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Are Drop bars just an illusion for most?

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Are Drop bars just an illusion for most?

Old 09-01-19, 08:30 AM
  #26  
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I think the OP is on to something here. I see lots of cyclists who just cannot get in the drops. IMO, I think this is because too many cyclists buy aggressive racing frames with short head tubes. People buy something like a CAAD or Allez, both of which are for racing, and wind up having to run a giant stack of spacers with the hoods tilted to the sky to get their bars in a somewhat reasonable position. Even with these adjustments, many are forced to ride around 100% of their time on the hoods with locked out elbows and hunched shoulders. This looks like ****, it's uncomfortable and it reduces a rider's ability to safely handle their bike. More people should buy bikes with long head tubes and minimal saddle to bar drop. Get an endurance bike, a rando bike or even a touring bike. You'll be more comfortable and have a better ride. IMO, you should spend a good portion (if not the majority) of each ride in the drops with bent elbows. If you can't do that, the bike is too aggressive for you.

Side note: you even see the same thing in the pro ranks these days. I see pros all the time even PULLING on the front in World Tour races on the hoods with locked out elbows. I don't get it. When I was a kid in the 80s, pros were in the drops the vast majority of the time. No longer. Now, they set their bikes up ridiculously aggressively and then can't get in the drops.

Last edited by Hiro11; 09-01-19 at 08:35 AM.
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Old 09-01-19, 09:35 AM
  #27  
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The question is something of a red herring in my opinion. If you have shallow drops, the position of your back can sometimes be exactly the same on the hoods and in the drops, if you aren't riding stiff-armed. I use them interchangeably, except when riding at either extreme. It helps relax my elbows and wrists to change up, and neither is more difficult than the other.
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Old 09-01-19, 09:42 AM
  #28  
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Originally Posted by sjanzeir View Post
I remember that within the (tiny) road racing community in my home town in 1990s Jordan, drop bars were the minimum "price of admission" for me to be taken seriously as a fellow road cyclist/aspiring racer, and I had to have either a Peugeot or a Raleigh to "fit in." So I just had to buy an entry-level Nottingham-made Raleigh with drop bars.
This is really interesting in that I like seeing what trends exist(ed) elsewhere.
In the 90s, Raleigh and Peugeot were mostly afterthoughts in the US market. Raleigh held on a bit in the early 90s with their aluminum bonded to steel Technium frames, but sales were a relatively small within the market. Peugeot sold its rights to the US market just before the 90s and I cant remember seeing that brand in stores around me in the 90s.

Meanwhile, you had to have one of those brands to be considered legit over in Jordan.

Funny how popularity and brand trends work.
Neat bit of history, thanks for sharing.
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Old 09-01-19, 09:53 AM
  #29  
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I also am getting more and more use out of the drops on my Toughroad, it's all a belly fat thing. Have to get back to the shop one day and get the brifters set up better, too much of a reach from the drops, especially for shifting the Tiagras.
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Old 09-01-19, 10:01 AM
  #30  
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Originally Posted by wphamilton View Post
The question is something of a red herring in my opinion. If you have shallow drops, the position of your back can sometimes be exactly the same on the hoods and in the drops, if you aren't riding stiff-armed. I use them interchangeably, except when riding at either extreme. It helps relax my elbows and wrists to change up, and neither is more difficult than the other.
This.

If you want see some interesting images, do a web search of racers, say from Fausto Coppi to Eddie Merckx, Lemond and Hinault too, and see how much those world champs rode the tops and hoods.
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Old 09-01-19, 10:18 AM
  #31  
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Originally Posted by zarbog View Post
I also am getting more and more use out of the drops on my Toughroad, it's all a belly fat thing. Have to get back to the shop one day and get the brifters set up better, too much of a reach from the drops, especially for shifting the Tiagras.
Though I was much skinnier back in the 90s, it was the excessive belly fat, resulting from 20-plus years of culturally-induced bad diets, that made it very hard for me to breathe reasonably well enough while on the drops of my decidedly not aggressive Raleigh Flyer. Getting onto a Trek 1.2 in 2016, after 40-plus years of culturally-induced bad diets, I couldn't breathe at all!

And brifters.

Last edited by sjanzeir; 09-01-19 at 10:22 AM.
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Old 09-01-19, 10:25 AM
  #32  
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Does anyone choose bar style to fit in?
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Old 09-01-19, 11:49 AM
  #33  
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Originally Posted by Gorrister View Post
Wrong thread by accident? Lol.

