Handlebar and ride distance question
I have a Gary Fisher Wingra hybrid I use for commuting and occasional just for fun rides on the bike trails around the Madison area. So far the farthest I've taken it in one trip is about 25 miles and had no problems at all.
I'd like to try a few charity type rides (technically races but I'm not looking to really compete with any serious roadies on my bike). I'm approaching this just like the couple of 5K run/walk races I've done. I'd like to push myself to do the best I can do but I'm not trying to beat anyone else out there, I just want to see what I can do.
I'm concerned though that since many of these races are 60-100 miles that the flat bar just isn't really going to cut it for that long. I'm considering switching out to a 25.4 clamp drop bar with the brake levers made to go on drops and work with v-brakes and bar end shifters. I've never had a drop bar bike so it would take a little getting used to.
My question is, how much would it really help me out to do this for that type of ride? Do people regularly do that sort of ride with flat bars?
60-100 miles can be done on flat bars, especially if yu have good, comfortable barends for extra hand positions, padded gloves and set the bike up well. I did a 1000km tour on a hybrid bike with that kind of setup and my wrists didn't complain much.
A drop bar will be more comfortable, if set up right but won't make that much of a difference in the real world.
1. On the big charity rides you'll see people riding just about any bicycle configuration that you can imagine. I'm frequently surprised at what kind of bikes some people use to complete long rides.
2. The longer the distance, the higher percentage of riders will be using dropped road handlebars.
You'll have to decide where the middle ground is for yourself.