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Old 06-16-08, 08:50 PM   #1
jfsully
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Flat Bar vs Road

I presently ride a flat bar road bike and have an opportunity to buy a regular road bike. Has anyone experienced a problem getting used to the dropped road handlebar.
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Old 06-16-08, 08:57 PM   #2
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Wrong forum, but no, normal people don't usually have problems like this.
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Old 06-16-08, 09:00 PM   #3
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Not really a bike mechanics question, but, assuming you are limber enough, you'll learn to love them.

Personally, I hate flat bars, and I hate keeping my hands in a horizontal position. Drops were more "natural" for me to begin with.
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Old 06-17-08, 11:10 AM   #4
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i switch from a road-ized mountain bike with flats for the rain to a single speed road bike with drops for better weather.

no problemo at all. maybe just a day's worth of riding to get used to them.
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Old 06-17-08, 11:36 AM   #5
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I always preferred flat handle bars but was talking to a woman at a bike rack one day who said that she used to ride the drop bars enough that the position was really natural for her and felt good. At the time this was new information for me as I thought people used discipline to stay in that position, and I've now got one bike with the drops on that I enjoy taking out once in awhile.
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Old 06-17-08, 11:44 AM   #6
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Thanks for all the good info and I've decided to get this road bike. I've done a little research and found that converting a drop bar to flat bar is costly and not the way to go.....in the future, I will post in the correct forum.
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Old 06-18-08, 01:15 PM   #7
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Two common positions available on drop bars are MUCH more natural than flat bars: the hoods and the drops.

Let your hands dangle at your sides. What way are your hands oriented? They are hanging there with the thumbs forward, the palms parallel to your line of sight, parallel to the way you're going if you're walking. They are not cocked perpendicular to your line of sight and/or direction of travel.

When you're riding flat bars, your arms are cocked in a way that is unnatural. When you're on the hoods or in the drops, your hands are in a more natural position.

In addition, it is fairly difficult to get the wrist in a neutral position with flat bars. It is often flexed. It is much easier to adjust drop bars so the wrist is in a neutral position on the hoods and in the drops.

I guess people like flat bars because they feel more secure, but they aren't made for comfort or efficiency. IMHO of course!
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Old 06-18-08, 03:46 PM   #8
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Make sure when you buy a road bike that you will be able to adjust the height of the bars (from just above saddle height to a few ins below). This can be done with a quill stem. With a modern stem its done by swapping spacers above and below the stem, or by flipping the angled stem.
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Old 06-18-08, 03:58 PM   #9
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One more thing: There are at least five ways to orient your hands on road bars. There is one way to orient your hands on straight bars. It is nice to have options on long rides when your hands get numb/tired.
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Old 06-20-08, 09:14 PM   #10
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Actually I had a problem going from dropbars to flatbars. But the problem with flatbars is the limited hand placement whereas with dropbars you have several areas to place your hands. In a very short period of time your not only going to use to them but you'll love them more then your flatbars.
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Old 06-20-08, 09:58 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by jfsully View Post
I presently ride a flat bar road bike and have an opportunity to buy a regular road bike. Has anyone experienced a problem getting used to the dropped road handlebar.
Not really. 95+% of the time you'll be "on the hoods" anyways. Even when you watch the pro races, they are riding on the hoods the majority of the time. In any case, just use the one hand at a time method to get into the drop position or back up. It'll become second nature after awhile and you'll switch faster without any worries. Only potential problems would be a rough road, etc etc that may dictate staying in one position to maintain control until you feel safe enough to switch hand positions later on or moving your hands from the hoods to the flat middle section, if you feel more in control there....some add cross brake levers there, so they have access to the brakes if/when they need it in that hand position. Lots of options.
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Old 06-20-08, 10:21 PM   #12
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Not really. 95+% of the time you'll be "on the hoods" anyways. Even when you watch the pro races, they are riding on the hoods the majority of the time.
Hmmm.... I don't watch pro cycling races but I hazard to bet they have very aggressive geometries (very low bars). On my bike, where the bar is only slightly below my seat I am on the drops a good 66% of the time. I would guess I am on the flats another 33% of the time and only on the hoods 1% of the time. YMMV
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Old 06-20-08, 10:41 PM   #13
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Hmmm.... I don't watch pro cycling races but I hazard to bet they have very aggressive geometries (very low bars). On my bike, where the bar is only slightly below my seat I am on the drops a good 66% of the time. I would guess I am on the flats another 33% of the time and only on the hoods 1% of the time. YMMV
The question is: who cares what percentage of the time you spend where? The main point is you have other places to put your hands that you just don't have on flatbars.
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Old 06-21-08, 08:44 AM   #14
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The question is: who cares what percentage of the time you spend where? The main point is you have other places to put your hands that you just don't have on flatbars.
If you read above, I made the same point. However, Sci-Fi is making the opposite point: you have a bunch of places but you never use them.
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Old 06-21-08, 09:15 AM   #15
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This big misconception is that there's a difference. Unless you have the drop bars extremely low (and no reason you need to), the tops of the bars shouldn't be too different than riding your flat bars, and riding on the brake hoods or the side of the bars shouldn't be too different than riding on the bar ends of a flat bar. The only difference is going to be the curved dropped part of the bar. No law says you have to ride on those all the time, but they can be handy every once in a while. For most riding, your wrist is at a much more natural angle on a drop bar than it is on a flat bar.
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Old 06-21-08, 11:09 AM   #16
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flatbar ones may be firstly thought to be strange or disgusting,but when you really ride and try it out,you'll find it pretty good,your wrists feel much better than riding a typical road one.

but i still prefer a classic one.
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Old 06-21-08, 02:24 PM   #17
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If you read above, I made the same point. However, Sci-Fi is making the opposite point: you have a bunch of places but you never use them.
I read your points and was agreeing with you. Sorry for the confusion.
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