Why don't people have their drops at a useable height?

Mike_P

Veteran
Location
Harrogate
It's the curve of the bars which makes the difference, The stem does not alter the space between bars and brake levers.
But in terms of someones reach it brings the brake levers closer, I reduced mine from 110mm to 80mm and now can pull the brake levers easily when using the drops whereas before I always quickly swopped to the hoods in order to pull the brakes.
 
OP
Twilkes

Twilkes

Veteran
my drops are at a useable height but I do choose carefully when I use them as I don't feel particularly in control on a very steep descent much preferring the hoods for more stability and feel.
Interesting as that is meant to be one of the strengths of drops. My rational self feels more in control on drops during a steep descent, but my irrational self feels like my face is about to go flying over the front wheel which can temper my speed somewhat! Think I lost my nerve in my early thirties...
 

dave r

Dunking Diddy Dave Pedalling Pensioner
I'm almost always on the tops these days, even though my drops are at a usable hight my back is too bad to be on them more than a minute or two now,
 

PaulSB

Legendary Member
I've been thinking about the thread title "useable height."

I'd like to understand what this means? I use my drops, I guess many of us do. So if I use them that's "useable height." Surely?

How can drops be at a height that isn't useable? I don't think the question makes sense.
 

YukonBoy

The Monch
Location
Inside my skull
Most bikes are supplied with the steerer already cut short with not a huge range of adjustment in height. Many (most) riders don't bother swapping stems or bars and just go with what it came with. This may mean drops are not comfortable for long periods for various fit reasons.
 
OP
Twilkes

Twilkes

Veteran
I've been thinking about the thread title "useable height."

I'd like to understand what this means? I use my drops, I guess many of us do. So if I use them that's "useable height." Surely?

How can drops be at a height that isn't useable? I don't think the question makes sense.
Some riders don't seem to be able to stay in the drops for a sustainable length of time, i.e. more than a few minutes, due to flexibility or core strength or whatever, which would make me think they're too low for that rider. The poster before you says their drops are at a useable height but also that he is unable to use them due to back problems. The default stem/steerer combo could be a reason why riders don't or can't raise their bars.
 
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Slick

Veteran
Interesting as that is meant to be one of the strengths of drops. My rational self feels more in control on drops during a steep descent, but my irrational self feels like my face is about to go flying over the front wheel which can temper my speed somewhat! Think I lost my nerve in my early thirties...
I can't really explain why, it's just a "feel" thing for me.
 

PaulSB

Legendary Member
Some riders don't seem to be able to stay in the drops for a sustainable length of time, i.e. more than a few minutes, due to flexibility or core strength or whatever, which would make me think they're too low for that rider. The poster before you says their drops are at a useable height but also that he is unable to use them due to back problems. The default stem/steerer combo could be a reason why riders don't or can't raise their bars.
I'd suggest staying on the drops for a sustainable period is something one would train for. For example I have a friend who has taken TT very seriously this year. He can often be seen 50 metres off the back down on his TT bars - he is training his body to accept that position for long periods. Few of us chose to ride on the drops for long periods and I think it has more to do with the body being used to the position than useable height. Having the thought about this I can only imagine you feel if riders raised their bars they could spend more time on the drops. My question would be to what end and benefit? To be frank in terms of enjoyment I can't see any benefit in being on the drops - riding is about seeing what is around one which requires a more upright position. If it's simply about speed then that is a different approach altogether.
 

cyberknight

As long as I breathe, I attack.
 

CXRAndy

Guru
Location
Lincs
Despite big hands, I can barely reach the shifters on the drops, certainly not enough to apply much braking pressure. I'm sure there are fixes but I've never felt the need to seek them out.
Di2 and hydraulic brakes will change all that. Gear shifts and heavy braking done with light finger tip control
 

SuperHans123

Formerly known as snertos999
I'm almost always on the tops these days, even though my drops are at a usable hight my back is too bad to be on them more than a minute or two now,
May as well get a decent hybrid and some Ergo grips with bar ends...bye bye back pain and hello to accessible brakes and gears.
 

Mike_P

Veteran
Location
Harrogate
With the increasing amount of pot holes I put auxiliary brake levers on my road bike so giving a further option of hands on the handlebar with the brakes within easy reach, which has become my typical ride position on roads I do not know so I can keep a good look out from a more vertical position and on roads I know that are littered with pot holes.
 

dave r

Dunking Diddy Dave Pedalling Pensioner
Some riders don't seem to be able to stay in the drops for a sustainable length of time, i.e. more than a few minutes, due to flexibility or core strength or whatever, which would make me think they're too low for that rider. The poster before you says their drops are at a useable height but also that he is unable to use them due to back problems. The default stem/steerer combo could be a reason why riders don't or can't raise their bars.
In my case before my back got worse earlier this year I could use the drops OK, but the stem has been flipped and the bars are as high as they can go.
 
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