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Dropper on a pure road bike

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Dropper on a pure road bike

Old 07-11-21, 05:15 PM
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rosefarts
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Dropper on a pure road bike

This isnít a gravel or CX post (pun sort of intended).

How about a dropper on a friggin road race machine? I think of the times Iíve been going 50+ and I could get more but Iím too chicken for the super tuck. If I lowered my butt 2-4Ē would that appreciably change my aero profile?

I ride an 18 lb steel bike and to go less than that would be very very expensive. I probably couldnít justify making it a 19lb bike for this. So this is mostly hypothetical.

Seems like the folks on 13lb bikes would still be super light with a dropper. Iím sure pros could hit 6.8Kg and have one.

Did I see them on neutral bikes a few years ago? All riders are different heights I suppose.

I guess weíll know it helps if UCI bans them.
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Old 07-11-21, 05:22 PM
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I certainly could have done with a dropper post today. 4000 m of steep descents with some 25% ramps. Iím not that fussed about the aero, but a dropper would have made these descents so much more comfortable. I wouldnít be surprised to see them on endurance road bikes in the near future. Even on the flat I prefer my saddle a little lower than climbing, especially when fatigue sets in on a long ride.
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Old 07-11-21, 05:31 PM
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I think GCN has some videos about this topic.
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Old 07-11-21, 05:33 PM
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Show the 18lb bike with pedals on ... hanging from a scale, and we'll go from there.....
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Old 07-11-21, 06:18 PM
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Originally Posted by trailangel View Post
Show the 18lb bike with pedals on ... hanging from a scale, and we'll go from there.....





What this has to do with anything, I dunno. Only playing your game because Iíve never seen you post anything thatís not condescending.

Your turn.
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Old 07-11-21, 06:24 PM
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Originally Posted by trailangel View Post
Show the 18lb bike with pedals on ... hanging from a scale, and we'll go from there.....
I donít think weight is that super-critical on a road bike. Look how many guys still prefer Ti and steel frames over carbon, regardless of cost.

Of course nobody wants to add weight unless there is a useful trade-off, but I suspect a dropper post could earn its keep on a lot of road bikes. I was a fairly early adopter of mtb dropper posts in 2005 (original Gravity Dropper!) and I remember the usual scepticism of something ďdifferent/newĒ in the bike world. Now they are standard issue and for good reason.
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Old 07-11-21, 07:40 PM
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Although I did before they were commonplace, I couldn't imagine riding trails on my full-sus without a dropper post these days.

I'm sure at some point we'll see a road bike or two with a dropper, especially if you go with the AXS wireless version so no extra cabling needed. They'd be more useful / at home on a gravel type bike rather than a pure roadie though.

Unless somebody is looking to eek out every last drop of downhill aero speed without supertucking, I doubt the cost and weight penalty is worth it.
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Old 07-11-21, 07:58 PM
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Originally Posted by tempocyclist View Post
Although I did before they were commonplace, I couldn't imagine riding trails on my full-sus without a dropper post these days.

I'm sure at some point we'll see a road bike or two with a dropper, especially if you go with the AXS wireless version so no extra cabling needed. They'd be more useful / at home on a gravel type bike rather than a pure roadie though.

Unless somebody is looking to eek out every last drop of downhill aero speed without supertucking, I doubt the cost and weight penalty is worth it.
I wasn't excited about droppers until I got a mountain bike that came with one. Now, I wouldn't want to mtb without one.

I could see how it might help on a road bike on super twisty roads or steep descents because I'm way up in the air compared to most.

btw I think the AXS post is $800!
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Old 07-11-21, 08:07 PM
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I'll tell you how you do a super light dropper on a road bike - a modified version of the Zipp beam. Of course, the damn UCI would need to get out of the way...

Another use aside from allowing a more aero tuck would be to allow you land a big drop-off - seat height is definitely the limiting factor for that; more than a foot gets pretty silly fast. But the rest of the bike can hack it, as evidenced by all those Road Bike Party vids.

Last edited by Kimmo; 07-11-21 at 08:14 PM.
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Old 07-12-21, 12:36 AM
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I just took my dropper off of my gravel bike. I almost never used it and it added a ton of weight and - even worse - it was jarringly stiff and extremely uncomfortable on long rides. I replaced it with a carbon post with a good amount of flex and the ride is so much better (not an issue on a MTB with low pressure tires and plush suspension). Droppers have become almost necessary on current mountain bikes due their geometry. We didn't really need them on the 80s and 90s MTBs, but the new bikes are completely different. I can't imagine putting one on my road bike.
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Old 07-12-21, 01:21 AM
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Just get a seat post quick release and raise and lower you seat on the fly. Weighs nothing.
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Old 07-12-21, 02:49 AM
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Originally Posted by Kimmo View Post
I'll tell you how you do a super light dropper on a road bike - a modified version of the Zipp beam. Of course, the damn UCI would need to get out of the way...
The UCI has dropper posts on their service bikes.





https://www.cyclingweekly.com/news/r...ts-2017-339419
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Old 07-12-21, 04:43 AM
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^ That's actually a pretty neat use of dropper posts on road bikes! I must have missed that. Pretty sure the new Shimano neutral service bikes don't have droppers.


Originally Posted by Kimmo View Post
Another use aside from allowing a more aero tuck would be to allow you land a big drop-off - seat height is definitely the limiting factor for that; more than a foot gets pretty silly fast. But the rest of the bike can hack it, as evidenced by all those Road Bike Party vids.

