Why do so many people still buy road bikes with drop bars but never ride in the dropped position?

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SMS

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Mar 8, 2009, 12:51:25 PM3/8/09
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Yesterday on my ride across the GG bridge and into Marin county,
probably saw several thousand cyclists on road bikes (it was the first
non-rainy day in weeks). One thing that struck me is that for all the
fancy road bikes with drop bars out there, I never saw anyone riding in
the drop position. Since parts of the GG bridge path are quite narrow,
and there are a lot of inexperienced and unpredictable riders out there,
I saw a lot of maneuvers where the road cyclist would scramble to change
their hand position from the top, down to reach the brake levers.

I'm surprised that some of these riders don't install something like
Cane Creek Crosstop levers
("http://www.canecreek.com/crosstop-brake-levers.html") for when they're
riding in urban areas and the drop position is uncomfortable and
impractical.

Remember "safety brake" extension levers? Maybe those should be brought
back.

Lou Holtman

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Mar 8, 2009, 1:07:45 PM3/8/09
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SMS schreef:


On the hoods should the most comfortable position IMO. In the drops is
for descending when really hard braking in needed or to get in a more
aero position. If your hands are on the hoods there is no problem even
on the Golden Gate bridge and you don't need those goofy safety brakes.

Lou

Dan O

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Mar 8, 2009, 1:49:15 PM3/8/09
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I took the extension levers off of my bike. They were really only
good for very modest, mushy, slow-down-a-little braking anyway. I
couldn't lock the wheels with them. They interfered with a good grip
on the hoods. They rattled. And they looked goofy :-)

I only ever ride on the tops in the most casual circumstances,
anyway. I'm with Lou: The hoods are where it's at, and the drops are
for getting aero (headwinds or making the most of a descent).

All that said, I'm sure a lot of people would be better off with a
different style handlebar.


jim beam

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Mar 8, 2009, 1:49:41 PM3/8/09
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don't you have braze-ons for your steel handlebars?

troll.

Chalo

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Mar 8, 2009, 1:59:46 PM3/8/09
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SMS wrote:
>
> Yesterday on my ride across the GG bridge and into Marin county,
> probably saw several thousand cyclists on road bikes (it was the first
> non-rainy day in weeks). One thing that struck me is that for all the
> fancy road bikes with drop bars out there, I never saw anyone riding in
> the drop position.

They were pwetending. If you're gonna dwess up as a Tour de Fwance
champeen, you gotta use dwop bars. But nobody says you hafta use
'em.

> I'm surprised that some of these riders don't install something like
> Cane Creek Crosstop levers
> ("http://www.canecreek.com/crosstop-brake-levers.html") for when they're
> riding in urban areas and the drop position is uncomfortable and
> impractical.
>
> Remember "safety brake" extension levers? Maybe those should be brought
> back.

In their day, those were called "suicide levers" or, more amusingly,
"turkey wings". They allowed you to access the brakes from the bar
tops, but they didn't allow you to use the lever's full travel from
that position. So they lulled riders into complacency while letting
them down when they needed their brakes most.

Cross levers are the new turkey wings. At least they work better
now. The jive turkeys who buy drop bar bikes and don't use the drops
are the same low quality items as in the old days, though.

Chalo

RS

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Mar 8, 2009, 2:19:14 PM3/8/09
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In article <6c19739a-809e-47d6-bbc9-
2d29c8...@q9g2000yqc.googlegroups.com>, danov...@gmail.com
says...
I probably ride the hoods most of the time, occasionally tops, occasionally
drops. Certainly riding around town its mostly on the hoods so the car in
front who's driver is talking on the cell phone (illedgal in California) is about
to cut over one lane to get to that parking space right in front of you or
some such other stupid thing, will make you slam your brakes or veer off.
Just a little ranting here, happened again yesterday. Some woman in a SUV
cut me off right before an intersection so she could make that right turn on
red light and she was on her phone. I pulled up right next to her and just
looked at her. She wouldn't look at me, but she'd make that big effort to do
me in. Funny world.

carl...@comcast.net

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Mar 8, 2009, 2:30:41 PM3/8/09
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Dear Chalo,

1947 Tour de France winner Robic:

http://images.google.com/hosted/life/l?q=%22tour+de+france%22+source:life&imgurl=2291afb0faa7c1bb

Cheers,

Carl Fogel

landotter

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Mar 8, 2009, 2:55:06 PM3/8/09
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The biggest problem with drops are the advent of mtbs and that culture
influencing people to buy road bikes that are too small, thus making
the drops a heroic reach. My last two 60cm bikes were purchased
against the opinion of two different shops that thought I was too
short to ride such a "large" bike at a measly 186cm.

Also a problem, IMHO, is the disease known as "ergonomic". Those style
drops are uncomfortable for human hands for long periods as there's no
traditional long flat.

OldRoads

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Mar 8, 2009, 2:56:28 PM3/8/09
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> different style handlebar.- Hide quoted text -
>
> - Show quoted text -

Those extensions used to be called 'Safety Levers'.
We call 'em Suicide Levers.

