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  #1  
Old 01-09-2017, 03:38 PM
tjk23 tjk23 is offline
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When to increase saddle to bar drop

I have been riding for several years and run about 6cm of drop. I can ride move around on the bars pretty regularly but probably spend 60%-70% in the drops with no discomfort. Should I lower my bars for the aero benefit since I am looking to get into racing this year?
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  #2  
Old 01-09-2017, 05:58 PM
nate2351 nate2351 is offline
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Depending on your size 6cm is pretty hefty. If you're north of 6ft tall, not so much. If you don't have access to wind tunnel the aero benefit is next to impossible to quantify.

If you're comfortable I have to ask, "if it ain't broke why fix it?"
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  #3  
Old 01-09-2017, 07:57 PM
jtakeda jtakeda is offline
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If you're running a threadless system why not.

Move the stem down and put the spacer on top. Easy enough to change it back if you find it uncomfortable

If you're running quill- just mark where it was before.
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  #4  
Old 01-09-2017, 08:45 PM
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MattTuck MattTuck is offline
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Agree with above. Give it a try. If it doesn't work, return to the position that works for you now.
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  #5  
Old 01-10-2017, 11:42 AM
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MattTuck MattTuck is offline
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I forgot to add to the above that I'm somewhat skeptical of the aero dynamic advantages of being lower. I think it was Tom Boonen who (with the help of Andy Pruitt) changed his position to be quite a bit higher.

Listen to your body, but don't go chasing a lower position for the sake of being lower.
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  #6  
Old 01-10-2017, 11:45 AM
Mzilliox Mzilliox is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MattTuck View Post
I forgot to add to the above that I'm somewhat skeptical of the aero dynamic advantages of being lower. I think it was Tom Boonen who (with the help of Andy Pruitt) changed his position to be quite a bit higher.

Listen to your body, but don't go chasing a lower position for the sake of being lower.
this makes sense to me. i think if you are spending half the time in each it sounds like you found a couple good spots. getting lower only goes so far for aero gains...
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  #7  
Old 01-10-2017, 12:14 PM
11.4 11.4 is offline
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Riding harder, one bends the elbows more and lowers the shoulders to help stabilize the back and increase power from the hips. Just tilting over more with more bar drop doesn't do quite the same. And it definitely doesn't do this if you don't have the posterior flexibility to retain your same range of motion and power.

There's a tendency to go for very low positions these days but it's mostly a fad furthered by people trying to match the extreme drops one sees with pro cyclists. But an incredibly thin pro road cyclist with a lot of flexibility and huge fitness can achieve positions that are inefficient for anyone else. And even they are as driven by fads as the next person; some of the strongest riders like Boonen and Cancellara have not gone to such low extremes.

The answer of when to increase saddle to bar drop is driven by a number of factors. This above isn't to say you shouldn't do it, but you need the flexibility, the comfort in a more rotated position on the saddle, the measured increase in power generation and speed to justify it, and a variety of other issues such as being free of shoulder or rib impingement, whether you have ankle flexibility and stability to manage the position, and so on. You can figure most of this out yourself if you can consistently ride faster and with more or the same comfort in a lower position. Ride it and find out, but see how you do over two or three months -- it can take that long for problems to arise or for you to adopt positively to a new position.
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  #8  
Old 01-10-2017, 02:18 PM
bking bking is offline
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re aero and sitting taller, can't remember who said it but i've never forgotten it:
you can be tall, but you can't be wide.
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  #9  
Old 01-10-2017, 05:12 PM
Samyoooo Samyoooo is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 11.4 View Post
Riding harder, one bends the elbows more and lowers the shoulders to help stabilize the back and increase power from the hips. Just tilting over more with more bar drop doesn't do quite the same. And it definitely doesn't do this if you don't have the posterior flexibility to retain your same range of motion and power.

There's a tendency to go for very low positions these days but it's mostly a fad furthered by people trying to match the extreme drops one sees with pro cyclists. But an incredibly thin pro road cyclist with a lot of flexibility and huge fitness can achieve positions that are inefficient for anyone else. And even they are as driven by fads as the next person; some of the strongest riders like Boonen and Cancellara have not gone to such low extremes.

