Going fast and looking good while doing it is our Velominati creed. Riding on the tops is the domaine of going uphill, where braking and aerodynamics are unimportant. In most other situations that position is too slow. The pros are usually flattened down in the drops or flattened down on the brake hoods. When us non-pros are not climbing, riding on the tops is less about looking pro than looking like a confident cyclist. I’ve noticed it when I ride with such confident cyclists; I’m not one but aspire to be.
I was given the tip when mountain biking: when descending, steer from the bull horns (are these still even used?) because it keeps your hands away from the brake levers. One descends more efficiently. If your mitts are on the brake levers, you are going to use them, especially if you are Big Pussy (my mtb nickname, self given). Putting on the brakes diminishes bike handling, period. On a mountain bike, the suspension and properly inflated tires are going to get bike and rider where they need to go and getting on the brakes too much is just going to screw the whole process up. Did John Tomac use his brakes? I rest my case. Continue reading