Road Bike, Cycling Forums banner
1 - 4 of 4 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
73 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
When should I be in the drops, on the hoods, bars, etc. That is, where are best positions for climbing, downhill, etc. Seems I prefer riding with hands on the hoods so far. Brake from the drops or hoods - both? Coming from an MTB background, I have already learned that the brake levers are not in the same location - only took one day dreaming moment for that to get set in stone! But braking from the drops will take some getting use to. I seem really bent over in the drops, maybe I should flip my stem around so I get a little more bar height?

Thanks
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
6,360 Posts
Largely individual pref, but...

X513 said:
When should I be in the drops, on the hoods, bars, etc. That is, where are best positions for climbing, downhill, etc. Seems I prefer riding with hands on the hoods so far. Brake from the drops or hoods - both? Coming from an MTB background, I have already learned that the brake levers are not in the same location - only took one day dreaming moment for that to get set in stone! But braking from the drops will take some getting use to. I seem really bent over in the drops, maybe I should flip my stem around so I get a little more bar height?

Thanks
I don't think there are hard rules on this, or if there are, I ignore them. A lot of road riders have their bars mounted too low. Drop bars were developed to allow a comfortable cruising position on the tops, with the option of going to the drop portion to get aero when you needed to. Raising them so the tops are level with the saddle, or only an inch or so below, may work for you.
I usually brake from the hoods because that's where I usually ride, and my levers are mounted slightly high (only about 5mm, with the front of the bars rotated slightly up) to make that easier, and to provide a platform for my hands. If you can't reach the levers easily from the drops, that's an indication your bars may be too low--you can't bend your back far enough to get your forearms nearly horizontal, which is about what you need to get to the levers.. Raising them slightly could help that, too. Might be worth untaping the bars and fooling around with small adjustments to the lever location, bar angle etc. A quarter inch or even less can make a big difference. Flip the stem while you're at it, too see what effect that has.
The Rivendell Web site (www.rivbike.com) has a lot of information on this, some of it unconventional, but it's worked well for me.
 

·
Old Skool
Joined
·
719 Posts
My two cents...

X513, Lots of questions in a small space so here goes:

Question: When should I be in the drops, on the hoods, bars, etc.? That is, where are best positions for climbing, downhill, etc.?

Answer: Do what feels good. However, make sure that you are on the hoods or drops if you think that you might need to brake. That said, most people prefer the hoods when climbing out of the saddle. Some rare hammerheads will use the drops. Climbing in the saddle, most folks use the tops or hoods. On descents, most people favor the drops for better aerodynamics, bike handling and braking control.

Question: Brake from the drops or hoods - both?

Answer: Both, but use the drops in situations that require hard braking. This will give you more control over the bike and it is easier to exert the required pressure on the brake levers.

Question: I seem really bent over in the drops, maybe I should flip my stem around so I get a little more bar height?

Answer: Position on the bike gets discussed endlessly in this and other RBR forums. For most people, especially new riders, position on the bike evolves over time. Initially, the goal is to be comfortable on the bike so you can get used to it. After, that it is a process of refinement.

Given that you are new to road biking, IMHO if you are not comfortable, yes flip the stem. This will provide a quick and dirty fix. As you get more comfortable, you may want to go to a shop that offers fitting services and pay to be “professionally” fitted. Also, do some searching here on RBR. There is a wealth of information on “proper” position on the bike.

Hope that this helps…
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
43 Posts
Those guys about covered it all, but I would add that seated climbing is supposed to be most efficient with your hands on the bar tops, because your chest is opened up for easier breathing. But it is good to mix it up on long climbs because changing where you grip on the bar changes which muscles are emphasized as you pedal. When I use the tops and scootch back on the seat, I find it easier to use my glutes to give
my thighs a break, but grabbing the drops and sitting on the nose hits my thighs hard.

The hoods are my easy-chair, cruising position. I can brake and control the bike, but not as well as I can in the drops. Mix it up to keep yourself from getting stiff, just don't ride on the tops when you might need to brake and/or shift!
 
1 - 4 of 4 Posts
Top