Road Bike, Cycling Forums banner
1 - 20 of 22 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
197 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
i have gone from riding 80% of the time on the hoods, to 80% of the time in the drops.
I feel comfortable in the drops for extended periods. My quads are now sore and a couple of recovery type of rides hasn't really helped. Keeping my bike fit the same, does riding in the drops work a different set of muscles in the quads. Or is it just a matter of acclimating to the new position...Thanks
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
576 Posts
Could be a height issue. Get someone to photograph you riding by in drops and not. Compare. Check the knee break angle. 25 to 30 degrees. Sometimes moving into the drops gets people shifting on the saddle and changing the effective height. Can be a pretty subtle thing.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
197 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Too much of a good thing

Thanks for the replies and insight.

I went on a hammerfest ride today, and felt great in the drops.

Ultimately, when I am in the drops, I think I work a different part of the quads. My guess, is that this new part of the quads that I am working doesn't nearly have the base miles as the part of the quad that gets worked from riding on the hoods.
 

·
Lemur-ing
Joined
·
19,208 Posts
t-moore said:
Thanks for the replies and insight.

I went on a hammerfest ride today, and felt great in the drops.

Ultimately, when I am in the drops, I think I work a different part of the quads. My guess, is that this new part of the quads that I am working doesn't nearly have the base miles as the part of the quad that gets worked from riding on the hoods.
The only way you can work a different part of the quads is if you shift much more forward than normal when on the hoods. Otherwise, the pedaling position would be the same.

You use your quads more when you shift forward like for a TT and such when the saddle position relative to the BB is more forward than on a road bike.

One reason for this more fatigued quads is probably that you went harder while in the drops and it was a hammerfest as you said.
 

·
I like Chicken
Joined
·
1,442 Posts
Funny, when I started cycling in the 80's I was told
not to use the drops because it wasn't the correct
way to ride.
I prefer the hoods but I'm glad you found a position
that's comfortable for you. Any motivation that keeps
you on the bike enjoying the ride.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,752 Posts
Why the "move" to the drops? I am not sure there is a good reason for this.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,252 Posts
I ride about 90% of the time in my drops, even the vast majority of my climbing is in the drops...for two reasons: 1) it's most comfortable for me and 2) I generally can't get my stem any lower and the hoods are too high for me.

Riding in the drops will use your muscles a bit differently. You will use more quads and slightly less glutes due to a lower more bent over position than more upright. Also, riding lower is more "Aero" and you tend to ride harder or faster and the ride you described was a "Hammerfest" so it's likely that was a big part in the quad soreness.

Just remember, different positions work muscles differently (your working the same muscles, just in different proportions/percentages), just as going from seated to standing on a climb works muscles differently.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,752 Posts
Wookiebiker said:
I ride about 90% of the time in my drops, even the vast majority of my climbing is in the drops...for two reasons: 1) it's most comfortable for me and 2) I generally can't get my stem any lower and the hoods are too high for me.

Riding in the drops will use your muscles a bit differently. You will use more quads and slightly less glutes due to a lower more bent over position than more upright. Also, riding lower is more "Aero" and you tend to ride harder or faster and the ride you described was a "Hammerfest" so it's likely that was a big part in the quad soreness.

Just remember, different positions work muscles differently (your working the same muscles, just in different proportions/percentages), just as going from seated to standing on a climb works muscles differently.
I have a hard time believing that a properly set up rider will climb better in the drops.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
197 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Tschai said:
Why the "move" to the drops? I am not sure there is a good reason for this.

I'm a 6'4" clydesdale on a 63cm Cannondale. The lower I am, the faster I seem to go. When I am in the pack, I am trying to get as much shelter as I can. At the same time, I can't have my bars so low that on the 60 to 80mi rides, I become uncomfortable.

In the pack, I know that I am getting the benefit of the draft, but it seems like I am working harder than the smaller guys. By smaller, I mean under six footers...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,252 Posts
Tschai said:
I have a hard time believing that a properly set up rider will climb better in the drops.
Well....if you had read the entire post you would have seen that I said "I generally can't get my stem any lower and the hoods are too high for me."

