Up to this point, I have exclusively used my Trek FX-3 Disc. It is considered a fitness bike and has upright handlebars. During my rides, I find it difficult to get into a relaxed position. I was thinking of purchasing a bike with drop bars to help. A couple of questions:
- Is my premise correct?
- Any recommendations on a relatively inexpensive road bike?
I know inexpensive is subjective. I’d like to keep it under $2,000 US.
For health reasons, I train exclusively indoors.
- I’m not so sure. Demonstrably there are many people here who train (and subsequently race) on a mountain bike with flat bars.
Using drop handlebars will put you in a different position. Whether you find that more comfortable and easier to relax or not could be dependent on other things like practise and flexibility.
Option 3: just buy/borrow drops and try them out?
Building on @titanicus, most of the things that make a roadbike different from what you have are not relevant for indoor training. Specifically, the roadbike geometry that makes them more responsive doesn’t matter if they are still. So unless you want a much larger drop from seat to the top of the handlebars, you should be able to mimic most of what a roadbike feels like by putting on drop handlebars, clipless pedals (if you don’t already have them), and a road style saddle. Even if you go really high end, that will cost a few hundred dollars.
Following on from the two above with great advice/thoughts, if you like (having tried out) the notion of training in (borrowed/bought) drop bars, get yourself a cheap ‘donkey’ road bike for the trainer and keep your Trek for when you do go ride (not train) outdoors.
Are you going to use this bike exclusively indoors for training or take it outside too?
Whichever, you will get a much better deal second hand as bikes depreciate so fast & if you go second hand you will often end up limited by what is in your size in your local area.
Or you get one of these things (£24 in UK). It allows for different positions and you can keep your current shifters & brake handles. Just add bar-tape.
You could turn it in the weirdest positions as long as you’re using it indoors.
I also have a Trek FX3 which I use for commuting which on occasion has been a 25 mile ride. It’s a great bike, but I find not being able to change position an issue on my arms & shoulders on longer rides. This isn’t a problem I have with my road bike with drops, even pre having a bike fit.
I do think either climb bars or the handlebars suggested would help on your Trek, but I find the riding position isn’t really set up for getting max power out, I’m not sure I’d like to do a full on session on it.
So in summary I’d go for the new bike. N+1 and all that obviously
I am certainly leaning this way. I first got the idea when I was shopping for my KICKR Climb. They had a used road bike on the demo. It made me start thinking a road bike might be a better option for the longer, tougher rides.
I found a used Trek Madone 2.1 for $600. Today was the inaugural ride. I found riding with my arms in a neutral position much more comfortable.