Vin - Menotomy Vintage Bicycles
http://OldRoads.com

Michael Press

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Mar 8, 2009, 3:29:36 PM3/8/09
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In article <49b3fb5c$1...@news4us.nl>,
Lou Holtman <lhollaatd...@planet.nl> wrote:

Thanks, Lou. You saved me the trouble.

--
Michael Press

Michael Press

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Mar 8, 2009, 3:31:12 PM3/8/09
to
In article <lISsl.1594$im1...@nlpi061.nbdc.sbc.com>,
SMS <scharf...@geemail.com> wrote:

I thought you were an expert on bicycles, but this post does not show it.

--
Michael Press

SMS

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Mar 8, 2009, 3:34:29 PM3/8/09
to
Lou Holtman wrote:

> On the hoods should the most comfortable position IMO. In the drops is
> for descending when really hard braking in needed or to get in a more
> aero position. If your hands are on the hoods there is no problem even
> on the Golden Gate bridge and you don't need those goofy safety brakes.

I agree, but that's not where most of the riders were positioning their
hands. They were further in, where those Cane Creek Crosstop levers
would be a big help. I usually position my hands on the hoods, but I can
see why so many riders put their hands higher up and toward the center.

BTW, I was just kidding when I suggested bringing back "safety brakes,"
or as we used to call them, "danger brakes."

Bret

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Mar 8, 2009, 4:15:12 PM3/8/09
to

Drop bars have three useful hand positions. If someone only wants to
use two of them I have no issue with that.

If someone were to buy a 3 in one printer/copier/fax machine and then
only use it to print and copy, would they also be a jive turkey?

Bret

John Forrest Tomlinson

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Mar 8, 2009, 5:12:33 PM3/8/09
to
On Sun, 08 Mar 2009 09:51:25 -0700, SMS <scharf...@geemail.com>
wrote:

[some stuff]

Why don't you ask them?

Chalo

unread,
Mar 8, 2009, 6:01:30 PM3/8/09
to
Bret wrote:
>
> Chalo wrote:

> >
> > SMS wrote:
> > >
> > > Remember "safety brake" extension levers? Maybe those should be brought
> > > back.
> >
> > In their day, those were called "suicide levers" or, more amusingly,
> > "turkey wings".  They allowed you to access the brakes from the bar
> > tops, but they didn't allow you to use the lever's full travel from
> > that position.  So they lulled riders into complacency while letting
> > them down when they needed their brakes most.
> >
> > Cross levers are the new turkey wings.  At least they work better
> > now.  The jive turkeys who buy drop bar bikes and don't use the drops
> > are the same low quality items as in the old days, though.
>
> Drop bars have three useful hand positions. If someone only wants to
> use two of them I have no issue with that.
>
> If someone were to buy a 3 in one printer/copier/fax machine and then
> only use it to print and copy, would they also be a jive turkey?

The drops on most people's handlebars serve the same purpose as the
rear wing on a family sedan (i.e., jive turkeyism). As far as I know,
this aspect isn't analogous to fax functionality in printer-copiers.

At least the rear wing on a family sedan doesn't impair the proper
operation of the car's brakes and shifter.

Chalo

jim beam

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Mar 8, 2009, 6:08:20 PM3/8/09
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jeepers - who pissed in your cornflakes this morning? can't ned ludd
find any looms to smash?

come to r.b.t everybody! curmudgeon central!

Sandy

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Mar 8, 2009, 6:47:30 PM3/8/09
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"Chalo" <chalo....@gmail.com> wrote in message
news:6b3d628a-d7f4-4bfc...@j38g2000yqa.googlegroups.com...

I wonder if some of these riders don't have a waistline impediment. Just
wondering.
Of course, if you prefer to have no choice of where to put your hands, the
straight bar approach eliminates all need to actually think for yourself.
Brain disengaged - greater comfort.
--
Sandy
Verneuil-sur-Seine

Lou Holtman

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Mar 8, 2009, 6:55:06 PM3/8/09
to
Sandy schreef:

.. and the first thing people do when using straight bars on longer
rides is put bar-ends on to put their hands in the most natural and
comfortable position. Just like on the hoods and in the drops.

Lou

John Forrest Tomlinson

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Mar 8, 2009, 7:08:17 PM3/8/09
to
On Sun, 8 Mar 2009 15:01:30 -0700 (PDT), Chalo
<chalo....@gmail.com> wrote:

>The drops on most people's handlebars serve the same purpose as the
>rear wing on a family sedan (i.e., jive turkeyism). As far as I know,
>this aspect isn't analogous to fax functionality in printer-copiers.

A wing on a sedan does nothing other than appearance.

You're saying the drops have zero value other than appearance?

jim beam

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Mar 8, 2009, 7:12:04 PM3/8/09
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yeah, only without their hands touching the controls!

Bret

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Mar 8, 2009, 7:17:42 PM3/8/09
to

This is just your minority opinion. My opinion is that the drops are
the most secure place to be when handling a bicycle.

