One of the most differing parts of a bike is its handlebars. You might have heard of the term flat bar and drop bar before. It actually describes the shape of the handlebars of the bicycle. In this article, we will be talking about drop bars for road bikes in particular. Yes, the one with a curved design and looks very professional. Basically, a drop bar is a handlebar type that has a downward curve, making the cyclist’s body position go to a drop when holding it this way, hence the name. A drop bar actually has 3 different parts, the first one is the hoods which curve upwards, the drops which curve downwards, and the tops which look like a flat bar that goes towards the sides. All these parts can be used for different types of holds, resulting in different body positions that will benefit its rider. If you want to learn more about the difference between a regular flat bar vs a drop bar, click this link to read all about it!
As mentioned before, drop bars have 3 different parts, resulting in various types of hold and body position. Each of this hold and body position will benefit its riders most for different types of situations as well. As a beginner, you might be confused about which hold is best for you. So, in this article, we have made a quick guide on how you can benefit from each hold to maximize your cycling. Let’s find out!
What Not to Do
The first thing we are going to fix is what not to do when holding your drop bars. It is better to get rid of the mistakes first before replacing them with the correct one.
First things first, you know what they always say, do not trust what you see! Well, at least, not without further analyzing. You might see professional cyclists and how they hold their handlebars, then think about how it would be a great idea to just copy what they do, which usually is holding their drop bars leisurely. This is actually a mistake because for professionals, they have developed their skills for a very long time. Secondly, when you see a professional, they are usually racing on dedicated roads or tracks, where they will be safer. When you are cycling through a public road, make sure you always have a good grip on your handlebars. Plus, do not rest your forearms on the bars. If you happen to come across a hole or a bump, you will very easily lose control and end up in a crash. Another mistake is to mimic the way professionals would sit on top of their top tube and tuck their arms beneath their body, putting their whole weight on their front wheel. Again, when you come across a hole or a bump, you most definitely will lose control and cause a crash. Remember to keep your safety as your number one priority!
What to Do
The best feature about a drop handlebar is its aerodynamics. When you are driving on the drops, it automatically makes your body position flatter and lower, reducing the amount of body area that comes in contact with the air, resulting in less air drag. With this position, you are able to achieve your maximum speed with the effort that you are giving. However, this position might not be natural, especially for beginners. It puts a lot of strain, especially on your back. We recommend that you take it easy. Try to hold this position for 5 minutes, then change to another body position, so you can relieve the tension and relax your muscles for a little bit, before getting back on it. As each ride goes on, you will get used to the drop position and you will be able to ride faster.
Another holding position is on the hoods. This position is most beneficial when you are in a situation where you will be using your brakes and changing your gears a lot. You can be prepared by gripping the brakes using your thumb and index finger. For changing gears, you can just slide down your fingers toward the shifter. When you find yourself in a tricky situation, you can easily access the brakes and use all your fingers to pull on it effectively.
Lastly, when gripping the bars, remember to have a firm grip on it just enough. Do not have a loose grip as you can slip easily when facing holes and bumps. But also, do not grip it too tightly as you might put constraint on your muscles, especially the shoulders. Another tip is to have your thumb and index finger in contact with each other, so you will always have a firm grip, even unconsciously.
Tips to Enhance Your Ride
As you have now learned, the different holding positions on the handlebars serve different functions for different purposes. In this section, we are going to give you further tips when you want to achieve something on top of your road bike, to make your cycling experience much more fun and enjoyable. How to maintain your comfort, safety, and aerodynamics at the same time in these scenarios.
When you are sprinting, it is most effective to do it when you are gripping the drops. Like we explained earlier, the drop body position is most beneficial for aerodynamics. Also, the grip you have on the drop is also firmer, preventing your hands from slipping when you are pedaling with all the energy you have. Plus, it also supports you by giving better power transfer from your efforts towards the movement of the wheels.
For climbs, it is best to hold your handlebars on the tops, which is the flat part. This part will give your body a more upright riding position, so you do not put too much tension on your back. Also, when climbing, you will want to be as relaxed as possible and be comfortable for however long the climb is. Additionally, if it is a longer climb, you can always change up your position to keep your body relaxed.
Gravel or Sand Terrains
Road bikes are not made for gravel or sand terrains, but there might be situations where you will still have to cycle through one. The bicycle will not be able to go against the bumps that well. So, a tip for you is to have a firm grip on the bars, while also relaxing your upper body at the same time. Do not force your bicycle to move a certain way. Just let it move through the terrains as it would and go with the flow. The only key here is to have a good grip and not lose it.
And that completes our guide on how to correctly hold your drop bars like a pro. To upgrade your cycling experience, get your high quality road bikes from Rodalink Malaysia now! We carry reputable brands such as Polygon and Willier. Search for kedai basikal near me and pick our store location that is closest to you. Visit our store and let our professional team look for the best suiting bike for you! If you choose to shop online, you can get free local delivery, 0% installment, and choose from various payment methods. To complete your cycling gear, we are also having a sale on bike parts and accessories. It is the best time to finally upgrade your road bike! Also, you can sign up to be a member of Rodalink Community, even from your very first purchase. You will be eligible to gain access for exclusive promos and events. Click here to start shopping!