Post drop bar conversion questions…
Hey all, following a thread I started a week or so ago, I finished the flat to drop bar conversion on my BMC Alpenchallenge a couple of days ago
I’d consider it a successful experiment
On the bike, I’m not too stretched out, I’m not too cramped up, I have no aches or pains to speak of, it’s comfortable enough to sit, stand, take it easy, or go hell for leather, plus my averages are on the up (coincidence maybe?! I dunno)
5 rides, about 80 miles and some tinkering later, I’m struggling to get find somewhere on it I can call comfortable with my hands
I’ve been REALLY enjoying the positions a simple set of drop bars can offer, loving going to the drops and putting my foot down also liking riding on the tops (hoods or middle nearer the stem) and pootling as well as seeing what’s going on around me when commuting through London
Drops, are comfortable, I like the drops
Tops are not so comfortable but handy to have all the same
I’m toying with putting everything back as it was and forsaking the best thing I like about this conversion, the drops…
before I do, are there any other options I could / should look at in regards to bars that offer different hand positions or is this simply a case of, tried it, half liked it, go back to the start
Essentially I’m after two things
Position 1 upright, to see where I’m going in the city(s)
Position 2 down, to get a bit of speed up where I can
Anything worth considering before going back to the flat bars?
Many thanksPosted 2 months ago
What position are the levers? I find riding on the hoods very comfortable but that could be all down to the position I’ve set up. A photo would be useful.Posted 2 months ago
I’ve been tinkering with the position of the levers and have found a spot where their most comfortable but there’s just something that I’m not liking when riding on the tops, wondering if it’s just going to take a bit of time to get used to the different grip(s) and different reach from bars to levers
Not much help but I have just done the opposite and love the flat bars (CX bike)
Makes the bike just feel like more fun and makes manuals, hops and jumps so much better and something I want to do more than when on drops.
Slightly slower on fast tarmac bits but no difference anywhere else and actually faster up hill on single track.
I don’t do long rides though (max 2 hours) and if I did I would probably prefer the drops as fun gets overtaken by efficiency and hand/wrist comfort.Posted 2 months ago
Have you got another side on view of the bars with the bike level on the ground and final position of levers? The photo on the bike stand has the levers in different positions.
I would note that almost all my riding is on the hoods or drops, I only really use the tops when I’ve completely backed off and dawdling, I’m just as likely to let go of the bars and properly stretch my back as I am to use the tops.Posted 2 months ago
You talk about being on the tops and drops, but what about the hoods? That’s where I’d expect you to be spending the vast majority of your timePosted 2 months ago
On the hoods is the most comfy position for me on my road bike. Maybe on the turbo with hands at a similar angle but just a touch back from the hoods on the bar ok too. Never really use the tops unless stretching my back out a bit.Posted 2 months ago
Looks like the bars are rotated too far up and the levers are too far down. 80-90% of the time I ride on the hoods the one place I don’t spend much time is with my hands on the tops/middle of the bars. . The flat section at the top bars should be just below horizontal with the flat section of the hoods aligned to create a long, flat section that supports your hand and wrists – Shimano levers are designed to point slightly upwards.Posted 2 months ago
Thicker bar tape and/or padded gloves/mitts.Posted 2 months ago
Looking at the pics I’d say you’ve rotated the bars to get the hood into a more comfortable position.
Get the drops into a comfortable place – normally the bottom of the drop being level with the ground but depends on shape of the drops – and then move the shifters to where they are comfortable.
It might be that the hoods are just too far away due to the geo of the frame. Shorter or riser stem may work.Posted 2 months ago
Did you make any changes to the saddle position?
I imagine fitting drop bars would have made the reach longer, which moves your centre of gravity forward and places more weight on your hands. Did you slide saddle forward?Posted 2 months ago
A side-on photo would be much better, but it looks like…
Bars are rotated too much and so end of drops are way off being vertical when bike on level ground.
Levers are clamped very low on the bars, on my Prime Primavera bars, the transition from the bar top wings to the hoods is pretty close to horizontal on level ground.
Can’t tell if stem is in positive or negative position. Try playing with -ve/+ve and also stem position relative to spacers (being careful if the steerer is carbon), can make a big difference to feel by subtle changes to reach and drop. http://yojimg.net/bike/web_tools/stem.php
If you don’t bend your elbows, high front end “endurance” road bikes especially can make you tense up your upper back and shoulders to grip the bars.Posted 2 months ago
Apologies all for the delayed reply, thankyou for all the comments thus far…
@kerley I think you might have hit the nail on the head somewhat
Posted 2 months ago
@gs_triumph @13thfloormonk tis a good point you make but have shortened the stem during the whole process so as to not leave me stretched out, largely the “fit” is about right, if anything COULD be changed it’d be the saddle position, although it’s ok at the moment it could do with maybe 10mm forward, I’m currently on the lookout for an inline seatpost to achieve this, stem is 12 degree and currently in negative / upside down (if that’s right term) as this, in any position tried is much more comfortable that when it’s +12 degrees
Are the hoods slightly flared out? I’ve always found them more comfort slightly toed in. Or very toed in, if using something like woodchippersPosted 2 months ago
Hoods are vertically straight with the bars as that was the best position to reach the leavers comfortably (but still can’t really)Posted 2 months ago
Rotating the bars to a position where the bottom of the drop is level with the ground will bring the drop positin closer to you so less stretched out.
When you then move the levers up to where they should be with the bar in itz now position, they will also be coser to you as well.
Posted 2 months ago
Sounds like you want deeper drops and a higher stem? Former will make them longer tho.
I’d suggest they will take a while to get used to.Posted 2 months ago
Thanks again all, I’m gonna have a play with all the positions mentioned over the weekend, see where we end up
Posted 2 months ago
@gs_triumph Thankyou for that, it’s almost idiot proof, that’s quite different from where I am currently so will use that as a starting point and go from there
Those bars look like more of a Standard drop (~135mm+ ish?)
I know I prefer compact drop (120mm IIRC) bars on all of my drop barred bikes.
Being a reformed MTBer I bend less in the middle than a proper roadie racing snake might, so my curly bar positions have to suit my lack of suppleness.
On my gravel bike I also run the stem relatively short (~70mm) with rise rather than drop, resulting in my bars being approx ~10mm higher and ~10mm closer than on my Road bike, but other wise the positions are quite similar…
First thing I’d maybe try is measuring the bar height from the front axle or ground and then flipping the stem and see how that tweak suits you. if it’s too high there are still options you could play with spacer or another stem, but try the easiest, cheapest thing first…Posted 2 months ago
It’s gonna take more than a weekend to get used to new positionsPosted 2 months ago
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