Bret

Chalo

unread,
Mar 8, 2009, 7:24:55 PM3/8/09
to
Sandy wrote:
>
> Of course, if you prefer to have no choice of where to put your hands, the
> straight bar approach eliminates all need to actually think for yourself.
> Brain disengaged - greater comfort.

For what it's worth, that's what makes a single-speed bike such a
smile machine. No fidgeting, no wondering how to go even faster--
just push the pedals.

Having only one hand position may seem like a disadvantage compared to
having several; but if the one you have is far better than any of the
several? That's not a disadvantage at all.

Usually, a bar with some amount of rearward sweep is more comfortable
than a straight MTB-style bar. But you still only need one, if it's a
good one. Just ask a motorcyclist.

Chalo

John Forrest Tomlinson

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Mar 8, 2009, 7:25:33 PM3/8/09
to
On Sun, 8 Mar 2009 15:01:30 -0700 (PDT), Chalo
<chalo....@gmail.com> wrote:

>At least the rear wing on a family sedan doesn't impair the proper
>operation of the car's brakes and shifter.

You don't seem to realize how exceptional you are, and that results in
odd statements about other people and bikes.

John Forrest Tomlinson

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Mar 8, 2009, 7:34:49 PM3/8/09
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Are there any photos of you riding a bike online?

Chalo

unread,
Mar 8, 2009, 7:37:29 PM3/8/09
to
John Forrest Tomlinson wrote:

>
> Chalo wrote:
> >
> >The drops on most people's handlebars serve the same purpose as the
> >rear wing on a family sedan (i.e., jive turkeyism).  As far as I know,
> >this aspect isn't analogous to fax functionality in printer-copiers.
>
> A wing on a sedan does nothing other than appearance.
>
> You're saying the drops have zero value other than appearance?  

If you never put your hands there, then yes. Just like if you never
drive over 120mph, the wing on your Maxima does nothing for you. And
from what I can observe firsthand, most drop bar riders never put
their hands in the drops. They bought a "sporty" bike, like their
"sporty" sedan, which is inconsistent with how they actually use it.

Chalo

Chalo

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Mar 8, 2009, 7:37:40 PM3/8/09
to
Bret wrote:

>
> Chalo wrote:
> >
> > The drops on most people's handlebars serve the same purpose as the
> > rear wing on a family sedan (i.e., jive turkeyism).  As far as I know,
> > this aspect isn't analogous to fax functionality in printer-copiers.
> >
> > At least the rear wing on a family sedan doesn't impair the proper
> > operation of the car's brakes and shifter.
>
> This is just your minority opinion. My opinion is that the drops are
> the most secure place to be when handling a bicycle.

Right. The hoods and tops are not the best place from which to
operate the brakes. But in my observation, most drop bar riders use
_only_ the hoods and tops. Except, that is, for the fixie dudes with
their pista bars, who use their drops but don't have brakes at all.

Using a drop bar when you never actually put your mitts in the drops
is accepting impaired operation of the brakes.

Chalo

(PeteCresswell)

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Mar 8, 2009, 7:41:31 PM3/8/09
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Per Lou Holtman:

>.. and the first thing people do when using straight bars on longer
>rides is put bar-ends on to put their hands in the most natural and
>comfortable position. Just like on the hoods and in the drops.

It wasn't the first thing I did... but eventually I caught on.

Beeeg improvement for me. Maybe 85-90% as comfortable as being
on the hoods.

My problem with drop bars for off-road use is that the drops hit
my legs in tight situations - whereas flats are free to rotate
above the legs.
--
PeteCresswell

jim beam

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Mar 8, 2009, 7:48:02 PM3/8/09
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yeah. and all fat guys eat lard, right? chalo, of all people here, you
are one really /not/ in a position to make ridiculous generalizations.

jim beam

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Mar 8, 2009, 7:48:55 PM3/8/09
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ok, now you're just being stupid.

Mike Jacoubowsky

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Mar 8, 2009, 7:58:59 PM3/8/09
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"SMS" <scharf...@geemail.com> wrote in message
news:d5Vsl.19573$c45....@nlpi065.nbdc.sbc.com...

> Lou Holtman wrote:
>
>> On the hoods should the most comfortable position IMO. In the drops
>> is for descending when really hard braking in needed or to get in a
>> more aero position. If your hands are on the hoods there is no
>> problem even on the Golden Gate bridge and you don't need those goofy
>> safety brakes.
>
> I agree, but that's not where most of the riders were positioning
> their hands. They were further in, where those Cane Creek Crosstop
> levers would be a big help. I usually position my hands on the hoods,
> but I can see why so many riders put their hands higher up and toward
> the center.

Their hand placement may be an indication of either too long a stem
(very likely) or a bar that has too much forward reach, so the only
place they feel comfortable is on the top center section. This is very
common. You know how a bike should feel and be set up, I know how it
should be, but a lot of cyclists don't know any better and many shops
would rather just send it out with the stem that came on the bike.

