Monday, May 3, 2021

Slam that stem!

 Slam that stem?

Fausto Coppi 1940

We see and hear plenty about not having any spacers under your stem these days. Of course back in "Il Campionissmo"s day the quill stem simply moved up or down inside the steerer tube, but note how low Coppi's position is despite this.

One thing that IS very different these days is the bar shape. Oddly enough modern handlebars with the kind of "drop" you see here are almost non-existent. All of 'em are now "compact" style, some even with horribly uncomfortable curves (almost corners!) and drops so short your forearms hit the bars when you try to use 'em.

For us this explains why so few modern cyclists ever ride with their hands down there. Our guess is the rider might actually be more aerodynamic with his/her hands up on the brake hoods than down in these too-shallow drops? That's the way it seems with the pros these days.

This "progress" seems to reduce the useful hand positions as with things "slammed" for most people a bar with traditional drops has too much drop, so these compact things sort of fix it, though the result is the drop position becomes rather useless, meaning you have fewer usable places to put your hands rather than more.

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