Can't say I've ever needed to tackle a foot or higher drop on my road bike, the roads much bet a lot worse where you are.
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Old 07-12-21, 08:30 AM
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Dropper post really will not go with that bike. Forget about the idea for a dropper on this bike.
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Old 07-12-21, 08:51 AM
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0 interest in a dropper post for my road bikes. The hills arent long enough for me to stop pedaling for a long enough time to tuck and make an even lower position worth it. The tuck time is under a minute as it is, so a dropper would give me what...1.125 seconds faster down the hill?...maybe? Meanwhile I have a dropper post on my road bike and all the common issues/complaints that come with em. Lower level gear then copies the look of costly gear and suddenly clunky poorly designed cheap droppers are on entry road bikes and are basically unusable.

Nope, no interest in anything close to that version playing out. Its a road bike, I dont need to get my weight back behind the saddle.

Along these lines, I also dont have a dropper on my gravel bike because gravel roads are just unpaved roads. If someone wants to underbike and use their gravel bike on technical difficult MTB terrain, I guess a dropper would be good.
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Old 07-12-21, 09:42 AM
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Originally Posted by cmon4day View Post
Just get a seat post quick release and raise and lower you seat on the fly. Weighs nothing.
You'd have to stop to adjust the seat height.
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Old 07-12-21, 09:50 AM
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post
Along these lines, I also dont have a dropper on my gravel bike because gravel roads are just unpaved roads. If someone wants to underbike and use their gravel bike on technical difficult MTB terrain, I guess a dropper would be good.
I occasionally ride some more technical MTB trails on my gravel bike, and I still don't want a dropper. I can get my weight back far enough without it. The bigger issue for me is that the brakes just aren't as good as 4-piston MTB brakes and the brake lever positioning on drop bars just isn't as good as a flat bar MTB. And, obviously, the lack of plush suspension. Point being that a dropper post doesn't turn a gravel bike into a MTB anyway.
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Old 07-12-21, 09:56 AM
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Originally Posted by mattcalifornia View Post
Droppers have become almost necessary on current mountain bikes due their geometry. We didn't really need them on the 80s and 90s MTBs, but the new bikes are completely different.
Mountain bikes now are so much more stable than the things we used to ride in the 80s and 90s. MTB geometry has advanced, suspension has improved dramatically, and wheels are bigger along with much better tires. The dropper is just further evolution of the capabilities on modern mountain bikes. Even at my age I can casually cruise over terrain that would have scared the crap out of me 30 years ago on one of those old bikes.

Still, some of the top XC racers don't use droppers and those that do use short travel (80mm) models. They typically add about 200 grams. An XC course isn't an Enduro course and I doubt any Enduro racers go without a dropper.

When I've ridden my mtb on a steep, twisty paved road I will drop the saddle a couple inches. It feels more like a motorcycle and lowers my center of gravity. If I ever had one on a road bike it would be for this reason and not to make a lower tuck for descending speed. Probably never do it, though.
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Old 07-12-21, 09:59 AM
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Originally Posted by mattcalifornia View Post
I occasionally ride some more technical MTB trails on my gravel bike, and I still don't want a dropper. I can get my weight back far enough without it. The bigger issue for me is that the brakes just aren't as good as 4-piston MTB brakes and the brake lever positioning on drop bars just isn't as good as a flat bar MTB. And, obviously, the lack of plush suspension. Point being that a dropper post doesn't turn a gravel bike into a MTB anyway.
What about on a super steep descent, wouldn't it help there or do you just hang off the back of the saddle?
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Old 07-12-21, 10:25 AM
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As a tall guy who sits way up high, I could see the benefit for lowering center of gravity on winding descents. On the other hand, I'm a bit of a chicken and tend to sit up as much as possible to scrub height when the speed/turns get too much for me. On the other, other hand, after getting hit while riding a couple months back, once I am physically able to get back in the saddle (and get a bike with a saddle to get back in), I'll probably be spending most of my miles on Zwift (or similar) for quite some time so actual height/center of gravity won't be an issue.
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Old 07-12-21, 10:31 AM
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Just supertuck man, its not scary when you get used to it. I supertuck probably 20-30 minutes a week and feel very stable
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Old 07-12-21, 10:35 AM
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Originally Posted by big john View Post
What about on a super steep descent, wouldn't it help there or do you just hang off the back of the saddle?
I just hang off the back of the saddle like I did on my MTB in the 80's and 90's. It's a rare occurrence anyway, and the dropper is usually the least of my concerns at that point -- the brakes, tires and lack of suspension are typically bigger issues.
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Old 07-12-21, 10:36 AM
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I've read of bike racers lowering their saddle on snowy or muddy or gravelly stretches in the past, so I'm sure they would have appreciated a dropper post.
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Old 07-12-21, 10:47 AM
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Originally Posted by mattcalifornia View Post
I just hang off the back of the saddle like I did on my MTB in the 80's and 90's. It's a rare occurrence anyway, and the dropper is usually the least of my concerns at that point -- the brakes, tires and lack of suspension are typically bigger issues.
I don't have a gravel bike but I have gone on rides where there were other people on them. None of them had droppers but the roads we were on were not super steep or technical. I would get a gravel bike if I knew friends were available to ride with.
I thought a dropper might be useful on a gravel bike when things get sketchy or steep.
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Old 07-12-21, 10:50 AM
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Originally Posted by big john View Post
I don't have a gravel bike but I have gone on rides where there were other people on them. None of them had droppers but the roads we were on were not super steep or technical. I would get a gravel bike if I knew friends were available to ride with.
I thought a dropper might be useful on a gravel bike when things get sketchy or steep.
I'm not saying it isn't useful at all in some situations on a gravel bike. I'm saying that, for me, the cons (weight & stiffness) greatly outweigh the pros and that, on the rare occasion where the dropper adds some value, it still isn't solving the biggest problems with a gravel bike (tires, brakes, suspension, geometry).
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