> BTW, I was just kidding when I suggested bringing back "safety
> brakes," or as we used to call them, "danger brakes."

"Suicide levers" was the industry standard term.

--Mike-- Chain Reaction Bicycles
www.ChainReactionBicycles.com


Mike Jacoubowsky

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Mar 8, 2009, 8:04:02 PM3/8/09
to

"Chalo" <chalo....@gmail.com> wrote in message
news:c2d34fdd-aae4-49df...@p11g2000yqe.googlegroups.com...

John Forrest Tomlinson wrote:
>
> Chalo wrote:
> >
> >The drops on most people's handlebars serve the same purpose as the
> >rear wing on a family sedan (i.e., jive turkeyism). As far as I know,
> >this aspect isn't analogous to fax functionality in printer-copiers.
>
> A wing on a sedan does nothing other than appearance.
>
> You're saying the drops have zero value other than appearance?
==================

If you never put your hands there, then yes. Just like if you never
drive over 120mph, the wing on your Maxima does nothing for you. And
from what I can observe firsthand, most drop bar riders never put
their hands in the drops. They bought a "sporty" bike, like their
"sporty" sedan, which is inconsistent with how they actually use it.

Chalo
==================

If you *never* put your hands on the drops, it could be that the
handlebar overall is too low. Raising the bar may result in additional
useful hand positions. There's a little bit of irony in the idea that
raising the handlebar may allow someone to adapt to a
slightly-more-aggressive hand position (because before that, it was too
low to be useful).

larry peters

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Mar 8, 2009, 8:05:09 PM3/8/09
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JFT= Jive F****NG Turkey

Andrew Lee

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Mar 8, 2009, 8:19:39 PM3/8/09
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John Forrest Tomlinson wrote:
> On Sun, 8 Mar 2009 16:24:55 -0700 (PDT), Chalo
> Are there any photos of you riding a bike online?

Here's one:

http://home.comcast.net/~carlfogel/download/tallride4.jpg

Chalo

unread,
Mar 8, 2009, 8:27:12 PM3/8/09
to
John Forrest Tomlinson wrote:
>
> Chalo wrote:
> >
> >For what it's worth, that's what makes a single-speed bike such a
> >smile machine.  No fidgeting, no wondering how to go even faster--
> >just push the pedals.
> >
> >Having only one hand position may seem like a disadvantage compared to
> >having several; but if the one you have is far better than any of the
> >several?  That's not a disadvantage at all.
> >
> >Usually, a bar with some amount of rearward sweep is more comfortable
> >than a straight MTB-style bar.  But you still only need one, if it's a
> >good one.  Just ask a motorcyclist.
>
> Are there any photos of you riding a bike online?

Just the tallbike, I think. Maybe some of me piloting Austin Bike Zoo
contraptions. I doubt there's much conclusion to be drawn from any of
those.

Chalo

Carl Sundquist

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Mar 8, 2009, 8:28:06 PM3/8/09
to

Exactly. That is why most bikes are now fitted with a rising stem that
is 1-2 cm shorter than what was fitted as an OEM part 15-20 years ago.

Carl
Can't find a decent 140 -17 degree stem in 31.8

Carl Sundquist

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Mar 8, 2009, 8:31:28 PM3/8/09
to

Why would you say that?

John Forrest Tomlinson

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Mar 8, 2009, 8:41:52 PM3/8/09
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Thanks

Bret

unread,
Mar 8, 2009, 8:43:11 PM3/8/09
to

I dunno. One might conclude that you too choose bikes so that you can
assume a certain pose.

Bret

John Forrest Tomlinson

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Mar 8, 2009, 8:43:58 PM3/8/09
to

Are you very fat? Can you touch your toes with your knees locked, or
come close? I'm trying to figure out why you have such exceptional
views on bikes. I assume weight has something to do with it, but I'm
also wondering about your shape and flexibility.

If you're 300# and 6' that's quite a bit different than 300# and 6'6",
for example.

datakoll

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Mar 8, 2009, 9:27:07 PM3/8/09
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> come to r.b.t everybody!  curmudgeon central!- Hide quoted text -
>
> - Show quoted text -

ssssssnnnnnnnnarrrrrrrrrrlllllllllllllll

datakoll

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Mar 8, 2009, 9:45:59 PM3/8/09
to
> ssssssnnnnnnnnarrrrrrrrrrlllllllllllllll- Hide quoted text -

>
> - Show quoted text -
shall I be civilized or ugly ??


thousands of riders ?? holy cow
I live at a qualoity resort retirement complex on the beach run by
organized crime and off course there are quite a few TdF posuers.
1000 ? One day on a 20 mile jaunt thru the cuntry side cumin screamin
down into a crossroadspast several vicious mexican dogs, t
there outa the sun goin the other way was
THE FLIPPIN US POSTAL TEAM
whoa
yeah but the whole enchilada is training and technique, lots, hours,
200 mile weeks,
that's the design and the experience or experience then design, Fargo
or not.
how many do? well, can't many. But the bike is the experience design
bike with drop bars and uh 12 spokes...wait ! the LBS aint gonna sell
bikes with 12 spokes caws that'll...

