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TNNSMAN7's Photo TNNSMAN7 Posts: 29
1/21/09 4:44 P

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Many manufacturers are starting to build road bikes with higher bars. They use sloping top tubes and head tube extensions to accomplish this. I ride with my drop bars set to be level or just below the height of my saddle. Some bikes can even be set up to have the bars higher than the saddle. I agree that you should be comfortable in the drops. The more hand positions you are comfortable with the better when you start getting longer rides in.

A good site to get information on comfortable fitting bikes is Rivbike.com. Make sure you're sitting down if you price one of their bikes. You'll be in for some sticker shock! I've owned several of their bikes in years past and they're great bikes, but they're hand built frames and priced accordingly. Surly Bikes make some great bikes that are similar and much cheaper to buy. I currently own 4 Surly bikes and I'm happy with them all.


"Like a ten-speed bike, most of us have gears we do not use."
-- Charles Schulz


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2FLBIKERS's Photo 2FLBIKERS Posts: 227
12/29/08 2:12 P

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We went to Trek World this fall and fell in love with their FX series. It's a sport hybrid, a little more aggressive than the standard 7100 series, but less so than a true road bike. We brought them into our shop and have sold through at least 3 batches of them. Our customers love the efficiency with the more comfy style. Ask questions and test ride a few models before purchasing. Have fun shopping and riding!!

The World is a Better Place on Two Wheels!


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SPARTYJR3000's Photo SPARTYJR3000 Posts: 629
12/29/08 1:11 P

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There goes Wongerchi telling all the info before I even have a chance to. ;) Nice input as usual. I hope that all this info helps with your bike selection. Good luck.

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RICK53403's Photo RICK53403 Posts: 662
12/3/08 10:18 P

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Interesting read as I have been thinking about getting a new road bike. The one I have is about 25 years old and I will pass it down to my son that wants to learn about tri's. Then we will both be ready for the season next year.

Thanks for the information.

2012 Goals:
1. Run 800 miles
6/9/12 - 162 mi

2. Walk 300 miles
6/9/12 - 124 mi

3. Ride 1,900 miles between the trainer and actual road work
6/9/12
326 miles Trainer
522 miles Road

4. Run the 10 mile Lighthouse Run in less than 90'

5. Get my 5K time to less than 25'

6. Complete at least 1 century bicycle ride

7. Complete at least 1 Pull-up
Managed 2 in March


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GIANT-STEPS SparkPoints: (65,379)
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Posts: 3,641
12/3/08 3:08 P

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I find the drops to be a little bit of a stretch even with my taller stem but in a good way. Getting in the drops feels good to me after riding on the tops or hoods for any length of time. I think you loose the advantage of having 3 hand positions if you don't use all of them.

Everyone I know does use the hoods more than any other position. This was true even before brifters but it is even more true now. Using the tops and drops as well will make you more comfortable. If I had to guess how much time I spent in each position I'd guess 70% on the hoods, 20% on the tops, and 10% in the drops. Back when I raced I probably spent more time in the drops. I do use some of each position on any non-trivial length of bike ride.

I used to use Cinelli Del Mundo bars back in the day. This made a rather large change when going to the drops, almost too much. Now I have more of a medium drop bars (Nitto Noodle bars) which seems to encourage me to use the drops more than I did before.

I find I have the best control of the bike in the drops. As you pointed out stopping quickly is much better in the drops. When braking hard on a bicycle you have to brace yourself against the deceleration and the drops are the best position to do this.

WONGERCHI's Photo WONGERCHI Posts: 3,889
12/3/08 10:13 A

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GIANT-STEPS:
Not using the drops because they're not comfortable is one thing, not using them because you don't have to is another. I totally agree with you that if you're not comfortable in the drops (back pain, tightness etc) then the bike doesn't fit right.

However, next time you're out on a group ride, see how often you or others use the drops. I'd be willing to bet that it's not that often compared to being on the hoods. I'm perfectly comfortable in the drops but the only time you'll see me there is if I'm hammering it (sprinting, closing a gap, etc) or descending fast. And this is true for pretty much everyone I ride with - sitting in the pack you're on the hoods, if you're in the action then you're in the drops.

Good point about having decent control of the bike in the drops. I also get max stopping power from this position too.

In God we trust, all others bring data.
- W. Edwards Demings

If God invented marathons to keep people from doing anything more stupid, the triathlon must have taken Him completely by surprise.
-P.Z. Pearce

Specificity, specificity, specificity.
-Andy Coggan

The plural of "anecdote" is not "data".
- Frank Kotsonis


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GLADGAD's Photo GLADGAD Posts: 5,588
12/3/08 8:29 A

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Thanks, GiantSteps for the information about the drops. My LBS told me that I should not use the drops unless I was in some sort of extreme situation, so I don't use my drops very often. When I do, I find that if I happen to shift my position in the saddle while holding the drops, the movement of the bike to whatever side I happen to lean more pronounced than if I make the same movement while holding the hoods.

I am sure much of this is because I am not a very experienced road rider. My first time on a road bike in was 2 years ago when I borrowed a friend's bike to train for a tri (I was 47 at the time!). I bought my first road bike last February.

-Carolyn

"God gave you your body as a gift, so you should take care of it." - My Mom
DODGEGM's Photo DODGEGM Posts: 1,235
12/2/08 8:38 P

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Thanks guys alot of great information you have give me

The Picture on the left is my motivation to get in shape and lose weight!!!!!!!


