Drop Handlebars

ANT with new drop bars


Drop handlebars are worthy of a post? Doesn’t everyone use them? Well, yes most people do!  For me though, this is a big change. I’ve ridden upright for who knows how many hours over thousands of miles in the past few years. The last time I tried drop handlebars they hurt my back to the extent that I had to stop riding for quite a while, and I was a lot younger then! The terrific chiropractor I see now said I could use drops so long as I maintain the natural curve of my back.

Last year, John  sold his Rambouillet, then realized he missed it a lot. He recently found a used Rambouillet in his size. He needed to replace the handlebars, though.We decided to try out the old bars and stem on my bike. Since John did the work, it made for a pretty low-cost way for me to try out  drop bars.

At  first I felt quite wobbly with the new position and the unfamiliar way the bike was responding. Now after several rides, I’m getting more confident and comfortable.  I find I’m a little faster than I was with the Albatross bars, nothing earthshaking but enough to be noticeable.   It feels like I get a little more leg power directly to the bike and I can tell I roll downhill faster due to less wind resistance.  Climbing is a bit easier too; maybe this new riding posture will help me get rid of my dread of hilly rides. I’m happy to report my back is doing fine.

To get comfortable enough for longer rides though, I need to find a way to reduce the reach to the brake levers.  I can reach them, but am over-extended to the point that it’s hard on my shoulders and hands. I’m not sure what the best solution is.  I want to try levers with a shorter reach.  A second set of levers in the center of the handlebars will be another good modification. Too bad the new brake levers mean I will also have to get new brakes!







5 thoughts on “Drop Handlebars

  1. Beautiful! I am also a big fan of drop bars, plus a set of “interrupter” brake levers in the center of the handlebars. Makes for much more comfortable riding, esp in the city where you’ve gotta brake frequently.

  2. Well, despite knowing that “no good deed goes unpunished”, I’ll throw in my 2 cents worth…have John move the saddle forward so you’re not so stretched out. Also, when looking at the bars from the side, the area between the top of the bars and the shifter/brake handles should be relatively flat. This can be adjusted so that it becomes a comfortable surface to keep your hands near the shifters, close to the brake handles. Hard to explain…go to a bike shop and check out the bikes with drops, which will most likely have them set up like that vs. your nearest bike rack that will have bikes set up in way too many incorrect ways, but ways that others like them. Hope they work out for you, Nancy.

  3. Good ideas, Pat, thanks. We did try out repositioning the saddle. I think it’s going to wind up being a matter of a number of fine-tuning adjustments and some component changes. Thanks also for the comments on creating a comfortable surface. I think they will work out very well.

  4. Good for you for trying new things. I’m afraid I’ll probably remain a non-convert to drop handlebars though. I’m extremely fond of my hybrid with regular handlebars and think my next bike will probably be a cargo/city bike. If I ever manage to get a road bike, I’ll certainly consider that option though!

    • We keep toying with the idea of a cargo bike. I keep concluding we really would not use it much though. Did you know one of the folding bike companies, maybe it’s Tern, I am not sure, now has a folding cargo bike? How cool is that?

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