SMS

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Mar 8, 2009, 10:00:14 PM3/8/09
to
Mike Jacoubowsky wrote:

> Their hand placement may be an indication of either too long a stem
> (very likely) or a bar that has too much forward reach, so the only
> place they feel comfortable is on the top center section. This is very
> common. You know how a bike should feel and be set up, I know how it
> should be, but a lot of cyclists don't know any better and many shops
> would rather just send it out with the stem that came on the bike.

I think what Sheldon did here
"http://www.sheldonbrown.com/org/brown/pages/01brown-2-bar.htm" is the
optimal solution.

I do think those Cane Creek crosstop levers are pretty cool. I can see
using them on my touring bicycle.

jim beam

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Mar 8, 2009, 10:06:13 PM3/8/09
to

your steel touring bicycle? the one with the steel bars, steel cranks,
steel seat post, steel rims, steel stem, steel brakes, and steel
bullshit disperser?

SMS

unread,
Mar 8, 2009, 10:08:09 PM3/8/09
to
Mike Jacoubowsky wrote:

> "Suicide levers" was the industry standard term.

I only know one person who was seriously injured due to the brakes on
their bike, and it was because they had become used to brake levers that
you really had to squeeze hard to have a noticeable effect, kind of like
a poorly assembled old department store bike where the wheels were so
out of true that the brakes needed to be adjusted very loose, or a bike
with the "safety brake" levers.

Then she got a new bike with V brakes and didn't realize just how
powerful they were. She squeezed only the front brake lever going down a
hill on the Los Gatos Creek Trail (the underpass for CA 85), and went
flying over the handlebars, broke her arm and various other things, and
never really recovered fully.

I've ridden rental bikes in China where the brakes don't really do
anything, and you don't want them to. A sudden stop would cause a pile up.

Mike Jacoubowsky

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Mar 8, 2009, 11:19:51 PM3/8/09
to

"SMS" <scharf...@geemail.com> wrote in message
news:eF_sl.14423$D32....@flpi146.ffdc.sbc.com...

The reason we don't enourage the crosstop levers is because it puts your
hands very close together. It's *not* as stable as having your hands
further apart, especially if you've got to maneuver quickly (or even
stop quickly). If you haven't tried them yet, do so before putting them
on your own bike. It might work fine for you, but I think you'll agree
there are more reasons than just ergonomics for why we ride bars that
are more than 12 inches wide.

Peter Rathmann

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Mar 8, 2009, 11:49:01 PM3/8/09
to
On Mar 8, 4:58 pm, "Mike Jacoubowsky" <mik...@ix.netcom.com> wrote:

> Their hand placement may be an indication of either too long a stem
> (very likely) or a bar that has too much forward reach, so the only
> place they feel comfortable is on the top center section. This is very
> common. You know how a bike should feel and be set up, I know how it
> should be, but a lot of cyclists don't know any better and many shops
> would rather just send it out with the stem that came on the bike.
>
> > BTW, I was just kidding when I suggested bringing back "safety
> > brakes," or as we used to call them, "danger brakes."
>
> "Suicide levers" was the industry standard term.

My impression is that those got a largely bum rap due to the many that
were poorly positioned as well as some particularly flimsy
implementations. My old Schwinn Varsity came with them and once I
readjusted the brake position on the bars they did a perfectly
adequate job of stopping the bike - i.e. easy to apply the back brake
hard enough to skid or the front brake hard enough to lift the rear
wheel off the ground. Of course that was in dry weather conditions -
the chromed steel rims didn't let any rim brakes do an adequate job of
stopping when wet. But the auxiliary levers still worked as well as
the normal ones, i.e. very poorly until the brakes had squeegied the
water off.

As to the use of the drops, I'd have to admit that I don't use that
position all that often but it sure can come in handy at the end of a
long ride when faced with a stiff headwind. Similarly I don't use my
smallest chainring very often but I'm not about to get rid of it
either. I do have the impression that many non-competitive riders
probably have their bars set a bit lower than is comfortable - maybe
in emulation of racing cyclists. That puts the drop position much
lower than comfortable and discourages its use.

Chalo

unread,
Mar 9, 2009, 12:26:16 AM3/9/09
to
John Forrest Tomlinson wrote:
>
> Chalo wrote:
> >
> >John Forrest Tomlinson wrote:
> >>
> >> Chalo wrote:
>
> >> >For what it's worth, that's what makes a single-speed bike such a
> >> >smile machine.  No fidgeting, no wondering how to go even faster--
> >> >just push the pedals.
>
> >> >Having only one hand position may seem like a disadvantage compared to
> >> >having several; but if the one you have is far better than any of the
> >> >several?  That's not a disadvantage at all.
>
> >> >Usually, a bar with some amount of rearward sweep is more comfortable
> >> >than a straight MTB-style bar.  But you still only need one, if it's a
> >> >good one.  Just ask a motorcyclist.
>
> >> Are there any photos of you riding a bike online?
>
> >Just the tallbike, I think.  Maybe some of me piloting Austin Bike Zoo
> >contraptions.  I doubt there's much conclusion to be drawn from any of
> >those.
>
> Are you very fat?  

