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Discussion Starter #1
Alright.
At the risk of opening myself to cycling ridicule, I am going to pose a question I have often wondered while road riding:

"At what speed is it more efficient to hit the drops and crunch up your respiratory efficiency to take advantage of lower drag?" 14,18, 20 or higher?!?

* assuming a perfectly flat road & zero nature made wind.
 

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I used to ride the drops when going down a hill or when heading into a headwind. Every once in a while, I would ride the drops just to change position. Since I have put the aero bars on, I find myself riding on them for almost the entire ride, unless there is a lot of traffic or a lot of stop and go riding.
 

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I'm hardly an expert on this subject, but I usually just use the drops for changing hand positions or if I'm doing something a bit more technical, like a tight turn or bumpy decent. Otherwise it just gets mixed in with the hoods and top trying to keep my hands from going numb.
 

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I believe a read somewhere that around 18mph is where aerodynamics starts becoming a factor. True or not I don't know. Like John_V, I sometimes go down to the drops just because.
 

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check your fit

If being in the drops is interfering with your breathing then your position on the bike needs some work. I would say it's off to your LBS to get some help adjusting your bike fit. Being aero is always an advantage but more important at higher speeds and when going into a head wind. Staying on the drops does take more upper body strength and flexibility.
 

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Dos good question, I was pondering this on The Ride today. I am comfortable either way and do like being in the drops. Not sure if I am in them too much or not. I use them to avoid hand numbness and to get aero when speeding up or attacking wind. It would be nice to know the correct or most correct times to use the.drops.
 

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Dos good question, I was pondering this on The Ride today. I am comfortable either way and do like being in the drops. Not sure if I am in them too much or not. I use them to avoid hand numbness and to get aero when speeding up or attacking wind. It would be nice to know the correct or most correct times to use the.drops.
Omni, just my opinion, but I think it would be easier to say when it's not the correct time to be on the drops. If I'm coming up on a situation where I think I might need to take quick action with the handlebars I'll come up off the drops, otherwise if feels good, do it!
 

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If I'm coming up on a situation where I think I might need to take quick action with the handlebars I'll come up off the drops,
I find this interesting!! I feel much more in control of the bike when I'm in the drops. Maybe I'm just goofy but if I'm on the hoods the bike feels sluggish and sloppy, where as on the tops it feels really twitchy and it's easy to over-correct.
 

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I prefer drops when cornering, but feel good control on the.hoods too. I think being more upright makes me feel more prepaired.
 

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glad some one brought this up. i read a small piece in a magazine about bike fit and riding in the drops about a week ago.. I'm learning to be comfortable in the drops. I think at first i just felt to stretched out and less stable. but after about a week of putting myself in the drops on my short commute it already feels 2nd lol or maybe 3rd nature
 

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bonesindustries said:
glad some one brought this up. i read a small piece in a magazine about bike fit and riding in the drops about a week ago.. I'm learning to be comfortable in the drops. I think at first i just felt to stretched out and less stable. but after about a week of putting myself in the drops on my short commute it already feels 2nd lol or maybe 3rd nature
Awesome.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Ok. Lots of excellent comments.

1) I'm fine in the drops.
2) I'm fine on the hoods.

It really is just a simple thought...

When the body is more upright, the respiratory system functions easier and more efficiently. When in the hoods, the body is more compact.

At lower speeds, the the benefit of the drops is hardly measurable and could be causing the respiratory system to be inefficient.

Therefore, there must be a point when the benefit of the aerodynamics gained by using the hood is of more benefit.

Then again, maybe I'm spending too much time riding solo. Lol :D
 

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I use the drops on down hill at 20mph or so but I don't feel I have the best controle in the drops.
 

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Ok. Lots of excellent comments.

1) I'm fine in the drops.
2) I'm fine on the hoods.

It really is just a simple thought...

When the body is more upright, the respiratory system functions easier and more efficiently. When in the hoods, the body is more compact.

At lower speeds, the the benefit of the drops is hardly measurable and could be causing the respiratory system to be inefficient.

Therefore, there must be a point when the benefit of the aerodynamics gained by using the hood is of more benefit.

Then again, maybe I'm spending too much time riding solo. Lol :D
I like the drops for spirited sprints and ducking out of the wind, I can easily pick up a mile an hour and some times more with the same or less effort. On longer rides use it to move around on the bike. Often use them on group rides on my pulls and back to the hoods when I roll to the back of the peleton to relax.

For example look at these
 

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Is it an onboard computer, or are you entering your stats post ride?
Very interesting.
Web app but it is out there for the iPone. I just picked random numbers to show the basic affects of different riding positions in this case :D
 

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Downloaded the iPhone Bike Calculator and it looks pretty good. It was pretty much dead on with this mornings ride.

If you want a really good GPS Clyclometer, try Cyclemeter. It's $5.00 but it does the best job of saving battery life of the ones I've tested.
 
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