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My leg, just above the knee, bangs the bar end of the dropbar. It doesn't happen often—once every 2000 km or so. Still, I'm wondering.

I live in a country where we cycle (/drive) on the right side of the road, and, perhaps because of that, I always engage my left foot once at home and once again when I arrive. During a ride, it's only my right foot that routinely disengages/engages from the pedal, usually to step on the curb at stoplights.

Only my right leg, above the knee, gets banged and bruised. Is this:

  • a sign of bike misfit,
  • a sign of insufficient roundness in the bar ends—roundness that would spare me a bruise,
  • an ordinary, albeit rare, occurrence that road cyclists have to live with, or
  • something that indicates I am still lacking some skills?
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  • IMO all could be contributing but I would really be leaning towards misfit. Bike size and your dimensions?
    – Hursey
    Commented Nov 1, 2022 at 1:02
  • @Hursey Can you turn your handlebar and move your leg in a way to actively seek a collision between the two on an appropriately sized frame, or does such a collision become impossible?
    – Sam7919
    Commented Nov 1, 2022 at 1:22
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    Personally, I've not ridden drop bars for some time. When I did, being 192cm tall I was riding a 58cm frame, probably a little on the small side really and my knees were no were close to banging the bars
    – Hursey
    Commented Nov 1, 2022 at 2:02
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    It sounds like you need to adjust things a bit. Raise the bar a bit higher, or get a bar that doesn't drop quite so much. (Though once every 2000km isn't particularly worrisome.) Commented Nov 1, 2022 at 2:57
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    Are you riding aggressively out of the saddle? Or turning at the time? Do you ever use the tips of the hook? You might be able to trim a half-inch off to alleviate this completely. I'm not sure how your knee is getting that far forward - a side photo of you on your bike might help a lot
    – Criggie
    Commented Nov 1, 2022 at 3:50

1 Answer 1

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A long time ago, I had a very relaxed geometry derailleur geared comfort/city bike that I converted to a drop bar bike. The seat tube was far from vertical, and so was the head tube. The result was that when pedaling standing, my legs hit the bar end shifters and occasionally it auto-shifted when climbing hills standing.

On my current drop bar bike, the geometry has been designed for drop bar use, and even though I have bar-end shifters, I never hit them when climbing hills standing.

Another factor apart from frame geometry that can affect this is the style of drop bars you have. Some bars just have unnecessarily long bar-end areas. Just take a hacksaw and shorten those if necessary. The conversion bike had unnecessarily long bar-end areas too, whereas my current bike has different drop bar that doesn't have long bar-end areas.

So you may want to check your frame geometry and drop bar style, some are more likely to hit your legs than others. The easiest and cheapest way to change those is to just use a hacksaw to shorten the bar-ends. You will need to retape the bars, obviously.

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