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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I do not have anything to measure watts of power so I ask this question: When riding seated and one needs sustained power for climb, is it better to pull back from the hoods or the drops? It is clear the angle of the pull is quite different and I assume it is enough to be measured with a watt readout or is among general knowledge by those more experienced than me..
 

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Wrong question

msohio said:
I do not have anything to measure watts of power so I ask this question: When riding seated and one needs sustained power for climb, is it better to pull back from the hoods or the drops? It is clear the angle of the pull is quite different and I assume it is enough to be measured with a watt readout or is among general knowledge by those more experienced than me..
When climbing, aero drag is much less, so most people sit up to be able to breath better. On the flats, getting down on the drops cuts aero drag significantly, so you can go faster. It's not just a question of which position engages the muscles more.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Kerry--But which has more power??

I understand what you said is correct, but I am curious whether it has been determined if the drops or the hoods are a more powerful platform for power. I find that if I have a climb that is not too long, I often do it in the drops and have the sense the pull of my arms is more on the line of the power applied by my legs. When I use the hoods, I feel where the angle of the arm pull "seems" above the line of the power. Maybe I'm splitting hairs, but I figured it might actually be significant enough to measure with a watt computer. But maybe not.
 

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Whatever feels best for you. Many top amateurs & pros climb on the tops.
 

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Sill thinking wrong

Take this mental picture: you have your body in the position on the bike that generates the most power for you, your hands "poised in space" out in front. You raise the stem until your hands are in the drops. That's the most powerful position. Now you lower the stem until your hands are on the hoods. That's the most powerful position. You simply CAN NOT SAY that the hoods or the drops are the most powerful position, because there are too many variables of individual fit and preference.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Slow Learner-But I got It Now

Thanks. I see exactly what you mean. I can set the bike up to put the power where it feels the most comfortable and useful.
 

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I think for most riders the drops are more powerful when you compare it to the hoods for short term power. In an all out sprint, whether you are in the saddle or not, most sprinters will sprint in the drops. This isn't just for aerodynamic reasons -- sprinting in the drops allows you to use your arms more efficiently to counteract the high force levels generated by the legs with your arms so that you have a stable platform; i.e, the arms can be used to pull your body down to counteract your legs which are pushing your body up.
 

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Main reason for drops in sprints

tobu said:
Imost sprinters will sprint in the drops. This isn't just for aerodynamic reasons -- sprinting in the drops allows you to use your arms more efficiently to counteract the high force levels generated by the legs with your arms so that you have a stable platform; i.e, the arms can be used to pull your body down to counteract your legs which are pushing your body up.
The main reason to be in the drops while sprinting is to insure that your bars don't get entangled with another rider's bars.
 

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That's really a minor consideration. If you look at any track sprinter doing a 200, 500, or kilo, they will be in the drops. The drops are considered the power position -- so much so that many sprinters prefer the grip of a classic bend bar over an anatomic bend.
 

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You can get more power from the drop position, since you can pull harder. But you also have to think about breathing. It will depend, in part, on the way your bike is set up. If you have a long reach to the drops, you will likely be constricting your breathing. That will more than negate any aerodynamic advantage. If your stem is high, however, and you can still get a full breath of air, you'd be better off in the drops.

Sprinting is all about power, and sprinters always sprint from the drops.
 
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