The answer of when to increase saddle to bar drop is driven by a number of factors. This above isn't to say you shouldn't do it, but you need the flexibility, the comfort in a more rotated position on the saddle, the measured increase in power generation and speed to justify it, and a variety of other issues such as being free of shoulder or rib impingement, whether you have ankle flexibility and stability to manage the position, and so on. You can figure most of this out yourself if you can consistently ride faster and with more or the same comfort in a lower position. Ride it and find out, but see how you do over two or three months -- it can take that long for problems to arise or for you to adopt positively to a new position.
Are they bending the elbows because they are not stable, when you bend the elbows you usually move to rivet to shorten up the reach, by steve hoggs philosphies he says that if you bend the elbows its a sign of instablity on the saddle the foces at the pedal should prevent you from shorten the body in space e.g the pressure on the pedals allows the body feel unweight as if floating above the bike when that happens you cant really bend the elbows because the forces at the pedal support the body
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  #10  
Old 01-10-2017, 11:19 PM
giordana93 giordana93 is offline
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1. as noted, 6 cm could be alot or a little drop depending on your size and fitness
2. it costs nothing to move a spacer or two from below the stem to above it, and experimenting with increased drop
3. that said, for most of us it is winter, and slower base miles tend to favor a little less drop. maybe an experiment for later in the season
4. I run a fair amount of drop for my age and size and actually find the drops to be almost a comfort position when going fast, as opposed to putting a good bend in my elbows and stretching out over the hoods, so as you experiment, I would also try out getting lower by rolling your hips forward and flattening your back while getting longer hanging out over the hoods. (think: forearms almost parallel to ground)
5. never hurts to work on hamstring flexibility (and hip flexors while you're at it) as a complement to a lower position
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  #11  
Old 01-11-2017, 05:37 AM
marciero marciero is offline
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Assuming you are talking about mass-start events-If you are new to racing and "spirited" group rides, you will have a better idea once you start. Even if you ride hard, being in a race is different. A set-up that feels aggressive could feel like a shopping cart in a race. That's what I've experienced anyway. I would opt for power and comfort over aero. If you are spending 60-70% in the drops already on casual rides you could probably go lower.

Last edited by marciero; 01-11-2017 at 05:40 AM.
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  #12  
Old 01-24-2017, 10:51 AM
parris parris is offline
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There's a good video that's on You Tube titled Bike Fit: It's All About The Bike. It's part of a series that's been put out by the University of California.
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  #13  
Old 01-24-2017, 11:38 AM
11.4 11.4 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Samyoooo View Post
Are they bending the elbows because they are not stable, when you bend the elbows you usually move to rivet to shorten up the reach, by steve hoggs philosphies he says that if you bend the elbows its a sign of instablity on the saddle the foces at the pedal should prevent you from shorten the body in space e.g the pressure on the pedals allows the body feel unweight as if floating above the bike when that happens you cant really bend the elbows because the forces at the pedal support the body
I don't agree with that. As power output increases, the body transitions into a position that allows more stabilization and power generation. There's nothing "unstable" about the prior or ultimate positions. And you don't necessarily move to the rivet as you bend your elbows.
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  #14  
Old 01-24-2017, 01:48 PM
benb benb is offline
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Bars can be both too low and too high.

I definitely drop my body a LOT when I start going hard. If the bars are too high and I end up with an excessive amount of elbow bend it isn't very comfortable and seems to fatigue my arms more then if i drop the bars and hit the same torso angle with less bend in the arms. I also feel like it's harder to brake/turn with tons of elbow bend if the bars are too high. (Just talking about drop bars here, MTB/flat bars are totally different.)

We see it trotted out that more elbow bend is more aero but that is probably a delicate balance with other things.
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  #15  
Old 02-08-2017, 03:33 AM
JOrange JOrange is offline
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I'd definitely go for trying to get that 90 degree bend in the elbows first. I went for the -17 slammed, super drop a month after I first started because I was under the impression that A) I'd look cooler, and B) I'd be faster. Turns out I ended up being neither
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