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Old 07-03-08, 10:07 AM   #1
BroadSTPhilly
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Why do lots of fixie riding hipsters use straight bars

Not relevant to commuting but this is where I post and read so deal with it. Why do I see all of these fixed gear bikes with wee little straight bars about the same width as my drops. Its like drops but with less hand positions available. And its clear than most of these bikes have been converted from bikes that would have had drops. So someone must have taken the drops off and replaced them. Is there a good reason for this? Am I missing something?
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Old 07-03-08, 10:08 AM   #2
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...Am I missing something?
Yes.
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Old 07-03-08, 10:11 AM   #3
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Because the short flat bars are suitable for short urban rides, tricks, and maintaining a certain aesthetic... look at any riders who lay down the serious miles and you won't see many flat bars.

At our shop we cater to commuters and have an overabundance of flat bars that have been pulled off bikes due to their unsuitability for commuting or because they are just so uncomfortable.
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Old 07-03-08, 10:13 AM   #4
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Straight bars or risers put you in a better upright position for watching traffic as you zip around the city's gridlocked cars.

Narrow bars (cut to shoulder width or less) make it easy to squeeze your bike where most people can't ride.
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Old 07-03-08, 10:17 AM   #5
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I understand the narrow argument and the upright argument but can't you just grab the tops of the drops? Isn't that the same thing?
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Old 07-03-08, 10:25 AM   #6
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sorta, but you don't have to reach down to the drops to use the brakes with straight bars.
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Old 07-03-08, 10:28 AM   #7
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sorta, but you don't have to reach down to the drops to use the brakes with straight bars.
How many fixies with straight bars have brakes?
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Old 07-03-08, 10:30 AM   #8
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it may also be the minimalist mentality at work too. if you don't need the drops then they need to go and be replaced with a simple straight bar. probly make sense if ur just doin short urban rides.
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Old 07-03-08, 10:34 AM   #9
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I understand the narrow argument and the upright argument but can't you just grab the tops of the drops? Isn't that the same thing?
It's not, if the reason you're doing it is to whip and weave through traffic. Grabbing the tops of the drops still leaves the rest of the bar hangin' out there to smack into rear-view mirrors and stuff.
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Old 07-03-08, 10:54 AM   #10
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Well... flat bars make it easier to steer and brake with one hand while you're holding coffee with the other... but if you're riding a brake-less fixie I don't know... Personally I think straight bars just look wrong on a road bike. Wrong, wrong, wrong I tell you! The shorter they are, the worse they look to me. But that's just my opinion. I would also think the really short chopped bars would have terrible handling characteristics. Yeah...I can see the advantage to having a super narrow profile in the thickest urban setting, but how many times do most people actually squeeze through shoulder-width spaces? I've seen bars chopped way shorter than shoulder and hip width as well... what's the point? Probably just fashion over function.

On the other hand I think swept back upright bars (Albatross bars and the like) look great on racing frame single speeds (especially if it's an older lugged steel frame). A lot of people would hate that look. Personally I think Nitto moustache bars are the best looking and most functional alternative to drops. I also like dirt drops.
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Old 07-03-08, 10:54 AM   #11
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I thought the small bars were preferred so that when the brakeless hipster collides with an unavoidable object the chance of his legs, feet, duffel bag and bong getting tangled is reduced when sailing through the air over the bars, thereby making the subsequent crash to the asphalt more predictable.
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Old 07-03-08, 10:56 AM   #12
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Are all fixie riders truly "hipsters"?

Maybe some of them are just complete dorks.
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Old 07-03-08, 11:01 AM   #13
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Why do I see all of these fixed gear bikes with wee little straight bars about the same width as my drops.
they're compensating for all the other fixters riding all-drop-no-flats b123's!



completely impractical for street use, but far and away the best-looking handlebars ever made.
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Old 07-03-08, 11:04 AM   #14
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I worked as a messenger in Sydney for 3 years. My bike at the time had wide riser bars. I never had trouble getting through traffic. The narrow bars are way more fashion than function.
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Old 07-03-08, 11:22 AM   #15
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A few of the messengers around here rock the narrow flat bar. Given the spaces they have to squeeze in to, it's functional. However, for the hipsters [white belt, check vans, flat pedals, superfuzz shades, Good Charlotte hair, coffee cup in hand] it's all about the mad steez.
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Old 07-03-08, 11:31 AM   #16
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Are all fixie riders truly "hipsters"?

