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!