I spend most of my time on the hoods like most people. I get up on the tops when Iím winded. But sometimes man, getting low in those drops is perfecto. The beauty of drop bars, even if you donít use the drops, is the versatility of hand positions they allow. And yeah, they do look cool! Letís not pretend that looking cool has NOTHING to do with it 😎
Yup. I use the drops when I am trying to cut my wind resistance and my seating position is lowered. It does work with an increased cadence. I just really ride the hoods 95% of the time and 4% on the tops when I need to change position. Really less than 1% in the drops.
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Old 09-01-19, 11:49 AM
  #34  
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Originally Posted by rumrunn6 View Post
Does anyone choose bar style to fit in?
You'll be surprised.
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Old 09-01-19, 11:51 AM
  #35  
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Originally Posted by zarbog View Post
I also am getting more and more use out of the drops on my Toughroad, it's all a belly fat thing. Have to get back to the shop one day and get the brifters set up better, too much of a reach from the drops, especially for shifting the Tiagras.
I swear I tried this this morning and your totally right. It is very difficult to brake when in the hoods with my Tigara. FACTS!
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Old 09-01-19, 12:14 PM
  #36  
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Originally Posted by rumrunn6 View Post
Does anyone choose bar style to fit in?
Yes.

Or it is just what everyone tells them they should be riding so they figure it must be true.

Many aspects of road biking are like this. The outsized influence of professional, competitive road racing results in many, many people riding gear and setups that Do not serve them well. Unusable drops are just one example of this.
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Old 09-01-19, 12:25 PM
  #37  
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Originally Posted by rumrunn6 View Post
Does anyone choose bar style to fit in?
If I recall correctly, it was the style of the drop bars - rather than the function - was part of what drove the Bike Boom of the 70s.

I remember that growing up in 1980s Jordan, mere mortal kids like me (you know, the shorter, weaker, milder-mannered ones that got to bear all the bullying and afterschool beat-ups ) had to settle for girly Schwinns with handlebar streamers or whatever Asian clones that were around at the time. The best we could look up to were the three-speeders of the day (and, of course, BMXes ca. about 1984ish.)

But the real cool kids - the ones that, more often than not, did all the bullying and the beatings, had drop handlebars. It didn't matter that some of them were grossly overweight and lardy - the obese ones that couldn't possibly bend down just flipped the handlebars around to have the drops facing upwards. But they wouldn't be caught dead on anything that didn't have drop bars.
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Old 09-01-19, 12:28 PM
  #38  
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Originally Posted by Kapusta View Post
Yes.

Or it is just what everyone tells them they should be riding so they figure it must be true.

Many aspects of road biking are like this. The outsized influence of professional, competitive road racing results in many, many people riding gear and setups that Do not serve them well. Unusable drops are just one example of this.
This. The very concept of the modern-day MAMIL wouldn't have come to be without all the hype. And things got especially worse as of the early 90s with all the extra coverage and billion-dollar marketing sponsorship that came about with the advent of satellite TV and dedicated, 24h channels.

Last edited by sjanzeir; 09-01-19 at 12:35 PM.
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Old 09-01-19, 12:39 PM
  #39  
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Originally Posted by sjanzeir View Post
This. The very concept of the modern-day MAMIL wouldn't have come to be without all the hype. And things got especially worse as of the early 90s with all the extra coverage and billion-dollar marketing sponsorship that came about with the advent of satellite TV and dedicated, 24h channels.
And without mamils and their money, maybe there would be less innovation in the cycling industry today.
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Old 09-01-19, 12:43 PM
  #40  
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Originally Posted by Wileyrat View Post
And without mamils and their money, maybe there would be less innovation in the cycling industry today.
Which is why we have the wealthy MAMIL to thank for carbon fiber frames, hydraulic disk brakes, and... f*****g brifters!
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Old 09-01-19, 12:58 PM
  #41  
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Originally Posted by sjanzeir View Post
Which is why we have the wealthy MAMIL to thank for carbon fiber frames, hydraulic disk brakes, and... f*****g brifters!
Dang, if I ever ride with you, I'll have to remember to bring my old roadie......The one without brifters.
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Old 09-01-19, 01:05 PM
  #42  
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Originally Posted by Wileyrat View Post
Dang, if I ever ride with you, I'll have to remember to bring my old roadie......The one without brifters.
we're running a brifter-free household around here!
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Old 09-01-19, 03:37 PM
  #43  
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Originally Posted by sjanzeir View Post
If I recall correctly, it was the style of the drop bars - rather than the function - was part of what drove the Bike Boom of the 70s.

