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Old 05-28-07, 09:46 AM   #1
taz77
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Flat bar road bike

I'm looking to buy a road bike, but I'll probably want to change the bars to a flatbar. Would any flatbar from a MTB work as long as the diameter is the same? And would brake and shift levers for a MTB work with road bikes? I've looked around and I don't see any separate road/mtb derailleurs.
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Old 05-28-07, 09:54 AM   #2
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Conversions are expensive, and yes...there will be issues swapping from road to mountain controls.

Have you looked at any "Urban/Fitness" bikes? A good example is the Trek Soho that already has a flat bar and 700c wheels.
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Old 05-28-07, 10:01 AM   #3
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It sounds like you should look towards hybrids as they are road type bikes with flat bars...no need to reinvent the wheel
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Old 05-29-07, 01:18 PM   #4
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There are plenty of flat-bar road bikes out there, requiring you to do no expensive conversion. Every manufacturer makes a flat bar version of their low-end road bike. Look around.
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Old 05-30-07, 05:05 AM   #5
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i ride a giant crx 2.0 for commuting

its an awesome machine clocing up 13000 km over the last 12 months. its strong fast and reliable (until today)



although this was taken today DAM IT



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Old 05-30-07, 06:38 AM   #6
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Fuji Absolute.

Great value in this kind of bike. By the by, why flat bars? The majority here (myself included) are inclined to endorse drops.
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Old 05-31-07, 07:30 PM   #7
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I tried the hybrids... a friend has a GT Nomad, and I tried a Specialized Crosstrail expert. On the GT, I was sitting too upright for my taste, and the front suspension just added more weight to the bike than I needed. The same goes for the Specialized, plus I wasn't too crazy about the tires either.

I tried out a Trek (can't remember the model)... it was more of a flat bar road bike than a hybrid. I like how efficient it was, and the ride was surprisingly smooth. I'm guessing it's cause of the carbon fork... it was just like riding the Specialized crosstrail with the front suspension. Just because of that test ride, I kinda decided on a road bike with carbon forks and maybe carbon seat stays if it's at a good price.

I know I can probably find a flat bar road bike with carbon forks... I think Specialized has a couple... but road bikes color schemes just looks soo much nicer!

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It sounds like you should look towards hybrids as they are road type bikes with flat bars...no need to reinvent the wheel
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Old 05-31-07, 07:48 PM   #8
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I kinda chose flat bars based on the opinions of people I know who rode road bikes before. They like the "sporty position", for lack of a better term, but didn't like the fact that after several hours of riding, their hands were sore, and their backs ached. I know this factor is different from person to person, but let's just say that at 5'8", 240 lbs, I'm not as flexible as they are. I want a little more of a "sportier position" than mountain bikes or hybrids, but not quite as low as drop bars.

If I end up buying a road bike with drop bars, I'll give it a try and see how I like it. Who knows? It might be comfortable enough that I won't even think about flat bars anymore. But if needed, I just want to know that it could be converted. I did some searching and saw it's not TOO pricey (depending on how pricey of components I want).

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Fuji Absolute.

Great value in this kind of bike. By the by, why flat bars? The majority here (myself included) are inclined to endorse drops.
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Old 05-31-07, 08:57 PM   #9
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I own a Raleigh Route 1. I swear in some ways the damn bike shifts and brakes more crisply and smoothly than my 105/Ultegra set up on my drop bar bike. The bike is a good ride and my wife digs the bike too.
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Old 05-31-07, 09:35 PM   #10
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I went from the mountain bike to a flat bar road bike myself, and then decided the drop bars may well be a better option because of the multiple hand positions. I bought a Bianchi Eros road bike and set it up with a shorter stem along with a Delta stem riser to get the bars higher and closer. This gives me a more upright position which I find to be more comfortable. I found I do like the drop bars much more than flat bars.

At my age (65) and slow pace, aerodynamics is not an issue--comfort is. I read Rivendell's recommendations of fitting a bicycle and tend to agree with their way of thinking.

In the end, each person has to do what fits his or her style and physical abilities. Test ride as many bikes as you can and then ride them again. I have to laugh when a 20 year old kid in a bike shop tells me I have to have my rear end above my head to be able to compete. That boat sailed about 40 years ago (lol).

Good luck in your search!
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Old 06-01-07, 03:53 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by taz77
I kinda chose flat bars based on the opinions of people I know who rode road bikes before. They like the "sporty position", for lack of a better term, but didn't like the fact that after several hours of riding, their hands were sore, and their backs ached. I know this factor is different from person to person, but let's just say that at 5'8", 240 lbs, I'm not as flexible as they are. I want a little more of a "sportier position" than mountain bikes or hybrids, but not quite as low as drop bars.
A better choice might be a moustache bar. You would have to use barcon shifters though. Good luck


Tim
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Old 06-01-07, 05:36 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by taz77
I kinda chose flat bars based on the opinions of people I know who rode road bikes before. They like the "sporty position", for lack of a better term, but didn't like the fact that after several hours of riding, their hands were sore, and their backs ached.
Wait, a drop bar offers more hand positions, which will actually reduce the likelyhood of pain and sore. If anything, if you are worried about that, you should avoid flat bars.
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Old 06-01-07, 06:02 AM   #13
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With drop bars your total reach will still be longer, and the muscles engaged are different. Flat bars make you more upright, which doesn't engage the lower back muscles that make weak people cry at night. If you ride your bike a lot using road bars, you'll get super strong lower back mucles, and then the back pan is less likely to occur. However, extended spinal flexion can still cause issues in some, so proper stretching is important. You can do a cool stretch where you put your back on a foam roller and lean back sort of like a reverse crunch. http://www.active.com/story.cfm?story_id=13929

Anyway, the long and short of it is that a road bar is good for going fast and good for working more muscles to make you faster, but flat bars are good for riding short distances or for people who otherwise can't ride road bars.
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Old 06-01-07, 06:49 AM   #14
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I also chose a flat bar road bike ('05 Specialized Sirrus) because I was carrying around a few extra pounds and thought I was no longer flexible enough for drops. After a thousand miles of sore wrists and using my chest as a sail, I converted it to it's current state of comfort and efficiency.



Don't get me wrong, I think flat bars are great for short trips or commuting in city traffic, but for anything over 10 miles, give me drops. YMMV.
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