At the time of the tallbike photos, I weighed the same as I do now;
350 lbs. at 6'8". Make your own judgments.

> Can you touch your toes with your knees locked, or
> come close?

No, but that's just my tight hamstrings. After a long ride or a hot
bath, maybe I could do it.

> I'm trying to figure out why you have such exceptional
> views on bikes.  

You mean, why do I favor the sorts of bars that the overwhelming
majority of the world's bicyclists prefer? If you weren't a racer,
I'd think you should be the one explaining why you side with the tiny
minority on this. I'm not a racer so I don't abuse myself like one.

> I assume weight has something to do with it, but I'm
> also wondering about your shape and flexibility.

When I was 20 years old, very fast, cycled 300 miles every week, and
weighed 120 pounds less than I do now, I placed my handlebars some 8"
below seat level. But they weren't drop bars, because I couldn't make
peace with drops . I used plain flat bars or Scott AT-4s.

Chalo

Tom Sherman

unread,
Mar 9, 2009, 12:32:29 AM3/9/09
to
Lou Holtman wrote:
> [...]

> .. and the first thing people do when using straight bars on longer
> rides is put bar-ends on to put their hands in the most natural and
> comfortable position. Just like on the hoods and in the drops.
>
I have ridden double metric centuries with straight "T" bars with no
wish for alternate hand positions.

--
Tom Sherman - 42.435731,-83.985007
LOCAL CACTUS EATS CYCLIST - datakoll

Tom Sherman

unread,
Mar 9, 2009, 12:39:48 AM3/9/09
to
John Forrest Tomlinson wrote:
> [...]

> Are you very fat? Can you touch your toes with your knees locked, or
> come close? I'm trying to figure out why you have such exceptional
> views on bikes. I assume weight has something to do with it, but I'm
> also wondering about your shape and flexibility.[...]
>
I had trouble touching my toes that way when I was in high school at
5'10"-115 lbs. and able to run a sub 5:30 mile.

Chalo

unread,
Mar 9, 2009, 12:58:10 AM3/9/09
to
Bret wrote:

Choose them? I build them. That's why they don't look like anybody
else's.

Driving a pedal trike and trailer and rock band combo weighing over
3000 pounds is spectacular, but it isn't posing exactly.
http://vimeo.com/2126732
http://vimeo.com/2206718

Letting someone dress you up as a giant bumblebee is posing, I guess:
http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_cIZIaieQLwM/SVzpbTvE9XI/AAAAAAAABHk/-EjnNPzoCjA/s1600-h/bees1.jpg
http://vimeo.com/2729078

I'll admit my ordinary beater bikes are super fashion conscious,
though-- scratched-up '70s and '80s Cannondales, Fujis, and Nishikis
with hot details like BMX cranks and kitty litter buckets are all the
rage these days. Or they will be, one of these days.

Chalo

RobertH

unread,
Mar 9, 2009, 2:41:39 AM3/9/09
to
On Mar 8, 9:26 pm, Chalo <chalo.col...@gmail.com> wrote:

> ...I used plain flat bars or Scott AT-4s.

I was one of the earliest and most enthusiastic adopters of these
strange handlebars. I think I used them for about a year. There is a
lot of useless metal on those things. At the time it was customary to
use some sort of bar-end, even for racing. Then the great Tinker
Juarez started using a plain flat bar with no additions, and he
displayed no trouble climbing out of the saddle, which was the
ostensible purpose of bar-ends, to provide a hand position similar to
that of standing on a road bike with hands on the hoods. These days I
ride about 2000 miles of singletrack a year with a plain flat bar and
never want for additional hand positions. On the road bike, however, I
use a drop bar, am in the drops maybe 5 or 10% of the time at most,
and feel strongly that it would be a major step backward to use a flat
bar instead. Just throwin in my 2 pesos.

Flat bar: Good.
Drop bar: Good.

Ben C

unread,
Mar 9, 2009, 4:53:00 AM3/9/09
to
On 2009-03-08, Chalo <chalo....@gmail.com> wrote:

> Sandy wrote:
>>
>> Of course, if you prefer to have no choice of where to put your hands, the
>> straight bar approach eliminates all need to actually think for yourself.
>> Brain disengaged - greater comfort.
>
> For what it's worth, that's what makes a single-speed bike such a
> smile machine. No fidgeting, no wondering how to go even faster--
> just push the pedals.
>
> Having only one hand position may seem like a disadvantage compared to
> having several; but if the one you have is far better than any of the
> several? That's not a disadvantage at all.

For me the best hand position is one of the ones I've not been using for
the last half hour.