That would mean I can't get a regular bike to be set up properly for me...as it is on my general purpose race bike I use a -17 degree rise stem and would still like the bars to be about an inch lower....and I have a 9cm drop from the top of the saddle to the top of the bars already.

So for me the best place to be climbing is in the drops....also I'm a TT guy so being lower is where my sustained power is at. On really steep stuff, I generally get out of the saddle. For the most part anything under 7%-8% I stay in the drops.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,844 Posts
drops

OldRoadGuy said:
Funny, when I started cycling in the 80's I was told not to use the drops because it wasn't the correct way to ride.
Who told you that? I've been cycling 35+ years, and I've never heard that. However, I have noticed that with the advent of threadless stems, many cyclists have their handlebars set too low and can't comfortably ride in the drops.
 

·
I like Chicken
Joined
·
1,442 Posts
tarwheel2 said:
Who told you that? I've been cycling 35+ years, and I've never heard that. However, I have noticed that with the advent of threadless stems, many cyclists have their handlebars set too low and can't comfortably ride in the drops.
Just a buddy that thought he knew it all. I personally think there's times you use the hoods, times you use the flats and times you use the drops but I find I use the drops maybe 10% compared to the other positions.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
576 Posts
OldRoadGuy said:
Just a buddy that thought he knew it all. I personally think there's times you use the hoods, times you use the flats and times you use the drops but I find I use the drops maybe 10% compared to the other positions.
Ah, but that's the ticket. The 10% or 20% when they count. Downhill. For handling. Headwinds. I suspect the drop selected depends on how important folks think those times are. If you're on a solo break and your career is on the line, lots of drop might be really important. If you're riding home from Starbucks, lots of drop is probably required to look right in the kit and with all the bike bling. Otherwise, who cares?

Funny about the threadless steerers and compact frames. I see people with more drop than I ever used to and also with less. Very wide range of possibilities! I start the season with less, then flip to more in late July if I'm feeling good and riding faster.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,752 Posts
Wookiebiker said:
Well....if you had read the entire post you would have seen that I said "I generally can't get my stem any lower and the hoods are too high for me."

That would mean I can't get a regular bike to be set up properly for me...as it is on my general purpose race bike I use a -17 degree rise stem and would still like the bars to be about an inch lower....and I have a 9cm drop from the top of the saddle to the top of the bars already.

So for me the best place to be climbing is in the drops....also I'm a TT guy so being lower is where my sustained power is at. On really steep stuff, I generally get out of the saddle. For the most part anything under 7%-8% I stay in the drops.
Although you may prefer to climb in the drops, I am still willing to bet you would climb faster out of the drops. I am no super traditionalist, but climbing in the drops most of the time seems counter to everything I have seen, done and read about climbing. Have you tried a different set up for climbing long term?
 

·
I like Chicken
Joined
·
1,442 Posts
iliveonnitro said:
I skimmed the thread, so I apologize if I missed this.

How tall are you, what is your inseam, and what size bike do you have?
t-moore said:
I'm a 6'4" clydesdale on a 63cm Cannondale. The lower I am, the faster I seem to go. When I am in the pack, I am trying to get as much shelter as I can.
Didn't see the inseam mentioned.
 

·
Steaming piles of opinion
Joined
·
10,520 Posts
t-moore said:
does riding in the drops work a different set of muscles in the quads. Or is it just a matter of acclimating to the new position...Thanks
Those are pretty much the same thing. Getting into the drops does tend to rotate you forward relative to the BB, which without a seat adjustment will have you a bit lower. Adding a tick of height, perhaps some forward, (and maybe a small 'up' angle on the seat, believe it or not) may help rebalance your leg fatigue.

Notwithstanding the fashion of the last decade or so, the drops are where one 'should' ride, if they're serious about getting down the road. There are times when one wants to be a bit higher to improve vision and handling, and generally climbing works a bit better on the tops. Of course, that assumes a 'properly' set up bike, which we don't see a lot of anymore.

The more traditional setup of a more modest drop and deeper bar drops is a much more versatile setup than the current fashion of aggressive bar-saddle drop and nearly unusable drops. I've always found curious the notion that the drops are reserved for 'fighting headwinds.' If the wheels are turning, there's a headwind.
 
1 - 20 of 22 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top