Maybe some of them are just complete dorks.
Some of us don't just ride from one coffee shop to the next to practice our hands-free trackstands. There are a few of us who ride fixed because it's a great training tool, and improves our performance when we get back on our geared bikes.

I ride a '91 PDG Series-5 which I converted (properly) to fixed gear. I use 46cm bars, just like on my geared bike, and it even has both brakes on it.


I could never be a hipster. I'm too fat to wear girl jeans.
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Old 07-03-08, 11:38 AM   #17
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I have no idea why they do that. I assume it's largely fashion. Since I'm a middle-aged desk jockey, bike commuter, and Cat 4 pack fodder, I don't think I could ever pull of the girl jeans and white studded belt. Nor do I have enough hair left to style it like Good Charlotte. So my FG has good ol' 42cm 3ttt TdF bars. And two brakes!
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Old 07-03-08, 11:49 AM   #18
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I don't get this whole fixed gear craze anyway. Look at SF Bay Area Craig's List and it seems every other bike is a fixie. Seems a waste of functionality to take a perfectly good rood bike and turn it into a fixed.
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Old 07-03-08, 11:50 AM   #19
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Is there a good reason for this? Am I missing something?
1. Yes. The reason is, because they want to do it that way. This is cycling, not dressage.

2. Yes. See 1.
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Old 07-03-08, 11:51 AM   #20
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I've found straight bars to be a good thing. Especially since I'm hetero.

BTW, I ride fixed gear, but no white belt, check vans, flat pedals, superfuzz shades, Good Charlotte hair, or coffee cup in hand. Last time I rode bars like that was in the mid '80s, and not too many were doing it at the time. Maybe I was a hipster then? They were pretty good for short hops in an urban environment.
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Old 07-03-08, 11:59 AM   #21
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Why so much hate on the fixed gear cyclists?

Remember, Sheldon "Coasting Is Bad For You" Brown was an advocate of the fixed gear bicycle.

http://sheldonbrown.com/fixed.html
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Old 07-03-08, 12:19 PM   #22
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I don't get this whole fixed gear craze anyway. Look at SF Bay Area Craig's List and it seems every other bike is a fixie. Seems a waste of functionality to take a perfectly good rood bike and turn it into a fixed.
The fixie craze is a resurgence of infatuation with bike messengers. Think "Quicksilver" but 20 years later.

As for the waste of functionality, if you're looking for an easy to maintain bike, the fixed gear is it. There's squat to deal with for adjustments, save for keeping your wheel pulled back. Pedal forward == go. There's the instruction manual.
Like I stated before, I use mine as a training tool. I run a low gear ratio so I have to spin a little bit outside my usual comfort range. Keeping a super high cadence for a 25 mile ride once a week really helps me on the geared bike when I get to the hills; I can spin my little gears like a madman and power my way up the steepest grades with relative ease.
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Old 07-03-08, 12:19 PM   #23
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I don't think anyone really hates fixed-gears so much as they're annoyed by the sudden explosion in popularity of fixed gear bikes amongst certain crowds. As much as I'm all for the "as long as they're riding a bike it's cool with me" attitude, I'm not going to lie and say it doesn't seem a little foolish to me when I see four or five kids on track bikes almost crash because they can't skid to a halt in time because brakes aren't cool.
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Old 07-03-08, 12:20 PM   #24
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I am not dissing the fixed gears. I only posted because after seeing all these road frames with tiny flat bars I was wondering if there was some functional reason to use them. Apparently from what everyone has posted there is not.
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Old 07-03-08, 12:25 PM   #25
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Are all fixie riders truly "hipsters"?

Maybe some of them are just complete dorks.
What's the difference?
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