John Forrest Tomlinson

unread,
Mar 9, 2009, 6:37:10 AM3/9/09
to

It's amazing and bizarre that you can use bikes in ways that few other
people do, that you weigh far more than the vast majority of cyclists,
and yet you think that your views/experiences on what is appropriate
for most riders is valid and what those many other riders are doing is
wrong. That's whack..

Tom Sherman

unread,
Mar 9, 2009, 7:40:55 AM3/9/09
to
John Forrest Tomlinson wrote:
> [...]
> It's amazing and bizarre that you can use bikes in ways that few other
> people do, that you weigh far more than the vast majority of cyclists,
> and yet you think that your views/experiences on what is appropriate
> for most riders is valid and what those many other riders are doing is
> wrong. That's whack..

There are plenty of people that fit the above description.
Unfortunately, many of them work in LBS's.

andre...@aol.com

unread,
Mar 9, 2009, 8:49:11 AM3/9/09
to
On Mar 8, 11:07 am, Lou Holtman <lhollaatditmaar...@planet.nl> wrote:
> SMS schreef:
>
>
>
> > Yesterday on my ride across the GG bridge and into Marin county,
> > probably saw several thousand cyclists on road bikes (it was the first
> > non-rainy day in weeks). One thing that struck me is that for all the
> > fancy road bikes with drop bars out there, I never saw anyone riding in
> > the drop position. Since parts of the GG bridge path are quite narrow,
> > and there are a lot of inexperienced and unpredictable riders out there,
> > I saw a lot of maneuvers where the road cyclist would scramble to change
> > their hand position from the top, down to reach the brake levers.
>
> > I'm surprised that some of these riders don't install something like
> > Cane Creek Crosstop levers
> > ("http://www.canecreek.com/crosstop-brake-levers.html") for when they're
> > riding in urban areas and the drop position is uncomfortable and
> > impractical.

>
> > Remember "safety brake" extension levers? Maybe those should be brought
> > back.
>
> On the hoods should the most comfortable position IMO. In the drops is
> for descending when really hard braking in needed or to get in a more
> aero position. If your hands are on the hoods there is no problem even
> on the Golden Gate bridge and you don't need those goofy safety brakes.
>
> Lou

I spend quite a long time on the drops and I am quite comfortable on
them. Granted that I don't have them half a yard below the saddle. My
bars are about an inch below the saddle. So, being on the drops is
quite comfortable. Riding alone, at a good speed or against the wind,
is is also easier.

landotter

unread,
Mar 9, 2009, 9:31:35 AM3/9/09
to
On Mar 9, 6:40 am, Tom Sherman <sunsetss0...@REMOVETHISyahoo.com>
wrote:


The local G*** F**** is a hilarious example of an entire bike shop
built on mainly BS. They're in the wealthiest part of Old Money Town--
thus, they only sell high end racing bicycles to people with assloads
of money--because wealth buys that status--the right to tootle
uncomfortably around the park in team kit!

From the website:

"If your present bike is ten years old or older, it is time to replace
it. The upgrades you do will usually cost more than the bike is
worth."

That's right! Got an 88 Univega in need of a fresh chain a brake pads--
it's worth less than $40--so replace it with a new $2000 hunchy racer
to discover the value of cycling.

jwbinpdx

unread,
Mar 9, 2009, 11:55:59 AM3/9/09
to
On Mar 9, 4:40 am, Tom Sherman <sunsetss0...@REMOVETHISyahoo.com>
wrote:

> John Forrest Tomlinson wrote:
> > [...]
> > It's amazing and bizarre that you can use bikes in ways that few other
> > people do, that you weigh far more than the vast majority of cyclists,
> > and yet you think that your views/experiences on what is appropriate
> > for most riders is valid and what those many other riders are doing is
> > wrong.  That's whack..
>
> There are plenty of people that fit the above description.
> Unfortunately, many of them work in LBS's.

Most of the people I see working in LBSs are of average height and
weight and generally ride pretty straight forward bikes -- except the
guys/gals from River City who use wood fenders.

You make it sound like there is a conspiracy to sell wrong bikes to
customers and that customers don't know what they want, or more
accurately, what they don't want. I don't think at is true except for
the dillusional few customers who dream of being Lance and who drop a
lot of money at the local high end store (I.D.d by Landotter).

The major independents in PDX along with Performance, REI, etc., have
a wide variety of bikes. Bike Gallery must have three different SS
bikes with a variety of weird handlebars, many comfort bikes, MTBs,
etc. We even have a store that specializes in -- gasp -- recumbents.
http://www.coventrycycle.com/ I go to these places from time to time
and listen to the sales people, and some of what they say is BS or
shallow, but some is right on, and they generally aim to put people on
bikes that are comfortable for them.

IMO, it is only the poseur who gets the "wrong" bike, which is in
fact, the "right" bike for him, viz., the one he wants and asked for
specifically. If some duffer with a gut and way too much cash walked
in to your shop and said that he was going to buy the $10K tricked-out
Pinarello because it was exactly what he needed and wanted, would you
would sell it to him. Sure, you would snicker in the back room, but
hey, he can buy whatever he wants -- along with the full FitKit
session (probably a good idea), aero booties and full Astana kit. --
Jay Beattie.

