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The newbie strikes again(9 posts)

The newbie strikes againMr Nick
Jun 30, 2003 7:40 AM
I can't seem to get used to my drop bars. I have had my LBS try several different setups and I am riding a very comfortable stem high and length. It just seems that I am constantly going from hoods to the top and back (once every minute or so) to keep my hands from hurting and getting numb. I can't every get settled and just ride. I am really wondering whats going on because when I used to commute on my mtb bike, I could ride on my bar ends for 20 minutes without having to switch positions and usually only moved hands for braking. Everyone tells me that drop bars are so much more comfortable and I would be stupid to go to a flat bar, but it still seems tempting at this point. Can anyone give me any pointers, hints, or real reason not to go flat?
re: The newbie strikes againMJ
Jun 30, 2003 7:49 AM
how many miles have you put in with the new bike/set up?

it may take a few hundred or more to get used to the frame - I find that I can't get in the drops until I get used to a frame

the key is patience
re: The newbie strikes againrollo tommassi
Jun 30, 2003 7:52 AM
have you tried...

Don't know the dimensions of your handlebars (width, reach, drop, etc) but try rotating the bars upwards slightly?

Is your saddle level? A forward tilt will cause undue pressure on the arms and hands.
re: The newbie strikes againSpiderman
Jun 30, 2003 8:36 AM
you could try a shorter stem or a different handlebar with less reach so your hands will be in the location that the tops are now, but they would actually be on the hoods. Consult your LBS becuase you don't want too short a stem.
things to consider...C-40
Jun 30, 2003 9:13 AM
Do the brake hoods angle upward to create a positive stop for your hands? Angling the hoods down will create a problem.

As others mentioned, your saddle should be level (by feel, not looks). Even a slight downward angle can cause you to slide forward. If your bike does not have a 2-bolt setpost clamp that permits fine adjustment of the saddle angle, it would be worth looking into. Some cheap posts will produce two angles, one too high and one too low.

A cheap saddle could also be the problem. Some of the orginal saddles on low-level bikes are ridiculously uncomfortable. Since you come from the MTB world, look at SDG saddles. The steel railed models are pretty cheap and comfy.

Be sure that the stem is not too long. For beginners, a small amount of knee to elbow overlap when riding in the drops is not unusual.

Be sure that the bars are not too low. Experienced riders can tolerate bars that are 8-10cm below the saddle, beginners often a lot less.

Also be sure that the shape of the handlebars does not drop the brake hoods far below the top of the bars. Some brands have a downward drop the defeats a lot the effort placed into raising the bars. I think that Deda bars keep the levers up higher than any other brand.
things to consider...Mr Nick
Jun 30, 2003 11:02 AM
I have a selle italia prolink gel saddle with a thomson seatpost. The seat is level. I am running a 15 degree bontrager race stem (110mm long) with bontrager race bars (44) that are 1.5 inches below my seat. The bars are rotated as far up as possible without rendering the drops useless. I have 250 miles on the bike, which isn't much, but I have a hard to go more than 20 or 30 miles because of my hands. Overall, the setup should be pretty cushy, but I just can't seem to get settled. The onlything I haven't done is shortened my stem, but honestly if I went any shorter I would be practically sitting completely upright. Basically I would ride on the uppers all the time accept that I don't feel as secure in traffic and there are no brakes.
odd problem...C-40
Jun 30, 2003 1:56 PM
Unless you have created a very odd angle of the wrist by over-rotating the bars, it's hard to imagine a more upright position.

Are you placing much weight on your hands? If so, you may have a problem with abdominal and lower back strength, and/or you may have the saddle too far forward. An experienced rider should be able to maintain a much lower position than yours and only place a few pounds of weight on the bars. You should actually be able to ride for a bit with you hands just above the brake hoods or with just a fingertip on the hood.

I had the opposite of your problem when I had a herniated disc in my neck. My right index finger would go numb and I had pain in my right arm. Couldn't ride a straight bar for any time at all, but a road bar was no problem. 6 months of using a home traction device eventually allowed the disc to heal and the problem went away without surgery.
Try new/different/better gloves? Just a thought. nmTNSquared
Jun 30, 2003 11:32 AM
I had the same problemSDR
Jun 30, 2003 11:58 AM
In fact, I went to riding my mountain bike with slicks because the flat bar with bar ends was more comfortable. I then tried the deda 215 handlebar (anatomic) which seems to have a flatter top and keeps the brake/shift levers higher on the bar. These bars really helped me, maybe you can try some out at the LBS.