When I purchased my road bike - and been new to it, was told that 90% of normal riding is done on the hoods, climbing should be on the inside of the bar, then sprints and downhills in the drops.
I have followed this - and probably spend more time than most on the hoods on downhills (still nervous after my cra$h when in the drops going to fast on a downhill) - and have noticed most people I ride with do spend most of the time on the hoods, unless it downhill, uphill, or sprinting.
But watching the TDF - and I know it is racing and all about efficiently and speed - most riders are in the drops, even the ones cruising the peleton. On top of this, after riding briefly with Gus on the winter ride, he was a promoter of riding mainly in the drops on the flat.
So - it has me thinking, maybe I should be riding more in the drops - what are peoples thoughts? Is just a comfort thing? An aerodynamic thing? Are there disadvantages? Is there netter vision on the hoods?
But also - must learn how to ride hands free - that is so pro, even more pro than white bar tape :-)
If you have the flexibility to ride the drops for a long time it is more aerodynamic.
But if you are caring extra weight (in my case about 25Kg extra) it is uncomfortable to maintain for long periods.
You probably need a flexible neck as well.
As Don mentioned, it's all about how flexible you are through your shoulders & neck.
Love getting in the drops for a descent & getting as low as possible, but for slogging it out on the flats & slight uphills I prefer Belgian Style with the elbow bend dictating how low you get.
Yeah, I ride a fair bit in the drops - it's a bit more aerodynamic, good for sprints as well - makes for a more "short sharp" punch of the legs (I feel). However I do mix up my handle-bar grip mostly to try to spread the load of the work across my various muscles. I don't know if it is real or not but if I've been riding along in one position for a while a different grip position feels good and breaks up the ride a bit.
Hands free is a cinch - just let go. The gyroscopic momentum will keep your front wheel pointed the right way - easy!
I very rarely ride in the drops because, when in the drops, I can't comfortably reach the brake levers (small hands).
Usually I use the top of the bars for going up hill, the hoods for everything else and occasionally the drops if on a descent not requiring brakes or in a sprint situation where braking will be unlikely (e.g. not racing to catch a set of lights).
I would be 50% on the top 40% hoods and maybe 10% drops if im lucky. Better vision on the hoods or flat. I could cut the drops off my bars and not miss them. I also have damage to vertebrae in my neck.
I barely use my hoods! I always alternate between no hands and the drops depending on if I'm putting in effort or not.
No hands gets easier the faster you go, I'm at the point now where roadworks are a delight. Dodging cones no hands gives all the drivers a bit of entertainment.
I can also trackstand no hands :D
ok, where's your no hands trackstand video, this I would like to see :)
beware people, if you come across mr policeman that has had a bad day, you can be booked for no hands. Also as i'm sure Lucas can say, he sits more upright when no hands, this takes the pressure off the front wheel.
I'm not too techy but if I don't have a late night I'll head along to the Gator Cyclists ride and convert a few to be my witnesses.
Yeah I definitely sit upright whilst riding no hands This can be a little painful if you don't have your seat in a cruisy position, even a Brooks has it's downsides.