I remember that growing up in 1980s Jordan, mere mortal kids like me (you know, the shorter, weaker, milder-mannered ones that got to bear all the bullying and afterschool beat-ups ) had to settle for girly Schwinns with handlebar streamers or whatever Asian clones that were around at the time. The best we could look up to were the three-speeders of the day (and, of course, BMXes ca. about 1984ish.)

But the real cool kids - the ones that, more often than not, did all the bullying and the beatings, had drop handlebars. It didn't matter that some of them were grossly overweight and lardy - the obese ones that couldn't possibly bend down just flipped the handlebars around to have the drops facing upwards. But they wouldn't be caught dead on anything that didn't have drop bars.
That's a lot of judging going on there.

But more importantly, what could be wrong with brifters functionally? They are literally, the easiest shifter to use. Some may seek more period correct or easier to diy repair but I can't see what there is to get used to.

And that's from a guy who used thumbies, stem and dt's for 50 years before them.
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Old 09-01-19, 04:03 PM
  #44  
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Originally Posted by Happy Feet View Post
That's a lot of judging going on there.

But more importantly, what could be wrong with brifters functionally? They are literally, the easiest shifter to use. Some may seek more period correct or easier to diy repair but I can't see what there is to get used to.

And that's from a guy who used thumbies, stem and dt's for 50 years before them.
Hey, if they work for you, that's just great. More power to you. They're just not for me.
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Old 09-01-19, 04:48 PM
  #45  
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Originally Posted by Hiro11 View Post
More people should buy bikes with long head tubes and minimal saddle to bar drop.
No,

More people should eat less, sit less, and touch their toes more.

there is more comments about the belly being in the way, than can't do it because they were fit. Matter of fact one said that when he lost his belly drops worked better. DUH!

if the point of riding a bike is to get fit, then don't match the longer head tube to your body type. Start stretching and get fit!
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Old 09-01-19, 05:25 PM
  #46  
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I love dirt drops, and dirt drops love my wrists.
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Old 09-01-19, 05:49 PM
  #47  
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D
Originally Posted by Metieval View Post
No,

More people should eat less, sit less, and touch their toes more.

there is more comments about the belly being in the way, than can't do it because they were fit. Matter of fact one said that when he lost his belly drops worked better. DUH!

if the point of riding a bike is to get fit, then don't match the longer head tube to your body type. Start stretching and get fit!
Fit the bike to where you are at, not where you dream of ending up.

Change the fit as your body changes.

Last edited by Kapusta; 09-01-19 at 05:58 PM.
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Old 09-01-19, 06:08 PM
  #48  
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Originally Posted by Kapusta View Post
D

Fit the bike to where you are at, not where you dream of ending up.

Change the fit as your body changes.
quit making it a "dream" then, and make it a 'goal'

see the difference is how thinking changes the outcome?

a person can go from not being able to touch ankles to being able to touch toes in less than a week.
A BIG belly can be lost in 2 weeks, 4 weeks

it's all about goals, will power, and self control. long head tubes can't be changed riser stems can be! go back and re-read the post I quoted. "longer head tubes", Those can not be re sized thus , your "dream" will always just be a "dream".
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Old 09-01-19, 06:21 PM
  #49  
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Originally Posted by Metieval View Post
quit making it a "dream" then, and make it a 'goal'

see the difference is how thinking changes the outcome?

a person can go from not being able to touch ankles to being able to touch toes in less than a week.
A BIG belly can be lost in 2 weeks, 4 weeks

it's all about goals, will power, and self control. long head tubes can't be changed riser stems can be! go back and re-read the post I quoted. "longer head tubes", Those can not be re sized thus , your "dream" will always just be a "dream".
Sure, if you use an electric carving knife and only cut off a little each day.
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Old 09-01-19, 06:27 PM
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Originally Posted by FiftySix View Post
Sure, if you use an electric carving knife and only cut off a little each day.
on the contrary, if people sold their electric carving knife..... they could possible use a drop bar.


making PE optional in public education was a mistake!!
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