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Clydesdales/Athenas (200+ lb / 91+ kg) Looking to lose that spare tire? Ideal weight 200+? Frustrated being a large cyclist in a sport geared for the ultra-light? Learn about the bikes and parts that can take the abuse of a heavier cyclist, how to keep your body going while losing the weight, and get support from others who've been successful.

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Old 03-17-07, 08:01 AM   #1
mattyknacks
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The tops of "road" bars vs. flat bars

Ok, I have a question about hand positions.

My old ten speed bikes that I had in high school (Schwinn Varsity and Schwinn World) had drop bars with those brake extension levers that hook to the brakes so you can brake from the tops of the bars. My current bike (25 years later) is a mountain bike with flat bars. The difference is that my hands are at the end of the bars now instead of in front of my body near the stem. I remember that old hand position as much more comfortable although not as stabile. This wider position on the flat bars I have now fatigues my shoulders after awhile.

Was the old position better?
Or am I remembering this wrong?
Will cyclocross type drop bars with intermediate brake levers put my hands back near the stem?

Matty in Brooklyn
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Last edited by mattyknacks; 03-17-07 at 08:23 AM.
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Old 03-17-07, 09:27 AM   #2
Tom Stormcrowe
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mattyknacks
Ok, I have a question about hand positions.

My old ten speed bikes that I had in high school (Schwinn Varsity and Schwinn World) had drop bars with those brake extension levers that hook to the brakes so you can brake from the tops of the bars. My current bike (25 years later) is a mountain bike with flat bars. The difference is that my hands are at the end of the bars now instead of in front of my body near the stem. I remember that old hand position as much more comfortable although not as stabile. This wider position on the flat bars I have now fatigues my shoulders after awhile.

Was the old position better?
Or am I remembering this wrong?
Will cyclocross type drop bars with intermediate brake levers put my hands back near the stem?

Matty in Brooklyn
The old position is better. You have more positions with drops or even trekking bars than you do even with bar ends on a set of flatbars. Flats are great for offroad and single track, but leave something to be desired on a long ride.
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Old 03-17-07, 10:41 AM   #3
deputyjones
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mattyknacks
Ok, I have a question about hand positions.

My old ten speed bikes that I had in high school (Schwinn Varsity and Schwinn World) had drop bars with those brake extension levers that hook to the brakes so you can brake from the tops of the bars. My current bike (25 years later) is a mountain bike with flat bars. The difference is that my hands are at the end of the bars now instead of in front of my body near the stem. I remember that old hand position as much more comfortable although not as stabile. This wider position on the flat bars I have now fatigues my shoulders after awhile.

Was the old position better?
Or am I remembering this wrong?
Will cyclocross type drop bars with intermediate brake levers put my hands back near the stem?

Matty in Brooklyn
I guess you would have to check a LBS for sure, but the couple of Cyclocross bikes I have seen in shops have those intermediate brake levers pretty close to the stem. If you did it yourself of course you could put them wherever you wanted.

I will let others comment on drop bars as I haven't ridden a drop bar bike since I road my sisters 10 speed Schwinn about 25 years ago. My next bike will have them though.
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Old 03-17-07, 11:17 AM   #4
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Hey matty,

cyclocross bikes generally come with "interrupter" levers fairly close to the stem. If you don't like where they are placed, you can always move them closer or farther. Plus they brake pretty well.

This is unlike the "suicide levers" that were on the old ten-speeds, which did not brake as well as the levers on the drops. I know exactly what you're talkin' about, 'cuz that's what my "road" bike has. I don't find the position very comfortable at all though, because it really is too unstable, and the brake levers don't pull enough unless I use the drops.
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Old 03-18-07, 05:42 PM   #5
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the first thing i did when I got my old Schwinns was take those suicide levers off and dremmel those little nubs. if they are there you may try to use them, and they are awfull dangerous. Plus it sexies up the bike a bit.
that being said, i think you may want to adjust your saddle or seat height (ect). your tush and your arms should be evenly distribute your weight without overdoing pressure on either.
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Old 03-18-07, 08:26 PM   #6
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you can get a set of cyclocros levers for about 20 dollars and their not difficult to install.
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Old 03-18-07, 09:51 PM   #7
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interupt levers don't give you as much attenuation and if you have bike that is equipped with modern brifters it is best to just ride on the brake hoods it is a more comfortable and a more powerful position

not to mention you have acess to the brakes and shifting easily
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Old 03-19-07, 04:24 PM   #8
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Not Sure about the interupter levers not giving as much attenuation... the ones I had on my giant were quite wonderful and had plenty of attenuation (I had canti brakes though). I would also argue that comfort is all a matter of preferance.

-Paul
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Old 03-19-07, 04:31 PM   #9
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interupt levers don't give you as much attenuation and if you have bike that is equipped with modern brifters it is best to just ride on the brake hoods it is a more comfortable and a more powerful position

not to mention you have acess to the brakes and shifting easily
Bullpoop...
My inline levers stop harder than my brifters. And while I spend a lot of time on
the hoods, I like to move my hands around. In the city, I like my head up and keeping an eye on traffic. Inline levers really help there.

Been like that for 4 years, how much experience do you have with inline levers?
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Old 03-19-07, 04:57 PM   #10
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I've heard that the Tektro ones aren't so good...maybe those are the ones with "attenuation" problems? The majority of what I've heard about in-line levers from other riders using other brands agrees with what late has said.
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Old 03-19-07, 10:10 PM   #11
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well to be honest I only use em in the mud so I don't really know how they will do on the street
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Old 03-20-07, 12:32 AM   #12
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I really think that the 'suicide bars' got a bad wrap. I really can't get my hands to stop on the dime with joust the reugular brakes on the drop. If the were made sturdier and designed better, they would help a lot of us people with unflexable hands.
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