found that it made my control of the bike much more positive. And when some stocky guy was trying to intimidate me by crowding, my riding in the drops paid off because I had firm control when we bumped shoulders. I didn't have to yield either, because my control center was so positive. He bumped me again, then after he realized I wasn't going anywhere said, "oh, sorry." :-)

To each his own, but I am a firm believer that crits = drops.

--Dave
re: Crits=dropsMr Good
Apr 17, 2002 5:06 PM
Another reason to ride in the drops for crit racing: It's really hard to get your bars "hooked" with someone else's when you're in the drops--riding in the drops is good protection in close quarters riding. Of course, aerodynamics is very important in a fast crit, which is enough reason to ride in the drops.