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GIANT-STEPS SparkPoints: (65,379)
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12/2/08 7:23 P

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I disagree somewhat. The hoods are a nice comfy place to hold onto but if you only rarely use the drops than your bike does not fit right. Many people do not have their handlebars high enough for their level of fitness and flexibility. If you aren't comfortable in all three positions, tops, hoods, and drops than something is wrong.

Many bikes are set up with the bar height apropriate for a highly conditioned racer. Us mere mortals need the bars higher.

I invested in a Nitto Technomic Deluxe stem. It raises my bars about 1" higher than my old stem and is as nicely finished as the beautiful old forged Cinelli stems. If you want to go even higher the non "Deluxe" version is taller but not as nicely polished and there are stems that go higher than that.

You should have as good or better control of your bike in the drops as any other position.

DRC2205's Photo DRC2205 Posts: 8,845
12/1/08 2:25 P

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I agree--there are many things besides a hybrid that will get you in a more upright position. And drop handlebars actually provide more position options than straight handlebars. You can adjust height to where you are most comfortable with a change in the stem, if need be.

Yep, get a road bike.

WONGERCHI's Photo WONGERCHI Posts: 3,889
11/30/08 12:08 P

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Paved roads = roadbike. For sure. Yep, the one with the skinny tires and the curved bars. You may think a hybrid is the one for you, but don't get it. Spend more for a roadbike and you'll won't regret it - the hubby of one of my tri friends bought a hybrid when she got her roadbike and is kicking himself now. For me, a hybrid has all the bad qualities of a MTB on the road, and all the bad qualities of a roadbike on the trail.

The assumption that you always end up with a stretched out position is complete nonsense. As GLADGAD says, you actually spend 90% of your time on the "hoods" - that's the bit right where the handlebars start to curve over. The other hand position is on the "tops" - which is the bit of the handlebars that are close to the stem. So as you can see, the drop bars provide many different hand positions which is good, depending on what you're doing.

You can get easily get a more upright fit on a roadbike. First you have to find a frame that fits you. Your local bike shop (LBS) should be able to help you in that respect, and also should be able to point you in the right direction with regards to fit. Try try try LOADS of different bikes so that you can get a better feel for what works for you and what doesn't. Generally, the cheaper bikes will have a "slacker" geometry - meaning they're designed to get you a little bit more upright. I'm not really sure I buy this - my position is identical on my roadbike (more aggressive geometry) and my cyclocross bike (slacker geometry) and all I had to do was get a stem with a different angle.

Now's a good time to get a bike - LBS's are clearing out their 2008 stock so you should be able to get a good deal. Head off to your local shop and get riding!

In God we trust, all others bring data.
- W. Edwards Demings

If God invented marathons to keep people from doing anything more stupid, the triathlon must have taken Him completely by surprise.
-P.Z. Pearce

Specificity, specificity, specificity.
-Andy Coggan

The plural of "anecdote" is not "data".
- Frank Kotsonis


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NORMAVI's Photo NORMAVI Posts: 94
11/29/08 6:24 P

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I bought a new road bike last spring (Marinoni made in Montreal). I love the drop handle bars especially for longer rides. They provide far more different hand positions than straight bars. It has a FSA Wing Pro handle bar with a shallow drop, so when I am in the drops, I don't feel like I'm too bent over.

The frame geometry also makes a difference. If you get a full-out road racing bike, you can expect to be in a more aerodynamic position. But if you get a more sportive, recreational or touring road bike, you can expect to be in a more ergonomic position.

The best thing to do - try some out! Go to you local bike shop and test ride. I was set on getting a women's specific bike, but when I compared the Marinoni in my size to the WS, it was the same. I also tried a smaller frame, but the store owner convinced me to test ride one size up. It fit like a glove.

There is a lot to learn when buying a new bike, but figure out what is important to you and a price range to stick to. I wanted carbon seat stays but also braze-ons for a rack. Marinoni was one of the few builders that offered both. Have fun shopping and test riding!
Regards, Norma

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GLADGAD's Photo GLADGAD Posts: 5,588
11/29/08 1:23 P

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DodgeGM - You may be thinking that to ride a road bike you need to be holding on to the drops, or the lower curled portion of the handlebars. Rarely should you ride in this position, as you don't have nearly as good of control over the bike.

Most people ride resting their hands on the hoods, which are located at the top of the drops. From this position you can easily work the shifters and brakes. If you're not sure of what I'm talking about (and you won't be the first) with regard to these positions, next time you go to the bike store, ask them to show you where they are located.

Sometimes while riding I get tired from bending over or my hands go numb, so I will move to the straight part of the handlebars in either side of center.

-Carolyn

"God gave you your body as a gift, so you should take care of it." - My Mom
LDJONE2 Posts: 71
11/29/08 12:45 P

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Bikes with straight handle bars and narrow road tires are available from a variety of manufacturers. These bikes, often known as hybrids, can be set up to ride in a similar configuration to your Trek Navigator.

However...

Over time as you lose weight, your ability to get down on drop-type handlebars will increase. You might want to think about sticking with the Navigator for a while. You can get as good a workout on it is on any other bike. It just depends on how hard you want to work.


 
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DODGEGM's Photo DODGEGM Posts: 1,235
11/29/08 10:26 A

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I have a Trek navigator 2000 that my nephew gave me have been riding it now for about 3 months. I love riding and really getting in to it. I am looking to purchase a new bike I only ride on the paved roads. Guys around here are telling me I for sure need to get a road bike with the skinny tires. The only problem I have with the road bikes is the bars down so low dont think I could stand laying down over then to ride for long periods of time, I enjoy the more upright postion.

The Picture on the left is my motivation to get in shape and lose weight!!!!!!!


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