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Cyclocross and Gravelbiking (Recreational) This has to be the most physically intense sport ever invented. It's high speed bicycle racing on a short off road course or riding the off pavement rides on gravel like :The Dirty Kanza". We also have a dedicated Racing forum for the Cyclocross Hard Core Racers.

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Old 10-29-11, 12:24 AM   #1
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Alternatives to drop bars

I'll be ordering a new SSCX frame in the next few days. My intentions with it vary from racing to singletrack to rainy winter commuting. Every build needs bars, and after riding standard drops for years, I like to try something new whenever I do a build.

I've been looking at the On-One Midge flared drops. Still drops, but not as shallow. Still flared, but not quite mustachioed. Some folks have said that the position of the hands in the drops and hoods is closer to how your hands/wrists are when they're at rest.

My main bike and track (not tarck) bike have standard road drops, and my distance bike has mustache bars. These look like a good medium.

Does anyone have any strong opinions about flared drops? Are they uncomfortable in the hoods? Is handling compromised when riding off-road? Hated? Loved? Whatever experience any of you have with them, I'd love to hear about it. Also, if any of you have other suggestions of alt bar set ups, then I'd love to hear about those too. Especially if you race them.


Last edited by junkyardking; 10-29-11 at 12:29 AM.
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Old 10-30-11, 10:03 AM   #2
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I've never raced on them but I do have a set of salsa woodchippers on my touring bike. I find that the drops are the most comfortable position on the bars and offer a lot of stability. The hoods aren't bad but I don't feel nearly as in control. They make a great touring bar but I don't know that I'd want to race with them.

Fwiw my sscx bike has mtb risers and I like them a lot.
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Old 10-30-11, 10:28 AM   #3
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To use dirt drops properly you really need a radical stem, or a bike specifically built for dirt drops. The Voodoo Nakisi stem is the right tool for the job, but it's pretty heavy. The whole point is to spend the majority of your time in the drops.

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Old 10-30-11, 10:38 AM   #4
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After having used a set of Midges and a WTB mountain drop bar over the last few years, I was feeling traditional and bought a Velo Orange drop bar. I tried it out yesterday on my CC and absolutely HATED IT. The flare of the Midge or WTB makes them so much more comfortable for me in every situation, I don't think I can go back now. On the ramps, on the hoods, in the drops--flared bars are better everywhere (for me).

I cut my ride with the VO bar short to return to my garage and put the Midges back on. Ahh, comfort again! I don't have them radically high, maybe an inch above my seat.On my Fargo I can run bars in the off road position that Flargle describes above, maybe 2" or more above the saddle. That makes the drops really nice, but the hoods are too high for much besides cruising.

Here's a picture of my CC in touring mode from earlier this summer:
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Old 10-30-11, 12:00 PM   #5
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Charlie Cunningham of WTB started the thing, spread out a pair of road bars.

Nitto's Dirt drop made for the old Bridgestone MB1,
is much less flared at the bottom, keeps me from Knee-ing the bar end shifter.

I put a set* on my road bike , because I use bar end shifters.
[*no longer made]

perhaps a heat treated wider Nitto 'Noodle' bar would suit? they are still made.

Last edited by fietsbob; 10-30-11 at 12:06 PM.
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Old 10-30-11, 04:23 PM   #6
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my buddy races with Salsa Woodchippers and likes them a lot, 29inches has them compared to an origin8 gary bar

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Old 10-30-11, 04:45 PM   #7
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There are many different dirt drops out there. Salsa woodchippers, wtb's, origin8, on-one, Ragley luxys. They all are designed to be riden in the drops. Usually setup so riding on the hoods is not an option and the bar is set to be level to the saddle. I have used 3 different ones and really like them. My ss mtb has the woodchippers on and I love them. I set them so I can grasp the brakes in the drops and still comfortably ride on the hoods. They are great for everything except technical downhill riding. Kill at climbing and singletrack. My cx has belllaps which I don't like as much.

Depending on the Brifters used some people don't like them as they have a hard time reaching the thumb clickers to shift ( ex. sora Brifters). Some dirtdrops are not comparable with barcons as well. The 1st batch of the new wtb's won't take them, and the older origin8 gary bar won't either.
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