Chalo

unread,
Mar 9, 2009, 1:21:03 PM3/9/09
to
John Forrest Tomlinson wrote:
>
> Chalo wrote:
> >
> >Bret wrote:
> >>
> >>Chalowrote:

> >> >
> >> > John Forrest Tomlinson wrote:
> >> > >
> >> > > Are there any photos of you riding a bike online?
> >> >
> >> > Just the tallbike, I think.  Maybe some of me piloting Austin Bike Zoo
> >> > contraptions.  I doubt there's much conclusion to be drawn from any of
> >> > those.
> >>
> >> I dunno. One might conclude that you too choose bikes so that you can
> >> assume a certain pose.
> >
> >Choose them?  I build them.  That's why they don't look like anybody
> >else's.
> >
> >Driving a pedal trike and trailer and rock band combo weighing over
> >3000 pounds is spectacular, but it isn't posing exactly.
> >http://vimeo.com/2126732
> >http://vimeo.com/2206718
> >
> >Letting someone dress you up as a giant bumblebee is posing, I guess:
> >http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_cIZIaieQLwM/SVzpbTvE9XI/AAAAAAAABHk/-EjnNPz...

> >http://vimeo.com/2729078
> >
> >I'll admit my ordinary beater bikes are super fashion conscious,
> >though-- scratched-up '70s and '80s Cannondales, Fujis, and Nishikis
> >with hot details like BMX cranks and kitty litter buckets are all the
> >rage these days.  Or they will be, one of these days.
>
> It's amazing and bizarre that you can use bikes in ways that few other
> people do, that you weigh far more than the vast majority of cyclists,
> and yet you think that your views/experiences on what is appropriate
> for most riders is valid and what those many other riders are doing is
> wrong.  That's whack..

I also do pretty much all my getting around on bikes that you'd
consider normal. People don't usually take my picture and put it on
the web when I do that, though. "Hey, look at that guy on a bike-- he
looks like he must be going to work!"

I've been doing this a long time. When I was in college, I could
average 19-20mph including stops on a 10-mile run across town to get
to and from school. I've ridden several >100 mile days up to a 170
miles/10 hours (not including stops). I worked as a mechanic in bike
shops for years, and outside of that I have helped scores of friends
and family members get set up with bikes. That is, I have used and
continue to use bikes in ways that other riders do, _and_ in ways that
other riders can't or don't.

There are literally billions of bike riders out there, and by far most
of agree with me in their choices of handlebars. All those Chinese
and Indians who ride bike? They'd relate to what I do, but they'd
probably think you were crazy.

Chalo

Lou Holtman

unread,
Mar 9, 2009, 2:09:55 PM3/9/09
to
(PeteCresswell) schreef:
> Per Lou Holtman:

>> .. and the first thing people do when using straight bars on longer
>> rides is put bar-ends on to put their hands in the most natural and
>> comfortable position. Just like on the hoods and in the drops.
>
> It wasn't the first thing I did... but eventually I caught on.
>

You are right. The first thing is hacksaw the ridiculous wide
straightbars to the proper length. Sorry about that. Many people forget
to do this and ride with 700 mm wide bars.

Lou

cl...@snyder.on.ca

unread,
Mar 9, 2009, 2:56:43 PM3/9/09
to

I've never liked drops - usually but NorthRoad bars on all my bikes.
I'm NOT a fast rider - never have been, and with my long legs and
short back I can't remember EVER being able to touch my toes. For
decades I was 6'1.5" and 160 lbs or less.

PatTX

unread,
Mar 9, 2009, 3:10:10 PM3/9/09
to
John Forrest Tomlinson wrote:
:: On Sun, 8 Mar 2009 15:01:30 -0700 (PDT), Chalo
:: <chalo....@gmail.com> wrote:
::
::: At least the rear wing on a family sedan doesn't impair the proper

::: operation of the car's brakes and shifter.
::
:: You don't seem to realize how exceptional you are, and that results
:: in odd statements about other people and bikes.

Er, Jobst does the same thing. It's ego-centric in that whatever is "right"
for them is "right" for the rest of humanity. With Jobst, it's the
"morality" of not using mirrors. With Chalo, it's the flat handlebar
preference. <shrug>

Pat in TX


Nick L Plate

unread,
Mar 9, 2009, 3:41:05 PM3/9/09
to
On 8 Mar, 23:17, Bret <bret.w...@gmail.com> wrote:

>
> This is just your minority opinion. My opinion is that the drops are
> the most secure place to be when handling a bicycle.

With the correct size hook, the hand is secure when braking or
cornering. This locked-in position is not achievable on other bars.
Over bumpy ground, this means less force is required to maintain
control of the steering.
TJ

carl...@comcast.net

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Mar 9, 2009, 3:42:05 PM3/9/09