Dropper posts on roadbikes
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Robmet



Joined: 04 Jan 2010
Posts: 1892

PostPosted: Wed Jul 27, 2016 3:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Any excuse for a bit of pic whoring.
Dont get me wrong im not one for jumping on the techno bandwagon for the sake of it and I dont mind experimenting either, if I think something is crap then im happy enough to say it how it is.
This is me at a recent XC endurance event, as you can see I made a concession to disc brakes but thats a 26" wheel, fully rigid MTB with the seat firmly in the air.


At the end of that ride I would be first to admit that the bike was the limiting factor, I finished a respectable 6th out of 200+ riders but the lack of suspension caused a lot of fatigue in my arms. Lack of being able to hold on properly was causing me to lose places in the lats 10miles, a suspension fork would of helped massively.
A dropper could of aided the descending too, having the seat out of the way gives a greater degree of control and that in turn would increase speed in the steep bits.

Im actually on the look out for a new mtb at the moment and its probably going to be short travel full sus. Shocked
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Mustard



Joined: 28 Dec 2010
Posts: 303

PostPosted: Wed Jul 27, 2016 8:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I seem to out of sync with modern thinking. Surely, lowering the seat for fast cornering would lower bike and riders centre of gravity, and should give more stability and less twitch and head shaking, especially if you stick out your knee and lean body well into the corner. (motor bike style.) The bike would be little more upright and centred more over the width of the tyre tread. The higher the body on the bike, the less able you are to do that. (Has anyone done high speed bend swinging perched high up atop a 'penny farthing' - or, at least, lived to tell the tale!)

Another point which I'm not clear on is forcing the weight over the front wheel in fast cornering. I've always felt safer doing the opposite. i.e. shifting back on the seat, crouching down (lower centre of gravity) and only holding the bars lightly so that they can 'chatter' a little beneath your hands. Two wheelers have built in auto stability, so it seems to me that rigidly gripping the weighted bars would hinder that automatic self centering, and lead to erratic stability. At least, that has always worked on motor bikes, some of which in the past have been prone to 'tank slappers' if not treated right. (A Yamaha XT in particular!!)
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giantAstax



Joined: 05 Sep 2011
Posts: 904
Location: Bucks

PostPosted: Thu Jul 28, 2016 12:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You can't use Chris Froome as a justification for much regards 'normal' cyclists. His extreme riding position was used on one stage only and it's something we've not seen before. His riding position was to reduce drag/improve aero on a downhill section not to make up for poor handling skills.

In my experience as a coach, most riders even up to cat 2 benefit from a proper bike fitting and good technique coaching. Fitting a dropper post won't fix either issue, just allow riders to perhaps reduce the effect of poor technique.

Having race and coached CX and I'm a CX commissaire who has officiated at regional and national events and coaching in all kinds of weather and on varied terrain, I see no times when a CX bike would benefit from a dropper post.

CX os not like MTB. The terrain you ride (when racing) is not extreme enough to warrant an MTB though some do use one and a dropper post would just add weight and complexity IMO.

Get yourself some coaching. Anyway, just my opinion.
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Robmet



Joined: 04 Jan 2010
Posts: 1892

PostPosted: Thu Jul 28, 2016 2:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

giantAstax wrote:
You can't use Chris Froome as a justification for much regards 'normal' cyclists. His extreme riding position was used on one stage only and it's something we've not seen before. His riding position was to reduce drag/improve aero on a downhill section not to make up for poor handling skills.

In my experience as a coach, most riders even up to cat 2 benefit from a proper bike fitting and good technique coaching. Fitting a dropper post won't fix either issue, just allow riders to perhaps reduce the effect of poor technique.

Having race and coached CX and I'm a CX commissaire who has officiated at regional and national events and coaching in all kinds of weather and on varied terrain, I see no times when a CX bike would benefit from a dropper post.

CX os not like MTB. The terrain you ride (when racing) is not extreme enough to warrant an MTB though some do use one and a dropper post would just add weight and complexity IMO.

Get yourself some coaching. Anyway, just my opinion.


I think you are stuck in a rut a bit with this technique train of thought, even if a dropper does allow someone a benefit to make up for technique then its still a good thing isnt it?

As for Froome, yes he's not a normal cyclist but is is at the forefront of the sport and clearly experimenting for the 'marginal gains' team sky are so fond of. Its the work that is done at the cutting edge that eventually finds its way down to mere mortals both in technology and technique.

Personally I think its interesting that we have a gadget that allows us to adjust out dynamic position on the bike while in motion, the benefits are there for those who wish to exploit them and have the creativity to use things outside of their normal design parameters to find an edge.

Here's another reference rider, Nico vouilloz probably one of the greatest bike handlers/racers in the past decade. His technique is probably as good as its ever going to be and he chooses to run a dropper? If only he could get some training I'm sure he could ride just as fast with his seat up his a$$.
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giantAstax



Joined: 05 Sep 2011
Posts: 904
Location: Bucks

PostPosted: Thu Jul 28, 2016 2:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Robmet wrote:


I think you are stuck in a rut a bit with this technique train of thought, even if a dropper does allow someone a benefit to make up for technique then its still a good thing isnt it?

As for Froome, yes he's not a normal cyclist but is is at the forefront of the sport and clearly experimenting for the 'marginal gains' team sky are so fond of. Its the work that is done at the cutting edge that eventually finds its way down to mere mortals both in technology and technique.

Personally I think its interesting that we have a gadget that allows us to adjust out dynamic position on the bike while in motion, the benefits are there for those who wish to exploit them and have the creativity to use things outside of their normal design parameters to find an edge.

Here's another reference rider, Nico vouilloz probably one of the greatest bike handlers/racers in the past decade. His technique is probably as good as its ever going to be and he chooses to run a dropper? If only he could get some training I'm sure he could ride just as fast with his seat up his a$$.


Nope, not stuck in a rut, As a coach I would always advocate doing things properly rather than a workaround. As for Nico, that's a mountain bike which is a different kettle of fish BUT I would still advocate learning the best technique even WITH a dropper post. I aim first and foremost for anyone I coach to be the best technically competent rider they can be whatever the discipline. Speed then comes from good technique but with safety.

So in short you will never convince me that a 'better bike' is the solution to a lack of skills, not ever.

I am all for people having the best kit they can afford and that would possibly be using a dropper post. I run with one on my MTB XC bike and on my ti hardtail which has flat pedals and is used for coaching. Do I normally ride with flats, nope, I hate it BUT flats are essential for learning correct technique so 90% of my notice to intermediate coaching requires riders to use flats.

FYI, I have coached up to BC Regional Race squad level where the head BC MTB coaches insist on flats for some skills work, no baggies and no droppers for XC. The kids up to u16 usually run hardtails (80mm up front).
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