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Looking for handy tips for rough roads

Hi all,

Whenever I commute on my Specialized Crux, I always struggle to ride on the drops. I seem to be very unstable on them. If like to be more comfortable on the drops since I feel this will be more aero and I could then travel a little faster on the main roads reducing the likely hood of holding up traffic.

Any tips/advice on riding rough roads, especially on the drops.

Thanks.

G.
Specialized Crux Cyclist who loves gravel riding.

Posts

  • oxomanoxoman Posts: 9,284
    I've been riding a road bike for years and very rarely use the drops when riding normally. I tend to use them when I'm racing or on smooth roads head down giving it the beans. If you watch the pro,s they ride the same. You tend to be more aware when riding on the hoods as well.
    Too many bikes according to Mrs O.
  • oxoman said:

    I've been riding a road bike for years and very rarely use the drops when riding normally. I tend to use them when I'm racing or on smooth roads head down giving it the beans. If you watch the pro,s they ride the same. You tend to be more aware when riding on the hoods as well.

    Is it normal to feel more twitchy/unstable when on the drops?
    Specialized Crux Cyclist who loves gravel riding.
  • oxomanoxoman Posts: 9,284
    Yes because your lower down and your core strength is not so good imho in that position. If you watch the pros when they go head down on the drops in a sprint they're all over the place.
    Too many bikes according to Mrs O.
  • When you sign your name G the post makes sense....
  • oxoman said:

    Yes because your lower down and your core strength is not so good imho in that position. If you watch the pros when they go head down on the drops in a sprint they're all over the place.

    Cool, also I think my core strength is incredibly weak.
    I can't leave the handlebars without wobbling all over the place.
    Specialized Crux Cyclist who loves gravel riding.
  • Does this bike 'fit' you? Are you sure you have the correct size? Is it adjusted correctly for you?

    It has 'compact' drops so there's not much difference really from riding on the tops. Yes it is more areo to ride in the drops and it does make a difference, more so in a head wind. Watch Pro lone breakaways when they’re going for it.
    If you’re never going to use the drops you may as well have flat bars with the extra width and control they bring.

    As for rough roads, how long's a piece of string? How rough is rough? You can get away with lowering your tyre pressures a little if it's more comfort you’re after. You can lift your @rse slightly out of the saddle on really bad bits, while keeping the pedals going around, this'll build your leg muscles up too. Look for the smoothest route through any rough sectors, again all the little ‘gains’ add up at the end of the ride. Also a lighter rider will fair better over rough stuff than an overweight lump of lard BTW

    You say "I can't leave the handlebars without wobbling all over the place"
    Do you mean riding with no-hands (on the bars)? That's balance not strength. I refer you back to the three questions I started with.
    Enjoy your riding, that's the main thing
  • Centre of mass is over the front wheel more when you are in the drops, hence less stable. Most people ride on the hoods 99% of the time.
  • Flip your stem.
    Fit a longer stem if required.
    Most importantly, practice, practice, practice until it becomes second nature.
  • Riding on the hoods with your forearms horizontal is more aero anyway. https://road.cc/content/news/133598-want-ride-faster-hunker-down-hoods
  • denis992 said:

    Riding on the hoods with your forearms horizontal is more aero anyway. https://road.cc/content/news/133598-want-ride-faster-hunker-down-hoods


    @denis992 You didn't finish your sentence, more/less areo than what?



    Bicycle and Rider Aerodynamics
  • denis992 said:

    Riding on the hoods with your forearms horizontal is more aero anyway. https://road.cc/content/news/133598-want-ride-faster-hunker-down-hoods


    @denis992 You didn't finish your sentence, more/less areo than what?



    Bicycle and Rider Aerodynamics
    Than what the original poster stated in his opening post -

    " If like to be more comfortable on the drops since I feel this will be more aero and I could then travel a little faster on the main roads reducing the likely hood of holding up traffic."
  • I had a bike fit and had the same issue - I feel unstable on the drops especially going downhill and requiring the brakes. He said not to worry too much as most people don’t use the drops and it’s because my back can’t go fully flat. Occasionally I do it on straights when I’ve been riding for a couple of hours but only because it feels ok - I don’t bother forcing myself to adopt that position as I’m not time trialling.
    Specialized Roubaix Pro Expert 2020
    Boardman HT Pro Ltd Ed MTB
    Boardman Pro Carbon Road Bike (Turbo Trainer)
    Charge Mixer
  • I actually seriously considered hacksawing off the drops at one point.
  • Thanks all for the advice. It's reassuring to know that others have this problem too. One other thing i'd like to improve is riding with no hands. Ive spent countless hours on a smooth flat patch of road trying to do small steps off the handlebars but always seem to either be too nervous or to wobbly.
    Specialized Crux Cyclist who loves gravel riding.
  • wicked2627wicked2627 Posts: 122
    Check this out

    Specialized Roubaix Pro Expert 2020
    Boardman HT Pro Ltd Ed MTB
    Boardman Pro Carbon Road Bike (Turbo Trainer)
    Charge Mixer
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